Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, towels, coverings for tables, beds, and other flat surfaces, and in art. In the workplace they are used in industrial and scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, backpacks, tents, nets, handkerchiefs, transportation devices such as balloons, kites, sails, and parachutes; textiles are also used to provide strengthening in composite materials such as fibreglass and industrial geotextiles. Using textiles, children can learn to sew and quilt and to make collages and toys.
Textiles used for industrial purposes, and chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are commonly referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles, geotextiles, Agrotextiles, protective clothing . In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires , laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements.