Know What You Wear

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Different Applications of Textile Fabrics

Fabric is vital important and integral part of dress making. It has been an integral part of everyday life since prehistoric times. Different fabrics for required for different ages, purposes and occasions. Now days, fabric not only used for cloth making but also used in different area. On the basis of fabric prop­erties, three major areas of application can be recognized, namely apparel, home textiles, and technical textiles.
Different uses of fabrics
Fig: Different uses of fabrics
Different Applications of Textile Fabrics

Fabric used for apparels making:
The term apparels is used for any type of fabric that is used for clothing. Application areas of fabrics in apparels generally include inner wear, fash­ion wear, functional wear, men’s wear, ladies wear, and kids wear. These application areas can be further divided into many subcategories includ­ing but not limited to belts, coats, dresses, footwear, leggings, tights, gowns, headgear, jackets, neckwear, robes, cloaks, shawls, skirts, trousers, and shorts. These subcategories may be created on cultural, seasonal, and regional bases. The field of apparel fabrics is usually led by the fashion industry, and the most valued parameters include uniqueness and occa­sion-based clothing.

Fabric used for apparels making
Fig: Fabric used for apparels making
Nonwoven fabrics are one of the oldest and simplest textiles. A classic example is felt. Earlier nonwoven fabrics were used in protective clothing, and shelters. In recent years, there is increase in nonwoven industry, and unconventional fabric trends are emerging, including geotextiles, diapers, bags, filters, etc. Now, nonwovens have begun to find applications in fashion in the clothing industry also. Research and development in the properties of nonwoven fabrics lead to this outcome of its use in apparels with improved properties. Unlike traditional fabric manufacturing process, where the fibers are converted to yarn and then woven, nonwoven fabrics are obtained directly from the fibers.

Recent research has led to production of fabrics with better draping, hand, durability, resilience, and recovery. Therefore, now these fabrics widely find their application in the insulation components of the garment interlining industry, clothing and gloves.

In woven fabric industry, the most used woven apparels are shirts, pants, coats, dresses, jackets, jeans, and blouses. In contrast, knitted apparels are mostly used for T-shirts, polo shirts, trousers, sweaters, undergarments, skirts, and children wear due to their inherent characteristics of stretch and comfort properties.

Fabric used for home textiles:
Home textile deals with the applications of textiles for household pur­poses. Home textiles are used mainly for their functional and esthetic properties aiming to provide comfort and mental relaxation to the peo­ple. The basic articles of home textile are grouped as sheets and pillow cases, blankets, towels, table cloths, and rugs. Both natural and man-made fibers are preferred in fabrics used for home textiles. This is an under explored area, and there is a lot of scope for new developments and innovations.

Fabric used for home textiles
Fig: Fabric used for home textiles
These include a vast range of functional as well as decorative products used mainly for decorating our houses. Some of the most common home tex­tile products are home furnishing fabrics, bed spreads, blankets, pillows and pillow covers, cushion and cushion covers, carpets and rugs, wall hangings, different types of towels, table cloth and mats, kitchen linen and other kitchen accessories, bathroom accessories, etc.

The bed sheets and pillowcases are usually produced from plain woven fabrics either from cotton or from cotton/polyester-blended yarns. A small proportion of these are also produced from linen, silk, acetate, and nylon, with weave constructions varying from plain to satin, rarely knitted.

Blankets are usually woven using high-twist yarn in warp and soft (low-twist) yarns in weft. Other ways to produce are either by knitting or by flock­ing fibers. The composition and construction of yarn decide the degrees of warmth, softness, and durability of blanket. Thermal blankets are produced using a honeycomb weave or knitted to produce a lightweight open con­struction. The flocked polyurethane blankets have a polyurethane foam base, which is covered with fiber flocking using an adhesive. Such blankets are very soft and spongy, and relatively light weight.

Terry towels are used to absorb moisture from wet skin, and therefore, they must be strong enough to withstand the stresses produced during rub­bing, tugging, and laundering. These are woven piled structures produced either from cotton or from a blend of cotton and polyester yarn. Polyester provides increased strength and faster drying, while cotton provides greater absorbency.

Table cloths are produced in a number of designs and ways from cotton, linen, rayon, polyester, or their blends. The most popular constructions are damask and lace. The linen damask is the most expensive, and it requires greater care of laundering and ironing but offers advantages of luxurious­ness and durability.

Floor coverings including rugs and carpets serve as a colorful foundation for the rooms, enhancing its beauty. In addition, they also act as the heat and sound insulators. The carpets may be produced by hand (woven) or by machine (tufted, woven, nonwoven, or knitted). The hand-woven carpets are very expensive; though their production rate is low, highly skilled labor is required for its production. Nonwoven carpets are produced from polypro­pylene (PP). The PP fibers are converted into web by needle punching, and thermal bonding technique is applied to produce carpet. They are the cheap­est form of carpet and are not very long lasting.

Fabric used in Industrial/Technical Textiles:
These are the textiles that are produced for certain functional properties rather than decorative purposes. The technical textiles are classified into 12 different segments as follows (Horrocks and Anand 2000): agrotech (for agriculture and aquaculture), buildtech (for building and construction), clothtech (for clothing and footwear), geotech (for civil engineering and geo­textiles), hometech (for household textiles), indutech (for industrial applica­tions), meditech (for medical and hygiene), oekotech (environment-friendly products), packtech (for packaging), protech (for protection), sporttech (for sports and leisure), and mobiltech (for automobiles).

Fabric used in industrial textiles
Fig: Fabric used in industrial textiles
The fabrics used for the technical purposes are mostly woven or nonwoven. The knitted fabrics have a very low share in the industrial appli­cations due to less stable structure as shown in below Figure. The warp-knitted fabric structures have found some technical/industrial applica­tions. The choice of fibrous material is largely dependent on the area of appli­cation, and it may include natural, man-made, and high-performance fibers.
Woven, nonwoven, and knitted fabrics shares in technical textiles
Figure: Woven, nonwoven, and knitted fabrics shares in technical textiles. (Adapted from Lombaert, F. 2014. In Dubai Techtextil Symposium.)
Some of the examples for the technical use of fabrics are nets, ropes, jute bags, reinforcement for composites, tents, sewing threads, interlinings, wad­dings, geomembranes, shades, conveyor belts, hoses, filters, carpet back­ing, printed circuit boards, seals, gaskets, bandages, sutures, diapers, tea bags, electromagnetic shielding, ballistic protection, noise absorption, seat belts, flags, coated-inflatable life rafts, sleeping bag liner, poncho, surgical gowns, etc.

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