The production of microfibres (fibres with a strand finer than 1 dtex) entails the usage of raw materials with premium quality levels made under suitable manufacturing conditions. Microfibres are typically used in the sportswear and athleisurewear sector (items that need to be breathable).
Normally microfibres are defined as being fibres (especially continuous filaments) with a linear density falling somewhere between 0.3 and 1.0 dtex obtained via a direct spinning process. Fibres that are even finer and obtained indirectly from bicomponent filaments are known as super-microfibres. They are a recent technological development (from the ‘70s) and their manufacture particularly calls for careful checks on the purity of the polymer and the extrusion and cooling of the filaments (viscosity evenness/temperature/cooling flow).
They have the same chemical properties as standard fibres so their high performance is due only to their physical properties - their fine gauge. Microfibres endow textiles with a series of qualities that can be summed up as follows: soft handle, flexibility, smoothness, lustre, high covering power, high filament density per unit area and a fine structure with small hollow spaces. The most common fields of application are sports apparel, athleisurewear (where breathability is a coveted property) and ladies’ items in general (fashion sector).
The term “microfibre” does not indicate a specific type of textile fibre. Make sure that you always check the textile labelling laws in force in your country. This term does not stand on its own. It must be accompanied by the name of the polymer it is made of. For instance, the label should state 100% nylon microfibre and not 100% microfibre. The latter is incorrect.