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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What is Blanket | Types and Sizes of Blanket

Definition of Blanket
Blankets are made of various constructions and compositions, which provide different degrees of warmth, softness and durability. They are usually woven, but can be knitted or stitch-knitted by the Mali or the Arachne fabric forming technique, needled, or by flocking fibres onto a polyurethane foam base. The yarns may be composed wholly or of blends of cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic or polyester.
Types of Blankets
Blankets may be classified into three basic types: conventional, thermal, and flocked polyurethane. Their characteristics are somewhat different in appearance, texture, warmth, durability, and care.
Conventional Blankets
Conventional blankets are usually woven with soft-twist yarns in the filling and higher-twist yarns in the warp. The yarns may be of wool, acrylic, polyester, or blends of these fibres. Blends containing nylon are also used. The fabric is heavily napped to produce a thick, close, fuzzy surface.

Woolen Blankets

Although conventional blankets made of wool or wool blends are the heaviest, they are not necessarily the warmest. Those of acrylic are in the moderate price range, are relatively light in weight, and provide good warmth. Acrylic and polyester blankets are fairly durable but tend to pill with use and laundering. Wool blankets are difficult to launder because they become very heavy when wet and can also shrink considerably unless given a preshrinking finish. These blankets can be dry-cleaned. Conventional blankets tend to be the most durable type of blankets.
Thermal blankets
Thermal blankets are either woven in a variation of the plain weave, such as a honeycomb pattern, or knitted in a manner that produces an open lightweight construction. The soft-twist yarns may be of cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, or a blend of any of these fibres. The fabric is not napped.

Thermal blankets

The combination of soft-twist yarns and open construction is designed to provide air spaces to serve as insulation. However, these air spaces between the yarns are not really enclosed and there is a loss of heat by convection. This can be reduced by enclosing the blanket in a cover. Thermal blankets are better suited for lightweight or summer blankets. Of course, warmth will also vary with the type of fibre used.
Flocked polyurethane Blankets
Flocked polyurethane Blankets are composed of polyurethane foam base covered with fibre flocking, usually nylon, held in position with an acrylic adhesive. They are very soft, resilient, and sometimes spongy. They tend to have a misty appearance, particularly in the lighter colors, due to the flocking. They are relatively light in weight.

Nylon Blanket
The polyurethane makes these blankets more difficult to fold and drape around the body. Although such blankets are warm for their weight, they generally are not as warm as conventional blankets. Polyurethane blankets are the weakest and least durable; they particularly have poor abrasion resistance because the flock tends to rub away leaving the polyurethane exposed – which can further abrade easily. They are best suited where heavy use and great warmth are not mandatory. Polyurethane blankets can be safely machine washed and machine dried.
Sizes of Blankets
All types of blankets are made in four sizes and the dimensions are fairly standard. The twin size is produced in 66 inches X 90 inches (168 X 229 cm) and 72 inches X 90 inches (183 X 229 cm); double or full size is 80 inches X 90 inches (203 X 229 cm); queen size is 90 inches X 90 inches (229 X 229 cm) and 95 inches X 90 inches (241 X 229 cm); and king size is 108 inches X 90 inches (274 X 229 cm).

Friday, June 26, 2015

What is Faux Fur | Processing and Characteristics

Faux Fur
It is also called Fake or Imitation Fur or Pile Fabric. The insulative property of pile fabrics is based upon the principle of air spaces entrapped between fibres. But the fibres, which are usually acrylic, modacrylic, or a combination of them, are held in place by being knitted into a base material. The resultant high-pile material is converted into imitation fur fabric by special processing.

Faux Fur

Processing of Imitation Fur
To simulate natural fur coats, the materials are processed through the following special finishes:
Heat setting
To preshrink the fabric in length, giving it stability and expanding the diameter of the pile fibres. If the fabric is made by the uncut-loop method, it must be napped to cut the loops prior to heat setting.
It uses a roll of wire brushes to remove loose fibres from the face of the fabric.
Rough shearing by helical knives to the desired height.
It is a polishing technique that gives a desired luster by combing the fabric in both directions with a heated grooved cylinder.
Application of chemicals
Wet application of chemicals, such as silicones and various resins (depending upon the pile fibre), to further increase the smoothness and luster of the pile fabric.
Electrifying a second time to bring out the luster.
Finish shearing
It is a light shearing to remove loose fibres raised by a previous treatment.
Sometimes it is done instead of shearing when the fabric is to simulate the curl of such furs as karakul, Persian lamb, or broadtail. The fabric may first be processed through an offset and swirling machine with rows of narrow rotary wire brushes, which permanently deform the lay of the fibres in adjoining strips and cause variations in light reflection. The fabrics are then passed under heated embossing steel rollers that are cut to resemble the natural curl of the fur they are intended to imitate. The curl is permanently heat-set into the fabrics.

Characteristics of Imitation Fur
  • The imitation fur fabrics, which must be labeled as required by law, are much less expensive than genuine fur, but generally more costly than quilted fabrics.
  • They are soft, resilient, durable, and warm.
  • When not made of wool, they cannot be damaged by moth larvae.
  • They may be dry-cleaned or laundered, depending on the construction.
  • On close examination, they do not have the same appearance.
  • Pile fabrics are insulative and warm.
  • Pile fabrics can be made to look very attractive and they give the immediate sensation of warmth on contact.
  • They may pill, becoming shabby after a short time unless they are cleaned and combed or brushed regularly.
  • These fabrics may be heavier than quilted fabrics and some tend to be more rigid and restrictive if adhesives are applied to the backing to secure the pile.
  • The knitted construction of some pile fabrics cannot be windproof, and rain or snow readily sticks to pile and is more difficult to dry or brush off than from quilted fabrics.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What is Carpet? Construction of Carpet

Definition of Carpet

Carpet that come in specific sizes, are sold by the yard and housed in rolls. They are also produced at various price points and styles. It is available for household use and heavily trafficked areas that necessitate commercial grades. The typical rolls of carpet are produced in a wide range of standard and fashion colors that will fit most any designer’s need or in custom colors and patterns for more unique settings.

Construction of the Carpet

When it is initially chosen for home or commercial use, it is generally selected on the basic of appearance. Of course, price and durability are also important factors in their ultimate section. Before the final decision is made, several factors should be considered. The construction is one of them.
It is constructed in many ways, including tufting, weaving, needle punching, flocking and knitting.
The vast majority of carpet made today is made by tufting process. The procedure involves the sewing or punching of face pile yarns into a backing by a special machine that is equipped with numerous needles. The tufts are inserted lengthwise into a primary backing. In finer carpet the tufts are close together, giving the finished product a denser quality and appearance. The tufts are then set in place with the use of a latex compound that is laminated to the secondary backing. This final backing or layer gives the carpet additional strength.

Tufting process
The primary backing is used in tufted carpet is usually made of polypropylene. For fine gauge, polyester is sometimes used in place of polypropylene. The secondary backing for tufted carpet is also mostly made of polypropylene, with jute or foam used to a lesser extent.
Woven carpet has been available for many centuries. Before the invention of machines, the products were hand woven. The process for both is virtually same, with different types of weaves used for specific appearances and qualities.
Basically, to produce a woven carpet, two sets of yarns are intertwined. These are the pile yarns, commonly referred to as face yarns, and backing yarns that result in a single “fabric.” The three most common types of woven carpets are velvet, wilton, and axminster.

  • Axminster is a machine-woven carpet that features an enormous number of colors and colorful patterns.
  • Wilton is woven carpet made in variety of patterns and textures but with a limited number of colors in the patterns.
  • Velvet carpet features a level surface or cut pile and is made of yarns that have very little twist.
Needle punched
Needle-punched construction requires the assembly of fibre webs that are compacted and interlocked by means of barbed felting needles. The advantage of this type of construction is that it can be printed, flocked and embossed, the latter giving it textural effects. The angling of the needles and the mixing of fibre deniers (weight) produce textures such as corduroy. After the carpet has been woven, weather-resistant latex is applied to the back. The process is relatively low cost and is used primarily for indoor/outdoor carpet.
Few carpets are made with the flocking process. The appearance resembles velour and offers a product that is resilient and crush resistant. The “fabrics” are usually backed with a secondary backing material to add body and dimensional stability. It is sometimes used for bathrooms.
The process is done on a knitting machine, and when finished, is backed with a coat of latex and a secondary backing material to provide stability and strength. It is used in a small percentage of carpet production.
A variation of weaving technique, sculpturing produces a multilevel loop carpet. Two sets of loops are woven into the carpet; the taller ones are sheared and the shorter one remains uncut to produce a sculptured pattern. This textured carpet, often with variegated coloring, has the added advantage of camouflaging soil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What is net fabric? Types and uses of net fabric

Definition of net fabric | Types and uses of net fabric

          Net or netting is an open mesh form of fabric construction that is held together by knots or fused thermoplastic yarns at each point where the yarn cross one another. There are several types of mesh; they are square, hexagonal, and octagonal. The range of mesh sizes is from coarse and opens to fine and share. Netting may be made of any kind of fibre and may be given a soft or stiff sizing. Net fabrics are relatively fragile and require care in handling and cleaning. Torn net fabrics cannot be satisfactorily mended because the repair would be apparent. If the sizing is water soluble, the fabric should be dry-cleaned.

Net fabric saree
Saree with net fabric

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What is non-woven fabric? Characteristics and uses of non-woven fabric

Definition of woven fabric

          Non-wovens are flexible, porous, products consisting of one or more fibre layers. The separate fibres may either be preferentially oriented in one direction or may be deposited in a random manner. They are bonded by chemical, thermal or mechanical processes into textile products. Non-wovens are mainly planar structures. This relatively young branch of the textile industry has expanded enormously after the second world-war because of the high production rates and the resulting cost savings.

Non-wovens are flexible, porous, products consisting of one or more fibre layers. The separate fibres may either be preferentially oriented in one direction or may be deposited in a random manner.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Needle punching method for nonwoven

Needle-punched fabrics produced with a modified needle bed and needles that penetrate beyond the surface to form loops on the back can be made to resemble loop pile, velour, or velveteen. The loops either are left uncut or are cut and brushed to give the surface appearance of the pile-woven fabric.
          Mechanical bonding is the oldest method of producing non-woven; it entangles fibres to impart strength to dry-laid webs. The most common mechanical methods are needle punching, spun lacing, also called hydro entangling and stitch bonding. The needle punching method is described below –
          In needle punching, barbed needles are punched vertically through the web to hook and entangled tufts of fibres. Needle punched non-woven resemble felt in appearance, but they are made primarily from fibres other than wool. Characterized by high density combined with some bulk, they are available in weights from 50 to 285 grams (1.7 to 10 oz) and in thickness from 15 to 160 mils.
          Two basic steps are involved in the construction of needle-punching non-woven –
a.     The fibre web, or butt, prepared by carding, garneting, or air-laying techniques, is fed into a machine with specially designed needles.
b.      The fibre web moves on a substrate between a metal bed plate and a stripper plate; the needles punch through the plates and the fibre web, reorienting the fibres so that mechanical interlocking or bonding occurs among the individual fibres.
 In needle punching, barbed needles are punched vertically through the web to hook and entangled tufts of fibres.

          The substrate may be filaments, a scrim, or some other form. Placement of the substrate in the middle of the fibre web improves the strength and structural integrity of the finished needle-punched fabric.
          The strength of needle-punched fabrics also depends on the fibre arrangement within the webs.  If fibres are placed parallel to each other, the finished fabric will have good strength in that direction but will tend to be weak in the opposite direction. If the fibres are in a random arrangement, strength is equal in all, directions. A two-step process first tacks the web with 30 to 60 punches per square inch (4.7 to 9.3 per square cm) and then punches with 800 to more than 2500 penetrations per square inch (125 to 390 per square cm). The higher number of punches is used for fabrics such as blankets, which are expected to be subjected to considerable handling during use and care.
          The properties of needle-punched fabrics depend on the length and characteristics of the fibres, the physical properties of the web, and the techniques used to produce the web. Most needled fabrics lack any structural pattern because the needles punch and intermingle the fibres in such a random way that the fabric surface appears uniform.
          Needle-punched fabrics frequently are found in carpeting and other floor coverings, wall coverings, blankets, padding material, insulation materials, and industrial fabrics for vehicles.