Thesis Details

Thesis Title: The effect of laundering, spinning system, and blending method on the physical, aesthetic, and wash-down characteristics of workwear fabrics
Thesis Author: Dale Fite
Abstract: If an industrial service fabric were laundered only once, the fabric's properties might not substantially change. However, workwear is expected to withstand fifty industrial laundry cycles before the garment is removed from service. Abrasive forces from daily wear alone can be sufficiently severe to cause fabric failure. However, in addition to these forces, workwear must withstand the abrasion and chemical treatments in industrial laundering. The end result is that fabrics experience deterioration of both physical and aesthetic properties due to the rigors of intense laundering. Previous efforts to improve the performance of polyester/cotton workwear fabrics have been concentrated on careful dye selection and control to achieve a better union of shade between disperse and vat dyes. However, the current research evaluated workwear fabrics produced using different yarn spinning systems and blending methods to examine the impact of greige manufacturing variables on laundered workwear fabric performance. To accomplish this work, 14 Ne ring, open-end, air-jet yarns were spun from intimate and drawframe blend 65/35 polyester/cotton stock. The yarns were then woven into a 2/1 twill construction and finished on a continuous dyeing and finishing range. Finished samples were cut from each of the six fabric conditions to serve as controls for the experiment. The remaining fabric was laundered fifty times under industrial laundering conditions. Samples were removed after 15, 35, and 50 launderings for testing. All fabrics were tested for color loss, pilling propensity, hand, abrasion resistance, and strength. Considering the experimental limitations, and with respect to the objectives of this thesis, the following general conclusions were derived. 1. Fabrics produced with open-end spun yarns exhibited better color retention during laundering than fabrics produced with air-jet and ring spun yarns. All fabrics became lighter after laundering. Blending method had no overall effect on laundered fabric shade. 2. Fabrics produced with air-jet spun yarns pilled less than fabrics produced with open-end and ring spun yarns. Intimate blends were less prone to pilling than drawframe blends. Laundering affected pill ratings, but the effect was dependent on the length of time pill testing was performed on a fabric. 3. Fabrics produced with ring yarns had better total hand values than fabrics produced with air-jet and open-end spun yarns. There was no difference in the hand of fabrics produced with air-jet and open-end spun yarns. Hand improved with laundering for all yarn types. 4. Fabrics produced from ring spun yarns had higher warp and filling tensile and tear strength than fabrics produced from air-jet and open-end spun yarns. Laundering increased filling tensile strengths and decreased warp tensile strengths, while laundering decreased warp and filling tear strength. No clear trend could be discerned for the effect of blending on fabric tensile and tear strength.