What is Textile | History of Textile | Importance of Textile

What is Textile?
The word textile originated from Latin word “Textilis” which means woven, fabric, cloth. The textiles can be defined as the products which are formed by the interlacement of fibers or yarn. The broad definition covers any product intermediate or final made in textile industry. Therefore, the term textile includes fibers, filaments, yarns, woven, knitted and braided cloths as well as nonwoven fabrics.

what is textile

A Textile was originally a woven fabric but now the term textile and its plural textiles are also applied to fibers, filaments, yarn and most products for which these are a principle raw material. The product includes threads, cords, ropes, braids woven, knitted, non-woven fabrics, nets, household textile, geo-textile, medical textiles etc.

Textile refers to the use of fibers, yarns, and threads to create fabrics and other textile products through various processes such as spinning, weaving, knitting, and printing. The textile industry is a broad field that encompasses various aspects of fiber production, textile manufacturing, and textile-related business, it is an important sector in the global economy.

textile product manufacturing

Textile products include a wide range of items, from clothing and accessories to household items such as curtains and bedding, to industrial and technical products such as filter fabrics, geotextiles, and protective clothing. Textile products can be created through a variety of processes such as weaving, knitting, spinning, and printing.

Textile industry is one of the oldest and most important sectors in the world economy. It is a vast industry that includes fiber production, spinning, weaving, finishing, dyeing, printing, and clothing manufacturing. The textile industry plays an important role in the economy of many countries, providing employment and generating income through the export of textile products.

Overall, textile is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of materials and products, and is an essential part of our daily lives, from the clothes we wear, to the fabrics that make up our homes and even the technical fabrics used in the medical and industrial fields.

History of Textile:
The usage of textiles can be traced back to the Neolithic Age. The people around 4000 BC invented hand-operated spindles and looms in Europe and the materials used were wool and flax.

The history of textiles dates back to prehistoric times, when early humans used natural fibers such as animal hair, plant fibers, and leaves to create clothing and other textiles. These fibers were collected, cleaned, and processed by hand, and were used to create simple fabrics such as woven baskets and mats.

The processing of textiles (dyeing and printing) also has its roots in the prehistoric era. The first solid evidence about dyeing of silk and brocades from religious and social records suggests that Indians were aware of the dyeing process in 2500 BC; however, it is also believed that the Chinese in 3500 BC practiced dyeing but no solid evidence is available to substantiate it. Safflower was in use for dyeing textiles for red and yellow colours in 2500 BC. Egyptians were able to produce a whole range of colors for textiles by 1450 BC. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, no record is available on the developments of textile dyeing till 1371 when the dyers formed their own independent guild in Florence and made the information public about dyeing.

As civilizations developed, so did the techniques for producing fibers and textiles. In ancient Egypt, for example, flax fibers were used to create linen, which was worn by both commoners and pharaohs. In ancient China, silk fibers were harvested from silkworms and used to create luxurious fabrics.

During the Middle Ages, wool became an important fiber for textiles, particularly in Europe where sheep were widely raised. Wool fibers were spun into yarn and used to create warm clothing and blankets. Cotton fibers also became an important fiber during this time, particularly in India where cotton had been cultivated for thousands of years.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution brought about major advancements in textile production. New machinery was developed that could spin, weave, and process fibers more quickly and efficiently. This led to the mass production of textiles, making them more affordable and widely available.

In the 20th century, synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic were developed, which offered new properties and benefits over natural fibers. These fibers were used to create a wide range of products, from clothing and accessories to industrial and technical textiles.

Today, fibers continue to play a vital role in our everyday life, with new developments in fiber technology and new fibers being introduced regularly. These fibers are used in a variety of applications, from clothing and textiles to industrial and technical uses, and play an important role in many aspects of our lives.

Importance of Textile:
Textiles play a vital role in our everyday lives and are important for both practical and aesthetic reasons. They are versatile materials that are used in a wide range of applications and industries, and their importance is likely to continue to grow in the future.

Some of the main reasons why textiles are important include:

1. Clothing: Textiles are used to create clothing and other garments that keep us warm, protected from the elements, and looking stylish.

2. Household items: Textiles are used to create a wide range of household items such as curtains, bedding, and furniture upholstery.

3. Industrial and technical uses: Textiles are used in a variety of industrial and technical applications such as filter fabrics, geotextiles, and protective clothing.

4. Health and medicine: Textile materials are used in the production of surgical gowns, face masks, and other medical equipment.

5. Transportation: Textiles are used in the production of car seats, safety belts, and airbags

6. Agriculture: Textiles are used in agriculture for crop protection and to provide shade for animals

7. Leisure and sports: Textiles are used to make outdoor clothing, tents, and other outdoor gear

8. Economy: The textile industry is a significant contributor to the global economy, providing jobs and generating income through the production and export of textile products.

9. Creativity and Art: Textiles are used to create art, design, and fashion.

10. Sustainability: Textile production and use is becoming more sustainable through the use of recycled materials, organic fibers, and sustainable production methods.


  1. Textile Engineering – An Introduction Edited by Yasir Nawab
  2. Fibres to Fabrics by Bev Ashford
  3. Textile Engineering By Roxanna Cody
  4. Textile Chemistry By Thomas Bechtold and Tung Pham
  5. Textile Technology: An Introduction, Second Edition  by Thomas Gries, Dieter Veit, and Burkhard Wulfhorst
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