Textiles that appear in the markets are not presented in their raw forms, fresh from the manufacturing unit. They undergo a series of processes that enable them to be presentable. This includes a series of mechanical and chemical processes that are performed on a commercial scale to improve the overall quality of the wholesale fabric. Below are a few processes that help to turn finished textiles into desirable products.
Burling and Mending
The newly produced wholesale fabric is inspected for any defects in knitting. These are then repaired using hand operations. Burling is the process of removing existing foreign material like burrs, knots, undesirable slubs, and loose threads. This process is applied to spun rayon, worsted, woolen, and cotton fabrics.
Mending, on the other hand, entails removal of tears, missed warp, holes, or broken yarns. It is performed on worsteds and woolens.
Scouring is performed to remove the substances adhered to the fibers during the creation of the fabric or yarn, including oils, dirt, and any lint or sizing that are applied on warp yarns to enable weaving.
It is common that water accumulates during the textile printing process. This must be removed before it is taken to the market. Since evaporative methods are costly, mechanical methods are preferred to dry the fabrics. Centrifuges and a suction method are employed to dry the fabric to completion. The remaining moisture is eliminated through evaporation inside heated dryers.
Mercerization is a technique applied to cotton as well as cotton blends to help increase their luster. This not only improves their appearance but also enhances their strength. Furthermore, it increases their affinity towards dyes.
In this process, the fabric is immersed under tension in caustic soda solution. Then, it is neutralized in acid. At the end of the process, the fabric would have gained permanent swelling.
Bleaching is referred to a process of whitening the fabric by eliminating the natural color such as the tan of linen. This is performed by applying chemicals depending on the composition of the fiber. Chemical bleaching is achieved by destroying color by reduction by removing color by hydrogenation or oxidation by the application of oxygen.
Cotton and other cellulosic fibers are generally processed using alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Wool, as well as other animal fibers, are treated using acidic reducing agents as gaseous sulfur dioxide.
In the case of synthetic fibers, treatment is carried out using reducing or oxidizing agents according to the chemical composition of the textile.