In architecture, fibrous materials offer very interesting degrees of freedom with respect to their properties such as ease of handling, lightness and flexibility, giving the opportunity to an architect for taking an innovative approach. Over the past few years, the use of fibrous materials in architectural membranes resulted in the construction of public buildings, such as airports and sports stadiums, much lighter and functional. On the other hand, in terms of pneumatic structures, architectural membranes have allowed stable and lasting solutions addressing the inherent needs of temporary buildings. Also as functional elements and partitions, fibrous materials provide several interesting properties such as self-cleaning, odor control, thermal insulation and lightness.
With regard to the fibrous materials applied in architecture, the most used are polyamide, polyethylene, polyester, glass, and optical fiber. For achitectural membranes, fibrous structures are impregnated with polymers such as polyvinyl chloride, silicone and poly(tetrafluoroethylene). The polymers confer increased mechanical strength, protection against UV rays, impermeability and other properties. Fibrous based materials provide additional liberties to the architects when compared to conventional materials such as steel, wood or concrete.