Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fabric Construction – Films[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the forty-ninth 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!

Man-made products have the advantage of being sold by the yard in various widths and gauges (thickness) and they are uniform throughout. The cost varies with the fabric but the end product is usually cheaper when constructed from a man-made product rather than from a natural product such as leather. Today’s post focuses on films.

Plastic dresses.

Films are plain or expanded. The plain film is firm, dense and of uniform consistency, while the expanded film is spongy, softer and plumper due to tiny air cells made by a blowing agent incorporated in the vinyl compound. The expanded films are less resistant to abrasion compared to plain films. Expanded films are leather like in appearance and are used wherever leather is used.

A 3D computer printed plastic dress that flows like fabric.

Plastic “fabrics” are of two types: unsupported film and supported film. The supported film has a woven, bonded or knit fabric backing. It is more expensive than unsupported film, but it has greater sewability and is less apt to tear along the seams or where it is tacked to furniture.

Plastic-coated fabric. The acrylic-coated fabric is easy to keep clean.

Most films or film coatings are made of resins of polyvinylchloride, polyurethane or polyethylene. Mylar film, a polyester, has been used as a coating on leather shoes to give luster and greatly increased durability.

Mylar coated leather high heel shoes.

Plastic films are made by the following methods:
(i) Extruding a solution through long, very narrow slits into warm air or a liquid-hardening bath. This is very similar to the methods of making fiber.
(ii) Casting a solution on a large revolving drum, where it dries and is then stripped off.
(iii) Calendering or pressing a moulded powder between hot rolls, which exert tons of pressure and so transforms it into film.

If the film is applied to the fabric, the film is formed on the calender. The fabric is inserted and the hot plastic is pressed on it.

Shiny and sleek, this metallic slicker features a removable hood, which reveals an always-chic stand collar; stand collar with detachable hood; long sleeves with button-tab details; concealed snap front; slash pockets; belt tab at back of waist; inverted pleat at back hem; lined; about 33"" from shoulder to hem; polyurethane-coated polyester.

Plastic films and coated fabrics can be embossed to resemble any woven fabric or any grain leather. Overall flocking is done to give a suede look.

Plastic suede jacket in red.

The advantages of plastics are the ease of maintenance, resistance to soil, good wrinkle recovery, high durability, waterproofness and low cost. They can vary in thickness from very thin, transparent film to heavy leatherette.

Crinkle moto leatherette jacket.

Disadvantages center on the unpleasant door present in some vinyl plastics, stiffening at low temperatures, shrinking at high temperatures, and cracking as a result of volatilization of the plasticizer.

Vinyl plastics are color scavengers. The plasticizing agents used often dissolve color from textiles in contact with the vinyl, causing stains on the vinyl that are impossible to remove. When this happens there is a tendency to blame the other textile rather than the culprit – vinyl.

Vinyl films tend to shrink and stiffen when dry-cleaned. Unless the label on the garment says “dry cleanable” the best method of cleaning is washing using a washing formula suited to the fabric with which the vinyl is combined.

Almost everything one can think of is made or can be made of plastic. No other material is as good for waterproof apparel, hospital bed coverings, and baby pants. For leather like apparel, handbags, shoes, luggage etc., plastic makes the "leather-look" available to all. In home furnishings, the end uses are many – place mats, table linens, upholstery, slipcovers, draperies etc.

Pet dog clothes - waterproof slicker dust coat hoodie jumpsuit raincoat.

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

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