Fabrics are made from fibres. The fibres are twisted together by spinning to make a yarn. Yarn is knitted or woven to make fabrics. Different ways of knitting or weaving change the type of fabric, altering the properties and feel. Fibres can also be joined by felting, stiching or chemicals (missing out the spinning process) to make non woven fabrics. Fabrics and fibres, or fibers if you're American, are important in the safety and protection industries as the type chosen will have an immediate effect on the amount or kind of protection given. A fabric, or technical fabrics, will be specified according to which dangers are present in any given application. Protective fabrics are made from natural products or man-made products, again depending on the performance characteristics required.
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