Textile also refers to the yarns, threads and wools that can be spun, woven, tufted, tied and otherwise used to manufacture cloth. The production of textiles is an ancient art, whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by mass-production and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. An ancient Roman weaver would have no problem recognizing a plain weave, twill, or satin.
Many textiles have been in use for millennia, while others use artificial fibers and are recent inventions. The range of fibers has increased in the last 100 years. The first synthetics were made in the 1920s and 1930s.
Commonly used natural (deriving from plant or animal) fibers and textiles include:polymer-based) textiles are:
- Acrylic fiber
- Spandex, tactel, lycra and other 'stretch' fabrics
- Nylon fiber
- Polyester fiber
- Polypropylene (comes under various common trade names such as Olefin or Herculon)
- Rayon fiber
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Applications of cloth
Textile is also a jargon term used by naturists or nudists to describe a person who wears clothes, and also the property that nudity is not allowed, e.g. in "textile beach", "textile campsite", etc.