Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fabric Construction – Films[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the forty-nineth post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms and Fabrics
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather

The Glossary of Terms and Fabrics, Timelines and A Fashion Data Base have been updated. The Glossary, Timelines and A Fashion Data Base will be updated in the future to incorporate more definitions, timeline events and fashion creatives that we should be aware of in our art practice.

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Introduction
Man-made products have the advantage of being sold by the yard in various widths and gauges (thickness) and they are uniform throughout. The cost varies with the fabric but the end product is usually cheaper when constructed from a man-made product rather than from a natural product such as leather. Today’s post focuses on films.

Plastic dresses.


Films
Films are plain or expanded. The plain film is firm, dense and of uniform consistency, while the expanded film is spongy, softer and plumper due to tiny air cells made by a blowing agent incorporated in the vinyl compound. The expanded films are less resistant to abrasion compared to plain films. Expanded films are leather like in appearance and are used wherever leather is used.

A 3D computer printed plastic dress that flows like fabric.

Plastic “fabrics” are of two types: unsupported film and supported film. The supported film has a woven, bonded or knit fabric backing. It is more expensive than unsupported film, but it has greater sewability and is less apt to tear along the seams or where it is tacked to furniture.

Plastic-coated fabric. The acrylic-coated fabric is easy to keep clean.

Most films or film coatings are made of resins of polyvinylchloride, polyurethane or polyethylene. Mylar film, a polyester, has been used as a coating on leather shoes to give luster and greatly increased durability.

Mylar coated leather high heel shoes.

Plastic films are made by the following methods:
(i) Extruding a solution through long, very narrow slits into warm air or a liquid-hardening bath. This is very similar to the methods of making fiber.
(ii) Casting a solution on a large revolving drum, where it dries and is then stripped off.
(iii) Calendering or pressing a moulded powder between hot rolls, which exert tons of pressure and so transforms it into film.

If the film is applied to the fabric, the film is formed on the calender. The fabric is inserted and the hot plastic is pressed on it.

Shiny and sleek, this metallic slicker features a removable hood, which reveals an always-chic stand collar; stand collar with detachable hood; long sleeves with button-tab details; concealed snap front; slash pockets; belt tab at back of waist; inverted pleat at back hem; lined; about 33"" from shoulder to hem; polyurethane-coated polyester.

Plastic films and coated fabrics can be embossed to resemble any woven fabric or any grain leather. Overall flocking is done to give a suede look.

Plastic suede jacket in red.

The advantages of plastics are the ease of maintenance, resistance to soil, good wrinkle recovery, high durability, waterproofness and low cost. They can vary in thickness from very thin, transparent film to heavy leatherette.

Crinkle moto leatherette jacket.

Disadvantages center on the unpleasant door present in some vinyl plastics, stiffening at low temperatures, shrinking at high temperatures, and cracking as a result of volatilization of the plasticizer.

Vinyl plastics are color scavengers. The plasticizing agents used often dissolve color from textiles in contact with the vinyl, causing stains on the vinyl that are impossible to remove. When this happens there is a tendency to blame the other textile rather than the culprit – vinyl.

Vinyl films tend to shrink and stiffen when dry-cleaned. Unless the label on the garment says “dry cleanable” the best method of cleaning is washing using a washing formula suited to the fabric with which the vinyl is combined.

Almost everything one can think of is made or can be made of plastic. No other material is as good for waterproof apparel, hospital bed coverings, and baby pants. For leather like apparel, handbags, shoes, luggage etc., plastic makes the "leather-look" available to all. In home furnishings, the end uses are many – place mats, table linens, upholstery, slipcovers, draperies etc.

Pet dog clothes - waterproof slicker dust coat hoodie jumpsuit raincoat.


Reference:
[1] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, MacMillan Company, London (1968).