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Assistant Professor
Department of Textile Technology
PSG College of Technology
• The fabrics which are made
lesser than the regular fabric
widths are called as narrow
• There is no definite
definition for explaining the
specific width range of
narrow fabrics.
• Literatures differ from each
other to define narrow
• In common these fabrics are
made in widths ranging from
1” to 6” based on their
• The narrow fabric production gains importance as the
technical textiles field is emerging and the use of narrow
fabrics in its products are high.
• As these are in narrow width the production rate is very
• As the weaving technique is unique the chances for the
defects are very less, therefore the productivity also very
• These are majorly classified into three categories namely
 Ribbons Elastic Tapes
 Tapes
 Webbings Non-Elastic Tapes
A-Ribbons, B-Non Elastic Tapes, C-Webbings, D -Elastic tapes
Non-load Bearing Application Load Bearing Application
(Ribbon & Tape) (Webbings)
• Usually ribbons were made with fine yarns in a
regular plain or satin weaves to have a lustrous
surface as it finds application in ornamentation
• Ribbons are made of natural materials such as silk,
cotton, and jute and of synthetic materials, such as
polyester, nylon, etc.
• The tapes are normally constituted with plain
and twill structured medium count yarns.
• These further classified in to two types namely
elastic tapes and non-elastic tapes.
• The elastic tapes are manufactured with
addition of rubber covered or lycra yarns.
• The rubber cannot be used
without coverings because of its
shade matching problem with the
body colour of the fabric and it
creates discomfort to the wearer.
• Hence these rubbers are used with
textile covering that is the rubber
is core spun with the textile
material to overcome its
• In the case of lycra it can be
directly used as like yarn as its
surface characteristics similar to
textile filaments.
• The rubber has the 300 % and
the lycra have the 600 % of
• These elastic tapes were made
with regular and jacquard
designs which find a familiar
application as waist bands of
dress materials and it is used in
many technical textile areas like
textile sensors etc.
• The non-elastic tapes are of
mostly twill tapes which are
used as neck tapes and
reinforcement of garment parts.
• The webbings are the narrow fabrics which are
made of ply yarns with regular weave structures
to meet the load bearing applications.
• Usually these are made with synthetic yarns like
polyester, nylon and polypropylene to be
• Now a days poly-aramid fibre yarns were used
to create ultra high strength webbings to use it
in parachutes and military applications.
Production methods
• Shuttle looms
• Slitting the
wider width
• Needle looms
Shuttle looms
• In this method the drawing in and denting in
process were carried out in segments.
• That is the warp is divided into several segments for
which separate shuttle will be used to insert the
weft for each segment.
• Here each segment will produce separate narrow
Shuttle looms
• The shuttles were picked sequentially one after another
from one side to another.
• As the picking is carried out in a sequential manner the
production will be lesser.
• And also the spools which are in the shuttle also have a
smaller content which requires frequent change cause the
low productivity.
• The advantage of this method is that the narrow fabrics
will have the regular selvedge on both sides of the fabric.
• Stronger than the modern narrow fabric where they do
not have similar selvedge on both sides.
Narrow fabric production by slitting
the wider width fabrics
• In this method the wider with fabrics were
produced by any type of weaving machine and
the fabric produced from the loom is slit by hot
rotating knives.
• Placed at equal intervals in a shaft which is fixed
in the loom itself or it can be a separate machine
• The round blades were heated electrically to cut
the fabric and to create a fused selvedge on the
edges of the cut fabrics.
Narrow fabric production by needle looms
• The needle looms are the trend in narrow fabric
• In this method the curved needles were used to insert the
• The weft is inserted in the hairpin loop form from the
insertion side and the loop is held by a securing thread or
by inter-looping the weft itself.
• The needle looms can be customized based on our
• The number of weaving heads can be increased or
decreased based on the width of the narrow fabrics.
• This machine is adoptable for installation of jacquard
• The loom runs at an average speed of 1000 to 1200 rpm.
Needle loom
Passage of material through needle loom
Types of selvedges
• E.A.Posselt, “Narrow woven fabrics” Hand book
of the Textile Industry, Vol .2.
• Howlett, Simon (2010-02-15). Modern British
Webbing Equipment. UK: The Crowood Press
• Proceedings, Narrow Fabrics Group conference,
June 1996, The University of Derby, Derby, UK.
• Kyosev, Yordan, Mahltig, Boris, Schwarz-Pfeiffer,
Anne (Eds.) Narrow and Smart Textiles.