Sunday, 26 May 2019

Three Million Page Views !! Thank you Readers !



My Textile Notes has crossed three million page views. It goes to show how beneficial this blog has been to the viewers. I will strive to make it as relevant and informative to the viewers in the future as well. Thanks...

Sunday, 12 May 2019

What causes Pilling in the Fabrics



Pilling is characterized by little balls of fibers attached on the fabric surface. These are entangled in nature and do not look good on the garment. These are caused by the fibers which got loose during washing and wearing. Due to rubbing action these take the form of a ball.

Pilling is always known in wool specially in garments with soft twisted yarns like Angora. However, with the emergence of synthetic fibers the tendency is aggravated.

What happens is that because the strength of the fibers which "anchor" the pills is low in the natural fibres, pills get formed and removed. But in case of synthetic fibers, which have more strength. the pills remain on the garment and accumulate and become worse.

Why pills get formed. It is due to migration of fibers from the yarn on to the surface of the fabric. So any treatment that reduces this migration tendency will reduce the pilling tendency. Thus increasing the twist in the yarn reduces the pilling tendency as it binds the fibers onto yarn.

The following are factors affecting Pilling

Fiber Factors

1. Fiber Nature: As explained natural fibers are less susceptible to pilling than synthetic

2. Fiber Fineness: Finer fibers are more susceptible to pilling as there is more propensity to bending. For example Angora is more susceptible to pilling than normal wool

3. Fiber Friction: More crimp in the fiber, less is the crimp as the migration tendency of the fibers is reduced.

4. Fiber Length: Shorter fibers are more susceptible to pilling as the migration of fibers is increased.

5. Fiber Strength: As explained earlier, strong fibers increase pilling tendency as there the pills find it hard to dislodge from the garment surface.

Yarn Factors 

1. Yarn Count: Coarser the count, more fibers are there in the cross section which leads to higher pilling tendency.

2. Yarn Twist: As explained earlier, more yarn twist leads to less crimp as it binds the fibers more and reduces its yarn tendency.

3. Yarn Finishing: Unsinged yarns have more tendency to pill.

4. Incompatible Blends: If the blend contains components that are incompatible with respect to fiber length and other parameters, tendency to pill increases.

Fabric Parameters

Closer fabric structures lead to less pilling.

If the fabric is subjected to long processes in finishing and processing there is more friction and hence more pilling is formed.

Use of anti-pilling finishes can reduce the tendency of pilling. 


Apart from technological factors, a few of the important factors for pilling are:

1. The person wearing the garment, if that person is particularly hard on garments, pilling tendency is more.
2. There are some susceptible parts of garments such as collars, cuffs, pocket edges which are more susceptible to pill, as there is more rubbing/chafing of the parts.

3. Garments which are frequently washed are more susceptible to pilling.

Testing of Pilling

A very nice introduction to pilling testing is dealt in this NPTEL lecture. 

Sources
1 2- Principles of Textile Testing- J. E. Booth


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Saturday, 13 April 2019

What are the three Primary Colors used in Traditional Handblock Printing of Rajasthan



Here we are talking about the handblock printing process as practiced in the towns of Bagru, Pipar and Balotra. The three primary colors used are 1. Red 2. Blue 3. Yellow

A combination of these produce all the different colors.


  1. The application of red dye is called Ghan Rangai. For ghan grangai, the alum mordanted fabric is introduced into a heated water bath along with Alizarin. It produces the red, wherever the fabric is mordanted with Alum.
  2. The application of Indigo for producing blue color is called Nil Rangai. In this an Indigo dye vat is prepared and fabric is introduced into it and the fabric is dipped into it for 5 to 10 minutes. Then it is taken out and spread into the sun. After this it is again introduced into the bath, this goes on until the required color depth is obtained
  3. The third primary shade, yellow is obtained using Nasphal Putai. Nasphal dye is a cold solution of anar ka chhilka ( pomegranate rind) and haldi ( turmeric) which is typically smeared ( Potai or putai) onto the cloth surface after all other dye and print process has been completed.  As an overdye, nasphal generates a number of other shades: over indigo it creates green, over kasumal it gives orange, and over red dyed areas it results in softer red-ochre shades. This smearing is done quickly and after smearing, the cloth is laid in the sun "until it smells cooked". After that it is rinsed in Alum solution, dried and aged and washed thoroughly. 

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Difference between Sanganer and Bagru/Pipar/Balotra styles of Handblock Printing



 In Sanganer and Jaipur Style of printing, red and black motifs are printed on a yellowish cream ground- This is called the Syahi Begar Style.

In the printing paste Syahi ( Iron acetate) and Begar ( Alum) are the mordanting components. Traditionally Potash Alum is used which is a hydrated double sulphate of aluminium or potassium. These days aluminium sulphate is used.

This is how Syahi paste is made - Scrap iron horseshoes are removed from rust by scorching, then mixed with Gur or sheera ( Unrefined molasses) and covered with plane water, during which the sugar ferments and reacts with iron to make iron acetate solution.

To give deepar shades of red during dyeing, a little of syahi paste is sometimes blended to the begar mix.

Interestingly proportions are tested and judged by taste- large amount of alum (producing deeper shades) are described as producing a 'crackle' on the tongue. 

Before Syahi and Begar is applied, the cloth is first desized using local methods ( Hari Sarna), then it is prepared for mordanting using Myrobalan (Harda or Peela Karna).

Usually any areas where black is required are printed first, using syahi paste. Following this, where red is required will be filled in using the begar ( alum mordant) paste.

In Pipar/Sanganer/Balotra, apart from the above methods, they are also printed using indigo-dabu resist methods, which produces colored red and yellow motifs on blue, green and dark-browinsh backgrounds.



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