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.
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