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GCSE Textiles

Things to know for the exam

QuestionAnswer
Preparation Processes Prepares the fabric for dyeing printing or final finishing.
Singeing Burning away fibre ends from the fabric’s surface in order to give a smooth finish. Commonly used for cotton fabrics.
Bleaching The purpose of bleaching is to improve the whiteness/remove the colour of natural fibres. During oxidation, the naturally coloured substances become colourless and water soluble. Usually peroxide is used, although sometimes it is sodium chlorite.
Mercerizing To add strength and lustre to cotton yarns and fabrics, or to improve their dyeing or printing ability in a rich colour, cotton is treated under tension with caustic soda (alkali). As a result, the fibres expand and become more rounded.
Intermediate Processes After colour and/or pattern have been added, the fabric must be made suitable for the final finishing processes.
Fixation To fix the dye or colour steam or dry heat can be used, depending on the fabric. The heat helps to disperse the dye through the fibres.
Washing Washing treatments remove dirt, oils and sizes. Counter-flow and recycling systems reduce the volume of water lost.
Dewatering and Drying Much of the water is removed by mechanical means (spinning, suction and squeezing) before the fabric is dried with heat so as to reduce the cost.
Heat Setting To prevent misshape after the stress of production, dyeing and finishing the fabric is heated up then cooled gently.
Mechanical Finishes Dry processes which create a finish on a fabric by mechanical means such as the use of rollers are mechanical processes.
Raising Rollers covered in small hooks rotate over the surface of the fabric, teasing the ends of fibres out to form a pile. This weakens the fabric, but produces a fluffy and soft raised fabric which is very warm.
Calendering To improve the lustre and emboss patterns, smooth the surface and compact the fabric under pressure a set of rollers using heat and/or pressure is used. These fabrics require dry cleaning so the lustrous finish is not spoilt.
Peach Finish This process subjects the fabric (either cotton or its synthetic blends) to emery wheels, making the surface velvet-like. This is a special finish used mostly in garments.
Shrinking Fabrics are shrunk so that they will not shrink later on. Depending on the fabric and other processes used on it, the method varies.
Curing To fix the colour in the fabric, the printed fabric passes through a series of ovens set at around 160°C.
Chemical Finishes Wet processes that use chemical solutions to create a finish are chemical processes.
Stain resistant Specifically formulated substances that contain silicones or synthetic resins are applied to the fabric to make them water or oil based stains resistant.
Anti-microbial finish This causes a fabric to inhibit the growth of microbes.
Flame resistant Most fabrics, especially children’s nightwear, furnishings and protective clothing have particular substances applied so that they will burn very slowly.
Water repellent pecific chemicals, such as silicones (different chemicals result in different amount and length of time of protection) are sprayed onto the fabric so that it will repel water. This is essential for outdoor items, such as tents.
Easy-care Cotton, viscose and other regularly used fabrics must be easy to look after. Chemicals are applied to make the fabric resistant to creasing and to protect against shrinking.
Anti-static To stop static charges building up on the fabric, the surface conductivity is improved. This property is important for floor coverings as well as clothes made from synthetic fabrics.
Anti-pilling Pilling often occurs with woollen fabrics or those made from synthetic fibres. To prevent small balls from forming on the surface of the fabric, solvents or polymers are applied to form a film on the surface of the fabric.
Moth proof Chemicals are applied to the fabric to repel moths by making the fibres inedible.
Dust mite repellent The fabric is finished with a chemical called Hyfresh. This repels the dust mites, which can cause asthma, so that they migrate to areas which can be vacuumed.
Dyeing The dyestuff is dissolved or dispersed in water. Salt and other chemicals help fix the dye in the cloth so that it retains the colour in use and when washed. There are three main types of dyeing:
Continuous (or pad) the fabric is passed through a small pad bath containing liquid dye. It is then squeezed between rollers so the dye is evenly spread across the fabric.
Batch everything is weighed exactly, including the fabric and dyestuff.
Semi-continuous the fabric is passed through the dye and is then wound up onto a batching roller which holds a very long length of fabric.
Screen Printing Screen printing processes are used for printing a large majority of fabrics for both furnishings and clothing. A pattern is printed onto the fabric through a stencilled screen. There are two main techniques:
Rotary Screen Printing This is the main process used for printing fabric
Flat Screen Printing This technique is similar to rotary screen printing, except for the mechanism.
Jet Printing The dye is sprayed onto the fabric by the printer, but there are no suitable jet printers for large-scale printing of fabric
Glass Fibre Glass is not often used in textiles, but glass fibre can be used in interior or furnishing textile products. Glass fibre has distinctive properties: it does not deteriorate in sunlight, it is resistant to mould and moths, it reflects and filters light.
Polartec Made from recycled polyester from plastic drinks bottles, polartec is biodegradable, lightweight, breathable and warm to wear. It is often used to line hand knitted garments as it enhances the performance of the garments without changing the appearance.
Synchilla The featherweight microfleece (wool-like, but less bulky than wool) fibres means that Synchilla is extremely warm, especially in layers. Like Polartec, it is also made from recycled plastic bottles.
Lyocell fibres (e.g. Tencel) Fibre produced from vegetable source. Tencel is the most important. Like Viscose, from wood pulp, but produced different. It is soft absorbent very strong: wet or dry, resistant to wrinkles; lyocell drapes well, dyed many colours.
Composite fabrics When two or more different forms and compositions of fabrics are combined they produce a fabric with enhanced properties. For example, ‘chainsaw chaps’ have been produced to form very strong protective trousers for people using chainsaws.
Superabsorbent fibres can absorb multiple times their own mass in aqueous fluids, commonly used in baby & sanitary products, and filters. An example of a superabsorbent fabric is Oasis, an acrylic copolymer used to soak up oil spills at sea and produced as a non-woven fabric.
Metallics Previously were expensive to make and difficult to use. Modern technology - sophisticated metal yarns woven into attractive, supple fabrics which can combined with natural fabrics, such as silk. ‘Copper Cloth’ can be manipulated into interesting shapes.
Microencapsulation technology Microencapsulation technology allows a variety of substances including aloe vera, vitamins or insect repellents to be added to the fabric.
Invisible laminates Fabric membranes sandwiched and bonded together with other fabrics used laminated fabrics - desired properties of all fabrics used. Gore-Tex and Simpatex - let moisture out, but not in and so can be used to make practical fashion garments.
Temperature sensitive textiles temperature sensitive fabrics - regulate body temperature. Paraffin changes: hot it becomes liquid - heat to pass out, cold it solidifies - keeps heat back. Other fabrics conduct electricity or electrical cables so when senses cold, heats the garment up.
Moisture wicking products Some wool fabrics 'moisture wicking products' keep the body dry - pull moisture away. Wool absorbs liquids and gases; takes more a third of its own weight in liquid vapours. It's used a lot in active sportswear; it keeps the wearer feeling comfortable.
Odour absorbing fabrics By adding silver to the composition of the fabric, you get the same effect as anti-bacterial treatments, but it's permanent. Killing the bacteria that make the person smell means the body odour would no longer be a problem.
fibrils microscopic fibres
Fabric membranes extremely thin layers
Yarn end product from spinning process; long bundle of fibres may or may not be twisted together. two main yarn types: filament yarn, from long filament fibres; staple yarn, from short staple fibres. The different stages of the staple spinning process:
Sliver a web of fibres all lying in the same direction.
Roving dividing a fibre web into narrower ribbons of fibres.
Top made from staple fibres, a coarse yarn that is further twisted and stretched.
Tow a long, continuous, filament fibre before it has been twisted with others into a yarn, or cut into short staple fibres.
Twist Varying yarns are produced from twisted fibres, according to two factors: the direction of the twist and the twist level. The twist level is the number of twists per unit length.
A high twist a smooth, dense, more expensive yarn. A low twists
Traditional Spinning processesfor natural fibres – cotton, woollen, and worsted. fibre bales opened cleaned carded/combed form a sliver-wide parallel fibre web. sliver is divided into narrower ribbon bands or doubled on self 7al times drawing fibres out to slubbings (narrower strips).gradually drawn out, stretched twisted into a yarn.
Industrial processes/These are for modern/synthetic fibres.
Wet spinning viscose and acrylic fibres
Dry spinning acrylic and acetate fibres
Melt spinning nylon and polyester fibres
The drawing process designed to strengthen the fibre; the end filament fibre produced varies according to the size of the spinneret, the shape of the hole in it and on the spinning and drawing conditions.
Filaments A single filament may produce a monofilament yarn, but if two or more filaments are twisted together, a multifilament yarn is produced. (Silk is the only natural multifilament yarn.)
Shaft weaving warp & weft woven together at right angles. warp threads are strong, run length of the loom. weft threads are woven betweenwarp using shuttle. warp threads run through heddle-raised & lowered so enough space for the shuttle to pass through the warp.
Fabric construction The way the warp and weft are woven is called fabric construction, with three main weaves:
Jacquard weaving Each warp yarn is individually lifted by using an electronic control system to produce an intricate weaving pattern against a plain background.
Industrial weaving This process is very fast and depending on the type of loom used the weft yarn is passes across the shed with a shuttle, a gripper, an air jet or a water jet.
Winding the thread is spun onto large cone and weft yarn is wound onto weft bobbins.
Warping a set number of warp threads are wound onto the beam of the loom.
Drawing in the warp yarns are threaded up the loom in order.
Knitting As the second most popular form of fabric production, knitted fabrics are produced by interlocking loops of yarn.
Weft knitting This may be made with a single length of yarn, but as a consequence unravels easily. It is also very stretchy and easily loses its shape. There is a right and wrong side to the fabric. It ladders and runs if caught/pulled.
Warp knitting uses separate yarn on each needle and - faster and cheaper to produce than weft. only works well with filament yarns: difficult to unravel, keeps shape well. It doesn’t ladder or run and lies flat when cut. This is the least popular knitting form.
Created by: Maisie Harrison Maisie Harrison on 2011-03-01



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