Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fabric Construction – Nonwoven Fabrics[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the forty-sixth 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
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
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Knitting
Hosiery
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns and Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements have been updated in order to better inform your art practice.

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Introduction
Nonwoven fabrics are fibrous sheets made by bonding and/or interlocking textile fibers by mechanical, thermal or solvent means or by a combination of these processes. The term “nonwoven” applies to needled fabrics (needle- punched felts etc.), to bonded web or paper-like fabrics to battings and to waddings.

Origami Paper Dress.


Needled Fabrics
Needle punching consists of passing a properly prepared web over a needle loom as many times as is necessary to produce the desired strength and texture. A needle loom consists of a board with barbed needles protruding in two or three inches from the base. As the needle pushes through the web, the barbs catch a few fibers causing them to interlock mechanically.

Fiberwoven Process.

The above diagram shows a pointed needle with two barbs. If such a needle is pushed into an assemblage of fibers, a number of them, 10 to 30 fibers, will be caught by the barbs.

The motion of a needle pair and the synchronised sequence of the Fiberwoven Process are represented in the diagram above. Action is as follows:
(a) The top needle picks up and carries fiber downward and withdraws.
(b) The fiber batt advances a small increment.
(c) The lower needle picks up thee fiber, passes it through the fiber loops, previously positioned by the partner needle, and withdraws.
(d) The fiber batt again advances a small increment.

The sequence repeats itself, and the continuous chain of interloped, entangled fibres results from the action of two needles.

Because of the simplicity of the process, the FiberWoven technique lends itself to the fabrication of layered structures; fiber denier, fiber type, and fiber quality can differ in the layers. Fiber to give a desirable hand - for example, wool or acrylic - can be placed on the outer surface of a centre section of fiber chosen for durability and shrink properties. The diagram above illustrates such a blanket construction.

Needle fabrics are finished by pressing, steaming, calendaring, dyeing and embossing as woven fabrics are finished.

Fabric Construction – Difference between Felt and Nonwoven (fiber web).

This process has been used for 150 years to make thick fekts of coarse fiber and hair for carpet underlays, saddle pads, and the like. In the past few years, attractive blankets and carpeting have been made by needle punching. Blankets may be lofty or compact.

Needle Punched Carpets.

Indoor-outdoor carpeting using olefin fibers is being used rather extensively for putting greens, poolside grass or for grassy patios and porches. The construction process makes this carpeting inexpensive and the fiber content makes it impervious to moisture.

Synthetic Putting Green.


Bonded-Web or Paper-Like Fabrics
In these fabrics, one or more layers of fibers are sealed together by the use of solvents, heat, or bonding substances. They compete with both paper and fabrics made from yarns. They are more cloth like in appearance, have a higher wet strength, better drape and less tendency to lint than paper. They are widely used in disposable items: disposable diapers and rainwear are a convenience in travel; disposable sanitary and medical goods often cost less than laundering the original article; disposable wash cloths and damp napkins eliminate lint, which might float around inside a space capsule and be inhaled by astronauts.

Disposable Washcloths.

Bond-web fabrics are available in many weights and textures for use as interfacings where they are more economical to cut since they have no grain. Some may be used as bonding agents between fabric layers to give body and smoothness in the bands of collars and cuffs of men’s dress shirts and to eliminate hand or machine hemming in dresses and skirts.

A small section (1-3 inches) of no sew bonding tape (or other iron-on bonding agent) is placed on the fabric in the bend of the hem.

Some of the bonded-web fabrics that will stand several washings are used as place mats, towels and draperies.

Any kind of fiber can be used in nonwovens. The choice depends on the end-use, cost, processing characteristics and properties of the fibers. Reused and reprocessed fibers as well as new fibers of various lengths are used. Cotton, rayon and acetate require the use of a binder to hold them together. They tend to make heavier, denser fabrics than other fibers. Nylon and polyester are more expensive, but they are heat-sensitive and can be self-bonding. Continuous filaments have been introduced in nonwovens. A fiber called Reemay is a spun-polyester. This product is made by depositing the polyester filaments from spinnerets in a random fashion on a moving belt and then heat-setting the filaments in this random position.

Magnification of a Spun-Bonded Reemey Polyester Fiber Web.

Reemay Cloth for Frost Protection.

Bonded-web fiber fabrics also vary in the web formation, the bonding technique used and the curing or drying process.

Fiber webs are made in two ways – oriented webs and random webs. Oriented webs are made on conventional carding equipment. The web comes from the card onto the conveyor apron. Several webs may be superimposed to obtain the desired thickness. The fibers can all go in the same direction (lengthwise) or some webs may be laid with fibers at right angles to fibers in other webs. In the latter case, the fabric will have strength both lengthwise and crosswise, while in the former case the strength will be lengthwise. Random webs are made on special machines, which operate by suspending the fibers in a rapidly moving airstream and carefully depositing them on a collecting screen. These webs have equal strength and elasticity in all directions.

Nonwoven fabrics.

Nonwoven fabrics are broadly defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fiber or filaments (and by perforating films) mechanically, thermally or chemically. They are flat, porous sheets that are made directly from separate fibers or from molten plastic or plastic film. They are not made by weaving or knitting and do not require converting the fibers to yarn. Typically, a certain percentage of recycled fabrics and oil-based materials are used in nonwoven fabrics. The percentage of recycled fabrics vary based upon the strength of material needed for the specific use.

Solvent bonding is done by applying suitable solvent to gelatinize the fibers, which are then bonded together by pressure. This makes a stiff fabric. Heat setting of thermoplastic fibers is achieved by passing the web through heated rollers. Du Pont have developed synthetic fiberous particles that they call “fibrids”. These fibrids are 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch long and have twig like projections, which hold the fibers in the web in place until they are fused together by heat. The name Texryl has been given to the interfacing fabric made in this way. The fabric is usually tough and durable.

Printing a bonding substance on the web in the form of crosswise strips, bars or diamonds forms a discontinuous bonded web. These nonwovens have a good drape and a fabric-like hand, but often have poor strength properties.

Padding is done by running the web through an impregnating bath and then through a padder to remove excess bonding emulsion to form a continuous bonded web. This technique is used primarily on thin or moderately thick webs. Flexibility of the fabric depends on the bonding agent used. An alternative method is one in which the web does not enter the bath but passes between rollers with the lower roller dipping into the bath and depositing the binder to give a loftier fabric.

Over 200 products are used as bonding agents, ranging from starch, glue and casein to thermoplastic and thermosetting resins.


Batting, Wadding and Fiberfill
These are not fabrics, but they are important components in apparel for snow suits, ski jackets, quilted garments of all sorts, and in household textiles for quilts, comforters, padding for furniture and in mattresses and mattress pads.

Warm faux two piece double hooded men's wadding fashion comfort cotton-padded clothes thick outerwear.

Batting is made from new fiber, wadding is made from waste fiber, and fiberfill is the name given to a man-made staple made especially for end uses.

Cotton and Polyester Battings.

Carded fibers are laid down to form the desired thickness and are often covered with a sheet of nonwoven fabric. The table below presents a comparison of batts made of different fibers. This comparison is helpful in the selection of comforters, quilted robes and quilted jackets.

Comparison of Properties.

The importance of density is that, for a unit volume the fabric will be heavy or light. In recent times people want lightweight fabrics, especially for outer garments. Resiliency is important because fabrics that maintain their loft incorporate more airspace. When fibers stay crushed, the fabric becomes thinner and more compact. Resistance to shifting is important in maintaining uniformity of thickness in the fabric. For instance, down comforters need to be shaken often because the filling tends to shift to the outer edges. The thermoplastic fiber batts can be run through a needle-punch machine in which hot needles melt parts of the fibers that they touch, causing them to fuse together to form a more stable batt. The thicker the batt, the warmer the fabric regardless of fiber content. In apparel, there is a limit to the thickness, however, because too much bulk restricts movement and is a limiting factor in styling.


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

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