This is a part of an article from Wikipedia about Staple (textiles)

"Staple refers to textile fibers of discrete length. The opposite is a filament fiber, which comes in continuous lengths."

Does this mean separate here? as in:

  1. Constituting a separate thing: Computers treat time as a series of discrete moments rather than a continuous flow.
  • The title says distinct, but the question doesn't mention distinct. Have you looked up discrete in a dictionary?
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 22:35
  • I've fixed the title (assuming it was a typo). I think the Wikipedia article is poorly written.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 23:31
  • staple or stable fibers??
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 23:36
  • Thats why you need to link to the page containing the text you are quoting.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


A filament yarn is made of continuous (ie unbroken) fibres. But most natural yarns are made of short fibres that are twisted together. "Discrete" can be used to describe things that are formed of separate pieces:

Speech is a continuously varying sound, but we represent it in writing with discrete letters.

A woolen yarn can be many feet long, but it is made of discrete fibres that are only about an inch long.

Yarn made of wool or cotton is made of many discrete fibres. The length of each fibre is much less than the length of the yarn.

A yarn made of "staple fibre" is made of relatively short fibres. The "staple length" is the typical length of those fibres. Longer staple length indicates a higher quality yarn.

This is related to the meaning of discrete to describe date. Discrete data can only take certain values (such as only integer values) Whereas continuous data can take any value (perhaps in a limited range)

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