The major methods for fabric manufacture are weaving and knitting. Weaving, or interlacing yarns, is the most common process used to create fabrics.


In this page

  1. Fabrics
  2. What is fabric?
  3. Major classification of Fabric Constructions
  4. Properties of major Textile Fibers and Fabrics

Fabrics

Fabrics

Textile fabrics can be produced directly from webs of fibres by bonding, fusing or interlocking to make non-woven fabrics and felts, but their physical properties tend to restrict their potential end-usage.The mechanical manipulation of yarn into fabric is the most versatile method of manufacturing textile fabrics for a wide range of end-uses.

There are three principal methods of mechanically manipulating yarn into textile fabrics: interweaving, intertwining and interlooping.All three methods have evolved from hand-manipulated techniques through their application on primitive frames into sophisticated manufacturing operations on automated machinery.

  1. Interweaving is the intersection of two sets of straight threads, warp and weft, which cross and interweave at right angles to each other.Weaving is by far the oldest and most common method of producing continuous lengths of straight-edged fabric.
  2. Intertwining and twisting includes a number of techniques, such as braiding and knotting, where threads are caused to intertwine with each other at right angles or some other angle. These techniques tend to produce special constructions whose uses are limited to very specific purposes.
  3. Inter-looping consists of forming yarn(s) into loops, each of which is typically only released after a succeeding loop has been formed and inter-meshed with it so that a secure ground loop structure is achieved.The loops are also held together by the yarn passing from one to the next. (In the simplified illustration this effect is not illustrated.)

Fabrics are produced mostly from yarns. Few fabrics are directly produced from fibers. Fabrics are made from yarns and are constructed mostly either by weaving or knitting. Weaving Major portion of the fabrics are produced by weaving. Among the other fabric constructions, lace making is worth mentioning. Felts are fabrics made directly from fibers without making yarns.

A wide variety of woven fabrics are available in today's market. An average consumer is unaware of many fabrics and their suitability for a specific end use.

Clothing refers to the various articles used to cover the body. Apparel may be divided into two classes. First one the desire for warmth and for protection against elements, Secondly the desire for satisfaction we receive from wearing clothing that makes us appear to advantage.

Baby's cloths need not be full of frills or elaborate, since the baby's comfort should be the main criterion. Their clothes are meant to protect them from colds and chills, while allowing enough freedom of movement for the limbs. Clothes should not be tight as they will hamper the circulation and breathing.

The appearance of a garment is greatly influenced by the fabric used for construction, not all fabrics are suitable for all garments. To choose a suitable fabric for a specific end use calls for basic knowledge in fabric construction and types of fabrics available in the market.



What is fabric?

Fabric or cloth is a flexible artificial material that is made by a network of natural or artificial fibers. Cloth is mostly used in the manufacturing of clothing and household furnishings etc. Cloth is made in many varying strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest gossamer fabrics to sturdy canvas sailcloths. 

Major classification of Fabric Constructions

woven fabric illustration

Woven Fabrics

Woven fabrics are made by using two or more sets of yarn interlaced at right angles to each other. Much variety is produced by weaving. Woven fabrics are generally more durable. They can be easily cut into different shapes and are excellent for producing styles in garments. However the raw edges ravel or fray easily and need to be protected. Fabrics having more fabric count (number of wrap and weft yearns present) keep the shape well. Low count fabrics are less durable and may snag or stretch.

Woven fabrics are manufactured in different widths depending on the end use. The fabrics used for apparels usually contain 90 cms width. The Sheeting materials are generally made having a width of 160 cm/140cms and 150cms/180 cms.

knitted fabric illustration

Knitted Fabrics

Knitting is the construction of an elastic, porous fabric, created by interlocking yarns by means of needles. Knitted fabrics can be made much more quickly and easily than woven fabrics at comparatively less cost. Knitted fabrics are generally light in weight, comfortable in wear even during travel, but yet require little care to keep their neat appearance. The tendency of knits to resist wrinkling is another factor to boost up their popularity. Knitted fabrics are used for designing active clothing such as sports clothing. Their elastic nature permits for abundant physical activity. Knitted fabrics are produced by two general methods. Warp knitting and weft knitting. They are made as flat or tubular fabrics depending on the end use. Tubular fabrics may not have any seams at the sides where as flat fabrics are treted just like woven fabrics.

lace fabric illustration

Laced Fabrics

Lace is an open work fabric consisting of a network of threads or yarns formed into intricate designs. Laces are developed for beauty and adornment. Lace which looks so delicate is made out of strong yarns looped or twisted together in a more complicated manner than any other methods of construction. Thus they are expensive too. They are manufactured in many widths, shapes and in limitless variety of patterns.

Hand made laces are more expensive than machine made laces. As expensive goods are preferred only by few, the machine made laces are more popular among consumers. Laces are produced either in the form of a fabric or in a shape suited for a particular end use. They are mostly used as trimmings, on apparels and home furnishings.

  • Trimming Laces: A wide variety of patterns are available in laces used for trimmings. They are produced having narrow width ranging from 1 cm or less width. They are available at various costs and certainly with in the range of average consumer. They are used as decorative materials, apparels and other household materials.
  • Nylon Net Laces: Generally these fabrics contains a net back ground on which patterns are made. These fabrics are machine made less expensive and are mostly used as curtains.
woolen fabric patch

Woolen fabrics

Woolen fabrics are made from woolen yarn over wide range. These are generally made in plain weave and sometimes in twill weave. They are loosely woven fabrics. They are characterized by extreme softness and not very durable when compared to worsted. These fabrics are used for coats and for other household purposes.

Worsted fabrics

Worsted's are woven from long tightly twisted fibres of 2-8" in length these fibres are usually woven in to a design or in twill weave, and are given a smooth finish which brings out the luster of the fabric and the design of the weave. Bread cloth and light weighted flannels are examples of fabrics made with worsted yarns for warp and woolen yarns for filling.

linen cotton blended fabric

Blended Fabrics/Textile Composites

It is important to observe that production of staple yarn is not limited to composition from one kind of fiber the staple of two or more kinds of fibers may be combined for blended at different stages. When different types of fibers are blended, the properties of these fibers are also combined in the blended yarns. Textile composites are generally used for high technology products for industry, the military and aerospace.

Stitch-Through Fabrics

Stitch through or stitch bonding is a relatively new technique for constructing fabrics in which two sets of yarns or masses of fibers are stitched together into a fabric structure by another set of yarns.

film fabrics

Films

Since films are not considered to be true textiles. They are sometimes laminated to textiles. They are sometimes laminated to textiles and therefore may be part of the structure of some textile products. They are synthetic polymers extruded in the form of sheets rather than as fibers. In some cases, these films are eventually made into fibrous form by a process called fibrillation or by cutting the sheet into fibers.

non-woven fabrics

Non Woven

Masses of fibers can be held together into a fabric by interlocking of fibers by mechanical action or by fusing fibers together with heat, adhesive or chemicals. Examples of a few fabrics constructed by these means include felt, bark cloth, spun lace, spun bonded and needle-punched fabrics and bonded webs.

Knotted Fabrics

Some fabrics are created by knotting yarns together. Lace, nets, macrame and tatting are produce by knotting.

braided fabric illustration

Braided Fabrics

Fabrics may be created by plaiting together yarns or strips of fabrics. The components are interlaced in a diagonal pattern over under one another to form a flat or tubular fabric of relatively narrow width.

Properties of major Textile Fibers and Fabrics

Properties Natural Manmade Cellulosic Manmade Non-Cellulosic
Cotton Flax Wool Silk Acetate Viscose/ Rayon Acrylic Nylon Polyester Spandex
Abrasion Resistance Good Fair Fair Fair Poor Fair Fair Exce- llent Good Good
Absorbancy 8.5% 12% 13.5% 11% 6.5% 11% 1.5% 2.8%- 4.8% 0.4% 15%
Flexibility Fair Poor Good Exce- llent Exce- llent Good Good Good Fair Good
Elasticity @70F, 65% R.H.
% Elongation at Break 3.0-10 3 20-40 20 25-45 15-30 35-45 16-75 19-55 400-700
% Recovery 75 65 99 90 48-65 95 92 82-100 81 99
Environment
Mildew Resistance Poor Fair Good Good Exce- llent Fair Exce- llent Exce- llent Exce- llent Exce- llent
Renovation (Wash/DryClean) W/DC W/DC DC W/DC DC W/DC W/DC W/DC W/DC W/DC
sAFE iRONING lIMIT (°r;F) 400 450 300 300 325 350 300 350 325 300
Sunlight Resistance Fair Good Good Poor Good Fair Exce- llent Poor Good Fair
Handfeel Good Fair Fair-
Exce- llent
Exce- llent Exce- llent Good Good Fair Fair Poor
Pilling Resitance Good Good Fair Good Good Good Fair Poor Very Poor Exce- llent
Resiliency Poor Poor Good Fair Fair Poor Good Good Exce- llent Exce- llent
Specific Gravity 1.54 1.52 1.32 1.3 1.32 1.48-1.54 1.14- 1.19 1.14 1.38 1.21
Static Resistance Good Good Fair Fair Fair Good Poor Poor Vary Poor Exce- llent
Dry Strength 3.0-5.0 3.5-6.0 0.8-2.0 2.4-5.1 1.2-1.5 1.2-3.0 2.0-3.5 2.5-7.3 3.0-6.0 0.07-1.0
Good Exce- llent Poor Good Poor Poor- Good Fair Exce- llent Exce- llent Very Poor
Strength Loss when Wet +10% +10% 20% 15% 30% 30%-50% 20% 10% 0 0
Thermoplastic No No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes