Saturday, September 2, 2017

Woven Pile Fabrics[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the sixty-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.

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Woven pile fabrics are three-dimensional fabrics made by weaving into the basic structure an extra set of warp or filling yarns to make loops or cut ends on a surface. Pile fabrics are classified by the set of yarns used to form the pile, as filling pile and warp pile fabrics.

Woven pile fabrics.

Filling Pile Fabric
This fabric is made from three sets of yarns. An extra set of filling yarns float across the ground weave. In corduroy, the floats are arranged in lengthwise rows; in velveteen they are scattered over the base of the fabric. The floats are cut by a special machine consisting of guides that lift the individual floating yarns from the ground fabric and of the revolving knives that cut the floats.

Filling pile. Floats are cut.

Diagram of a machine for cutting corduroy.

The figure below shows corduroy grey goods in which some of the floats have been cut. For wide-wale corduroy, guides and knives can be set to cut all floats in one operation. For pinwale corduroy and velveteen, alternate rows are cut and the cloth must be run through the machine twice. The little cutting discs are dulled very quickly by nylon yarn and this has presented one of the technical difficulties in the development of a nylon corduroy.

Corduroy gray goods showing some floats cut.

Both velveteen and corduroy are made with long staple, combed, mercerized cotton used for the pile. In good quality fabrics, long staple cotton is used for the ground as well. The ground may be plain or a twill weave. With a twill weave, it is possible to have a higher count and therefore, a denser pile. Corduroy can be recognized by lengthwise wales, which vary from wide wale, 5-8 wales per inch, to pinwale, 16 – 21 wales per inch. Pinwale corduroy has a shallower pile and is more pliable. It is warm washable, durable, inexpensive and needs no ironing. Velveteen has more body and less drapability than velvet. The pile is not over one eighth of an inch high.

Velveteen dress.

Filling pile fabrics are finished by scouring, brushing many times, singeing and waxing. The final pressing lays the pile at a slight slant giving the fabric an up and down. The back of both velveteen and corduroy is given a slight nap.

Warp Pile Fabrics
These fabrics are made with two sets of warp and one set of filling yarns, the extra set of warp yarns making the pile. Several techniques are used.

Double-Cloth Method
Two fabrics are woven, one above the other, with the extra set of yarns interlacing both fabrics. There are two sheds, one above the other, and two shuttles are thrown with each pick. The fabrics are cut apart while still on the loom by a traveling knife that passes back and forth across the breast beam. With this method of weaving, the depth of the pile is determined by the space between the two fabrics – see below.

Warp pile–double cloth method. Top: W-interlacing. Bottom: V-interlacing.

Velvet was originally made of silk and was a compact, heavy fabric. Today, velvet is made of rayon, nylon or silk filaments with a pile one sixteenth of an inch high or shorter. Velvet is not wound on bolts as other fabrics, but it is attached to hooks at the top and bottom of a special bolt so there are no folds or creases in the fabric.

Marie-Therese Wisniowski's Silk Velvet Rayon Scarf.

Velvet and velveteen, the hard-to-tell-apart fabrics, can be distinguished by fiber content, since velvet is usually made with filaments and velveteen of staple. To tell the warp direction in these fabrics, ravel adjacent sides. In velvet, the tufts will be interlaced with the filling yarn; in velveteen, they will be interlaced with the warp yarn.

Left: Pile yarns in velvet. Right: Pile yarns in velveteen.

Another way to tell the warp direction is to bend the fabric. In velveteen, the pile breaks into lengthwise rows, since the filling tufts are around the warp threads. In velvet, the pile breaks in crosswise rows, since the warp tufts are around the ground filling yarns. This technique works best with medium to poor quality fabrics.

Velour is a cotton fabric used primarily for upholstery and draperies. It has a much deeper pile than velveteen and is heavier in weight.

Kim Kardashian's velour track suit.

Plush is a cut-pile fabric; it may be cotton, wool, silk or rayon. It has a deeper pile than velvet or velour, usually greater that one quarter of an inch. Plush is used for coats, capes, upholstery and powder puffs.

Comfy soft Plush hoodie tracksuit.

Fur-Like Fabrics may be finished by curling, shearing, sculpturing or printing to resemble different kinds of real fur.

Faux fur jacket.

Over-Wire Method
A single cloth is woven with wires placed across the width of the loom over the ground warp and under the pile warp. Each wire has a knife-edge, which cuts all the yarns looped over it as it is withdrawn. Uncut pile can be made over wires without knives or over waste picks of filling yarns. The wires are removed before the cloth is off the loom, while the waste picks are removed after the fabric is off the loom. Friezé and mohair pile plush are made in this way.

Friezé, an uncut pile fabric, is an upholstery fabric usually made of mohair with a cotton back. Durability of Friezé depends on the closeness of the weave.

Friezé is woven over wires.

Slack Tension Method
The pile is formed by a special weaving arrangement in which three picks are put through and beaten up with one motion of the reed. After the second pick is inserted, there is a let-off motion, which causes the treads on the warp-pile beam to slacken, while the threads of the ground pile beam are held at tension. The third pick is inserted and the reed moves forward all the way and all three picks are beaten up firmly into the fell of the cloth.

Warp pile, slack tension method.

These picks move along the ground warp and push the pile warp yarns into loops. The loops can be on one side only or on both sides. The height of the loops is determined by the distance the first two picks are left back from the fell of the cloth.

Terry Cloth and some Friezés are made by this method. Shag-bark Gingham, which is a combination of plain weave and scattered loops is also made in this way.

Terry cloth is a highly absorbent cotton fabric used for bath towels, beach robes and sportswear. Each loop acts as a tiny sponge. The fabric does not have an up and down.

Terry Cloth robe.

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

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