Yarns: fibers twisted together or laid side by side. These fibers may be natural, manufactured, or both. Fabrics will vary greatly in design, texture, and performance.
Types of Yarns Spun Yarns: a yarn made of staple fibers All natural fibers, except for silk, are staple fibers. Manufactured fibers can be cut into staple lengths to give fabrics the appearance of cotton, linen, or wool. The staple fibers are twisted together to form a single yarn long enough to make into fabric.
Types of Yarns Filament Yarns: a yarn made entirely of filament fibers. Silk, and manufactured fibers that have not been cut are filament fibers. Filament yarns are smoother and more lustrous than spun yarns. A monofilament yarn has only one strand, as seen in nylon sewing thread and fishing line. When two or more filaments are combined during the manufacturing process, a multifilament yarn forms.
Types of Yarns Most manufacturers twist two or more single yarns together to make a ply yarn. Ply: tells the number of strands used. Several ply yarns twisted together form a cord or cable. High-twist yarns are firm, strong, dull in texture, and relatively fine in size. Low-twist yarns are softer, weaker, more lustrous, and less compact than high twist yarns.
Types of Yarns Novelty Yarns: Two or more yarns that are not alike in type or size are used to construct novelty yarns. Often have loops and different thickness.
Texturing and Blending Textured Yarns Texturing: using chemicals, heat, or special machinery to turn straight, rod-like filaments into coiled, looped, or crimped yarns. Texturing increases the yarns bulk, giving a softer feel to the finished fabric. Adding bulk to filament yarns helps overcome some of the disadvantages of the fibers original characteristics. For example, textured filament yarns have more space between the filaments than regular filament yarns. Thus, the fabric made of textured yarns has more breathability and is more comfortable to wear.
Texturing and Blending Blended Yarns Blends: combining different fibers in one yarn. The best qualities of different yarns are brought together in a new yarn.
Fabric Characteristics Construction Weaving: interlaces two sets of yarns that are at right angles to each other. Knitting: loops yarns together. Construction easily identifies some fabrics. Texture Hand Weight
Woven Fabrics Fabric is created by interlacing lengthwise and crosswise yarns on a loom. Warp Yarns: the yarns that run the length of the fabric. Filling Yarns: the crosswise yarns. (Also called weft yarns.
Woven Fabrics Selvage: self-edge formed by the filling yarn when it turns to go back in the other direction as fabric is created; the two finished lengthwise edges of fabric. Grain: the direction yarns run in a woven garment.
The Weaving Process Warp yarns are positioned on the loom. They are attached to a warp bean at the back of the loom and then stretched through one or more frames, called harnesses. The filling yarn is wound onto a bobbin, which is placed in a container called a shuttle. The shuttle draws the filling yarn over and under the warp yarns. As the shuttle goes back and forth, the harness goes up and down to make room for it. This space is called the shed.
The Weaving Process One harness goes up, the shuttle passes through the shed, and the harness goes back down. Then the filling yarn is pushed into place at the front of the loom by a beater or reed. As the shuttle comes back through to the original side, another harness goes up. As these up and down, back and forth motions continue, the finished fabric rolls onto the cloth beam at the front of the loom.
Basic Weaves Plain Weave Simplest of all weaves. Filling yarns pass over and under each warp yarn. Ribbed Weave: Uses filling yarns that are thicker than the warp yarns. Basket Weave: Two or more yarns are group side by side in each direction and woven as one. Twill Weave Filling yarns pass over and under one or more warp yarns. Satin Weave Has yarns that float on the surface to give it luster or shine.
Other Weaves Pile Weave Pile: a raised surface of loops or yarn ends. Leno Weave Warp yarns twist and cross between the filling yarns. Dobby Weave Creates small geometric designs. Jacquard Weave Very elaborate and detailed designs.
Knit Fabrics In a knit, the lengthwise rows of stitches are called wales. The crosswise stitches are called courses. A knit usually has a greater degree of stretchability in one direction. Knits are comfortable to wear and easy to care for.
The Knitting Process Loops of yarn are pulled through other loops of yarn to create interlocking rows. Varying the stitches or loops creates different textures and patterns. Knitting machines can duplicate hand-knitting stitches and patterns. There are two types of knitting machines: flat and circular. Flat produces fabric with two long finished edges. Circular machines produce tubes of knitted fabric.