or microfibre is synthetic fiber finer than one denier or
decitex/thread. This is smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk
(which is approximately one denier), which is itself about 1/5 the
diameter of a human hair. The most common types of microfibers are made
from polyesters, polyamides (e.g., nylon, Kevlar, Nomex, trogamide), or a
conjugation of polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene (Prolen).
is used to make mats, knits, and weaves for apparel, upholstery,
industrial filters, and cleaning products. The shape, size, and
combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific
characteristics, including softness, toughness, absorption, water
repellency, electrostatics, and filtering capabilities.
of ultra-fine fibers (finer than 0.7 denier) dates back to the late
1950s, using melt-blown spinning and flash spinning techniques. However,
only fine staples of random length could be manufactured and very few
applications could be found. Experiments to produce ultra-fine fibers of
a continuous filament type were made subsequently, the most promising
of which were run in Japan during the 1960s by Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto, a
scientist at Toray Industries. Okamoto's discoveries, together with
those of Dr. Toyohiko Hikota, resulted in many industrial applications.
these was Ultrasuede, one of the first successful synthetic
microfibers, which found its way onto the market in the 1970s.
Microfiber's use in the textile industry then expanded. Microfibers were
first publicized in the early 1990s in Sweden and saw success as a
product in Europe over the course of the decade.
cleaning products, microfiber can be 100% polyester, or a blend of
polyester and polyamide (nylon). It can be both a woven product or a non
woven product, the latter most often used in limited use or disposable
cloths.In the highest-quality fabrics for cleaning applications, the
fiber is split during the manufacturing process to produce
multi-stranded fibres. A cross section of the split microfiber fabric
under high magnification would look like an asterisk. The split fibres
and the size of the individual filaments working in conjunction with the
spaces between them that make the cloths more effective than other
fabrics for cleaning purposes. The structure traps and retains the dirt
and also absorbs liquids.
cotton, microfiber leaves no lint, the exception being some micro suede
blends, where the surface is mechanically processed to produce a soft
microfiber to be most effective as a cleaning product, especially for
water-soluble soils and waxes, it should be a split microfiber.
Non-split microfiber is little more than a very soft cloth. The main
exception is for cloths used for facial cleansing and for the removal of
skin oils, (sebum), sunscreens, and mosquito repellents from optical
surfaces such as cameras, phones and eyeglasses where in higher-end
proprietary woven, 100% polyester cloths using filaments, will absorb
these types of oils without smearing.
that is used in non-sports-related clothing, furniture, and other
applications isn't split because it isn't designed to be absorbent, just
soft. When buying, microfiber may not be labeled to designate whether
it is split. A quick way to determine if microfiber is, is to run the
cloth lightly over the palm of the hand. A split microfiber will Cling
to any imperfections of the skin, which can be both heard and felt.
Another way is to pour a small amount of water on a hard flat surface
and try to push the water with the microfiber. If the water is pushed
rather than being absorbed, it's not split microfiber.