Textiles are important for everyone. It is used for covering body, for warmth or coolness, personality enhancement and sometimes to display one's status in the society. From the wholesale textile manufacturer and merchant to the retailer and the end- user, the customer, everyone consumes textile. Not only those who are in this direct trade are related to this product but there are certain industries which are indirectly associated with textile. Automobile industry is a good example of this type of industry which uses textile in various forms. Others who use textile in one or the other form may include designers, interior decorators, craftspersons, advertisers using hoardings and banners, painters etc.
Weaving- What is it
Weaving is a major process of making fabric or cloth . In it, two distinct sets of yarns called the warp and the filling or weft are interlaced with each other to form a fabric. Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibers. The lengthwise yarns which run from the back to the front of the loom are called the warp. The crosswise yarns
are the filling or weft. A loom is a device for holding the warp threads in place while the filling threads are woven through them. Yarns made from natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool and synthetic fibers such as nylon and Orlon are commonly used for weaving textile. But other fibers can also be used for weaving. Yarn intended for the warp goes through operations such as spooling, warping and slashing to prepare them to withstand the strain of the weaving process.
Four major operations are involved in weaving
- Shedding, Picking, Beating up (Battening) and Taking up and letting off.
Each alternate warp yarn is raised to insert the filling yarn into the warp to form a shed.
As the warp is raised, the filling yarn is inserted through the shed by a carrier device. Different types of looms are used for carrying the filling yarn through the shed- Shuttle loom, shuttle less looms, circular looms etc.
Beating up (Battening)
With each picking operation, the reed pushes or beats each filling yarn against the portion of the fabric that has already been formed. Reed is a comb like structure attached to the looms. It gives the fabric a firm, compact construction.
Taking up and letting off
With each shedding,Picking, Battening operation, the new fabric must be wound on the cloth beam which is called 'taking up'. At the same time, the warp yarns must be released from the warp beam which is called l 'letting off'.
As the shuttle moves back and forth across the width of the shed, a self edge is woven which is called selvage or selvedge. The selvage prevents the fabric from muddling. It is usually more compact and strong than the rest of the fabric. There are different kinds of selvages depending upon the expected use of the fabric- Plain Selvages, Tape Selvages, Split Selvages, Fused Selvages, Leno Selvages and Tucked Selvages.
After weaving, the most prevalent method of fabric construction is knitting. Its popularity has grown tremendously over the recent years . Today, knitting is a very big industry which has two main divisions.
One division manufactures knitted goods for apparel production, sewing centers, consumers and others. The other division manufactures finished apparel such as hosiery, sweaters and underwear.
The knitted fabric has the advantage of stretchability which provides fit and comfort. It also gives warmth. At the same time, they are porous and provide breathing comfort. It is light in weight and wrinkle- resistant. However, certain specialized techniques like Pak- nit or Permasized have to be used so that it may not shrink too much. Also, care should be taken so that not a single loop breaks. If even one loop breaks, a hole is made and it starts running. This disadvantage can be eliminated by variation in the stitch that protects the fabric from raveling.
The kind and quality of the needle also affect the quality of the knitted fabric. Different kinds of needles are used in knitting latch needle, spring- beard needle, compound needle etc.
Weft and warp knitting
There are two major varieties of knitting: weft knitting and warp knitting. In weft knitting, one continuous yarn forms courses across the fabric. In warp knitting, a series of yarns form wales in the lengthwise direction of the fabric.
The knitting machine
also called knitting frame, knitting loom, or hand knitting machine, is used to manufacture knit fabrics. These fabrics are produced on a fixed bed of hooked needles. The Knitting machines can be hand driven or motor powered.
The machines come in domestic and industrial models, with either flat or circular beds that produce rectangular or tubular fabrics. The fabric produced by a knitting machine has a more fine texture than hand-knitted fabric.