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Non Woven Fabrics

Nonwoven Fabrics
 Nonwovens are produced directly from fibers

without the need of making a yarn  Nonwoven fabrics can be produced at rapid rate of production  Because of short and simple process and a high rate of production, nonwovens can be produced economically  Fibers which can not be used for a yarn can be utilized to make nonwoven fabrics  Layered composite fabrics can also be formed

Formation of Nonwoven fabrics
 To create a Nonwoven fabric:
 First a web is made either from staple fibers or continuous filaments  Then the web is strengthened or bonded using one of the four following techniques 1) Adhesive Bonding 2) Mechanical Bonding 3) Thermal Bonding 4) Stitch Bonding

Classification of Nonwoven fabrics

Web Formation:- Wet Laid
 The wet laid technology of making nonwoven fabric is based on paper making.  In this method, the fibers are suspended in water to create a slurry.  The suspension is then filtered on a screen to form a mat or web on the screen.  The water is then removed by suction or squeezing and the mat of fiber is dried.  The mat of fibers is then compacted and bonded together using different bonding techniques.

Web Formation:- Wet Laid

Web Formation:- Dry Laid
 In the dry laid web forming technique, fibers are opened, blended and cleaned and are then taken into a web form.  The machine line used for dry laid webs are similar to typical short staple spinning system and includes a series of opening machines and a carding machine.  Depending on the required thickness of the nonwoven fabric, a number of webs produced by carding machine are laid on top of one another and are bound together by some means to form a fabric.

Web Formation:- Dry Laid

Types of Dry-Laid Web Formation
 Depending on the way the dry-laid webs are formed and combined together, the dry-laid web forming is further classified as:
 Parallel laid  Cross laid  Air laid or Random laid

Types of Dry-Laid Web Formation

Web Formation: Melt Blown
 In this method the polymer is extruded through the spinneret and is then sprayed by means of hot gas or air on to a vacuum belt.  The fibers are then bonded together to form a sheet of fabric by means of thermal bonding using calendar rollers.  The fibers can also be deposited on a web formed by dry-laid process to form a composite material.  This method can give a very fine nonwoven fabric suitable for filtration and absorbent purposes.

Web Formation: Melt Blown

Bonding Techniques: Adhesive Bonding
 In this method, the textile material composed of a web or mat of fiber is bonded together by means of some adhesive materials.  After applying adhesives to the web, it is necessary to cure the adhesives by heating or blowing air.  Adhesive bonding is further classified as:
Saturation bonding Spray bonding Print bonding

Adhesive Bonding : - Saturation Bonding
 In saturation bonding, the web of fiber is passed through a trough containing adhesive. The excess of adhesive solution is squeezed out between rollers nip.  The saturation bonding can be applied in following two ways.

Adhesive Bonding : - Spray bonding
 In spray bonding, the adhesive is applied to the web in form of droplets being sprayed from spraying nozzles.  The adhesive is showered on the sheet in a separate spraying chamber with the help of air.  The spraying nozzles are reciprocated in the machine direction to prevent any streaking on the fabric.  Suction can also be applied beneath the web to help the drops of adhesive to penetrate the web sheet.

Adhesive Bonding : - Print bonding
 In Print bonding, just like regular color printing of fabrics, the binding agent is applied intermittently over the surface of the web in form of some design.  Since print bonding technique does not entirely cover the surface of the fabric, it leaves the fabric softer and more flexible as compared to saturation or spray bonding.  The adhesive or the binder is applied to web either from a rotary screen or engraved print roll.  Color binders can also be used to print designs along with the binding of fibers.

Adhesive Bonding : - Print bonding

Bonding Techniques
 In mechanical bonding, the web of fiber is bound with each other by their entanglement using mechanical techniques.  Mechanical bonded fabrics are usually given a additional thermal bonding treatment.  Two main types of Mechanical bonding techniques are,
Pressure Felting Needle Felting

Mechanical Bonding: Pressed Felts
 Fabric is simply known as felt has been produced about 4000 years ago by Chinese by the process of pressure felting.  In this method, conventionally wool fibers are used which are subject to moisture, heat and mechanical pressure. This causes the fiber to get entangled with each and the individual fibers can not slip back forming a fabric.  Manmade fibers can not be used to form pressed felts, however a blend of wool and manmade fibers can be used to create such a fabric.

Mechanical Bonding: Needle Felts
 Fabrics other than wool can be converted into a felted fabric by mechanical entanglement of fibers using barbed needles. Such a fabric is called needle felt.  A series of needles are mounted on a board or frame called as needle board.  The needles are driven down into the web of fibers and are withdrawn. In this way each barbed needle punches the fiber web and entangling them together to form a needle felt fabric.

Mechanical Bonding: Needle Felts

Bonding Techniques: Thermal Bonding
 In thermal bonding, a web of fiber is created by mixing it with a meltable material. Thermal bonding is achieved by heating the fiber until the material melts down and becomes adhesive and then the web is cooled down to hold the fibers together.  For bonding material either adhesive is mixed fiber in the form of powder or thermoplastic textile fibers can also be used.  During thermal boding pressure can also be applied.  For heating the fiber web, various techniques can be used as shown below,

Bonding Techniques: Thermal Bonding

Bonding Techniques: Thermal Bonding

Bonding Techniques: Stitch Bonding
 In stitch bonding, the web of fibers is held together as a fabric by means of stitched loops.  Stitches through the fiber web are formed using row of needles and the process resembles to warp knitting.

Uses of Nonwoven
Disposable Wipes Pampers Surgical Gowns Sterilization Packs Medical Work wear Durable Floor Covering Industrial & Technical Furniture Apparel Civil Engineering Automotive

Tufted Fabrics
 Tufted fabrics are made by combination:Foundation cloth Tuft

 The foundation cloth is normally a woven fabric, generally a plain weave or any open structure made-up of cotton, wool or jute.  On the foundation cloth tufts are inserted.  Tufts are inserted into the open spaces of the foundation cloth. For tuft formation a special tuft forming machine can be used or tufts can be made by hand.

Tufted Fabrics
 A bunch of fibers tied together by means of a thread can also be used as a tufts. Sometimes instead of fibers, threads also can be used as tufts.  The tufts are inserted into the foundation cloth according to the required pattern. Various colored tufts can also be used to produce colored designs.  Once tufts are inserted into the foundation cloth, they are made permanent by using a natural latex coating or by some chemical binding agents. Sometimes instead of using latex or binding agents, tufts are sewed to the foundation cloth.

Characteristics of Tufted Fabrics
 Tufted fabrics are soft with low tensile strength.  Production of tufted fabrics take more time as compared to woven fabric, because first woven fabric is made and then tufts are inserted.  They are bulky in nature.  Only limited designs can be made on tufted fabrics.  Their dyeing and printing is very difficult. Generally tufts are first dyed and then inserted into the foundation cloth to give colored effects.  Tufts once removed from fabric are hard to repair.

Uses of Tufted Fabrics
 They are mostly used as carpets, rugs, mats, etc,.  They are also used in bed covers and table cloths.  Decorative fabrics are also made out if them.  Tufted fabrics are also used as furnishing material.  Apparels are rarely made out of them.

Laced Fabrics
 A lace is an open work fabric made from intermeshing threads into a fabric. Intermeshing of threads can be carried out by the following methods,
 Using Knitting needles (Needle Point)  Using Bobbins (Pillow)  Using Shuttles (Tatting)  Using Crotchet Needles (Crotchet)

Laced Fabrics
 Lace fabrics could only be produced by hands till the invention of first automatic lace machine in early 1800’s.  The lace fabric produced by hand is called as the “Real Lace”.  Real laces take plenty of time and their cost is high.  But various patterns of laces can be produced on the modern lace looms at huge quantities and at a very low cost.

Characteristics of Laced Fabrics
 Since, it is a open work fabric, it gives very low cover.  Its properties are very similar to knitted fabrics.  Their dyeing is possible but printing can not be done.  They have high elasticity, so they can be extended without damaging the fabric.

Uses of Laced Fabrics
 Lace fabrics are used as shawls and scarves.  Laces are stitched on the woven fabrics to give various designs.  Fine laces are used as curtains.  Different decorative textiles are made from them.  Fishing nets are also made from laced fabrics.

Braided Fabrics
 Braided fabrics are produced by a special method of interlacement known as braiding or plaiting.  In braiding or plaiting three or more yarns over and under one another are interwoven to form a flat or tubular cloth known as braided fabric.  In braiding, instead of threads, cut strips of cloths or straws can also be used for braiding. The braided fabrics have relatively narrow width compared to woven fabric.  The process of braiding or plaiting is very much similar to process of weaving. Following are the differences between braiding and weaving,

Braided Fabrics
Weaving Only two set of threads are used . i.e. warp and weft Threads always interlace at right angles. Braiding Three or more than three set of threads are used. Threads can interlace at any angle.

Only threads can be used .

Apart from threads, strips of cloth, straw, etc, can be used to produce a fabric.

Characteristics of Braided Fabrics
 Structure of braided fabric is very much similar to woven fabrics.  They give good covering effect.  Braided fabrics have narrow width.  They can be dyed and printed easily.  They can be produced cheaply and on large scale.

Uses of Braided Fabrics
 They are used as belts, cords, shoe laces, etc.  Different kinds of ribbons are also made from braided fabrics.  Plastic or straw braids can sewn together to produce hats.  Braided fabrics can also be sewn together to form braided rugs.  Trims and tapes for dresses can be made from them.  Tubular braided fabrics are used as hose pipes, ropes, sacks, etc.

Bonded Fabrics
 Bonded fabrics are the types of fabrics made by joining a nonwoven fabric with a woven/knitted fabric or by joining two nonwoven fabrics or bonding two different fabrics.

Bonded Fabrics: Bonding Technique
 The fabrics can be bonded by the following techniques,
 Adhesive bonding  Laminated bonding

Bonded Fabrics: Adhesive Bonding
 A fabric joined by bonding process in which an outer or face fabric is joined or welded to the back or lining ply by an adhesive agent.  Bonding process is applied to variety of different fabrics of different fibers, structures and textures.  Adhesive may deteriorate in dry cleaning or laundering.  Some plastic films discolor or become yellowish after exposing to sunlight.

Bonded Fabrics: Adhesive Bonding

Bonded Fabrics: Laminated Bonding
 Two different fabrics are made to adhere together by a flame foam bonding process.  Polyurethane foam act as the adhesive center filling between the fabric plies.  Laminated bond structures include,
     Woven to woven Knit to knit Woven to knit Film to woven or knit Film to foam

Bonded Fabrics: Laminated Bonding

Bonded Fabrics: Uses
 They give strength to sheer fabric.  They improve the useful life of the loose – structured fabrics such as lace.  They can be made up into reversible two faced fabrics for special designs.  They make good backing fabrics for suits or coats.  They have furnishing applications such as for seating and cushions.  They have household applications such as for bed mattress, pads & pillows and underlays for carpets.  They have industrial applications such as padding and cushioning for cars and aircrafts and packaging for shipment of fragile products.

Problems in using Bonded Fabrics
 The fabrics may be separated by abrasion.  In laundering one fabric may shrink more than the other due to poor stabilization, causing fabric ripples and pucker.  In dry cleaning some solvents may dissolve the adhesive thus separating the fabrics.