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The study of the effect of the weave structures on the properties of

woven fabrics is of importance for various reasons. First, it is of interest as a
property of the fabrics, it may lead to a better understanding of their nature,
and, in particular, of the way in which they affect the comfort and functional
properties of fabrics. Second, the weave structures can be widely used for
representing the fabrics in cloth analysis division of a textile mill. Third,
textile fabrics are used in technical textiles and home furnishings and for this
their properties must be satisfactory.

Fourth as Morino (2010) states in a recent paper “in order to

promote the design process for woven fabrics, new parameters are defined”;
this is because the study of weave structures is an important component of
designing fabrics.

Seyam and El-Shiekh (1994) have presented a critical review of the

fabric degree of tightness and its applications. They have suggested a new
tightness factor based on a combination of Ashenhurst’s end-plus-
intersections theory and Love’s race track geometry. The advantages and
limitation of the new tightness are discussed.

In the past, weaving technologists preferred one or the other

empirical relationships for calculating sett/count relationships in fabrics such

as – Ashenhurst’s “ends plus intersections theory”. Armitage and Brierley’s

maximum sett theory or mathematical theories based on Peirce’s geometric
model graphical solutions to optimise fabric design (Ashenhurst 1884,
Armitage 1907), Brierley’s and maximum sett theory, or mathematical
theories. The first stage in designing of fabrics is the generalisation of the
fabric structure features by one integrated factory. Peirce (1937) aptly stated
“It gives a very suitable basis of comparison for any experimental
investigation, not only of cover but also of hardness, crimp permeability and
transparency limits of picking, etc., in which fabrics of similar cover factors
show similarity”. The second stage is estimating the statistical dependence on
the integrated fabric structure factor. The integrating fabric structure factor
can be distributed into two groups; those based on Peirce’s, theory and those
based on Brierley’s theory of maximum settling. Various factors are proposed
by workers, such as Galceren (1961), Seyam and El-Shiekh (1994), Newton
(1995) and Milasius (2007).


It is customary to calculate a structure factor by comparing a certain

mathematical expression of the parameters of the given fabric structure with
the maximum value of a so called standard fabric. In Brierley’s (1931) case,
the fabric structure factor is the ratio of setting of the given fabric ‘square’
(balanced) structure analogue with the setting of the ‘standard’ wire plain
weave fabric. The original Brierley factor which is called as Maximum
Setting/Maximum Density, can be calculated by equation, where

1 g T1 /T2
12 1 Taverage 1 g T1 /T2 1 g T1 /T2
MS / MD .S2 S
1 (2.1)
Fm - the empirical weave factor
S1, S2 - warp and weft setting respectively

T1, T2 - the warp and weft linear density, respectively

g - 2/3, if F1 F2, and
y - 3/2, if F1 < F2 (except weft-faced ribs, in the case g=2)
- fibre density
F1, F2 - Float lengths

Brierley (1931, 1952) worked with worsted fabrics to determine the

maximum threads per inch that can be woven in a square fabric for a given
yarn and weave. He derived the following equation

t f m (kN)1/ 2 (2.2)

where t = maximum ends or picks per inch, k = constant that depends on yarn
type and yarn number in an indirect system, m = constant varying according
to weave, and f = average float (average number of threads per float). The
constant k is 134 for worsted yarn from 100% wool. The constant m was
determined empirically for different weaves as shown in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Brierley’s m values for different weaves

Weave m
Basket weaves 0.45
Twill weaves 0.39
Satin weaves 0.42

Equation (2.2) is also valid for the case where warp and weft are of
different counts.

Brierley (1931) compared the earlier studies of maximum

construtions to his work. He concluded that (a) his figures of twill weaves

agree with Law’s results calculated upto 10 threads per floats and there is
little divergence from Armitage’s results which are

t S(yN)1/ 2 (2.3)

where t = maximum ends or picks per inch, y = cloth setting constant that
depends on the yarn numbering system, N = yarn count in the indirect system,
and s = setting ratio varying with weave upto 4 threads per float (b) up to 4.5
threads per float the results obtained by Armitage Law and Brierley do not
differ by more than a thread per inch and (c) for twill weaves of threads per
float higher than 3 Ashenhurst’s two theories showed lower maximum threads
per inch than Brierley, Armitage and Law’s experimental figures.

Chamberlain and Snowden (1948), Snowden (1949, 1950) have

confirmed that Brierley’s and Law’s rules of maximum construction of twill
weaves are fairly accurate. Snowden (1967) further showed that for satin
weaves, Law would have been more accurate had he added 5.5% for every
end in the average float.

Brierley (1952) extended his work to unbalanced fabrics, deriving

three additional empirical relationships for three different unbalanced fabric

(a) for cloths woven from equal count in warp and weft
P = CE-0.67.

(b) for fabrics made from thicker weft than warp

P = CE-0.67A

(c) for cloths woven from thicker warp than weft

P = CE-2

where A , N1 = warp yarn count in an indirect system,

N2 = filling yarn count in an indirect system, P = picks per

inch, E = ends per inch, C = cloth structure constant calculated
from maximum square construction. He gave several
examples to illustrate the method of calculating the cloth
structure constant Brierley (1952). He also explained
applications of his equations to worsted and woollen fabrics of
different weaves (Brierley 1952, 1953).

Galuszynski (1981) has dealt with the fabric tightness, a coefficient

to indicate fabric structure. He felt that Brierley’s formula requires some
modification of certain values of the coefficients m and g for some weft – and
warp faced ribs and proposed the coefficient of fabric tightness TGaluszynski. For
the weft faced ribs, the value F is taken as an average for the weave with g = -
2/3 (whereas Brierley (1952) suggested that the value of F has to be taken as
an average for the warp threads and g should be equal to 2). For warp-faced
ribs, Galuszynski proposed the value 0.35 instead of 0.42 given by Brierley.
Galuszynski (1981) asserts that the values of the coefficient of fabric tightness
can be used to compare fabric structures. His results also verify the prediction
that fabrics with the same value of the coefficient should have the same value
of relevant mechanical properties. Also, fabric elasticity can be predicted
from the coefficient of fabric tightness. One of the limitations of
Galuszynski’s fabric tightness is that it can only be applied only to few weave

Milasius et al (2000) proposed a new integrating fabric firmness

factor which can be calculated by a series of equations. Newton (1995) has
followed a radically different approach for comparing the woven fabrics by
reference to their tightness. Newton criticises the standard fabric considered

by Seyam and El-Shiekh on the grounds that the geometry is such that it is
difficult to construct the fabric. Newton’s view is that the tightness of a fabric
is best calculated in relation to the nearest maximum-sett fabric. This is
similar to the method used by Hamilton (1964).

A good review of fabric tightness has been published by Seyam and

El-Shiekh (1994). In their introduction they state “The ratio of a fabric
structural parameters to the corresponding parameters of the standard fabric
(termed, fabric degree of tightness, fabric firmness, construction factor, etc.)
was thought to be useful in producing similar fabrics that might differ in one
or more of the construction parameters and in predicting beat up resistance in
weaving. Additionally, the fabric degree of tightness can be related to fabric
properties. The recognised advantages of developing standard fabrics are to
provide flexibility to the designer to construct similar cloth with the available
raw materials, to allow prediction of fabric properties and performance which,
in turn, help a designer construct fabrics for specific and uses, and to provide
a tool to predict the weaving resistance that implies weaving efficiency and
fabric quality”.

Seyam and El-Shiekh (1994) surveyed many methods of

determining tightness that have been suggested in the past, including those
based on the Peirce equations, such as the work of Love (1954) and Hamilton
(1964) and those based on maximum-sett equations derived empirically, such
as those proposed by Brierley (1952), Russell (1965) and Galuszynski (1981).
They carried out a comparison of Galuszynski’s values of tightness, based on
the work of Brierley and Russell’s based on that of Ashenhurst, for a variety
of weaves. This led them to propose a definition of tightness based on
standard fabrics. The tightness is determined by taking the ratio of the sum of
the fabric warp and weft setts to the sum of the warp and weft setts calculated
for the standard fabric with the same yarns.

The comparison of fabrics on the basis of their cover factor

doubtless, is a good indication of the tightness of the weave; the higher the
cover, the closer the threads are together, and the more tightly the fabric is
woven. Since, it is possible to have fabrics with different setts, yarn counts,
weaves and cover factors which are equally tightly woven, a different method
of designating tightness has been developed by Newton. Hamilton (1964)
used Love’s suggestion that a value for tightness could be obtained by
comparing the sum of the warp and weft cover factors of the maximum sett
fabric. As pointed out by Seyam and El-Shiekh (1994), Love gave no
indication as to which maximum sett fabric was to be used, and the method
was not practicable. Hamilton (1964) gave the following equations

(K1 K 2 ) actual
Tightness T = (2.4)
(K1 K 2 )limit

d1 d
where K1 = , K2 = 2 and d1, d2, p1 and p2 are diameter and pick spacing in
p1 p2
warp and weft.

Newton used tightness as a basis for comparison for designing the

fabrics. He has calculated them and has compared with the values given by
Peirce. He points out that Hamilton’s method is incapable of determining the
tightness of the two poplin fabrics because of their high values. While
Hamilton’s values show an increase with increasing tightness his calculated
values show lower values, i.e., tighter fabric shows a lower value. Newton’s
work stands as a milestone in this subject.


Perhaps the earliest work that highlighted the importance of the

knowledge of the shape of cross sections and transverse dimensions of yarns

inside fabrics was due to Ashenhurst who, in 1884, gave the first
comprehensive theory of cloth structure for estimating the maximum density
of packing of threads in a cloth commonly known as the maximum sett of a
woven cloth. He derived a formula for calculating the maximum square sett of
a cloth in terms of the diameter of its constituent yarns, and the number of
threads and intersections in its weave repeat. He assumed that the yarns were
of circular cross section and that the distance between yarns at each
intersection was equal to the diameter of the yarn, though this second
assumption was corrected by him later. Realising that yarns compress very
easily and thus offer difficulties in ascertaining their transverse dimensions,
he established empirical relations between the diameter and the count of yarns
for different counting systems such as woollen, worsted and cotton. The
relationship first noted by Murphy (1927) in 1927 that the yarn diameter
varies as the square root of the yarn count, also existed in Ashenhurst’s
empirical formulae. Despite being based on unrealistic assumptions,
Ashenhurst’s cloth setting theory provided a very useful guide to cloth
construction. However, in 1922 Law (1922) criticised Ashenhurst’s theory by
showing that it was practically possible to weave fabrics to a greater sett than
those estimated by Ashenhurst’s formula. As to why Ashenhurst’s formulae
under-estimated the maximum square sett of a cloth, Law suggested that the
estimates of yarn diameters obtained from Ashenhurst’s formula were much
higher than the measured values of diameter of yarns. This observation led
Law to apply necessary corrections to Ashenhurst’s formulae for calculating
the yarn diameter, and hence the maximum square sett of a cloth. In
measuring the diameter of yarns, they had recognised that different fibres and
different systems of yarn manufacture were likely to affect the overall yarn
density, which would itself influence the yarn diameter and hence the
maximum square sett achievable in a cloth.

Although Law’s theory gave fairly accurate predictions of the

maximum square sett of cloths, the testing of the validity of Ashenhurst’s

findings remained the subject for many researchers for sometime. It was not
until when Helliwell (1940), after measuring yarn diameters by various
methods, showed that reasonable agreement existed between the measured
values of diameters and those calculated from Ashenhurst formulae. Also,
Dickson (1953) had reported that the value of yarn diameter calculated from
Ashenhurst’s formulae always fell between the value of diameter based on
direct measurement of the free “uncompressed” yarn and the value of the
effective diameter of “compressed” yarn in a fabric and was therefore a useful
estimate. The findings of Helliwell and Dickson thus supported Ashenhurst’s
theory of cloth setting.

On the otherhand, Armitage in 1907 and Brierley in 1931, in an

altogether different approach to that of Ashenhurst and Law suggested that it
was incorrect to regard yarns as having a definite diameter and as being
circular in cross-section. With these suggestions regarding the yarns in mind,
Armitage and Brierley established relationships for calculating the maximum
square sett which did not carry any direct reference to the diameter of a yarn.
Brierley (1931) also considered an allowance for the “over-riding” of threads
which varied with the weave type in his relationship for the maximum square
sett. From their experimental results, both Armitage and Brierley showed that
setts in excess of those quoted by Ashenhurst could be obtained in all weaves.
Since these theories were established independent of the diameter and the
cross section of yarns, they, particularly to that due to Brierley, gave fairly
accurate predictions of the maximum square sett of cloths.

Yet the reasons for the ambiguity about the diameter of the yarn
and the shape of its cross section were not then clearly understood and Peirce
in 1937 put forward a fundamental and rather formidable mathematical
treatment of the geometry of cloth structure wherein the yarns were once
again assumed to be circular in cross sections, as well as being inextensible
and completely flexible. As it had been in Ashenhurst’s and Law’s theories of

cloth setting, the diameters of the interlacing yarns figure as one of the most
important yarn properties in Peirce’s theory of fabric geometry. Like
Ashenhurst and Law, it was realised by Peirce that the diameters of yarns
could perhaps best be described from their counts. Peirce, however, also
considered the effect of yarn density in deriving a relationship between the
diameter and count of the yarn. From experimental work carried out mainly
on thick twisted ropes of cotton yarns, Peirce concluded that a specific
volume of 1.1 cm3/g adequately represents the overall density of yarns in
cotton fabrics. Peirce, however, indicated that the apparent specific volume of
a free thread would vary considerably with twist, fibre type, treatment and
method of measurement. The effects of twist and fibre type on the specific
volume of both staple and continuous filament yarns have been investigated
later by a number of researchers and notable results of a few of these
investigations are reported by Hearle (1969). Concerning the packing of fibres
in yarns, Peirce introduced a term called yarn porosity. Commonly known as
the yarn packing fraction which he defined as the ratio of the fibre specific
volume to the yarn specific volume. He showed that a cotton yarn, with its
specific volume equal to 1.1 cm3/g and the density of its constituting fibres
equal to 1.1 cm3/g and the density of its constituting fibres equal to 1.52 g/cm3
is actually composed of approximately 60% fibre the remaining 40% being air
space. This porous structure of a yarn does suggest how easily the yarns might
compress and their cross sectional shapes distort when acted upon by lateral
comprehensive forces. By considering the yarns to be like circular cylinders
and to have a specific volume of 1.1 cm3/g a3/g. Peirce derived a relationship,
which like Ashenhurst’s and Laws’ formulae expressed that “the yarn
diameter d, varies inversely as the square root of the yarn count (indirect) N”,
as is reflected in his formula:

d (inch) = (2.5)
28 N

where N is the yarn count.


2.4 GALCERAN (1961)

Galceran’s fabric structure factor is calculated as the ratio of the

sum of the coefficients of the setting of the given fabric with the sum of the
coefficients of the maximum warp and weft settings fabric structure factor
from the following formula:

S1 T1 S2 T2
O 1000 1000 100 (2.6)
5 1 5 2

1 0.73Kl1 1 0.73Kl2

where T1/2 are warp and weft linear densities, respectively 1/2 are warp and
weft raw material densities, respectively K1/2 are warp and weft weave factors
by Galceran, respectively.

In the Brierley’s case, fabric structure factor is the ratio of set of the
given fabric “square” structure analogue with the set of the standard wire
plain weave fabric. The original Brierley’s factor called as maximum
setting/maximum density can be calculated by the following equation:

1 g T1 /T2
12 1 Taverage 1
g T1 /T2
g T1 /T2
MS / MD .S2 S1 (2.7)


Galuszynski (1981) found that Brierley’s formula “requires some

modification of certain values of the cofficients, m and g for some weft and
warp faced ribs and proposed the coefficient of fabric tightness TGaluszynski. For
the weft faced ribs value F is taken as an average for the weave with g = 2/3.
For warp faced ribs, Galuszynski proposed the value of 0.35 instead of 0.42
given by Brierley.

Seven parameters are considered to be important for representing

fabric structure namely, warp and weft raw materials, warp and weft linear
density, warp and weft settings and fabric weave.


The greatest problem between all fabric structure parameters is to

estimate the fabric weave which is not a digital but a graphical fabric structure
picture. Fabric weave can be represented as the matrix where “1” labels the
float of warp and “0” labels the float of weft. This method is the most popular
due to its convenience and possibility to apply computer. Special weave
matrix parameters for reflecting weave influence to fabric properties are used.
The average float length F1(2) proposed by Ashenhurst and often used for
evaluation for warp and weft respectively is equal to the repeat R1(2) divided
by intersection of warp and weft in the repeat t1(2).

R 1( 2)
F1(2) (2.8)

Galceran’s (1961) weave factor Kl1(2) and Neves warp and weft
interlacing coefficients CCWA and CCWE are similar to it.

Kl1 CCWA (2.9)
R 1R 2


Kl 2 CCWE (2.10)
R 1R 2

The shortcoming of these factors is that they estimate only a single thread and
do not take into account interlacing of adjacent threads.

Skliannikov (1974) proposed the following equation of weave

tenseness factor

6R 1R 2 2n f K1n fi
i 1
C (2.11)
6R 1R 2

where R1 and R2 are the warp and weft repeat of the weave respectively, nf is
the number of free fields, nfi – the number of free fields belong to group i (all
free fields are distributed into six groups ki – elimination factor of group i.

Milasius (2000) has found that there exists a relationship between

Fm of Brierley and C of Skliannikov (1974), which is given below:

Fm (2.12)

Based on this equation, Milasius has suggested a new weave factor:

1 3R 1R 2
P1(2) 6
C1( 2) 3R1R 2 2n f 1( 2) n
K1(2) f l / 2i
i 1

These factors evaluate not only a single thread float but an

interlacing of adjacent threads too and can be calculated for all types of the
weaves while the Brierley’s factor Fm can be calculated only for those types
of weaves Brierley investigated.

All the seven parameters are encompassed in integrated fabric

structure of fabrics.


The integrated fabric structure factors are used for estimation of

fabric structure tightness.

Newton (1995) distributed integrated fabric structure factors into

groups: some of them refer to the Peirce’s theory, others to the theory of
Brierley. In the first case, it is a ratio of a surface covered by one or two
threads systems with the whole fabric area. In the second case it is a ratio of
the setting of the “square” analogue of the given fabric with the setting if the
standard “wire” plain weave fabric.

Peirce (1937) introduced the concept of cover factor, which is equal

to the ratio of thread’s diameter d1(2) with a distance between threads p1(2):

d1( 2)
K1(2) (2.14)
p1( 2)

Seyam and El-Shiekh (1994) suggested the estimation of fabric

structure by using determination of fabric tightness concept. Their fabric
geometry is composed from threads racetrack shape geometry and
Ashenhurst’s end-plus-intersection geometry. This structure factor is
calculated by the following equation:

S1( 2) (F2(1) 1)
TS1(2) d1(2) 2 (2.15)
F2(1) 4

where d1(2) are warp and weft diameters, respectively, F1(2) are warp and weft
average float lengths respectively, S1(2) warp and weft settings respectively.

Newton (1995) suggested calculating fabric tightness as a distance

between point corresponding to the fabric and the nearest point on the Peirce
“maximal density curve” ( ). This factor, can be calculated by an equation

L (K1 K11 ) 2 (K 2 K12 ) 2 (2.16)


d 1(2)
K1(2) (2.17)
F2(1) d1(2)
F2(1) 1
S( 2) 4

K1(2) can be calculated from the curve which was plotted by Peirce according
to his formula of maximal setting. Galceran’s (1961) structure factor is
calculated as follows:

S T1 S2 T2
OG 1000 1000 (2.18)
5 1 5 2

1 0.73Kl1 1 0.73Kl2

where T1(2) are warp and weft linear densities, respectively, k (1/ 2 )
are warp and

weft weave factors by Galceran, respectively.

The main shortcoming of Peirce’s group factor is their establishing

on the average float length F or Kl, which do not estimate exactly the weave.
For this reason Brierley’s and Galuszynaski’s fabric structure factors can be
calculated not for all types of the weave.

Skliannikov (1974) proposed Weave Tenseness factor (c) based on

the fabric fields (Figure) to relate woven structure to fabric properties.

Fabric fields are division of weave area in three types of fields,

namely contact (c), interlacing (i) and float fields (contact field is defined as
the porjected region occupied by both three systems (warp and weft).
Interlacement is the region of cross-over the warp yarn from one plane to
another between two contact fields, then it can be termed as float (f) (Fig 2.1).

Figure 2.1 Fabric fields

6R 1T2 Zn f K i n fi
i 1
C (2.19)
6R1R 2

where R1 and R2 are the warp and weft repeat of the weave, respectively, nf is
the number of free fields defined in the woven structure between the yarns, nfi
the number of free field’s belonging to group i (all free fields are distributed
into six groups), Ki is the elimination factor of group, and subscripts 1 and 2
denote warp and weft, respectively.

Further, using similar methodology Milasius (2000) suggested a

new factor called as weave firmness factor (P) derived from the weave
tenseness factor and Brierley’s fabric tightness factor

3R 1R 2
P1(2) 6
3R 1R 2 2n fi92) K i n fi (2)
i 1

These factors evaluate not only a single thread float but an interlacing of
adjacent threads as well and can be calculated for all the types of the weaves.
Further, a most convenient form of structural factor called firmness factor ( )
has been proposed by Milasius, which has been demonstrated to be applicable
universally. This firmness factor can be used in the design of new fabrics, to
evaluate their properties, estimate fabric weavability, and consider the
weaving process parameters.

12 1 Tav a b
S1 S2 (2.21)

where T is yarn linear density; S setting of yarns; is fibre density given by

the following Equation; a, b are given by Equation; subscripts 1 and 2 denote
warp and weft respectively.

S1 1 S2 2
S1 S2

S1T1 S2T2
Tav (2.23)
S1 S2

2 T1
1 3 T2
a , b (2.24)
2 T1 2 T1
1 1
3 T2 3 T2

Milasius’s index is very useful for characterising fabrics on the basis of their
structure. His contribution to fabric structure area is quite significant and

Morino et al (2005) have proposed a crossing-over firmness factor

(CFF) and floating yarn factor (FYF) parameters of weave structure based on

the interlacements and floats in the structure for predicting the mechanical
parameters and fabric hand values. The CFF is given by equation where
crossing-over line is defined as the place at which interlacing point changes,
for example, the warp yarn changes from over to under the weft yarn, or vice
versa for weft in the warp direction (Figure 2.3). Similarly, FYF is calculated
from the type of floats, number of floats of each type and overall interlacing
points in the repeat as given by the following expression (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2 Details of FYF

Figure 2.3 Details of CFF

Number of cross over lines in the complete repeat

CFF = (2.25)
Number of interlacing points in the complete repeat

(Type1-1X-1) x (Existing number of type1-1X-1 in the complete repeat

Number of interlacing points in the complete repeat

Padaki et al (2010) have suggested two indices, namely,

interlacement index (1) and float index (F) to represent CFF and FYF.
Interlacement index is defined as the ratio of number of interlacements in the
given weave repeat to that of maximum possible contact field in the design as
given by the following equation, where iwp and iwf are interlacements in warp
and weft, respectively. Product of warp repeat (R1) and weft repeat (R2) of a
woven design gives the maximum possible contact fields in the woven design
repeat. Highest interlacement is in plain woven structure (T=2) and non-
interlaced structure would have 1 value of 0.

i wp i wf
1 (2.27)
R 1.R 2

Float index (F) is defined as ratio of number of floats in the weave

structure to the maximum possible floats in the weave repeat as given by
equation where fwp and fwf are floats in warp and weft, respectively. For a
plain woven structure, float index will be 0 as the floats are absent in it and it
increases with number of floats in the structure with a maximum value of 2
for all unidirectional structure without interlacement. Both interlacement and
float indices complement each other and the sum of interlacement index (I)
and float index (F) is always 2 as expressed in the following equation.

f wp f wf
F (2.28)
R 1.R 2

I F 2 (2.29)

Padaki et al (2010) assert that, in view of the tedious methods of

calculating CFF and FYF suggested by Morino et al (2005) their method is
quite simple and easy to understand. Hewitt et al (1996) have analysed the
preform structural variations such as weave, fabric and yarn parameters for
plain, twill and satin structures using a fortran program.



Matsudaira’s parameters, namely, CFF and FYF are easy to

calculate and, do not take into account fabric sett and count. The parameter
FFF takes into account fabric sett and the concepts put forward by Brierley.
Also, these parameters are affected by warp and weft tensions in the loom and
finishing treatments.


There are certain relevant parameters for evaluating weaving

tightness in earlier models (Newton 1995, Seyam and El-Shiekh 1994). For
instance, Brierley’s experimental parameters, Fm for weaves Fm and Peirce’s
average float length F or K for weaves are located at the maximum weaving
setting and anchored in textiles with limited primary structures and the fixed
common materials as well (Seyam and El-Shiekh 1994). Morino’s crossing-
over firmness factor (CFF) and floating yarn factor (FYF) (Morino,
Matsudaira and Furutani 2005) and Milasius’s weave factors C and P (2000)
are demonstrated to be directly extractable from any weave pattern. However,
Milasius argued that the parameters FYF and CFF neglected considerations of
resistances between yarns (Milasius, Katunskis and Milasius 2007). By
contrast, C and P proposed by Milasius (2000) are sophisticated and
reasonable, whereas their calculations particularly involve Ki defined by
Skliannikov and become rather complex. These parameters provide primary
definitions or references for the tightness of textiles.

Weave patterns can be used for distinguishing different weaves.

The size of the weave pattern is coded as RW and RF to denote the numbers of
warps and fillings within a complete repeat. Weave patterns also show all the
information about intersections on each yarn. Ashenhurst (1884) defined the
average float length of yarns for weaves, and the distance of intersections
(D1) on a yarn within a repeat was given to show the frequency of yarn
intersections and to represent the weaving level of each single yarn within a
repeat. When D1 increases, the weave structure of fabrics loosens. Formulas
for D1 are as follows:

D1W (2.30)
Number of int er sec tions in warp

D1F (2.31)
Number of int er sec tions on filling

D1 on warps (D1W) may be different from D1 on fillings (D1F) such as R6*12

(D1W = 6, D1F = 4). When the D1 of each yarn is variable such as R16*16, its
average value is more effective and should be considered as the accurate D1.

Reversed intersections on two neighbouring warp and wefts cause

Repulsion (RP)1 between yarns. Repulsion between adjacent yarns is
obviously affected by a distance between reverse intersections on two of the
nearest parallel yarns. For instance, a twill with 5-end behaves more firmly
and tightly than a 5-end satin, because there is a 1-step between inersections
on the twill, but there is a 2-step between intersections on the satin. RP can
particularly differentiate weaves with the same repeat and D1. Generally
weaves with a large D1 cannot attain a large RP. However, there is almost no
regular connection identified between them so far.

Proper design of fabrics and efficient use of weave structures

require a serious study of textile materials. This thesis on the prediction of
mechanical properties from weave structures was undertaken to develop
means of achieving this understanding.

During usage, textile fabrics having different weave structures are

considered. For example, bed linen is made of 5-end satin weave and towels
are made of honey comb weave. Plain and twill weaves are used for
producing shirts, pants and dress materials.

The concept of fabric properties – weave structures interaction

which is developed represents a departure from the traditional study of the
effect of weave structures. Previously, the studies of weave structures were
concerned strictly with the weaves. Plain, twill, satin and mock leno weave
have been studied and analysed by textile technologists for several years.
These studies usually neglect and rightfully so, the number or designation of
the weave which is being used. The fabrics which are used are of huge
quantities and are currently used in technical textiles in addition to apparels.
For this reason, this study deals exclusively with what happens to the
properties of fabrics as a result of the interaction. It is anticipated that in
future each fabric will be designated by the parameters which represent the
weave structure and then marketed. Since seven parameters, namely raw
materials in warp and weft, warp and weft counts, number of end, and picks
per cm and fabric weave, the subject assumes considerable importance. Thus
Galuszynski (1981) has carried out studies relating weave resistance and
weave structures. A number of studies have been made in correlating weave
structures to beat up and other fabric structures such as air permeability and
mechanical properties. Thus combination of all factors must be considered in
the material and property interaction. In order to define quantitatively and
analyse the effects of weave structures, it is important to delineate both the
fibre, yarn sett and weave.

Most of the important recent contributions on the prediction of

mechanical properties have come out of the Kanazawa University, Japan. This
work has been led by Matsudaira (2011). The research work carried out by
him stands out as a milestone in this subject. In his papers, the relationship
between weave structure and fabric properties is discussed in depth.

Structure property relations of fibres and yarns have been studied

by many in the past, and in respect of fabrics, it is found to be sparse. A
systematic work in this area is warranted and this thesis delineates this aspect.
The relationship between the parameters is not known and it is imperative to
investigate this aspect in depth.

It is important to relate the weave parameters to the low stress

mechanical properties and comfort characteristics so as to have a better
understanding of weave structures. It is interesting to note that since weave
structures affect the low stress mechanical properties as evidenced by the
work of Morino et al (2005), considerable changes are to be made in the
models which have been developed for predicting them. Still the development
of weave parameters is in its infancy as only a few weaves have been

Also, designating the fabrics using Matsudaira’s and Milasius’s

parameters will help in identifying fabrics in the cloth Analysis Division of a
Textile Mill. For denims which are fashion garments, these parameters will be
very helpful.


Fabrics, which are produced from a variety of yarns, differ in

counts, threads per inch and weave. What is required is the adjustment of
warp and weft setts (threads per inch) to suit the yarn counts in production of
fabrics for specific end uses. The product development is focused on the

development of the novelty products at economic prices. Stoll (1949)

demonstrated that fabric breaking strength and elongation at break of
resistance to surface abrasion are unreliable parameters in predicting wear
resistance of fabrics. He showed that count balance, warp to weft weight ratio,
fabric tightness expressed as cover factor, staple length of constituent fibers,
yarn twist and crimp balance between the warp and weft have important
bearing on wear resistance of woven fabrics. The only way of improving the
wear performance of Civilian, Industrial and Defence fabrics is by applying
the principles of fabric engineering. These are the points to bear in mind to
design maximum weavability of fabrics which comprise duck, canvas,
tarpaulin, parachute and wind resistance fabrics.

It was Peirce who did pioneering research in fabric engineering in

1937 which laid the scientific foundation of fabric geometry. The equations
provided by him were meant for plain weave. He referred to the effect of
weave on maximum warp and weft setts, but it was left to Louis Love (1954)
in mid fifties to extend Peirce's equations to weaves other than plain, namely,
l/2, 2/2 and l/3 twills, satin and oxford. Dickson developed a system of
numbers called 'compact cover factors' based on the cotton system of yarn
counts, for maximum weavability constructions using synthetic filament
yarns- nylon, polyester, Kevlar, aramid and glass having densities different
from those of cotton.


2.11.1 Fabric Cover

It is the amount of space occupied by yarn and is expressed by the

term 'cover factor' which is given by

Thread per inch

K (2.32)
yarn count

Warp cover factor (K1) and weft cover factor (K2) serve as a measure of the
relative tightness of fabric.

2.11.2 Yarn Balance

This is expressed by the term 'Beta factor' by

Warp yarn count

Weft yarn count

This is an essential part of the maximum weavability equations mentioned


Cover factor was defined as

Fabric cover factor= Kf = C warp+ C weft- C warp C weft (2.34)


C warp and C wcft = 4.44 x 10-3 x x Yarn count / cm (2.35)

2.11.3 Weave Factor

It is defined by

Number of threads per repeat

M (2.36)
Number of int erlacing per repeat

2.11.4 Fabric Tightness

This is given by

Sum of actual Warp and Weft coverfactors

Tightness (2.37)
Sum of theoretical maximumWarp and Weft cover factors

This tightness affects the mechanical properties of fabrics.


2.11.5 Maximum Weavability

Given the warp cover factor (Ki) and.yarn balance (Beta factor)
Peirce (1937) developed the following equation for arriving at the maximum
weft cover factor (l<2) in plain cotton woven fabrics having a weave factor
(M) of

2 2
28 28
1 1 (2.38)
(1 )K1 (1 )K1

2.11.6 Fabrics other than Plain Weave

It is a well known fact that when cotton yarns of normal twist or

softness are woven in fabrics in weaves other than plain, say, twill, satin or
oxford the maximum weavable cover factors exceed 28 which is meant for
plain weave. This is due to the lateral compression in yarns beneath the
'weave floats'. The yarn compression in a fabric woven to maximum tightness
would produce a change in the shape of the cross section, but does not alter
the fibre packing density within the yarn. Complete flattening of yarn, which
is the contact with the neighbouring yarn under a single float i.e., the original,
semi-circle of the yarn half-section becomes a rectangle under compression
The weave factor is 1.5 for 2/1 twill, 2.0 for 1/3 twill and 2.5 for 1/4 satin.
Louis Love developed four equations for arriving at the maximum weft cover
factor (K2) given the warp cover factor (KJ and yarn balance (beta cover
factor) for 1/2 twill (M=1.5), 1/3 and 2/2 twill (M=2.0) 1/4 and 2/3 twill or 5
end satin (M=2.5) and oxford weave (M1=2.0, M2=1.0).

U.S. Army Natick laboratories have published (1972) a series of

reports which contain tables that came as ready reckoners for cover factor,
beta factor and maximum weavability for cotton fabrics, covering a wide
range of yarn counts (Ne 1 to Ne 84) ends and picks per inch (11 to 200) and

beta factors (0.109 to 10). These Tables are very useful to fabric engineer in
arriving at the practical design parameters related to the textile structures.

Although these tables are very useful in predicting the theoretical

maximum level of picks in a given fabric, the actual number of picks depends
upon the loom mechanism, its condition and some other factors.

2.11.7 Synthetic Yarn Fabrics

Dickson (1954) developed a system of calculating fabric cover

based on cotton system of yarn counts to arrive at ' compact cover factor'
which varies according to fibre density and bulk density of filament yarns.

This is defined as the maximum number of cotton yarns of Ne 1

count that can lay side -by-side in one inch without any interlacing. It is given
by :

Maximum threads per inch Compact cover factor x Cotton count (2.39)

Compact cover factors for some of the synthetic filaments are as follows:

Nylon : 24.4
Polyester : 26.8
Kevlar aramid : 27.4
Glass : 36.5

Thus the maximum number of filament yarns in the one inch of the
four synthetic fibers can be arrived at by first converting the filament denier
into cotton count by dividing 5315 by denier and multiplying the same by
respective compact cover factors.

Sulzer (1982) have published charts for the range of weft density
feasible for specific fabrics woven on their shuttleless projectile weaving

machines based on their practical experience, assuming that the warp and weft
yarns are of medium quality.

2.11.8 Fabric Tightness Factor (K)

This was calculated by using the equation (Dhingra et al 1981)

Fabric tightness factor,

Tw Tf
K (2.40)
w f

Where, T = yarn count in tex.

w = Modular length or average curvilinear length of yarn per

interlacing (in cm)
W = warp
F = filling

2.11.9 Fabric Tightness Coefficient (t) – Some New Concepts

Galuszynski (1981) defines fabric tightness as the ratio of actual

square fabric sett over the theoretical maximum square fabric sett for a
defined weave and yarn. The coefficient of fabric tightness, as explained, by
him depends on raw material, yarn linear density (count) weave and fabric

Galuszynski incorporated Brierley's setting formula into his own

equations whereby coefficient of fabric tightness

t (2.41)

Where Na = N1-g/g-1, N21/1-g and

K 4 Fm
N (2.42)

In Equations (2.41) and (2.42)

N1,2 = the unknown values of warp and weft setts, respectively

g = a first coefficient dependent on the weave
K4 = a coefficient dependent upon the raw material and count
F = the average warp or weft float of the weave
m = a second coefficient dependent on the weave
Tex = the average yarn count.

Thus Tex was calculated

nTex1.Tex 2
Tex (2.43)
n1Tex1 n 2Tex 2

where, n = The total number of threads in the weave repeat

Tex1,2 = The defined counts of threads within the weave repeat and
n1,2 = The numbers of threads of a defined count within the
weave repeat.

2.11.10 Fabric Tightness

Cloth cover factors for different weaves assuming balanced

tight;(maximum) construction are arrived at on the basis of weave texture
which is given by:

Ends per weave repeat

Weave Texture (2.44)
Ends per repeat Interlacings in the repeat

Thus, for plain weave, the texture is 0.5(2 divided by 2+2); for 1/3
twill, the texture is 0.667(4 divided by 4+2); and for 8 end satin, the texture is
0.8 (8 divided by 8+2) the maximum cloth cover factor for plain weave would
be given by Wc = 0.5, Fc = 0.5, Cc = (0.5+0.5)-(0.5 x 0.5) = 0.75;

for 1/3 twill, (0.667 + 0.667) - (0.667 X 0.667) = 0.889; and

for 8 end satin, (0.8 + 0.8) - (0.8 x 0.8) = 0.96

The 'tightness' or 'openness' of a synthetic yarn fabric can be assessed by

comparing the actual fabric cover factor with maximum cover factor for a
given weave; for example

(a) Kevlar style -713 has 31 ends and 31 picks per inch of 1000
denier yarn in plain weave.
Maximum threads per inch = compact cover factor of
Kevlar (27.4) x cotton count (2.305) = 63;

Warp cover factor (Wc) = 31 divided by 63 = 0.492

Weft cover factor (Fc) = 31 divided by 63 = 0.492
Cloth cover factor (CC) = (0.492 + 0.492) - (0.492 x 0.492)
= 0.742
As the maximum possible texture for plain weave is 0.75,
Kevlar style-713 can be considered as nearly 'tight' with
98.93% tightness (ratio of actual texture to maximum one,
expressed as percent)

(b) Kevlar style -328 having 17 ends and 17 picks per inch of
1420 denier Kevlar in plain weave and having cloth cover
factor (Cc) of 0.539 is by comparison with style-713 relatively
loose construction with 71.87% 'tightness' (0.539 divided by
0.75 x 100)

Various integrated structure factors are used for a full fabric

evaluation. Newton classified integrated fabric structure factors into groups;
some of them refer to Peirce theory, others to the theory of Brierley. In the
first case, it is a ratio of a surface covered by one or two systems of threads
with the whole fabric area. In the second case, it is a ratio of the setting of the
square analog of the given fabric with the setting of the standard “wire” plain
weave fabric. The evaluation of some fabrics parameters is rather simple as
they are expressed by specific numbers, the only exception of these
parameters being fabric weave. It is a picture of fabric structure and can be
represented only graphically or as the two -dimensional matrix of number 1
and 0. It greatly complicates its estimation and generalization of the results of

The main problem of all integrated factors is the kind of weave

factor they use. Average float length F or Kl is used in Peirce group factors;
they evaluate only a single thread whereas it is well known that maximum
setting (as well as fabric properties) of such weaves as twill 2/2, hopsack 2/2
differs widely. Brierley suggested evaluation of fabric weave by the function
Fm. The power 'm', was determined experimentally ,it depends on the weave
type, for example, for twill weaves it is 0.39, for satin weaves 0.42, for
hopsack weave 0.45 etc. Consequently weave factor Fm takes into account the
interlacing of adjacent threads, Despite this, its shortcoming is experimental
determination of power 'm' and the values of 'm' for other weaves. Milasius
has proposed both weave factor P1; which belongs to Brierley group and
which can be calculated directly from weave matrix and based on it the
integrated fabric structure . The weave factors floating yarn factor (FYF)
and crossing over firmness factor (CFF) proposed by Morino et al (2005)
belong to Peirce group and like all the factors of this group, they do not take
into account an interlacing of adjacent threads.

Morino et al (2005) have suggested a new measure FYF which is

mentioned below:

Type1 1x 1 x existing number of type1 1x -1 in the complete repeat

Number of interlacingpoints in the complete repeat

Where Type1-1x is the length of the float.

Ashenhurst has dealt with the sett of fabrics in his book. Seyam has
critically reviewed the concept of fabric tightness in his work. A series of
papers published by Seyam has dealt with the fabric structure and its effect on
fabric properties.


Goswami (1978) did a pioneering study on the effect of weave

structures on fabric properties but he confined to the shear properties only. He
made plain, basket and satin weaves from polyester cotton blended yarn
having two twist levels, 14 and 18 tpi. The fabrics had 60 x 60 fabric count
and the plain woven fabric was heat set. Shear parameters were studied by
attaching a device to Instron Tensile Tester, as suggested by Spivak (1966).
The shapes of the shear stress strain curves were found to be different
(Figure 2.4). The shear stress and hysteresis were found to be less for 2 x 2
basket and satin in comparison with plain weave. The CFF values for the
three weave structures and their shear parameters are given in Table 2.2.

Figure 2.4 Shear stress strain curves of different weaves


Table 2.2 Relationship between CFF and shear properties

Shear stress Shear strain
CFF hysteresis
(G/cm) Tan
Plain 2 10 15.95 0.022
Basket 1 2.7 9.16 0.178
Satin 0.8 1.8 7.7 0.277

It is apparent that the relationship between CFF and shear

parameters is excellent. As CFF increases, shear stress, shear hysteresis and
shear hysteresis show an increase. Shear strain, on the other hand, shows a
decrease with an increase in CFF. Although this paper was published in 1978,
it was found to be very useful for this research.


In a recent series of papers by Fatahi and Alamdar Yazdi (2010,

2012) the air permeability of the fabrics has been measured exprimentally and
modelled theoretically. With weave structures such as CFF and FYF, the air
permeability of eight fabrics has been related (Figure 2.5). The model they
have obtained is

Air permeability = (CFF) + ( ) FYF + ( ) ( , , - constants) (2.46)

The result of the multiple regression equation is

Air permeability = 13.24 (CFF) + 24.01 (FYF) – 20.55 (2.47)

They state that it is possible to predict the value of air permeability

by the multiple regression equation.

The FFF (Fabric Firmness Factor) values for all the eight fabrics
have been calculated and they are given in Table 2.3 along with CFF and

Table 2.3 Calculated results of CFF and FYF and FFF for 8 fabrics of
Fatahi and Alamdar Yazdi (2012) (Figure 2.5)


a Plain 0.67 2.00 0.00
b 2/2 Twill 0.53 1.00 1.00
c 2/6 Twill 0.38 0.50 1.50
d Warp rib 0.54 1.50 0.50
e Basket Weave 0.49 1.00 1.00
f Dice Weave 0.36 0.50 1.50
g Rib 0.34 1.25 0.75
h Crepe 0.63 1.67 0.33

(a) Plain (b) 2/2 Twill (c) 2/6 Twill (d) Warp Rib (e) Basket weave

(f) Dice weave (g) Rib (h) Crape weave

Figure 2.5 Weave structures used by Fatahi and Alamdar Yazdi (2012)


The subject of initial modulus of woven fabrics has attracted the

attention of many research workers, namely, Grosberg and Kedia (1966) Leaf
and Kandil (1980), Hearle and Shanahan (1978) and De Jong and Postle
(1977) using many techniques such as Castigliano’s theorem for small
deformations. It is a pity that there is a perpetual error in the units of initial
moduli provided by Leaf and Kandil in that mN/cm is given which in reality
is N/cm. Hadizadeh, Jeddi and Tehran have correctly given the unit in N/cm.
These authors predicted the initial load-extension behaviour of woven fabrics
using artificial neural network. Behera and Muttagi (2004) considered the
yarn flexural rigidity, yarn modular length, and yarn spacing as inputs and
initial modulus of fabric as output in their Artificial Neural Network (ANN)
modeling of fabrics load extension behaviour. They indicated that their radial
basis function network model could predict the tensile moduli of fabric to
provide a very good and reliable reference compared to the other modeling

Hearle and Shanahan (1978) have pointed out that the inclusion of a
bending energy term allows the Peirce geometry to be used for calculations
involving extension. They have provided the predicted load extension curves
of a plain weave fabric. Clulow and Taylor (1963) have looked at the
relationship between the theoretically predicted and experimental values of
fabric and have pointed out the need to include flexural rigidity for accurately
predicting the load extension curves.

Leaf and Kandil (1980) have proposed the following mathematical

model for predicting initial Young’s modulus of fabrics.

12B1P2 B2 1 cos 2 1
E1 1 (2.48)
P1 13 sin 2 1 B1 3
2 cos 2 2

12B2 P1 B1 2 cos 2 2
E2 1 (2.49)
P2 33 sin 2 3 B2 3
1 cos 2 1

In these equations, subscripts 1 and 2 refer to parameters in the

warp and weft directions respectively. They showed good agreement between
the theoretical and experimental values when values of were calculated
from Peirce’s rigid-yarn model. Hadizadeh et al (2009) have also included
fabrics having 2/2 malt, warp and weft ribs in their study and it is a
noteworthy feature.


A fabric, particularly a woven fabric, is highly anisotropic in that it

exhibits different values of a certain property when measured in different
directions. The yarns in the two principal directions generally differ in count,
twist and sizing so that there is no reason to expect a relation between the
mechanical properties measured in the two directions. These properties in
other oblique directions are also different from those in the warp and weft.
This phenomenon is called as “Fabric Anisotrophy”.

The anisotropy has great effect on fabric appearance tailorability

and garment style design. During garment manufacturing a stable and
complex three-dimensional garment shape is sewn from an initially flat fabric.
The confirmation of a flat fabric to any three-dimensional surface requires
complex mechanical deformation of the fabric. In addition, some important
fabric mechanical properties, such as bending, shear, tensile and drape
properties contribute to the properties preferred by tailors. Since these
properties can be used to predict the performance and appearance and
tailorability of the fabrics it would be very useful to have foreknowledge in
order to manufacture a good quality garment.

The development of the models for predicting fabric anisotropy is

an important task for the improvement of garments made in the apparel
sector. During garment making, the two-dimensional fabric is formed into a
three dimensional surface, and seams are used to join fabric plies in various
directions, for example, when sewing the collar, shoulder, sleeves, etc. The
different fabric, properties in the various different directions may affect the
overall performance of the garment when the garment parts are sewn into the
cloths. It is imperative therefore to study the effect of variations in the
properties of the plies in different directions.

Peirce (1937) gave a formula for calculating the bending rigidity in

any oblique direction based on the experimental values for the warp and weft
directions. Peirce computed the bending rigidity for two fabrics. Go et al
(1958) also proposed a relationship for the bending stiffness of fabrics in all
directions. This was different from that of Peirce and the calculation did not
involve any twisting effect. In Cooper’s work (1960), the anisotropy of fabric
bending rigidity model was derived for incorporating both the twisting effect
and torsional rigidity of yarns. The values of bending rigidity in all directions
were predicted when values in the warp, weft and 45 directions were
known. All values were presented in the plot called a polar diagram. He also
introduced a quantitative term namely ratio V to predict the shape of the polar
diagram of bending rigidity. Later, Chapman and Hearle (1972) also obtained
a similar model to that of Cooper using the energy method. Shinohara et al
(1962, 1980) theoretically derived a versatile equation without neglecting
twist effects of constituent yarns. They assumed that yarns were elastic and
homogeneous and no interaction existed between them and therefore the twist
effect would be described as a function of flexural rigidities in principal
directions of woven fabrics and Poisson’s ratio of yarns. Later

similar approach to that of Shinohara et al (1962, 1980) in establishing a

bending rigidity model was taken by Kim et al (1985, 1987).



2.16.1 Energy Approaches

Grosberg and Kedia (1966) considered the initial extension as a

result of only bending energy changes. The force, f, needed to extend a warp
thread in the fabric was regarded as divided into two parts f to decrimp the
warp thread f and f to upcrimp the crossing thread. The force f is related
to the force V needed at the intersection to increase the crimp of the weft. If
the fabric elongation is p2 and h2 is the change in the crossing thread height,
these energy considerations demand that

f . p2 = v. h2 (2.50)


v h2
f f' f" f' 1 (2.51)
f ' p2

v p2 h1
f' 1 (2.52)
h2 f ' p2

The ratio was obtained using purely geometrical relations. The term
p2/f was calculated by defining the strain energy, in the warp thread, due to
the bending deformations caused by f alone, then differentiating the energy

expression according to Castiglianos rule, Using a similar procedure,
was calculated after finding the strain energy in the weft caused by ‘v’ alone.
The final expression for the fabric modulus was given by

8B1 B2 p32
E1 1 F1 ( 1 , 2 ) (2.53)
p1h12 B1p13


2 2
sin 3/ 2 ( 2 ) 1 0.56
F1 ( 1 , 2 ) (2.54)
F2 ( 2 ).2 2(1.12) 2


F2 ( 2 ) E k, E(k, H ) (k 2 1) F k, F(k, H ) (2.55)

2 2

1 1
The modulus k sin and H sin
2 4 2k

Hearle and Shanahan (1978) have described a uniform energy

approach that can be applied to various types of fabric deformations. For the
general treatment they assumed that the fabric geometry gives one or more
relations equivalent to:

f (x1 , x 2 ...x , y1 , y 2 ...y n ) 0 (2.56)

where (x1 , x 2 ...x ) are the generalized dimensions or displacements or both

associated with the external deformations, and (y1, y2, ..., yn) are a set of
independent geometrical parameters.

Due to deformation by the external forces Fi acting on xi, the total

energy in the system, E, is

E (Fi x i ) U(y1 , y 2 ,...y n , 2 ,... m ) (2.57)

i 1

where ( 1, 2, ..., m) are the dependent geometric parameters and U is the

strain energy.

The principle of minimum energy was then applied with any one of
the displacements (say x1) chosen as the dependent mode of deformation. This

x1 U j
Fk F1 ,k 2,3,... (2.58)
xk j 1 j xk

x E U j
and F1 1 i 1,2,...,, n. (2.59)
yi yi j 1 j yi

These conditions give a total of ( n 1) equations. In conjunction with the

geometrical relation given by f (x1 , x 2 ..., x , y1 , y 2 ...y n ) 0 there will be a
system of ( n) equations describing the behaviour of the structure under
the specified types of loads. If 1, 2,..., m, which may be eliminated, are
ignored, there will be (2 n) unknowns (Fi, xi and y1, ..., yn). The system is
then completely defined when of these quantities are given. According to
the authors, the following limitations are imposed:

1. The approach is restricted to materials in which there is a well

defined strain energy.

2. Frictional effects cannot be included because the frictional

forces can act in any direction.

The tensile properties of fabrics can be obtained by solving the

following equations.

y E 1 E 2
Fx Fy (2.60)
x 1 x1 2 x

y E E 1 E 2 E D
Fy . (2.61)
1 1 1 1 2 1 D 1

y E E 1 E 2 E D
Fy . (2.62)
2 2 1 2 2 2 D 2

1 1
1 1 1 2
d1 d 1 , d2 d 2 (2.63)
1 2

Here, E is the strain energy stored in the structure that is given as a function
of yarn modulus and bending rigidity. Primes marked above the variables in
the equations.

Boong Soo Jeon et al (2003) have defined yarn diameters to

determine effective yarn diameters. When these were used, the predictions of
structural and mechanical properties were found to be more accurate. The
more relaxed the fabrics are, the more applicable is Peirce’s model for
predicting fabric thickness and tensile behaviour. Their results imply that
analysing data from Peirce’s structural model with modified yarn diameters
could provide criteria for designing the structure of end-use fabrics to meet
desired mechanical demands.

2.16.2 Force approaches

Nordby (1968) used a force approach to study the load-elongation

properties of plain fabrics. Mashaly (1979) solved the mechanism of fabric

extension for the case of twistless yarns. An assumption was made to suit this
case that the yarn cross sections occupy the cavity shaped by the other
crimped yarn in the cross-wise direction. Mashaly (1979) used the results to
investigate the effect of the inter-yarn forces developed during extension in
sustaining this twistless yarn structure. A more rigorous version of the force
approach has been given by Huang (1978). Kawabata et al (1973) introduced
a finite deformation theory based on force approach. They used a straightline
model to describe the yarns configuration initially and after deformation
Kawabata et al also treated other fabric deformations using the same principle
and model.

The process of making up garment involves the introduction of

seams into a fabric. Fabrics are anis tropic materials whose properties are
expected to be different in different directions.

The study of the mechanical properties of fabrics has attracted the

attention of many scientists. A great deal of work on different aspects of
handle was undertaken by Kawabata and Niwa (1982), Peirce, Cooper, Go
et al Shinohara, etc.

One of the fabric properties affecting aesthetic appeal of garment in

use is bending rigidity. It is assessed by the user either in the form of a fabric
or after fabric is made up into a garment. Fabric assessment is often
determined by handling fabrics and verifying how readily they fall into folds
and how small and regular these folds are.


Bending rigidity or flexural rigidity is the fabric’s resistance to

bending. It is a measure of bending length. Bending length is defined as
length of fabric that will bend under its own weight to a definite extent.

Warp flexural rigidity G1=W*C1³*10³(mg cm)

Weft flexural rigidity G2=W*C2³*10³(mg cm)

Overall flexural rigidity G0= (G1*G2)

Bending modulus q=12*G0*10-6/g³(kg/cm²)

Where, W = weight of fabric in g/cm²
C1 = average warp bending length in cm
C2 = average weft bending length in cm
g = thickness in mm

Resistance to bending or flexural rigidity is called stiffness in

textile test methods. The longer the bending length, the stiffer the fabric.
Fabrics with very high bending rigidity values may lead to sewing and
handling problems as they are too stiff to be manipulated and controlled.


Sewn Seam- Sewn seam is defined as a series of stitches joining

two or more separate plies of a material or material of planar structure such as
textile fabric.

Seam Assembly- The unit obtained by joining fabrics with a seam

including details such as fabric direction(s), seam allowance, sewing thread
used, number of stitches per unit length and sometimes additional details of
fabrication such as sewing machine type and speed, needle type and size.

Seam Allowance- The width of the fabric used in making a seam

assembly bounded by the edge of the fabric and the furthest stitch line.

Stitch- The repeating unit of sewing thread formation in the

production of sewn seams and stitching.

Seams- A seam is the application of a series of stitches or stitches

or stitch types to one or several thickness of material. Seam line is a stitch line
of a seam; it is usually parallel to and always a specific distance from the raw
edges of the fabric. The seam appearance of the seams affects overall
attractiveness of a garment. Straight, neat, smooth, even seams that are not
twisted, ropey, or rippled contribute to aesthetics.

The Plain Seam- The most basic seam can be used effectively on
straight, curved or angular seams equally well, but the skill level of the
operative will vary depending on the intricacy of the seam. This type of seam
will require some form of neatening. The quickest method will be utilizing
one of the overlock machines, the 2 or 3 threads types being the most normal.
The choice is dictated by the laundering techniques, as previously discussed
in the stitch types section.

Another consideration is whether the appearance of the garment is

the most important factor or the garments durability. If the garment
necessitates a tailored appearance then the seam allowances will need to be
pressed open, which will provide a smooth flat appearance.

However, if the garment is likely to be subjected to hard wear then

overlooking of the seam allowances together will help to give stability to the
seam and increase the strength and durability of the seam. This is particularly
useful in the manufacturing of shirts, blouse, pyjamas and work wear type of

If the garments are being produced by “out workers” the over lock
facility may not be readily available, and so the “cap edging” technique may
be more practical as this is performed on the seam allowance being folded to
the wrong side of the fabric and being stitched along the folded edge to hold
the fold securely. This technique provides stability and allows the seam to lie

flat. Because of the fold of the fabric, this method of neatening tends to be
rather bulky and therefore unsuitable for bulky fabrics. Also the width of
seam allowance needs to be increased to allow the neatening to lie flat.

Both over locking and cap edging technique are easily produced
and require minimum skill level. However, both techniques would be
unsuitable for fabrics of a sheer or semi-sheer structure as the seam allowance
and its neatening would be visible on the right side of the garment which
would obviously impair the appearance of the garment.

If the seam is to include decorative features such as a piping or lace

insertion, the construction of the seam is exactly the same with the inclusion
of the trimming. When including such items care must be taken to avoid
unnecessary bulk, which can cause seam pucker therefore impairing the
appearance of the finished garment. Another factor worth considering is will
the trimming launder at the same rate (will it dry) as the rest of the garment.

Another decorative feature is to top stitch the seam, with either self
coloured thread or one of a contrast colour. When choosing this type of finish
it is imperative that the machinists have the necessary skill level in order to
meet the quality requirements of the finished garment as attention is being
drawn to the feature and therefore needs to be of a good quality. An
advantage of top stitching through a seam is that it can help to give extra
strength and stability to the seam.

During recent years, the investigation of fabric stiffness has

attracted the attention of many researchers because of the attempts to realize
the clothing CAD system by introducing the fabric properties. In recent years,
some researchers have investigated the effect of the seam allowance of a
vertical plain seam on a fabrics drape. And also some researchers (Hu 1997)
studied the effect of a plain seam on bending rigidity using the KES-F

bending tester. They found that a plain seam has little effect on fabric shear
rigidity and hysteresis but strongly influences bending rigidity.

They also pointed out that bending hysteresis and bending rigidity
were strongly affected by seam allowances. They found from their
experiments that the bending length of a fabric strip increased with the
addition of a vertical seam, but did not increase continuously with increased
seam allowance. The increase rate was most rapid at initial stage from seam
allowance = 0 mm (no seam) to 1 mm. When the seam allowance was greater
than2.5 mm, there was a limited increase in bending length.


Peirce (1930) derived a formula for calculating the stiffness of a

fabric in any direction in terms of the stiffness in the warp and weft
directions. This was derived from the theory for homogenous elastic material
and it was found to be empirically satisfactory. It is suggested that the reason
for this is that most of the fabrics which Peirce tested were made from cotton.
In addition, he also reported a formula to predict the bending stiffness in
various directions, in which the values in the warp and weft directions were

Go et al (1958) measured the bending stiffness of fabrics using the

heart loop method. They indicated the bending stiffness of fabric depending
upon the bending model of the test piece. The bending stiffness of fabric
having the long floats on its surface was smaller in face-to-face bending than
back-to-back. The effect of the crimp of component yarn of fabric on the
fabric bending stiffness was generally small. Later, Go et al (1962) reported
that there was minimum presented on the polar diagram of bending stiffness
at 45 to the warp when the fabric was bent. Their formula neglected the
restriction at the interaction of the warp and weft directions. They

summarized that the stiffness of textile fabrics depended upon their bending
directions, and in general the stiffness in bias directions was relatively small.

Cooper (1960) used cantilever methods to determine fabric stiffness

and stated that there was no evidence to suggest that there was any
appreciable shearing of the fabric caused by its own weight. He concluded
that stiffness of a fabric may vary with direction of bending in different ways,
but for most practical purposes measurement along warp, weft and one other
direction was sufficient to describe it.

Cooper (1960) conducted a detailed study of the stiffness of fabrics

in various directions and has provided polar diagrams of bending stiffness. He
found that some fabrics had a distinct minimum value at an angle between the
warp values. In general, viscose rayon fabrics provided an example of the
former and cotton fabrics an example of the latter.

Cooper (1960) explained these effects in terms of the fabric

bending stiffness in the warp and weft direction and the resistance offered by
the yarns to the torsional effects inseparable from bending at an angle to warp
and weft. He concluded that the resistance offered by the yarn to the torsional
deformation is low when the interaction between the yarns is low and vice

Shinohara et al (1980) derived an equation empirically which is

similar to the equation introduced by Peirce and analyzed the problems using
three dimensional elastics. They assumed the constituent yarns of woven
fabrics to be perfectly elastic, isotropic, uncrimped and circular in cross
section, and to behave freely from inter-fibre friction. In addition, they also
presented another equation containing a parameter n which related to V
introduced by Cooper (1960, 1969) in order to predict the shape of a polar



Peirce (1930, 1937) identified the textile problems, which

accounted for large curvature in bending and other deformation, in the 1960’s.
He first analyzed the fabric bending under its own weight and introduced the
bending rigidity of a fabric by applying an equation in his classical paper as

B = wc3 (2.64)

where B is the fabric bending rigidity, w is the weight of the fabric per unit
area and c is the fabric bending length. It is a measurement related to drape in
two dimensions. The stiffer the material, the larger the bending length c
obtained. Therefore, a higher value of c represents a stiff fabric, and vice
versa. For this equation, two measurements in the warp and weft directions
are insufficient to describe the stiffness of fabric anisotropy.

Peirce (1937) also introduced another equation for bending rigidity

in various directions. This formula enabled the value for any direction to be
obtained when the values in the warp and weft directions were known. This
was derived from the theory for homogenous elastic material and it was found
to be satisfactory empirically.

B = ((cos2 B1) + (sin2 B2))-2 (2.65)

where B1, B2 and B are bending rigidities in warp, weft and directions
respectively. A similar equation was also considered empirically by Shinohara
et al (1980).

B = ( B1cos2 B2sin2 ) 2 (2.66)


Results from Equations (2.65) and (2.66) are very similar to each
other, but the values of B obtained from equation (2.66) are slightly larger. When
B1 equals to B2, both equations show isotropic and circular polar diagram.

Go et al (1958) presented an equation which was theoretically

derived by neglecting twist and frictional effects from Equation (2.8).

B = B1cos4 +B2sin4 (2.67)

They pointed out that in general the bending rigidity in bias directions was
relatively small. Equation (2.67) neglected the restriction at the intersection of
thee warp and weft. This equation was useful in describing the behavior of
small restrictive and comparatively open fabrics. Therefore, equation results
in a marked deviation when the tight fabrics were examined.

Go et al (1958) also derived another equation for calculation of the

mean value of bending rigidity Bm in any direction.

Bm = 3/8 (B1+B2) (2.68)

However, it is impossible to apply this simple equation (2.68) to all kinds of

fabric, since it can only be applied to the balanced plain weaves.

Later, Cooper (1960) presented an equation including the twist and

friction effects of yarns. The results of the twisting effect are found to be
valuable in the actual case. Therefore, the following equation was derived.

B = B1cos4 + B2sin4 + (J1+J2) cos2 sin2 (2.69)

where J1 and J2 are constant due to torsional moment.

From Equation, B1 and B2 can be obtained directly from the

experimental work while J1 and J2 cannot. The theoretical treatment suggests

that measurements of stiffness in two directions are insufficient to define a

fabric’s bending property, since different types of variation with direction are
still possible for fabrics with similar B1 and B2. An investigation on third
direction is therefore necessary, and the most convenient for the application
purpose is at bias direction (±45º). In this direction, twisting effects are small
provided that B1 and B2 are similar in magnitude. Nevertheless, the sum
(J1+J2) may be deduced from measurement in three different directions by
considering specimens cut along warp, weft and ±45º directions. Therefore,
when considering = 45º,

B45 = B1cos445 + (J1+J2) cos245 sin245

J1+J2 = 4B45 – (B1+B2) (2.70)

The term (J1+J2) is replaced by the stiffness value at the warp, weft and ±45º
directions. This result may be used to calculate other bending rigidities over
all possible directions as equation (2.71).

B = B1cos4 +B2sin4 + (4B45-(B1+B2))cos2 sin2 (2.71)

Chapman et al (1972) also derived a similar equation by energy

analysis of helical yarns as follows:

BT = n1v1sin2 (Bsin2 +Jy cos2 )+n2v2 cos2 (Bcos2 + Jy sin2 ) (2.72)

where BT is an expression of the bending rigidity per unit width of a thin fibre
web of linearly elastic fibres. If there are n1 yarns per unit length in the warp
direction, each containing v1 number of fabrics, and n2 yarns per unit length in
the weft direction, each containing v2 fibres. They assumed a two-dimensional
assembly of very long straight fibre of the same type, with bending rigidity B
and torsional rigidity Jy. Their approach incorporated the energy rather than
the ‘force method’. Chapman et al.’s model involves many variables which

will complicate the mathematical calculation, and their approach was so

similar to Cooper’s that Cooper’s model was selected for future examination
in this research.


Dhingra and Postle (1980, 1981) studied the effect of the straight
seams on bending rigidity by KES-F bending tester. They have found that a
plain seam has little effect on the fabric shear rigidity and hysteresis, but has a
great deal of influence on bending rigidity. The effect was found to be
especially significant at vertical seams. They also pointed out that the
bending rigidity and hysteresis were strongly affected by seam allowances.

In the second study, Shishoo et al (1971) found that bending

rigidity of a seamed multi-layer fabric was about several times the rigidity of
the single one. Similar investigations were carried out by Ajiki (1985) who
also investigated the bending rigidity as dependent on the sewing thread
crimp in the seams.

Mahar et al (1982 a,b) reported the relation of the bending rigidity

to the balance of the thread tension in the seam. They tested two layers of
fabrics with rows of lockstitches without obtaining any seam allowance on the
top and bottom sides of two-ply fabrics.

Hu and Chung (2000) studied the bending behaviour of woven

fabrics with seams in warp direction. They have found that the fabric
thickness, seam thickness and seam allowance are the most important
elements in seamed fabric bending rigidity. Recently Kim et al (2011) have
predicted the bending rigidity of a woven fabric laminated with interlining by
adhesive bonding.

Dawes and Owen (1972) have also looked at the bending behaviour
of fabric laminates Grosberg and Rhee (1972) have also made useful
contribution to the area of prediction of laminated fabrics.


Bending behaviour is of importance in the study of cloth properties

such as handle, drape, and crease resistance. Bending rigidity, and shear
rigidity introduce the damping ability of fabric, of which the latter affect the
handling, deformation, crease resistance, buckling behavior and crimp
maintenance ability. The bending behaviour of yarn is affected by its
mechanical properties as well as the arrangement and interaction between its
constituent fibers and yarn geometry. Leaf et al (1980) discussed the relation
between the flexural rigidity of a plain woven fabric and the fabric and yarn
parameters, such as thread spacing and crimp, yarn flexural rigidity, etc.

Wei and Chen (1994) outlined a theoretical analysis that leads to a

concise formula for calculating the bending behaviour of set plain woven
fabrics. The formula shows reasonable agreement with experimental results
and good consistency with Grosberg’s (1966) conclusion, which is drawn
from data computation.

Abbott et al (1973) presented two models for a plain woven fabric

in which the yarn cross sections are incompressible so as to obtain the
predicted relationship between the couple applied and the curvature of the
fabric. They concluded that the predicted bending resistance did not agree
with the behaviour of actual fabrics owing to the difficulty of defining the ra-
dius of the yarn in the fabric; however, many puzzling qualitative aspects of
the bending behaviour of woven fabrics are, as a result of the analysis given,
satisfactorily explained.

Ghane et al (2009) made a study on the ratio of bending rigidity of

fabric to yarn in the case of low twist filament weft yarn. Experimental results
showed that with an increase in weft density per yarn, the bending rigidity of
a fabric had decreased in the weft direction, whereas in the equation
mentioned by Leaf et al it would show an increase in both the weft and warp
directions. It was concluded that in the case of low twist filament weft yarn,
Leaf’s theoretical equations could not be used to predict the ratio of the
bending rigidity of fabric to yarn.


The measurement of fabric stiffness using Peirce’s formula is

known as the cantilever bending test. The stiffness of fabrics is commonly
measured along the warp and weft directions in woven structure.

The “cantilever bending length” is a measure of the tendency of the

fabric to bend under its own weight. It is simply measured by sliding a strip of
the fabric over the edge of a horizontal surface until gravity causes the strip to
bend to a prescribed angle. Flexural rigidity is the resistance that is evidenced
when the fabric is bent back and forth between the fingers. Fabric stiffness is
a function of both the intrinsic stiffness of the fibres and geometry of the yarn
and fabric structure. Two fabrics of different weight can have the same
bending rigidity lengths because of their intrinsic and geometrical differences,
but the heavier of the two will exert a greater resistance to bending and
therefore will feel stiffer. Flexural rigidity takes into account the fabric

The mathematics of the bending length test have been worked out
so that the length of overhanging fabric that subtends an arc of 41.5 from the
horizontal is twice the bending length.

In this study, cantilever test was used to determine the relationship

between the bending properties of different fabrics with and without seam by
varying orientations of fabric and direction of seam with different seam


Wicking behaviour of textile fabrics can be studied by strip tests.

This is performed with a strip of fabric suspended vertically or horizontally,
with one end dipped into a reservoir of liquid (usually water); then, either the
time for the liquid to reach a certain level or the height of the advancing liquid
front as a function of time is recorded. The quantity of water in the fabric strip
as a function of time can also be measured if necessary.

Although textile substrates have complex structures, the data of

liquid transport on these materials are frequently treated using a simple
capillary – tube flow models. The information obtained from such treatment is
useful for the qualitative characterisation of the process of liquid transport
(Chatterjee 1985). The liquid moves into a porous medium by the capillary
pressure. The magnitude of the capillary pressure is commonly given by the
Laplace equation as applied to an idealised capillary tube (Adamson 1967)

2 cos
p (2.73)

where Rc is the capillary radius.

is the surface tension of the advancing liquid is the contact

angle at the liquid – solid – air interface with an idealised tube structure, the
volumetric flow rate as given by the Hagen-Poiseuille law, which states that it
is proportional to the pressure drop gradient along the tube (Chatterjee 1985)

R c2 P
Q (2.74)
8 L

L is the wetted length of the tube

P is the net driving pressure (pressure drop across L)

Washburn (1921), transformed the above equation into the

following differential equation by replacing Q by (t is time):

dL R 2c P
g (2.75)
dt 8 L

where is specific gravity of the fluid, and g is gravitational acceleration.

By integrating, Equation (2.75) was transformed by Lucas and

Washburn into the following approximate form, which is commonly known
as the Washburn equation:

R c cos 1/ 2
L t Ct1/2 (2.76)

where C is a constant.

The Washburn equation is widely regarded in wicking kinetics

while there exists a controversy about its validity for all kinds of porous
media. Laughlin (1961) found that the Washburn equation did not hold in
general when he investigated the wicking behaviour of wool felt and cotton
fabrics in a light grade of lubricating oil. He made a modification to the
Washburn equation, namely:

L = C tk (2.77)

where C is a constant. K is time exponent.


The logarithm of both sides of Equation (2.77) was taken and gave:

Ln(L) k ln(t) ln C' (2.78)

The limitations of the Washburn equation were pointed out by

Kissa (1996). The equation assumes a constant advancing contact angle for
the moving miniscus (Fisher and Lark 1979, Joos et al 1990). Jeje (1979)
pointed out that Washburn equation does not take into account the inertia of
the flow. Kissa (1996) also reported that, in spite of these limitations, a
variety of liquids had obeyed the Washburn wicking kinetics. Other
researchers (Gillespie 1959, Laughlin 1961, Law 1988, Maroufi 1997) have
reiterated the need to improve the Washburn equation. Apart from the
limitations mentioned above, the definition of the capillary radius and the
time exponent (0.5) are contentious. Laughlin’s research (1961) showed the
time exponent was less than 0.5. Law’s investigation (1988) showed the
Washburn equation to be unsatisfactory when applied to the experimental
study of a horizontal strip test for wool, cotton and porous acrylic fabrics.
Maroufi (1997) investigated the wicking behaviour of cotton interlock fabrics.
He confirmed that the Washburn equation did not hold true in his
investigation and he derived a modified version of the Washburn equation.

DeBoer (1980) examined the effect of scouring and drying on the

wetting of cotton woven fabric. The research showed that there was a very
good linear relation between the logarithm of the height of rise H and the
logarithm of the duration of time. This relationship was also valid for
polyester woven fabrics and the values of the time exponent were found to be
0.512 and 0.461 with different scouring methods for vertical wicking test.

Although the Washburn equation has limitations itself, some

previous investigations are also undertaken using inappropriate testing
methods such as using a dye as a tracer for the liquid front. The swelling of

natural fibres in the fabric which changes the capillary size during the wicking
process has also been neglected. All these have led to limitations of the
wicking process.

In this chapter, a new concept of wicking is introduced.

2.23.1 Theoretical

Considering the equation given by Laughlin (1961), namely,

H = atk (2.79)

Log H = Log a + K log t (2.80)

Log a can be positive or negative. If the curve passes through the origin in the
case of relationship between Log H and Log tk

Log H = K log t (2.81)

H = atk (2.82)
if K = 0 (2.83)
H = a (2.84)
if K = 1 (2.85)
H = at
H t, where a is a constant. If a = 1 (2.86)
H = t, (2.87)

If a indicates the slope, the higher the value of a, the greater the

Now, upon examination of a and K, it is noticed that there exists a

negative correlation between them.

Since K can take values from 0.21 to 0.48 (Zhuang et al 2002) and
“a” varies, the ratio of is suggested as the parameter to reflect the
wickability (W)

W (2.88)
when K = 0.5 (2.89)
W = 2a (2.90)
when K < 0.5 (2.91)
W > 2a (2.92)

The wickability includes both “a” and “k” thereby making

comparisons possible. This parameter “W” has been used in this study to
quantify changes in the wicking characteristics of knitted fabrics.

Regression analysis is used for obtaining intercept which is C, the

slope K. These parameters are used to obtain the simple wickability factor W.
The higher the value of W, the higher the wickability and vice versa.

The relationship between wicking height and time can be

conveniently represented by the power relationship given by the following

H = ctk (2.93)

where H is the wicking height C a constant which is represented in cm and k

the time exponent.

2.23.2 Mathematical Models

There are two conventional models which are popular in wicking

studies; the Washburn model and the Darcy’s law based model. The former
equation is named after Edward Wight Washburn also known as Lucas –
Washburn equation, considering that Richard Lucas’ wrote a similar paper
three years earlier

D eCos( )
hf t (2.94)

Here, De, the effective pore radius is obtained through

D 2h
De (2.95)

where De is effective pore diameter, Dh hydraulic pore diameter and Dc is

capillary pore diameter, hf is the height of the liquid, is the surface tension
of a liquid, is the contact angle, is viscosity of a liquid and t is time.

Patnaik et al (2006) have contributed a review on wetting and

wicking in fibrous assemblies. Reza Masoodi et al (2010) have recently
looked at the effect of externally applied liquid pressure on wicking in paper
wipes. Darcy’s law and capillary-tube flow form the basis of two separate
theoretical models which were tested through experiments. Darcy model is
found to work better under zero hydraulic pressure, i.e. pure wicking
however, capillary model is more accurate when the incoming liquid is
pressurized. An increase in the applied pressure led to an increase in the liquid
absorption rate and a decrease in the saturation time. Reza Musoodi’s work
has shown the effect of externally applied liquid pressure into three paper
wipes for the first time.

Textile fabrics play an important role in the day to day life of every
human being. They are used not only as clothing materials but also in many
life saving end uses and a host of industrial applications. Their applicability
for many end uses is determined by their liquid transport properties. Many
techniques have been developed and used to characterise and transport
properties of textile structures. Although liquid transport studies have been
carried out on different fabrics, the influence of fabric structural features has
not been fully explored.

Investigations of kinetics of liquid transport through fabrics is

important not only from the point of view of end use performance of fabrics
in every day apparel and size of the small capillaries present in textiles.
Liquid transport which occurs through the capillaries is called wicking. In
wicking water is transported due to capillaries present in the fabrics and water
is stored in the capillaries that are formed between fibres and yarns. Thus the
primary driving forces responsible for the movement of liquid in textile
structures are the forces of capillarity which originate from the surface and
interfacial tensions at the phase interfaces of the system. Theory of liquid
flow in narrow closed and continuous capillaries is well documented.
According to the theory, capilary forces are governed by the properties of
liquid, contact angle and geometric configurations of the pore structures. For
an ideal capillary, capillary pressure (P) because of which transport of liquid
occurs inside capillaries is a function of surface tension of liquid (r) contact
angle ( ) and radius of pore ( i) and its magnitude is given by the Laplace

2x x cos
P (2.95a)

If the capillary pressure (P) is greater than the pressure of a liquid

column inside capillary then liquid is driven upwards then to the net positive

force. The pressure of a liquid column inside capillary is Lgh where L is the
density of the liquid g is the acceleration, due to gravity and h is the height to
gravity and h is the height of liquid inside capillary. Liquid rises until both
pressures become equal at which, the set force driving the liquid becomes
zero. Height of the liquid column at this position is called equilibrium
wicking height (Leq) and it can be expressed by the following equation,

2x x cos
Leq (2.96)
i xgx L

In classical capillarity theory, the rate of rise of a liquid in a vertical

cylindrical capillary tube is given by the following equation developed by
Washburn. This equation describes the kinetics of liquid movement in an
ideal capillary. Kinetics of wicking in textile structures such as yarns and
fabrics is often investigated by fitting the experimental data to famous Lucas-
Washburn equation. When the effect of gravity is neglected, at low values of t
and when the height of liquid rise (L) is much smaller than Leq, Lucas-
Washburn equation is given by

rSi x x cos
L xt 0.5 (2.97)

= K x t0.5 (2.98)

where, is the viscosity of the liquid. Parameter K is often referred to as

wicking coefficient or wicking rate and determined by fitting the experimental
data to the above equation.

Capillary theory discussed above forms a fundamental basis for the

studies of liquid transport in textile structures since textile structures also
comprise large number of capillaries which are formed due to interfibre and

interyarn spaces. These capillaries are, however, open, discontinuous and are
connected in a very complex manner. Liquid transport in textile structures has
been studied by several methods. These methods are based on three modes of

(a) Total immersion of the substrate inside liquid.

This measures the time required for a sample to completely
sink inside the liquid.

(b) Absorption of a liquid from an unlimited reservoir.

The yarn of fabric is immersed at one end in a liquid and
height or weight of liquid absorbed is measured.

(c) Absorption of a limited liquid quantity such as a drop of a


where either the time needed for the drop to sink into the fabric or the area
covered by the spreading drop is measured.

The first method, although simple and quick, is rarely used for
research proposes as it gives very limited information about the pore structure
and the kinetics of the absorption process. The other two methods have been
widely used by research workers as they provide relevant information and
mimic the spreading process of many industrial operations. The findings of
these studies on yarns and fabrics are summarised in the following sections.


1. Yarns

Several basic studies have been carried out on liquid transport

through yarn from an unlimited reservoir. The technique consists of
measuring the liquid front when liquid is flowing through vertically or

horizontally clamped yarn with its one end dipped in an infinite quantity of
liquid. In advanced versions of this technique, liquid flow is measured by
analysis of CCD images taken during capillary rise of coloured liquid in
yarns. Another technique is setting liquid sensitive sensors regularly along the
yarn segment. In the last technique, the weight variation of the liquid in the
yarn or force exerted by the liquid on yarn can be measured with a sensitive
electronic balance. Bayramli et al (1991) used it for glass fibres coated in
various ways and thus could measure axial capillary flow. However, this
technique is too delicate to use with spun staple fibre yarns, because of the
flexible nature of the yarns and also due to the fact that wetting force can
exceed the effects of capillary forces. Use of this method is more difficult in
the case of texturized yarns as they exhibit a tendency to recoil.

All of the above studies have showed that wicking of liquid in

yarns follows the Lucas-Washburn equation. The experimental data obtained
using the above methods is often fitted to

ri x cos
L xt 0.5 (2.99)
= Kt0.5 (2.100)

Capillary radius can also be determined of the liquid properties –

surface tension viscosity and contact angle for the solid – liquid pair are

The transport of liquid through yarns having complex cross

sectional geometry has been studied. Unusual and complex geometries arise
due to the use of triangular, square elliptical or criss-cross shaped fibres in
yarns instead of usual round shaped fibres, Zhang and coworkers (2007)
models the liquid flow in yarns consisting round, square, triangular and criss-
cross shaped fibres using integrated Reed-Wilson and shaped fibre bundle

mathematical simulation model (MFB). They determined the parameters such

is numbered of capillaries and average capillary radius by analysing the fibre
bundle cross-sectional images simulated from MFB. The authors observed the
highest initial wicking rate in the case of cross fibres followed by double
cross, round triangular and square shaped fibres. Rajagopalan and Aneja
(2001) modeled yarns having circular and elliptical fibres of polyflow. They
used their models to understand the effect of geometric and material
parameters on liquid transport. Their models predicted that as the
nonoundness of the filament increases, or the void area between the filaments
decreases, the maximum liquid height increases while initial rate of wicking

For twistless yarns, rate of wicking and equilibrium wicking height

have been shown to depend upon packing density. Effective capillary radius is
lower when packing density is higher. Packing density changes with the
tension applied on the yarn. Liu et al (2008) studied the effect of tension on
wicking height in their study on the effect of twist on wicking. They observed
that initially wicking height increased rapidly with tension and then became
steady. At certain tension level, yarns attained maximum packing density
which remained constant upon any further addition of tension. Nyoni and
Brook (2010) also obtained similar trends in their study.


Wicking of liquids in fabrics from an unlimited reservoir is

typically studied by immersing one end of vertically hung fabric strip in liquid
bath. Measurements can be carried out in different ways. Height of the liquid
rise with time can be measured manually using a ruler, electromagnetic
induction using electrical sensors or by the analysis of the images taken
during wicking. Alternatively, the weight absorbed by fabrics with time can
be measured by electronic micro-weight balances or the force exerted on

fabrics can be measured by micro force gauges. In another simplex method,

height or weight of the liquid in fabric is measured aster certain standard time.

Wicking studies have been widely used to compare the wettability

and absorption properties of different types of fabrics. For example Hollies et
al (1957), studied the wicking of liquids in fabrics and yarns from those
fabrics using electrical sensors. The fabrics were made from cotton, wool
nylon, polyester and blends of them. The transport of water along fabrics was
shown to depend on the laws of capillary action. The authors also found that
the rate of travel of water in these capillaries was readily reduced by the
presence of randomly arranged fibres in the yarn. They concluded that
orientation of fibres is more important than the nature of the fibre material in
blended fabrics. They further found that the rate of travel of water in a group
of wool-type blended fabrics can be well correlated with their thermal
resistance properties, and both appeared to depend on the arrangement of the
individual fibres in the fabrics. Random arrangement of the fibres in the yarns
led to fabrics along which water travels slowly and which also possess
increased thermal insulation in the moist state.

In another study, Yoon and Buckley (1984) used wicking tests to

compare the absorption properties of polyester/cotton fabrics. They observed
that wicking rate was higher in the wale direction than in the course direction
and the rate in an intermediate direction fell within these two limits. They
observed substantial variation in wicking behaviour as the fibre composition
varied in the fabric samples. The 100% cotton and 50/50 blend fabrics
showed a rapid wicking behaviour and the wicking rate sharply dropped as
the polyester content increased.

When wicking studies are done using weight balance or force

balance method, force of wetting can be observed. According to Wilhelmy

principle when a solid is partially immersed in a liquid the wetting force (Fw)
exerted by the liquid on the solid is given by

Fw = Ps x LV x cos (2.101)

where Ps is the perimeter of the solid along touching boundary of the liquid,
LV is the surface free energy of the liquid-vapour interface or the surface
tension of the liquid, and is the contact angle. Hsieh’s (1994) contributions
on wetting are many. Their work showed that wetting characteristics of
fabrics do not depend on their configuration i.e. length of fabric width of
fabric fabric-water interface depth and fabric direction and it only depends on
the material (fibre) properties). This means that wettability of any fabric is the
same as the wettability of its constituent fibre and contact angles for fibre-
liquid and fabric-liquid are identical. Wicking on the other hand depends on
the fabric properties, specially the parameters which affect the pore size or
pore connectivity.

Wicking studies have also been used to study the penetration of

resin into composites by Patel and Lee (1996). They carried out studies using
the force balance method mentioned above. In their study, they monitored the
vertical wicking of the liquid into the fibre tows as a function of time, and the
weight changes were recorded. They corrected the weights for the buoyancy,
and the wetting effects. This correction was obtained at the end of the test
when the weight of the fibrous assembly is constant. The correction was then
applied to all the weights from the start of the test. The corrected weight
(mwick) values were then converted to the height of the liquid column (hwick)
by the equation:

m wick
h wick (2.102)
xA cs x s

where Acs and f are the cross sectional area and the porosity of the fibrous
assembly, respectively. The porosity of the fibrous assembly was calculated
using the total weight of liquid wicked in the fibrous assembly at steady state.
From values of hwick the authors determined permeabilities of fabrics by fitting
the data to Washburn equation. The authors found that reduction of resin
surface tension favours, the wetting and wicking kinetics. Although lower
fibre reinforcement porosity resulted in a higher capillary pressure, it reduced
permeability. Thus there would be an optimum porosity at which the
spontaneous impregnation rates are the highest.

Another important purpose of wicking studies is to characterise the

porosity, pore connectivity and pore size of the fabrics. Hsieh et al (1994)
used wicking studies to determine the liquid absorption capacity porosity
liquid uptake rate and mean or effective pore cross sectional area of cotton
and polyester fabrics. The study was carried out using the force balance
technique. Liquid absorption capacity (CL) is the final weight recorded by the
microbalance. Using known value of CL, porosity ( ) values were then
calculated by the authors using equation

CL r
1 C L xr

where r is the ratio f, the density of fibre and L the density of liquid.

The authors argue that vertically hung fabric method gives more
appropriate values of porosity than the other methods such as mercury
porosimeter, liquid porosimeter or direct determination of porosity. The
authors state that mercury and liquid porosimeter gives somewhat wrong
values as experiments are needed to be carried out under pressure which
causes change in structure. Direct method also gives erroneous porosity
values as the thickness of fabrics is measured under some standard pressure

which changes the geometry of the pores. The porosity is calculated from the
following formula:

1 (2.104)

where b is bulk density of fabric and f is density of fibre. Bulk density ( b)

can be calculated using the following formula:

Fabric weight (g / cm 2 )
b (2.105)
Fabric thickness (cm)

Liquid uptake rates for different fabrics were determined and

compared by authors by plotting a graph of force vs time, mean pore area
(Am) or effective pore cross sectional area (Ae) which are very good measures
of porosity, pore connectivity and liquid in fabrics having different kinds of
fibres, yarns and configurations, were calculated, by the authors by using the
following equations.

Am (2.106)

where Wt is liquid retention amount in the fabrics at the end of liquid

transport in the vertically hung fabrics, is length of fabrics and is density
of liquid

dw xA 5/2
e x x cos 1 2
xA 5/e 2
xg * (2.107)
dt 4x 1/2 x w 8x 1/ 2 x

where w is mass uptake of liquid, Ae is effective pore cross sectional area

g* is the effective gravity in the direction of liquid movement and is

viscosity of liquid. Ae and g* are determined from the slope and interception
of the plot

dw 1
vs (2.108)
dt w

To acquire information about pore size and level of pore

connectivity, the authors conducted liquid transport experiments on vertically
hung fabrics of different lengths.


Capillary phenomena in fibrous media are of great importance in

wetting and wicking in textiles. In woven textiles, the fibres are more or less
parallel inside a yarn and most synthetic fibres are close to cylindrical in
shape. Therefore, a study on capillary rise between cylinders may lead to a
better understanding of the behaviour of liquids in textile materials. Although
extensive research has been reported in this area (Lukas and Chaloupek 2003,
Lukas et al 2006, Princen 1968, Princen, 1969, 1970), most of those studies
only considered cylinders of equal size, and the packing of cylinders was
assumed to be uniform and regular.

As discussed by Hollies et al (Hollies et al 1956, Hollies et al 1957)

during wicking of a liquid in fabrics the constituent yarns are responsible for
the main portion of the wicking action. Therefore considerable research has
been conducted to study the wicking behaviour in textile yarns. Similar to
liquid transport in porous media, most models to simulate the capillary flow
in yarns can be classified into two main categories: One is to treat the yarn as
an equivalent capillary tube in which the flow can be characterised by the
Lucas Washburn equation, and the other is to consider the yarn as a
homogenous porous media in which the flow can be described by Darcy’s

law. With modifications to the LW equation, models of the first category were
applied to study nylon yarns (Hollies et al 1956, Hollies et al 1957, Minor et
al 1959, Nyoni and Brook 2006) cotton and visease yarns (Hamdaoui et al
2007); PET yarns (Perwuelz et al 2001, Perwuelz et al 2000) and carbon fibre
bundles (Bayramli and Powell 1991). However, the equivalent capillary
radius and the equivalent contact angle in the LW equation are difficult to
quantify, and they are always derived experimentally. Although most models
of the second category are used to study axial impregnation (Amico and
Lekakou 2000, 2002a, 2002b, Deng et al 2003) they can be easily extended to
investigate transverse flow normal to the axis of yarn (Bayramli and Powell
1990, Pillai and Advani 1996, Young 2004b). However, characteristic
parameters of pore structure such as permeability, porosity are also difficult to
quantify and they are always obtained by experiments. Besides these two
categories, there are also some other available models to analyze liquid
wetting in fibrous assemblies, such as Ising model (Lukas and Pan 2003,
Lukas et al 2004, Zhong et al 2001, 2002, Zhong and Xing 2004).

There are several methods to measure wicking in yarn. The first

was based on visual observations of dye liquid penetration (Ansari and
Haghighat 1995), Hollies et al 1956, Minor et al 1959). The second technique
is to set liquid sensitive sensors along yarn and measure the electrical
capacitance/resistance (Hollies et al 1957, Kamath et al 1994). The third
method is to measure weight variation with a Wilhelmy balance (Hsieh and
Yu 1992, Hsieh et al 1992, Pezron et al 1995).

The research on wetting and wicking behaviour in fabric were

reviewed by Kissa and Patnaik et al (Kissa 1996, Patnaik et al 2006): On the
basis of different wicking processes, the wicking of a liquid into fabric could

be divided into four categories. On the basis of different wicking processes,

the wicking of a liquid into fabric could be divided into four categories:

a) Immersion: When the fabric was completely immersed into a

liquid, this kind of wicking occurred. The liquid entered the
fabric from all directions.

b) Transplanar wicking: The transport of a liquid in a fabric

perpendicular to the plane of the fabric.

c) Longitudinal wicking: The transport of a liquid in a fabric

plane was termed, “longitudinal wicking”.

d) Wicking from a limited reservoir: This kind of wicking was

epitomised by the spreading of a liquid droplet into a fabric.

Of all the research on these four wicking patterns, longitudinal

wicking has been the subject of numerous studies (Hsieh 1995, Amico and
Lekakou 2000, Hamdaoui et al 2006, Pezron et al 1995), the distance covered
by a modified LW equation (Hamdaoui et al 2006, Hsieh 1995, Perzon et al
1995) or by Darcy’s law (Amico and Lekakoy 2000). If Darcy’s law is used
to describe liquid transport in fibrous assemblies for the wide range of
conditions associated with what is traditionally referred to as wetting and
wicking, then capillary pressure and permeability values must be known for
conditions ranging from a textile structure with no liquid in it to a textile
structure where all void spaces are filled with liquid.

Recently, Das et al (2011) have dealt with the prediction of vertical

wicking behaviour of yarns in particular multifilament yarns. They have been
able to predict the vertical wicking behaviour of fabrics produced from
multifilament yarns.

Nyoni and Brook (2006) have studied the effect of yarn structure
and tension on the wickability of nylon 6.6 continuous and textured filament
yarns. The wicking performance was significantly affected by the tension
applied and twist inserted. The paper also discusses the unsaturated, saturated
and dry zones, which agrees with other studies carried out using image
analysis techniques.

Nyoni’s contribution to wicking is a very valuable one as it deals

with the effect of yarn structure and twist which are the principal factors that
affect the yarn properties. His methodology merits consideration as it has
been able to reveal the hidden subtleties in wicking of yarns and fabrics. The
efforts he has taken to carry out wicking of fabrics subjected to cyclic loading
deserve credit.