Saturday, April 1, 2017

Figured Fabrics[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the sixty-third 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
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics
Knit-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
Figures in fabrics are made by knitting or weaving, while figures on fabrics are made by various finishes such as printing, embossing and flocking. Woven or knitted figures are permanent and are always “on grain”.

Stripe double weave geometric figure knit cardigan.

Figures made by finishes vary in permanence depending on the techniques and chemical used and the care with which they are plied. These figures are often “off-grain” in the filling or crosswise direction.

When a pattern piece is not correctly aligned with the grain the way it’s supposed to be, it is called off-grain.

Today’s post will center on figured fabrics in general.


Woven Figures
Woven figures are made by changing the weave pattern in the figure to make the figure stand out from the background or by using yarns of different color, twist or size. A combination of these two construction variations may be used. Either method requires a special loom or loom attachments. Woven figures are described as large figures, small figures and figures made with extra yarns.

White cotton, lilac prints, thread buttons, figures design, day dress, cotton woven, front bodice, ca. 1815.
Courtesy of Bows Museums.

Large Figures
Large figures require more than 25 different arrangements of the warp yarns to make the pattern. They are made on a Jacquard loom in which each warp is independently computer controlled.

A modern computerized Jacquard loom.

Each arrangement of warp yarns is computer controlled. The shed is formed for the passage of filling yarns.

The new technologies company, “Factum Arte” worked with artist Grayson Perry on all stages of the production of the tapestry "Maps of Truths and Beliefs", which was woven from digital files on a Jacquard loom in Belgium. Note: there is no repeat in the pattern from top to bottom or from side to side.

The repeat would be another picture. The figure below was made by a textile engineering student as a class exercise. It has a repeat both crosswise and lengthwise.

Exercise in threading Jacquard loom.

Fabrics made on a Jacquard loom are damask, brocade and tapestry. Damask has satin floats on the satin background, the floats in the design being in the opposite direction from those in the background. It is made from all kinds of fibers and in many different weights for apparel and home furnishings. Quality and durability are dependent on high count. Low-count damask is not durable because the long floats rough up, snag and shift during use.

Damask fabric.

Brocade has satin floats on a plain, ribbed or satin background. Brocade with a satin background differs from damask in that the floats in the design are more varied in length and are often of several colors.

Silk brocade fabric.

Originally, tapestry was an intricate hand-woven picture, usually a wall hanging that took years to weave. The Jaquard tapestry is mass-produced for upholstery, handbags and the like. It is a complicated structure consisting of two or more sets of warp and two or more sets of filling interlaced so that the face warp is never woven in the back and the back filling does not show on the face. Upholstery tapestry is durable if warp and filling yarns are comparable. Very often however, fine yarns are combined with coarse yarns and when these wear off, they release floats as long loose strings.

Jacquard tapestry and upholstery fabric – floral sofa cover.

Brocatelle is a tapestry like upholstery fabric similar to matelassé (see crepe fabrics) but made with heavy regular twist yarns.

Brocatelle. Luxurious silk linen Jacquard with embossed effect. Based on French ironwork motifs for residential upholstery.

Wilton rugs are figured pile fabric made on a Jacquard loom. These rugs, once considered imitations of Oriental rugs, are so expensive to weave that the turfting industry were trying to find ways to create similar figures using turfting.

Square Wilton rug.

Small Figures
Small figures require less than 25 different arrangements of warp yarns to make a pattern. They are made on a dobby loom.

The Leclerc Diana Computer-Dobby loom is a low cost sophisticated computer controlled hand weaving loom designed for workshops or applications in which space is an issue.

The Birdseye design has a small diamond-shaped filling-float design with a dot at the center that resembles the eye of a bird. The design was originally used in costly white silk fabric for ecclesiastical vestments. At one time it was widely used for towels and diapers.

Grey birdseye suit fabric.

Huck or huck-a-back has a pebbly surface made by filling floats. It is used primarily in face towels.

Blue huck towels.

Shirting madras has a small satin float designs on a ribbed or plain ground.

Stretch cotton poplin shirting madras fabric.

Extra-Yarn Figures
Figures made with extra yarns usually have warp or filling floats in the design area and cut ends at the extremities of the design. Extra warp yarns are wound on a spread beam and threaded into separate heddles. The extra yarns interlace with the regular filling yarns to form a design and float above the fabric until needed for a repeat. The floats are then clipped close to the design or clipped long enough to give an eyelash effect. The figure below shows a fabric before and after clipping.

Fabric made with extra warp yarns. Left: right side of fabric. Right: wrong side of fabric before and after clipping.

Extra filling yarns are inserted in several ways. Clipped spots are made with low-twist filling yarns inserted by separate shuttles. The shedding is done so that the extra yarn interlace with some warp and float across the back of others. Clipped spots are woven on a box loom that has a wire along the edge to hold the extra yarns so that they need not be woven in the selvage. The figure below shows a clipped spot dotted swiss before and after clipping.

Clipped spotted swiss: before and after clipping.

Swivel dots are made on a loom that has an attachment holding tiny shuttles. The fabric is woven face down to keep the shuttles and extra yarns above the ground fabric. Each shuttle carrying extra yarn goes four times around the warp yarns in the ground fabric and then the yarn is carried along the surface to the next spot. The yarn is sheared off between the spots.

Dotted swiss. Left: top to bottom – wrong side – clipped dots, swivel dots and paste dots. Right: top to bottom – right side – clipped dots, swivel dots and paste dots.

Dotted swiss is made with either clipped or swivel dots on a sheer cotton ground. The name is rather loosely used today to refer to any dotted fabric. The figure above shows three fabrics called dotted swiss. Notice in the clipped spot that the filling yarns are spread apart by the thick extra yarns and that there is no spreading with the swivel dot. The paste dot in the lower part of the figure is still called a swiss dot even though it is made by a finish rather than a weave. Paste dots are often used on nylons or polyester sheers, which require little or no ironing. There is no right or wrong side to dotted swiss even though it does look alike on both sides. It is a matter of opinion which side should be worn outside.

Figures by Finish
Figures by finish are usually cheaper than woven figures because decisions about the figures need not be made so early in the production process and orders for cloth can be filled more quickly.

Embroidered fabrics made on Schiffi machine, which consists of a frame 10 to 15 yards long, many needles and many shuttles containing bobbins.

RP Computerized Shuttle (Schiffli) Embroidery Machine is mainly used for making accessorial materials of various modern garment and embroidery material and laces.

The operation is similar to making fancy stitches on a sewing machine except that over 650 needles and bobbins are employed. All kinds and qualities of fabrics are embroidered.

Bruges bobbin lace produced on the Schiffli embroidery machine.

Other figures by finish that will be discussed in future posts include: Plissé, flocking, embossing, burnt-out, parchmentized and color printing.


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

1 comment:

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