What are Microfibers, Anyway?

Microfibers, also known as microdeniers, are now very popular in the garment and upholstery industry. Their popularity can be attributed to their ability to repel moisture and their strength and durability. The fibers are so small that they can be tightly woven together, and as a result are strong enough to repel moisture and are more durable.

The best known family of microfibers carries the name brand “Ultra-Suede” (which w will discuss later). For those who enjoy the technical or scientific descriptions, the term microfiber relates to fibers that are synthetic or man made. The process was originally developed in Japan. What constitutes the “microfiber” is the DPF, or “denier per filament”. Specifically a microfiber would have a filament measurement of between .05 and 1.5 in this range.

The process involved in creating these microfibers also involves an innovative spinning technology. Taking homopolymer backed inexpensive fibers and combining them with bicomponent, or two/multi filament fibers for the backing. Sometimes a microfiber will contain up to 64 single fibers which are then dissolved together to create a strengthened version of the microfibers.

This process has been responsible for creating excellent durability in faux leathers as well as the product “Ultra-Suede”.

This science developed by “Ultra-Suede” was revolutionary to the industry because after years of experimentation a perfected process resulted in the invention of this remarkable product for fabric that led to incredible performance as well as exceptional luxuriousness.

The science which originated in Japan under the supervision of Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto at Toray Industries can take full credit for this discovery which later was responsible for hatching the name “Ultra-Suede” – patented and licensed as a name brand.

These ultra-microfibers are naked to the human eye, and are so fine that you could stretch a strand 50 miles long and it would weigh no more than a gram.

Special adhesive binders are then used to take these strands which are ironed, needle-punched, curled and cut using a very complex process that is impregnated with the adhesive binders crating this felt-like material.

Further processing is done to these fibers after the fabric is formed by adding a protective polymer coating that is dissolved with a solvent. The end result is that the fabric is as strong as it is luxurious looking. If you were able to observe through a microscope you would see the detail of the cross-sectioned densely complex layers of these fibers.
By Tom Chianelli

About the author:

Tom Chianelli is the owner of Chianelli Designs Inc. http://www.chianelli.com. Chianelli Designs specializes in selling designer furniture at discounted prices.

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