Sunday 31 July 2011

Varanasi Saris- Process Notes

Notes on Varanasi Silk Saris

A Scenic View of the Ganges

Warp and Weft

Loom- Note the two Jacquards
A Close-up view of the Cloth Roll
Rangkaat Sari - Different Colored weft - Interlock technique
Card for Jacquard- Not Interchangeable for other machines

Temple- 6 nails- Unlike Chanderi come from Below
Dyeing of Body and Palla
A View of the Karkhaana- No Jaalas anymore

The warp used is 20/22 denier filament silk. 20/22 is called so because normally a silk fiber is of 2 denier. When 11 such filaments are taken then it becomes 22 denier. However, while reeling one filament may get broaken which means the denier is 20. Hence it is called 20/22 denier. Apart from this 14/18, spun, tussar , 16/18 and Pashmina are also used in the warp. Weft normally used is Katan. Normally for plain weave base 4 heald shafts are used in groups of 2. For Tanchui with Satin base more heald shafts are used. Jacquards are used for extra weft figuring. There can be upto three jacquards, one for weaving body motif, one for palla and one to set Konia etc. Min. warp size can be two saris. Jacquard can be 120 hooks or 160 hooks depending upon the design. Cards cut for one jacquard cannot be interchanged for the other.


Zari comes in 220 grams bundle and the fineness is denoted by Gajas. If 220 grams has 1200 yards, it is called 1200 gaja if this bundle has 1750 yards, it is called 1750 Gaja. and if it has 3700 yards, it is called 3700 gaja. 1750 and 3700 yard zaris are most commonly used. Zari comes in four quality plastic, Powder, Tested and Real Zari. Plastic zari is also called Kalabattu. Poweder zari has a thinner coating then tested zari and plastic has a synthetic base. In all the zaris except Real, the copper wire is wrapped over a cotton, viscose or synthetic and it is coated with gold or silver. Generally tested zari is also called half fine zari. Also in powder zari the inner core is twisted rayon over which artificial gold color powder is super imposed to obtain the lustrous appearance.However this lace get blacken after some use.3700 Gaja tested Zari has polyester as a base ( 30 denier) with copper covering and siliver or gold electroplating. The thicker zaris has cotton as the core. The Silver coated zari is called Rupa and Gold coated sari is called Sona. The best zari suppliers are AVJ from Surat or Locat supppliers like Uma. Zari comes in three shades; dark, light and medium. To subdue the effect of zari, it can be twised with Resham and used.  An amazing presentation on Zardozi work can be seen here.


Dyes used are acid and metal complex for silk and Vat/reactive for cotton.  The colors of Varanasi Saris are fast and no staining is observed.

Preserving Varanasi Saris

The best way to preserve a Varanasi Sari is to keep it in the Mull cloth ( no starch, washed). Plastic is not recommened. It should be dry cleaned.

Finishing of Varanasi Saris

Generally after sari is finished it is then passed through cold calendar to give it a sheen and delivered.  

Other Notes

Maximum weight variation in two Varanasi saris willl be 20-50 grams per sari. Organza sari is called Kora. 

Other Readings:

An interesting reading is about the use of Condoms in making Varanasi Saris

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Monday 25 July 2011

Technological Institute of Textile and Sciences, Bhiwani

It would be an injustice if I do not dedicate this blog to Technological Institute of Textiles(TIT), Bhiwani - the institute where I did my graduation from.


I joined the institute in 1990, barely knowing anything about textiles. At that time ( and I guess still now) the institute reverberated with anything related to textiles. I still remember the first lecture we attended of Revered Mr. Dhamija about Textile Raw Material. He seemed to be knowing everything about textiles ( which we found out later he actually did). I remember attending the lectures of Introduction to Textile Processes by Mr. Bhatnagar and Mechanism of Weaving by Mr.Arya. While we struggled our way to know about textiles, we got 'helped' a lot by our seniors who taught us short cuts to pass a particular course- which sometimes worked also. Textile Testing was taken care of by Mr. Punj and yes, it was Mr. Manuja who tried to run us throuh Engineering of Textile Structure. We were particularly influenced by Mr.R.K. Singh ( aka 'Raka') whose penchant for making graphs while teaching Synthetic fibers was particularly noted ( I remembered whenever he uttered "Rheology" and "Miscelles" while lecturing, I got so frustrated that I could not take any further notes ). Then came Mr.Tyagi and Mr.Sharma who tried to take us through to the subjects of Spinning and weaving respectively. Mr.KN Chatterjee made the subject of Fabric Structure very easy for us to learn. The best part about this institute is the mill attached to it which makes the whole process of learning very fast. 

TIT has a very good alumni following, with its ex students spread all across the globe. It has this organisation called TITOBA ( TIT Old Boys Association) which after girls started coming to the institute has become TITOSA (TIT old Students Association). TITOBA is a rather loose organisation with chapters all across the cities and regions of the world. Some attempts have been made to make to online. One of them is TITOBA on the NET by Mr. Dudeja, which has been a great effort. 

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Sunday 10 July 2011

Important Factors in Judging Cotton Yarn Industries in India

Important Factors in Judging Cotton Yarn Industries in India

1. Cost Management

Raw material cost forms about 50-55% of sales, in a cotton spinning company. The ratio of indigeneous to imported cotton affects the cost, as imported cotton depends upon international cycles.

Power cost  forms a fair component of cost (about 10% of sales) and the power expenditure becomes very critical. Players using captive generation have an assured uninterrupted supply of power.

Efficient cotton procurement strategies like contract farming, proficiency in estimating the future trends in the cotton market, proximity to the cotton cultivation areas and optimal quantity of cotton procurement would help players in minimizing costs and achieving profitability.

2. Inventory management

Cotton is a seasonal crop and is harvested from October to February every year. Inventory management thus plays an important role as companies procuring optimum quantities of crop and stocking raw material

requirement for a considerable time can ensure availability of good quality raw materials at reasonable prices.

3. Economies of scale

As the industry is characterized by low margins, profitability depends on volume of sales and companies having high capacities can register satisfactory growth. High capacities can   also help players in bagging huge 
orders. Further, companies having the capacity to manufacture on multiple lines can take the advantage of simultaneous production of different counts.

4. Labour relations

Labour cost constitutes about 6% of sales. Given the labour intensive nature of the industry, the companies having cordial labour relations are better placed in terms of labour productivity and smooth operations.

5. Expansions / Modernization

Opening up of global markets in the post quota regime, requires companies to undertake expansions and modernisations at the appropriate time so as to gain advantage of the growing markets and the demand-supply gap. Ability of spinning units to replace obsolete machines with modern state-of-the-art machines will enable companies to cater to the export marketsand offer better quality products. Further, players foraying into downstream expansions can benefit from integrated operation.

6. Diversification

Product diversification

 Players having finer count yarn in their product mix, cater to the elite market segment where demand is relatively price inelastic and margins are high. Companies having capacity to produce double yarn have better product flexibility. Further, companies producing blended yarn rather than only cotton yarn, can efficiently tackle the cyclicality in the cotton yarn demand. Also,companies focusing on value added products can further improve their profitability.

Geographical diversification

A player catering to both domestic as well as export markets can diversify the risk of sluggishness in a particular market. Export oriented companies catering to various countrieshave lower country specific risk. However, a large composition of exports calls for foreignexchange management policies as fluctuations in the foreign exchange market can adversely affect such players.

View the Complete Article Here

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Description, Designation and Annotation of Textile Yarn

There is frequently a need to describe the textile yarn concisely in the language which a laymen can understand. Also there is a need to write concisely the description of the textile yarn. ASTM has an elaborate system to describe spun, filament and a yarn made from a combination of these i.e. ply and cable yarn. 

In yarns such as ply or cable yarn which are made from components, it is essential to describe the components and the resultant from those components. Thus in describing such yarns, there have to be two groups; one of them describes the components and the other describes the resultant yarn. Accordingly there are two ways to write a yarn description. 

First method is called single to fold or ply notation. In this system, the single component of yarn is described first and only then the resultant yarn is descibed. This system is used in indirect numbering system. 

Second method is called fold or ply to single notation. In this system, the whole structure is described first and then the components are described. This is frequently used by yarn buyers. 

The full treatment of the topic is given here. Some general guidelines and examples are given in this article.

The notation 

24 Ne Z 15tpi (Cotton, 1 1/6 inch, SLM, 4.3 Micronaire Reading)/5 S 9 tpi/3 Z 5tpi; R 1.4 cc

represents a yarn made from 24 Count twisted in z direction with 15 twists per inch which is then again twisted 5 fold in s directions with 9 tpi and three such yarns are again twisted in Z direction with 5 tip which give a resultant cotton count of 1.4. 

The filament single yarn is described as

11 tex f40 s 2.5tpi( nylon 2.5 dtex)

For yarns where linear density gets increased on bulking or texturising, we describe it by symbol B.

70 den f34 t0(Nylon 2.97den); B 80 den

B 80 indicate that the denier of yarn is increased from 70 to 80 after bulking. 

Multiple wound yarns are described as:

25 tex Z 15 tpi ( Cotton ) x 2 t0

Here t0 indicate zero twist and describes that 2 yarns of 25 tex cotton with 15 tpi in z direction are wound together.

We can also describe a yarn using x.

You can read more here.

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Sunday 3 July 2011

What is Cold Peel and Hot Peel in Heat Transfer Printing

Difference between Cold Peel and Hot Peel in Heat Transfer Printing

Heat Transfer printing is an indirect printing method where, rather than printing inks directly on to a garment, inks are printed on to paper (called transfer paper), dried, then ‘transferred’ under a heat press on to the garment. Transfers are produced basically in two ways: these are Cold Peel (cold-split) transfers, and Hot-Peel (hot-split) transfers. Cold Peel method is where the transfer paper is allowed to cool down completely after application and before removing. This gives a semi-glossy, rubbery feel to the print. Hot peel method is where the transfer paper is peeled off the hot transfer immediately after the transfer is applied. When the paper is peeled hot, a portion of ink remain on paper and the rest on the fabric. Hot peel transfers feels just like screen prints. 

There is an excellent article about how to do the transfer printing here. To know in general about heat transfer printing one can go here .

Excalibur Product Manual is a trasurehouse of information about screens and heat transfer printing

An amazing introduction to Screen printing is done in comic style here

Very handy Hints and Tricks can be found here

By the way, metallic colors are not suitable for heat transfers.
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