Natural Yarns Artificial Yarns Synthetic Yarns


This category includes all fibres that are found in nature and only have to be cleaned and made “threadlike” so they can be spun into a yarn and then made into a fabric.

Natural yarns can be divided into subgroups depending on their origin, which also provides an indication of how they are subsequently processed.

There are three “producers”:


produce various types of WOOL: 





9-cammello 10-dromedario L-5-10 Lama guanicoe glama alpaca
Camels Dromedaries Llamas Vicuñas Alpacas



Angora rabbits



2_mohair 3-cashmere
Mohair Cashmere



Silkworm (the only natural yarn that is a continuous filament)



used as a powder to make threads of:




whose plants are used to make fibres:

tessuti cocco


made from


14b-lino 15b-canapa iuta
Linen Hemp Jute





It is important to remember that natural yarns (except for silk) are made up of lots of threads and their standard of quality depends on the length of the individual fibres and their diameter (gauge). They are indicated as

Separate Filaments

 the longer and thinner they are, the higher their quality

The main characteristics of natural yarns are:

  • Warm to touch
  • Soft hand
  • Low electrostatic charge
  • Good insulation properties
  • Hygroscopicity


is defined according to the INDIRECT method (the higher the number, the thinner the yarn); the NE (ENGLISH NUMBER) system is used for cotton whereas the NM (METRIC NUMBER) system is used for wool and linen.


Artificial yarns are the result of special manufacturing processes to blend natural fibres with certain chemical components and obtain a yarn with specific characteristics.

The best known are ACETATE and VISCOSE, used most of all for the production of apparel and furnishings; the most technical are FIBREGLASS and RUBBER FIBRE used in industrial applications.


Synthetic yarns are made by chemical synthesis and are the outcome of the various reactions of polymerisation compared to the basic monomer.

The best known of these are:

  • Polyamide – PA6, PA6.6
  • Hydrocarbons – Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Synthetic Rubber
  • Polyesters – Normal, Special, Modified
  • Acrylonitrile  – Acrylic, Modacrylic, Trivinyl
  • Others – Halogenated, Vinyl

Synthetic yarns have special properties, such as:

  • Resistance to tearing
  • Resistance to rubbing
  • Fast drying
  • Easy to maintain
  • Low specific weight
  • Stretch
  • Scant hairiness
  • Can be crease proof
  • Breathable

During the extrusion process, which makes the raw material FLUID AND THREADLIKE, permanent additives can be added to make the yarn:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antistatic
  • Anti-UV
  • Fireproof
  • Dyed

Artificial and synthetic yarns are made from a

Continuous Filament

just like silk and are then joined together to make a product whose flexibility is vital for the subsequent weaving and finishing.

Often, the required product has to have several characteristics; in this case, it is advisable to compile a list of characteristics in descending order according to their importance. Depending on the properties of the various yarns, you can then determine how to assemble them in order to obtain an end product that lives up to expectations.

The most important features of synthetic yarns include its SECTION, which can be

  • Circular – the most common
  • Trilobal – that lends a metallic effect
  • Hollow – for a lightweight yarn

The yarn can also be:

  • Smooth,  for the guarantee of greater durability
  • Intermittent spun, with bonding points to prevent the filaments from separating
  • Textured, so that the fibre will swell up due to the high temperature at the next stage of finishing
  • Taslanized, for a matt effect and cotton-like hand and appearance
  • Twisted, for increased resistance
  • Blended with Elastomer, to become stretchy


for synthetic yarns and silk (the only one of the natural fibres) is determined using the DIRECT method (the higher the number, the bigger the yarn) and is indicated as TEX or DECITEX that have replaced  DENIER, used until quite recently.

So, there are a lot of different characteristics and this is why it is important to know and understand the stress and wear that will affect the end product and choose the most appropriate blend of yarns.