A Repository of Textile Articles

What is Fabric selection in apparel manufacturing?

Fabric selection is a crucial step in designing a project because fabrics are designed for specific applications, a fabric manufactured for one purpose, may not be adaptable for another use.Therefore selecting the appropriate fabric is only the first step in providing serviceable fabrics for apparel manufacturing.Designers specify the fabric as part of their design concept. Designers may develop new styles for fabrics that have been successful.

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Fabric selection is a crucial step in designing a project because fabrics are designed for specific applications, a fabric manufactured for one purpose, may not be adaptable for another use.Therefore selecting the appropriate fabric is only the first step in providing serviceable fabrics for apparel manufacturing.Designers specify the fabric as part of their design concept. Designers may develop new styles for fabrics that have been successful.

Various aspects of Fabric selection

Fabrics used in garment manufacturing can be categorized into two groups: properties and characteristics. A property is a static physical dimension such as yards per pound; whereas, the characteristic is the reaction of the fabrics when a force is imposed upon it. Elongation, elasticity, shrinkage and seam strength are examples of characteristics. These are the measure of reactions to dynamic conditions. Characteristics are physical or chemical changes in the fabric resulting from the application of outside forces.

GENERAL CONSIDERATION OF FABRICS FOR APPAREL MANUFACTURING

The apparel producer is interested primarily in the characteristics of a fabric. Although fabric characteristics are related to fabric properties, a fabric property is of no interest to the apparel manufacture unless it controls a fabric characteristic or cost factor vital to him, or unless the property itself such as thickness or weight, has definite utility or style value.There are three viewpoints to stipulating fabric selection

  • The consumer’s viewpoint
  • The fabric producer’s viewpoint
  • The garment producer’s viewpoint

The consumer’s interests lie solely in the appearance and wearability characteristics of the fabric; the durability, utility and style values.The garment producer is interested in the garment production working characteristics of the fabric, the cost of producing a given garment with the fabric. If the garment producer is a jobber or manufacturer who sells the garment directly or indirectly to consumers, he will be interested, also, in all the consumer values. If the garment producer is a contractor his interest lies only in the field of the production cost aspect of the working characteristics.The same applies to the fabric producer. If he fabricates cloth for garment manufactures, he must consider garment production work characteristics. However, if the fabric producer makes cloth for over the counter retail sales, he does not have to consider whether the working characteristics are good enough to produce the garment with industrial equipment and methods.

FABRIC IDENTIFICATION FOR GARMENT

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 manufacturer’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 the price has 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.

APPAREL FABRICS FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN

In the purchase of their apparel most women seek primarily for “look rightness and serviceability”. For outer apparel look – rightness is probably the first consideration. In the purchase of underclothing and children’s wear, serviceability is commonly the first consideration, although look – rightness is nearly always a factor, too. Serviceability is a combination of the suitability of fabric and the quality of garments construction.Differences in weight automatically limit some fabrics to particular seasons and use. In summer thin fabrics, such as voile, eyelet, batiste, sheer, creeps, and chiffons, in winter, for heavier materials such as wood tweeds, homespuns, velvet, corduroy, and fur like fabric. Some stiff fabrics look better when a crisp appearance is required; soft and clinging fabrics are appropriate when slinky, draped effect is desired; rich and luxurious fabrics look best in the evening; washable fabrics appear to advantage when worn in the house, in the garden, and for sports.

APPAREL FABRICS FOR MEN’S AND BOY’S WEAR

Men’s wear may be classified as

  1. Men’s clothing and
  2. Men’s furnishings.

A similar division may be made for boy’s wear. Work clothing is often treated as a separate classification.Men’s and boy’s furnishings are composed of similar articles, the chief of which are shirts, sleepwear, underwear, hosiery, robes, ties, handkerchiefs, belts, suspenders, garters, muffles and scarf, sweaters and bathing suits. Men’s jewelry (non – textile) such as cufflinks, studs, tie clips and stickpins, are also commonly included in the classification.Men’s clothing includes garments such as suits, topcoats, cover coats, jackets, and slacks.Boy’s clothing includes suits, topcoats, overcoats, jackets, and raincoats. With the emergence of fashion as selling force, there are more divisions of men’s and boy’s section in department and specialty stores.

Common Fabrics used in Garment manufacturing

Name Description
CALICO Calico is balanced plain weave. Made of cotton and blends usually polyester.
The COTTON LAWN Cotton lawn is made of combed or mercerized cotton. It is a balanced plain weave. It is soft and top weight fabric.
COTTON MUSLIN It is top weight fabric, with open or loose weave, sheet, sleepwear, shirt, dresses, etc
SHEETING/ PERCALE Sheeting or percale fabric is made of cotton and blends of carded yarn. It is balanced plain weave and used for household sheeting.
POPLIN Poplin is made of cotton or blends with polyester. It has more warp than weft and weft are generally coarser.
TAFFETA Taffeta is produced only from filament yarn. Its weave is close, and wrap and weft same size. There is more warp than weft. It is fine smooth fabric with a very fine crosswise rib.
DRILL Drill is made of cotton or blends with polyester. It is produced from carded yarn with 3/1 warp face twill
DENIM Denim is produced from cotton or blends with polyester. Carded yarns only or rotor yarn is used for denim manufacturing.
GABARDINE Gabardine is usually wool or blends with man-made fibers. It is usually fine, combed, and worsted.
TWEED Tweed may be wool, fairly coarse or cotton, man-made fiber and blends fabric.
SATEEN/SATIN Sateen is weft float fabric, mostly produced from cotton. It is top weight smoothest, fullest and mostly lustrous and very flexible fabric.

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