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Objectives: Understanding the process of fabric spreading Factors affecting spreading Face and nap of the fabric

Spreading is the process of superimposing lengths of fabric on a spreading table, cutting table, or specially designed surface in preparation for the cutting process. A spread or lay-up is the total amount of fabric prepared for a single marker. A spread may consist of a single or multiple plies. The height of a lay-up or spread is limited by fabric characteristics size of the order to be cut, cutting method, and the vertical capacity of the spreader. The number off plies in a spread may range from 1 to 300. Spreading may be done manually or by computer-controlled machines. One person or two, depending on the width and type of fabric, type of equipment, and size of spread, may be involved with the spreading process. Two people may be used for manual spreading unless the spread is very short. One person may work each side of the table in order to keep the fabric flat, smooth, and tension-free. With automatic spreading, the equipment controls the tension, fabric placement, and rate of travel. The spreading operator monitors the process and removes fabric flaws as needed. THE SPREADING PROCESS Two aspects of spreading that affect spreading efficiency are the setup and actual layout of fabric. Setup involves loading and threading fabric through the spreader and positioning the machine and related equipment. The actual process of spreading involves laying out fabric in the desired number of layers. Fabric may be spread face up, face down, or face-to-face. Spreading Modes A spreading mode is the manner in which fabric plies are laid out for cutting. The spreading mode is determined by the fabric characteristics, quality standards of the firm, and available equipment. Two fabric characteristics that determine the spreading mode are the direction of fabric and the direction of the fabric nap.

Direction of Fabric Face The fabric face may be positioned in two ways: face-to-face (F/F) or with all plies facing-one-way (F/O/W), face up or face down. Face-to-face (F/F) spreading may be continuous as the spreader moves up and down the table. This is the fastest method of spreading, the least costly, and generally results in the lowest quality. With this method of spreading the face is up on one ply and down on the next ply as the spreader goes back and forth. Often symmetrical, nondirectional fabrics are spread continuously, which places alternate plies face-to-face or back-to-back. Quality is affected because the operator is only able to monitor the face of fabric half the time. F/O/W spreads, face up or down, are more time-consuming and expensive because fabric must be cut at each end of the spread and the new end repositioned. If a rotating turntable is used to turn the fabric roll 180 degrees at the end of each ply, the fabric can be spread from both ends of the table without a wasted trip. F/O/W spreading may be done with the fabric face up or face down. When the fabric faces up, the operator is able to monitor the face for flaws and imperfections as the fabric is being unrolled. This is particularly helpful when spreading prints. Pile fabrics, corduroy and velvet, are often spread face down, other high-quality fabrics are spread face up.

(fig.1.2) Spreading Modes

Direction of Fabric Nap A second consideration in selecting the spreading mode relates to the direction of the fabric nap. Placement of the nap may be nap-one-way (N/OW) or nap-up-and-down (N/U/D). Asymmetric and directional fabrics must have the nap running the same direction, nap-one-way (N/O/W). This spreading mode is the most time-consuming to lay-up but it

generally produces the best quality. N/O/W fabrics may be spread F/F and F/O/W. if napped fabrics are to be positioned F/F the fabric needs to be cut and the roll turned at the end of each ply so the nap will lay in the same direction on facing plies. This is suitable for directional fabrics and to pair garment parts for the sewing operation. This is sometimes referred to as pair spreading. Symmetric, nondirectional fabrics allow flexibility for spreading. These fabrics can be spread with the nap running both up and down the spread. This spreading mode is called nap-up-and-down (N/U/D). This type of fabric may be spread face-to-face or face-one-way with the nap running up and down.