SECTION A: MATERIALS AND COMPONENTS Fibre Classification and Generic Names All fibres are made from Polymers a generic name for a long chain of molecules. Fibres can be natural polymers or synthetic polymers Natural Fibres: Cellulosic (plant): Cotton – staple fibre, absorbent, breathable, soft handle, strong, creases easily Linen – staple fibre, creases badly, absorbent but dries quick, crisp handle, dirt-repellent Ramie – staple fibre, highly absorbent, strong, stronger when wet, gets smoother when washed, low abrasion resistance, creases easily, stiff/brittle handle, expensive Other non-traditional plant fibre sources are : Bast fibres (from stem plant) such as Hemp Leaf fibres such as Sisal, Pinepple, Banana Seed fibres such as Coir (See chapter 2 of RH) Protein (animal): Wool – staple fibre, hydrophillic (can absorb without feeling wet), also hydrophopic (repels raindrops), fire-resistant, crease resistant, feels warm due to the scales on surface of fibre that trap air Silk – filament fibre, smooth, lustrous, strong, absorbent, cool but also good insulator. Can be the cultivated variety which is smoother or wild variety which is coarse and ‘rustic’ looking (like silk dupion). Other non-traditional animal fibre sources are: Hair – Cashmere and Mohair from goats, Angora from rabbits, Llama fibre, Vicuna from camels Mineral: Asbestos – non-flammable, resistant to chemicals, was used where heat protection was required e.g. theatre curtains, not clothing. Now restricted due to health hazard Manufactured Fibres: (all made as filament but can be cut into staple) Regenerated Cellulosic: (from natural cellulose found in wood pulp, dissolved in chemicals and extruded through a spinneret) Viscose- highly absorbent, soft, comfortable, good drape, not strong, creases easily Modal – often blended, highly absorbent, smooth, good drape, not durable or strong, creases easily, low shrinkage Lyocell – branded as Tencel, like cotton but very eco-friendly, high strength, absorbent, breathable, low shrinkage Cupro- breathes like cotton, drapes beautifully, and feels like silk on your skin. An elegant fabric Acetate- low absorbency, low warmth, fast drying, soft handle, smooth, drapes well, creases easily, not strong Tri-acetate- similar to above but even less absorbent, softens at high temperature so can be heat set into pleats etc Rubber- stretchy, non-slip, can be printed onto parts of garment (like soles of slipper socks) Alginate- from seaweed, healing properties so is used for medical textiles Synthetic: (formed entirely from petro-chemicals made in liquid form then extruded through a spinneret ) Polyamide – known as Nylon, non-absorbent, prone to static, very strong, very durable, easy care, dries quickly, crease resistant, melts with heat Acrylic- soft, wool-like, warm, fast-drying, strong, crease-resistant Polyester-low absorbency, fast-drying, strong, crease-resistanct Elastomeric/Elastane- branded as Lycra, always blended, adds stretch/comfort, crease resistant Flurofibres (PTFE) – used as a protective coating on fabrics, water repellent, stain resistant, flexible, durable, used in Goretex Chlorofibres(PVC)- can be used as a protective coating on fabrics, waterproof, strong, durable, always blended Polyolefines (polypropylene)- not used for clothing, low melting point, high strength, non-absorbent, crease resistant, used for carpet backing, sacks, webbing, geo-textiles Aramid fibres-group of high performance fibres that include brand names such as; Nomex which is flame resistant, used in fire-fighters uniforms, and Kevlar which is extremely high strength, used in bullet-proof vests NOTE: Microfibres these are very fine synthetic fibres (around 60 times finer than human hair) made from polyamide or polyester. When made into a fabric it has a peach-like touch, excellent draping qualities and good strength. Now being used in smart fabrics and high performance active wear. Inorganic: Glass fibre- strong, shatterproof, non-stick, non-toxic, used in aerospace and military, flame and heat barriers, protective garments Carbon fibre-strong, lightweight, flame resistant, used for transport upholstery, rocket motors, protective clothing for military Metallic fibre- aluminium, copper, steel, gold used in decorative textiles, silver used for anti-bacterial, can be used in protective garments Ceramic fibre- can regulate body temperature, resistant to high temperatures, used in swim-wear, UV protective clothing, industrial work wear Shape and formation of fibres: Fibres come from a variety of different sources, the way that they are formed (whether naturally or man-made) will affect the properties that they have. E.g. wool fibres naturally have scales that trap air so are warm. Synthetic fibres are produced by extruding the liquid polymer solution through a spinneret into either; warm air (dry spinning), cold air (melt spinning) or fluid (wet spinning) resulting long smooth continuous filament fibres. Commercial Names of Fibres and Fabrics Tactel – polyamide based Microfibre, very lightweight, soft, dries quickly, used in Marks & Spencer lingerie and fashion items Tencel- brand name of the Lyocell fibre Lyocell- regenerated cellulosic fibre Lycra- brand name of an elastane fibre Polar fleece- synthetic pile fabric originally made by Polartec Trevira- flame retardant polyester fibre Gore-Tex- a breathable, yet waterproof 3-layered fabric Fibre brand promotion: e.g. the use of swing tags that give information about the fibre properties and include logos and slogans to promote brand awareness and give the consumer a sense of quality in the product. YARNS (defined as a fine continuous length of fibres with or without twist) Yarn types: Carding-fibres are detangled and made to lie in the same direction Spinning- fibres are drawn out and twisted together Twist direction- fibres are twisted together to make them stronger, the twist direction can be clockwise (‘Z’ twist) or anticlockwise (‘S’ twist). Light is reflected in opposite directions by these 2 types of yarns. Different effects can be given to fabric using S and Z twist yarns. Twist level- the number of turns per metre, i.e. how tightly the yarn is twisted. Low twist yarns are softer, weaker and bulkier. High twist yarns are stronger and harder. Tex and Denier - the systems used to measure the size of yarns and fibres, both in thickness and weight (e.g. as seen on tights) Spun yarn- this is made from staple fibres Filament yarn- made from continuous filament fibres, can be monofilament (a single filament) or multi-filament. Single yarn- this is one thread of spun yarn or continuous filament fibres, can be a blend of 2 or more fibres Plied yarn- 2 or more single yarns are twisted together for a thicker, stronger yarn, e.g. 2 ply, 3 ply yarn. Cabled yarn- 2 or more plied yarns are twisted together – a bit like a rope or a cable Core-spun yarn- the yarn has a core that stays central and other staple fibre yarns are spun around it (elastane/Lycra) Fancy yarn- spun to give irregularities such as colour effects or to give interest to the fabric i.e. slub (lumpy yarn), loop, chenille (hairy yarn) or boucle (curly yarn) Bulked yarn- treated so that they have increased fluffiness and bulk Textured yarn- synthetic thermoplastic yarns that have been heat processed to have crimps, coils or loops along the length. FABRIC CONSTRUCTION METHODS Woven: Plain- most common, strong, firm, hardwearing, variation can be achieved through use of thick/thin/coloured/fancy yarns or by tightness or looseness of weave Twill- produces diagonal lines across the fabric (e.g. denim) drapes well, strong, firm, hard-wearing Satin- is warp-faced (the warp yarns ‘float’ over the weft yarns) giving a smooth surface, drapes well. Sateen weave is a weftfaced variation Brocade- a richly decorative weave in which an extra weft yarn creates an ornamental pattern Jacquard- woven on an automated Jacquard Loom, a complicated large scale repeat pattern design in 3 or more colours Pile weave- can be knitted or woven, has a raised surface effect, formed by tufts or loops that stand up from the fabric, e.g. velvet, corduroy or towelling Double cloth- two separate fabric layers are woven at the same time on one loom, held together by interlocking weft or warp yarns, used for heavy luxury coats or blankets Pique- has a dimpled surface effect, used for polo-shirts and sportswear Special woven effects: Stripes and checks- created using coloured warp and/or or weft threads Tartan- originally a twill weave woollen cloth, with checks created by coloured warp and weft. Madras- is a light cotton colourful checked fabric that is typically associated with summer clothing Crepe- has a crinkled or puckered surface, can be achieved through mixing ‘S’ twist and ‘Z’ twist yarns or by chemical treatment Cultural woven traditions: Ashanti strip weaving- made in West Africa, cloth is handwoven in several long, narrow bands then sewn together side by side to make one large piece of cloth Special weaving or dyeing techniques may be used to add patterns, textures, and colours to the strips. Back strap looms- used in parts of South America. The backstrap loom is portable it is tied to a post or tree at one end and has a strap at the other end that is placed around the weaver’s waist as they sit on the ground or small stool and weaves. Ikat weaving- created by dyeing the warp threads before they are attached to the loom. The threads are arranged into bundles, each bundle is tied and dyed separately, so that a pattern will emerge when the loom is set up.The tightly bound bundles are sometimes covered with wax that will keep the dyes from penetrating. Knitted: (weft) Weft knit-made from a single yarn which is fed across the width of the fabric, stretchy, may ladder, has right and wrong side, can be hand-knitted or on computer controlled knitting machines Single jersey- weft knitted fabric, stretchy, face and reverse sides appear different, tendency to curl at edges, produced on one set of needles, used for t-shirts, jumpers and underwear etc. Double jersey- weft knitted fabric made on two sets of needles, fabric is more compact and stable than single jersey, not as stretchy, face and reverse side look the same, used for t-shirts, leggings, skirts and sportswear. Rib knit- weft-knitted fabric with vertical lines, is very stretchy widthways, suitable for jumpers, socks, also used at cuffs and hem of jumpers Jacquard knit-has a patterned design in three or more colours, knitted on a computer controlled knitting machine. Not very stretchy Knitted: (warp) Warp knit- made from lots of separate yarns, loops interlock vertically, stretchy but do not ladder, can’t be unravelled, always made on knitting machine. Tricot- a warp-knitted fabric made from 2 sets of warp threads, has a soft handle, good drape and stretch, often used for lingerie and gloves Velour- warp-knitted pile fabric made from continuous filament fibres, has a raised fleecy surface effect Locknit- is a combination of tricot and plain knit stitches, made from filament yarns. Locknit fabric is lustrous and is used for underwear and linings. Raschel lace- knitted lacy fabric usually from polyester, has loops Net- or netting is any textile in which the warp and weft yarns are looped or knotted at their intersections, resulting in a fabric with large open spaces between the yarns. Knitting manufacture: Hand-knitting- weft knitted fabric produced by hand using 2 knitting needles, yarns are looped through each other, used for one-off pieces or craft items. Machine-knitting- computer controlled knitting machine, either circular (produces tubes) or flat-bed machines Panel knitting- knitted fabric is produced in individual panels of a width to suit the end product, this type of knitting produces some wastage Fully fashioned panels- individual parts of a product are knitted to shape so they can be sewn together to make the product without cutting the fabric, this method reduces waste. Whole garment knitting-or 3D knitting, this is when a whole product is knitted as one-piece, incorporating all the garment shaping, there is minimal sewing necessary and no fabric waste. Non-Woven: (made directly from fibres, they miss out the yarn stage) Felting- can be wool felted or needle felted, wool felt is when the wool and other fibres are matted together by moisture, friction and heat. Needle felt is generally made with synthetic fibres, they are matted together by barbed needles that entangle the fibres. Bonding-a web of fibres are bonded together with either; adhesive, heat or solvent Lamination- a laminated fabric has 2 or more textile layers that are joined by adhesive or heat, e.g. when iron-on interfacing is added to a whole piece of fabric Stitch bonded- when 2 or more layers of fabric are stitched together over the surface, e.g. quilted fabric Open work fabric: Lace- fine open fabric of mesh or net, usually decoratively patterned Leno- an open, loosely woven fabric that uses crossed warp threads to make square looking holes in the fabric Crochet- hand or machine made chain of loops produced from a single thread using a hook Macramé- decoratively knotted string or yarn New Technology: Smart materials- a fabric that reacts to external stimuli, e.g. changes colour with heat etc. Microfibres- these are very fine synthetic fibres (around 60 times finer than human hair) made from polyamide or polyester. When made into fabric it has a peach-like touch, excellent draping qualities and good strength. Now being used in smart fabrics and high performance activewear. Breathable membranes- a fine layer of fabric that has micro holes that allow perspiration to pass through but are too small for raindrops to penetrate, e.g. Goretex Fabric Finishes (a finish is added to cloth to enhance the properties, finishes can be Physical i.e. put through a mechanical machine; or Chemical, i.e. when the fabric is coated with a resin Physical finishes: Brushing- the fabric is passed through rollers covered with wire brushes that ‘fluff’ up the surface of the fabric. The raised surface is called a nap, e,g. brushed cotton used for shirts Calendering- the fabric is passed through heated heavy rollers under pressure to smooth the surface and add shine (like heavy ironing) the rollers can have a pattern on them, this would produce an embossed fabric Chemical finishes: a polymer resin is applied to the back or the face side of a fabric to provide enhanced properties such as; Flame-resistance (Proban), Water-resistance (Teflon or Scotchguard), Crease-resistance Stain resistance (Teflon or Scotchguard), Shrink resistance Heat setting-a resin is applied to fabric, it is then pressed into pleats then heat cured so that they are permanent SURFACE DECORATION Dyeing: (adding or changing the colour of the fabric) Domestic- putting the fabric in a solution of coloured dye and water, usually required heat and salt to set the dye so it will not wash out (make it colourfast) Industrial – when fabric is dyed in large quantities it is passed through a bath or vat of dyestuff and then squeezed between rubber rollers to ensure even and consistent dyeing across the fabric Discharge- colour is changed by removing the dye from the fabric, i.e. with bleach. Resist- parts of the fabric are tied-up or covered with wax before dyeing to stop the dye reaching the fabric, causing un-dyed patterns to emerge Stages when dyed- textiles can be dyed at the fibre, yarn or fabric stage of manufacture, eg, striped or checked fabrics would use dyed yarns. Cloth is often produced in a greige (un-dyed) stage then piece dyed to suit requirements. Whole garments dyeing enables colours to be chosen late in the manufacturing stage as dictated by fashion. Colourfastness- resistance to colour loss during use or washing. Fastness depends of the type of dye and the fabric Printing: Screen Printing- fabric is held firm and flat, a patterned mesh screen is positioned on the fabric and a squeegee forces the printing paste through the mesh screen onto the fabric Rotary Screen Printing-the printing ink is applied to the fabric from inside a pattered mesh roller, this method is suitable for continuous production and is very fast. Transfer- the pattern is first printed onto special paper an then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure Ink jet- digital printers print CAD designs directly onto the fabric using special inks Embroidery: Machine Embroidery- stitches worked by computer controlled machines, used in industrial manufacture for logos or embroidered fabric Hand Embroidery- decorative stitches worked by hand, used for one-off products or craft items Quilting: Usually 3 layers of fabric; a stable backing fabric, a layer of wadding and a decorative top fabric (often satin) these are stitched together through all 3 layers in lines or decorative patterns, used to add warmth and decoration COMPONENTS Fastenings: Trims: Buttons- can be plastic, metal, leather, wooden or mother-ofpearl. All shapes and sizes, 2-hole, 4-hole or with a shank which is like a short ‘stem’ on the back to allow for thicker layers to fasten (like on a coat). More decorative. Zips- can be lightweight plastic or heavier metal type. Can be open ended or double ended, adds security to bags, can be warmer or more wind-proof than buttons on a coat Poppers- sometimes called press studs, can be metal or plastic. Often used in childrenswear or baby wear as they are safe and easy Buckles- decorative, adjustable, can be metal, leather or plastic Clasps- used on bags or belts Velcro- made from nylon, 2 sides that stick together, needs to be sewn or stuck on securely. Can lose it’s sticking power but is easy and quick D-rings- D shaped metal rings used to attach straps onto bags or some clothing Hooks & Eyes- metal or plastic, fiddly to use, can come undone but are good for waistbands of trousers and skirts as they lie flat and are hidden Ties- usually decorative feature, can be made of fabric, ribbon or leather. Used at waist on blouses etc to give shape without tightness Braids- used for decoration and to define edges or features, available in a variety of styles eg. Russia braid (narrow corded braid) or Ric-Rac braid (wavy coloured braid used in childrens clothing) Ribbons- variety of widths and colours, metal threaded, checked etc etc. Piping- a round cord encased in a tube of fabric, used to add definition and shape to edges or seams, used on; bags, sofas, corset seams, necklines. Petersham- a narrow band, like a ribbon but stiffer with ribs running across the width. Used to stiffen waistbands or to keep the shape inside hats Bindings- a narrow band of fabric that fold over the edge of products, used to give a neat finish to necklines or seam allowances. Bias binding is cut across the grain of the fabric so it will bend around a curved edge. Fringing- applied to the edge of garments, can also be cut leather to create fringing or tassels Lace- decorative, often floral patterns, used as edging. Beads- come in different shapes, sizes and materials. Often hand-sewn onto designer items. Time-consuming but luxurious. Sequins- come in different shapes and sizes, adds sparkle. Diamantes- can be sewn on but now often glued on or heat set in position, add sparkle Motifs- pre-embroidered badges, sewn or glued onto garments COMPONENTS (cont.) Threads (important that correct thread is used when manufacturing clothing not just for strength and wear but to make sure the thread will not break or snarl up when used in high speed machinery) Sewing threads- most commonly used are cotton or polyester Embroidery threads- softer, thicker and more lustrous than sewing thread, variety of fibres used Special effect threads- often with metallic content to add sparkle, take care when ironing metallic or special effect threads as they could heat up quickly or melt. WORKING PROPERTIES OF FIBRES AND FABRICS Working properties can be divided into; Fibre Properties: - Aesthetic (to do with the look) Functional Comfort Strength- whether or not a fibre will break under tension Extensibility- how much a fibre can stretch until it breaks Elasticity- how much a fibre will stretch and regain it’s original shape Fineness- the thickness of the fibre Electrostatic charge- if a fibre contains ‘static’, it will be clingy and not drape well. Synthetic fibres are prone to static. Lustre- a slight shine Thermal insulation- whether the fibre is a good or bad conductor of heat Flammability- all fibres burn, flammability is to do with whether the fibre will catch fire quickly or not and how it reacts to heat, i.e. will it melt? Moisture absorption- the amount of liquid the fibre will absorb, important to know because of comfort of wearer and ease of washing/drying time etc. Shrinkage- whether or not a fibre will shrink when washed, tumble-dried or ironed etc. WORKING PROPERTIES (cont.) Fabric Qualities: Testing of materials: Durability-whether the fabric will withstand wear and tear, is it resistant to abrasion, will rubbing cause the surface to pill (go bobbly) Creasing- will the fabric keep creases in or shed them easily Stretch- how far the fabric will stretch Formability- does the fabric hold it’s shape well? Handle- is the fabric soft? How does it feel when handled? Drape- how the fabric hangs, is the fabric supple and flexible? Weight- is the fabric heavy or light, is the weight suitable for it’s purpose? Pattern repeat- is the printed pattern a large or small repeat? This will effect how economical it will be to cut out the fabric pieces so that the pattern lines up when made into a garment Directional pile- the raised surface of a pile fabric or brushed fabric, does it look different when looked at from different directions, e.g. velvet that looked different from different angles. Nap- the raised surface of a pile fabric or brushed fabric Texture- what the fabric feels like, is it smooth, bobbly, rough etc British Standards Institute (BSI)- develops the tests that set the standards that products have to meet to ensure their safety and quality. Products have to meet these standards and will be awarded a number eg. BS 3320 (seam strength test) Tests done in industry- tests are carried out on fibres, yarns and fabric before they are manufactured. Testing is carried out under strictly controlled laboratory conditions. Tests include; tensile strength, seam strength, burst strength, tear strength, crease resistance, flammability, drape etc etc. Consumer testing of garments is also carried out to asses the performance and acceptability of the product. Consumer advice- information given to the buyer of the product about the performance of particular fabrics, e.g. a symbol or logo on the label to explain that the product meets certain BSI standards. The kite mark shows that the product has been independently tested under strict conditions and complies with BSI standards. The CE mark shows that the product meets European safety standards. MANIPULATING AND COMBINING MATERIALS Mixtures, Blends and Laminates: Combining materials: Fabric mixture- is made using different fibres in the warp and weft yarns, called a Union fabric. Different effects can be achieved especially when dyed as fibres take dye differently Fibre blend- different fibres are spun together to form a blended yarn. This improves performance, quality, appearance or reduces cost. Common blends are; polyester/cotton, wool/acrylic, cotton/elastane, viscose/polyester. Laminates- a laminated fabric has 2 or more textile layers that are joined by adhesive or heat, e.g. when iron-on interfacing is added to a whole piece of fabric Interfacings- usually an iron-on non-woven web fabric used to give body and shape, reinforce, prevent sagging or to stiffen areas of garment Underlinings- a lightweight second layer of fabric, often used on white or light-coloured or see-through garments etc to add weight and quality Linings- a separate fabric used in the making-up of the product. Linings add warmth, protection and cover construction details Interlinings-an inner lining put between the outer material and the ordinary lining of a garment Impact of New Developments: Engineered fabrics- specially designed fabrics that have high technical performance rather than for fashion use. E.g. chemically resistant workwear, fire-protective wear, survival clothing, geotextiles, medical textiles, high-tech sports clothing. Microencapsulation- fragrances are trapped inside the fibres adding a concept of ‘well-being’ to the product, e.g. lavender encapsulated pillows or tights with floral or fruity aromas. The effect is semi-permanent and will not transfer to other items Anti-bacterial- fabrics which repel bacteria, usually contain silver fibres (some plasters have these in) or anti-MRSA pyjamas which prevent infection in hospitals Wearable electronics- tiny devices incorporated into the fabric which can control electronic components such as computer, ipods, phones etc. Also tracking devices in clothing, particularly useful for childrenswear, or hert-rate monitors in exercise wear.