Saturday, May 5, 2018

Multicomponent Fabrics
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the seventy-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
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
Mechanical Finishes - Part I
Mechanical Finishes - Part II
Additive Finishes
Chemical Finishes - Bleaching

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
Multicomponent fabrics differ from double cloths in that already constructed fabrics such as foams or webs are joined together in various ways. It is somewhat similar to a finish rather than a fabric construction.

1968 razzle-dazzle shades of red, pink, green and violet on acetate jersey bonded to acetate tricot. Pullover style with side slits; scooped neckline is squared in back.

Multicomponent fabrics are made from two or more elements stitched or pressed together. The elements can be separated by the consumer.

1967 shift of acetate and rayon crepe bonded to acetate tricot. Dress has large mandarin-type sleeves with white inserts. There is a back neck zipper closing.

Bonded Fabrics
Bonded or laminated fabrics consist of two fabrics made to adhere together by an adhesive or flame-foam process shown below.

Two basic methods for producing bonded fabrics.

In the wet-adhesive method (see above), the adhesive is applied to the underside of the face fabric; and the liner fabric is joined by passing through the rollers. It is heated twice, once to dry out the solvent and to give a preliminary cure, and the second to effect a permanent bond. In the frame-foam process (see diagram above) polyurethane foam acts as an adhesive. The foam is made tacky first on one side and then on the other by passing the foam under a gas flame. The final thickness of the foam is about 15/1000 of an inch. This method gives more body but reduces the drapability of the fabric.

The use of bonded fabric started about 1961 with an inexpensive wool flannel bonded with an adhesive to an acetate jersey. In spite of delamination problems today all kinds of combinations are used. Woven fabrics are bonded to knits, woven fabrics to woven fabrics, knits to knits, knit-sew fabrics to knits and lace to knits. It is even possible to buy companion fabrics, bonded and unbonded in the same fabric.

Lace bonded knit dress.

The advantages of bonded fabric are:
1. Inexpensive fabrics have better appearance and body when bonded and they can be used for outerwear more satisfactorily. For example, a sleazy wool jersey bonded to an inexpensive acetate tricot has the body and weight of a double-knit wool jersey.

2. In mass-production or home sewing of apparel, separate linings usually are not used, which reduces cutting and sewing time. Bonded fabrics are easier to seam together than face and lining fabrics. No seam finishes are necessary. Interfacing usually are not needed.

Bonded lace knit top.

The disadvantage of bonded fabrics are:
1. The backing fabric does not prevent bagging in skirts and slacks, since it is often a knit or cheesecloth, which is quite pliable.

2. Fabrics are often bonded off the grain, which detracts from the beauty of a finished garment. Before purchasing bonded fabric, the home sewer should examine the fabric, particularly along the fold line.

3. Bonded fabric may delaminate during washing or dry cleaning.

Hexagon bonded lace slacks.

If delamination occurs, there usually is shrinkage of one component causing bubbles or a rough appearance to the fabric. Standards have been proposed for bonded fabrics but until these are accepted by various segments of the industry, the consumer must rely on trade names and examination of fabrics and/or garments. The following test has been recommended to determine the durability of the laminate: soak the fabric for ten minutes in perchloroethylene. If the face and back do not separate, the fabric should withstand normal dry cleaning.

Foam Laminates
Foam laminates consist of a layer of foam covered by another fabric or between two fabrics. Foam laminates were first visualised as thermal garments for outdoor workers because they are light in weight but warm. Foams were quilted to lining fabrics as lining, interlining combinations. In 1958, they were introduced in inexpensive fabrics primarily as a way to use up undesired fabric (yardage that did not sell). The first fabric to sell in volume was a dress-weight jersey laminated to foam and made up in spring coats. This was so successful that coats were made for all-purpose uses. This is the only instance in textiles in which a new development was introduced in cheap lines and then adopted and upgraded into expensive merchandize. Foam laminates today are made using all kinds and qualities of fabric with many different thickness of foam.

Adult's life jacket, made of eva foam, laminated with lycra fabric. Ideal for kayaking and swimming.

The advantages of foam laminates are:
1. Fabrics have body and good drapabilty.

2. Unlike stiffened fabric, foams do not hold yarn stiff and rigid. Therefore, durability is good.

3. Foams are weak, but the combination of foam and fabric is quite satisfactory.

4. Foams tend to stabilize fabric.

5.Warmth is directly proportional to the thickness of the foam and independent of fiber or fabric of the outer shell.

Cotton drill foam laminate hat.

Lamination is done primarily in three ways:
1. An adhesive that adheres to the foam was the first method used. It is not too satisfactory because the adhesive adds stiffness and is often not durable to cleaning.

2. The most commonly used method is to run the foam over a gas flame so that it becomes sticky or tacky and then to apply it to the fabric. This technique burns off 1/32 inch of foam but is no more expensive than the cost of the adhesive. It is usually satisfactory in laundry and dry cleaning.

3. Generating the foam at the time it is to be applied, flowing it onto the cloth and cutting on the cloth a more recent method.

Foam laminated fabric. Knitted, woven and non-woven fabrics laminated with PU foam with specified thickness and density are the most common product in the production of shoes and upholstry industries. Colors and designs are entirely dependent on the fashion requirement of the buyer.

Foam laminates have had and still have some disadvantages. Getting the foam and fabric to be firmly welded together depends somewhat on the fabric. Filaments do not stick as well as staple fibers; smooth fabrics are better if napped slightly before laminating. Fabrics are often applied “off grain”, which affects their aesthetic appeal. The character of the fabric somewhat limits styling.

Quilted Fabrics
Quilted fabrics are multicomponent fabrics consisting of two fabrics above and below a layer of wadding or batting held together by machine stitching or by fusion. Any fabric can be used for the shell or covering. A fashion fabric is always used on one side. If the article is reversible or needs to be durable or beautiful on both sides, two fashion fabrics are used. If the fabric is to be lined or used as a chair covering or bedspread, the under layer is often white or black cheesecloth. Beauty of the fabric is all important for all end uses. For ski jackets and snow suits, a closely woven water- and wind repellent fabric is desirable; for comforters, resistance to slipping off the bed is important; for upholstery, durability and resistance to soil are important.

1967 skimmer sparks diamond-patterned quilting. It has shoulder buttons and is made with Acrilan acrylic knit quilted to cotton.

The three layers must be held together both for construction and for care. Quilting is sewing with regular or chain stitch in lines or patterns. The disadvantage of quilting is that threads break when one sits in the garment or on the bed from abrasion. Broken threads are unsightly and with cotton, wool or acetate fiberfills, the loose fiber is no longer held in place.

1940s quilted satin robe. Soft and slightly peachy blush pink satin is quilted in a diamond pattern. Beautifully fitted styling with a wide rounded lapel collar and neat gathered sleeves. The skirt is cut on the bias, as one continuous piece, giving a flattering, slim waist and hip look. Rounded patch pockets with turn back flaps. Wide sash with rounded ends accents the waist. Fully lined in matching satin.

A new technique – stitchless quilting – consists of pressing fabric to polyurethanre foam using an embossing technique. Chem-stitch, a trade name, resembles quilted fabrics both in appearance and purpose.

Nylon taffeta and polyurethane foam; stitchless quilting. Notice the adhesive on the foam.


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

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