I was reading a thesis and saw this sentence,

Recover (Spain) takes post-industrial cotton waste and shreds the fibre to upcycle it into yarn. By colour sorting the waste materials, they have carrier fibre to strengthen the yarns, such as recycled plastic bottles (Source: Circular Speeds: A Review of Fast and Slow Sustainable Design Approaches for Fashion and Textile Applications)

I tried to find the meaning of carrier fibre, and from an interview with the Spanish company I saw the same phrase as well:


Isaac Nichelson: Recover yarns are made from mechanically recycled cotton derived from pattern cutting waste and pre/post consumer garments. Recover Upcycled Cotton fiber is blended with RPET fiber made from post consumer recycled plastic bottles as a carrier fiber to make the softest, finest recycled cotton yarns know to man… also considered the lowest impact yarns available today. (Source: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER OF RECOVER TEXTILES)

But I couldn't find any website that explains what carrier fibre is. Can anyone help?

  • 1
    Have you tried asking experts in thread making. Its a technical term, and I could guess from the meanings of "carrier" and "fibre", but unless someone here is an expert in the technical jargon of threadmakking, we would be guessing.
    – James K
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


Carrier fibre: a fibre that is blended with the main constituent fibre to improve processing behavior.

Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Clothing and Textiles By K. K. Maitra

Textile Glossary

  • Great. I assume carrier here is like "catalyst"?
    – user104490
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 19:19
  • A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change. A carrier fibre is a fibre which is combined with some other fibre, e.g. for strengthening purposes or to aid processing. Unlike a catalyst, the carrier fibre can remain in the finished product. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 20:30
  • I understand. I just assume the reason why it's called a carrier is that it improves the process like a catalyst
    – user104490
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 21:35
  • Usually a carrier fibre carries some other fibres that may be too weak or are unsuited to go through some kind of mechanical process by themselves. They may be wrapped around the carrier fibre, or woven with it, or enclosed by it. It is physical. Catalysts are chemical. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 22:03

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