The vast variety of fabrics available today, makes their identification important.We know that variety is created by using different fibres in combination. Knowledge of the fibre content of a fabric is therefore necessary to know its suitability,use and care. Labels and sales persons are not always able to guide us.Fabric samples,Fabric specification, lead times are some of the ways to identify the fabric.
Identification of Fabric
Designers and merchandisers may go to major fabric markets to collect ideas, check trends, examine few products, and seek sample yardage. Fabrics may be designed and developed by apparel designers or merchandisers and ordered from mills or converters according to the apparel manufacture’s specification. Acquisition of piece goods is accomplished after fabric samples and product specifications have been examined and lead times. Minimums, delivery dates, put–up, and price have been negotiated.Identification of appropriate fabrics is based on product information and testing provided by fabric vendors and/or testing and product development conducted by apparel manufacturers. Sources of information include fabric samples, specifications, and certification,
Sample lengths of 5 yards are frequently provided to apparel manufacturers, sometimes without charge, so designers and merchandisers can test and work with the material.Fabric samples are frequently accompanied by specifications and other product information as identification of product quality, aesthetics and suitability to end use.When styling and innovation are high priority criteria, samples are essential.
The amount of information included in fabric specifications varies from basic fibre content to complete descriptions of the material, which includes analysis based on standard performance tests. Specifications may include product name, style number, fibre content, finishes, dyes, performance evaluation methods of manufacturing, and quality standards.
Identification of Fabric(contd..)
Fabric CertificationSome vendors also provide certifications of product quality. Fabric certification is a statement of compliance to product specifications. Certification is intended to provide assurance to the buyer of the quality of fabrics shipped and eliminated the need for receiving inspection. In these days of quick response and just–in–time production,certification of the quality of piece fabrics can cut days or weeks from the apparel manufacturer’s production process by eliminating the need for fabric inspection and reducing production delays because of inconsistent materials. Certification data include:
- Reports of evaluation of compliance to specifications including types of tests performed, methods used, and the result.
- Identification of the laboratory or facility, operators and dates when the evaluations and testes were performed, and
- Documentation of tradability of purchase order numbers, lots, markings on the materials.
Lead Times and Minimums
Lead times required for delivery from a supplier can vary from as little as 2 weeks to as much as 9 months. Minimum yardage requirements, or minimums may range from a few hundred to thousands of yards, Factors that affect lead times and minimums are place of origin, distance of shipping, production capabilities of the supplier, and whether the piece fabrics is selected from open stick or dyed or printed to order. Imported fabrics may require longer lead time but often have lower minimums, than domestically produced materials. Open-stock materials have shorter lead times, smaller minimums, and are usually lower priced than goods made to the apparel firm’s specifications. Special–order piece fabrics usually have large minimums, more exclusivity, longer lead times, and are often higher priced.
Fabric put–up is the manner in which the fabric is folded and/or rolled by the vendor.An apparel firm usually buys woven fabric that is rolled full width on a cardboard tube.Tubular knits may be put up in rolls or flat folded. Flat knit fabrics are usually rolled.High–pile fabrics such as velvets may be wound and hung from a creel that keeps pressure off the surface of the fabric. Fabric characteristics and put–up determine the type markers that are used and how the piece goods is spread and cut. A full roll is usually 60–100 yards in length. Some firms may specify that fabric be put up on large rolls up to 300 or more yards in total length. The firm may also specify the maximum number of pieces, perhaps no more than three that can make up total yard age in the roll.This minimizes the number of fabric splices, amount of waste, and amount of handling in the spreading process.Shorts, tailings, and remnants are lengths of piece goods less than forty yard in length.Shorts and tailings may result from experimental fabric runs, removal defects, ends of rolls, and overruns. Remnants are less than 10 yards in length and may be sold by the pound.