What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know
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What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

Acrylic fabric has been widely used in our daily life and industries. Read this blog and you can learn more about this amazing fabric.

An inexpensive substitute for wool is a synthetic fabric made of acrylic. Compared to other synthetic materials, acrylic fabric contains a higher proportion of acrylonitrile monomers. Sweaters, socks, and other winter clothing are frequently made from acrylic fabric.

But what is acrylic fabric? Acrylic fabric is an entirely synthetic material, meaning it is a man-made fabric that comes from petroleum or coal-based compounds.

Learn more about the processes involved in making acrylic fabric in this article. Additionally, the salient features, benefits, and drawbacks will be covered. And finally, you’ll learn the truth about acrylic fabric!

What Is Acrylic Fabric?

Acrylic fabric is best described as a fabric woven or knitted with acrylic yarns. Acrylic is a synthetic fabric, not a product of nature. Instead, the artificial acrylic fabric is created using the synthetic polymer acrylonitrile.

Acrylonitrile is created synthetically from chemicals derived from coal or petroleum and used to make acrylic resin pellets. This resin is compressed into pellets and extruded through a spinneret, an apparatus resembling a shower. The spinneret creates continuous filament acrylic fibers, which are then spun into yarn. The yarn can then be used to weave or knit textiles for a variety of purposes.  

What Is Acrylic Fabric Made Of?

The acrylic fiber is prepared for thread spinning after it has been washed, dried, and cut. The finished fabric is made of acrylic after the threads have been woven into it. The term “blend” refers to a fabric that contains acrylic threads and fibers woven with other types of fiber.

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

Given that synthetic fibers are frequently less expensive than natural fibers, this is typically done to reduce costs. As a result, when a shirt is described as “cotton-blend” or “wool-blend,” it doesn’t just mean that cotton or wool is used; there is also another fiber in the mix.

Further Reading: What Is Jacquard Fabric?

Features Of Acrylic Fabric

The look and feel of acrylic fibers are very comparable to those of wool fibers. Layering is a great use for acrylic fabric because it is warm, lightweight, and silky to the touch.

As a result, it is used in place of wool or blended with cashmere or sheep wool to give clothing a plush feel. Some of the frequently used final products made from acrylic fabric include sweaters, caps, stockings, and knitting yarn.

Fabric made of acrylic has a hydrophobic property, similar to that of polyester and nylon, which causes it to repel water. In the fabric, this could lead to the growth of microorganisms, which could compromise its structural integrity and produce odor.

Therefore, compared to other fabrics, acrylic fabric is more likely to produce static electricity and cling. A more difficult fire starter than wool fabric is acrylic fabric, which is also combustible and extremely difficult to put out.

Because of its physical properties, acrylic is not a good material for clothing. Not because of its properties, but rather to reduce the cost of raw materials for manufacturers to use, it is typically combined with real wool fibers or used to simulate wool. You may be interested in What Is Cashmere Fabric?

How Is Acrylic Fiber Made?

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and less frequently, coal) undergo polymerization when heat and pressure (energy) are applied to them, which results in the formation of a plastic solution. When two or more molecules come together to form a repeating molecular chain, the process is known as polymerization.

The plastic solution has a viscous consistency after polymerization. Accordingly, the state of matter for the solution is a mixture of a solid and a liquid.

Next, the plastic solution is spun using spinnerets. Spinnerets are devices with holes of a specific size and shape that give the finished thread the desired characteristics, such as being thicker, thinner, hollow, or solid.

The viscous solution exits the spinnerets and spins through the air or water before solidifying. The acrylic fibers are next washed, dried, and cut into long or short fibers.

How And Where Is Acrylic Fabric Made?

China is the global leader in acrylic fabric production. This nation has the largest market for acrylic clothing and produces more than 30% of the world’s acrylic fabric and apparel. The South American market is the world’s fastest-growing acrylic market, while the acrylic market and production efforts in China continue to expand at a steady rate.

Production of acrylic fabric in China and other nations will increase steadily to keep up with demand as markets in ASEAN members like India and Indonesia continue to expand.

While China is the world’s largest producer of acrylic fabrics, Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A in India is the largest producer of acrylic fibers. Although Dralon from China comes in third place, the second-largest acrylic producer is also an Indian company.

What Kinds Of Fabric Made Of Acrylic Are There?

Acrylic fabric comes in four main categories:

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know


This kind of fiber needs to have 85% or more pure acrylonitrile in order to be categorized as regular acrylic fabric.


Vinylidene dinitrile makes up the majority of nytril, in contrast to acrylic fabric, which is primarily made of acrylonitrile. Nytril is still manufactured in the Asian markets even though it hasn’t been made in the United States since the 1960s.

However, because nytril is difficult to dye, it never attained a high level of popularity and isn’t widely produced anywhere in the world.


A substance known as a diene is combined with acrylonitrile to produce lastrile, an elastic form of acrylic. Similar to acrylic, this fabric is used in applications where more elasticity is desired.


This particular type of acrylic fiber is made partially from acrylonitrile, but it also contains a number of other polymers. As an illustration, modacrylic has a high vinylidene chloride content. As a result, fabrics made from this fiber typically have better traceability, wrinkle resistance, and durability than fabrics made from regular acrylic.

In comparison to acrylic fiber, modacrylic may also be more resistant to pilling and abrasion. Additionally, whereas regular acrylic is highly flammable, modacrylic is flame-resistant. Also, compared to regular acrylic fabrics, modacrylic fabrics might maintain their shape better.

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

How Much Does Fabric Made Of Acrylic Cost?

The current cost per pound of acrylic fiber or woven acrylic products is not known. The main appeal of acrylic fabric, like other synthetic fibers, is its low production cost. The consumer ultimately benefits from the lower cost of acrylic as compared to natural textiles thanks to the fact that consumer textile manufacturers are able to pass along this low cost of producing acrylic fiber.

Is Acrylic Natural Or Synthetic?

Acrylic fabric is made entirely of synthetic fibers, though producers occasionally mix it with natural fibers to give the fabric extra qualities, like increased breathability. This entirely synthetic material frequently has a wool-like bounce, softness, and warmth. Nevertheless, like most plastics, acrylic fiber is derived from petroleum.

Some consumers are leery of synthetic fibers due to concerns regarding the environment and their health. Acrylic production raises pollution issues because plastic does not biodegrade.

Concerns about plastic moving up the food chain are also brought on by micro pollution brought on by indiscernible acrylic fiber plastic particles sloshing around in the washing machine. Fish ingest plastic from the water, and eventually, other animals and people eat the fish.

Additionally, the production of acrylic fiber requires the use of hazardous chemicals, which adds to pollution and health risks. Even though research has not directly connected acrylonitrile to any cancer-causing factors, it is a known carcinogen.

You might be wondering why this potentially hazardous fabric is still so popular if you have a strong urge to clean out your closet of any synthetic materials at this point.

The solution is very easy to understand. Compared to wool, acrylic is much, much less expensive to produce. After all, you don’t need to feed and shear petroleum.

What Are The Uses Of Acrylic Fabric?

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

The most typical type of fabric used in clothing is acrylic. Because it is strong, tough, and warm, the acrylic fabric is often used to make sweatshirts and hoodies, jackets, athletic wear, and even some protective gear and clothing.

Acrylic is actually among the least breathable fabric types in the world, which makes it ideal for retaining heat. Because of this, it’s frequently utilized in a variety of products, including hand gloves, boot linings, and sweaters.

Furniture is another area where acrylic fabric is used. Compared to textiles made from plants, furniture fabrics made of acrylic typically have a rougher hand. This is so that acrylic, a type of plastic, can be texturized to mimic the feel of natural textiles like cotton. Thus, outdoor and less expensive furniture frequently features acrylic textiles.  

Sometimes acrylic fabrics may even be used in a few unexpected places. For instance, you can find acrylic fabric in wigs, hair brushes, area rugs, and extension cords.

Acrylic fiber is very simple to clean. However, it can be fickle, at least in terms of hot and cold water temperatures. To keep acrylic’s strength and flexibility, it’s best to wash it in warm water only.

Without the use of chemicals that are resistant to stains, acrylic also stains quite easily. These substances prevent stains from seeping into the fiber and allowing them to remain on the surface. These finishes or coatings must be reapplied when they lose their effectiveness.

Acrylic Fabric Advantages And Disadvantages

Acrylic has a list of advantages and disadvantages, just like any other type of fabric.

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

Advantages of Acrylic Fabric

  • The warmest fabric made by humans is highly insulating.
  • Comfortable to the touch and light. Depending on whether the fabric was knit or woven, it usually has a texture that is quite similar to wool.
  • Easy to maintain and washable in a washing machine. Nevertheless, letting it air dry works better.
  • It is dye-fast, which means that it keeps its color and never bleeds onto other items of clothing when washed.
  • holds shaping, such as pleats, and is wrinkle-resistant. The majority of synthetic fabrics have this property, so it’s comforting to know you can pack a sweater and shake it out when you get to your destination.
  • resistant to corrosive elements such as moths, mold, and mildew.
  • It is hydrophobic, which means that it resists the absorption of water and offers some weather protection.

Disadvantages of Acrylic Fabric

  • Having a tendency to pill, which is when a fabric’s surface eventually becomes covered in teeny thread balls that have peeled off the fabric. By washing clothes with the insides out, you can reduce this propensity. Another aid is air drying.
  • Additionally prone to static cling, especially when dried.
  • almost completely airtight. Some of its insulating qualities are made possible by this lack of breathability, but it also means that your clothing may trap too much heat against your skin.
  • sensitive to heat and prone to melting in extreme conditions. Acrylic has a risky propensity to melt into molten plastic when it gets too hot, in contrast to wool, which has excellent heat and even flame resistance.

And finally, as you will see in the section that follows, acrylic is also subject to a great deal of criticism due to its hazardous manufacturing practices and environmental pollution.

Can You Wear Acrylic Clothes?

While its critics are concerned that it poses health risks and harms the environment, supporters of acrylic fabric typically argue that its low cost and exceptional warmth outweigh any potential risks. After reading this article, you’re not the only one who may feel conflicted about acrylic. Over the years, there has been a lot of debate about this synthetic material.

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

The fact of the matter is that sales of acrylic are still very high. Due to the low production costs compared to fabrics made from natural fibers, sales are booming. Although the country no longer produces the fabric, the United States still imports enormous amounts of it every year!

Additionally, as a consumer, you gain from the low production cost. Winter clothing and warm, durable sweaters are available for a reasonable cost.

The risk to your health is obviously not worth any amount of money saved. On people with sensitive skin, acrylic commonly results in an allergic reaction. Despite being made of natural fibers, wool can, of course, also cause an allergic reaction. Lanolin, an allergen found in wool, can cause severe reactions in some individuals.

You might feel more at ease wearing acrylic if you react allergically to wool.

On a more somber note, there is a lot of worry regarding acrylic’s carcinogenic qualities. The toxins and allergens in acrylic have not yet been proven to be cancer-causing, according to studies. Contrarily, a lot of hazardous chemicals are used in the acrylic dyeing procedure.

In order to keep the acrylic yarn from shrinking, a formaldehyde wash is frequently added. All of this means that the toxins and inherent carcinogenic properties of your cozy acrylic sweater are present.

Naturally, man-made fibers are now found in more than 60% of all clothing sold today. This is something you could just brush off as a necessary aspect of living in the modern age.

On a more somber note, the EPA recently published a study that claimed that the production of acrylic creates a hazardous work environment. Employees who inhaled the chemicals developed symptoms similar to those brought on by breathing cyanide gas.

Acrylic can finally decompose, but it takes more than 200 years for it to do so! Accordingly, acrylic fabric is a part of environmental plastic pollution.

What Is Acrylic Fabric? Everything You Need To Know

How Should I Clean And Care Acrylic?

For maintaining your acrylic clothing, review the care labels and suggested cleaning instructions. Even though most acrylic clothing can be washed in a machine, you should double-check. If you ask us, hand washing is always best for delicate items like clothing made of acrylic.

  1. Pretreat Stains: When you are about to put your clothes in the washing machine and notice any difficult stains, treat them first. To get the stains out, you can use anything from dry cleaning solvent to rubbing alcohol or even just a soft brush.
  2. Load The Washer With Your Selected Laundry Products: To clean your acrylic clothing in this instance, use any of your preferred methods, but avoid using mild detergent. A powerful enough detergent (like Persil or Tide) is required if the fabric is severely soiled in order to remove the dirt.
  3. Choose The Right Washer Settings: Washing acrylic clothing can be done with either warm or cold water. Select the permanent press cycle to prevent wrinkles that are difficult to remove. Set the spin cycle rate if your washer has one, as some have a high spinning rate for the last cycle.
  4. Check For Stains Once You’re Done Washing: Before you put the cloth in the dryer, look for any lingering stains. If you ever put an acrylic item that has an oil stain on it in the dryer, the heat could cause the oil stain to set to your clothes permanently, which is something you never want.
  5. Select A Drying Cycle: Dry your acrylic items in the tumble dryer at low temperatures. Avoid using excessively high heat, which can harm fibers and cause them to stretch or shrink. It is best to take the clothes off when they are just a little damp and hang them to finish air drying.
  6. Select A Low Ironing Temperature: Consider using a very low iron temperature if you feel that ironing is necessary. To prevent the fibers from melting, you should also steam and use a pressing cloth. Unfortunately, the damage cannot be undone if the fabric nonetheless develops a hole or shines.

Conclusion: What Is Acrylic Fabric?

Acrylic fabric is made using fossil fuels, and it goes through a long manufacturing process to become a polymer and then fibers. Manufacturers knit or weave the fibers into clothing that has a texture and softness similar to wool. As a result, acrylic can be used in the same ways that wool can.

Winter attire, boot linings, and plush throws are a few examples. While the processes for making polyester and acrylic are similar, the two fabric types do not have many things in common.

Examine the labels inside your sweaters and winter coats if you’re looking for a fun challenge. Did you discover a significant amount of acrylic? Tell us in the comments section below!


Is Acrylic Good Fabric?

One of the components of carbon fiber, which is highly sought-after in industrial applications, is acrylic fiber. Otherwise, however, acrylic fiber doesn’t have a lot of industrial applications; while this fabric is highly durable, its flammability makes it ineligible for use in many industrial environments.

Is Acrylic Fabric for Summer Or Winter?

Acrylic is made by mixing several synthetic fibres together which makes it the worst summer fabric. The sweat will be retained for a long time despite its ability to resist wrinkles. In order to allow your skin to breathe, you must refrain from purchasing any summer clothing made of this material.

Is Acrylic Fabric Warm Or Cool?

Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. When spun using machinery with short staples, it can also be made to resemble other fibers, such as cotton.

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