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Textile Finishing Enhances the Texture and Wearability of The Manufactured Fabric

We all wear different style of clothes. Sometimes we go and directly buy the dresses from a store while at other times we buy the fabric and design it ourselves. However, the process of designing clothes is not as simple as it sounds. Numerous processes are involved in the production of yarn and then making that fabric wearable.

Once a yarn of fabric is manufactured, it needs to undergo some chemical treatments and finishing for making its texture softer, improve the performance of the fabric, and also enhance its appearance. This process is called textile finishing and there are multiple methods to achieve the final finish in the desired fabric.

Textile finishing – The methods

Some of these methods use chemicals for the treatment of the fabric while others make use of textile finishing machines to achieve the desired results. The two main categories of textile finishing methods are:

  • Chemical:

It used processes like bleaching in which a chemical bleaching agent is used for whitening the textiles. Alkali solutions are used in the process of mercerizing to add luster and strength to the cotton yarns.

  • Mechanical:

Mechanical rollers are used to increase the softness of the fabric. Most winter wear jackets and coats are subjected to this type of treatment.

Let us look at various common methods used for making the knitted fabric or yarn useable:

  • Calendering:
  • It is a process of stabilizing in which the fabric is passed between heated rollers.
  • Just like the iron we use at home, the heated rollers remove creases from the fabric.
  • Also, this process produces a smooth fabric, gives it a soft feel, and improves its luster.
  • Washing:
  • Once the manufacturing of fabric is complete, there can be dirt all around the fabric.
  • Thus, the fabric is subjected to washing to clean it up.
  • Sometimes cotton fabrics are machine washed to allow them to shrink completely so that there is no further shrinkage in the fabric.
  • Raising:
  • Creating a hair-like surface by lifting the fibers of the fabric is done in the process of Raising.
  • The process is done to make the fabric extremely soft and warm to the touch.
  • Napping:
  • The raised surface of the cloth is cut to even out all the surface fibers.
  • The cut ends are then smoothed by passing the fabric through a planetary napper machine.
  • Sueding:
  • In this process, the fibers are raised only to a little extent.
  • This is done by passing a piece of fabric through a machine that is covered with sandpaper.
  • Shearing:
  • This process involves leveling of the fabric by cutting out uneven fibers on its surface.
  • Setting:
  • All these above processes add stress to the fabric which can distort its structure.
  • Thus, the setting utilizes gentle use of pressure and moisture to stabilize the final fabric.

Sometimes fabrics can go through additional finishing methods to give some unique feature to the fabric like making it water or fire resistant or making a fabric that is wrinkle-free or has antibacterial properties. Texting finishing is a very essential step in making the fabric wearable for us.

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