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Commonly used Finishing methods on Fabrics

Pre Shrinking Finish: Pre-shirking is needed almost on all fabrics because most textile materials shrink when washed. Softening Finish: Fabric softening is generally done together with desizing (desize means to destarch) and pre-shrinking. Brush and Sanding Finish: In many cases we may finish the fabric by brushing or sanding to give them smooth velvetlike or suede-like surface. Mercerizing and Singeing Finish: Singeing and mercerizing are in many cases related and done at the same time. Singeing is passing the fabric through a flame (fire) so that the hair and nubs of the fabric are burnt off to give it a clean surface. Resin Finish: Resin finish is to stabilize the fiber to make it shrinkage and crease resistant. Permanent Press Finish: Permanent Press Finish (P.P.Finish) is generally done on TC fabrics; Skewing Finish: Skewing is an operation done by machine to make the weft threads in the fabric skewed against the perpendicular warp threads. Chintz Finish: Chintz finish is usually applied on TC CVC or cotton poplin to give it a glossy finish. Water Repellent Finish: Water repellant finish is different from water proof finish. It means water, if showered on the fabric briefly, cannot make the fabric wet. Water Proof Finish: Peach Skin Finish: Peach skin is a smooth finish applied to finely woven Micro Fiber fabric. Soil Release Finish: Repel the stains and soil using repellants such as flourochemicals or create a surface that aids the removal of soils when cleaning or laundering using chemicals based on poly-acrylic acid. Fire Retardant Finish: The finishing of fabrics with flame retardants can reduce the tendency to burn or reduce the tendency to propagate the flame. Sanforization Finish: Shrinkage in garments is very important issue because when they shrink out of size, they cannot be worn.

Scouring/cleaning
Fabrics received as gray cloth have a lot of impurities naturally present in them. These may be oils, waxes and dirty stains acquired during construction of the fabric. Complete removal or cleaning of these impurities is important before applying any other finish. This cleaning is called scouring and is done to all fabrics with the help of soap solutions and chemicals. After cleaning, the fabric becomes smooth, neat and more absorbent

Bleaching
When fabrics are made, they are not white in colour, due to impurities and colouring material present in them. To make them white or to dye them in light colours they are bleached. Suitable bleaching agents are used to remove the colour from the fabric. Bleaching is done for cottons, woollens and silks. Man-made fabrics do not need bleaching as they are naturally white. Bleaching has to be done very carefully as the chemical which can destroy the colour may also damage the fabric to some extent. Hydrogen peroxide is a universal bleach which can be applied to all kinds of fabrics.

Stiffening
Stiffening means the fabric which is generally limp becomes stiff when a stiffening agent is applied. For stiffening silk, gums are used. Stiffening gives body, smoothness and luster to the fabric. This practice is sometimes used to cheat the customer. You must have observed that some times if you rub a fabric between your hands, some white powder comes out. It is because the fabric has been over-starched. Inferior fabrics are over-starched to look dense and better. Fabrics fabrics are woven or knitted, freshly coming off the machine are called grey goods which must be treated in different ways to give them the important finishing touch. We call this finishing touch finish. This finishes we apply to fabrics are either for practical reasons or appearances. There is a wide range of finish we use on fabrics. Pre-shirking is needed almost on all fabrics because most textile materials shrink when washed. However preshrinking can only reduce the residual shrinkage to a lower percentage, but cannot completely eliminate it. On cotton fabrics, usually take away 8-10%shrinkage by preshrinking, leaving about 5-6% in them

Preshrinking can reduce only the residual shrinkage This is a generalized form of opinion which clearly indicates that without proper shrinking, these fabrics truly cannot be used to make garments. In fact preshrinking can only reduce the residual shrinkage to a lower percentage, but cannot completely eliminate it. Following are the measures one must take about the balance of residual shrinkage: On cotton fabrics, we can usually take away 8-10 %shrinkage by preshrinking, leaving about 5 - 6% in them. If you really do a good job on shrinking, you may bring it down to 4% which is generally accepted in the trade. On rayon fabrics we should know by normal preshrinking process alone it is difficult to bring the shrinkage down to 4-5 %as by nature, rayon fabrics tend to shrink each time you wash them in the first several washing. That is why people use the method of resin finish to try to control the shrinkage, or use Dry clean only on the care label to avoid the big shrinkage caused by washing. However both of these methods are not satisfactory because of the following When you apply resin to the fabric to stabilize the fiber, you may achieve better residual shrinkage, but the fabric will be less dray (not as soft). Besides the resin may be washed away slowly in a few washing and then the fabric will start to shrink again. When you see dry clean only on the care label consumers may not buy the garments as it is too expensive to dry clean by a commercial laundry. However of late a beater method has been worked out to pre-shrink the fabric starting from desiring and bleaching. As a result after dyeing or printing, we can use the normal pre-shrinking process to control the residual shrinkage to be about 5-6 % which should be the acceptable level.

Therefore, when we order rayon fabrics, it is important that we discuss the possible shrinkage problem with the mill to make sure he knows what to do to control the shrinkage.

Shrinkages of various fabrics from grey goods


Kind of Fabric Cotton Denim Twill Canvas Calico Total Shrinkage (in %) 12-16 12-16 10-14 10-14

Sheeting 10-14 Flannel Rayon Twill 10-14 16-20

Sheeting 16-20 Ramie Twill 8-11

Sheeting 8-11 Ramie/cotton Twill 9-12

Sheeting 9-12 Wool TC fabrics 100% polyester fabrics 100% Nylon Ramie and Ramie/cotton blend: All types 15-25 4-6 0-2 0-2

Shrinkage on various Textile Material groups

Shrinkage on 100% Ramie and Ramie/cotton blend is mild and controllable. Normal preshrinking can bring the shrinkage down to 3-5 % which is an acceptable level.
Wool and Wool Blend

Wool is generally not suitable for washing particularly in hot water. If you wash it in hot water, it may shrink up to 30% depending on the construction of the fabric. If wool is mixed with some other fibers, the shrinkage may improve. Therefore, for wool fabric or fabric with wool content, you should consider the following:

For 100% wool or wool as major content, you should use dry clean only in your care label. On polyester/wool or acrylic wool, usually washable in cool water. The care instructions should be worded similar to the following: o Machine wash cold tumble dry low. o Remove while it is still damp. o Use line dry or lay flat to dry. o Dry cleaning recommended.

From the above, you will see that because there is wool in the fabric, a lot of consideration has been given to the wool content in order not to make the wool content shrink excessively.
Other textile materials

We should be very careful of the shrinkage of leather. Leather shrinks tremendously if washed and dried by heat. When leather is used in garments, as trim or even as a patch, you must not wash the garment and dry it in tumble dryer till it is 100% dry. If you do the leather part will shrink out of size and become thick and stiff. You must wash it in normal way, but dry it up to 80% and air dry the balance 20% without heat.
Sanforization

Shrinkage in garments is very important issue because when they shrink out of size, they cannot be worn. Before pre-washed garments became popular, the shrinkage problem was even a bigger one. To tackle the shrinkage problem, a process to pre-shrink fabrics before making garments was invented by an American, Stanford L.Cluett. He registered a trademark "SANFORIZED" to signify that the fabric used in garment has gone through a registered process and the garment is shrinkage controlled (Residual shrinkage about 1%). He advertised the trademark "SANFORIZED" to build up the demand from the consumer level for "Sanforized" garments so that the textile mills and garment makers want to use the Sanforize process and the trademark "sanforized" on the garment label to make the merchandise more appealing to consumers. Of course a royalty has to be paid to the Sanforize Company for the use of the trademark. The above is the brief history of the Sanforized trademark which is internationally known and is still used in the garment industry. However, now days you do not see this name too often on the garment labels, because most garments are now pre-washed where shrinkage problems do not exist. Resin Finish Resin finish is to stabilize the fiber to make it shrinkage and crease resistant. We usually consider applying resin finish on 100% cotton fabrics (mostly knits) or 100%rayon woven fabrics because shrinkage of these 2 kinds of fabrics is hard to control, and therefore we consider to resort to resin finish. Resin finish is not too popular now days because the resin applied will eventually be washed off. Garment buyers therefore, rather use garment wash to get rid of the shrinkage and at the same time get a washed look on the garment which is desirable. Softening finish Fabric softening is generally done together with desizing (desize means to destarch) and pre-shrinking. When de-starching is done softener is added to make the fabric soft and smooth. This process is indispensable for the fabric to be used to make garments without pre-washing. Whenever too much softener is used to finish the fabric, the stability of the color may be weakened resulting in lower color crocking standards.

Brush and Sanding Finish In many cases we may finish the fabric by brushing or sanding to give them to smooth velvet like or suede-like surface. The difference between brushing and sanding is: Brushing the hair is long and the fabric is fluffy Sanding short hair feels like suede For better results we should handle brushing in the following manner: For solid color fabrics we should brush first and then dye and brush them one more time. If we dye them first and then brush you will get a frosted effect (with a cast of white color mixed in the solid color) because the fiber in the center of the yarn where the dye could not fully penetrate into may come to the surface o make the fabric to look frosted. For printed fabrics , we should brush first and then print because of the following reasons: o If you print first and then brush, the printed area may not become as haired or fluffy as the white area or the un-printed area because the dye (particularly pigment dye) covers the fabric like a shield and keeps the fiber down. o If the fabric is printed with reactive dye making the printed area almost as soft as the un-printed area, then the above phenomenon may not appear, but the colored hair or fiber form the printed area may overlap the un-printed side distorting or spoiling the printed design. If you brush first and then print, the above problem will not emerge. Mercerizing and Singeing Finish Singeing and mercerizing are in many cases related and done at the same time. Singeing is passing the fabric through a flame (fire) so that the hair and nubs of the fabric are burnt off to give it a clean surface. This is commonly done on most cotton fabrics including denim. It consists of the burning of fuzz on the fabric surface. Before singing the cloth is brushed to remove the loose fabric and also to remove the dust. The fabric is kept flat under tension and passed rapidly over an open gas flame. Later it is passed into a water to cool down. Mercerizing means a treatment by soaking the fabric into caustic soda to give a shine to it. This process is not done on denim because it will hurt the color of indigo or sulphur. However it is mostly done on grey goods or dyeing or dyed goods which has a colorfast quality. Chintz Finish Chintz finish is usually applied on TC CVC or cotton poplin to give it a glossy finish. Sometimes we call it oil finish. This is strictly a fashion.

Peach Skin Finish


Peach skin is a smooth finish applied to finely woven Micro Fiber fabric. The soft, suede finish are the results of sanding or chemical treatment of the fabric. This finish allows suits and dresses to flow with movement and drape beautifully. The feel of peach skin is soft, smooth and moderately wrinkle-resistant. It is a medium weight fabric that has fuzzy, suede like feel.

Permanent Press Finish


Permanent Press Finish (P.P.Finish) is generally done on TC fabrics; particularly those for making pants because you would like the center crease of the pants to stay crisp make them look fresh and neat. P.P.Finish can be handled in two different ways as follows: Pre-Curing Post-Curing

Pre-curing
Pre-curing means all the treatment of the fabric are to be completed before the fabric is supplied to the garment manufacturer for production. If your garment t factory does not have the oven baking equipment to bake the cut piece of the garment, you should order pre-cure fabric from the fabric mill. This fabric when received by you is already treated with resin and baked for the permanent press effect. You just process the fabric as any ordinary fabric for garment making and the garment will have the permanent press effect. However, if the garment is a pair of pants the center crease of the legs will not stay crisp well because it is put on after the oven baking process is done. Therefore, we may say a pair of permanent press pants made this way is not done properly something is missing and perfection not attained. Post-Curing If you wish to make Permanent Press pants with perfect Permanent Press effect, you should order the TC fabric from a dyeing /finishing mill Post cured. In that case the mill will supply youth fabric treated with chemical (resin) but with last process baking: not done, leaving it for you to do after cutting. After the fabric is cut before sewing operations, you should press the cut pieces to leave a crease where you want the crease to stay permanently. Generally you would do that on the center crease of the pants. When pressing is done, you get all the cut pieces through the oven to let the heat finish off the last process to produce the permanent press effect. When the pants are finally finished, the center crease so made should stay on the pant permanently. Please note pot cured fabric must be finished off by oven baking otherwise; permanent press effect will not be achieved. Post cured fabric are usually those for making dress pant type of pants, not for jackets or shirts where you do not need neat creases to stay fresh. In fact, now a days most TC you order are pre cured because most garment factories today are not equipped with the baking oven to handle post cured fabrics. However when you order TC permanent press fabrics, you really should make sure with the mill that you are getting what you plan to have.

Skewing Finish
All denim fabrics must go through a process of skewing. The process means an operation done by machine to make the weft threads in the fabric skewed against the perpendicular warp threads. This process is necessary on all fabrics to twill weave to ensure the finished garment when washed will not twist. Twisting would take on twill fabrics, but if it is solid color twill, the skewing process is taken care of when the fabric goes through the dyeing process. Denim and any yarn dyed twill do not have to go through a dying process after being woven and therefore must go through a dying processafter being woven and therefore must go through the skewing process. Fire Retardant Finish
The finishing of fabrics with flame retardants can reduce the tendency to burn or reduce the tendency to propagate the flame. The flame retardants may char the fuel, quench the reaction of combustion, absorb heat or emit cooling gases or replace oxygen. Flame retardants are durable or nondurable. Durable retardants include decabromodiphenyl oxide, antimony oxide, phosphates, brominated esters, PVC and other chlorinated binders. Nondurables include borates, boric acids, zinc borate, sulfuric acid sulfa mates, ammonium phosphates, urea, etc. Hydrated alumina and zinc borate act as smoke suppressants. Problems in the application include odor, yellowing, loss of tensile strength, stiffening, skin irritation and color change or loss.

Soil Release Finish


The soil release chemicals reduce the problem of soiling in two ways: repel the stains and soil using repellants such as flourochemicals or create a surface that aids the removal of soils when cleaning or laundering using chemicals based on poly-acrylic acid.

Flocking
Flocking is a process of making a two-dimensional fabric have a third dimension. It is done by mechanically or commonly electrostatically. Depending on how the adhesive is applied, the whole surface can be flocked or patterns can be made. The adhesives are just like what are used in laminating and include polyvinylchloride plastisols, polyurethane bicomponent adhesives and all kinds of aqueous dispersion adhesives.

Laminating
Laminating is the permanent jointing of two or more prefabricated fabrics. Unless one or other of the fabrics develops adhesive properties in certain conditions, an additional medium is necessary to secure bonding.
Wet laminating

Adhesives used in the wet process are dissolved or dispersed in a suitable solvent. The simplest form of wet laminating consists of applying the adhesive to one of the lengths of material that is to be joined, and to put the second length on it with the required amount of pressure.Then drying, hardening or condensing the material that has been joined together is carried out. The solvents can be macromolecular natural or synthetic substances and water.
Dry laminating

All Kinds of thermoplastics are used for dry laminating. These include powders, plastisols, or melt adhesives, and are applied to the substrates that are to be joined together using suitable machinery. Dry laminated non-woven fabrics have a soft feel.

Coating
Coating is a basic and exceptionally important form of finishing for non-woven bonded fabrics. The way in which the coating is carried out depends on the substrate, the machinery available, the substance that is to be applied and, also on the effect desired.

Slop Padding
It is one of the best known methods of direct coating. The coating is put on with a rotary roller, the surface of which is covered in the substance to be applied. The slop padding roller is fed directly with the laminating float by being dipped into it or using special feed rollers.

Water Proof Finish


Water proof finish should still be classified by degree because of its involvement in a big duty rate difference for export to the United States.Please note the following: If the fabric in question is a TC fabric and the water proof finish is only a regular water proof finish which cannot pass the Rain water Test No. AATCC-35 the import duty is 34% for jackets. However, if the same fabric with water proof finishes which can pass AATCC-35 test and qualifies as rainwater resistant, then the duty is 7.6%. To pass the rain water test no. AATCC-35 the fabric has to go through a Cup Test where the fabric has to stand 600mm water pressure without leakage.(The laboratory can do the test for you) Most fabric finishing mills know about the above test and the required water proof standard to qualify for rainwater duty. The importance is to specify clearly what you need when you order the fabric. From the above you will see that the duty difference between 7.6% and 34 % is big. If you use the right quality of water proof finish, you can benefit from the low duty rate. However please note that apart from the water proof finish, the style of the jacket has to be taken into consideration too. If the styling of the jacket is obviously not to be used, and cannot be used as a rainwear, the U.S Customs may refuse to let you enter the garments as rainwear duty, although the fabric meets the water proof standards required. The styling which may cause the jacket not to be a rainwear can be briefly noted an s follows: Quilting stitches are done on the outside; water can easily go to the padding through the numerous needle holes. With packets without flaps, water can easily go into the pockets as many pieces joined together. Water can go through the seams. If the jacket

Water Repellent Finish


Water repellant finish is different from water proof finish. It means water, if showered on the fabric briefly, cannot make the fabric wet. However, water can still get through the fabric if we continue to shower on it. You can do a test to find out if the fabric has water repellent finish(W.R) or water proof finish(W.P)be has no finish (plain finish) on it as follows: Put the fabric on a flat surface and put a few drops of water on it. If the water rolls on it, it tells you this side of the fabric has W.R.Now you use your finger to rub on the water. If it does not get through to the other side, it means this fabric also has W.P on the other side, however if it gets through to the other side it means it has W.R on this side only. If the water gets absorbed and it got through to the other side easily (Completely wet), it means the fabric has plain finish not W.R and not W.P. If the water does not roll, but sticks to the fabric and when you rub on it, it does not go through; it tells you that this side of fabric has W.P finish. Very possibly, it has W.R on the other side, because normally, when the fabric has W.P on the other side. It has W.R on the other side. To make sure what you think is correct, you can turn it over and put water on it to see if the water rolls. Another test: If you can breathe through the fabric, it is not W.P. If you cannot breathe through the fabric it is W.P