Saturday, April 4, 2015

From Fiber to Yarn: Overview – Part I[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the thirty-eight 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 Cultural and Architectural 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
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
Glossary of Scientific Terms
Chemical Finishes - Acid Finishes
Finishes: Mercerization
Finishes: Waterproof and Water-Repellent Fabrics
Finishes: Flame-Proofed Fabrics
Finishes to Prevent Attack by Insects and Micro-Organisms
Other Finishes
Shrinkage - Part I
Shrinkage - Part II

There are currently eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural 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, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms, which has been updated to Version 3.5. All data bases will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

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!

The simplest manufactured yarn is made by taking a small number of fibers, such as absorbent cotton, and twisting them together. This yarn will be bumpy and uneven because it has not gone through a straightening process, such as carding and combing, but it is nevertheless stronger than a similar group of untwisted fibers.

Hand carding washed Scottish Blackface wool.

Difference between carded and non-carded fibers.

A spinner’s tool of choice for combing out long fibers.

Spun and Filament Yarns
Twisting the combed and carded fibers increases their tensile strength, thereby ensuring that the twisted fibers are harder to break. Marking two yarns (mass of carded/combed fibers) and if these yarns are twisted together to form a larger size yarn, the end result is a more stronger yarn. The yarn you have created is called a spun yarn. All cotton, linen and wool yarns are spun this way, because these fibers occur only in relatively short lengths. Silk and all of the man-made fibers can also be cut into short pieces and twisted or spun into yarn.

Twisted yarns.

Yarns are made up of a number of singles, which are known as plies when grouped together. These singles of yarn are twisted together (plied) in the opposite direction to make a thicker yarn. Depending on the direction of this final twist, the yarn will be known as s‑twist or z‑twist. For a single, the direction of the final twist is the same as its original twist. The regular twist of the Yarn used in the hosiery knitting is mostly s-twist, and rarely do people produce z-twisted yarns for knitted fabric, since combined use of these two twists can nullify the skewing in knitted fabric.

Another type of yarn is the filament yarn. It is made using very long fibers of silk and man-made fibers called filament yarn. A filament is a slender thread-like object or fiber, especially one found in animal or plant structures. The filament yarns are made of many fine filaments and are called multifilament yarns. A one-strand or mono filament yarn is usually used for sheer hosiery, laces and other fine fabrics.

Dyed mono filament yarn.

Filament yarns are usually smoother, more lustrous and less inclined to lint or pill than spun yarns. Fabrics of spun yarns are usually warmer than filament yarns, since more air is trapped by the short fibers. Moreover, spun yarns (due to the shortness of the fibers) have far more voids which can take up water and so they take longer to dry.

Filament yarns can be made that look much like the spun variety. These are called texturized yarns, because they have a rougher texture than the regular filament yarns.

Textured yarn. The irregular surface of textured yarns absorbs much light and scatters most of the white reflected light. This produces color lower in value than an equivalently colored yarn, which is not textured.

A common texturized yarn is high bulk or loop, which is sold under various trade names (e.g. Taslan, Lofted, and BanLon etc.) It is created by a process in which jets of air creates loops on the surface of the yarn as the filament leaves the spinneret.

Textured yarns may give greater warmth with less weight and are resistant to pilling and abrasion because of fewer fiber ends.

Another yarn that has a high degree of stretch can be made if individual filaments are crimpled, looped or formed into little spirals before being heat-set. If properly done, these yarns will always return to their original shape after being stretched. A thermoplastic fiber such as nylon must be used so it can be heat-set but the resultant yarn may be blended with other fibers in order to possess other desirable properties. Some yarns of this variety go under trade names of Helenca, Agilon and Superloft.

Agilon thigh-high stockings.

Single and Ply Yarns
A single yarn is the result of the first twisting of fibers. A ply yarn is made by twisting together two or more singles. When you twist together two single yarns (see below) you create a two-ply yarn. Twisting three yarns makes a three-ply yarn etc. A ply yarn is stronger than a single yarn that is of the same thickness and weight. Ply yarns are often used for fabrics expected to be at the brunt of hard wear.

Combinations that yield various ply yarns.

Some lightweight fabrics are also made from ply yarns, because very fine yet strong yarns are needed. Voile is an example of a lightweight yarn that is a ply yarn.

Pleated cotton voile step hem dress.

A third twisting operation makes a cord, resulting in a very strong yarn. Some types of sewing threads are made in this way.

From a fiber to a yarn to a strand and finally, to a cord or rope.

Amount of Twist
Some yarns are barely twisted together and others are so tightly twisted that a ravel from a fabric will appear kinky. The amount of twist influences the smoothness, stretch, shrinkage, and appearance of both yarn and fabric. Crepe fabrics have very tightly twisted yarns and when woven closely, will take hard ware but have a tendency to stretch or shrink. In between the smooth satin and the crinkly crepe are many variations depending upon the amount of yarn twist. The more tightly twisted the yarns, the greater the strength, but the handle of the fabric will be firm and possibly scratchy.

Art Deco printed crepe silk shift dress.

To be technically correct the term thread is used when a yarn is firmly twisted. In everyday usage, any yarn of a fine diameter is called a thread.

Novelty Yarns
Yarns are made in different ways to add texture interest to the fabric. A single yarn may be varied in twist and diameter so it appears as a slub yarn.

Slub yarns.

Often two yarns are twisted together in such a way that loops are formed, as in bouclés.

Bouclé knitting yarns.

Yarns wound around a base yarn several times at one place produce a heavy knot effect.

Knotted yarn necklace.

Although novelty yarns add interest to a fabric and may help prevent wrinkling, they do affect the wear adversely. Therefore, the smaller the novelty affect, the more durable the fabric. For example, novelty yarns can easily catch, pull or show wear due to abrasion.

Yarn Size
The term denier is commonly used to describe yarn. It refers to the size of the yarn; that is, its thickness or diameter. More precisely it is defined as 9000 meters of 1 denier filament and has a mass of 1 g. More generally, the finer the yarn the smaller the denier number. For example, nylon hosiery of 10 denier yarn is sheerer than 30 denier hosiery.

Sewing threads are numbered differently. A sewing thread labelled No. 40, for instance is a heavier or thicker thread than one numbered No. 100. Most sewing threads are of size 50 or 60.

[1] E.J. Gawne, Fabrics for Clothing, Chas. A. Bennett Co. Inc., Peoria (1973).

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