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What is a Microfiber fabric?

By Jeff Frank

Typically microfibers are 100% polyester and have a velvet or suede texture. There are exceptions.

A microfiber is a synthetic fiber finer than one denier or decitex/thread, having a diameter of less than ten micrometres.

The most common types of microfibers are made from polyester although there are microfibers made out of polypropylene or nylon as well.

Microfiber fabrics are usually soft, durable and water repellent.

Microfibres, Inc., one of the first mills to develop this category, made their microfibers with 100% nylon fibers.

Microfibres closed down in 2016. HP Fabrics has started up production of many of the old Microfibres, Inc. fabrics in Turkey after purchasing the company’s production equipment and technology.

There are also some microfibers with textures other than velvets and suedes. For example Dorel’s Geo and Echo fabrics are 100% microfibers with a brushed cotton texture.

Until the past few years microfiber fabrics dominated the furniture industry’s offerings of lower and mid-priced heavy-duty stain resistant fabrics.

More recently “high performance” fabrics such as Crypton, Sunbrella and Revolution are increasing market share at the expense of the microfibers.

For example, 5 years ago, over 50% of the fabrics offered by my company, Simplicity Sofas, consisted of microfibers. Today, microfibers account for fewer than 10% of total fabrics. “High performance” fabrics currently account for over half of the 300+ fabrics offered.

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