Wednesday 29 September 2010

Common Parameters measured in Silk Yarn

Common Parameters measured in a Silk Yarn: An Example

Direction of Twist: S
Average Twists Per Metre: 691.4 Turns
C.V.Twist: 3.09 %
Percentage of Twist Deviation: 1.23 %
C.V.Size: 4.18%
Cleanness: 98.2 Percentage
Neatness: 96.15Percentage
Tenacity: 3.89 Grans/Denier
Elongation: 19.2%
Average Moisture Regain: 10.99%
Circumference of the Swift:*** Inches
Skein Weight:  about 500 grams

To know more about these tests you can click here.

General Denier Qualities in Mulberry Silk


General Norms for Organzine Twist

z800- Z direction Twist, No. of twists per meter-800
s850- s direction twist, No of twists per meter- 850

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Monday 13 September 2010

Difference between Tabby Silk and Habutai

Both are plain weave Mulberry silk. Tabby silk is lighter weight of 20 grams. whereas Habutai starts from 40 grams silk and become heavier.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Puff Printing

Watch these Videos on Puff Printing

Here is the industrial version of it:

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Heat Transfer Printing

Watch this amazing video on Heat Transfer Printing

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Water Based Vs. Plastisol Pigment Printing Inks

Until the late eighties water based white inks and clear bases were used for the piece printing of garments. However in the nineties, when automatic machine printing came in vogue, there was a need to have trouble- free-non-choking inks which led to the development of PVC based plastisol inks. Since the beginning of the 21st century there has been an increased awareness about the ill effects of PVC / residual VCM in PVC and phthalate plasticizers used in these inks. Leading European garment brands have been intensively campaigning for PVC / phthalate / APEO / formaldehyde / heavy metal free water based inks. This led to the shift back to water based inks. The challenge to day is to offer water based systems meeting the eco-standards but at the same time ability to address the user friendliness especially on high speed automatic machines.

An excellent comparison between water based and plastisol inks is given here.

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Saturday 11 September 2010

What is High Density Printing

High Density is a popular special effect that rises straight up off the shirt and has a hard rubbery feel with sharp edges. A High density print has slight glossy finish.

The source of this image is Anomaly Ink.

To get these effects about 20% of the puff base is taken which is then mix with colored inks to make it 100%. The base is Vinylidene chloride based polymer and the inks are Acrylic co-polymers. 

Then it is printed in 5-8 rounds depending upon height required on normal screen ( 2 flood/ 2 strokes). After that 3 rounds of printing is given with 150 micron film screen and then 2 rounds with 220 micron capillary film screen depending upon the height. 

An excellent video on flooding and stroking is embedded as below:

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What is Glitter Printing

Glitter Printing

Glitter printing enables the fabric to show glittering granules on the fabric. For this Glitter powder is used.

Glitter Powder is generally PET with size of 1/8" to 1/256". It is cut into square and hexagon shape. It is available in metallic, rainbow, laser and iridescent colors. Generally it comes in 25 kg bag. A typical glitter power substance is heat resistant to 170 degree celcius and is acid and alkaline proof. The picture of the glitter powder is as given below:

To Print, first glitter paste is prepared. Glitter powder is added in the Glitter ink, under stirring slowly to avoid lumb formation. Glitter ink is made of acrylic co-polymer. Then it is screen printed using Bull nose squeegee (You can read an excellent manual on squeegee here.) The mesh size should not be more than 20 T (An excellent premier on mesh size can be read here).

One can get an idea of the prices of the chemicals used for glitter printing here.

Source of Picture:

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What is Foil Printing

Foil printing is to print some pattern with the foil on the fabric for shiny effect. There are twos kind of foil printing method. In the first method, the pattern is printed by a foil/transfer adhesive on the fabric, and then pressed with foil paper by hot steel roller. The pressure is generally 5-6 bar on printed portion and at 190 degree Celcius on fusing machine for 8-12 seconds.  

In foil printing, the quality of the adhesive is very important. Generally it is made up of acrylic co-polymer with water as diluent. Cheaper qualities show very poor stretch, loss of softness and smoothness after five washes and look very unlike the original print. The foil should not stick to cured inks under pressure. Normally a matting agent is added to avoid sticking.

In the second method, printing is done on the foil paper first, and then foil is pressed on the fabric with hot steel roller or iron. 

Foil paper is called the stamping foil paper. Actually it is not the paper but the detachable foil film on the plastic base. Generally it is PET film of 15 micron thickness, available in widths of 640 or 1500mm. 

source of image:

You can watch an amazing video on foil printing here:

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Jala(Jaala) and Adai

Jala and Adai Mechanisms are used in Indian Traditional Saris. They are a close substitute for jacquard machine for weaving intricate designs. Both extra warp and extra weft figuring is possible with these mechanisms.

However there is a basic difference between the two. The following points highlight those. They also talk about some of the distinctive features of Kanchipuram Saris

• In Varanasi Sari, Extra warp and extra weft patterning is done by means of a Jaala, in Kaanchipuram it is done with the help of an adai.

• Separate adai have to be prepared for extra warp border designs, crossborder designs and for body butas. Crossborder is used to refer to the extra weft ornamentation done across the width of the sari to mark the end of its length.

•Solid coloured borders with extra warp patterning and solid colored pallu with extra weft pattern form the distinctive feature of the saris from Kanchipuram. The meaning given to the term solid is that both warp and weft are of the same color.  The warp is made of 2 ply 20-2 denier filature silk, weft of 2 ply twisted 2-=2 denier charkha silk, while 3 ply pure gold/metallic yarn/zari is used for extra warp patterning.

•Jaala mechanism leads to more ornamentation that adai mechanism.

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Count and Denier Made Simple

Yarn count, simply said, is a measure of the fineness of a yarn. Thus it gives an estimation of how thick or thin a yarn is. We can also measure the diameter of the yarn and express it in inches etc. However, the yarn is not exactly circular in cross section. Also most yarn are soft and compressible and hence the moment we apply some scale etc, it gets deflated. 

A method, which is popular in cotton yarns, is to measure the length of a particular weight of yarn. Thus the yarn which has more length will be finer than the other yarn which has less length of the same weight. For cotton yarn this particular weight is one pound, and the length is measured in 840 yards. Thus a cotton yarn has one count, if we measure the length of one pound of this yarn, and it comes out to be 840 yards. If it comes out to be 1680 or 2 x 840 yards for one pound of weight, we call it as a yarn with 2s count and so on. Generally thick shirtings are in the range of 30s count, medium weights are in 60s count and finer weights in 80s count. 

For cotton the length is taken as 840 yards and weight as one pound. For Linen, the length is 560 yards. Thus the yarn of a linen is of count 20 if in one pound there is 20 x 560 yards of length. 

Now, in real world, we come across with two yarns twisted together. If we twist two yarns of 40s count, we call  the yarn as that of 2/40s count. If we twist 3 yarns of 60s count, we call it as a yarn of 3/60s count. 

A method which is also popular in silk is to weigh a particular length of the yarn. In this system, the yarn which has less weight of the same length than some other yarn will be finer than the other yarn. Commonly this is called denier. In denier system, the unit of weight is grams and that of length is 9 km. Thus if a silk yarn weighs 24 grams of 9km of length this is said to be of 24 denier. 

The General Relation ship between count and denier is given by the fact that no of deniers is equal to 5315 divided by no of counts thus if cotton is of 30s count then it will be of 5315/30 or 177.66 deniers. 

Simply speaking, more the count, finer is the yarn. More the denier, coarser is the yarn. 

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Sunday 5 September 2010

How to Identify Fekwa ( Fekva), Katrawan and Kardhwan Techniques and Designs

These Techniques are frequently used in supplementary extra weft figuring in Varanasi brocades and Chanderi saris. Here is a brief description of the techniques:

Fekva ( Fekwa)

When the extra threads are picked from one border of the fabric to the other, the threads appear on the face of the fabric in the design portion and float on the back of the fabric in the remaining portion. If the fabric is comparatively thick, the floats on the back of the fabric are allowed to remain in the fabric and technically the design is called “fekwa”. Thus in a Fekwa or Fekva design, one can see the long floats at the back of the fabric. 

Katrawan or Katravan

If the fabric is comparatively fine and the spaces between the figures are required to appear transparent, the floats at the back of the fabric in such spaces are cut off. In these fabrics, care is taken to see that the extra figuring threads are properly bound (interlaced) with the ground warp near the edges of the figures, so that when the floats at the back of the fabric are cut off, the remaining portion of the threads forming figures do not become loose. The design is technically called a katrawan design.

Kardhwan Designs

In the fabric in which figures are brought out by extra weft by means of tillies (spools), each of which work only on the restricted warp threads in the corresponding place, manipulated from one side to the other, no float appears at the back of the cloth between figures. The design is technically called kardhwan design.

One can get more information here.

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Saturday 4 September 2010

Chikankari-Kaudi Work


Chikankari Stitches- Murri, Ghas Patti, Pechni

Notes on Chikankari

There is an amazing report on the process of Chikankari done by Ms. Neha Sharma of NIFT Mumbai. I am reproducing the various stitches representing Chikankari. The source is given below.

1. In Chikankari untwisted thread of cotton or tussar is used

2. The process of  Embroidery is as follows

a. Cutting
b. Stitching
c. Stitching
d. Printing
e. Embroidering
f. washing

Printing is done with Synthetic Indigo and emulsion of synthetic gum.

There are three types of embroideries

1. Flat Stitches

a. Tepchi

This is a running Stitch

b. Janjira

Chain stitch is used as the outline

c. Khatao

White on White Applique work, gives different opacity

d. Rahet

It is a stem stitch worked with six threads on wrong side of the fabric. Forms a solid line of back stitch on the right side of fabric.

e. Gitti

Mainly blanket stitch with buttonhole stitch is done to create circular pattern in the form of wheel like motif.

f. Turpai and Darzdari

2. Embossed Effect

g. Murri

Oval Shaped French knot

h. Phanda

i. Ghas Patti


j. Jaali

k. Hool

Fine detached eyelet stitch.

Source: Please click here or get it from here. 

Chikankari Stitches- Keel and Ulta Bakhia


Gaanth and Jaali Work


Thursday 2 September 2010

What is Tapestry Weave

Tapestry is the name given to a weave in which two basic principles are found at play:

1. The hiding of the warp with a closely packed weft to secure solid planes of color.
2. Weaving of independent weft each confined to its own area within any given pick.

The places where the two colors junction intermingle, any one of the following methods may be employed:

If the two weft picks interlock each other, it is called interlock.

If the interlocking is on alternate rows it is called single interlock.

If it is practiced on each row it is called double interlock.

If the two weft picks interlock around a common warp without simultaneously interlocking with each other, it falls within the category of dovetail tapestry.

If there is no interlocking at color junction this is called slit tapestry or Kilim.

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More about Silkworms and Silk fiber- Mulberry, Muga, Tasar and Eri

Silkworm belong to the order Lepidoptera. They belong to family of Bombycidae and Saturniidae. Under Bomycidae, we have Bombyx Mori or commonly known as Mulberry Silkworm. Under Saturniidae family the eri silk worm is called Philosamia Ricine, Muga is called Anthrerea Assamensis and Tasar is called A. Mylitta

Silk filament is made up of 75-80 percent fibroin and 20-25% sericin or gum. Fibroin is insoluble but sericin may be removed by boiling. 

The Muga and Tasar varieties of the worm also secrete a cement which causes a drab color to develop, making bleaching a very laborious process. 

Silk of the B. Mori variety is triangular in cross section. It has a capacity to reflect light and the layers of protein impart it with a pearly sheen. Tasar silk has a flatter structure which is a reason for its dull appearance. 

Muga is rounder and more lustrous. 

The B.Mori and Muga imagos cut their way through one end of the cocoon, thus making the filament discontinuous. The Tasar moth secrets an enzyme called cocoonase, which softens the cocoon shell facilitating  emergence. The eri moth spins an open ended cocoon through which the imago can fly to full term. 

In silk only male worm can fly. 

During the process of boiling of silk 75% of the sericin is removed. Care is taken to retain the 25% of the gum to prevent tangling. If the boiling is insufficient, filaments tend to snap during weaving, while excess boiling increases the amount of waste silk. 

The thread drawn from the cocoon is of uneven consistency, being finer at the beginning and the end. In order to provide uniformity in consistency, additionaly filaments are drawn in course of reeling, the process is called throwing. 

Because of the structure of cocoon, the process of reeling also generates a residue of waste fiber. In B. Mori, about 45% of the product is floss. This material is spun. This is called Matka. In the case of muga worm 25 to 50 percent may be spun. With regard to tasar only about 10 per cent of the filament can be reeled

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Difference between Throw Shuttle and Fly Shuttle Looms

The throw shuttle is a loom in which the shuttle is thrown across the shed by hand. In a fly shuttle loom, the shuttle is sent across the shed by means of a mechanical picker. This is an improved type of loom, which increased three to four times the production of the weavers. It has all the advantages of the throw shuttle, except for, weaving intricate extra weft patterns.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Ajrak Motifs -Illustrated


Quest for the sparkling white cotton - Home -

India’s finest variety, the low-yielding Suvin, has all the right properties, but its production has dropped sharply—from 10,000 bales in 2006-07 to 2,000 bales last year—because of high production costs,

Quest for the sparkling white cotton - Home -

On the CIE Index, an international standard for whiteness, Indian cotton fabric achieves a rating of 145; American and Egyptian fabric, by comparison, achieve ratings of 155 and 160, respectively. The gap may not sound massive, experts say, but visually the difference is huge, leading to the lower-rated cloth being rejected as inferior.

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