Know What You Wear

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Different Types of Fabric Used for Clothing

Different types of fabric are used for manufacturing different types of clothing. Choosing fabric for clothes is the most important step in apparel manufacturing because fabric is the basic raw materials for cloths. The quality of fabric not only influences the quality of the garment but also affects the smoothness of the production process. The fabric specifications for different end-use requirements are different, and the selection of an appropriate fabric is one of the most difficult jobs for the clothing manufacturer. The selection of the right type of fabric for a particular garment type is the most difficult task for the manufacturers. Hence, understanding the fabric properties that affect the manufacturing process and the final garment quality is essential.
Different types of fabric
Fig-1: Different types of fabric
Different Types of Fabric Used for Garment Manufacturing:
Various types of fabric used for garment manufacturing. In this article I have given a short description of woven, knitted, nonwoven , felted, lather fabrics those are commonly used in apparel manufacturing.


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Woven fabrics:
Woven fabrics are constructed by intertwining two groups of yarns perpendicular to one another. Weave constructions are classified in relation to the manner in which the warp and weft yarns intertwine. The primary weave classes are shown in Fig-2.

  • Plain weave: Every filling (or warp) yarn passes alternately over and under consecutive warp (or filling) yarns.
  • Twill weave: Every weft yarn passes over (or under) two or more warp yarns, after passing under (or over) one or more warp yarns in staggered fashion, so as to produce a diagonal line on one or both sides of the fabric.
Fig-2: primary weave
  • Satin weave: Filling yarns pass over (or under) enough warp yarns after passing under (or over) a warp yarn so as to give the fabric a smooth glass-like surface when the float process is staggered. The satin float is the yarn (filling or warp), which passes over many of its complimentary yarns before going under a complimentary yarn.
  • Basket weave: This is similar to the plain weave but with a multiple yarn grouping. Two or more yarns travel as a set (Fig-3). 
Basket weave
Fig-3: Basket weave
  • Jacquard weave: Any combination of plain, twill, satin and basket weave counts used to give a complex configuration with a bias-relief effect.
  • Lappet weave: A weave that has two superimposed warp layers in sections of the fabric.
  • Leno weave: A weave with an open-space effect (Fig-4). Each filling yarn passes through the ellipse formed when two adjacent warp yarns cross over each other in reciprocal fashion from filling to filling. These warp yarn amplitudes pass over or under each other before and after encompassing the filling yarn.
Leno weave
Fig-4: Leno weave
  • Pile weave: A weave that has the end of looped or cut yarns protruding out of one fabric surface (Fig-5). A double pile weave has yarn stubs protruding out of both surfaces.
Pile weave
Fig-5: Pile weave
Knitted fabrics:
Knitting is the process of constructing fabric with one or more groups of yarns by a system of interlooping loops of the yarns. The yarns are formed into rows of loops into which other yarn loop rows are interloped or interlaced.

There are two basic types of knitting: weft and warp. Weft knit fabrics are manufactured by building the loops of yarn in horizontal position through the fabric width. Warp knitting constructs the fabric by making yarn loops parallel to the fabric length. Weft knit fabrics are produced in tubular- or flat-form circular knitting, whereas warp knit fabrics are made only in flat form.

Weft knitted fabric:
Weft knitted fabrics, circular and flat form (Fig-6) and the varieties of weft knitted fabrics are jersey, purl, rib, run-resist, tuck and interlock.

Weft knitted fabrics
Fig-6: Weft knitted fabric
In jersey fabric, the interlooping tie is on the same side of the fabric in all courses and wales. Purl stitching consists of changing the placement of the interloop tie from course to course. In purl stitched fabric, the interlooping ties in adjacent courses are on the other face of the fabric; alternate courses have the ties on the same face. In rib stitching, the ties in adjacent wales are on the other face of the fabric; alternate wales have like ties. Run-resist fabrics contain an alternating and staggering of course ties. A tuck stitch is an arrangement of tying two consecutive course loops in one wale structure. The interlock structure is essentially a double thickness rib knit. It consists of an interlooping of two adjacent layers of a rib knit.

Warp knitted fabrics:
In warp knit fabrics, the yarn forms successive wale loops instead of successive course loops as in weft knitting. The successive course loops in warp knitting are in different courses, whereas in weft knitting the successive course loops are in different wales (Figure 1.10). The varieties of weft knitted fabrics are single warp tricot (one bar tricot), double warp tricot (two bar tricot), Milanese, Raschel and simplex.

Warp knit fabric
Fig-7: Warp knit fabric
Single warp tricot (one bar tricot) is made with one set of yarns and double warp tricot (two bar tricot) is made with two sets of yarn which form loops in opposite directions. Milanese is made with two or more sets of warp yarns which form loops across the fabric width in the same direction. Milanese is characterised by small diamond-shaped parallelograms which form fine rib lines diagonally through the width of the fabric on one side of the fabric. The basis of Raschel knitting is an interloop structure similar to that of a chain of slip-knots in which the single and double strands of the knot change sides in adjacent stitches.

Fabric grain:
All yarn-constructed fabrics have three basic grain lines: straight, cross and bias. The straight grain in woven fabrics is the grain parallel to the warp yarns; in knitted fabrics it is parallel to the wales. Warp grain or length grain are other trade terms used for this grain. The cross grain is parallel to the weft in the case of woven and the course in the case of knitted fabric. The bias grain is parallel to the bisector of the right angle formed by the intersecting straight and cross grains. All other grain lines passing through the right angle are off-bias grains.

Matted fabrics (felted and nonwoven):
Felts are produced directly from fibres by matting of fibers in a sheet form. This is accomplished with heat, moisture and pressure. Many felts are isoelastic; the elongation is alike in all directions on the fabric. Such felts have no grain from this standpoint. A felt has a grain from the design viewpoint when its surface has a definite repetitive surface contour or line design or if it is not isoelastic.

Leather and furs:
Leather and furs have restricted sizes because they come from hides and skins. The outer surface of the hide or skin is the grain side of leather. The inner surface, the area inside the animal, is the flesh side. Flesh finished leather is leather whose flesh side has been treated in order to use the flesh side as the face side. The grain side of leather is usually used on the face side. The grain side is treated with various processes to give it the desired colour and surface values. Natural surface structures may be enhanced or eliminated and substituted with surface markings such as the popular pebbly surface used for shoes which is known as scotch grain.

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References:
  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye