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. 

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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Saturday 30 March 2019

Is Turkey Red Same as Alizarin

The answer is yes, the color obtained from Alizarin after mordanting with Aluminium metal salts is also called Turkey Red. This is the red color popularly used in Dabu, Bagru, Tarapur, Kalamkari and Ajrak handblock prining of India. Alizarin is a mordant dye. Mordant is an additive which improves the ability of a dye to bond to the fabric. 

Mordant dyes are used in combination with salts of metal ions, typically aluminum, chromium, iron, and tin. The metal ions adhere to the fabric and serve as points of attachment for the dye molecules.So Aluminium present in Alum is used to generate that famous red color of alizarin. Other metal salts can be used as mordants for alizarin with some interesting color changes results. For example iron sulfate as the mordant imparts a rich brown color to the dyed fabric.

Alizarin, also spelled Alizarine, a red dye originally obtained from the root of the common madder plant, Rubia tinctorum, in which it occurs combined with the sugars xylose and glucose. The cultivation of madder and the use of its ground root for dyeing by the complicated Turkey red process were known in ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; the use spread to Asia Minor about the 10th century and was introduced into Europe in the 13th.

Laboratory methods of preparing alizarin from anthraquinone were discovered in 1868, and, upon commercial introduction of the synthetic dye in 1871, the natural product disappeared from the market for textile dyes.

There is a difference in Turkey Red and Turkey Red Oil. Turkey red oil, also called sulphonated (or sulfated) castor oil, is made by adding sulfuric acid to vegetable oils, most notably castor oil.It was the first synthetic detergent after ordinary soap. It is used in formulating lubricants, softeners, and dyeing assistants.

A trivia- Alizarin is something of a fungicide and pediculoside (that is why it found in the soldiers uniforms).

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Sunday 17 March 2019

How to find the Number of Ends in a fabric when weight, count and Length of Warp is Given

How to find the Number of Ends in a fabric when weight, count and Length of Warp is Given

This calculation is taken from "Textile Calculations" by Ashenhurst

For cotton

Multiply the weight of the yarn in lbs x Yarn count x 840)/yards of warp required

Change 840 to appropriate systems for other fibers.

eg. It is desired to make 3 kg of 40s cotton into a warp 56 meters long, how many ends will it contain:

1 kg = 2.2 lbs
1 m = 1.09 yards

So the number of ends that it will contain is

(3 x 2.2 x 40 x 840)/(56 x 1.09)= 3633 ends.

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Fiber - Specific Gravity

Fiber Specific Gravity
Acetate Rayon 1.30-1.33
Acrylic 1.14-1.18
PVC 1.38-1.70
Glass Fiber 2.50
Modacrylic 1.31-1.37
Nylon 1.10-1.14
Polyester 1.22-1.38
Polyolefin 0.90-0.95
Cupramommum Rayon 1.52
Viscose Rayon 1.52
Carbon High Modulus 1.77
Carbon Ultra High Mod 1.96
Alpaca 1.31
Angora Rabbit fur 1.10
Camel Hair 1.31
Cashmere 1.31
Cotton- Solid Fiber 1.54
Cotton Overall fiber 1.35
Linen 1.50
Flax 1.50
Hemp 1.50
Jute 1.50
Mink 1.26
Mohair 1.31
Musk Rat 1.26
Rabbit-Common 0.92
Ramie 1.55
Silk Weighted >1.60
Silk- B. Mori (Raw) 1.33
Asbestor 2.1-2.8
Silk- Tussar 1.32
Wool ( non-modullated) 1.31

Friday 8 March 2019

Dimensions of Some Animal and Vegetable Textile Fibers

Source: Handbook of Textile Technical Data - TIT&S Bhiwani

Saturday 2 February 2019

Is Crepe Fabric made up of Polyester ?

This is a question which has been asked by many of my readers and many forms.

The explanation lies in the difference between fabric and fiber of which it is made of. So Crepe fabric can be made of cotton, viscose or polyester depending upon the end use. Here crepe is a form of weave, which can be done on any of the fibers.

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Saturday 5 January 2019

Technical Parameters of a PolyCot Saree

About Tearing Strength of Fabrics

Tear strength is more important in the assessment of "serviceability" of the fabric. In order to tear a cloth, the threads are broken singly. It is therefore a frequent mode of fabric failure.

The factors which contribute to the resistance to the tear is :

a. Strength of the yarn normal to the tear.Suppose you are trying to tear the weft yarns. Then those yarns need to be stronger.

b. Freedom of movement of the yarn in the direction of the tear. As in a. The freedom of movement in the warp yarns should be there, which can be done by reducing the EPI.

There are two types of Tear strength measurement come into play. First is Initial Tear Strength: It is when the load is applied on the fabric to tear it. This load is always higher than the average tear strength. It is because of the fact that up to this load, yarn crimp removal and sliding takes place. But once this point is reached the load is instantly transferred to the successive yarns and the tear strength obtained is known as average tear strength. 

These are ways that the tear strength in a fabric can be affected:

1. By reducing the thread count in the direction opposite to the direction of test, the tearing strength can be increased. So if you are tearing warpways-means you are tearing weft yarn- reduce the thread count of warp yarn-means reduce EPI.

2. Use yarns with the high breaking load in the direction of test to increase tearing strength. Means take stronger yarns in weft, as in example in point 1. This is the most important factor.

3. Decrease friction between yarns to increase tearing testing strength. This allows threads to group closer together under the tearing force, so instead of the successive breakage of individual threads, the action becomes more of a strength test on plied yarns. Decreased friction allows this grouping.

4. Related to 3, is the effect of the weave. Thus a twill or 2/2 matt structure allows the threads to group better than a plain weave. So Twill or 2/2 exhibit better resistance to tearing than plain weave.

5. Related to the point 1, high sett fabrics preclude thread movement hence the assistance by thread group is reduced.

6. Special Finishes such as drip dry or crease resistance finishes may reduce tearing strengths.

Source: 1 , Textile Testing by Booth, 3,

Video below gives the tearing testing procedure:

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