Synthetic fibers vs. Natural Fibers
When I first read the assignment for this week, many different products came to my mind, for example: television, tires, asphalt, telecommunications, internet, medical research, pharmaceutical industry, etc.
I don’t know the number of students who are taking this course, but I'm sure some of them will write their essays on thetopics mentioned above. For that reason I decided to write my essay about how the worldwide evolution of the textile industry (natural fibers to synthetic fibers) forced social, economic and cultural declination of the Yucatan Peninsula one of the most beautiful states of the Mexican Republic.
Probably this is not what you were expecting because definitely is not a product that has impacted societyin the entire world, as you requested in the first paragraph of the assignment. Even so, I'll take the risk and talk about how the Henequen (sisal) industry, called the "green gold" has virtually disappeared due to the introduction of synthetic fibers on the Mexican and Worldwide market.
The focus of this essay is try to show to you the impact that suffered one of the most economicallydeveloped societies in the mid twentieth century in my country, and how Yucatecan society had to evolve to these global changes.
Product description – Synthetic Fibers
The incorporation of synthetic fibers in the textile industry occurs because the raw materials used for their manufacture are relatively easily to get, inexpensive and resulting fibers are elastic, light and very resistant. The useof artificial fibers led to numerous changes in the textile economy, because production methods and physical properties of these fibers could be tailored to meet specific requirements. (1)
The highly industrialized countries that were once forced to import natural raw materials for textiles began to make their own fibers from available resources like coal, oil, cellulose. The development ofsynthetic fibers led to the production of new types of fabrics, durable and easy washing and ironing. (1)
Used For – Characteristics
An example of these products is nylon, which was introduced in the 1930's. This fiber stronger than natural fibers is widely used in the manufacture of all kinds of textiles, garments, bags, carpets, hosiery, fabric, belts for machines, cables, tires, filters,decor and parachute cords. Since 1940 many other synthetic fibers reached importance in the textile industry, such as polyester, polyvinyl, polyethylene and olefin. (2)
Technology superseded – Natural Fibers
• Mineral fibers and metals (Fiberglass, Fabrics for religious worship or bullfighters costumes). (3)
• Vegetable fibers (Cotton, Flax, Sisal (Henequen), Agave, etc). (3)
• Animal fibers(Wool, Silk, Leather, Hair, etc) (3)
Sisal - Henequen
This agave is native and cultivated mainly in Yucatan Mexico, mainly used to make clothing, rope, cords, carpets and textiles manufacturing. It was created in the mid twentieth century a large henequen agribusiness having a decisive influence on the economic history of Yucatán. Henequen and Yucatan are words associated in the minds of allthose who have had the fortune to visit this land. (4)
In the early twentieth century having a secured market, a mechanized production process and foreign investment capital, led the boom of henequen that turned to Yucatán in less than 30 years in one of the richest states of the Mexican Republic, although the boom of henequen in Yucatan was brief, period during which followed a slow decline.(4)
In full Henequen booming, there was an event that changed the conditions of the international market for henequen. In the U.S. several companies were competed for the market for natural fibers, such competition was certainly favorable for the henequen fiber producers in Yucatan. The American industrialist John P. Morgan achieve that all these companies merged into a corporate giant, which...