What Is Microfibre?

What is Microfibre? Understanding the Science Behind the Material

Microfibre is a term that has become synonymous with cleaning and textiles, but what exactly is it? In this article, we will delve into the world of microfibre, exploring its origins, properties, and applications. Additionally, we'll address some of the most commonly asked questions about this versatile material. By the end, you’ll be well-versed in the multifaceted world of microfibre.

Definition of Microfibre

Microfibre is a synthetic fibre that is incredibly fine, even finer than a strand of silk. Typically, it is made from a combination of polyester and polyamide (nylon). Each strand of microfibre is approximately 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, allowing it to effectively pick up and hold dirt, moisture, and oils.

Is microfibre just plastic?

Yes, microfibre is made from synthetic materials, primarily polyester and polyamide, which are types of plastic.

Origins and Development

The development of microfibre dates back to the late 1950s, but it was in the 1970s that this material gained prominence due to its exceptional ability to be woven into high-quality textiles. The innovation in textile technology allowed manufacturers to create products with superior durability, absorbency, and cleaning capabilities.

Properties of Microfibre

Aspect Description/Details
Material Origin - Synthetic fibers
- Commonly made from polyesters, polyamides (like nylon), or a blend of both
Diameter - Less than 10 micrometers (finer than silk, wool, and cotton)
Structure - Split or non-split
- Woven or non-woven
Density - Measured in denier (weight in grams per 9,000 meters of the fiber)
Physical Properties - High absorbency
- Softness
- Durability
Chemical Properties - Resistant to many chemicals
- Can be treated for added properties (e.g., antibacterial)
Manufacturing Process - Typically involves extruding melted materials through tiny holes, then weaving/knitting
Environmental Impact - Non-biodegradable
- Can release microplastics during washing
Common Uses - Cleaning cloths
- Textiles
- Sportswear
- Automotive products

1. High Absorbency

Microfibre materials can absorb up to seven times their weight in water, making them ideal for cleaning and drying surfaces.

Is microfibre better than towels?

For cleaning and drying surfaces, microfibre is often preferred over traditional towels due to its higher absorbency and lint-free properties.

2. Durability

The synthetic fibres in microfibre are known for their resilience and longevity, outlasting cotton and other natural fibres.

Is microfibre cloth better than cotton?

In many cleaning applications, microfibre does have an edge over cotton. Its high absorbency allows it to pick up more liquid and dirt than cotton. Moreover, microfibre cloths leave no lint or dust particles behind, ensuring a streak-free clean.

3. Lint-Free

Microfibre leaves no lint or dust particles behind, ensuring a streak-free clean, which is especially crucial for glass and screen cleaning.

4. Eco-Friendly

Microfibre products are reusable and reduce the need for disposable cleaning products, contributing to environmental conservation.

Does microfibre cause less water pollution?

Microfibre materials can help reduce water pollution by capturing and retaining pollutants and contaminants during cleaning processes, preventing them from entering waterways.

Is it sustainable to produce microfibre?

Some manufacturers are increasingly using recycled materials or sustainable production practices to create microfibre products, further reducing their environmental impact.

1. Cleaning Cloths

Microfibre cloths are a staple in household cleaning due to their ability to trap dirt and bacteria, leaving surfaces clean and hygienic.

Should microfibre cloths be used wet or dry?

Both! Microfibre cloths can be used dry for dusting and polishing or wet for cleaning surfaces.

Why should I use a microfibre cloth?

Microfibre cloths offer superior cleaning capabilities, high absorbency, and are lint-free, making them ideal for various cleaning tasks.

2. Mops

Microfibre mops are renowned for their absorbency and ability to clean floors effectively without leaving streaks or residue.

3. Apparel

Microfibre is used in the production of clothing, especially sportswear, due to its moisture-wicking properties.

Which is better microfibre or polyester?

While both are synthetic materials, microfibre is made up of ultra-fine fibres, making it more effective for cleaning. Polyester is more commonly used for clothing and other textiles.

4. Bedding and Towels

The softness and durability of microfibre make it a preferred choice for bedding, towels, and other home textiles.

Is 100% cotton a microfibre?

No, cotton is a natural fibre, while microfibre is a synthetic material made from polyester and polyamide.

5. Automotive Detailing

Microfibre towels are widely used in automotive detailing for their ability to lift dirt and wax without scratching the surface.

Caring for Microfibre Products

Proper care can extend the life of microfibre products. It is recommended to wash microfibre items separately from other laundry to avoid lint attachment. Avoid using fabric softeners and bleach, as they can damage the fibres and diminish their effectiveness.

Does hot water ruin microfibre towels?

Hot water can damage the fine fibres of microfibre towels, reducing their effectiveness. It's best to wash them in cold or warm water.

When should you throw out microfibre towels?

When a microfibre towel becomes less absorbent, feels rough, or no longer cleans effectively, it's time to replace it.


Microfibre is a revolutionary material that has transformed cleaning, textile, and various other industries due to its unparalleled properties like high absorbency, durability, and lint-free nature. Its eco-friendly aspect and versatility in applications make it a preferred choice among consumers seeking quality and sustainability.

Understanding the science behind microfibre allows us to appreciate the innovation and technology that go into creating products that make our lives easier and more efficient. Whether it’s for cleaning your home, wearing comfortable apparel, or detailing your car, microfibre stands out as a material of choice.