Synthetic Fibres and Plastics class 8

Fires that are made by human beings are called synthetic fibres. Most synthetic fibres are obtained from coal, petroleum and natural gas. A synthetic fibre consists of multiple units (each of which is a chemical substance), which are joined together to form a single unit called a polymer (polymer, many; mer, units). Rayon, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and spandex are examples of synthetic fibres.


Rayon, also called artificial silk, is prepared from cellulose (which comes from wood pulp).


  1. It absorbs sweat. Rayon clothes are, therefore, preferred over other synthetic fibres in summer.
  2. It is shiny and lustrous and resembles silk in appearance.

USES:- Rayon is used for making suits, jackets, scarves, ties, home furnishing (bed sheets, curtains, tablecloths, sofa covers, etc), and bandages.

What is NYLON

Nylon was the first true synthetic fibre. It was first produced in the early 1930s by the scientists at the DuPont Company from coal, water and air.


  1. It is elastic and does not lose strength even after repeated use.
  2. It is lustrous and easy to wash.
  3. It is waterproof.

Uses:- Nylon is used for making socks, stockings, tents, umbrellas, parachutes, and tarpaulins. Nylon fibres are used for making toothbrush bristles. Due to their high strength and elasticity, nylon threads are used for making fishing nets, climbing ropes, and strings of badminton and tennis racquets.


A polyester is a group of different synthetic fibres. The most commonly used Polyester is Terylene. It is blended with natural fibres to improve its properties. Terrycot, a blend of Terylene and cotton, has better absorbing power as compared to Terylene.


  1. It is strong, lightweight, and good elasticity.
  2. It resists wrinkling and springs back into space when creased.
  3. Polyester fabrics can be washed and dried easily and quickly.


polyester is used for making lightweight sails. Polyester films (commonly known as Mylar) are used for making magnetic recording tapes in audio cassettes, video cassettes and floppy disks. Terrycot is commonly used for making shirts, skirts and other dress materials. Terywool is used for making formal suits.


Acrylic fibres, also known as Orlon and Acrilan, closely resemble wool.


  1. It is warm, soft, light and flexible.
  2. It is resistant to moths and chemicals.


Acrylic is used for making sweaters, socks, shawls, carpets, and blankets.


Spandex, also known as Lycra, was invented by the DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers in 1959.


It has excellent elasticity, which makes it suitable for use in clothes that require snug fitting.


Spandex is used for making swimming costumes. It is often mixed with other fibres, such as cotton, to get stretch fabrics, which are used for making caps, T-shirts, shorts and other sportswear.