Definition, Properties and Uses of Microfiber

What is Microfiber?
What is twice as thin as the finest silk fiber and 100 times finer than a strand of human hair? The answer is the amazing microfiber, one of the newest developments in fiber research. Microfiber is a synthetic fibre that is made up of ultra-fine threads, typically made from polyester or a blend of polyester and nylon. Most microfibers are made from polyester or nylon, but some are rayon and acrylic. They can be used alone or blended with other natural or manufactured fibers. The fibers are much thinner than natural fibres, such as cotton or silk, and are usually about 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. Micro fiber is produced through a complex process that involves spinning, drawing, and splitting the fibers, resulting in ultra-fine threads that are strong, durable, and lightweight. The major drawback of microfibers is heat sensitivity, so a very low temperature is needed to press fabrics. With so many positive qualities, however, microfiber use is growing rapidly.

Fig: Microfiber fabric

There has been a recent popularity of extremely fine fibers in the textile industry. The term “micro” is used for filaments with single titres of less than 1.0 dtex, while filaments with somewhat coarser single titres, such as 1.25 or 1.30 dtex, are referred to as fine-fibril filaments or finest filaments

Properties of Microfiber:
Microfiber has a number of properties that make it an attractive choice for various applications. Some of the key properties of micro fiber include:

1. Softness: Microfiber is extremely soft and gentle to the touch, making it comfortable to wear as clothing or use as bedding. This is due to the ultra-fine threads of the fiber, which are much finer and smoother than natural fibers like cotton.

2. Absorbency: They are highly absorbent and can hold up to seven times its weight in water. This makes it an effective material for cleaning products, such as towels and mops. The absorbent properties of microfiber are due to the large surface area of the ultra-fine threads, which can trap and hold water and other liquids.

3. Lightweight: Microfiber is very lightweight, which makes it easy to wear and handle. This is because the ultra-fine threads of the fiber are much lighter than natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool.

4. Durability: these fibers are extremely durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making it an ideal material for products that are used frequently. This is because the ultra-fine threads of the fiber are very strong and resistant to damage from friction and stretching.

5. Stain resistance: Microfiber is naturally resistant to stains and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge. This is because the ultra-fine threads of the fiber are tightly woven together, which makes it difficult for dirt and stains to penetrate the fabric.

6. Breathability: Microfibre is breathable, which allows air to circulate through the fabric, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable. This is because the ultra-fine threads of the fiber are spaced apart, which allows air to flow through the fabric and evaporate sweat and moisture.

7. Water-repellency: They are naturally water-repellent, making it ideal for use in outdoor clothing and gear. This is because the ultra-fine threads of the fiber are tightly woven together, which makes it difficult for water to penetrate the fabric.

8. Resistant to wrinkles and fading: Microfiber is resistant to wrinkles and fading, which makes it a popular choice for bedding, upholstery, and clothing.

Application or Uses of Microfiber:
Microfiber is used in a wide range of applications due to its desirable properties. Some of the most common uses of microfiber include:

a) Cleaning products: Microfiber is used to make a variety of cleaning products, including towels, mops, and dusters. The ultra-fine fibers are effective at trapping dirt, dust, and other particles, making it easier to clean surfaces. Microfiber cleaning products are also more environmentally friendly than traditional cleaning products, as they require less water and cleaning solution.

b) Athletic wear: It is used to make a variety of athletic wear, including shirts, shorts, and leggings. The lightweight and breathable fabric is comfortable to wear and helps to wick away moisture from the skin. Microfiber athletic wear is also more durable than traditional cotton athletic wear, as it can withstand frequent washing and drying.

c) Bedding: Microfiber is used to make a variety of bedding products, including sheets, comforters, and pillowcases. The soft and lightweight fabric is comfortable to sleep on and easy to care for. Microfiber bedding is also more affordable than traditional cotton bedding, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

d) Upholstery: Microfiber is used to make furniture upholstery due to its softness, durability, and stain resistance. The fabric is easy to clean and can withstand frequent use, making it an ideal choice for sofas, chairs, and other furniture.

e) Automotive interiors: They are also used to make automotive interiors, including seats and upholstery. The fabric is soft and comfortable, and can withstand wear and tear from frequent use. Microfiber automotive interiors are also easy to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice for car manufacturers.

f) Fashion accessories: Microfiber is used to make a variety of fashion accessories, including handbags, wallets, and belts. The fabric is lightweight and durable, making it an ideal choice for accessories that are used frequently.

g) Medical textiles: It is used in the medical industry to make a variety of products, including surgical gowns, face masks, and wound dressings. The fabric is soft and gentle to the skin, and can be easily sterilized to prevent infection.

h) Personal care products: Microfiber is used to make a variety of personal care products, including facial cloths, hair towels, and bathrobes. The soft and absorbent fabric is gentle on the skin and helps to dry hair quickly.

Microfiber is a synthetic fabric made of very fine fibers that has become increasingly popular due to its unique properties. It is soft, lightweight, and highly absorbent, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from cleaning cloths and towels to clothing, bedding, and upholstery. Microfiber is also easy to clean, durable, and quick-drying, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than many other materials. Due to its versatility and effectiveness, microfiber is widely used in various industries, including the cleaning, automotive, medical, and sports industries.


  1. Handbook of Fiber Chemistry, Third Edition Edited by Menachem Lewin
  2. Clothing: Fashion, Fabrics and Construction, Fifth Edition by Jeanette Weber
  3. Handbook of Weaving by Sabit Adanur
  4. Handbook of Fibrous Materials, Volume 1: Production and Characterization Edited by Jinlian Hu, Bipin Kumar and Jing Lu

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