US20040098848A1 - Process for face finishing fabrics, fabrics having good strength and aesthetic characteristics, and items of napery having good pick and snag resistance - Google Patents

Process for face finishing fabrics, fabrics having good strength and aesthetic characteristics, and items of napery having good pick and snag resistance Download PDF

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US20040098848A1
US20040098848A1 US10304176 US30417602A US2004098848A1 US 20040098848 A1 US20040098848 A1 US 20040098848A1 US 10304176 US10304176 US 10304176 US 30417602 A US30417602 A US 30417602A US 2004098848 A1 US2004098848 A1 US 2004098848A1
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fabric
according
greater
process
surface
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Franklin Love
Susan McLendon
Karen Stavrakas
James Greer
Talmage Holloman
David Waldrop
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Milliken and Co
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Milliken and Co
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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06CFINISHING, DRESSING, TENTERING OR STRETCHING TEXTILE FABRICS
    • D06C27/00Compound processes or apparatus, for finishing or dressing textile fabrics, not otherwise provided for

Abstract

A process for face finishing fabrics, and in particular fabrics containing filaments, to provide them with good aesthetic characteristics is described. In addition, fabrics made from filaments having aesthetic characteristics and surface effects similar to those of fabrics made from spun yarns are described. Also, items of napery made from filaments and having good surface effects and low pick and snag performance are described. The process involves pre-abrading a fabric, such as one made from filaments, and then subjecting it to a high energy fluid treatment process.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Conventional fabric fluid treatment processes designed to enhance the surface characteristics of fabrics have been limited to use on fabrics including spun yarns, in order that sufficient fiber free ends are available for the fluid treatment process to raise and entangle, and to form the surface effect. Conventionally, fluid treatment processes have not been considered to be effective on fabrics made primarily from filament fibers, such as all filament fabrics. One attempt to use a hydraulic treatment process to enhance an all-filament fabric is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,806,155 to Malaney et al. That patent describes the use of a hydraulic treatment process to “uniformly and continuously” impact an all-filament woven fabric at a particular level of energy in order to achieve controlled porosity and uniform spacing of the yarns. However, as acknowledged by Malaney in that reference, there are no free fiber ends in the fabric to be entangled or which can be used to form a surface effect on the fabric. (For purposes of this invention, the term “surface effect” is intended to describe a nap or pile of fibers on the surface of the fabric, which provide it with a variety of characteristics, e.g. softness, increased compression, etc.) [0001]
  • Spun yarns are commonly used in the production of fabrics for a variety of end uses, in particular, where aesthetics such as a soft hand are desired. As will be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, spun yarns are those made from a plurality of relatively short fibers (i.e. staple fibers) that are formed into a yarn that is typically held together by twist. Some disadvantages that are commonly associated with spun yarns are that they are often not as strong as their filament counterparts and they can tend to degrade during use and laundering, leading to the production of lint, fabric weight loss, and loss of fabric strength. In addition, fabrics made from spun yarns tend to retain soil to a greater extent than fabrics made from filaments. [0002]
  • Fabrics made from filaments thus are generally considered to have greater strength and soil release performance than those made from spun yarns, though they generally are not considered to be as soft or aesthetically pleasing as the fabrics made from spun yarns. Therefore, yarns made from filaments are often put through a texturing process designed to bulk out the filaments and make them more compressible and pleasant to the touch. However, fabrics made from the textured filaments are still considered to have only limited to no surface effect, and considerably less surface effect than a comparable fabric made from spun yarns. [0003]
  • One market that has capitalized on the features of filaments is the napery market, and in particular, the rental laundry market. The rental laundry market demands that the fabrics used in the manufacture of its tablecloths and napkins be highly durable, in order that the items can be re-used and laundered a large number of times. In addition, such items need to have good soil release, and need to have a good feel or hand, particularly when they will be used as napkins, since they will contact the user's face. [0004]
  • As noted above, filaments are considered to provide greater durability and soil release than spun yarns. As also noted previously, the fabrics made from filaments have a rough feel and limited to no surface effect. In an attempt to overcome this disadvantage, fabrics made from filaments are typically sanded or otherwise abraded to produce some cut fibers at the fabric surface. However, to achieve an amount of abrasion sufficient to alter the surface characteristics of the fabric, it is typically required that the fabric construction present sufficient available fiber lengths to the abrasion device, in order that an acceptable hand can be achieved at an acceptable level of strength. (See FIG. 1, which illustrates the effect that abrasion intensity as applied to a plain weave fabric has on fabric tear strength.) [0005]
  • In order to present yarn floats that are sufficiently long to receive an effective amount of abrasion by the abrading process, it is customary to provide the fabrics in a 2×1 weave construction. (As will be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, this construction provides a plurality of staggered yarn floats, where a yarn extending in one direction crosses over two or more yarns extending in the other direction. In this way, the float can be sufficiently acted upon by the abrasive action.) Not only does this construction provide greater fiber availability for the abrasion process, but this weave construction is typically considered to have better tear strength as compared with a plain weave construction made from the same yarns. [0006]
  • One problem posed by this construction is that the longer floats have a tendency to pick and snag. When this occurs, filaments or even a whole yarn are pulled outwardly from the fabric, resulting in an unsightly looking defect in the product. These picks and snags can occur routinely from fabric use or from the laundering process, and are a common cause of rental napery products being withdrawn from use. Despite the above-noted disadvantages associated with the 2×1 construction, prior to the present invention, it had been considered to be the only acceptable construction for a filament napery fabric with acceptable surface effects. [0007]
  • SUMMARY
  • The instant invention is directed to a process for making fabrics made from filaments have aesthetic characteristics simulating those of fabrics made from spun yarns. In addition, the invention is directed to fabrics having spun-like aesthetic characteristics made from filaments. Furthermore, the invention enables the achievement of fabrics having a durable soft hand, good fabric durability and strength, good soil release, good color retention, improved moisture transport and low pill characteristics as compared with similar fabrics made from spun yarns. In addition, the invention includes fabrics suitable for use in the rental napery market, which have a reduced tendency to pick and snag relative to other napery fabrics made from filaments. [0008]
  • The invention involves providing a fabric containing filaments, and subjecting the fabric to a pre-abrasion step. For example, the fabric can be sanded, brushed, napped, etc., with the goal being to abrade some of the filaments and form some cut fiber ends along the yarns. (For purposes of this disclosure, the term “cut fiber ends” is intended to encompass ends that are severed all the way through, as well as those formed through fiber fibrillation, which is a slicing or peeling of a portion of the fiber.) [0009]
  • The fabric is then subjected to a high energy fluid treatment process, which serves to act on the pre-abraded fabric and create a surface effect on at least one surface of the fabric and/or push cut fiber ends from one surface of the fabric through the dimension of the fabric toward or through to the other fabric surface. For example, the fabric can be treated with high pressure water, gas, or the like. (For purposes of this application, “high energy” is intended to encompass fluids at sufficient pressures and/or velocities to push cut fiber ends through the dimension of the fabric (i.e. invert the pile) and/or entangle fibers, as opposed to simply slightly displacing them, and to push fibers through and/or outwardly from the dimension of the fabric.) Where an amount of energy is described herein as being applied to a fabric, it is understood that those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the speed of the fabric through the treatment zone, the dimension of the treatment zone, the pressure and velocity of the fluid as it reaches the fabric, the fluid density and mass, the mass of the fabric presented to the fluid, and the time the fabric is exposed will be coordinated to achieve the desired level of energy application. In addition, the total energy may be applied to the fabric in one stage, through passage through a series of fluid treatment stages. [0010]
  • In the case of multiple treatment stages, they can be achieved by way of plural treatment stages in a single apparatus, or from multiple passes through a single fluid treatment apparatus. Typically, it would be expected that an energy of about 0.0295 horsepower-hr/lb of fabric would perform well in effectively entangling the fibers and raising the fibers to form the surface effect, although other energy levels are contemplated within the scope of the invention, depending on the treatment process utilized, the fabric treated, and the amount of surface effect desired.[0011]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a graphical illustration of the effect that abrasion intensity has on the tear strength of a plain weave fabric; [0012]
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a process according to the instant invention; [0013]
  • FIG. 3A is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, no tilt) of the fabric described in Example A, in its greige state; [0014]
  • FIG. 3B is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, no tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 3A, after it has been abraded in the manner described below in Example A; [0015]
  • FIG. 3C is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, no tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 3A, after it has been abraded and fluid treated in the manner described below in Example A; [0016]
  • FIG. 4A is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 45° tilt) of the fabric described in Example 1, in its greige state; [0017]
  • FIG. 4B is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 45° tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 4A, after it has been abraded in the manner described below in Example A; [0018]
  • FIG. 4C is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 45° tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 4A, after it has been abraded and fluid treated in the manner described below in Example A; [0019]
  • FIG. 5A is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 75° tilt) of the fabric described in Example A, in its greige state; [0020]
  • FIG. 5B is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 75° tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 5A, after it has been abraded in the manner described below in Example A; [0021]
  • FIG. 5C is a photomicrograph (30× magnification, 75° tilt) of the fabric shown in FIG. 5A, after it has been abraded and fluid treated in the manner described below in Example A; [0022]
  • FIG. 6A is a cross-sectional photomicrograph (30× magnification) of the fabric described in Example A in its greige state; [0023]
  • FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional photomicrograph (30× magnification) of the fabric described in Example A, after it has been abraded; [0024]
  • FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional photomicrograph (30× magnification) of the fabric described in Example A after it has been abraded and fluid treated; [0025]
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of an apparatus that can be used to pre-abrade the fabric according to the instant invention; [0026]
  • FIG. 8A is an illustration of a cross-sectional view of a fabric which has been abraded on one side only; [0027]
  • FIG. 8B is an illustration of the fabric of FIG. 8A after it has been subjected to a fluid treatment step in accordance with the instant invention; [0028]
  • FIG. 8C is an illustration of a fabric made from spun yarns that has been abraded on one side only and subjected to a fluid treatment step in the manner set forth in the invention; and [0029]
  • FIG. 9 is a bar chart illustration of the total picks and snag test results for the Example A, B and C fabrics.[0030]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following detailed description of the invention, specific preferred embodiments of the invention are described to enable a full and complete understanding of the invention. It will be recognized that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular preferred embodiment described, and although specific terms are employed in describing the invention, such terms are used in a descriptive sense for the purpose of illustration and not for the purpose of limitation. [0031]
  • The instant invention is directed to a process for enhancing the hand and aesthetic characteristics of fabrics. In particular, the process has been found to be particularly suitable in the enhancement of filament-containing fabrics. In one aspect of the invention, it has been found that fabrics made substantially or substantially entirely from filaments can be made to feel and appear substantially like fabrics made from spun yarns. This can be particularly desirable because fabrics having comparable levels of feel as those made from spun yarns can be achieved at greater levels of strength, durability, soil release, and/or levels of manufacturing ease and efficiency. [0032]
  • The fabric can be produced in any known manner, including but not limited to weaving, knitting, and nonwoven manufacturing processes. As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, such fabrics include a plurality of fibers and/or yarns that are interwoven, interknit, or otherwise associated with each other to form a coherent stable structure. [0033]
  • The invention contemplates the use of any type of fibers, including but not limited to synthetic and non-synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester, nylon, rayon, silk, cotton, polylactide based fibers, PTT fibers, wool, aramids, etc.), single or multi-plied yarns, or the like. [0034]
  • The invention involves pre-abrading a fabric, then treating it with a high energy fluid. The pre-abrasion can be performed in any of a variety of ways. For example, the pre-abrading can be performed by processes including, but not limited to, sanding, brushing, napping, wet sueding, dry sueding, or processing by the sanding methods and/or apparatus described in commonly-assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,233,795 to Dischler, 6,260,247 to Dischler et al., 6,269,525 to Dischler et al., 6,345,421 to Dischler et al., 4,468,844 to Otto, 4,512,065 to Otto, 5,943,745 to Dischler, 6,242,370 to Dischler, 5,815,896 to Dischler, and 5,752,300 to Dischler, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. For purposes of this disclosure, the term “sanding” is intended in its broadest sense to encompass all types of grits (e.g. sandpaper, sanding films, diamond plated rolls, three-dimensional abrasion such as by using Scotchbrite® grit available from 3M Corporation of St. Paul, Minn., etc.), and grit supports. [0035]
  • The fabric can be pre-abraded on one or both surfaces, according to the desired amount of surface effect. For example, in one aspect of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B, the fabric is pre-abraded on one surface (FIG. 8A), with the fluid treatment serving to produce a surface effect on each of the fabric surfaces, by forcing some of the cut fiber ends of the abraded fibers through the fabric to the opposite fabric surface (FIG. 8B). Alternatively, both surfaces of the fabric can be pre-abraded within the scope of the instant invention. FIGS. 8A and B illustrate a filament fabric, while FIG. 8C illustrates a fabric made from spun yarns. [0036]
  • The high energy fluid treatment can be of any variety that functions to entangle fibers within the fabric, including treatment with high pressure gas, treatment with high pressure liquid, or the like. For example, it has been found that a high pressure water treatment of the variety described in commonly-assigned co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/344,596 to Emery et al, filed Jun. 25, 1999 works well in the invention. The disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/344,596 to Emery et al., filed Jun. 25, 1999, is incorporated herein by reference. However, other types of fluid treatment apparatus could be used within the scope of the invention, including but not limited to those described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,806,155 to Malaney et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,429 to Zolin; U.S. Pat. No. 5,632,072 to Simon et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,343,410 to Greenway et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,791,028 to Zolin; U.S. Pat. No. 6,442,810 to Greenway et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,442,809 to Greenway et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,136,761 to Sternlieb et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,995,151 to Siegel et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,456 to Sternlieb et al., the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. The high energy fluid treatment can be performed on both surfaces or on one surface only. As noted above, in some embodiments of the invention (such as when using the fluid treatment apparatus described above in the '596 application to Emery et al), a surface effect may be achieved on both surfaces of the fabric despite fluid treatment being performed only on a single side of the fabric. [0037]
  • As noted previously, the amount of energy applied can be selected to optimize the surface effect on the particular fabric being treated. In addition, the parameters of the particular treatment apparatus can be selected without undue experimentation to achieve the desired level of treatment, so that the desired level of surface effect is achieved for the particular fabric. It is expected that by treating a fabric with at least about 0.0295 hp-hr/lb of energy, a good surface effect could be achieved for many textile fabrics. In some embodiments of the invention, it has been found that an energy application of about 0.0295-0.118 hp-hr/lb achieves a good fabric. [0038]
  • It has surprisingly been found that by pre-abrading a fabric and in particular, a filament-containing fabric, the high energy fluid is able to dramatically change the surface of the fabric far beyond the effects of the abrasion alone. This unique combination of pre-abrasion and fluid treatment has been found to give filament-containing fabrics unique surface effects similar to those of fabrics made from spun yarns. In particular, while abraded fabrics have a flat and rough feel, the fabrics of the instant invention have a number of loopy filament ends that are exposed to the surface, which form a cushioned surface effect. In other words, fibers from both the warp and filling are affected (in contrast to many other processes that affect only one set of yarns) and a plurality of short round loops with free ends are produced, with the fibers being entangled with those from other adjacent yarns, to form a dense cover of fibers. [0039]
  • In addition, the cut fiber ends had a length of about 1-1½ floats, which resulted in a unique short, soft surface effect, with the fibers being entangled with other adjacent fibers, and throughout the thickness dimension of the fabric. In contrast, surface effects produced from conventional processes such as brushing result in long pulled fibers that do not form a cohesive entangled surface effect. This short fiber feature is of particular advantage because long pulled fibers have a tendency to exacerbate fabric pilling. Therefore, in one aspect of the invention, it is desirable that the pre-abrasion and fluid treatment processes be performed to produce cut fiber ends having a length of about 1.5 float lengths or less. [0040]
  • Intermediate steps such as dyeing, chemical treatment, etc. can be performed where desired, either before pre-abrasion, after pre-abrasion but before fluid treatment, or after fluid treatment. In addition, the pre-abrasion and fluid treatment operations can be performed in-line, or as separate operations. Following fluid treatment, the fabric can be finished in a conventional manner. Conventional chemistries such as soil release chemicals, wicking agents, handbuilders, anti-stats, etc. can also be added at any desired point in the process. [0041]
  • The fabrics produced by the process of the invention have a variety of unique combinations. Of particular significance is the fact that fabrics made from filaments can be made to look and feel like fabrics made from spun yarns. In this way, a unique fabric which has the desirable properties associated with filaments (e.g. strength, low linting, good soil release and the like) can be achieved but with the aesthetic characteristics associated with fabrics made from spun yarns. [0042]
  • EXAMPLES
  • The examples below were directed to napery articles, although it is to be noted that these were for example only, and that the fabrics of the invention are believed to have a broader utility than the napery market alone. In addition, where the term “napery article” appears herein, it is intended to encompass both the articles in the form in which they are provided to the end user, as well as fabrics that are useful in the production of napery (e.g. napkins, tablecloths, table skirts, etc.) [0043]
  • Example A
  • A 100% polyester filament plain weave fabric was provided. The fabric had 1/300/136 false twist texture yarns in the warp direction, and 3/150/68 false twist textured yarns in the filling direction, and it was woven with 60 ends per inch and 46 picks per inch. The fabric was prepared and dried in a conventional manner. Samples were taken here, and photomicrographs were taken as described above. [0044]
  • The fabric was then sanded using an apparatus of the variety described commonly-assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,233,795, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, with the machine set-up illustrated in FIG. 6 above. The fabric F was fed to the abrasive rolls in a face-up configuration at an initial tension at R[0045] 1 of 110 psi and a speed of 20 yards per minute. The fabric F was treated on its face in Section A by treatment rolls A1, A2, A3, and A4. The tension at R2 was 300 psi. The abrasive rolls A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3, and B4 were 400 grit diamond plated rolls of the variety described in the above-referenced patent. The abrasive rolls were turned in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction at a designated percentage of machine speed. A1 rotated counterclockwise at a roll ratio of 1800, A2 rotated clockwise at a roll ratio of 1780, A3 rotated counterclockwise at a roll ratio of 1800, A4 rotated clockwise at a roll ratio of 1780. The back of the fabric was treated in Section B. B1 rotated clockwise at a roll ratio of 2000, B2 rotated counterclockwise at a roll ratio of 1980, B3 rotated clockwise at a roll ratio of 2000, and B4 rotated counterclockwise at a roll ratio of 1980. The tension at R3 was 150 psi. Samples of the fabric were taken here, and photomicrographs were taken as described above.
  • The fabric was fed through a pad containing 1% owf of a high molecular weight ethoxylated polyester, of the variety known in the art to promote soil release of fabrics. The fabric was then processed in a fluid treatment apparatus of the variety described in commonly-assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/344,596 to Emery et al. [0046]
  • The fabric, which was 98 inches wide and had a weight of about 6 oz/sq yd, was pulled through the pad and hydraulically processed at a speed of 80 yds/min. The first treatment zone hydraulically treated the front side of the fabric at an energy level of 0.037 hp-hr/lb, and the opposite side of the fabric was then treated at an energy level of 0.022 hp-hr/lb, for a total treatment of 0.059 hp-hr/lb. [0047]
  • The fabric was dried and taken up in a conventional manner. Samples were taken here, and photomicrographs were taken as described above. The fabric had a finished weight of 6 oz/sq yd. [0048]
  • Example B
  • A commercially available abraded filament napery fabric of the variety sold by Milliken & Company of Spartanburg, S.C. was obtained. The fabric was an all filament polyester product, which was woven in a 2×1 weave construction. The fabric had a weight of about 6 oz/sq yd. [0049]
  • Example C
  • A commercially available napery fabric was obtained. The fabric was 100% polyester, and was made entirely from spun yarns, and had a weight of about 5.8 oz/sq yd. [0050]
  • Industrial Wash Process [0051]
  • Unless otherwise stated, the washes referred to herein were performed according to the following wash process: [0052]
  • The fabric was loaded into an open pocket industrial washer. The equipment was verified to be free of burrs and sharp edges, to have properly functioning water level, temperature controls, and chemical delivery systems. [0053]
  • Wash Cycle [0054]
    Temperature Time
    Cycle Water Level ° F. (Min.) Chemicals/100 lbs.
    Flush High 120 3
    Break Low 160 12  24 oz. Alkali
    30 oz.
    Surfactant
    Carry-over Low 160 6
    Rinse High 145 2
    Rinse High 130 2
    Rinse High 115 2
    Sour Low 90-100 8  2 oz. sour
    Extract 5
  • The extraction time should be sufficient to permit the fabric to be ironed without tumble drying. Fabrics used for the pick and snag testing were pressed on a commercial flatwork ironer in a conventional manner. Fabrics used for the other tests (strength, Kawabata, pilling) were tumbled dry in a conventional manner following washing, but were not ironed. [0055]
  • Pick and Snag Testing [0056]
  • Picking and snagging of the fabrics described above in Examples A and B were tested according to ASTM D5362-97a (option B). Fabrics were tested after one wash, after 50 washes, and after 125 washes. For Snag Rating, a 5 indicates no snagging or insignificant snagging, a 4 represents slight snagging, a 3 represents moderate snagging, a 2 represents severe snagging, and a 1 represents very severe snagging. For the Average Picks and Snags, samples of each fabric were put through the pick and snag tester in accordance with the above test method, and the number of picks and snags were counted (also in the manner described in the test method) in a three inch square area. Eight samples were taken from each side of the fabric, and the results were averaged and recorded. The results are listed below in Table 1. [0057]
    TABLE 1
    Example A fabric Example B fabric
    Snag Rating after 1 4 3
    wash
    Snag rating after 50 3.88 2
    washes
    Snag rating after 125 3.63 .38
    washes
    Average Picks & Snags 3.25 5.25
    per bag at 200
    revolutions after 1 wash
    Average Picks & Snags 4.5 10
    per bag at 200
    revolutions after 50
    washes
    Average Picks & Snags 4.88 17.5
    per bag at 200
    revolutions after 125
    washes
  • Kawabata Testing [0058]
  • A variety of characteristics were measured using the Kawabata Evaluation System (“Kawabata System”). The Kawabata System was developed by Dr. Sueo Kawabata, Professor of Polymer Chemistry at Kyoto University in Japan, as a scientific means to measure, in an objective and reproducible way, the “hand” of textile fabrics. This is achieved by measuring basic mechanical properties that have been correlated with aesthetic properties relating to hand (e.g. smoothness, fullness, stiffness, softness, flexibility, and crispness), using a set of four highly specialized measuring devices that were developed specifically for use with the Kawabata System. These devices are as follows: [0059]
  • Kawabata Tensile and Shear Tester (KES FB1) [0060]
  • Kawabata Pure Bending Tester (KES FB2) [0061]
  • Kawabata Compression Tester (KES FB3) [0062]
  • Kawabata Surface Tester (KES FB4) [0063]
  • KES FB1 through 3 are manufactured by the Kato Iron Works Col, Ltd., Div. Of Instrumentation, Kyoto, Japan. KES FB4 (Kawabata Surface Tester) is manufactured by the Kato Tekko Co., Ltd., Div. Of Instrumentation, Kyoto, Japan. In each case, the measurements were performed according to the standard Kawabata Test Procedures, with four 8-inch×8-inch samples of each type of fabric being tested, and the results averaged. Care was taken to avoid folding, wrinkling, stressing, or otherwise handling the samples in a way that would deform the sample. The fabrics were tested in their as-manufactured form (i.e. they had not undergone subsequent launderings.) The die used to cut each sample was aligned with the yarns in the fabric to improve the accuracy of the measurements. [0064]
  • Shear Measurements [0065]
  • The testing equipment was set up according to the instructions in the Kawabata manual. The Kawabata shear tester (KES FB1) was allowed to warm up for at least 15 minutes before being calibrated. The tester was set up as follows: [0066]
  • Sensitivity: 2 and X5 [0067]
  • Sample width: 20 cm [0068]
  • Shear weight: 195 g [0069]
  • Tensile Rate: 0.2 mm/s [0070]
  • Elongation Sensitivity: 25 mm [0071]
  • The shear test measures the resistive forces when the fabric is given a constant tensile force and is subjected to a shear deformation in the direction perpendicular to the constant tensile force. [0072]
  • Mean Shear Stiffness (G) [gf/(cm-deg)]. Mean shear stiffness was measured in each of the warp and filling directions. A lower value for shear stiffness is indicative of a more supple hand. [0073]
  • Four samples were taken in each of the warp and filling directions, averaged for each, and are listed below. [0074]
  • Bending Measurements [0075]
  • Bending Stiffness (B)—_A lower value means a fabric is less stiff. Four samples were taken in each of the warp and filling directions, averaged for each, and are listed below. [0076]
  • Compression Analysis [0077]
  • The testing equipment was set up according to the instructions in the Kawabata manual. The Kawabata Compression Tester (KES FB3) was allowed to warm up for at least 15 minutes before being calibrated. The tester was set up as follows: [0078]
  • Sensitivity: 2 and X5 [0079]
  • Stroke: 5 mm [0080]
  • Compression Rate: 1 mm/50 s [0081]
  • Sample Size: 20×20 cm [0082]
  • The compression test measured the resistive forces experienced by a plunger having a certain surface area as it moves alternately toward and away from a fabric sample in a direction perpendicular to the fabric. The test ultimately measures the work done in compressing the fabric (forward direction) to a preset maximum force and the work done while decompressing the fabric (reverse direction). [0083]
  • Percent compressibility at 0.5 grams (COMP05) (%) The higher the measurement, the more compressible the fabric. [0084]
  • Maximum Thickness (TMAX)—Thickness [mm] at maximum pressure (nominal is 50 gf/cm[0085] 2). A higher TMAX indicates a loftier fabric.
  • Minimum Thickness (TMIN) Thickness at 0.5 g/sq cm. More is generally considered to be better. A higher TMIN indicates a loftier fabric. [0086]
  • Minimum Density—Density at TMIN (DMIN). Less is generally considered to be better) T[0087] min[g/cm3]
  • Maximum Density—Density at TMAX (DMAX)—T[0088] max[g/cm3] A lower value is generally considered to be better.
  • Compressional Work per Unit Area (WC) Energy to compress fabric to 50 gf/cm[0089] 2[gf-cm/cm2]. More is generally considered to be better.
  • Decompressional Work per Unit Area (WC′) This is an indication of the resilience of the fabric. A larger number indicates more resilience (i.e. a springier hand), which is generally considered to be better. [0090]
  • Surface Analysis [0091]
  • The testing equipment was set up according to the instructions in the Kawabata Manual. The Kawabata Surface Tester (KES FB4) was allowed to warm up for at least 15 minutes before being calibrated. The tester was set up as follows: [0092]
  • Sensitivity 1: 2 and X5 [0093]
  • Sensitivity 2: 2 and X5 [0094]
  • Tension Weight: 480 g [0095]
  • Surface Roughness Weight: 10 g [0096]
  • Sample Size: 20×20 cm [0097]
  • The surface test measures frictional properties and geometric roughness properties of the surface of the fabric. [0098]
  • Coefficient of Friction—(MIU) Mean coefficient of friction [dimensionless]. This was tested in each of the warp and filling directions. A higher value indicates that the surface consists of more fiber ends and loops, which gives the fabric a soft, fuzzy hand. Four samples were taken in each of the warp and filling directions, averaged, and are listed below. [0099]
  • Surface roughness (SMD) Mean deviation of the displacement of contactor normal to surface [microns]. Indicative of how rough the surface of the fabric is. A lower value indicates that a fabric surface has more fiber ends and loops that give a fabric a softer, more comfortable hand. Four samples were taken in each of the warp and filling directions, and are listed below. [0100]
  • Prior to Kawabata Testing, all of the fabrics were home laundered one time and tumble dried to remove any handbuilders, etc. that may have been on the fabrics. The results of the Kawabata Tests are listed below in Table 2. [0101]
    TABLE 2
    Measurement Example A Example B Example C
    DMAX 0.346 0.344 0.462
    DMIN 0.158 0.160 0.230
    COMP05 54.001 53.570 50.212
    MIU (Filling) 0.233 0.264 0.175
    MIU (Warp) 0.231 0.234 0.191
    B (Filling) 0.11 0.45 0.16
    B (Warp) 0.250 0.102 0.413
    TMIN 1.168 1.297 0.809
    TMAX 0.537 0.603 0.403
    WC 0.563 .640 .279
    WC′ 0.248 0.293 0.138
    SMD (Filling) 5.136 5.961 6.945
    SMD (Warp) 7.921 11.243 10.496
    G (Filling) 1.041 0.827 2.136
    G (Warp) 1.113 0.897 2.318
  • Pilling Testing [0102]
  • Fabric pilling was tested according to ASTM D-3512-99a at 60 minutes, after 5 Industrial Launderings and ironings. The results are listed below in Table 3. [0103]
    TABLE 3
    Fabric Pilling Rating
    Example A 3.5
    Example B 4.5
    Example C 2.5
  • Fabric Strength [0104]
  • Tear strength in the filling direction was tested in accordance with ASTM D2261-96. The results are listed below in Table 4. [0105]
    TABLE 4
    Test Example A Example B Example C
    Tear-Filling (lbs) 6.00 5.00 11.50
  • As will be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the fabrics of the invention have utility in a broad range of end uses where a surface effect is desired, including but not limited to napery, home furnishings, apparel of all types, industrial products, upholstery, shower curtains, draperies, shades, aprons, linings, bedding, casket linings, flags, labels, bandages, ribbons, etc. [0106]
  • In the specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purpose of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims. [0107]

Claims (46)

    We claim:
  1. 1. A process for enhancing the surface of a fabric comprising the steps of:
    providing a textile fabric formed from a plurality of fibers;
    pre-abrading said textile fabric and
    treating said textile fabric with a high energy fluid, to thereby form a surface effect on the textile fabric.
  2. 2. A process according to claim 1, wherein said fabric contains filaments.
  3. 3. A process according to claim 1, wherein said steps of pre-abrading and treating result in cut fiber ends, and said cut fiber ends have a length of about 1.5 float lengths or less.
  4. 4. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of pre-abrading comprises a process selected from the group consisting of sanding, brushing, napping, wet sueding, and dry sueding.
  5. 5. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid comprises a process selected from the group consisting of high pressure gas treatment, and high pressure liquid treatment.
  6. 6. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of pre-abrading is performed on only one surface of the fabric.
  7. 7. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid is performed on only one surface of the fabric.
  8. 8. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid is performed by way of a plurality of treatment stages.
  9. 9. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid is performed by way of a single treatment stage.
  10. 10. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid comprises a high pressure hydraulic treatment.
  11. 11. A fabric made by the process of claim 1.
  12. 12. A process according to claim 1, wherein said step of treating the fabric with a high energy fluid is performed to apply at least about 0.0295 horsepower-hr/lb of energy to the fabric.
  13. 13. A process for enhancing the aesthetic characteristics of a filament containing textile fabric comprising the steps of:
    providing a woven textile fabric comprising filaments in each of the warp and filling directions;
    pre-abrading said textile fabric to raise some fibers from each of the warp and filling; and
    treating the fabric with a high energy fluid, such that a surface effect is formed on at least one surface of said fabric and fibers from adjacent yarns are entangled with each other.
  14. 14. A process according to claim 13, wherein the surface effect is formed from short fibers having a length of about 1.5 float lengths or less.
  15. 15. A fabric made by the process of claim 13.
  16. 16. A process according to claim 13, wherein said step of treating the fabric with high energy fluid is performed to apply at least about 0.0295 horsepower-hr/lb of energy to the fabric.
  17. 17. A fabric comprising a plurality of associated yarns comprising a plurality of filaments, wherein said fabric comprises a surface effect on at least one fabric surface, said surface effect comprising a plurality of cut fiber ends, and wherein fiber ends from at least some of said yarns are entangled with fiber ends of associated yarns.
  18. 18. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric is selected from the group consisting of woven, knit and nonwoven fabrics.
  19. 19. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric consists essentially of filaments.
  20. 20. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric comprises a woven fabric consisting essentially of filaments.
  21. 21. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric is in the form of an article of napery.
  22. 22. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric is in a plain weave construction.
  23. 23. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 3 after one wash when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  24. 24. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 2 after 50 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  25. 25. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of about 3 or greater after 50 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  26. 26. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 3.5 after 50 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  27. 27. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 1 after 125 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  28. 28. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 2 after 125 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  29. 29. A fabric according to claim 20, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag rating of greater than 3 after 125 washes when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a.
  30. 30. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric is a woven fabric and said fiber ends have a length of about 1.5 float lengths or less.
  31. 31. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric has a Kawabata System COMP05 value of about 45% or greater.
  32. 32. A fabric according to claim 31, wherein said fabric has a Kawabata System COMP value of about 50% or greater.
  33. 33. A fabric according to claim 17, wherein said fabric has a Kawabata System MIU value of about 0.15 or greater in each of the lengthwise and crosswise directions.
  34. 34. A fabric according to claim 33, wherein said fabric has a Kawabata System MIU value of about 0.21 or greater in each of the lengthwise and crosswise directions.
  35. 35. A fabric comprising a plurality of associated yarns comprising a plurality of filaments, said fabric defining first and second fabric surfaces, wherein at least some of the filaments positioned along said first fabric surface fabric define a plurality of cut fiber ends, and at least some of said cut fiber ends extend through the dimension of the fabric and outwardly from said second fabric surface.
  36. 36. A fabric according to claim 35, wherein said fabric is a woven fabric and said cut fiber ends extend outwardly from said first and second fabric surfaces a distance of 1.5 float lengths or less.
  37. 37. A fabric comprising spun yarns, said fabric having first and second exterior fabric surfaces defining a fabric interior therebetween, wherein portions of said spun yarns adjacent said first exterior surface have a greater number of cut fiber ends than portions of said spun yarns adjacent the fabric interior, and wherein at least some of said cut fiber ends originating from the spun yarns at the first exterior surface of the fabric extend through the interior of the fabric to the second exterior fabric surface.
  38. 38. The fabric according to claim 37, wherein said fabric is a woven fabric, and said cut fiber ends extend outwardly from said first and second exterior fabric surfaces a distance of 1.5 float lengths or less.
  39. 39. A napery article comprising substantially all filament fibers, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag Rating of greater than 3 when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a, a filling tear strength of about 2.5 or greater when tested according to ASTM D2261-96, and a Kawabata System Comp05 value of about 45% or greater.
  40. 40. A napery article according to claim 39, wherein said fabric comprises substantially all polyester.
  41. 41. A napery article comprising substantially all filament fibers, wherein said fabric has a Pick and Snag Rating of greater than 3 when tested according to ASTM D5362-97a, a filling tear strength of about 2.5 or greater when tested according to ASTM D2261-96, and a Kawabata System MIU value of about 0.15 or greater in each of the lengthwise and crosswise directions.
  42. 42. A napery article according to claim 41, wherein said fabric comprises substantially all polyester.
  43. 43. A napery article comprising substantially all filament fibers woven in a plain weave construction, wherein said fabric has a filling tear strength of about 2.5 or greater when tested according to ASTM D2261-96, and a Kawabata System Comp05 value of about 45% or greater.
  44. 44. A napery article according to claim 43, wherein said fabric comprises substantially all polyester.
  45. 45. A napery article comprising substantially all filament fibers woven in a plain weave construction, wherein said fabric has a filling tear strength of about 2.5 or greater when tested according to ASTM D2261-96, and a Kawabata System MIU value of about 0.15 or greater in each of the warp and filling directions.
  46. 46. A napery article according to claim 45, wherein said fabric comprises substantially all polyester.
US10304176 2002-11-26 2002-11-26 Process for face finishing fabrics, fabrics having good strength and aesthetic characteristics, and items of napery having good pick and snag resistance Abandoned US20040098848A1 (en)

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US20080216295A1 (en) * 2007-03-09 2008-09-11 Tipton Kathleen M Fabric Abrading Hand Tool

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US20080216295A1 (en) * 2007-03-09 2008-09-11 Tipton Kathleen M Fabric Abrading Hand Tool

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