Have you been wondering what is microfiber and why it is appealing to many people? As most people become more eco-friendly, finding fabrics that will not harm the environment is becoming a priority for many. One of the most common uses of microfiber is cleaning cloths and towels. While most cleaning products in the market contain toxic and harmful chemicals which can be potentially dangerous for both individuals and the environment, microfiber is considered both safe and effective.
What is Microfiber Exactly?
Simply put, microfiber is a synthetic fiber that is very fine, slim, and thin. When split, microfiber is 200 times thinner than a strand of human hair.
If you are wondering what is microfiber and whether it is a good alternative to traditional cleaning fabrics, this article will answer your question. Read on to find out more about microfiber, its uses, benefits, and how it differs from cotton.
Although it is used regularly in both home and business settings, it is still unclear how microfiber was first developed. Nonetheless, it is believed that microfiber was first invented by the Japanese in the 1970s in a bid to create flattering swimsuits for women. However, since microfiber is known to be very absorbent, the swimwear got very heavy when wet. 10 years later, microfiber was re-developed by the Europeans who then marketed it for cleaning purposes because of its absorbent nature.
Microfiber towels are popular for achieving great cleaning results without affecting the environment. Many people love them because they eliminate dirt and bacteria without the risks of harmful chemicals.
What is Microfiber Crafted From?
Microfiber is composed of different materials that give it impressive qualities. Different types, shapes, lengths, and sizes of fibers can be combined to bring out the fabric’s specific characters like being extra soft or water absorbent.
However, the most common materials for microfiber are polyester and nylon, which is also known as polyamide. While polyester gives structure to the material, polyamide/nylon adds density and gives it the ability to absorb. Generally, microfiber absorbent ability is about 7 to 8 times its weight.
Also, nylon has a static electric charge that is responsible for attracting and trapping dust particles on the microfiber. Consequently, microfiber can get rid of 99% of dirt and debris, making it effective at cleaning surfaces.
Although some of the materials utilized in microfiber are considered unsustainable, the entire production process is eco-friendly. This is because the dyeing process does not need any water and no pesticides are used.
What is Microfiber’s Benefits?
The benefits of microfiber to both individuals and the environment are undeniable. Some of them include:
One benefit of what is microfiber compared to traditional cleaning fabrics is that it saves water. Microfiber towels or mops are eco-friendly since they can clean well without using any water or chemicals. Not only will you reduce water wastage but you will also protect the environment from the negative impacts of toxic chemicals. Although it is not biodegradable, microfiber is durable and can be reused or recycled. This makes it a great cleaning fabric as opposed to paper or cotton alternatives.
2. Softness to Touch
Microfiber is made from multiple materials that are finely woven together. The result of this is a softer, smoother material. Basically, the higher the thread count, the smoother it feels and the durable it is. This characteristic can be beneficial for those with various skin ailments.
3. Highly Absorbent
Microfiber cloths are very absorbent and can hold water about eight times its weight. For this reason, they are extremely effective at cleaning water or other fluids. This gives them increased cleaning ability than other traditional cleaning cloths.
When used and maintained properly, microfiber can last for a considerably long time. It can withstand prolonged use and multiple washes and resist lint-shedding. This means that you can continue using your microfiber cloths for an extended time. Also, it’s important to know that the higher the thread count, the longer the durability.
5. Better Health
Since microfiber comes with a reduced need for chemicals, you can be assured that you or the people nearby will not be exposed to harmful chemicals that are present in most household cleaners. Additionally, microfiber mops can eliminate harmful bacteria more effectively than traditional mops.
What is Microfiber and its Types?
Generally, there are two types of microfiber; split weave and flat weave.
- Split Weave – As the name suggests, split weave is a microfiber made by splitting fibers in the production process. Consequently, this increases the surface area, and more water is absorbed. This type of microfiber does great in collecting small dirt particles and is not abrasive. Usually, a microfiber cloth is made by splitting clings to the skin.
- Flat Weave – Unlike split weave, flat weave materials do not have high absorbency. Therefore, this microfiber is not used to make sportswear or cleaning cloths.
What is Microfiber and How is it Used?
Now, let us talk about what is microfiber and how to use it. Something spectacular about microfiber cleaning cloths is that they can eliminate dust, dirt, and bacteria without using strong chemical cleaners. It can lift off dust, dirt, and other residues from the surface with just water, making cleaning safe and less stressful.
This is because the split fibers of polyester and polyamide create more fiber surfaces to snag debris. Impressively, microfiber can also hook onto bacteria, something that other cleaning cloths can’t do unless cleaning agents are used.
Furthermore, microfiber has more fibers that can attract and attach dust; thus, lowering the need for detergents and chemicals. Plus, it uses less water when cleaning than cotton.
Unlike cotton cloths that leave traces of water behind after cleaning, microfiber cloths have a porous nature that makes them very absorbent. In addition, microfiber can be used dry to collect dirt, dust, and hair debris.
If you are cleaning tiles and hardwood floors, you just need a little water and your microfiber mop to get the surface clean. Also, microfiber is great for cleaning laminate floors, which require less water exposure.
What is Microfiber Cloth Used For?
Now that you understand how microfiber is used, you are probably wondering – what is microfiber used for? Knowing what is microfiber and how it is used will help you reap the benefits that it offers. Microfiber products have numerous uses in everyday life. Some of the uses attributed to microfiber include:
- Household Use – Microfiber cloths are amazing cleaning tools for cleaning wet and delicate surfaces in the kitchen. They can also clean other areas in a home since microfiber can absorb spills and pick up dirt and bacteria. Microfiber cloths are popular for cleaning cars since they are soft and absorbent.
- Manufacture of Athletic Wear – Athletic garment manufacturers use microfiber to manufacture athletic wear, including running shoes. This is thanks to its excellent absorbency and moisture-wicking property, which keeps the athletes cool always.
- Healthcare – Microfiber is used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities because of its ability to eliminate bacteria that can spread infection. Hospitals can stop the transmission of bacteria with the aid of little to no water or strong chemical agents.
- Clean Smart Devices – If you have a smart gadget, a microfiber can come in handy in cleaning and sanitizing it. Most technology companies also use it to clean smart devices like smartphones and laptops.
- Cleaning Delicate Surfaces – Delicate surfaces like glasses and windows need a fine and soft cloth that will not leave scratches or damage. Microfiber cloth does not leave a streak or traces of water on windows.
What is Microfiber vs. Cotton?
A common question among many people is – what is microfiber vs. cotton? Microfiber and cotton vary in several ways. Here is a breakdown of their difference:
- Composition – While microfiber is made of man made fibers and materials; cotton is made from natural fibers.
- Breathability – Cotton is renowned for being highly breathable and it allows great airflow. On the other hand, microfiber lacks breathability and traps heat, making microfiber sheets uncomfortable to use.
- Durability – Since microfiber material has a tight weave, they are unlikely to break down with frequent washes as long as they are properly cared for. Cotton cloths can easily deteriorate with frequent washing because of their natural fibers.
- Feel – Microfiber has a smooth, slippery, lightweight feel while cotton has a cool and soft feel.
- Price – When it comes to cost, microfiber cloths cost more than cotton cloths. However, microfiber costs can be cheap in the long run in terms of saving water and chemical usage.
What is Microfiber Material Maintenance Procedure?
Wondering what is microfiber’s care procedure? Just like most materials, the durability of microfiber products depends on how well you care for them. When properly cared for, you can use your microfiber cloth from 100 to 500 times.
Microfiber materials are generally easy to clean and care for. However, they require special attention when tossing them in the washing machine to keep them in top shape.
- DETERGENTS – Also, try as much as possible to only wash with laundry detergent and avoid fabric softeners or bleach. Generally, you want to avoid any chemicals that can damage plastics.
- SEPARATE – Furthermore, it is not suggested to wash your microfiber materials with other materials, otherwise, your microfiber cloth may gather lint from other materials, rendering it ineffective. Ideally, the best way is to wash your microfiber with other microfiber materials. However, if you want to wash with other materials, make sure that they are less susceptible to lint.
- AVOID HEAT – Something else to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your microfiber material is the heat applied. Do not use or wash your microfiber material in water that is more than 200 degrees F or in drying temperatures beyond 140 degrees F. Otherwise, very high heat can break down the fibers and render your microfiber cloth ineffective.
- DRYING – However, if you want to ensure maximum durability, air-drying your microfiber cloth is recommended.
What is Microfiber – In Conclusion
Microfiber is packed with a lot of impressive qualities that make it appealing for broad applications. It is a chemical-free cleaning fabric that can achieve great cleaning results and is safe for both individuals and the environment. Microfiber can last for years to come, making it a worthwhile investment. Now that you have an answer for what is microfiber, it is about time you invested in some and enjoyed its benefits.
More Fabric Articles
- What is Linen?
- What is Tencel? Fabric Explanation & Guide
- What is Burlap? Definition, Uses, Types & Crafting
- What is Twill Fabric? Fibers, Uses & Projects
- What is Batik? All about Batik
- What is Tulle?
- What is Calico?
- What is Sateen?
- What is Linen?
- What is Organic Cotton?
- What is Cheesecloth?
- What is Batik?
- What is Chiffon?
- What is Corduroy?
- What is Denim?
- What is Spandex?
- What is Broadcloth?
- What is Velvet?
- What is Vinyl Fabric?
- What is Cashmere?
- What is Flannel?
- What is Modal
- What is Faux Fur?
- What is Elastane?
- What is Jute?
- What is Nylon?
- What is Suede?
- What is Microfiber?