Textile fabrics can be produced directly from webs of fibres by bonding, fusing or interlocking to make non-woven fabrics and felts, but their physical properties tend to restrict their potential end-usage.The mechanical manipulation of yarn into fabric is the most versatile method of manufacturing textile fabrics for a wide range of end-uses.
There are three principal methods of mechanically manipulating yarn into textile fabrics: interweaving, intertwining and interlooping. All three methods have evolved from hand-manipulated techniques through their application on primitive frames into sophisticated manufacturing operations on automated machinery.
1 Interweaving (Fig. 1.1) is the intersection of two sets of straight threads, warp and weft, which cross and interweave at right angles to each other. Weaving is by far the oldest and most common method of producing continuous lengths of straight-edged fabric.
2 Intertwining and twisting (Fig. 1.2) includes a number of techniques, such as braiding and knotting, where threads are caused to intertwine with each other
at right angles or some other angle. These techniques tend to produce special constructions whose uses are limited to very specific purposes. 3 Interlooping (Fig. 1.3) consists of forming yarn(s) into loops, each of which is typically only released after a succeeding loop has been formed and intermeshed with it so that a secure ground loop structure is achieved. The loops are also held together by the yarn passing from one to the next. (In the simplified illustration this effect is not illustrated.)
Knitting is the most common method of interlooping and is second only to weaving as a method of manufacturing textile products. It is estimated that over 7 million
tons of knitted goods are produced annually throughout the world. Although the unique capability of knitting to manufacture shaped and form-fitting articles has been utilised for centuries, modern technology has enabled knitted constructions in shaped and unshaped fabric form to expand into a wide range of apparel, domestic and industrial end-uses.
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