3 - Handle of the fabric.
The appearance of the fabric is the property of a fabric that directly strikes the consumer's mind in the first look and influences the consumer's mind. The appearance of the fabric leaves a great impression on the consumer's mind. A consumer can like or reject a fabric at first look without considering its other properties. The fabric should always have an impressive appearance. It is the property related to the surface of the fabric.
Generally, the visual properties of the fabric are termed as the fabric appearance. How the fabric surface is looking. The fabric appearance is judged with naked eyes.
The fabric appearance is directly associated with the fabric construction, weave, degree of twist, the material used, reflectance properties of the material. The consumer also likes or reject the fabric on the basis of appearance according to the use of the fabric too.
When a consumer looks at the surface of two different fabrics with naked eyes, he observes that one fabric is giving more shining (brightness) than another fabric. It happens due to the difference in the amount of light being reflected from both of the fabrics. The amount of light to be reflected from the fabric surface affects the shining of the fabric surface directly. Thus we can say that “the amount of light reflected by fabric surface judged with naked eyes is termed as fabric lustre”. It is also called the sheen of the fabric. The material of the fabric widely influences the lustre of the fabric. Secondly, the weave of the fabric plays a very crucial role in the lustre of a fabric. The structure, type of yarn and degree of yarn twist also influence the lustre of a fabric. Satin weave gives more lustre than plain weave. The fabric made of high twist yarn reflects more light than low twist yarn. If a fabric is woven with coarse count yarn and another fabric is woven with fine count yarn. The weight per square meter of both the fabrics is kept constant. The thread per square inch in fine count fabric will be more than coarse count fabric. This fine count fabric will reflect more amount of light than coarse count fabric. Thus we can say yarn count GSM and construction of the fabric greatly affect the lustre of a fabric.
“Fabric handle tells us about the degree of softness, stiffness, hardness, smoothness or roughness of the fabric”. It is judged by touching the fabric by hand simply. Following factors directly influence the handle of the fabric:
the handle of the fabric is directly associated with the type of material used in the fabric. If the yarn has long-staple and low micronaire value fibres, the fabric shows a high degree of softness. If the fabric is woven with the short-staple, and high micronaire value fibres, it gives a hard feel to the user.
the degree (amount) of yarn twist greatly affects the feel and touch of the fabric. If we weave two fabrics having identical count and construction and we use high twist yarn in one fabric and low twist yarn in another fabric. The fabric woven from low twist yarn will give a more soft feel and touch than the fabric woven from high twisted yarn.
the construction (ends per inch and picks per inch) of the fabric affects the touch and feel of the fabric. If a fabric has 30s x 30s, 72 x 68 construction and another equivalent to this fabric have construction 28s x 28s, 70 x 66. The GSM of both of the fabrics will be almost equal but the feel and touch of the second fabric will be better than the first fabric due to more air space present in the second fabric.
the weight per square unit( grams per square meter or grams per square yard) also influences the touch and feel of the fabric. If a fabric has been woven with given fabric construction. If the weaver increases the GSM or GYM of the fabric slightly by increasing picks per inch, the feel of the fabric also becomes slightly harder than the previous fabric.
The weave of the fabric directly affects the touch and feel of the fabric. A user can make a comparison between two fabrics of the same count and construction and there is the difference of weave only. The satin weave has a better feel and touch than plain weave. How does it happen? It can be explained on the basis of float length of warp and weft. Plain weave has the minimum float length and the satin weave has more float length than plain weave. Due to the big float length, the satin weave gives a softer feel than the plain weave.
construction of the fabric has a great influence on the dimensional stability of the fabric. The effect of the construction can be understood by the following example:
the type of material used in the fabric affects the dimensional stability of the fabric up to some extent. If the yarn has been spun with fine and long-staple fibres, it will give better dimensional stability. Polyester fibre shows better dimensional stability than cotton fibre.
the degree of yarn twists great impact on the dimensional stability of the fabric. If the count and construction of two fabrics are identical, there will be a more dimensional change in the fabric having high twist yarn than the fabric having low twist yarn. The high twist yarn always tends to shrink when it comes under relaxing form. This tendency of yarn helps to shrink the fabric.
the weave of the fabric also plays a very important role in the dimensional stability of the fabric. The weave having a long float length gives more shrinkage percentage than short length float weave. Weave like waffles and satin shrink more after washing.
weight per square meter of fabric directly influences the shrinkage percentage after washing. The fabrics having a low weight per meter always shrink more than high weight fabric. It happens due to more open space (air space) present in low weight fabric. The ends and picks come much closer to each other after washing. It is possible only when the fabric has open space in it.
the change in length or width of the fabric at breaking force expressed as the term of percentage is called elongation. The factors affecting the fabric elongation are given below:
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