section a: materials and components

GCE AS/A2 Product Design: Textiles AQA Subject Content
Industrial and commercial practice
Manufacturing Systems:
One-off production
Batch production
Mass/line production
Vertical production
In-house production
Progressive bundle
Also called bespoke, made-to-measure, custom made or job
 Means designing and making one-off textile products to a
client’s specification.
 one-off products are often more expensive because
materials and labour costs are higher
 often made by a craftsperson and quality is checked as
work progresses
 tools and equipment may be less auto-mated
 end product often individual and of high quality
 examples are: hats, bags, cushions, or haute couture
products, or made to measure garments (by a tailor)
Where fixed quantity of identical products are made either for
stock or order. Can be used to respond quickly to market
demands for seasonal products,e.g in a particular colour
High volume production is used for manufacturing large
quantities of textile products for stock or order.
 Cost effective method of making identical products
 Uses standard materials, components and basic pattern,
equipment and processes
 Used to make products that don’t change quickly with
fashion, e.g. uniforms, work-wear, badges, yarns,
Where the same company makes the raw materials (fabrics etc)
and the garments and does the distribution. They do not have to
rely on suppliers as it is all done by the same company.
Where teams are used to produce parts of a garment, which is
then passed on to the next team, literally in a ‘bundle’ of fabric.
Quick Response Manufacturing:
 Used to produce garments quickly in response to
customer demand
 Manufacturers use information from EPOS (Electronic
Point of Sale) tills in the shops which gives details of what
is being sold
 QRM reduces levels of finished goods waiting in stock
 Cuts the costs of tying money up in stock
Most textile products need components. Manufacturers buy in
pre-manufactured components such as zips, buttons etc. They
will have a stock of basics and make a special order for
specialised components.
Each product has a manufacturing specification, this document
ensures that the product is made as the designer intends. It
provides clear, detailed instructions about the product’s styling,
materials and construction. It is an essential part of the
production plan and enables the profitable manufacture of
Just-in-Time production
identical products. A manufacturing specification should include
the following:
 A description of the product
 A drawing to show the front, back and side views
 Clear design and construction details
 All dimensions, sizes, seam allowances and tolerances
 Information about materials and components, including a
fabric sample.
Where parts of the garment or product are made separately to
the main part and joined together at the end. E.g shirt sleeves or
collar. This is an efficient use of time, equipment and labour and
therefore reduces costs.
Where materials and components are ordered so they arrive at a
factory just in time for production. This requires careful planning.
JIT is often used in QRM where goods are produced quickly. It’s
advantages are:
 Reduces need to keep stockpiles of materials,
components etc
 Reduces space needed for stock
 Reduces levels of finished goods put into stock
Stages of Manufacture:
1. Fabric manufactureFibre production
See diagrams in Chapter 3 p. 88 – 91. Look at the processes
involved in; Cotton spinning, Wool production, Viscose
production and synthetic fibre production.
Yarn production
Texturing processes – a heat process to give the fibres durable
crimps, coils or loops along the length. Texturing adds bulk and
makes the yarn warmer, more elastic, absorbent and softer.
Examples of synthetic fibres and yarns which have been textured
or bulked in different ways.
2. Fabric preparationSee TatCE page 95.
Dyeing: also see the notes from LDM University – very clear
Preparation of fabric for
Batch Dyeing
Desizing: this means getting out the sizing agent which is
sometimes starch, used to stiffen the fabric
Scouring: means washing out the natural fats, waxes, dirt and
oils that are in the fabric.
Bleaching: this means destroying the natural colour of the fabric
using hydrogen peroxide making it pure white.
Jig dyeing: passing of fabric through a dye bath from one roller
to the other roller, this keeps the fabric flat and gives an even
Winch dyeing: the fabric is bunched together to form a long
‘rope’ this is then circulated around rollers and winches through
the dye bath.
Continuous dyeing
Resist methods
Direct dyeing
Reactive dyeing
Vat dyeing
Disperse dyeing
Acid dyeing
Stages of dyeing
Jet dyeing: Fabric moves along a heated tube where jets of dye
solution are forced through it at high pressure.
Fabrics are fed continuously into a dye solution. The speeds can
vary between 50 to 250 meters per minute. Continuous dyeing is
a popular dyeing method and accounts for around 60% of total
yardage of the products that are dyed.
Means where methods are used to "resist" or prevent the dye
from reaching all the cloth, thereby creating a pattern and
ground. The most common forms use wax, some type of paste,
or a mechanical resist that manipulates the cloth such as tying or
stitching. Examples are Tie-Dye and Batik (using wax)
The type of dye used for cellulosic and some protein fibres
Used for natural fibers making them among the most permanent
of dyes. "Cold" reactive dyes are very easy to use because the
dye can be applied at room temperature. Reactive dyes are by
far the best choice for dyeing cotton and other cellulose fibres.
Where the fabric or garment is immersed in a bath or vat of dye
Type of dye used for polyester
Used on protein fibres such as wool or silk
Dye can be applied at any stage of the manufacturing process
depending on requirements. Eg. Fibres, Yarns Fabric or
Printing: see page 98-99
Direct printing
Discharge printing
Transfer printing
Roller printing
Rotary/flat bed screen
Digital printing
Simplest printing method, creating a positive image in one or
more colours onto a white or pale background.
The creation of a ‘negative’ image, a white or coloured pattern on
a dark background. By using bleach or other chemicals to
destroy the dye already present.
The transference of an image to fabric via paper (like the heat
transfer press in school) sublimation inks are used.
Where the print is applied to fabric using and inked roller, not
used much nowadays in manufacturing. More of a traditional
Rotary screen printing: dye is applied to the fabric from within a
rotary tube which is engraved with the printing pattern.
Flat bed screen printing: the printing paste is pushed through a
screen onto the fabric. The pattern is created by blocking out
areas of the screen with filler.
Uses ink jet printers to print CAD designs directly onto fabric
using special printing inks.
Finishing Processes:
See page 100 of TatCE
Where the colour or print is fixated into the fabric (made
permanent) can be through chemicals or steam. To make the
fabric colourfast (so that the colour doesn’t wash out)
Fabrics can be washed before they are manufactured into
products. They are also tested in laboratory conditions to ensure
Mechanical Finishes:
Stone/sand washing
Chemical Finishes:
Water repellency
Stain resistance
Flame resistance
that they can withstand certain temperatures and conditions.
Fabrics need to be dried at a consistent heat and air flow
Synthetic fibres can be heat treated to set them permanently into
shape, for example pleats. Natural fibres have to have a resin
treatment first before they can be heat set.
Like brushing, fabric is passed through rollers covered with fine
flexible wire brushes which lift up the fibres to form a soft surface
called a ‘nap’.
Like flattening, fabric is passed through heated heavy rollers
under pressure (like industrial ironing) to smooth the surface,
and add a sheen.
Similar to calendering except the rollers have a raised pattern on
them which gets transferred onto the fabric
Some fabrics need to be pre-shrunk before being made into
garments. Eg. Cotton.
Fabric is passed through a machine with revolving wooden
hammers that gives fabric a lustrous sheen
A process used to give a newly manufactured cloth or garment a
worn-out appearance. Stone-washing also helps to increase the
softness and flexibility of otherwise stiff and rigid fabrics such as
canvas and denim. The process uses large stones to roughen up
the fabric being processed. The garments are placed in a large
horizontal industrial clothes washer that is also filled with large
stones. As the wash cylinder rotates, the cloth fibers are
repeatedly pounded and beaten as the tumbling stones ride up
the paddles inside the drum and fall back down onto the fabric.
Laser cutting provides a clean cut on synthetic materials and
seals the edge. Intricate shapes can be cut out or engraving
fabric is possible by setting the laser higher.
Teflon or Scotchguard resin finish applied to repel water
Combining 2 or more layers of different materials which are
bonded together by glue or heat. (Using iron-on interfacing is an
example of laminating)
Teflon or Scotchguard resin treatment to repel stains
Proban – reduces flammability of fabric, increases stiffness,
adds to cost.
Mitin – chemicals applied to make the fibres inedible to moth
Fabric is treated with chemicals so that it does not form bobbles
Use of CAD:
(read Textiles at the Cutting Edge chapter 2 p.175)
Fabric design/
Product design/
Product modelling
Pattern production and
Used to store colour and style information
Create and modify ideas quickly and easily
2D modelling of fabrics and colourways
Used for texture mapping of fabric designs onto virtual
Show 3D virtual products to clients on screen
To present a virtual catwalk show to clients
To make accurate drawings for manufacturing
Adapted patterns are digitised onto computer
Automatic grading of patterns – increasing or decreasing
flat pattern pieces to create larger or smaller sized
garments, e.g. 8,10,12 etc.
Use of CAM:
(read Textiles at the Cutting Edge chapter 3 p.197)
Computer controlled knitting machines – flat knitting, circular
knitting or whole garment knitting (p.225)
Computer controlled looms – e.g Jacquard weaving to produce
complex patterns in woven cloth
Computers used to work out the most efficient position of the
pattern pieces. They can give maximum utilisation of fabric to
save on wastage and costs. The marker (the actual plan) can
then be sent by computer to automated cutting machines.
Layers of fabric are layed out flat by an automatic spreading
machine. Computer controlled cutting machines use information
from the lay plan to cut through layers of fabric using a laser.
Automated sewing machines can perform tasks like making
buttonholes, bar-tacking (a re-inforcement like on a belt loop) or
constructing a double seam without the need for pinning or
tacking. Machinists still have to feed the garment into the
Industrial pressing equipment can include;
 Pressing unit with high pressure steam iron
 Flat-bed press for trousers
 A steam dolly for finishing a whole garment (the garment
is placed on a form which is inflated with steam for one or
two minutes)
 A tunnel finisher – garments are conveyed through a
chamber in which they are steamed and dried.
Computer controlled embroidery machines to rapidly produce
badges or embroidered fabric. Many threads are used at once.
Use of ICT:
(read Textiles at the Cutting Edge chapter 1 page 166)
Computer Integrated Manufacture – CIM systems integrate the
use of all the different functions of computers including
CAD/CAM to enable fast, efficient and cost-effective
manufacturing. CIM includes:
 Management of product design and development
 Production planning and control
 Quality assurance and control
 Materials and stock control
 Cost control
Electronic Data Interchange: allows computers to communicate
directly and enables the transfer of data between business
partners, via telecommunications links and networks. E.g
barcode is read at the till point and information of stock control
goes to manufacturer.
Electronic Data Processing – the use of information, eg using
CAA (Computer Aided Administration) – computer based
company administration is the area with which the clothing
industry has the most experience (e.g. stock control,
accountancy, wages)
PPC (Production Planning and Control).
Planning and control of Production/Quality/Scheduling/Order
chasing and Quality Assurance.
Global Production:
When more than one country is involved in the production and processing of a product.
Systems and Control
Quality control systems:
Quality control
Quality Assurance
TQM control systems
QC checks ensure products are made to agreed
standards and do not pose dangers. Checks made at
significant stages throughout the manufacturing process,
as appropriate to the product.
Company ethos
Quality control checks made throughout the
manufacturing process.
Responsible retailers have reputations to maintain.
All areas of an organisation and its suppliers use agreed
specifications and quality control methods