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Historically, the use of fiber was limited to fibers available in the natural wor-
ld. However, cotton and linen wrinkles from use and frequent washings; Silk
requires delicate handling; Wool, was irritating to the touch. Only a century
ago, rayon - the first manufactured fiber - was developed. Fiber chemistry
began. Manufactured (man-made) fibers are now found in many uses, such
as home furnishings. One of these developments is “microfiber”, which is
increasing in popularity for furniture.
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber is a man-made material. It is made by combining two basic fibers,
polyester and polyamide (a nylon by product).
How fine is microfiber? Denier is the term used to define the diameter or
fineness of a continuous or filament fiber such as silk. It is the weight in
grams of a 9000-meter length of fiber or yarn. The higher the number, the
thicker the fiber. In order to be called a “microfiber,” the fiber must be less
than one denier. Fine silk, for example, is approximately 1.25 denier. A micro-
fiber would need to be 0.9 denier or finer. Many microfibers are 0.5 to 0.6
denier. Because microfibers are so fine, many fibers can be packed together
very tightly. With many more fine fibers required to form a yarn, greater fiber
surface area results in deeper, richer and brighter colors.
The finest microfiber is remaking the world of fashion. For industrial uses,
manufactured fibers relentlessly replace traditional materials.
It is an extremely fine synthetic fiber that can be woven into textiles with
the texture and drape of natural-fiber cloth but with enhanced washability,
breathability, and water repellency. Microfiber fabrics are generally lightwei-
ght (being a variety of polyester with extremely thin filaments). They resist
wrinkling and retain their shape. They have the advantage of being relatively
stronger than other fabrics of similar weight. They have a low cost, a great
feel and are easy to clean and maintain.
Refer to the following pages for practical advice on how to clean and
protect microfiber items.
What are the advantages
of microfiber furniture?
How to take care of
your own upholstery in