Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Some More Notes on Ajrakh

1. True Ajrak or Ajrakh is only worn by men

Image Via Indianetzone.com

2. Ajrak printing can be applied to one side of the cloth called Ekpuri. Bipuri is double sided printing.

3. As these designs conform to Islamic design principles, they must not depict human or animal figures.

4. Saudagiri is the most highly documented genre of block design.

5. Riyal are those designs in Ajrak which are built around circular motifs.

6. True Ajrakh blocks are square, must matchup on all four sides, and also reflect to allow the reverse of the cloth to be printed.

7. Simples form of Ajrak has only one shade of red and blue. To apply additional shades of red, blue, yellow and green is called Meenakari.

You can read a brief description of the Ajrakh process here.

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Difference among Lycra, Spandex and Elastane

"LYCRA® is DuPont's brand of elastane, or spandex. The word "spandex" is used only in the United States while "elastane" is recognized worldwide, so we tend to use the more widely known term."

Difference among Chiffon, Crepe, Crepe-de-Chine, Georgette, Organza,

Organza Silk
Silk Organza is a sheer, thin open-weave fabric that is heavier and crisper than silk gauze. It has a smooth, flat finish, is strong and durable, and gets its stiffness from tightly twisted yarns. Often used as the base fabric for embellished fabrics.

This plain weave sheer silk is made with a loose plain weave and tightly twisted yarns that have 10 to 20 turns per inch. Organza is similar to cotton organdy except it is made with silk and is transparent. Organza has a crisp drape, which requires special sewing techniques for seams, facings, and hems because they can be seen from the outside of the garment. It is mostly used for interfacing, veils, and undergowns.

Chiffon Silk
Chiffon literally means “rag” in French. This elegant, sheer fabric is quite limp, with a beautiful drape. It has a soft, supple, thin hand and a flat, crepe-like texture.It made from silk, cotton, nylon, polyester, or rayon.It is basically refers to a light plain woven sheer fabric. It is delicate in appearance, it is a relatively strong, balanced fabric and can be dyed or printed for use in dresses, millinery, scarves, and lampshades. This fabric can be difficult to work with because of its light and slippery textures. Due to this delicate nature, chiffon must be hand washed very gently.It adds a magical look to the dress and wearer's personality.

A very light, diaphanous fabric, Chiffon is made with a loose, plain weave and tightly twisted single crêpe yarns in both warp and weft. Unlike in crêpe de Chine, the weft yarn is either S or Z twist. The characteristic wrinkles in the finished fabric are created by the weft yarns being pulled in one direction.

Chiffon is elegant and sheer, with a slightly rough feel to it. Sometimes called Crepe Chiffon, this fabric is highly suited for special occasion dresses, Scarves, nightgowns, and linings. Chiffon is softer and thinner than Georgette. [Georgette is made like chiffon, but with a two or three ply yarn.] Because of its slippery quality, chiffon is difficult to cut and sew.

This fabric is a good choice for manufacturing blouses,dupattas and various types of ladies dresses. It is also used for making bridal gowns,scarves and evening and formal wears 

Crepe Fabric
A fabric characterized by a crinkled, puckered or pebbly surface with highly twisted yarns in the weft and sometimes in the warp or both. Crepe is usually made with a plain weave. The crinkly texture of this soft and pliable fabric can be smooth or quite rough. The fabric is woven from all of the major fibers, natural or man-made. Surface textures range from fine, flat crepes to pebbled and mossy effects; some surfaces resemble tree bark.

Crepe Silk
Silk Crepe is a luxurious fabric with a good sheen and a pebbly texture obtained by using high twist yarns. Silk Crepe has a beautiful drape, and is extensively used to make dresses, slacks, skirts, lightweight suits, bridal gowns, and evening wear.

Crepe de Chine
Crepe de Chine ('krape dee sheen'), French for “Crepe from China,” is similar to Silk Crepe, but lighter weight and less textured fabric made with S and Z highly twisted filament yarns alternating in the weft and with a normally twisted filament warp. The matte surface and pebbled texture of this graceful fabric reflect individual pinpoints of light, giving it wonderful chromatic depth and striking eye-appeal. This luxurious silk has the additional virtues of great durability and excellent wrinkle resistance. Lightweight with a pleasing drape, designers choose it among silk fabrics for elegant slacks, skirts, dresses, suits, and eveningwear.

Crepe/Geogette Yarn
Twisted yarn usually with 2000 to 3600 tpm (twists per meter), generally made of two threads of raw silk.

Crepe Yarn
Highly twisted yarn generally with 1200 to 4000 tpm (twists per meter) used for producing crepe effect in woven or knit fabrics.

Georgette Silk
Fine, lightweight, plain weave, crêpe fabric, usually having two highly twisted S and two highly twisted Z yarns alternately in both warp and weft. Made of crepe yarn, silk georgette has a grainy texture, a sheer feel, and a thin, very dry hand. It is heavier than chiffon, and is similar to silk crepe, but is not as soft or lustrous as crepe. Georgette is durable, but snags easily. Drapes very fluidly, and falls into soft ripples.

With its creped surface, this sheer and strong silk fabric is great for blouses, bias-cut flared skirts, evening wear, dresses, and scarves. Doesn't show pin marks, and doesn’t hold a crease. Relatively difficult to sew.

Kashmere Silk
Silk fabric made with 2/1 right hand twill weave that gives a soft finish.

Momme Weight

Silk momme is equal to about 3.62 grams per squar e yard or 4.33 grams per square meter (designated as mm)

Chiffon- 6 to 8 mm
Crepe de Chine-12 to 18 mm
Georgette-8 to 12 mm
Organza-4 to 6 mm

Organza Silk
Silk Organza is a sheer, thin open-weave fabric that is heavier and crisper than silk gauze. It has a smooth, flat finish, is strong and durable, and gets its stiffness from tightly twisted yarns. Often used as the base fabric for embellished fabrics.

This plain weave sheer silk is made with a loose plain weave and tightly twisted yarns that have 10 to 20 turns per inch. Organza is similar to cotton organdy except it is made with silk and is transparent. Organza has a crisp drape, which requires special sewing techniques for seams, facings, and hems because they can be seen from the outside of the garment. It is mostly used for interfacing, veils, and undergowns.

There weight in the increasing order is organza, chiffon, Georgette, Crepe-de-Chine, Crepe

What is 8 kg Georgette

This represents the weight of 100 meters of Georgette. Thus technically it is an 80 gram georgette.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Some Common Fabrics- Their Buying Specifications


Cotton Voile 
78 x 68


80 x 72


92 x 80


92 x 104


60 x 60 / 92 x 88


20 x 20 / 100 x 50


20 x 16 / 104 x 50


30 x 30 / 124 x 64


2 / 40 x20 / 112 x 52


2 / 40 x 2 / 40 / 92 x 72


 2 / 40 x 2 / 40 / 108 x 56


18 wales


21 wales


24 wales


26 wales

Cotton Velvet

2 / 40 x 14 Singles


2 / 60 x 2 / 60


2 / 30 x 14

Cotton Flex

2 x 40 x 12 / 56 x 36


2 x 40 x 12 / 56 x 40


2 x 40 x 12 / 56 x 48


2 x 40 x 12 / 56 x 52


2 x 40 x 20 / 56 x 36


2 x 40 x 20 / 56 x 40


2 x 40 x 20 / 56 x 48


2 x 40 x 20 / 56 x 52


7 x 7 / 37 x 37


2 x 20 / 2 x 20


6 oz


7 oz


8 oz


10 oz


12 oz


16 x 8 / 84 x 28
10 x 6 / 76 x 28


10 x 8 / 72 x 42


16 x 12 / 108 x 56


12 x 10 / 88 x 46


2 / 40 x 2 / 20 /112 x 56

Lycra Poplin

40 x 40 / 124 x 48


40 x 40 / 124 x 56


40 x 40 / 124 x 58


40 x 40 / 124 x 64


40 x 30 / 112 x 52


50 x 40 / 140 x 60


50 x 60 / 140 x 60


50 x 60 / 140 x 52


10 Kg


12 Kg


13 Kg



Moss Satin


Nylon Tafta



45 x 45 / 104 x 76


45 x 45 / 120 x 70


45 x 45 / 124 x 64


45 x 45 / 132 x 77


24 x 24 / 92 x 50

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Difference between organdy and organza

Both fabrics are transparent, crisp and woven with very fine, tightly twisted yarns in an open, plain weave. The difference between them is in the fiber content. Organdy is usually cotton or nylon, while organza can be made of silk, polyester or rayon. Organza is often used as a base fabric for embellishing. 

What is Matka

In multivoltine Bombyx cocoons, about 45% of the product is floss. This material is spun. Spun fiber of mulberry fed worm whether from pierced cocoon or waste fiber is called Matka.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

What is Tone-on-Tone

The term tone on tone refers to a printed fabric that is made by combining different shades and tones of the same color. Tone on tone fabrics often appear to be solid when viewed from a distance, but their printed motifs become recognizable on closer inspection.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What Makes Kotpad a Unique Fabric

It is dyeing with Aul ( Al) Tree Root Bark that makes the Kotpad Fabric unique. In this area, roots of Al trees, which belong to Morinda genus are used for dyeing red color. Mainly the roots of Morinda citrifolia, Linn and Morinda coreia, Buch-Ham (earlier known as M. tinctoria,Roxb.) are used for dyeing red, maroon and brown colors The process of dyeing with Aul ( Al) Tree roots is as follows:

Al Dyeing Process

Pre-Dyeing Process

• Al roots are first dried and preserved. They are powdered just before dyeing.
• The yarn is first oiled using caster oil and ganji, the rice starch solution.
• Then it is treated in the solution of cow-dung and ganji and is dried in sun after it.
• When the yarn dries, it is sprinkled with kharpani, an ash solution prepared using ash of wood or residue of some of the local crops. The yarn is kneaded using either hand or feet. This process is continued three to four time each day for about 15 days.
• Then it is washed in river and dried. Now the yarn is bleached and is ready for dyeing.

Dyeing Red Color

• The bleached yarn is soaked in the solution made using powdered Al dye and water.
• It is then kept overnight in the dye vessel and boiled with the dye at least for one hour.
• The dried yarn is treated with Kharpani and dried again. This process is repeated thrice, which  deepens the red color.

Redyeing for Achieving Maroon Color

• Red dyed yarn is beaten and wetted using kharpani .
• Al powder is sprinkled on it on fera, the wooden plank.
• Then it is kneaded with legs and re-dyed by boiling in Al dye powder in the same manner as earlier.
• This second dyeing dyes yarn in maroon color.

Redyeing for Achieving Dark Brown Color

• To dye the yarn in dark brown color, the maroon dyed yarn is dyed third time using Hirakashi (  Iron Sulphate).

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

What Gives Mysore Silk its Uniqueness

Mysore silk is synonymous with the silk produced in the geographical area of Mysore district, thus fabrics made out of these silks are called Mysore silk.

More specifically, it is 100% pure silk woven in Crepe-de-Chine or Georgette. In Crepe-de-Chine the 26/28 Denier untwisted raw silk yarn is used in the warp and 26/28 Denier 2 ply twisted yarn is used in the weft. In Georgette, 26/28 Denier 2 ply twisted yarn is used both in warp and weft.

Here in Both Georgette and Crepe-de-chine, twist plays a very important role. The twist per inch varies from 400 TPM to 3000 TPM depending upon the end use of yarn. After twisting, twist setting is done by keeping the twisted yarn in a vacuum chamber and then letting the steam for 15-45 minutes depending upon the twist inserted.

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

What Gives Chanderi Fabric its uniqueness

The Chanderi Fabric is well-known for its transparency and sheer texture. 

The image above is via Chanderi Film

The transparency in Chanderi Sarees is a consequences of Single Filature quality of yarn used. Filature yarn is the quality of yarn when the glue of the raw yarn is not removed. The non degumming of the raw yarn given shine and transparency to the chanderi sarees. 

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

How to Identify Kota Doria

Kota Doria is a unique hand-woven fabric having a characteristic square-check pattern. The deft weavers of the cluster create it through differential beating of the silk and cotton yarns. Each square of 14 yarns (8 of cotton and 6 of silk) is termed as a ‘‘khat’’, and this is the hallmark of Kota Doria. A total of 300 ‘‘khat’s’ are there across the width of the fabric, which is up to 46 inches due to the usage of a throw shuttle technique on pit looms.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Tolerance Limit for Yarn Count in Khadi

There will be obviously a variation in the nominal yarn count. For this purpose the tolerance limit for variation will be as follows:

Coarse count (Up to 16 Ne) ± 10 %

Remaining count groups including Muslin ± 5 %


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Warp Cover Factor in Khadi

Shirting 11 ± 10%

Bed sheet 11 ± 10%

Do suti 11 ± 10%

Dhoti/Sari 9 ± 10%

Cotton coating 12 ± 10%

Poly shirting 11 ± 10%

Poly coating 12 ± 10%


Colorfastness Parameters for Khadi


How to Use Pick Glass

Pick Glass is used to determine the reed and pick in woven fabric. Reed is actually number of ends or number of warp threads per inch and by picks we mean the number of picks or number of weft threads per inch.  The following procedure is based on IS 1963: 1981 method:


1. Avoid sampling within 50 mm from the selvedge.
2. Within two metres from either end of a piece or roll.
3. While sampling from design fabrics it is convenient to:
a) Determine the number of units in a weave repeat from a point paper diagram.
b) Count
i) The number of whole repeats
ii) The remaining units, in the distance across which the threads are to be counted.
iii) From the above data so obtained, the number of threads per centimetre or inch
both in warp way or weft way as required can be calculated.


1. Keep the test sample on a flat table and smoothen it out.
2. Set the pointer of the counting glass at zero.
3. Place the counting glass on the fabrics in a direction parallel to warp if weft density is to
be determined and parallel to weft if warp density is to be determined.
4. Find the number of warp or weft threads in a specified length as required.
5. Following the procedure prescribed in steps 1 to 4, determine the number of warp and
weft threads per centimetre or inch in at least four more places.
6. Calculate the number of warp or weft threads per centimetre or inch by the following
formula: n = N ÷ L
n = number of warp or weft threads per centimetre (or inch),
N = observed number of threads in the distance L, and
L = distance in centimetre (or inch) across which the threads are counted.

7. Calculate the mean of all the values and report it as the number of warp or weft threads
per centimetre or inch of the fabric.

Note: Avoid counting same set of warp or weft threads more than once. The value should be
rounded off to first decimal place in case when the results are reported for threads per cm.

An excellent tutorial on how to analyse a fabric using pick glass is found here.

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

500 count Khadi

A master weaver from Murshidabad, Kalicharan Sharma, had re-discovered the technique of spinning the fine yarn a few years ago, and Saha learnt it from him. Making the 500-count muslin sari— a 5.5 metre saree requires 60,000 metres of yarn to make—is a laborious process that takes more than two months for a team of three weavers. “Making muslin is a very sensitive and lengthy process that takes loads of patience. The yarn breaks frequently. Spinning is done only early mornings and after dusk. The heat during the day breaks the thread. Earlier, very young girls aged about ten years or so would spin the yarn with their nimble fingers. I’ve modified the charkha to replicate those nimble fingers. I’ve modified the apron, rubber rollers, gears and other parts of the machine. I’ve also re-invented the original technique of weaving muslin,” he says.

500 count Khadi


500 count Khadi

Of the many stories about khadi, the one that’s most romantic is about Bengal muslin, a fabric coveted by sultans and nawabs for being so fine that it could pass through a ring. On the verge of dying out, a group of weavers in Nabadwip in Nadia district of West Bengal revived it sometime in the 1990s. In fact, Ritu Kumar sourced khadi with this fine count for her ensembles from an old weaver in Nabadwip, who has since died. Recently, Rabindranath Saha, a master weaver from Kalna in Bardhaman district, developed a technique to make the 500-count cloth using a faster, less laborious method with the help of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. He was awarded the Sant Kabir national award this year for his innovation. Saha sells his 500-count cotton khadi for Rs 1,600 a metre. His next challenge is to weave a 1,000-count khadi.  Numbering up Employment: 9.50 lakhs  Total Production: Rs 585.25 crore Sales: Rs 799.60 crore  Export: Rs 104.84 crore Number of government outlets around the country: 7,050  (Figures for 2008-09 from the Khadi and Village Industries Commission) 

Would like to see a 500 count yarn and fabric thereof myself

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Direction of Curl of Single Jersey Fabric

When the fabric is cut, it curls towards the face at the top and bottom and towards the back at the sides.


How to Control Skew on Single Jersey Circular Weft Knitted Fabrics

Ideally courses and wales should be at right angle to each other. Skew occurs when wales are displaced from their vertical position when it is called wale skew. It also occurs when courses are displaced from their horizontal position when it is called course skew.

Skew on 100% cotton single jersey is related to the level of yarn twist, the spinning system used, the strand configuration, the tightness of the knitted stitch, the number of feeders on the knitting machine, the rotational direction of the knitting cylinder and the finishing techniques used.

Normally skew caused by yarn is wale skew and that caused by feeders is course skew.

Skew is measured using a proposed test method developed by AATCC. In this test the samples are marked with a square before washing and tumble drying. If the fabric skews after five wash and dry cycles, the square can be measured for percent skew.

 The method uses a mathematical formula for shear distortion (skew) and is shown below: % skew = 2(AC-BD) x 100/(AC + BD) Where AC and BD are the diagonals of the square.

On a knitting machine making single jersey. For each feed of yarn, one revolution of the machine will make a course of fabric. The more the number of feeders, the more courses are made in one revolution of machine. Which means that the courses are stacked on top of each other for each revolution. This creates a spiral line as shown in the figure. The distance between the spiral lines represent the production of courses for one revolution of cylinder. Thus for example if in one revolution of cylinder there is a formation of 1.5 inches of linear meter of cloth then there will be 1.5 linear inches of skew in the course that is generated. Machines with large numbers of feeders can create substantial skew in the fabric.

It is important to note that skew from the yarn and the skew from the number of feeders in the machine can combine together to create more skew or can offset the skew. Thus while selection of yarn twist according to the direction of rotation of cylinder is very important. In general, yarns with Z twist gives less skew on a machine of counterclockwise rotation. It is due to the fact that fabric coming from the counterclockwise machine have courses with LH skew while yarns with “Z” twist yield fabrics with RH skew. This offsets the two skews and the resulting fabric is more balanced.

It is said that best skew qualities result by alternating feeds of S and Z twist. Taking plied yarn instead of single yarn can also control the skew. If single yarns must be used, then resin finishing offers reasonable control of skew.

Also it is found that higher the twist multiple, the greater is the tendency to skew. All Z twist cotton yarns exhibit skew in a direction referred to “right-hand skew”. It means there is a wale loop distortion that leans to the right. All S twist yarns yield a left hand skew.

In general open-end yarns result in less skew than the ring spun yarns.

Also the tighter the stitch means more the number of stitches per revolution, the less is the skew.

Source: Technical Bulletin- Knit Fabrics and the Reduction of Torque

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.

Animation Carding-DK 903

It is an Animation of the Carding Machine. Hover the mouse over this animation to learn about the various parts. You can also click the link above to see the bigger picture


Thursday, 5 August 2010

How to Control GSM in a Single Jersey Knit Fabric

This is a question asked by one of my readers. To answer this, we start from the first principles.

Knitting is a process of fabric forming by the intermeshing of loops of yarn. When one loop is drawn through another, loopstitch is formed.

Weft knitting is a method of forming a fabric in which the loops are made in horizontal way from a single yarn and intermeshing of loops take place in a circular or flat form or acrosswise basis.

Single Jersey is a weft knitted fabric produced with one set of needles is called single Jersey or plain knitted fabric.

GSM can be controlled either by taking a coarse count of yarn. Or for the same count of yarn increasing the stitches per inch. Stitch per inches can be increased by either resorting to a higher gauge machine or by decreasing the loop length.

In modern weft knitting machine there is a positive feeder called IRO which regulates the speed of the fed yarn. If the speed of IRO increases, the quantity of yarn passing in the m/c increases, so the loop size increases and hence the GSM decreases. If the speed decreases the reverse happens and the GSM increases.

The loop size can also be decreased by adjusting the distance between the cylinder and the dial needles: If the distance is more the loop size increases and hence the GSM decreases.

To get a first lesson on knitting please revert to this chapter. 

As a bonus let us watch this song in which close to 720 intarsia knit fabrics are used:

Now that you've finished reading this post, what are you going do? You should go join the Forum.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews