Basic key facts to learn in Textiles Technology.

1.Natural Fibres
§Plant – cotton, flax, coir, sisal.
§Animal – Silk, wool, Angora, Mohair.

2.Manmade fibres
§Synthetic (made from oil) – Acrylic, polyester, polyamide (nylon)
§Regenerated cellulose ( made from wood pulp) – Viscose, Acetate, Modal

Smart fibres – materials that change when exposed to change in temperature, pressure or light. i.e. liquid crystals in coated fabrics, thermochromic dyes, pressure sensitive fabrics (Electex);

3.Fibres are spun into yarn that can be knitted or woven into fabric.

4.Woven fabric – Strong, does not stretch, frays, cool, does not loose shape. Eg. denim, corduroy.

5.Knitted fabric – Made from loops, stretches, looses shape, unravels easily, warm. Eg. Jersey, sweatshirting, fleece.

6.Non woven fabric - made from fibres which have not been spun, weak, easily torn cheap to felt, interfacing.

7.Performance characteristics of fibres are durability, strength, elasticity, flexibility, absorbency and insulation these characteristics decide the performance of the fabric they are made into.

8.Fibres can be mixed or blended before spinning to get a yarn/fabric with the performance characteristics that you want. Eg. Mixing polyester and cotton makes a fabric that doesn’t crease much. As polyester stops cotton creasing. Different yarns can also be mixed, during knitting and weaving, to get a fabric with the performance characteristics that you need.

9.Finishing processes are applied to improve the final appearance, handle (feel) and wear of fabrics.
§Mechanical finishes (using a machine to produce a finish):
§Brushing – uses rollers with wire brushes on to raise the pile (fluff) of the fabric.
§Calendering – uses heated rollers to smooth and shine the surface of a fabric.
§Chemical finishes (using chemical solutions to change the properties of fabric)
§Stain resistance – Silicone or synthetic resin sprayed onto the fabric surface.
§Flame resistance – Applied mainly to furnishings, childrens nightwear and protective clothing.
§Water resistance – silicones are sprayed onto fabric. Different chemicals are used depending on how long the product has to be water repellent for.
§Other finishes include Anti static, Anti pilling, Easy care, Moth proofing.

10.Special finishing treatments include
§Anti bacterial –to sterilize surgical gowns and masks.
§Light sensitive – fabric changes colour to signal different conditions.
§Deodorant – to reduce body odour.
§To block ultra violet rays – acts as a sunscreen.

11.Fabric decoration techniques
§Methods which would be good to use to get a detailed pattern effect include: embroidery (in small areas) screen printing, transfer printing, fabric pens.
§Methods for a less detailed pattern include: Tie dye, batik (both resist dyeing techniques), appliqué, stencilling, block printing, quilting, and patchwork.
Make sure that you can explain how to do a couple of these techniques.

12.Fixing makes sure that the dye stays in the fabric (doesn’t run when washed). It can be done with heat, salt or other chemicals.

13.Components – Separately manufactured items that are added to a product. E.g. Buttons, zips, lace, braid, buckles, iron on or sew on logos or motifs, rivets, studs, eyelets, ribbon etc.

14.Shaping of garments – There are 4 main ways of getting a garment to be the right shape to fit a body.
§Darts – folds of fabric that end in a point at the fullest part of the required shape.
§Tucks – A fold in the fabric held by the sewing in the seam.
§Gathering – Draws in the fullness of the garment evenly.
§Elastication – Uses elastic to gather the fabric.

§Plain seam – The seam that is used the most. Gives a flat result. Used on non fraying fabrics and thick fabrics. Seams need to be neatened to prevent fraying.
§French seam- Used on fine fabrics, lingerie and children’s clothes as the raw edges are concealed. A strong seam but can be bulky.
§Double stitched seam – Strong seam.
§Flat felled seam – Strong and can be seen. Can be bulky.
§Overlocked seam – Overlocking sews, trims and neatens the seam in one process. This stops fraying. Good to use on knitted fabrics as the seam stretches with the fabric.

16.Production methods
§Job production - this involves producing ‘one off’ products. Every item produced is different. It is labour intensive – also known as jobbing/’jobbie’ or ‘one off’.
§Batch production -involves the production of a specified quantity of a product. Batches can be repeated as many times as required. This type of production method is flexible and can be used to produce batches of similar products with only a small change to the machinery – also known as progressive bundle system.

§Mass Production
1.Repetitive flow; also known as flow line production - involves producing large numbers of identical products for a relatively low cost. The production is usually broken down into sub assemblies of smaller components. This form of mass production can be labour intensive or completely automated depending on the product being manufactured.
2.Continual flow process - this involves uninterrupted 24hrs/day production of a basic commodity such as steel, chemicals, oil or basic food products. This type of production continues because it is expensive to shut down and restart. Only a small workforce is needed to maintain the process.

17.Commercial manufacturing systems
§Cell production- this is a number of work stations (machinists) grouped to produce a single component.
§In-line assembly - this is used to mass-produce many everyday items especially cars. Many
In-line assembly systems are fully automated and only require people to ensure that they don’t break down.
§Just in time- this requires materials, components and sub-assemblies to arrive from other factories ‘just in time’ for production at one factory. Finished products are sent out immediately they are made. This system reduces any storage of stock and allows for changes to the product to be made quickly without the need to use up stock items first.
§Off the peg’ manufacture- textile items which are cheaper because they are made to fit standard average sizes, not the exact measurements of a particular individual. When making ‘off the peg’ clothes the standard size template can be used for a production run. E.g. 8,10,12,14 etc. This allows a batch of items to be made at one time, spreading costs and making each item cheaper.
§Logistics - Organising the availability of materials and components so that they arrive at the factory when they are needed.

18.Systems and control -A system has three parts, input, process and output.
The basic features of a control system are
input sensors, process decisions, output feedback.
For example when sewing a seam the input is pushing the fabric through the machine, process decisions are making sure that the fabric goes in straight and the output is the straight sewn seam.

19.Quality Assurance – the way the production system is managed to ensure that a quality product is made. Strict procedures and specifications are laid down for each stage of production and these should be kept to, therefore making sure that there are no faults in the product.

20.Quality Control – the tests and inspections that are used at certain points of the production process to make sure that the product is of the correct quality. E.g. checking for holes in seams, faults in the fabric.

21.CAD – Computer Aided Design – Computers used to design products, with these you can design fabrics, clothes and patterns. Advantages are that they speed up the design process and you can make changes quickly. It is cost effective. You can change colours, size, scale and features of the design. You can plan out stitches so that designs can be sent straight to the machine that will manufacture it.

22.CAM – Computer Aided Manufacture – Computers which control the machines which make the products. Knitting machines are computerized so that the CAD design can be sent straight to the knitting machine that knits it exactly as the design. It is very quick and cheap to change designs and therefore very good for batch production. Each product also always comes out the same.
In school the computerized sewing machine that can write your name is an example of CAM.

Also when answering the questions remember:

1.If a question says ‘annotate’ it means that you should label the design, diagram etc. Details of fabrics, design ideas, components, explanations etc. can be written on.
2.Questions that contain words such as state, list, identify, name, only require one or two word answers.
3.Questions containing words such as explain, justify, analyse, describe require a more detailed answer.
4.Avoid using phrases such as ‘quick and easy’, ‘nice effect’ and ‘strong’ Be much more precise.
5.Design features are a particular aspects of a design e.g. the pockets on a shirt. The embroidery round a hem of a skirt.
6.Performance characteristics are what a fibre, fabric or product can do. It could be crease resistant, durable or very absorbent etc.
7.The exam will contain questions about aspects of our project work such as research, designing, product analysis, specifications, testing, and evaluation.
8.Take drawing equipment to the exam, you may have to draw a design.
9.There will be a question on the a theme given by your exam board. You will have to design products based on this theme.

All revision topics