Chapter 44: Fabrics and Their Care
Objectives: Compare different types of fibers, fabric construction, methods, and finishes.
Define the following key terms.
Fibers—very fine, hairlike strands of various lengths. Yarns—fibers that have been twisted or grouped together. Natural fibers—fibers that come from plants or animals. Manufactured fibers—fibers that are formed completely or in part by chemicals.
Blend—a yarn made from two or more different fibers to take advantage of the best features of each.
Fabric finishes—special treatments that improve the appearance, feel, or performance of the fabric. Colorfast—the color remains the same over time.
Mildew—a fungus that shows up as black dots on clothes.
Woven fabrics: Weaving involves interlacing two sets of yarns together at right angles. Plain weave is the most common weave. You often see it in shirts and sheets.
Twill weave produces fabrics, such as denim, that are stronger than those of plain weave.
Satin weave produces smooth fabrics with a sheen but they are less durable. Some blouses and evening apparel are made from this weave. Plain—over and under 1; twill—over and under two; satin—over and under 3.
Knits are constructed by pulling the loops of yarn through other loops of yarn, creating interlocking rows. Knit clothes are comfortable and don’t wrinkle easily. Other fabric construction methods: nonwoven—felt; made by matting or bonding fibers with heat, moisture, or adhesives.
Other Construction Methods
Bonding—fusing one fabric to another; quilting—putting a fluffy layer between two layers.
Answer the following questions:
1. How are fibers related to yarns? Fibers are twisted or grouped together to form yarns. What is the key difference between natural fibers and manufactured fibers? Natural fibers come from plants or animals. Manufactured fibers are made completely or in part from chemicals.
Name three natural and three manufactured fibers
Name three natural and three manufactured fibers. List two characteristics of each. Natural Cotton: Comfortable in warm weather; strong; absorbent; shrinks; wrinkles. Linen: (flax) Stronger than cotton; absorbent; comfortable; wrinkles easily. ,
Wool: (fleece of sheep) warm; resists wrinkles; repels water; shrinks easily; dry cleaned.
Silk—(cocoon of silk worm) lightweight; resists wrinkling; damaged by perspiration, deodorant, and high ironing temperatures. Ramie—(stems of China grass) strong with natural luster; absorbent; washable, stiff texture = usually blended with other fibers.
Manufactured Fibers Rayon: Absorbent; soft; comfortable; drapes; shrinks; dry cleaning recommended. Polyester: Resists wrinkling and shrinking; not absorbent; washable; dries fast; attracts oily stains; tends to pill (form balls on surface of fabric).
Nylon: Strong; lightweight; holds shape; Not absorbent; static electricity; washable; dries quickly; sensitive to heat; white nylon-yellow. Acrylic: Soft; warm; resists wrinkling; not dried at high temperatures; some pilling and static electricity; resists fading. Spandex: Often combined with other fibers; no bleach or high drying temperatures.
4. What is a blend? Give an example.
A yarn that is made from two or more different fibers. Ex: polyester and cotton Compare the construction and characteristics of woven and knit fabrics. Woven fabrics: Are made with two sets of yarns interlacing at right angles. Are stronger than knit and hold their shape better.
Knit fabrics: Are constructed by pulling loops of yarn through other loops of yarn. Stretch with movement and return to original shape. They do not wrinkle easily.
Give four examples of different purposes for fabric finishes.
To improve appearance. Improve feel. Improve performance of fabric. To add color or design. To make water repellant. To make softer, shinier, or crisper.
To make wrinkle-resistant.
Add soil-release finish. What are two advantages of colorfast fabrics? The color will remain the same over time. Dye will not leach into other laundry.
Why is it important to take proper care of clothes?
They will look good and last longer. Describe three ways to treat a stain. Rinse with cold water. Use stain-removal towelette. Soak with detergent o plain water. Pretreat before washing.
Explain how to hand wash a garment.
Soak in sudsy water. Gently squeeze suds through garment. Replace soapy water with fresh to rinse garment. Repeat rinse until no suds remain.
What is mildew? When might it become a laundry problem?
A fungus that appears as small black dots when laundry is left in the washer too long. Clothes may develop a sour odor that is difficult to remove.
Why should some garments be pressed rather than ironed?
Garments such as knits should be pressed rather than ironed to avoid stretching. How is dry cleaning different from regular laundering? Dry cleaning uses special chemicals, rather than water and detergent, to clean clothes.
Describe how to store a wool sweater to keep it in the best possible condition.
Be certain sweater is stain-free and cleaned before storage. Fold rather than hang the sweater to avoid stretching. Store in a dry place.
15. Why are natural fibers often the most comfortable to wear?
They absorb moisture and allow air to reach your skin. They keep you cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather. 16. Which fabrics made from manufactured fibers are likely to pill? Polyester and acrylic
17.What is the advantage of a fiber blend?
It combines the best feature of each fiber. 18. What qualifies as a fabric finish? Special treatments that improve the appearance, feel, or performance of a fabric.
19. Why would you wash a garment with “like colors”?
To prevent its dye from running into other items. 20. When is the best time to treat stains? As soon as possible.
21. List three factors to consider when sorting laundry.
Care instructions. Color. Weight of items. Linting. Amount of soil.
22. Identify three actions you can take to deal with clothing stains.
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