The variety of natural and man-made fabrics available today offers a wide selection of fibers for use.
The variety of natural and man-made fabrics available today offers a wide selection of fibers for use. But all fabrics are not perfect in one way or other. They all have some good, fair and poor characteristics.
Man’s desire, to produce perfect fabrics resulted in the production of blended fabrics. An intimate mixture of two or more fibers spun together is a blend. The individual yarns contain two or more different fibers.
The blending of cellulosic fibers with man-made fibers to produce fabrics with improved characteristics has long been accepted throughout the world. The use of blended fabrics has been tremendously increased even in India. The price structure and multi-fiber policy of government have increased the use of cellulosic blended fabrics.
The properties of the fibers blended are combined and made into a modified state in a blended fabric. If blending is done carefully the good qualities of the fibers are emphasized minimizing the poor qualities.
Blending requires knowledge of both fiber science and art. It enables the technician to produce a perfect fabric for perfect use.
Reasons why fabrics are blended
- The important reason for blending fibers is to produce better performance. By blending we can improve the characteristics that are poor in one fiber, by blending it with another type of fabrics that excel in those characteristics For example polyester when blended with cotton, the resultant fabric has moderate absorbancy which is almost nil in polyester.
- To improve the texture: Hand or feel and appearance of fabrics blending of wool fibers with polyester produce the desired texture for suiting materials. Viscose, when blended with cotton, improves it’s luster and softness and thereby enhances it’s appearance.
- To reduce the cost: This is sometimes one of the important reasons for blending of
fibers. The cost of a very expensive fabric can often be reduced by blending with another cheap fiber. For example, expensive wool is blended with cheaper polyester to reduce the cost.
- To produce cross-dyed effects: Fibres with unlike dye affinity are combined and dyed together so that it produces interesting cross dyes effects as one fiber take up
the color and the other retains its original color.
- To improve the spinning, weaving and finishing efficiency for example the spinning efficiency of polyester is improved by blending with cotton to produce spun yarns.
Blending may be done before or during spinning. It can be done at the opening and blending stage. though it facilitates perfect blending it poses problems and so it is not of much use. Even at the sliver stage overdrawing or roving or spinning frames blending can be done. Blending overdrawing frame is most commonly used today. Slivers of different fibers are combined overdrawing frame depending on blend ratio. They are drawn to get a single silver which is later processed into yarn.
Types of Blended Fabrics
Among the various types of blends available today, the most popular fabrics are terry cotton, terry wool, polyester viscose. Polyester cotton viscose blends are most common. Various effects and combinations of properties are produced from these blends depending on the fibers used and the percentage of these fibers used in each
Fabrics of various blend ratios are available in the market today. A blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton is common. The other blend ratios are 67/33, 70/30, 50/50, 45/55, 52/48, 80/20 polyester and cotton respectively is also available.
A blend of 65/35 polyester and cotton produces satisfactorily a fabric for daily wear. 59/50 blend produces softer and more absorbent fabric. Polyester, when blended with cotton, contributes more strength wrinkle resistance and shape; retention, cotton produces comfort as it provides absorbency and heat conduction. The polyester cotton
a blend is most suited for not only India but also for other tropical countries.
Terry-wool Suiting Fabrics
The excellent shape retention of polyester is the foremost contribution to worsted fabrics which show poor shape retention.
Polyester provides excellent wrinkle resistance and crease retention that contributes to shaping retention whether wet or dry. Depending on the blend ration polyester increases the strength of wool fabrics. Wool provides warmth resiliency, drapability, and absorbency depending on the blend ratio.
Blends of polyester and wool are available in ranges from 65% polyester and 35% wool to 60/50, 55/45, 5/50 respectively. A blend of 65/35 will be suitable to produce a light weight, all season suiting. for medium worsteds 60/40 blend is suitable. When more warmth is required 50/50 blends should have opted.
Polyester Viscose Rayon
The blend of polyester with viscose contributes durability, resiliency and shape retention. The wet strength of the resultant fabric is also improved, viscose provides absorbency, soft texture, and variety of color. A blend of polyester and viscose generally ranges from 65% of polyester and 35% viscose to 55/45, 45/55, 48/52 respectively. Among these blend levels, 48/52 and 65/35 are commonly used for school
uniforms and suiting materials.