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Indian Journal of Fibre & Texti le Research

Vol. 30, December 2005, pp. 468-476

Review Article
Garmen t d yej ng
] N

Chakraborty", R udraj i t Pal & P R Megha

National Institute of Technology, lalandhar 1 44 0 I I , India


Received 7 January 2005; accepled 3 1 March 2005

Garments arc e ither prepared directly from processed fabric or the grey fabric i s converted i nto garmcnt fol lowed by
processing. Out of these two. the latter has gai ned undue importance to tack le present day scenario more effect i vely. Thi s
paper reviews the reasons behind this new chal lenge a s well a s other technical aspects related t o dyei n g of garments.
Keywords : Dyeing, Garment. Garment accessories
IPC Code: Int. C l

D06P I I I OO, D06P3/00

1 I ntroduction

Garment dyeing procedure has seemingly


proliferated itself in dyeing and finishing in recent
years. Necessities of quicker fashion changes,
reduction in final cost of production and a better
aesthetic of dyed garment have enhanced the need for
garment dyei ng. Benefits of processing articles by
garment dyeing procedure revol ve around quick
response and inventory control 1 . 2 , Processing lead
time has considerably been reduced by almost 33%
through garment dyeing techn ique, since colour is
added late in the apparel process chai n. A ugmentation
of easy monitoring techniques, replenishment of
stocks with newer trend and fashion, reduced level of
stock holding, complete computerized control and bar
coding have recently emerged out as additional
5
features of garment dyeing technique3 - . Major
interest in garment dyeing has developed to service
domestic market with exceptional speed of response
as means of differentiating from traditional
colouration provided by exhaust and continuous
processing3 . 6 .
Endeavour of clothing i ndustry is to have
maximum flexibility in respect of colouration. Earnest
of proper colouration, flexibility and other features
conforming to the latest but short-lived fashion trends
demand garment dyeing for production of quality
garments, meeting the demands of customers exactl / .
Methods of garment dyeing have successfully been
implemented towards dyeing of cotton and cotton
" To whom all the correspondence shoul d be addressed
Phone: 269030 1 -02 Extn 22 1 : Fax: +9 1 - 1 8 1 -2690320/2690932;
E-mail : chakrabortyj n @ hotmail . co m

mixture articles - knitted or woven, with some recent


developments in processing of wool len garments.
However, garment dyeing of acrylics, polyamides.
polyesters and their blends has also evoked in the
recent past' . Current resurgence in garment dyeing
from the point of view of garment processing industry
has been because of the ( i ) short pipel ine necessary
for quick response, ( i i ) reduced losses from dyed
fabric waste, ( i i i ) no subsequent shrinkage. (iv) lower
energy, water and labour costs, ( v ) reduced inventory,
(vi) abi lity to produce smaller batches, and (vii)
production of uniformly dyed garments with no
R
variation in shade at different parts of garments
Structure of garment dyeing sector comprises
conventional fin ishers, laundries/drycleaners and
garment dyers. Garment dyeing activities can be
divided into four groups, viz, ( i ) fully-fashioned
garment dyeing by major commission dyers and
fini shers, ( i i ) cut and sew operations of garments
covering woven and knitted fabrics dyed to high
fastness standards, ( i i i ) dyeing of pure cotton goods
for ' boutique' trade with low colour fastness - only
suitable for hand washi ng, and ( i v ) washing, desizing
and bleaching deni m goods, leading to stone washing,
snow washing and over dyeing or highlighting
effects 3 9 . Cotton garments are supplied either in
greige or prepared for dyeing forms. If the garment is
in greige form, a full scour/bleach procedure is
rcommended while for PPD (prepared for /dyeing)
garments small amount of chemicals used to enhance
garment manufacturing processes. such as softeners,
antic uris and lubricants, must be removed to ensure
level dyeing. Proper preparation eli minates 60-70% of

C H A K R A BORTY el at. : G A R M ENT DYEING

dyeing problems. Garment processing concerns fabric


manufacturing in greige mi l l s with apposite
knowledge, cooperation, coordination and feedback
between the greige mi l l s, preparation and fini shing
departments. cut and sews operators and garment
dyers . Otherwi se. umpteen processing problems i n
garment size control. appearance and texture may
evoke due to i mmoderate shri nkage, variation in yarn
size/twist, warp spacing in woven and courseslinch i n
knits. Moreover, the problems of shade non
uniformity. differences in fabric preparation, viz.
desizing. scouring, bleac hing, and shri nkage
properties must also be considered lo Stabi l ity of
sewing threads. zips, buttons and other accessories are
crucial considerations for subsequent garment
processing.
2 Garment Dyeing Routes

Since late seventies and eighties, there has been a


tremendous change in garment dyeing process,
replacing traditional dyeing techniques where dyei ng
was carried out in fabric state prior to garment
manufacture to associate better appearance and
rheology to the merchandise. This has, to a great
extent, enhanced the fashion look, appeal and comfort
rendered by the merchandi se and reduced lead time
by leaps ' I J . 1 2 . In garment dyeing of woven fabrics,
continuous preparation and drying of fabric is
succeeded by its delivery to the garment manufacturer
and then cutting and sewing of it to produce stock.
The sale of the retai l subsequent to dyeing and
finishing of garment completes the process.
Pretreatment of knitted fabrics is carried out in pre
relaxed condition followed by relaxed drying and
their deli very to garment manufacturer. Definitely this
has an advantage of short lead time of about 2 weeks,
and the abi lity to respond to poi nt of sale feedback for
stock repleni shment with dynamic response service
has stimulated the growth of cotton garment dyeing in
both woven and knitted fabrics as well as in
multicomponent designs, incorporating woven and
knitted panels ' 1 3 . For fully-fashioned cotton garment,
dyeing is sl ightly different from the case for
multicomponent cut and sew garment. For knitted
garment hlanks. dyei ng i s preceded by make up and
stock preparation. Garment passage continues till its
sale through intermediate drying and fi nishing' .
Alternately. the process adopted has its path in which
make-up of fine gauge kni twear is in latter stage. This
considerably increases lead time to 5 -6 week s from
2-3 weeks in the prior route.

469

3 Garment Dyeing TechniqueslProcesses

In solvent dyeing technique, dyeing is eventually


carried out using chlorinated hydrocarbons, e.g. per
and tri-chloroethylene in the form of emulsions or
1 14
solvents" . So I vent acts on I y as a med'IUm to carry
small quantities of water wherein dyeing process
1
actually occurs' .
'Sancowad ' i s a foam-dyeing method developed
for dyeing at a liquor ratio as low as 2: 1 using foam as
.
3 . 1 5 . 1 (, . I n t h'is
' .
the medIUm for d yestuff app I Icatlon
method. highly foami ng detergents are used to
provide dense foam from low quantities of water
(within the machine) and water soluble dyestuffs are
appl ied at very low liquor ratios. Temperature is then
raised to impm1 a fixation treatment stimulating to
some degree a pad/fix system. Detailed study on the
dyeing processes for various types of garments has
1 7 -25
also been disclosed

4 Garment Dyeing Machineries

The cotton garment dyeing can be affected through


either traditional side-paddle machines or rotary-drum
machines.
4.1 Paddle Dyeing Machine

In the side-paddle machines, there is slow


circu lation of both liquor and garments in a large vat
by means of a rotating padd le. These machines have
relatively low product ivity and are slow in fi ll ing,
heating, cooling and draining, giving rise to longer
lead time and requirement of higher l iquor ratio to
2
fac i l itate circ ulation and levelness G. 7 . One of the
main limitations of paddle dye machine is lack of
cooling facilities of dye bath which overcame in
twin-paddle dyeing machines fitted with heat
27 28
exchangers below the false bottom l G . , . Completely
enclosed overhead paddle machines, recently
developed. consist of horizontal cylindrical vessel
with doors along the top sides and horizontal paddle
extending the length of machi ne parallel to and along
the axis of the vessel. Perforated and closed steam
pipes are situated beneath a perforated fal se bottom. It
i"s also featured with a circulating pump which
withdraws hot liquor from below the fal se bottom and
injects it through the jet positioned along the side of
the machine, just below the liquor level to assist
movement 0 f good s 1 (,. 29. 7 .
4.2

Rotary Machine

Rotary machines consist of a horizontal perforated


cyl i nder, radially partitioned into three or four

I N D I A N 1 . FI B R E TEXT. RES . , DECEM BER 2005

470

stai n less steel box holding dye l iq uor. Goods are

centrifuging a n d dry i n g operation as an i n tegral part


3 15
of dyei n g mac h i n e . . However. advent of aqueous

l oaded i nto the cage through s l i d i n g doors i n the

low

compartments. rotating w i t h periodic reversal i nside a

l iquor dyeing

machi nery

w i t h compromi s i n g

c i rcumference. These mac h i nes are gentle in their

l iquor ratios of approx i matel y 1 0: I a n d tl e x i b i l i ty to

acti on.

dye garments from a l l fibres led to obsolescence of

Recent

deve l op ments

in

these

mac hines

i n c l ude addition of hydro extractors, re- i n forced glass

this type of mac h i nery, and ( v i ) centri fug i n g machi nes

doors,

for rotary dye i n g w i t h i n tegral centrifugi ng and short

programmed automatic cyc l e i n which l i q uor vol ume,

process i n g t i mes lends i tse l f ideal l y to the q u i c k


'
t urnaround objecti ves i n today ' s market pl ace .

variable

cage

speed

and

operat ion
1 6. 7

t i me and temperature are fu l l y contro l l ed

4.3 Recent Developments

on

With the advancement of t i me, s l ow l y the pri m i t i ve

laundry

mac h i neries.

paddle

and

rotary

dye i n g

mach ines, mod i fied washer extractors. be l l y washers


have

been

supp lemented

w i th

automated

and

microprocessor control led mac h i n e s . Some of the


attri butes of ideal garment dyeing mac h ines are the
t i l ti ng mechani s m, high temperature dyeing capa b i l i ty
and centrifugal extraction. Further controls of i nd i rect
heating and coo l i ng, vari able speed contro l , water
vol ume

control

and

l i nt

fi l ters

have

also

been

implemented. Garment d ye i n g w h i c h was earl ier a


stepch i ld of wet process i n g i n dustry has advanced
i n to a un ique art i n corporating in it newer desi g n s and
features. Some of these are: ( i ) low l iquor ratio, ( i i )
microprocessors for i mproved contro l l i ng, ( i i i ) heat
exchangers, ( i v ) l i n t fi l ters,

(v) centrifugal hydro

extraction, ( v i ) easy sampl i ng, ( v i i ) pocketed drums,


(viii)

t i l t i ng

mechan i s m - for easy

l oading

and

u n l oad i ng, ( i x ) high temperature option, (x) l arge l oad


s i zes, ( x i ) cushioned suspen s ion, ( x i i ) variable drum
'o
speed, and ( x i i i ) automatic balancing of drum .
During

1 970s, deve lopments in garment dyeing

equipments

were too many,

v i z.

(i)

side

paddle

Rotary

dye i ng

considerable

mac h i ne

has

evol ved

mod i fications every t i me

sop h i sticated

and

of

h ig h l ighting

features,

modern
viz.

w i th

more

in

version

(i)

out
with

optical

the

bas ket

configuration in which selec t i ve pockets or bas kets


are avai l ab l e whose configuration affects the degree
'
and type of mechanical action appl ied to garment . ( i i )
a n externa l c i rc u l ation w h i c h ensures maintenance of
u n i form temperature throughout the mac h i ne essential
for cri t ical fibres, l i k e acry l ics. It i n vol ves c irculation
of dye l iquor through a fi l ter to aid l iq uor-goods
i n terchange, thus compensat i ng for reduced agitation
when running the c y l i nder at very low speeds. T h i s
protects the garment surface w h i Ie a l l ow i ng good
penetration into seams and thick areas. An add it ional
fi l ter unit is used for remov i ng l oose fibres and l i nts
to prevent redeposi t i o n of the same on garment, (i i i )
h i gh

speed

centri fuge

system

ensuring

that

the

moisture content is reduced to m i n i m u m. prior to


dry i n g operation

w i thout

the

need

for add i t ional

hand l i ng and centrifugi n g in separate equi pments in


3
dyeing stage . Mac hi nes i ncorporated w i t h centri fuge
action have an added advantage of efficient ri n s i ng i n
very short t i me, ( i v) sop h i st icated heat i ng and coo l i ng

machi nes with variable speed paddles and of vari able

w i th various mean s of accompl i s h i ng, e.g.

d i rect

length ; ( i i ) ' s m i th drums' consisti ng of a rotating


l6
;

steam i njection i nto the dye l i quor and add i ti on of

perforated drum norma l l y with four compart ments

water d i rect l y to the mac h i ne s u i table for s i mple

( i i i ) modified dryc lean ing u n i ts for solvent dyeing;

dyeing processes; i n d i rect heati n g and coo l i ng by

( i v ) dyeing mac h i nes with toroidal action devel oped

passi n g steam and water a l ternatel y through c losed

origi nal l y from the Pegg K-type scouri n g and mi l li n g

coi l s at the base of mac h i n e ; i ndirect heat i n g by

mac h i nes for wool len garments. Liquor i s p u mped u p


i nto a vessel contai n i n g garment carrier o r p l ate and
the l iq u i d i s deflected to the vessel c i rc umference and
then

down

assistance,

i nto

chamber

with

no

mechanical

movement being completely dependent


'l
of water . Latest h i gh

upon the pumped action

temperature toroid dyeing mach ines work at l iquor


ratio as h i gh as 40: 1 to process 1 00% polyester fibre
garments at 1 40C (ref. 32); ( v ) dye i n g in foam-i n
mach inery spec i fi cal l y designed for 'sancowad l o w
l iquor

process' .

Other

devel op ments

i n c luded

means of a steam j ac ket around the body of the


mac h i n e (coo l i ng is done ei ther d i rectl y or i n d i rec t l y ) ;
and use of an externa l heat exc hanger for i n d i rect
heat i n g and coo l i ng. Heat exchangers may work w i th
steam, o i l or h i gh temperature hot water. Cool i n g may
be done by d i rect addition of water or indirectly
through heat exchangers, ( v ) flex i b l e control systems
urge the use of automat ica l l y reg u l ated functions.
process

paru:meters,

m i c roprocessor

control

on

centri fug i ng mac h i nes ensuri n g use of VDUs flow


measure ment. Tec hnol ogy requ ires advent of newer

CHAKRA BORTY el al. : GARM ENT DYEING

paraphernalias i ncluding central control room with


automatic addition of dyestuffs and chemicals from a
central dispensing area, (vi) special sampling port
which results in complete inspection of garments
during process without reducing liquor level.
Inspection of an entire garment from the batch lot at
sampl ing stage ensures proper assessment of shade,
seam penetration, degree of milling and physical
appearance, ( vii) easy loading/unloading is obtained
through tilting mechanism in which the garment has
to be loaded directly from overhead feed
arrangements and unloaded without manual handl ing
into a conveyor system, (viii) variable cylinder speed
during dye cycle ranging normally from 5 rpm to 35
rpIll . This al lows greater agitation at critical stages in
dyeing process and less agitation to protect garment
condition and max imize qual ity standards, (ix) high
temperature processing of garments ensuring garment
dyeing at temperatures up to 1 35 C, and ( x ) dye liquor
recovery where spent dye liquor is transferred to a
storage tank for reprocessing3 .
5 Selection of Dye for Cotton Garment Dyeing

Depending upon end uses of garment, the direct,


fibre reactive. vat and sulphur dyes are used. Direct
dyes, specifical ly classes A and B which have simi lar
temperature of maximum exhaustion, are selected to
ensure even application and higher reproducibility. At
a dyeing temperature of 95C, electrolyte is added to
influence excess dye yield. Addition of calgon and a
level ling agent is advisable for opti mum results 3 . Key
application parameters for direct dyes invol ve dye
. .
11
14
bath ex h austlon,

f 1 nslllg an d a fter-treatment" . . . .
Special requirements of garment dyeing , viz. ( i ) good
level dyeing properties, (ii) higher migration and
diffusion properties to assist seam penetration, and
(iii) suitabi lity for short/automated process, have
necessitated the use of reactive dyes 26 . This
requirement is met particularly with less reactive,
monochlorotriazinyl dyes with their high temperature
application to optimize diffusion and migration, low
reactivity to optimize level dyeing and ease of
automation using linear addition profiles for both dye
and al kali additions " , 2(,. Further details of garment
dyeing with fibre reactive
dyes have been discussed
'
elsewhere 3}. 35
Vat dyes have li mitations when severe chlorine
fastness is required. Hot pigmentation technique is
generally employed in which the dye is dispersed as
an insoluble pigment under alkaline conditions at
60-80C. After a level ling period, dye is reduced to

47 1

leuco form and penetration into cotton fibre is


affected. After flood rinsing at pH 10, reduced dye is
oxidized back to insoluble form to achieve high wet
fastness. Garment handling can be improved by
'
cationic softener after-treatment } . .
Sulphur dyes represent a broad shade range, having
good to excellent wash and light fastness at relatively
low cost as compared to other oyeing systems. B lack
and medium to heavy shades of brown, blue and
green are most commonly used ; the range does
include some fairly bright colours as well. Nowadays.
liquid sulphur dyes, cal led sodyesul liquids, are used
which offer excellent performance and economy in
exhaust dyeing. These are much advantageous than
fibre reacti ve dyes as these have lower costs, shorter
dye cycle, better cotton coverage, and much less salt
with comparable fastness properties. ' Sandoz
antioxidant B ' , a sugar based reduc ing agent, results
equally high reduction as sulphides. This al lows an
all-in procedure without the controls needed for
sodyesul liquids } ' (' . Presence of 20 ppm iron may
alter dye yield and shade ; presence of ea and Mg
also poses same problem. Sequestering agents. such
as Sandoz Sulfalox 100, can overcome problem of
weak dyeings, poor crocking and streaks caused by
the metal contamination 36 .
6 Pigment Dyeing of Cotton Garment

Though pigments are used in printing and pad


dyeing since a long ti me, exhaust dyeing is a recent
development. Being non-substanti ve in nature,
binders are used to fix pigment on fibre surface. It
was believed that the exhaust dyeing with pigments
might not be practically possible due to low
exhaustion and poor levelness. Development of
suitable auxiliaries has lead to the induction of
necessary affinity to fi bres for pigments by pretreating
textile for exhaust dyeing with pigments. Exhaust
dyeing can be carried out in the fol lowing sequence:
(i) prewashing, ( i i ) pretreatment, ( i i i ) exhaustion, (v)
stone washing ( optional ), ( v ) fixation, and ( vi)
thermo-treatment 3 7 . 38 .
Impurities and contaminants are to be removed
from garment through pre-washing to ensure best
.
. .
resu I ts 38' 39. A crltICa I part 0f dyel llg sequence
dyelllg

is pretreatment, where cotton is pretreated with a


cationic compound to develop affin ity for pigmem adequate uptake, and uniform adsorption of the
cationic agent is essential for this purpose. During
pretreatment, an ionic attraction is developed between
pretreated fibre and aggregated pigment particles.

472

I N D I A N 1 . F I B R E TEXT. RES . . DECEM B E R 2005

Exhaust dyeing is carried out in a pigment dispersion


fol lowed by binder fixation to improve fastness
properties of garment as pretreated fibres so prepared
have poor fastness property due to surface adsorption
on ly. Stone washing. if required, is carried out before
bi nder fi xation. Duri ng thermo-treatment, bi nder
polymerizes to form cross l inkages to devel op
requi red fastness3 . Pigment dyeing procedure and
related problems have also been disclosed 111
detail l ll. .!Il.
7 Anti-corrosion Techniques

Casual wears such as j eans are mostl y incorporated


with metallic components, li ke zips, buttons, rivets,
and
labels
made
up
of
brass/iron/copperial uminumizi nc
or
magnesium.
These can cause difficulties during garment dyeing.
Peroxide bleaching is avoided to such prepared
fabrics. Certain problems are encountered, such as
dye resist mark or physical breakdown of the fabric,
particularly in the area of direct contact with the metal
component . Ferrous based materials have the risk of
rust stai ns. Use of sequestering agent, such as EDT A,
helps to prevent shade alteration due to chromophore
sensitivity. Sandocorin 8 1 60 protects the metal from
reaction 8 . Most satisfactory option is the use of nickel
plated brass as metal component. Use of inh ibitors
based on phosphate ester/triazole gives the protection
against metal component corrosion, a lthough care
should be taken to avoid the retardation of dye build
Up 3 . 8
8 Novel Effects i n Garment Dyeing

Unti l the advent of stone washing, garment dyeing


remained a rel atively sma l l and stable business.
Where a worn-out or washed-out effect is desirable,
the dyed material can be washed with or without stone
addition before fixation}8 . Oxidizing agents are
appl ied to garments via stone soaked in reagents,
I n mod 'I fiIcat 'l on 0 f t h e co I our 0f garment 4 1 ' 4?-.
resu I tlllg
Colour receptivity of garments can also be modified
4
using cross-linking agents in finishing 1 . Stone
washed cotton denim gi ves a fancy effect and a stylish
look. which has changed the demand for garment
dyeing in today' s market43 . ' Tee washing' is another
technique for creating unusual colouring effects,
where dyed garments are stone tumbled with chlorine
or sodium permanganate-impregnated rock for a
preci se period of time and then treated in a sodium
bi sulphite bath. Different dyes, e.g. direct and reactive
dyes. are affected di fferently by chlorine and sodi um

permanganate. Some dyes are discharged or total ly


destroyed by these chemical s.w.l6. Various techniques
of garment washing, optimization of parameters,
enzy matic washing and various effects obtained
including those for den im have already been
reported47 . 55 .
Special exhaust type fabric softeners for dyed
garment after-treatments have also been developed 1 .
These softeners are norma l l y added to the last cyc le to
improve hand le of fi ni shed garment and help to
restore some physical properties which might have
been reduced by certain dye processes 56. It is qu ite
possible to cause a drastic change in look of dyed
garments with foam fi nishing5 7 , 58 , post cure
.
.
.
pretreatment59, wnn k I e res i stant f'I Il I S Iles(,() , fl oc k
coating 6 1 or high frequency fixation ('" .
F

9 Woollen Garment Dyeing

Woo l len garments in knitted form such as sweaters


or hosiery are garment dyed. Recent development of
woven wool len garment dyeing, such as rotary drum
dyeing machines as wel l as side- and overhead-paddle
machines has been reported 1 6. Machine washable
fabrics are used to make garments which are to be
dyed. Polyamide accessories used are also dyed with
the same tone as that of wool len garment for complete
matching. Common problems encountered during
wool len garment dyeing are: (i) seam penetration,
especial l y on pre-chlorinated garments where
chlorination within the seams may be uneven, (ii)
fibre damage during prolonged dyeing. ( i ii) reaching
to the required level of colour fastness. and (iii)
cockl ing effect on the garment. Metal complex.
mil ling acid dyes, reactive dyes and chrome dyes, if
10.
properly used, can mini mize these problems
Specific dyeing auxil iaries used in woollen
garment dyeing are: (i) acid-donor system, (ii) low
temperature dyeing, (iii) after-treatment, and (iv) anti
felting agentsG} . Informati ve reports have also been
published on the criteria-based dye selection 6-l. 65 .
Felting tendency of wool poses some problem on
garmeot dyeing as i t leads to surface fe lting. Anti
felting protective agents are used in 'over-dyeing' to
mini mize surface distortion r" . Uses of anti-fel ting
agents, l i ke Meropan NF ( Chemische Fabrik
Ttibingen) and Nofelt WA (Tanatex), in wool len
garment dye bath temporarily protects unchlorinated
garments during dyeing and are removed during
'1
66
n n smg"
. A ntl-le
' + 1tll1g
'
agents are a I so used
successfu l l y in dyeing chlorinated lambs wool
garments. S tudies confi rm that the inclusion of I g/L

C H A K R A BORTY et at. : G A R M EN T D Y E I NG

Nofelt WA in dye bath l iquor i mproves wet bursting


strength of untreated and chlorinated garment by
3
reducing extent of chemical damage6 .
In latest developments, ' Dylan GRB ' and
' Hercosett" shrink-resi stant fin ishes have been
introduced to meet the demand for machine washable
wool len knit wears. These are based on appl ication of
resins to the surface of wool fi bre after the latter has
been modified by chlori nation. Some reactive dyes
have been introduced for wool to get adequate
fastness and are restricted to reds. yellows, browns

d'late co I ours on I y 1 (, .
and 1I1terme
1 0 Polyester G a rment Dyeing

Pol yester fabric stabi I ity, aesthetic appeal and


resistance to wear demand increase in use of textured
polyester yarns for outer garments. Problems
associated with dyeing polyester garments by carrier
method recommend the use of HTHP dyei ng,
encouraging introduction of high-energy di sperse
dyes
of
i mproved
fastness
properties 1 6 .
Comprehensive reviews give further information on
the use of carrier and auxi l i ary chemicals in polyester
.
dyelng(,7 ' 6 R . as we II as d ye1l1g
'
0f unmod'I f'Ied
polypropylene garment with acid leuco vat dyes!>!) .
1 1 Quality Control

Boost in export of ready made garments essentially


depends upon exceptional performance of garments.
This requires maintenance of t i me schedule for
shipments and production of high qua l i ty garments i n
order t o i mprove piece realization . Production and
marketing of high quali ty garments thus depend upon
their conformation to rigid standards of export,
compliance with the latest fashion changes,
appropriate qual ity control and sale demand. 'Price vs
quality' i s a major aspect i n this concern. Price of
finished garment chiefly depends upon three factors,
viz. history of the fabric turned i nto garment.
technical i nputs and use of appropriate processing
.
.
' areas I'or qual Ity control
mac h 1I1enes 70' 7 1 . The major
of garments are as fol lows:
1 1.1

Seams, Elasticized A reas, Waist Bands and scurrs

These areas must be fai rl y loose, and seams should


not be prepared taut otherwise this may lead to poor
penetration of dyestuff in heav i l y swe l l i ng fibres.
Possible remedy to this problem i s the application of
high temperature which results in better diffusion,
penetration and running of cloth, fac i l i tating l iquid
flow. This guarantees fruition of m igration potential

and is essential for multi-layered seams or elasticized


waists. Normally, a temperature of 95C i s mai ntained
. R '
+'lor f'Ixatlon ' 7 - .
be fore coo I 1I1g
1 1 .2 Shrink Behaviour

Excessive or uneven shri nkage of garment where


knitted and woven fabrics are mi xed, leads to seam
puckering. It is essential to prerelax kn itted fabric and
at the same t i me preshrink woven part. Thi s is done
by ensuring various shrink proof treatments for high
n
qua l i ty garments 8. .
1 1.3 Chafe Marks/Creases

These are defects developed particularly on


del icate garments due to mechanical stress i n drulll
dyeing machine, which degrade the fi nal product. As
a remedial measure. garments prone to chafe marks or
pill i ng effect should be turned inside out and dyed in
presence of non-foam i ng lubricant. Additional
preventive measures may also be adopted by avoiding
overl oading of dyeing drum8. 7 2 .
1 1.4 Accessories

Prudent choice of zips and metals accessories. such


as buttons and studs, must be done to prevent their
con-os ion or breakage. Generally, ferrous metals are
avoided and preference for nickel and its alloy i s
made unless bleac hing o r reactive dyeing i s being
carried out with high concentration of electrolyte or
alkal i . Choice for cellulosic buttons may lead to its
undue breakage while polyester buttons are non
dyeable and are used as neutral colours in
coordination with umpteen shades. Nylon buttons can
be coloured in subsequent dyeing process with excess
effort. R i bs of garment are genera l l y made of natural
rubber or polyurethane such as Iycra. These materials,
on the other hand, have their own disadvantages.
Natural rubber is affected adversely in the presence of
certain metals l i ke copper. In contrast, polyurethane
articles are degraded by strong oxidizing agents like
chlorine. A solution to these traumas is achieved by
coating the metal accessories with corrosion
protection agent. Sandcorin 8 1 60 liquid, an anionic
organ ic corrosion inhibi tor, i s an obvious choice as
corrosion retardant . It prevents non-ferrous and white
metals from oxidation and tarnishing by hi ndering the
action of sensitive dyes onto the metal ions8 . 7 2 .
1 1 .5 Sewing Threads

Sewing threads must be endowed with desirable


properties, l i ke strength and fi neness to produce a neat
seam and l ast for the whole l i fe of the produc{ 72

I N DIAN J . F I B R E TEXT. R ES .. D EC E M B E R 2005

474

Unmercerized cotton thread used in manufacturing of


cotton garments produces a sol id dyed i nconspicuous
seam. Polyester threads purposely enhance the effects
in the seams due to their dye uptake resistance and
mercerized cotton threads increase the dye uptake,
resulti ng in darker appearance in shade. For cotton
sewed garments meant for dyeing, it is not possible to
switch-off directly from conventional ly spun
polyester or core-spun threads to 1 00% cotton threads
and retain the same seam characteristics. Equi valent
seam strengths can be obtained using heavier cotton
threads. Simi lar degrees of elasticity in seam can be
obtained by increasing stitch density. Seam pucker
resulting from thread shrinkage during garment
dyeing can be avoided by slacker stitches on lock
stitch and chain stitch operations ' .
Selection of fibre for the preparation of thread
depends on type of fabric to be sewed. Generally, a
common selection is made for the thread used for
fabric preparation and sewing. However, this is
applicable mainly for cotton, as sewing threads made
of other fibres do not possess affin ity for cotton dyes.
This unarguably hikes the cost of garment
manufactured and the production speed.
1 1 .6 Foreign Substances

Foremost objecti ve of efficient garment dyeing is


its value addition. This objective caters need for
adaptation of preventive measures to hinder value loss
of the article. Protection of garments from stains due
to oils, greases and other lubricating agents is thus
critical. Other foreign substances, like sizes and resins
containing additi ves such as elastomers and oil
repelling agents could also denigrate the appearance
of garment8 7 "
.

1 1 .7 Interlinings

Purpose of interlinings is to stabil ize and enhance


the appeal of outer fabric. With post-dyed garments,
celtain special properties has to be inflicted i nto the
interli nings to ensure better performance. Special
properties i nherited by the interl inings i nclude
equivalent dye uptake by it as that of outer fabric.
Moreover, the adhesive, bonding the outer fabric to
the i nterlining, must remain i ntact during and after
dyeing operation. Aftermath of dye sorption should
72.
not be adverse on colouration 8 . 73 .
1 1 .8 Care Labeling

Augmentation of fastness properties of dyed


garments is essential for customers demand. Major
attributes to be taken into consideration are: (i)

d i mensional stability, (ii) wash fastness, and ( i i i ) rub


fastness. To meet these parameters effecti vely, care
labeling is achieved suitably which tells the customers
precautions to be adopted while cleaning the garment.
These care labels are embel lished with specific
instructions with respect to method of washing.
bleaching, dryi ng, ironing and suitabi l ity for dry
cleani ng . Various care label ing systems used are
A merican, European, British and Canadians . 72 .
Quality level in garment dyeing can be augmented
through proper fabric and dyestuff selection to survi ve
the rigors of processi ng, proper sizing, effective
training of the staffs to ensure skil lful garment
handling, good programming of dyeing equipments
and i nnovations to increase production 74.
12

Recent

A dvancements

in

Garment

Dyeing

Sectors

Current resurgence in garment dyei ng is probably


because of the fidel ity of the article to recently
evolved quality control processes to adj udicate the
100pholes 75 . Certainly, the export of Indian ready made
garment is becoming a more challenging j ob with the
passage of time. This is reflected due to reversionary
trend
in A merican and European markets,
restructuring of the world economy, disintegration of
Soviet Union, emergence of China as a major world
power, disturbances on internal and international
front, increasing trade barriers, growing consumer
awareness, rigid quality standards and recent
' multifibre agreement' followed by the abdication of
'quota' system from January 2005 . ISO-9000 qual ity
assurance certification and red listed chemicals are
two new concepts required for enhancement of
serviceabil ity and quality of product. Red listed
c hemicals are hazardous pollutants which are
accumulated on fibre during various processing
phases 76 .
1 3 A d vantages of Garment Dyeing

There are several i nherent advantages in garment


dyeing, viz. (i) handling of smaller lots economical ly,
(ii) unlimited selection of colour duri ng dyeing, thus
dyeing to order almost instantaneously, (iii) a specific
product can be dyed in any number of shades, thereby
increasing productivity, (iv) distress look with
wrin kles, (v) ful l handle because of shrinkage duri ng
dyeing, (vi) quick turnaround at the retai ler' s counter,
and (vii) abi lity to respond quickly to the changes in
the colour taste of the fastidious and fickle
customers70 .

CHAKRABORTY

el

al. : GARM ENT DYEING

Cost justification of finished garment is an


essential aspect of garment dyeing sector to add to its
advantage. Maj or cost components in garment dyi ng
are: (i) dye and chemical costs, varying considerably
upon shades, fibre and dye chemistry (ii) uti lities
primari ly based on the cost of natural gas to heat
water and determine dye-liquor ratio, and (iii )
.
depreclatlon or I a bour77 . 7 8 .
,

1 4 Problems of Garment Dyers

Most of the garments recei ved by the garment


dyers are cut and sewn from previously prepared cloth
which aggravates certain problems, l ike (i) garment is
cut from more than one piece of cloth and these
different pieces have been prepared differently, (ii)
garment has woven and knit pieces sewn together,
(iii) garment has greige, prepared, bleached with
optical whitener added. pieces all sewn together, and
(iv) a finish. e.g. softener, resin, etc. has been added
7CJ
to the garment .
Preparation must be thorough, consistent and
reproducible. This is extremely important since the
cut and sew operation will need to be oversized
keeping in mind subsequent shrinkage. Variation i n
preparation wil l result in i nconsistency o f final
garment size after dyeing and drying.
The most common mistakes occur in garment
dyeing are: ( i) longer drying of goods resulting in
wastage of energy and time, over drying and
subsequent pil ling, (ii) excessive heating, creating
wrinkles and at very worst resulting in melting of
goods, (iii) inadequate cooling down, (iv) i nsufficient
loading to dryer, (v) not running dryer at constant
production rate,(vi) unnecessari ly l ong load or unload
times, (vii) unclean filters, (viii) non-maintenance of
seal of dryer. and (ix) inaccurate production and cost
f19ures 80 .
1 5 Limitations

In the backdrop of the advantages, there are certain


l imitations of garment dyeing. Even though the merits
totally outweigh the l imitations of garment dyeing, i n
the recent ti mes i t has plunged out t o b e a sensation. It
is required to discuss the demerits too. The limi tations
of garment dyeing can be summarized as (i)
complicated dyeing, (ii) high percentage of seconds
and (iii) high dyeing cost70 .
1 6 Conclusions

Commercially, garment dyeing is a rel atively


newer field of textile processing. Ti l l the recent past,

475

there were no l arge scale readymade garment dyers in


India and now it is time that large scale readymade
garment manufacturers gradual ly switching over to
garment dyeing after carefully studying the pros and
cons. The advantage of garment dyeing lies in its
flexibi l i ty towards the fast changing market. quick
and beneficial response and rapid turnaround.
flexibi lity towards dye shades, finish and lot sizes.
Moreover, garment dyeing results in comparatively
l esser rejections, requirements of lesser: inventory,
smaller capital investments and the chances of
producing fancy and pri stine effects. Thus, with the
widening of the prospects of garment dyeing with
further developments from the technological poi nt of
view, the fashion trends have become more dynamic
and pristine. The end of quota regime after 2004 wil l
open u p new vistas for Indian Textile Companies a s a
repercussion already the stock markets are sniffing
profits in the air. In 2004, the textile shares have
defi nitely outperformed the indices by a safe margin.
Certainly, newer versions of garments have evol ved
with exaggerated qual ities and dynamic response.
Thus, there would be an export bonanza for India in
this quota free world.
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