The difference in textile fibres used to make sarees in India.

Mainly, textile fibres are of two types; natural and man-made. Natural fibers are categorized in three types called vegetables, animals and mineral fibers. Similarly, man-made fibers are of two types, named as regenerated and synthetic. In terms of length, we can divide textile fibers again into two categories called staple fibers and filament fibers. Nylon, Cotton, Wool, Polyester and Silk are the names of some popular textile fibers that are different from each other in terms of length, color, strength and many other properties and are most commonly mixed with natural fibres in saree yarn.Let’s highlight these differences:


Nylon is a synthetic textile fiber that is widely used in making fabrics. The raw materials used in manufacturing of Nylon are dicarboxylic acid and diamine. It is used as a manufacturing material for textile fabrics, ropes, tires and military equipments.


Cotton is undoubtedly, most using natural fiber for making textile products. Cotton is a plant fiber and originates from the seeds of cotton plant. The basic constituent of cotton is cellulose, while others are pectin, water and wax in traces.


Wool is also a natural fiber and fall in the category of animal fiber. We get wool fiber from sheep fleece. This textile material is good for making winter clothing thanks to its warmth property. The basic constituent of wool fiber is protein and it is the first fiber that was used in making textile clothing.


Polyester is a man-made fiber that is categorized as purely synthetic fiber. It is a long chain polymer that is manufactured from two chemicals named as ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. It has moderate properties and suitable for all season fabrics.


Silk is also natural fiber that is produced by silkworm. The process of making silk from silkworm is called sericulture. It has excellent luster and resiliency that makes it perfect material for making luxurious fabrics.


Satin is a famous weave type that has dull back and sleek front. It is made up from long length yarn called filament yarn like polyester, silk and nylon. The specialty of this fabric is its warp dominating feature and minimum possible interlacing.

Nylon vs Cotton vs Wool vs Polyester vs Silk vs Satin

Cotton is a famous vegetable fibre, but wool and silk both are widely using animal fibers. Nylon and polyester are two well-known synthetic fibres. Wool is obtained from sheep, while silk is a product of silkworm. One more difference between silk and other natural fibers is that, silk is the only filament fibre that we get from natural source in contrast to other natural fibres that are staple fibres. However, both nylon and polyester are also filament fibres. On the other hand, satin is a type of weave that is manufactured from filament fibres. 

Pure cotton, silk and wool are expensive to use independently and therefore polyester or nylon yarn is introduced in the weft while creating a saree to bring down costs. A great way to figure out if your saree is pure or not is to pluck a single thread from the weft and burn in with a matchstick on a glass plate. Pure silk or cotton burn fast and uniformly leaving behind powder ash. A synthetic element burns with a "chemical" smell and leaves behind a tiny clump of residue.