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Narrow Fabrics – tapes, braids, and webbings

Narrow Fabrics for Industrial, Medical, Automotive, Aerospace, Marine, and Military Uses

Narrow Fabrics often appear in surprising places, enabling healing, harnessing wiring, in war zones and on training grounds, and in the manufacturing of products as different as surfboards and automobiles.

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Narrow fabrics, elastic or non-elastic are referred to as Ribbons, tapes webbings and are all considered as woven narrow fabrics if they contain woven selvedges and are less than 12 inches.  Elastics narrow fabric is typically made in widths between 1/8 inches and 12 inches wide.  Non-elastic fabrics include various tapes, braids, and webbings and are typically available in widths between 1/4 inches and 6 inches.  Narrow fabrics are available in cotton, poly-cotton, nylon, and polyester constructions.  Hook and loop compatible narrow fabrics are also manufactured in various styles.

The Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) defines narrow fabrics as textiles that are no more than 12 inches (300mm) in width and are made by weaving, knitting or braiding fibres or yarns with an edge to prevent unravelling.

Woven Narrow fabrics that come in a variety of raw material compositions, widths, strengths, and fibres. Often used in place of rope, webbing is a versatile component found in everything from daily applications like backpack straps, automobile safety, and towing, to extreme equipment for climbing, parachuting, and intense military operations. Some common applications and associated industries include:

  • Military soft goods including parachutes, packs, cargo, and harnesses
  • Fire safety gear for firefighters
  • Seatbelts and harnesses for automotive
  • Hiking and backpacking gear for sporting good retail apparel
  • Personal protective equipment for oil and gas workers and electrical line workers

The electronics, automotive and aerospace industries use narrow fabrics for wire harnesses that hold and protect special wiring assemblies that transmit electrical power or signals.  Custom narrow fabric tapes and sleeves are made from specified fibres.

Narrow fabrics also offer to manufacture composite fabrics, an excellent substrate for the framework of surfboards, boats and many kinds of vehicles.  Fabric’s ability to mould to any shape, and absorb and hold specialized resins like polyester, vinyl and epoxy makes it an excellent framework.  The combination of narrow fabrics with the specific filler resin yields a product with a combined strength that outperforms any of its raw materials.  In vehicles, narrow fabrics with carbon fibre can assume virtually any shape and be transformed into hard, protective surfaces through a heat and vacuum process.  Race car and luxury vehicle design have beautiful lines while protecting the occupants with carbon fibre.

Narrow Fabrics and their composites are made of are polyester, nylon, fibreglass, metallic and reflective yarns, carbon fibre, spandex, neoprene, rubber, cotton, polypropylene, rayon, aramid and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

To manufacture these specialized webbing, tapes, and speciality fabrics for a broad range of industries they need to have essential experience of material selection, designing, developing, and manufacturing to produce a speciality product. They are woven on special narrow fabric looms, using the basic principle of warp filling interlacing. Several sets of warp yarns may be beamed together to make several narrow fabrics side by side, on the same loom. Also, some tapes and ribbons are prepared by cutting the full-width fabrics into strips and sealing the edges like thermoplastic fabric can be woven in this way. The webbings manufactured are Bag stripe material, woven nylon strapping, web belts, cotton webbing tapes, canvass webbing, polypropylene webbing, jute webbing. Although, some shuttle looms/needle looms are used. This adaptable component can be either flat or tubular, with each form offering unique properties. Flat webbing, such as a car seatbelt, consists of strong, solidly woven fibers. A flat tube of webbing, found in climbing and industrial gear for example, is more flexible than standard flat webbing.

Webbing appears in a multitude of operations and industrial sectors.

Materials used

Different kinds of narrow fabrics such as ribbons, laces, cords, tapes, labels, webbings, wicks, elastics, ropes, straps, trims, fringes and lanyards, etc may be crafted out of different kinds of materials such as leather, cotton, polyester, Teflon, rubber, jute, nylon, fibre glass and also beads. Narrow fabrics are usually decorative in nature but are often used in a large variety of home to add a decorative look to dresses and can also be attached to curtains; bed covers, etc and industrial applications. Different kinds of materials used to make narrow fabrics are:

  • Cotton tapes with fabric structure of plain, satin, velvet: The most practical and widely used medium, cotton is processed to make a highly decorative, luxurious and the medley of laces, wicks, tapes, webbings and lots more.
  • Polyester: The durable synthetic material is used to make different kinds of tapes, webbings, straps, etc.
  • Teflon: Teflon is a popular material used for various kinds of tapes etc, for industrial applications.
  • Rubber: Tapes made from rubber are widely used for different purposes.
  • Jute: The 100% bio-degradable material is used to webbings.
  • Nylon: Extremely durable & available in different colours & textures, nylon is made use of, for making high quality tapes, straps, etc.
  • Fibre Glass: Wicks made of fiberglass are gaining popularity due to their chemical properties
  • Beads: Trims, fringes made of shiny beads of different shapes and sizes are gaining popularity

Manufacturing Process flow chart

narrow-fabrics-manufacturing-process

Creels/Beams

Creel

narrow-fabrics-creelCreel is Independent of the warping system; the threads are fed from bobbins placed on it as per required design. The creels are simply designed of metallic frames on which the feeding bobbins are fitted and are equipped with yarn tensioning devices, which in modern machines are fitted with automatic control device with centralized tension control variation system. Moreover, the creels are equipped with yarn breakage monitoring systems which stop the warping machine whenever any yarn breakage occurs. The creel capacity is the parameter on which the number of warping sections or beams depends; it should be as high as the installation type and planning permit; the usual creel capacity amounts today to 800-1200 bobbins. Various solutions have been designed to reduce the time required to load the creel and thus increase the warping performance. When standard creels are used, the most cost-effective solution is, provided that there is sufficient room available, to use two creels for one and the same warping machine; in fact, while one of the two creels is used for warping, the other creel can be creeled up again. In this case, it is advisable that the reserve creel is equipped with comb holder and that the warp threads are already drawn through the dents of the combs. This way the loss of time caused by creel change can be minimized.

LOOMS

narrow-fabrics-loomsThe technology used for weaving narrow width fabrics is carried on narrow width looms called needle or tape looms. Today, developments under conventional as well as technical textiles with various weaving technology for narrow width fabrics is rapidly increasing and potentially high demand for such products can be anticipated. Entrepreneurs can leverage this technology to launch innovative products with high unique selling proposition (USP).

Modern narrow machines are equipped with Computer Aided Design (CAD), jacquard, pattern creation and programming software for creating contemporary fabrics. Narrow fabrics using materials such as polypropylene, polyester, cotton, nylon, carbon, Dyneema, aramid is more suitable for a wide range of applications such as garments, bags, shoelaces, fancy ribbons, sandals, wristbands, safety belts, waist belts, and industrial belts.

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DYEING / CALENDARING

Continuous Dyeing machines are built in different sizes and for different applications. Elastic as well as non-elastic tapes of all kinds of materials can be finished on dye ranges.

The equipment is specialized for fast colour changes, high performance and excellent results which includes machines for automotive seatbelts, sling webs, cargo tie-downs, heavy-duty military webbing and heavy belts.

narrow-fabrics-dyeing

Webbings

narrow-fabrics-webbings

Webbing is a strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube of varying width and fibres often used in place of rope. It is a versatile component used in Military apparel, Military Belts, Arrow Space, Rock Climbing, Rescue Operations, Movie Actions, Slacklining, Furniture Manufacturing, Automobile safety, Auto racing, Vehicle Towing, Parachuting, Pet Leash, Safety Harness, Load securing, and many other fields.

  • Nylon Webbing

    narrow-fabrics-nylon-webbings

    Nylon Webbings are very strong as made from a nylon fibre that has high strength. These products are long lasting and durable. Fabric that is woven into a strong flat strip of in a tubular form is the webbings and when these are made from nylon then these are called nylon webbings.

  • PP Webbings

    narrow-fabrics-pp-webbingsPolypropylene webbings, better known as polypro webbings on the other than, are drastically different from the nylon ones. These have a tensile strength of 600-1000 pounds depending upon the width of the webbing. Also, polypropylene webbings can easily melt at 320-degree F.

  • Niwar

    narrow-fabrics-niwarNiwar is woven in mainly three types of material like Nylon, Polypropylene, Polyester etc. Niwar also known as Webbing tapes. There are different types of Niwar in the world.

  • Narrow Woven Fabrics

    narrow-fabrics-woven-fabrics If you are looking for Narrow webbing in Military/Army webbing, Niwar, Dog Tape, elastic for your lower, webbing for your bags, laces, trims etc, then yes you are looking for narrow fabrics that come in various colours and designs.

  • Military Webbing

    Military web belts are not only a preserve of the military, rather, they are one of the most attractive and fashionable accessories that you can adorn today. They are good for casual wear especially when planning a trip to the mountains or a simple excursion.

  • Dog Leash Webbing

    Dog Leash Webbing and Dog Collar Webbing are a vital part of dog obedience. Dog leash is available in Nylon, Polypropylene and Polyester, Leather are a great way of giving your dog maximum freedom to run and explore whilst still keeping full control.