Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Natural Fiber and Synthetic Fiber

Main Difference

The main difference between Natural Fiber and Synthetic Fiber is that Natural Fiber is made up of plants and animals, whereas Synthetic Fiber is made up of chemical constituents.

Natural Fiber vs. Synthetic Fiber

Natural fibers are defined as the fibers that are originated from nature, whereas synthetic fibers are defined as fibers that are originated from chemical compounds. Natural fibers have a natural color. On the flip side, an adequate amount of proper color is added in a color bath to color the synthetic fibers.

Natural fibers are made by a process in which spinneret is not necessary during the spinning process. On the other hand, the spinneret is necessary during the spinning process for the production of filament in synthetic fibers. Natural fibers are less durable, whereas synthetic fibers are more long-lasting as compared to natural fibers.

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Natural fibers are made from natural ways, so there are chances that dust or impurities can be found. Conversely, there are no chances of having dirt or any impurity in synthetic fibers as they are manufactured by artificial methods. The length of natural fiber cannot be controlled, whereas the length of synthetic fiber can be controlled.

The number of molecules in natural fibers is unlimited, whereas the number of molecules in synthetic fibers is limited. The number of molecules in natural fiber is controlled by nature. Conversely, the number of molecules in synthetic fiber is controlled by man.

Natural fibers are good for health, and a person is comfortable with them. In contrast, synthetic fibers are neither comfortable nor good for health. Natural fibers are expensive, whereas synthetic fibers are not expensive. The natural fiber is hygienic, while some synthetic fibers are not hygienic.

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Comparison Chart

Natural FiberSynthetic Fiber
The fiber obtained from nature is called natural fiber.The fiber made from the artificial or regenerating system is called synthetic fiber.
No. of Molecules
UnlimitedLimited
Length
Cannot be controlledCan be controlled
Spinneret
No need during the spinning processNeeded during the spinning process
Durability
Less durableMore durable
Cost
More expensiveLess expensive
Depending on Nature
DependsDoes not depend
Growth
Cannot grow everywhereCan grow everywhere
For Finishing
Not favorableFavorable
Generation of Electricity
Cannot generate static electricityCan generate static electricity
Dust and Impurities
Can be foundCannot be found
Hygiene
HygienicSome are not hygienic
Examples
Linen, silk, cotton, leather, etcPolyester, rayon, acrylic, microfibers, etc
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What is Natural Fiber?

The fiber that is made from nature, i.e., from plants or animals, are called natural fibers. Natural fibers are synthesized by collecting the natural and raw materials firstly, then dividing them into threads and finally knitting them to get the natural fabric. The length of natural fiber is uncontrolled and decided by nature.

Two types of natural fibers are turned into natural fabrics. One is an animal-based natural fiber, which is collected from an animal, i.e., wool is collected from sheep, and silk is collected from silkworms. The other one is a plant-based natural fiber, which is collected from plants, i.e., cotton and jute.

Advantages

The first and foremost advantage of natural fiber is that it is environmentally friendly. The rate of absorbance of natural fibers is very high, and they tend to absorb water fast. Natural fibers have their best usage in stuff like towels, bed covers, and sheets, etc. due to their high tendency of absorbing water effectively.

Natural fibers are made naturally, and cellulose is present in them. Therefore, they are durable enough but less than synthetic fibers in durability.

Examples

  • Linen: The oldest fabric till now is linen. Linen is derived from flax plants.
  • Silk: Silk is made from silkworms. Silk has a mesmerizing texture and is very strong and non-allergenic.
  • Cotton: The most comfortable fabric is cotton made from cotton plants. Cotton is very soft, durable, and comfortable to use.
  • Leather: Leather is made from animal skin, having high tensile strength and resistance to tear.

What is Synthetic Fiber?

The fibers that are made from synthetic or artificial materials through chemical processes are called synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are manufactured by using spinneret during the spinning process. Synthetic fibers are less expensive as compared to natural fibers and are the best alternative for natural fibers.

Synthetic fibers are not dependent on nature and can grow everywhere. No natural crimp is present in synthetic fibers; instead, extra crimps have to be inserted on it. The strength of the synthetic fiber is more as compared to natural fibers. Synthetic fibers are difficult to dye.

Synthetic fibers are more durable as compared to natural fibers, and their production does not require bleaching or scourging. Most of the synthetic fibers are hygienic without any dust particle or impurity present in it.

Advantages

The first and foremost advantage of synthetic fibers is they are much cheaper than natural fibers. They are stain-resistant and water-resistant as well. They are durable and have high tensile strength. Synthetic fibers can generate static electricity, and they can grow everywhere.

Examples

  • Polyester: Polyester is synthesized from coal and petroleum. It is not breathable at all.
  • Rayon: Rayon is made from semi-synthetic fibers, which can be used as a replacement for silk and wool.
  • Acrylic: The fiber that is made from acrylonitrile polymers is called acrylic. Acrylic is well known for having the best retention properties used to make artificial fur.
  • Microfibers: The synthetic fibers generally made up of polyesters are called microfibers.

Key Differences

  1. Natural fibers are made from nature, whereas synthetic fibers are entirely human-made.
  2. The length of natural fibers is decided by nature. Conversely, the length of synthetic fibers is decided by man.
  3. The number of molecules in natural fibers is controlled by nature. On the flip side, the number of molecules in synthetic fibers is controlled by man.
  4. Natural fibers have an unlimited number of molecules. On the other hand, synthetic fibers have a limited number of molecules.
  5. Natural fibers are nature dependent. In contrast, synthetic fibers are not dependent on nature.
  6. Natural fibers can grow everywhere, whereas synthetic fibers cannot grow everywhere.
  7. Natural fibers are found in staple or filament form, while synthetic fibers can be found in staple, filament, or cut length form.
  8. The spinneret is not needed during the spinning process for natural fibers production. Conversely, the spinneret is used during the spinning process of synthetic fibers.
  9. No spinning process is required for filament production in natural fibers. On the other hand, the spinning process is an essential requirement for filament production in synthetic fibers.
  10. Natural fibers do not need chemical solutions for yarn production, whereas synthetic fibers need chemical solutions for yarn production.
  11. Natural fibers are comfortable to wear and good for health. On the flip side, synthetic fibers are not comfortable to wear and also not good for health.
  12. Natural fibers are easy to dye, whereas synthetic fibers are difficult to dye.
  13. Natural fibers are environment friendly, while synthetic fibers are not environmental friendly.
  14. Natural fibers are decomposable. Conversely, synthetic fibers are non-biodegradable.
  15. Natural fibers are expensive. In contrast, synthetic fibers are cheap.

Conclusion

Natural fibers are obtained from natural sources like plants and animals, whereas synthetic fibers are obtained from artificial and human-made sources from chemical components.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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