Saturday, 2 February 2013

Buying of Indian Ethnic Fabrics- Weaving Issues

Weaving flaws come naturally with Indian traditional fabrics. Some of these are inevitable and some of these are avoidable. Below are the details of the common weaving issues that come with the Indian traditional fabrics:

Fabric Weight
Weaving defects in the traditional fabrics arise due to techniques used in weaving them as well as the manual operations involved in it. They also occur as the quality of yarn used in warp and weft is compromised or the yarn itself is handspun. In Handloom fabrics, the usual defects are holes, mending, missing end and missing and broken picks. The fabric weight also varies as the fabric is getting woven with variable beat up depending upon the person and also varies during the course of the day of weaving. In the morning, the weaver is fresh, and the beat up is more compact. As the day progresses the picks may spread farther apart.
From the facts given above, it can be inferred. The usual method of finding GSM by using GSM cutter is no longer valid when evaluating handloom fabric. The best way to evaluate is to weight it thaan by thaan and average it out. 

Chira ( Missing End)
This effect occurs in all the fabrics, but it is more severe in powerlooms which are without warp stop motion. Chira is not prevalent in South looms as they are equipped with warp stop motion. However, for woven fabrics of north India, it is quite a common defect. 

Banding in the weft occurs due to particular contrast of colors, it is more visible in fabrics with cross colors. Also banding is visible when yarns are hand dyed and after the finish of one pirn, the next pirn contains different dyed lot of yarn. It also is visible in dyed fabrics when the count in the weft changes appreciably. It is more common in Khadis where the yarns of weft ( Amber) come in different lots. 

Tight End and Reed Mark
This forms a series of warp wise faint lines in the fabric. It occurs due to uneven tension in the warp beam which can happen when making the warp beam manually. It also occurs due to not cleaning, damaged heald wires or some problems in the reed. Often reed marks come in these fabrics. 

The main cause of holes is the pointed scale used all across the country to measure the length and fold the cloth. If a center point is used to hold the fabrics, and the point gets blunt it can cause appreciably visible holes and sometimes makes the whole fabric amenable to rejecting. 

Slippage of the Warp or weft ends
This takes place in almose all the fabrics loosly woven but it is more appreciable in silks and especially unions of silks with Viscose. The unions from Bhagalpur are more susceptible to this defect. To counter this the fabric after weaving is given a special starch finish, but that too is unsustainable and gives way in three or four washes. The cause of this defect is the smooth surface of viscose which can slip easily on silk. This damage leads to seam slippage which is easily noticeable in the stress areas of the garment(neck and arm whole) The solution is to improve the construction of the fabric or use a better quality viscose. To control this problem in garments at the nect, moon patches are applied

This defect is observed in handloom fabrics which use handspun yarn. Based on the quality of roving they are using these will contain foreign fibers which do not catch dyes leading to this defect. 

Rough appearance
Rough appearance occurs due to the nature of yarn. In most of the cases carded yarn is used, which contain short fibers which come at the top in the process of weaving. This also due to the uneven count of yarn and slubs present therein. This defect is not a defect as such rather than a mark of true ethnic fabrics. Moreover, hand feel of two garments made from identical fabrics will be different as they may be woven on different looms and subject to different treatments.

Pilling in cotton fabric is observed in cross colors where one of the yarn is of dark color. The short fibers come to the surface and form a pill type structure. This defect is aggravated when one of the yarns is sulphur dyed. This is also present in Matka silk which is handspun and handwoven. In yarn dyed Matka, the problem is further aggravated. Silk Noil fabrics are also a victim to this defect as they by default contain short fibers.  

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