The Complete Guide To Textile From Fibre To Fabric To Textile

A Comprehensive Introduction into Textiles

If you have ever been confused by the topic of fabrics, approached a supplier or been overwhelmed by the many swatches out there, this article will guide you step by step through the different terminologies that you need to understand when discussing and buying fabrics. This will allow you to approach your next supplier with a much better idea on what you are looking for and how to communicate to them. Understanding your own needs and becoming knowledgeable regarding this topic will give you more confidence, be seen as more professional and even get a better deal on your fabrics.

1. Fabric Construction

First, let's look at the different types of fabric construction that are prevalent in the market. There are two major types of construction, woven fabrics and knitted fabrics. In order to create the final textile on woven fabrics, the yarns are placed together in a basket style criss cross pattern interlocking in a way that creates the woven vinyl structure. Typically, woven fabrics are more lightweight, water resistant and less prone to stretch, which can be a positive and a negative element depending on how you look at it.

The second type of construction technique that is usually seen on fabrics are knitted fabrics. Knitted fabrics are done in a traditional knit style way where it is going up and down (it is essentially what you think of when you think of granny knitting). Usually, knitted fabrics are a bit heavier and also more affordable as it requires less labor intensive work. However, knitted fabrics are also a lot more common on the market because they are more widely available.

Woven Fabrics are:
  • Lightweight
  • Water resistant
  • Less stretchy
Knitted Fabrics are:
  • Heavyweight
  • Cost efficient
  • Stretchy
So the first thing you must understand is, is your fabric woven or is it knitted?

2. Fibre Content

The next aspect to look after is the fiber content. You may have seen items such as cotton, spandex, polyester, acetate, viscose being thrown around. What does this mean? Well, it's not just jargon. This is a clear indicator of how a fabric might perform and even how much it may cost. We have to first understand fibres. Fibers are raw materials that yarns are created out of, and then these yarns are knitted or weaved into the textiles that we are able to buy. When it comes to the different types of fibers that are available in the market, they are essentially split up into three main categories. On one side, we havenatural fibers like cotton, wools and silks. On the other side, we have synthetic fibers like polyesters and acetate. Then in the middle, we have fabrics like semi synthetic fibers like lyocell, viscose and bamboo. There are also a blend of both, raw fibers are sourced from plants, wood pulp, and then manmade processes are added to them in order to convert them into the yarns that are used to make into textile. Pic- Evolution from fibre to fabric So let's look at a very traditional sportswear blended fabric: cotton and spandex. This is a clear example of blending two different fibers together in order to achieve a better performance. Overall, we are using the ninety five coffin nude to give it a soft, nonallergenic touch and finish and adding spandex as 100% cotton tends to not be as flexible or as versatile. Additionally, 100% cotton tends to lose its shape when being

So let's look at a very traditional sportswear blended fabric: cotton and spandex. This is a clear example of blending two different fibers together in order to achieve a better performance. Overall, we are using the ninety five coffin nude to give it a soft, nonallergenic touch and finish and adding spandex as 100% cotton tends to not be as flexible or as versatile. Additionally, 100% cotton tends to lose its shape when being stretched periodically and repeatedly over time, which can happen during multiple wears and washing over time. Therefore, adding a bit of spandex will allow it to stretch and still retain its shape. Usually it can be seen that two, three, or even four different types of fibers are blended in order to create a super fabric. Thus, understanding the types of fibers that are being used in a textile is key towards understanding the physical and functional properties of the garment.

3. Fabric Weight

It is very important to know how heavy the fabric is going to be, for example hoodies will be heavier fabric compared to underwear which will be lighter fabric. The term that is usually seen in order to describe weight is called GSM, which is grand per square meter. A fabric that is 230 grams/m² is going to be 230 grams. However one should not confuse weight with thickness of the febric. We can apply physical finishes like brushing or adding a sleeve finish that can increase the thickness of a fabric without adding onto the weight. It does not mean that a fabric that is 230 grams/m² is going to be thicker than something that is 180 grams/m² because that same fabric can be brushed in order to increase thickness. Image Fabrics are usually sold in linear meters or linear yards which will impact the width of the roll. The width of the roll is typically between 45 inches to around 65 inches. If we have a width of a roll that is 60 inches we will know that sixty inches converts around

Fabrics are usually sold in linear meters or linear yards which will impact the width of the roll. The width of the roll is typically between 45 inches to around 65 inches. If we have a width of a roll that is 60 inches we will know that sixty inches converts around 1.5 meters which will give a square meterage of 1.5 m² of that fabric.

Now, why is that important?

Well, let's look at production. Imagine that we are creating 500 joggers, and we have determined that for each jogger, we need 1.5 square meters of fabric in order to achieve the required fabric consumption for the production. How much fabric do we have to order from the supplier? We need to ask the supplier for 500 m² meters of fabric. Well, that means that we're going to need 500 linear meters of the fabric in order to achieve the quantity needed for our production.

4. Physical and Chemical Finishes

There are three main categories that we will dive into when it comes to finishes on a garment: physical finishes, mechanical finish, and chemical finishes. Physical finishes are alterations that are made to change the tangible feel of a fabric, things like fleece, microfleece or brushing. A fabric will create these piled like surfaces like alcantara or suede that gives it a soft and brushy appearance that can actually help to perform in a physical sense.

Then we have a mechanical finish. Mechanical finishes are interlock finishes, which help to prevent sheer by adding structure to the knit or Dobby stretch finishes that can help to bring in stretch to woven fabrics like 100% polyester woven fabrics. This may not have inherent stretch because they don't have any spandex in it and polyester on its own as a fiber does not have any inherent stretch to it.

Mechanical finish characteristics are:
  • Anti odor finishes
  • Anti soil
  • Anti UV

These are usually chemical agents that are applied to the surface of the fabric that can help the fibers or the textiles perform better. In these situations, anti odor will essentially have chemical agents introduced that help bacteria from building up and binding with chemicals, odor causing agents, which can essentially prevent smells from building up on the surface of your fabrics.

5. Fabric Dye

The last category that everyone should know is whether the fabric is piece dyed or yarn dyed. There are many different types of dyeing methods however, the two main dying methods that are typically more heard of or seen at a fabric mill. Yarn dyed essentially means that the yarns were dyed or custom dyed according to color from their grayish color while there are still yarns.

So before they're knitted or woven into the final textile, this is going to give a richer color and more uniform color because it is dyeing the yarns before they are woven or knitted. However, this tends to be more expensive. Piece dye essentially means that the yarns are left in their grayish format and then they are knitted or woven to the final textile finally the textile roll is dyed. Accordingly, with this option, there is more flexibility as you can make the decision on the fabric colors later in the life cycle of that fabric. Which is the perfect dyeing system depends on what your own criteria is.

Conclusion

Whether you are new to the world of fashion or you recently launched a fashion line, we at Olobird can help you create your own clothing line At Olobird, we help fashion brands grow with our one-stop, end-to-end manufacturing solution. We help develop product ideas, create tech packs, produce FREE samples, manufacture from top clothing manufacturers (the same ones who manufacture for Boss, Puma, M&S, GymShark, and many others) and handle shipment. With OloBird there is no minimum order quantity requirement, thus, ensuring both quality and flexibility to our customers. Olobird’s clients do not have to worry about the lengthy process of creating their dream fashion line. We take the hassle out of the process whilst they can focus on building their brand. For more information on what we do you can visit www.olobird.com.