How knitted fleece is made for sweatshirts
Knitted fleece is one of the most popular fabrics in the world. It is used in sweatshirts, pullovers and active clothing because it is inexpensive, soft and smooth and is perfect for screen printing or embroidery. Almost everyone has at least one item of knitted fleece in their closet, but few of us have given much thought to how it is actually made.
Knit fleece may seem simple, but it is not at all if you take into account the manufacturing process and the many variables that help it to be of high quality. Many manufacturers today have not only changed their knitting processes to get better and higher quality products, but they have also added “extras” to the garment, such as Lycra in the rib trim and topstitching.
When the cotton comes to the factory
The process begins with cotton bales that are placed so that the cotton can be mixed together. The cotton is opened and then filtered; Pull out foreign matter and make the cotton form more even strands. This is the step that brings staple fibers into a shape that can be reduced in bulk and ultimately twisted into a spun yarn. Next, the cotton goes through a drawing process that increases the length per unit weight of the strands. Depending on the spinning system used to manufacture the yarn, the cotton then has to go through various other processes.
There are three spinning systems that produce the yarn used in fleece. Open-end spinning, ring spinning and airjet spinning. Open-end spinning is popular because it is less expensive. The disadvantage is that fabric made from open yarn tends to be rougher than fabric made from other methods, which feels harder. Ring-spun products are softer and have a nicer hand. Air jet spun yarn sweatshirts are becoming increasingly popular as the air jet spun yarns are less hairy than their counterparts. For this reason, the pilling of fabrics is greatly reduced. (Pilling is caused when cotton fibers loosen on a fabric and hang on fibers that protrude from the surface of that fabric. If the loose fiber does not break off, it forms a pill.) Air jet spun yarns are only used in cotton / polyester blends.
Knit the yarn
The knitting of fleece fabric is done on a four-lane Knitting machine. Fleece can be either a two or three end construction. The difference between the two is the number of yarns knitted in the fabric. High-end sweats are common Three-leaf fleeceThis means that the mill uses a flat yarn, a carrier yarn and a tie yarn that interweave and take a nap. Three-end fleece is considered to be more stable and more durable because three yarns are used in knitting, as opposed to two. Two-end fleece does not use the twine for knitting and therefore does not have a face as smooth as a threesome. A two-end fleece product is thinner than a three-end product.
After knitting the greigeor unfinished fabric is rolled on large rolls. These rolls are layered together for wet processing. Excess oil, waxes and dirt are typically extracted at this point, after which the fabric is stabilized and prepared either for bleaching (for white fleece) or for dyeing. Typically, the body and rib fabric are bleached and dyed together to ensure color compatibility. The fabric content and color determine how long the fabric stays in the paint containers. At the end of the dyeing or bleaching process, the fabric is rinsed to remove excess dye and then passed through an extractor that works like an old-fashioned washing machine in which water is squeezed out under a continuous roller. At this point, fabric softener can be added.
The fabric is then turned over to prepare it for the nap. The nap machine is a large drum with rollers on the outside. The wire bristles on these rollers alternate between straight and curved bristles. Just called wires traveler Move the fabric around the drum. The curved bristles actually take a nap with the fleece by gripping and breaking the loops, creating the fluff on the underside of the fabric.
After the nap, the fabric is turned right side out calendar or compacted to reduce shrinkage. calendar is a method of spreading the fabric to its desired width and compressing it between metal rollers with steam present to stabilize the fabric.
While compressionThe fabric is fed to a heated machine to compress or compress the loops in the fabric. Basically, the fabric gets into the compression chamber faster than it does so that the fabric is pushed together. An additional advantage of compacting is that the fabric becomes softer.
Once the fabric has reached this stage, it can be cut and sewn into the fabric individually embroidered sweatshirts, Sweatpants, sweaters that we wear every day. If you know a little more about the manufacturing process behind the knit fleece itself, you may have a better understanding of it when you buy the garments made from it.