Saturday, February 24, 2018

UBIRR
 - My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski


Preamble
On this blog spot there are posts that center on my “Wearable Art” (e.g. scarves, digital or analogue created fabric lengths etc.) For your convenience I have listed these posts below.

A Selection of My Scarves
Leaves Transformed: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
My New Silk Rayon Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery
My Fabric Lengths@QSDS
My Fabric Collection:"Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona!"@Spoonflower
2013 Australian Craft Awards – Finalist
My Scarves@2014 Scarf Festival: "Urban Artscape" Pashminas
My New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
New Range of Silk Neckties - Karma and Akash
AIVA: My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
New Colorways For My 'Cultural Graffiti' Fabrics
Byzantine Glow: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wall Flower: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Ink Fern - A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Celebratory Fireworks
My New Silk ArtCloth Scarves
New ‘Unique State’ Silk ArtCloth Scarves
Renaissance Man - My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
Banksia - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

Ginkgo Love - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

“Garden Delights I & II”
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Wallflower III - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Rainforest Beauty
 Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Spring & Autumn Flurry Collection
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

La Volute Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Urban Butterfly -
 My New Hand Printed Fabric Design
Acanthus Dream
 - My New Hand Printed Fabric Design

Cascading Acanthus - 
My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design


UBIRR - Introduction[1]
Ubirr Rock is a world-famous site of Aboriginal Rock Art on the edge of the Nadab floodplain in the traditional lands of the Gagudju people. Ubirr (also known as "Obiri Rock") is the best-known site of Aboriginal prehistoric art in Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, in Australia's Northern Territory. Some of Ubirr's Stone Age art is believed to date to the era of Paleolithic art, perhaps as far back as 30,000 BCE or even earlier. However, as in the case of the Burrup Peninsula rock art, this is merely a general estimate, as no painting at Ubirr has actually been carbon-dated to such an early period.

Archeological evidence and carbon dating reveals that by 50,000 BCE the earliest Aboriginals were already using color pigments (high grade haematite, red and yellow ochre). Pre-estuarine Period art begins in primitive fashion before depicting different types of humans/tribes, their hunting habits, mode of dress, and aspects of spiritual life. It is represented by several styles - one which depicts human male figures shown in headdresses and skirts, with necklaces and pendants, and armed with clubs, stone axes and barbed spears.


UBIRR - Concept and Techniques/Processes
My new fabric design, UBIRR, is based on my interpretation of the aboriginal rock art found at Ubirr Rock. Creating new contemporary drawings, my lino block carved imagery designs depict humans/tribal figures overlaid/printed with images of deconstructed shields symbolizing the hunting/weaponry of early Aboriginal tribes. The designs have been translated to create a new, unique and contemporary fabric design that encapsulates the extraordinary evolution of Aboriginal Rock art.

Employing colors that reference the black/grey mineral haematite, red ochre and yellow/pale ochre, white cotton fabrics were dyed using time honoured hand dyeing techniques to add visual depth, pattern and contrast to the fabric background - the first series in black-grey hues using two different shibori techniques - the second series in multi colored red-yellow ochre hues. Using time honoured hand printing processes, block printed imagery was printed over each entire fabric length in a repeat pattern. To build additional layers of complex imaging a second layer of lino block imagery was printed in a repeat, grid style format over each entire fabric length.

The design comes in two sets of colorways that compliment each other. The first set consists of white and red lino block imagery printed on a black-grey background, with the second complimentary design being printed in black and white. The second set consists of white and black lino block imagery printed on a red-yellow ochre background, with the second complimentary design being printed in black and yellow/pale ochre.

The fabric and patterning in UBIRR can be designed using colors of your choice to create a truly unique and individual statement. UBIRR fabric lengths can be used for wearable art, accessories, quilts, furnishing and interior design projects. Please email me at - Marie-Therese - to discuss further options.

View of UBIRR design as fat quarters. The image features the first colorway sets of white and red lino block imagery printed on a black-grey background, with the second complimentary design being printed in black and white on a black-grey background.


UBIRR (full view) of white and red overprinted lino block imagery on a black-grey shibori dyed background.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.


UBIRR detail view of white and red overprinted lino block imagery on a black-grey shibori dyed background.


Black-grey shibori dyed background used for the above fabric design employing random patterning technique.


UBIRR full view of black and white overprinted lino block imagery on a black-grey shibori dyed background.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.


UBIRR detail view of black and white overprinted lino block imagery on a black-grey shibori dyed background.


Black-grey shibori dyed background used for the above fabric design employing multi fold patterning technique.


View of UBIRR design as fat quarters. The image features the second colorway sets of black and yellow/pale ochre lino block imagery printed on a red-yellow ochre background, with the second complimentary design being printed in white and black on a red-yellow ochre background.


UBIRR full view of white and black overprinted lino block imagery on a red-yellow ochre multi dyed background.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.


UBIRR detail view of white and and black overprinted lino block imagery on a red-yellow ochre multi dyed background.


Red-yellow ochre multi dyed background used for the above fabric design employing random patterning technique.


UBIRR full view of black and yellow/pale ochre overprinted lino block imagery on a red-yellow ochre multi dyed background.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.


UBIRR detail view of black and yellow/pale ochre overprinted lino block imagery on a red-yellow ochre multi dyed background.


Red-yellow ochre multi dyed background used for the above fabric design employing random patterning technique.


Reference
[1] Encyclopedia of Stone Age Art - http://www.visual-arts-cork.com

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tapestry Creations of the 1980s
Art Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction[1]
Tapestry is simple weaving in which the warp does not show. The design is formed entirely by the weft, which is beaten down to hide the warp completely.

Although the Incas and Chinese began with it independently, tapestry weaving came to the West from the Egyptians; wall paintings show tapestries being woven along the Nile from 3,000 BC. The oldest extant tapestry is from the tomb of Thotmes III, which was made in 1,500 BC, the yarns used being linen and wool.

Inca Tunic.

A modern illustration of an ancient Egyptian fresco of weavers at work by artist Frederic Cailliaud.

The Coptic Egyptians continued the tradition and had a golden period of tapestry weaving around 500 AD. When the Arabs moved on after their invasion of Egypt, they took this art West to the Atlantic, North into Spain and France and Eastward to Syria, Persia and Turkey.

Charles Martel in 732 AD defeated the Arabs in a battle 200 kilometres South of Paris, between Tours and Posters. Three or four of the Arabs taken prisoner settled in a small village as tapestry weavers doing "Saracenic work" as it was called, teaching the French. The village is named Aubusson and is today one of the largest hand weaving community.

When Ferdinand and Isabella entered Seville in Spain in 1492, they ordered 16,000 Saracenic looms (horizontal looms) to be destroyed as part of their campaign against Arabic culture, only 3,000 surviving to continue the tradition in Spain.

The Muslim tapestries in Egypt and Asia continued with abstract or plant designs, while in the West the Christian Churches and soon afterwards, Barons, began to order tapestries depicting heroic episodes in local history and religion, which were displayed outside on pageant days. They were permanent, lasting 1,000 years and portable - it was the most expensive mediaeval art. The thick woven wool panels did more than adorn their chambers - they helped to resist the cold seeping in through the stone walls.

Roundel with a Byzantine Emperor, probably Heraclius, 8th century. Made in Egypt, possibly Panopolis (Akhmim). Tapestry weave in red, pale brown, and blue wools and undyed linen on plain-weave ground of undyed linen. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (T.794-1919).

The French work flowered again in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries at Beauvais, Aubusson and at the King's studio of Gobelin in Paris.


Tapestry Creations of the 1980s[2]
Featured below are some tapestry creations of the 1980s.

Artist: Christine Benson; Title: Dancer.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool and rayon.
Size: 50 x 72 inches.

Artist: Elene Gamache; Title: L'Autre Moi.
Technique and Materials:High warped tapestry; wool, rayon, cotton, metallized acrylic.
Size: 39 x 51 inches.
Photography: Claire Morel.

Artist: Tricia Goldberg and Bonni Boren; Title: Untitled Abstract.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool, cotton.
Size: 44 x 57 inches.
Photography: Al Marshall.

Artist: Joanne Soroka; Title: Fifth Business.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool, linen, cotton.
Size: 78 x 70 inches.
Photography: Ian Southern.

Artist: Sherry Owens; Title: Surface Break.
Technique and Materials: Slit tapestry; wool, silk, linen, lurex.
Size: 72 x 48 inches.

Artist: Midori Nagai; Title: Windowscape.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool, cotton, linen.
Size: 42 x 57 inches.
Photography: David Saltmarche.

Artist: Nancy Beller; Title: Nazca Journey.
Technique and Materials: Woven, painted, stitched.
Size: 71 x 31 inches.
Photography: Philip Gerace.

Artist: Henry Easterwood; Title: Red Garden XVII.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool, linen.
Size: 7 x 5 feet.

Artist: Anthea Mallinson; Title: West Coast Sun God.
Technique and Materials: High warped Gobelins tapestry; wool, cotton, lurex.

Artist: Louise Weaver Greene; Title: Cathedral.
Technique and Materials: Woven tapestry; wool, linen.
Size: 81 x 60 inches.


References:
[1] Roumiana Beck in - Australia and New Zealand Complete Book of Handcrafts, Summit Books, Sydney (1977).
[2] Ed. K. Mathews, FiberArts Design Book Three, Lark Books, Asheville (1987).

Saturday, February 10, 2018

New ‘Unique State’ Silk ArtCloth Scarves
Wearable Art
Marie-Therese Wisniowski


Preamble
On this blog spot there are posts that center on my “Wearable Art” (e.g. scarves, digital or analogue created fabric lengths etc.) For your convenience I have listed these posts below.

A Selection of My Scarves
Leaves Transformed: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
My New Silk Rayon Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery
My Fabric Lengths@QSDS
My Fabric Collection:"Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona!"@Spoonflower
2013 Australian Craft Awards – Finalist
My Scarves@2014 Scarf Festival: "Urban Artscape" Pashminas
My New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
New Range of Silk Neckties - Karma and Akash
AIVA: My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
New Colorways For My 'Cultural Graffiti' Fabrics
Byzantine Glow: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wall Flower: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Ink Fern - A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Celebratory Fireworks
My New Silk ArtCloth Scarves
UBIRR
 - My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
Renaissance Man - My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
Banksia - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

Ginkgo Love - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

“Garden Delights I & II”
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Wallflower III - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Rainforest Beauty
 Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Spring & Autumn Flurry Collection
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

La Volute Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Urban Butterfly -
 My New Hand Printed Fabric Design
Acanthus Dream
 - My New Hand Printed Fabric Design

Cascading Acanthus - 
My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design


Introduction
There are three basic ingredients (as opposed to definitions) that all artworks possess: (i) they need to be “engaged”; (ii) they are non-functional; (iii) they are aesthetic. Wearable Art is “Art” when placed in an art context but when it is not placed in an art context, its functionality obscures the act of engagement. 
My ArtCloth scarves are wearable art. 

My scarves have been created using a range of fabrics and various hand dyeing and hand printing techniques. I am particularly fond of silk due to its ability to impart rich, luscious, intense colors and yet retain its lustre and luxurious handle when dyed and printed using various media. 
My scarves are a unique creation, never to be repeated in color, tone or overall design. Some of the design elements may re-appear in other scarves, but the overall colors, printing/overprinting and design features is what ensures their uniqueness as a one-off specialty wearable art item to covet. As unique, exclusive, one-off pieces they will glamorize many of your wardrobe items.

My ArtCloth scarves are unique, are imbued with color, texture and multi layers. They are comfortable to wear and are thoughtfully designed, dyed, printed and finished. Special care instructions are included with each scarf.

My scarves are available in various galleries and art & craft outlets throughout Australia. For example, in the Hunter Valley (Australia) they are available from Cessnock Regional Art Gallery. They are also available via specialty artisan Hand Made Art and Design Markets and via my Art Quill Studio. If you would like to purchase a particular scarf shown in this and other posts, please email me at - Marie-Therese - in order to find out if it has not already sold and so is still available for purchase.


Inspiration/Method of Creation
The first Prime Minister of India - Nehru - said to his daughter Indira Gandhi: “Be Brave - the rest will follow!” Underlying all of my work is this drive to take risks - to create bold, edgy, contemporary designs and so let my adrenaline drive my artwork. Nonetheless, discarding mainstream design elements is not in itself inspirational, but rather it is an important part of my inner core - to drive my work to create edgy design elements.

 Urban and landscape environments inform my images and works. My contemporary urban landscape themes include my interpretation of post-graffiti work. I operate my artistic skill set on these thoughts to project rich and vibrant landscapes on the cloth medium. The ArtCloth scarves I create rely heavily on researching design elements consistent with my worldview to create images from the “utten welt” and/or from life-forms threatened with respect to survival. 

I employ various surface design techniques to create the imagery for my scarves. These techniques include the initial image/mark making processes of drawing and designing which are followed by dyeing, discharging, hand painting, stenciling, stamping, screen printing, foiling and other processes on natural fibres. I have been honoured to receive numerous international awards for my printed ArtCloth textiles.

A Selection Of My New ‘Unique State’ Silk Scarves

Overview of new ‘green/metallic’ range of ‘unique state’ silk habotai scarves.

Technique and Media: Dyed, shibori overdyed, discharged, stamped and stencilled employing dyes, discharge media and metallic pigment on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.
Available from Cessnock Regional Art Gallery.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Multi dyed, multiple discharge and silk screened employing dyes, discharge media and metallic foil on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 26 wide x 183 length cm.
Available from Cessnock Regional Art Gallery.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Multi dyed, discharged, stamped and silk screened employing dyes, transparent, opaque and metallic pigments on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 26 wide x 188 length cm.

Detail view.

Overview of new series of ‘unique state’ silk habotai scarves.

Technique and Media: Dyed, discharged, silk screened, stencilled, stamped and foiled employing dyes, discharge media, transparent pigment and foil on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Dyed, shibori overdyed, multiple discharge and silk screened employing dyes, discharge media and metallic pigments on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Shibori multi dyed, silk screened and stencilled employing dyes, transparent and metallic pigment on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Shibori multi dyed, silk screened and stencilled employing dyes, transparent and metallic pigment on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Shibori multi dyed, discharged, silk screened, stencilled and stamped employing dyes, discharge media, transparent, and opaque pigments on silk habotai.
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Technique and Media: Shibori multi dyed, stamped and silk screened employing dyes, transparent and opaque pigments on silk habotai.
Size: 28.5 wide x 142 length cm.

Detail view.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Napped Fabrics – Part I [1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the seventy-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
Flocked Pile Fabrics and Other Pile Construction Processes
Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms
Napped Fabrics – Part I
Napped Fabrics – Part II
Double Cloth
Multicomponent Fabrics
Knit-Sew or Stitch Through Fabrics
Finishes - Overview
Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning

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

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!


Introduction
The average consumer – as well as some writers who might not be well grounded in textile information – confuse the terms “napped” and pile. These are very different fabric effects. As we have already dealt with how pile fabrics are made, this post and the next post in this series will explain how napped fabrics are made.

Napped cotton fabric costume: navy captain costume, navy dance fancy dress.


Process of Napping[1]
Nap consists of a layer of fiber ends, on the surface of a cloth, that are raised from the ground weave by a mechanical brushing action. Thus napped fabrics are literally “made” by a finishing process. The figure below shows a fabric before and after napping.

Fabric before and after napping.

Napping was originally a hand operation in which the napper tied together several teasels (dried thistle-like vegetable burs, shown in the figure below) and swept them with a plucking motion across the surface of the cloth to raise fibers from the ground weave.

A teasel: yarn before and after napping.

The teasels had a gentle action and the barbs would break off before causing any damage to the cloth. The raised fibers formed a nap that completely changed the appearance and texture.



Teasels are still used in the machine finishing of defined wool fabrics such as duvtyn. For machine processing (gigging) they are mounted on rollers and as the barbs wear off or break off, the worn teasels are replaced by new ones. The fabric may be either wet or dry.

Wool napped cotton fabric.

Most napping is now done by rollers covered by a heavy fabric in which bent wires are embedded.

Napping rolls. Left: Counter pile. Right: pile roll.

Napping machines may be either single-action or double-action.

Fewer rollers are used in the single-action machine. They are all alike and travel at the same speed. They are called pile-rolls and the bent ends of wires point in the direction in which the cloth travels but the rollers rotate in the opposite direction. These rollers are all mounted on a large drum or cylinder, which rotates in the same direction as the cloth. The pile-rolls travel faster than the cloth in order to do any napping.

In the double-action napping machine every other roll is a counter-pile roll. This roll has wires, which point in the direction opposite to those of the pile-roll. The counter-pile roll must travel slower than the cloth in order to produce a nap. When the speed of the rolls are reversed (pile-rolls at slower speed and counter-pile rolls at faster speed) a “tucking” action occurs. Tucking pushes the raised fibers back into the cloth and makes a smooth surface.

Napping machine.


Reasons for Napping
1. Warmth. A napped surface and the soft twist of the filling yarn increase the dead air space. Still air is one of the best insulators.
2.Softness. This characteristic is especially important in baby cloths.
3.Beauty. Napping adds much to a fabrics attractiveness.
4.Water and stain repellence. Fiber ends on the surface cut down on the rapidity with which the fabric gets wet.


Quality, Characteristics and Care
The amount of nap does not indicate the quality of the fabric. The amount may vary from the slight fuzz of Viyella flannel to the very thick nap of imitation fur.

Viyella Skirt. Material: 20% Polyamide, 80% Wool.

Faux fur blanket for babies basket stuffer. Long nap Mongolia fur.

Short compact nap on a fabric with firm yarns on a closely woven ground will give best wear. Stick a pin in the nap and lift the fabric. A good durable nap will hold the weight of the fabric. Hold the fabric up to the light and examine it. A napped surface may be used to cover defects or a sleazy construction. Rub the fabric between the fingers and then shake it to see if the short fibers drop out. Thick nap may contain flock (very short wool fibers). Rub the surface of the nap to see if it is loose and will rub up in little balls (pilling). Notice the extreme pilling on the sweater below.

Pilling on a wool sweater.

Some napped fabrics have an up and down. To test this, brush the surface of the fabric. Brushing against the nap roughs it up and causes it to look darker because more light is being absorbed. This is the “up” direction of the fabric. When the nap is smoothed down, the reflection of light from the surface gives a lighter shade of color. Napped fabrics should be made with the nap “down” so garments will be easier to brush. However, the direction of the nap is not as important as the fact that the same direction of nap is used in all parts of a garment.

With the nap running up the fabric looks darker and more saturated with color. With the nap running down it looks lighter and the color is softer.

Low-count fabrics usually have low-twist yarns; and when strain is applied, the fibers slip past one another and do not return to their original position. Thus garments tend to “bag” in the seat and elbow areas. Tightly twisted yarns are more resistant to bagging. It is best to line low-count fabrics or to make the garment with gored or flared skirts.

Wear on the edges of sleeves, collars, buttonholes and so forth, causes an unsightly contrast to unworn areas. Very little can be done to it except that a vigorous brushing will give a fuzzier appearance. Price is no indication to resistance to wear, since the more expensive wool fibers are finer and less resistant to abrasion. Wear will flatten the nap but if the nap is still present on the fabric it can be raised by brushing or steaming. Loosely napped fabrics will shed short fibers on other garments or surfaces. They also shed lint in the wash water so should be washed separately or after other articles are washed. Napped fabrics are fluffier if dried on a breezy day or dried in a dryer.


Construction
Napped fabrics must be made from especially constructed gray goods in which the filling yarns are made of low-twist staple (not filament) fibers.

Napped fabrics.

The difference in yarn structure makes it easy to identify the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric. The figure below shows warp and filling yarns from a camel’s hair coat fabric, before and after napping.

A teasel; yarn before and after napping.

Fabrics can be napped on either or both sides. The nap may have an upright position or it may be “laid down” or “brushed”. When a heavy nap is raised on the surface, the yarns are sometimes weakened. Wool fabrics are fulled or shrunk to bring the yarns closer together and increase fabric strength.

Heavy napped fabric.

Yarns of either long- or short-staple fibers may be used in napped fabrics. Worsted flannels, for example, are made of long-staple wool.

Heather gray worsted wool flannel cinch pants.

The short-staple fiber yarns used in woolen flannels have more fiber ends per inch, and thus can have a heavier nap. In blankets, which are heavily napped for maximum fluffiness, a fine cotton (core) ply is sometimes used in the yarn to give strength.

Men’s Buffalo check woolen flannel shirt.

Although napped fabrics can be made of any staple fiber, they are most frequently made of cotton, rayon, wool or the acrylic fibers. Pilling and attraction of lint due to the electrostatic properties are problems with nylons and polyesters.

100% Polyester soft napping warp knitting print dye coral fleece fabric for baby blanket.

Napped fabrics may be plain weave, twill weave or knit. More filling yarn is exposed on the surface in a 2/2 twill or a filling-faced twill, therefore a heavier nap can be raised on twill fabrics. The knit construction in napped fabrics is often used for articles for babies. Some brands of coats are always made of napped knit fabrics.

H2H SPORT men’s active zip-up slim fit napping knit jacket with zip pockets.

Napping is less expensive than pile weave as a way of producing a three-dimensional fabric. The name flannel is almost synonymous with the word napped. When the name is used alone it implies wool fiber content. If the fabric is made of fiber other than wool, a descriptive adjective is used with the word flannel – for example, cotton flannel.

Boys' cotton flannel shirt in color-block plaid.

Flannel is an all-wool napped fabric made in dress, suit or coat weights. It may be made with either worsted or woolen yarns. They may be yarn-dyed.

Cardigan: yarn dye flannel for women.

Worsted flannels are important in men’s suits and coats and are used to a lesser extent in women’s suits and coats. They are firmly woven and have a very short nap. They wear well, are easy to press, and hold a press well.

A grey three-piece plaid suit in luxury British worsted wool flannel is a staple for cool fall weather.

Woolen flannels are fuzzier, less firmly woven fabrics. Many have been given a shrinkage control treatment, which alters the scale structure of the fiber. Because this causes some weakening of the fabric, 15 to 20 per cent nylon is blended with the wool to improve the strength. These fabrics do not take or hold sharp creases so are best when used in less tailored garments.

Vintage 70s - wool nylon flannel red plaid shirt.

Fleece is a coat-weight fabric with long brushed nap or a short clipped nap. Quality is difficult to determine.

Women’s silken fleece jacket.

Cotton flannels flatten under pressure and give less insulating value than wool because cotton fibers are less resilient. The fibers are also shorter, thus there is more shedding of lint from cotton flannels. The direction of nap (up and down) is relatively unimportant in these fabrics because in many, the nap is very short, and also because their chief uses are for robes, nightwear, baby clothes and sweat shirts.

Cotton flannel robe.

Flannelette is a plain-weave fabric, which is converted from grey-goods fabric called soft-filled sheeting. It is napped on one side only, has a short nap and a printed design, unless it is white. The nap will form small pills and is subject to abrasion; Suede and duvetyn are also converted from the same grey goods but are sheared close to the ground to make a smooth, flat surface. Duvetyn is the lighter weight of the two.

Pilgrim flannelette shirt.

Outing flannel is a yarn-dyed fabric (or white) which is similar in fabric weight and length of nap to flannelette but is napped on both sides.

Festive outing flannel.

As the warp yarns in both fabrics are standard weaving yarns, it is easy to identify the grain of the fabric.

Rayon flannel is widely used in dresses and suits. It is similar in appearance to worsted flannel but is much less expensive. It is usually a blend of rayon and acetate.

1950's rayon flannel plaid red grey flecked day dress.


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