Geotextiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. Typically made from polypropylene or polyester, geotextile fabrics come in two basic forms: woven (resembling mail bag sacking) and nonwoven (resembling felt).
Geotextile composites have been introduced and products such as geogrids and meshes have been developed. Geotextiles are durable and are able to soften a fall. Overall, these materials are referred to as geosynthetics and each configuration—geonets, geosynthetic clay liners, geogrids, geotextile tubes, and others—can yield benefits in geotechnical and environmental engineering design.
Geotextiles were originally intended to be a substitute for granular soil filters. The original, and still sometimes used, term for geotextiles is filter fabrics. Work originally began in the 1950s with R.J. Barrett using geotextiles behind precast concrete seawalls, under precast concrete erosion control blocks, beneath large stone riprap, and in other erosion control situations. He used different styles of woven monofilament fabrics, all characterized by a relatively high percentage open area (varying from 6 to 30%). He discussed the need for both adequate permeability and soil retention, along with adequate fabric strength and proper elongation and set the tone for geotextile use in filtration situations.
Geotextiles and related products have many applications and currently support many civil engineering applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, bank protection, coastal engineering and construction site silt fences or geotube. Usually geotextiles are placed at the tension surface to strengthen the soil. Geotextiles are also used for sand dune armoring to protect upland coastal property from storm surge, wave action and flooding. A large sand-filled container (SFC) within the dune system prevents storm erosion from proceeding beyond the SFC. Using a sloped unit rather than a single tube eliminates damaging scour.
Erosion control manuals comment on the effectiveness of sloped, stepped shapes in mitigating shoreline erosion damage from storms. Geotextile sand-filled units provide a "soft" armoring solution for upland property protection. Geotextiles are used as matting to stabilize flow in stream channels and swales.
Coir (coconut fiber) geotextiles are popular for erosion control, slope stabilization and bioengineering, due to the fabric's substantial mechanical strength.: App. I.E Coir geotextiles last approximately 3 to 5 years depending on the fabric weight. The product degrades into humus, enriching the soil.
While many possible design methods or combinations of methods are available to the geotextile designer, the ultimate decision for a particular application usually takes one of three directions: design by cost and availability, design by specification, or design by function. Extensive literature on design methods for geotextiles has been published in the peer reviewed journal Geotextiles and Geomembranes.
Geotextiles are needed for specific requirements, just as anything else in the world. Some of these requirements consist of polymers composed of a minimum of 85% by weight poly-propylene, polyesters, polyamides, polyolefins, and polyethylene. 
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- Barrett, R. J., "Use of Plastic Filters in Coastal Structures," Proceedings from the 16th International Conference Coastal Engineers, Tokyo, September 1966, pp. 1048–1067
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- Morgan, Roy P.C.; Rickson, R.J. (2011). Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control: A Bioengineering Approach. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780419156307.
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Other preparatory operations involve covering/wrapping the columns first with chain link fences and then with geotextile fabric, which is very puncture resistant and has a very high tensile strength. It allows the concrete to move, but it keeps the concrete from flying. The chain link catches the bigger material and the fabric catches the smaller material from flying up and out.
- Richards, Davi (2006-06-02). "Coir is sustainable alternative to peat moss in the garden". Garden Hints. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Extension Service. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Italian glaciers tell the tale of climate change; lost 1/3rd of its volume | Breaking News, Latest News, World, South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh News & Analysis". www.wionews.com. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
- Material Specification 592—Geotextile (PDF) (Report). Vol. 642. January 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-10-18.
- Koerner, R. M. (2012). Designing With Geosynthetics, 6th Edition, Xlibris Publishing Co., 914 pgs.[self-published source]
- Koerner, R. M., Editor (2016). Geotextiles: From Design to Applications, Woodhead Publishing Co., AMsterdam, 617 pgs.
- John, N. W. M. (1987). Geotextiles, Blackie Publishing Ltd., Glasgow, 347 pgs.