Composite materials are made from two or more constituents in separate phases. Most composites are fibre-reinforced: the fibres are embedded in a (polymer) matrix and provide high mechanical properties. The matrix connects and protects the fibres from the environment. 
The fibre reinforcement may consist of individual fibres or of a textile material such as a woven, knitted or nonwoven fabric or a braid. The fibres in the matrix may be oriented in one or more directions, affecting as such the mechanical performance of the final composite.