Materials of daily use

Man started using materials to make life easier, he began using rocks and wood to make tools, further he employed other materials from plants, animal skin etc to make clothes. As evolution progressed , man's need for materials also increased. Today there are so many materials being used. Let's study some of them, what they are used for, how do we get them, etc.

There are many materials; they range from grass to fur to much more elaborate and exotic. Some cultures, such as the various people in the coldest parts of the world, like the Himalayas, made their clothing entirely of prepared and decorated furs and skins. Other cultures have supplemented and replaced leather and skin with cloth. Cloth is either woven or knitted and can be made from a large variety of fibers, which in turn can be natural, cellulose, or synthetic.

Organic fibers have been used for many centuries to make cloth and are still used today. While some organic materials, such as wool, are taken from animals, a number of plants provide fibers that are spun into yarn and used to make cloth. Designers and manufacturers still make clothes from cloth incorporating fibers from plants such as cotton, flax and hemp.

Clothes are made from lots of different materials. Some materials, like leather, are made from animal skins. Cotton and linen are made from plants.

Other materials, such as polyester, are called 'man-made materials'. This is because they are not made from animal skins or plants.

A material which is available in the form of a thin and continuous strand is called fibre.

Types of Fibre

Natural fibers: The fibers which are obtained from plants and animals are called natural fibers.

Plant Fibre: Cotton and jute are plant fibre.

Animal fibre: Silk and wool are animal fibre.

Synthetic fibre: The fibre which are synthesized in the industry from simple chemicals obtained from petroleum are called synthetic fibre. Examples: Nylon, Acrylic, Polyester


In India, cotton is cultivated mainly in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.

About cotton

Cotton is cultivated in black clay soil. It needs warm climate. The sowing of cotton crop is done in early spring. Cotton plants are bushy and about 1-2 meters tall.

Steps in making cotton yarn:

  1. The raw cotton is loosened and cleaned; to remove straw and dried leaves.
  2. The cleaned cotton is then fed into a machine. The cotton fibre are combed, straightened and converted into a rope like structure called sliver.
  3. The sliver of cotton fibre is converted into yarn by spinning using machines.

Other processes to make a raw material usable:

Weaving: The process of arranging two sets of yarn together to make a fabric is called weaving. Cloth is woven on looms. After weaving the fiber is bleached and dyed for finish.

Knitting: Knitting can be done by hand and machine. Just two yarns are used in knitting, while more than two yarns are used in weaving. Socks, scarf and caps are knitted from the wool.

Uses of cotton: Cotton is mostly used for making clothes of various kinds. Examples: dupattas, towels, saris. bed-sheets, etc.

About Jute

Jute fiber is obtained from the stem of the jute plant. It is cultivated during the rainy season. Jute is grown in alluvial soil which is found usually in the delta Region of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. In India, jute is mainly grown in West Bengal, Bihar and Assam..

The jute fiber is obtained from the retted jute by hand. Jute fibre is pale-yellow in colour and 2 to 3 meters long with a silky texture.

Jute fiber is used mainly for making gunny bags, shopping bags, ropes, carpets, curtains, etc.


We get wool from hair of animals like - sheep, goat, rabbit, yak and camel. Wool is used for making warm clothes, such as sweater, cap, shawl, gloves, and blanket, etc. Wool is also used in making carpets and upholstery.


Silk fiber is obtained from the cocoons of the silk moth. The silk moth lives on the leaves of mulberry plants. There are four stages in the life cycle of silk moth: eggs, larva, pupa and adult.

The larva of the silk moth is called a caterpillar. It secretes a sticky fluid fibroin from its salivary gland (silk gland ) which forms a long thread.This thread is wrapped around the body of the caterpillar and forms a cocoon. This makes silk is a costly fabric. Silk is popular for making traditional dresses in India like sari, kurta, shawl and other wedding clothes.

Synthetic Fibre

Synthetic fibre is strong, wrinkle- resistant and quick drying. These are used in making different materials; like clothes, shawls, carpet, neck-ties, sails, sweater, and blankets. They are also used in making boats, skating boards, etc.