Microfiber (British spelling: Microfibre) is fiber with strands less than one denier. Microfiber is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Fabrics made with microfibers are exceptionally soft and hold their shape well. When high quality Microfiber is combined with the right knitting process, it creates an extremely effective cleaning material. This material can hold up to seven times its weight in water. They are also used for some cleaning applications, because of their exceptional ability to absorb oils.
Microfiber is constructed in a blend of 80/20 ratio of polyester/polyamideams. They are made from a revolutionary warp knitted thread, composed of wedge-shaped polyester filaments with a core of nylon. The fiber's wedge shaped filaments follow surfaces, lift up dirt, and then trap the particles inside the fibers. The capillary effect between the filaments and nylon core creates a high absorbency, which in turn enables this cloth to clean and polish at the same time.
To clean a microfiber cloth, wash with warm soapy water and rinse well. The warm water opens up the fibers, allowing them to release the locked in dirt. You may also put the cloths in the washing machine and then dry them in the dryer in low. Do not use fabric softeners of any kind as the chemicals clog up the microfibres, making them less effective. Do not use bleach either because it corrodes the fibres over time, making them less effective. Definitely do not iron.
Microfiber performance apparel has become a very popular alternative to cotton apparel for athletic wear, such as cycling jerseys, because the microfiber material wicks moisture away from the body, keeping the athlete cool and dry. Microfibers were also initiated for use in the military and for many federal agencies, such as in the Future Force Warrior Program. This allows for more rapid drying of the soldier and less skin irritation due to moisture.
With microfiber basketballs already popular worldwide and in FIBA, the NBA proposed the use of a microfiber ball so players could handle the ball better This comes about because microfiber has the ability to absorb water and oils, meaning that sweat from players touching the ball is better absorbed, making the ball less slippery.
Microfiber is also widely used by car detailers to handle such tasks as removing wax, quick detailing, cleaning interior, cleaning glass, as well as drying. Due to its fine fibers which leave no lint or dust, microfiber towels are a popular choice for avid car detailers and enthusiasts. Chamois leather is also used.
Care should be exercised when using microfiber for cleaning of sensitive surfaces. By nature it accumulates dust, debris, and particles inside its material. Sensitive surfaces (such as all high tech coated surfaces e.g. CRT, LCD and plasma screens) can easily be damaged by a microfiber cloth if it has picked up grit or other abrasive particles when you use it. The cloth itself is generally safer to use on these surfaces than more common cloths, particularly as no cleaning fluid is required for cleaning such surfaces. One solution to ensure safe cleaning of such surfaces is to wash and dry the microfiber cloth after each use, care should be taken to use prescribed washing and drying methods to ensure proper handling.
Microfiber mops are more costly than conventional mops, however some institutions find them more economical because they are longer lasting and require less effort to use.
Microfibers used in table cloths, furniture, and car interiors are designed to repel liquids and consequently are difficult to stain. Microfiber table cloths will bead liquids until they are removed, they are often advertised showing red wine on a white table cloth that wipes clean with a paper towel.
Microfiber underwear have been said to cause problems with yeast infections for some women.
Microfiber textiles tend to be flammable and emit toxic gases when burning. They are made with synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon (often constructed from polypropylene), which are made from petrochemicals. Microfibers are not made from a renewable resource and they are not biodegradable. However, the petroleum energy used in fertilizers, pesticides, transportation and processing to produce cotton and other renewable resource fibres may outweigh direct use of the petroleum as base stock for producing fibre.
reference COURTESY OF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfiber