The production of synthetic fibers was the result of pioneering work on the formation of synthetic polymers and the development of extrusion techniques known as "wet spinning", "dry spinning", and "melt spinning".
- "Wet spinning" involves converting polymer solutions into fibers by diluting a highly concentrated polymer solution in a coagulating bath; where one of the main purposes of developing wet-spun polymers is to produce specific fiber structures in the coagulation bath.
- In "dry spinning", the polymer solution is forced through a spinneret where solvent is then evaporated in a warm current of air to produce almost solvent-free filaments.
- With "melt spinning", the polymer is melted by heating and then passed through a spinneret via a spinning pump; so, melt spinning requires polymers that are thermally stable and, as far as possible, resistant to thermal oxidation at certain high temperatures.
It is believed that future developments of fibers will probably be directed toward classical mass production; especially, towards attaining optimal processing characteristics and clothing comfort.
New types of applications in the field of industrial fibers and in medical technology will stimulate the development of special fibers with very specific properties.
Plant fibers include cotton, flax, hemp, jute, etc.
Animal fibers include wool, camel hair, angora, silk, etc.
Natural fibers have been used by humans for thousands of years; as, animal hair and plant fibers were spun into yarn and woven into textiles and the modern textile industry is still based on those ancient technologies.
Both natural and synthetic fibers consist of linear polymers. These polymers are converted into fibrous form by growth (animal hair and plant fibers) or extrusion (spider and silk worm) and are specifically oriented to the fiber axis.