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Finishing Processes

A level Textiles Technology

Preparation of fabrics
Preparation
This means getting the fabric ready for dying, printing or finishing. You need to have a basic understanding of these 5 techniques: Singeing Scouring Shrinking Bleaching Mercerising These treatments are done on large machines in textile factories worldwide, many of them in the Far East.

Singeing
WHAT IS IT? Singeing machines burn off short fibres protruding from cotton fabrics. WHY IS IT DONE? To make fabric smoother and reduce pilling

Preparation of fabrics
Scouring
WHAT IS IT? A washing treatment to remove fats and waxes which occur naturally (i.e. in wool) or have been applied during spinning, weaving or knitting. WHY IS IT DONE? To clean and relax the fabric and make it take up dye easier.

Shrinking
WHAT IS IT? Natural fabrics are washed and allowed to relax on a vibrating table so they can shrink in both width and length. WHY IS IT DONE? So the fabric will not shrink during later processing or in use.

Preparation of fabrics
Bleaching
WHAT IS IT? Chemical process using hydrogen peroxide to destroy natural colour and make the fabric white. WHY IS IT DONE? Easier to produce pastel shades when dyed (or enhances whiteness if being left white)

Mercerising
WHAT IS IT? A chemical process used for cotton yarn or fabric which is held under tension in a solution of caustic soda. This causes the fibres to swell and become rounder. WHY IS IT DONE? To make cotton textiles stronger, more lustrous and take up dye more easily.

Dyeing fabrics
Types of Dye
Natural dyes used for 1000s of years, hardly ever used commercially today. Synthetic dyes since 19th C, used almost exclusively today. Chemical dyes can pollute rivers when wastewater is released. WHEN ARE TEXTILES DYED? Fibre stage Yarn stage Fabric stage (piece, batch, continuous, over-dyeing) Product stage (garment dying piece or batch)

Piece/Batch/Continuous Dyeing
HOW IS IT DONE?
The open width of fabric in a greige state (un-dyed) is passed through a bath of dyestuff. It is then squeezed between rollers to ensure even and consistent dyeing Continuous fixation machinery fixes the dye in the fabric.

WHY IS IT DONE?
To produce rolls of plain coloured fabric in any length to any colour shade. Cheaper than setting up machines to produce woven fabrics from different coloured yarns.

Dyeing fabrics
Over-dying
WHAT IS IT? A dyeing process used on fabrics made from yarns of different fibres. Some fibres take up dyes more easily, so it is possible to produce a different colour effect. Different dyes are suitable for different fibres.

Garment Dyeing
WHAT IS IT? Garments are made-up before they are dyed. Can be one-off items, small batches or large batches e.g. socks. WHY IS IT DONE? Enables colours to be chosen late in the manufacturing cycle. This is cost effective for manufacturers as colour decisions can be made close to the selling season. For this reason this method is often used for fashion garments.

e.g: A fabric made with cotton warp threads and a blend of cotton/acrylic weft threads will produce a speckled effect when dyed.

Dyeing fabrics
Colourfastness
WHAT IS IT? Resistance to colour loss during manufacturing and use. Varies with: Different fibres and blends Different dyestuffs Different conditions, e.g rubbing, washing, ironing, perspiration, light, weather, seawater. ISO 105 evaluates colourfastness.

Tie Dye
HOW IS IT DONE?
A resist method of dying where fabric of finished garments are either twisted, knotted, gathered or crumpled and then bound with string or elastic bands before dyeing.
Produces a variety of patterns. Garments made using tie dye come in and out of fashion.

Dyeing fabrics
Hand-produced Batik
HOW IS IT DONE? A design is drawn on fabric with melted wax using a brush or tjanting and left to harden, fabric is then brush or dip dyed and the wax melted off using an iron. The dye resists penetrating the fabric under the wax leaving a patterned fabric.

Industriallyproduced Batik
HOW IS IT DONE? Gum, wax-resist paste or resin is printed on the fabric from hot rollers Fabric is dyed Heat finished to remove surplus gum or wax and fix the dye Alternatively, batik patterns can be printed on fabric from engraved rollers using photographic methods or CAD/CAM

Dyeing fabrics
Transfer printing
HOW IS IT DONE? the pattern is first printed onto special paper It is then transferred to the fabric using a pressurised heated calender machine. The temperature is high enough for the dyestuff to turn into vapour and diffuse into the fibres. Well suited to synthetic fibres.

Discharge printing
HOW IS IT DONE? a plain dyed fabric is printed with a discharge paste which removes the ground colour (bleaches it out)

Printing fabrics
Printing
WHAT IS IT? The controlled placement of defined areas of colour onto a fabric. Direct Printing methods: Block printing (ancient method) Rotary screen-printing (2/3 of todays textiles) Flat screen-printing (1/3 of todays textiles) Transfer Printing (4% of todays textiles) Discharge printing Resist (Batik) Printing Digital Printing

Block Printing
HOW IS IT DONE? Uses engraved wooden blocks Ancient method dating back to 2000BC Rarely used today.

Printing fabrics
Rotary screen-printing
HOW IS IT DONE? The dye is applied to the fabric from within a roller. The printing paste is pumped from reservoirs to the inside of the rollers and squeezed onto the moving fabric. Modern rollers are engraved by lasers.

Flat screen-printing
HOW IS IT DONE? Detailed patterns for top of the range fabrics printed onto engraved flat screens Screens lowered onto fabric and squeegees force the printing paste through the screens. The fabric is then moved along the printing table on a conveyor blanket.

Printing fabrics
Resist (batik) printing
HOW IS IT DONE? White fabric is printed with a resist paste and then dyed.

Digital printing
HOW IS IT DONE? inkjet printers print CAD designs directly onto fabric using special printing inks. This is a flexible form of printing suitable for short runs and for producing fabric samples.

Finishing fabrics
Physical Finishing
Raising Calendering Embossing Heat setting

Raising
HOW IS IT DONE? The fabric is passed over rollers covered with fine flexible wire brushes which lift the fibres from the fabric to forma soft fibrous surface called a nap WHY IS IT DONE? To produce a fabric with a soft fleecy handle, e.g pyjamas, dusters.

Chemical finishing (coating)


Easy-care Flame resistant Stain resistant Water repellent Permanent pleating (resin)

Aesthetic/functional finishing
Pressing Embroidery Self-finishing

Finishing fabrics
Calendering
HOW IS IT DONE? Fabric is passed under heavy heated rollers under pressure. (The industrial equivalent to ironing) WHY IS IT DONE? To smooth the surface, to improve lustre, for moir patterns (engraved rollers) for embossed fabrics (embossed rollers) These are fixed with resin for cotton fabrics or heat setting for thermosetting synthetic fabrics.

Easy-Care
HOW IS IT DONE? A resin finish is applied and cured by heat to cotton and viscose. WHY IS IT DONE? To make fabrics dry fast and need minimal ironing. However, it reduces strength and abrasion resistance

Finishing fabrics
Flame Resist
HOW IS IT DONE? A chlorine/phosphorous finish is applied and fixed. Can be applied to all fibres. WHY IS IT DONE? To reduce flammability of the product, However, it increases stiffness, reduces strength, adds cost and degrades when washed. Used for childrens pyjamas and upholstery.

Stain Resist
HOW IS IT DONE? Fluorochemical resin is applied. Can be applied to all fibres. WHY IS IT DONE? To improve stain resistance. e.g. ties, upholstery. However, biodegrades slowly.

Finishing fabrics
Water Repellent
HOW IS IT DONE? Fluorochemical resin is applied to face or back of fabrics. Can be applied to all fibres. WHY IS IT DONE? To make them waterproof and windproof. Suitable for all-weather wear, tents, shoes.

Permanent Pleating
HOW IS IT DONE? Synthetic fabrics and blends can be heat set, Cotton and viscose requires a resin coating, followed by pressing and heat curing in oven. WHY IS IT DONE? To create permanent pleated garments that stay pleated when washed.

Finishing fabrics
Pressing
HOW IS IT DONE? Manual pressing using steam iron connected to a holding device and a pressing area provided with suction. Steam dollies are used for whole garments. The form is inflated by blowing with steam Tunnel Finishers are used to finish whole garments on hangers which pass on a conveyor through a steam chamber.