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What is Microfiber Fabric: The Comprehensive Guide

You might have heard about Apple’s luxurious polishing cloths, retailing for as much as $19, flying off the shelves. What drives people to invest in a cloth solely for cleaning screens? Beyond the devotion of Apple enthusiasts to the brand, this product stands out amongst the cleaning cloths. Crafted from microfiber, this cloth promises powerful cleaning performance. If you’re interested in learning more about this trending fabric, join us as we explore the world of microfiber fabrics.

What is Microfiber Fabric?

Microfiber, a synthetic fiber mainly made of polyester and nylon, was developed to replicate the delicate texture of natural fibers like wool and silk

We all know that synthetic fibers are not as breathable as natural fibers. Microfiber emerged as a solution. This ultrafine fiber not only promised breathability but also overcame the drawbacks of natural fibers, such as susceptibility to wrinkles and low abrasion resistance. 

The Major producers of microfiber fabric include Japan, the United States, and Western European countries. With its remarkable qualities, it is widely embraced across various industries.

Types and Uses of Microfiber Fabric

To fully use microfiber’s potential across different applications, it’s crucial to be familiar with its subtleties. Let’s get deeper into its classification based on texture and weave, alongside exploring its diverse uses.

  • Suede Microfiber Fabric

Suede microfiber fabric offers a wallet-friendly alternative to genuine suede leather, with impressive advantages. Weighing less than half of real suede, it offers a lighter, more pliable alternative that is perfect for winter jackets, providing warmth without the bulk. Its superior resistance to abrasion and wear makes it a sought-after option for luxurious automotive interiors, accentuated by its understated matte finish.

  • Smooth Microfiber Fabric

Smooth microfiber fabric, with its shiny surface, offers a comfortable and skin-friendly experience. Its breathable nature ensures a pleasant wearing experience while its antibacterial properties and stain resistance enhance its practicality. This versatile fabric finds wide usage in underwear, bedding, and garments, meeting both comfort and hygiene requirements.

  • Terry Microfiber Fabric

Terry microfiber fabric closely mimics the look and feel of traditional towel fabrics while offering superior performance. Notably, it is lint-free, boasting excellent absorbency and quick drying capabilities after wringing out water. Moreover, it’s highly durable and easy to maintain, requiring only water for cleaning.

  • Waffle Microfiber Fabric

Waffle microfiber fabric is easily distinguishable by its uneven surface, featuring dense squares reminiscent of the beloved breakfast treat. Its honeycomb-like structure adds to its visual appeal while enhancing breathability. Renowned for its exceptional absorbency, this fabric finds its way into many households, serving as a reliable kitchen cleaning cloth and a cozy bathrobe after showering.

  • Brushed Microfiber Fabric

Brushing and shearing polyester fabrics craft the unique grainy surface of brushed microfiber fabric. With its soft and cozy feel, this fabric is akin to wool, while maintaining elasticity, and resistance to pilling. Its lightweight nature makes it suitable for winter garments, offering warmth and comfort. Renowned for its reliability, brushed microfiber fabric is a great option for creating jackets, vests, and blankets.

Pros and Cons of Microfiber Fabric

  • Pros

  • Breathability

When you sweat a lot outdoors, cotton clothing tends to make you feel heavy and stifling as it absorbs moisture. In contrast, garments made from microfiber fabric maintain their breathability, keeping you feeling cozy and dry even during intense activity.

  • Durability

While it seems delicate with its diameter measuring less than 10 microns, microfiber’s durability is surprisingly great. Thanks to the dense concentration of fibers within the fabric, the durability of microfiber is five times greater than ordinary fibers, making them a reliable choice for those seeking long-lasting textiles.

  • High Absorbency

Microfiber lives up to its name by being super fine, about one-twentieth the width of typical chemical fibers, which gives it a large surface area, perfect for soaking up moisture. Moreover, these closely arranged fibers create countless tiny spaces within the fabric elevating its absorbency, making it an excellent choice for keeping things dry.

  • Cons

  • Poor Static-resistance

Understanding how moisture affects fabrics is key to managing static electricity. Natural fibers like cotton and silk have a higher moisture content, which helps to conduct electricity and reduces static buildup. On the other hand, as synthetic fibers, microfibers contain minimal moisture, leading to higher electrical resistance, which results in static electricity accumulating on the fabric’s surface.

  • Microplastic pollution

Microfibers, commonly found in the textile industry, are mainly crafted from nylon and polyester, often mixed with other fibers for versatile applications. However, the manufacturing process, daily wearing, and laundry of this kind of fabric all contribute to a substantial release of microfibers into the environment. This emission can reach nearly 200,000 tons annually.

How to Clean with Microfiber Cloths?

Microfiber fabrics offer a wide range of options for cleaning various items, so selecting the right type of cloth based on what you’re cleaning and your cleaning goals is essential.

  • Cleaning Glass

You can start by using a regular cloth and detergent to remove surface dirt, then follow up with a rubber squeegee to clear away water. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to dry the glass, ensuring no water stains are left behind.

  • Cleaning Cars

It’s important to use different cloths for different parts. While some cloths good at absorbing water, others are better at removing dirt from the car’s mirror. Remember to rinse off the dust buildup on the clothes regularly, which can effectively prevent your car from scratches.

  • Cleaning Lens

It’s important to use professional optical cleaning products. Before wiping the lens, make sure you remove dust on the lens surface with bellows and brushes. Besides, avoid spraying cleaning solutions directly onto the lens; instead, spray them onto the cloth and then wipe the lens.

How to Wash and Dry Microfiber Fabric?

Microfiber fabric picks up dust easily, so proper care is essential to maintain its longevity. To start, give the fabric a good shake to remove loose dust. If it’s lightly stained, hand washing in cold water works well. For tougher stains, you can use a washing machine. Here are some tips for machine-washing:

  1. Avoid washing the fabric with other fabrics.
  2. Separate microfiber fabrics based on usage and color to prevent color bleeding and cross-contamination.
  3. Use a detergent that doesn’t contain bleach or softeners.
  4. Avoid using hot water or the dryer due to the poor heat resistance of the fabric.
  5. Air dry the fabric in a cool place, avoiding direct sunlight.

Microfiber Fabric vs Cotton Fabric

Microfiber Cotton
Raw Material Chemical fibers (Nylon, Polyester…) Natural cotton fibers
Safety Not static resistant but anti-bacterial Static resistant
Absorbency Its absorbency is best when first used, and decreases as the fibers gradually harden. Its absorbency is unexceptional when first used, and increases as the oily residue during production gradually decreases.
Applications Cleaning cloths

Shoes

Sportswear

Bath towels

Bedding

Summer clothing

FAQs

  • Is microfiber toxic?

Although toxic chemicals are used in the production process of microfibers, high-quality microfiber products meet rigorous safety criteria to ensure they are free from harmful substances. Therefore, it is important to select certified products.

  • Is microfiber eco-friendly?

No, unlike biodegradable natural fibers, microfiber is neither recyclable nor easily biodegradable in natural environments.

  • Is microfiber good for your hair?

Microfiber towels stand out from traditional ones. By soaking moisture more efficiently, microfiber towels help shorten drying time with low friction, ultimately reducing the risk of hair damage.

  • Why can’t you use fabric softener on microfiber?

If fabric softener is used in cleaning, the softener residue will cover the microfiber fabric, diminishing its absorbency and cleaning power. This can ultimately shorten the lifespan of microfiber fabric.

Conclusion

All in all, microfiber fabric stands out for its superior performance. With the help of this article, you will be able to care for microfiber fabric properly, which ensures its longevity and performance, offering efficient cleaning solutions for glass, cars, lenses, and various items. Although a wide selection is available, you are sure to find a suitable type of microfiber fabric for your requirements.

More Resources:

What is Fleece – Source: Sinosilk

What is Acrylic Fabric – Source: Sinosilk

What is Synthetic Fabric – Source: Sinosilk

What Is the Best Fabric for Sheets? – Source: Sinosilk

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