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Volume 3, Issue 4, Winter2004

The Development of Woven Velours for the Transportation Market

Scott Manley
Nancy B. Powell
NCSU University


Woven pile fabrics may be found in upholstery, apparel, and industrial applications. This fabric
formation technology may produces a variety of pile heights and densities appropriate to the end
use. The development of woven velour fabrics for upholstery has become a specialized
competency with few training possibilities outside the machinery manufacturers or in house
training at the few companies who hold the experience and expertise. This research looks at the
fundamentals of pile weaving and in particular, the steps in producing a woven velour for the
high performance standards of automotive and other transportation upholstery. This research
should be helpful to students, academics and industry as it provides information on the design
and manufacturing processes in the US market providing examples for technical specifications
and simulations.

Keywords: pile weaving, velour, velvet, automotive upholstery

Introduction Velour - "From the Latin vellosus, meaning

hairy. The material is a thick bodied, close
The terms velvet and velour are used napped, soft type of cloth. Generally
interchangeably by many in the textile speaking, a velour is a cloth that runs from
industry. The difference between the two is 10 to 20 ounces per yard, and is given a face
based on the weight and density of the fabric finish" (Linton, 1973).
being described. Though the term velvet is
used most often to specifically describe a Woven Velvets in the North American
woven warp pile fabric, the term velour has Markets
come to be used frequently to describe any
fabric with a pile. Textile dictionaries offer Woven velvets and velours can be found in
the following: every textile market: Apparel, Automotive,
Home Furnishing, Contract Upholstery,
Velvet - "From the Latin vellus, meaning a Transportation, and Industrial/Specialty
fleece or tufted hair." 1 “A cut warp-pile Fabrics. Each use is represented by a
fabric, originally of silk, in which the cut uniquely constructed product depending
ends of the fibres form the surface of the upon the cost, aesthetics, and performance
fabric" (Textile Institute, 1995). expectations of the customers. The two
largest markets for this product are
Automotives and Home Furnishings.

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Traditionally pile or plush fabrics were used Truck in North America (Moon, 2004) and
in automotive for not only seat upholstery Japanese passenger cars.
but also for side walls and window channel .
lining. (Berry, 1964) The woven pile fabrics Woven velvet suppliers to North American
used in these markets fit into the velour market include Milliken, C&A, Guilford,
category. Woven velours used by the U.S. Chatham Borgstena, Suminoe, and
automotive seat manufacturers in 1998 Kawashima. Woven velours are widely
represented about 23% of all automotive used around the world in bus, coach and rail
seating fabrics or approximately 21.5 upholstery, primarily of wool or a blend of
million yards. Likewise the usage in the polyester and wool. John Holdsworth of
U.S. home furnishings area was 11% of all England is a major supplier of woven
fabrics used or approximately 34 million jacquard wool velvets to the bus, coach,
yards. ferry, and rail markets. Culp, Joan, LaFrance
and J.B. Martin also have woven velour
Currently woven velvets are more likely to capabilities in the U.S. but are primarily
be found in a rugged vehicle like Chevrolet focused on the home furnishings markets.

Figure 1. Van de Wiele Jacquard Velour VTR machine (Used by permission of Van de

Woven pile construction being brought in from the yarn creel on the
left and separated jacquard fabric pieces
Although there are other ways of forming a being rolled onto frames on the right. These
velour fabric such as the wire method, this machines run around 300 double
paper’s primary focus will be on the picks/minute depending upon the yarns
production of current transportation velours. being woven and the nature of the fabric
The method of choice for producing velours being made. The shedding motion is usually
today is to use a double insertion rapier controlled either by rotary dobby or jacquard
machine. There are two manufacturers of head. The pile warp yarn is either fed
such machines today: Van De Weile and (dobby) or pulled (jacquard) into the feld of
Gunne. These machines produce two pieces the fabric. The sandwich structure is made
of fabric at one time in sandwich form and by the interlacing of the pile warp yarns
cut the sandwich by means of a between the picks of the top and bottom
reciprocating knife blade on the front of the pieces of fabric. (See Figure 2.)
machine. Figure 1 shows pile warp yarn

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Figure 2. Woven Construction Sandwich Source: Scotweave

The current, significant design limitations of repeat size of a common tie-up could not
the dobby double rapier velour machines exceed about 27" even though you might
are: have as few as 2400 ends in the pile. This
• Maximum of ten harnesses capable was because to weave patterned pile fabrics
of three position (pile) weaving. you must have three-position capability for
• Maximum of three sets of delivery the pile ends - up, down, and center. (See
rolls for pile. Figure 3). This effectively halved the
number of hooks available to be used in
Jacquard controlled pile eliminates these your pattern.
design restraints. In the recent past, the

Figure 3. Three Position Jacquard Weaving (Manley, 1999)

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Today, with the advances made in Jacquard pile heights, require hours to change
technology and with the introduction of the compared to a dobby machine on
super jumbo heads with over 6000 hooks, it which pile height can be changed in
is possible to weave full width fabric of minutes.
approximately 60" without having a repeat • Higher initial investment. Complete
in the tie. The switch from mechanical hook Jacquard set-up costs about 1/3
selection to electronic hook selection more than a dobby machine.
enabled Jacquard controlled velour
machines, which in the past ran around 190 Design and Development
picks/minute, to approach the speed of the
dobby controlled machines. Jacquard As with any fabric, there are specific
controlled looms now run in production parameters that define a particular style. For
around 240 picks/minute. Unlike the dobby woven velours as with most fabrics, these
machines, the Jacquard machines have no parameters are
delivery feeding systems for the pile. 1) the yarns
Instead they rely on the use of gauges, thin 2) the arrangements of the yarns
metal strips that are inserted through the 3) the movement of the harnesses
harness pack through the reed and into the 4) the draw-in-draft
feld of the fabric to maintain the distance 5) the density of the fabric and pile
between the top fabric back and the bottom height
fabric back. These gauges determine the 6) the finishing applied to the fabric.
pile height and therefore, the consumption
of pile yarn into the fabric. 1. Yarns
Some disadvantages of Jacquard machines
are: The ground warp and filling yarns, which
• Even with improvements they still make up the base of the fabric, do not
run 20 % slower than dobbies. usually contribute to the novelty effect of a
• Because the Jacquard machines pull woven velour fabric since they are covered
pile yarn from the creel rather than by the pile. In most transportation
being fed through delivery rolls, applications they are either natural and/or
they are prone to create tension solution dyed. When grin through, the
streaks in the fabric. effect of seeing the ground through the pile,
• Jacquard machines require carbon is not an issue the more cost effective
steel reeds because of the rubbing of natural or undyed yarns are used. These
the metal gauges. yarns, along with the weave structure, must
• Jacquard machines require more be selected to lock the pile tufts in the fabric.
floor space due to having a creel The size of the ground and filling yarns to
behind them for the pile yarn. For be used is dependent upon the:
this same reason it also requires a • picks/inch
pencil tube winding process to put • ends/inch
the pile yarn on small packages. • pile yarn size
• Although there is great flexibility in • ground weave
patterning, there is very little
flexibility in changing the In many cases, filament yarns primarily
construction that a machine creates. polyester are used for these applications
The tie-up complete with comber- because of the advantages they offer in cost
board and spring-board is virtually and runability. In cases where better tuft
one off items that require weeks to lock is needed, spun yarns can be used. The
prepare, install, and draw. The hairy, rough textures of these yarns tend to
gauges, which are the means to vary provide bulk and slide resistance and

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therefore, a better lock of the pile tuft. for the gain in finishing. The challenge in
Other key performance issues to consider in this is the handling of the greige fabric
selecting the ground and filling yarns are which is now even more susceptible to
drapability, moldability, stretch/elongation, damage. Another draw back to allowing
and grin (pile break). The drapability and the fabric to shrink is that most of the
moldability can be improved by using yarns capacity to manufacture woven velours is at
with some rayon content in the ground and maximum on-loom widths of just over 65".
filling. This seems to be especially helpful This yields off-loom greige widths of about
when the fabric is formed using a steaming 60". To get stretch from shrinkage the
process. fabric must be quoted at less than the
standard 69" width for automotives.

In very limited application such as stage

curtains, the fabric performs better with as
little stretch as possible. In such a case
higher tenacity yarns used in the ground
and filling in conjunction with calendaring
the fabric back gives very low stretch.

The recent trend in automotives among the

transplant OEM's is to require less grin or
pile break. Grin or pile break is the
Figure 4. Pile tufts (Source: Scotweave.) tendency of woven velours to open
vertically (warp wise) when bent or to be so
under constructed that the ground shows
Stretch is a primary concern for many through. These customers now prefer
woven velour users. The need to lock the lower, more dense pile. This can be
pile by the ground and filling yarns greatly obtained by increasing the greige density
limits the weaves that can be used. The and/or by shrinking the fabric in finishing.
ground weave is most commonly a one- Using higher shrink yarn is also an effective
up/one-down two by two basket weave way to minimize pile break but, poor hand
(best tuft lock) or a plain weave (used for usually result from the curling of the pile
"w" weave pile or very dense "v" weave yarn when it shrinks. Yarn manufacturers
pile). These weaves yield poor stretch continue to experiment with hybrid yarns of
results. The use of specialty yarns such as differential shrinkages and high shrink
Lycra or PBT to overcome these yarns with lower DPF (denier/filament).
construction limitations has been a more
expensive but, successful way As it is the aesthetic part of the fabric, the
manufacturers have addressed the need for pile yarn is the most critical component of
more stretch. The use of such specialty the product. It usually comprises most of
yarns often required additional finishing the content by weight of all raw materials
processes to maximize their contribution. and therefore heavily affects the cost. Being
The stretch comes from shrinkage of the the surface effect, the pile yarn bears the
fabric and usually included overfeed and brunt of wear and testing. Damage to the
relax drying in the finishing. Needless to pile can be easily seen. As with other
say, the shrinkage adds to the cost by fabrics, the properties that yield the
increasing the density. To keep the fabric desirable characteristics are conflicting.
cost down and the density of the finished Many applications require soft hand that
fabric at a target construction, the griege requires lower DPF, denier/filament. For
material can be made less dense to account good abrasion and resiliency you need
higher DPF. For better coverage you need

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larger pile yarns or more tufts/inch, which element. Obviously, not all styles require
means more dents/inch or picks/inch since patterned warps. The order of these ends is
the pile tufts wrap around the picks. displayed in similar manner as other textile
constructions since the beaming or, in the
It is important to remember that small case of Jacquards, the creeling processes are
changes can add significantly to the cost. similar. Fabrics using patterned ground
Luster is a critical aesthetic and performance warps and filling stripes are found from
factor. Dull yarns are harder to cut and time-to-time but are rare and most often are
harder to dye but they are better for found in conjunction with areas of fabric
"whiteing-out" and "finger marking". Bright without pile (cutouts).
yarns in low light can give a luxurious
sheen. A great deal of effort goes into 3. The Weave
finding the optimum balance of cost and
characteristics for each automotive The motion of the harnesses determines how
customer’s performance standards and the fabric is physically put together. In the
design/brand image. The selection of the case of woven velour fabrics there are two
yarn to be used for the pile has greater separate but interrelated parts of the weave;
impact on the nature of the final product the ground weave and the pile weave. The
than any other raw material decision. ground weave must interlace with the pile
weave in such a manner as to provide a good
2. Warp Yarn Arrangements lock for the pile tufts. In most cases in
which a "v" tuft or one of its derivatives are
As with any fabric, the arrangement of the used for the pile, the ground weave is a two-
various yarns used in the pattern is one by-two plain weave with the pile in the
parameter that determines the fabric style. center of each pair of two ground ends. This
In most woven velour applications, the pile is the most common ground weave.
warps are the only "planted" or patterned

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Figure 5. Screen Captures from Velvet Dobby Designer (Source Scotweave: Technical Design Layout and Fabric simulation

The pile weave is generally depicted by a design capabilities further. Rarely, a four
cross sectional view of the harness motion end/dent dobby can be found due to
showing the relative position of each excessive cost. Once the cross section and
harness, up, center, or down, on each pick in the ground weave have been determined,
the pattern repeat. There can be more than this information is translated into a pattern
one pile end used to create a column of pile chain which is then used to set up the
tufts. The use of more than one pile machine.
end/dent adds to the cost due to yarn being
"buried" or "incorporated" into the ground Until recent years, woven velour design has
when not being brought to the face. This been done almost exclusively by hand. With
technique adds to the design capability of only a handful of manufacturers, the
the construction and is often used to create potential market for a woven velour CAD
multicolor, full-face designs. Today in the system was unattractive to software
U.S. most constructions have from one to developers. Most manufacturers of Jacquard
three pile ends/dent. Most Jacquards use woven velours use Sophis flat woven design
only two "frames", a term referring to the software in conjunction with a modified
sectioning of the creel but for our purposes input method to roughly simulate velour
meaning two pile ends/dent. The three designs. The designs are accurate but the
end/dent pile constructions are generally simulations are still two-dimensional.
found in dobby velours to expand their ScotWeave began development of a true

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woven velour software package in the late • weight of the fabric
1990’s. It has evolved into a technical • tuft-lock/pile-lay
design system for woven velours capable of
producing all of the outputs necessary to Some may be correctable in the finishing
manufacture the fabrics - cross sections, process while others will have to be
warp arrangements, harness draws, lifting corrected by altering the design and
plans, and specification sheets. This construction. Some, in particular, twills
software has limited simulation capability cannot be corrected and must be marketed
and can be used in conjunction with their as two different looks with two different
drape software. stock keeping units or part numbers for
each side of the fabric. Many of these
When designing woven velours, it is differences stem from the fact that the two
important to remember that differences sides of the sandwich are usually mirror
between the top and bottom pieces of the images of each other. This is the case of
sandwich may exist. These differences may twill direction and asymmetric color or
manifest themselves in: motif direction (See Figure 6).
• appearance

Figure 6. Variation in Top and Bottom Fabric Pieces (Manley, 1999).

Weight differences may stem from the through, and to lock in the pile tufts. If you
incorporation of the unseen pile yarns in the use different sized yarn in a pattern that
ground of the top and bottom fabric. This is always puts the smaller yarn in the even
usually done in an every-other-dent dents, then one side of the sandwich will be
arrangement (top/bottom/top/bottom) in lighter in weight than the other. This may or
order to keep the 50:50 ratio of ends, the may not be negligible. For this same reason,
need to form a shed for the rapiers to ride sides of the sandwich can look different on

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the back of the fabric due to the color back and forces you to utilize a less
pattern although the pattern looks identical desirable ground weave to lock in the pile-
on the face. This is probably not a problem on-every-pick weave. It is noteworthy that
but, needs to be explained to and understood cleaning of fabrics with cutouts is more of
by your customers. Differences of tuft-lock an issue since the deep voids act as traps for
or pile-lay probably relate to differences debris, earning them the name of "crumb
between the ground weaves of the two sides catchers" in some circles. There are other
of the sandwich and should be corrected. methods to arrive at similar effects without
the complexity of the set-ups required to
Weight differences between top and bottom produce true cutouts. Using high shrink
may also be a processing issue on the loom. yarns in addition to low shrink yarns
Care must be given to insuring that the pile achieves a faux cutout with less of the
is being slit in the center of the fabric crumb catcher issue. Embossing, etching,
sandwich. See Figure 7. As the knife blades and pattern shearing are also patterning
wear the presentation of the knife edge may methods that yield similar looks.
change. There must be frequent procedures
for comparing top to bottom tuft length and 4. Draw-In Draft:
maintaining the cutting system.
The draw-in drafts for woven velours are
similar to those of other woven products but,
have the additional pile elements (See
Figure 5). Since it takes a week or longer to
draw a set of harnesses, install them, install
the stop motions, and get the machine into
production, selection of flexible draws is a
must. These processes are labor intensive,
as there are no automatic draw-in machines
for woven velour looms. The draw-in draft
defines which harnesses work together to
produce one column of pile tufts. The draw-
in draft also shows how the yarns are to be
drawn in the reed. The pile ends can either
Figure 7. Separation of the Fabric Layers be drawn in the center of the dent with
(Source: Van de Wiele Looms) ground ends on both sides of the pile or in a
side draw with a reed wire on one side of the
The use of cutouts is an economical method pile and ground ends on the other. The side
to create patterns without the use of different draw is considered to be better for runability
pile yarns. A cutout is simply a place in the because it tends to reduce the stops and
pattern where the tufts have been left out. defects related to catches of the pile yarn.
When using cutouts, the ground warp and The center draw is considered to be better
filling yarns may become part of the for smooth cutting because it marginally
aesthetic quality of the fabric requiring the increases the locking of the pile. These are
use of fancy yarns and/or arrangements. "tweaks" that could help depending on the
Cutouts offer texture to the fabric that in nature of a particular style. If you have
some cases is a desirable quality. Because more than one pile end/dent, running a split-
the use of cutouts reduces the density of the by-the-dent reed draw reduces the rolling of
pile, the remaining tufts must bear the the pile ends caused by the rubbing of the
abrasion and crushing of testing and usage. rapiers on the yarn shed during insertion and
Sometimes, it is necessary to "beef-up" the removal and therefore, improves runability.
pile by doubling the density in those areas In this reed draw, one end of pile juxtaposed
that still have pile. This of course adds cost to others is drawn in one dent with the

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remaining pile end(s) drawn in the adjacent number of pattern repeats in an inch of
dent. In styles where crisp clear vertical fabric.
lines are desired, it may be better to run all
of the pile ends making a column of pile 36ppi / 6 picks/repeat = 6 repeats/in
tufts in the same dent.
Therefore; you have for harnesses 1 & 2:
5. Density and Pile Height: 4 tufts /repeat X 6 repeats /inch = 24 tufts/in

The height of the pile tuft affects We know that the tuft length is roughly
dramatically the softness of the face and equivalent to twice the pile height so to
how the fabric responds to abrasion and make the tufts required for harnesses 1 & 2
distortion. Again, opposing properties it takes 24 tufts/in X 2 (.110"ph) = 5.28
creates desirable characteristics. The shorter
pile generally performs better in testing and This is a ratio of yarn consumption to fabric
wear while the longer pile gives softer touch sandwich formed therefore, there are no
and better coverage. Remember, pile height dimensions associated with the final
adjustment on a dobby machine is a fifteen- number.
minute mechanical change while the same
for a Jacquard machine means changing the It is also necessary to determine the part of
gauges. the delivery required to make the "buried"
part of the pile for these harnesses. Based
The more pile that is fed into the fabric the on analytical study, the delivery of the plain
higher the delivery, or rate of consumption weave is about 1.10:1. Consider the number
of the pile will be. The delivery is of picks/repeat in the plain weave made by
calculated by determining how much yarn is these harnesses (2 picks/repeats X 6
consumed in one repeat of the pattern. For repeats/inch = 12 picks/inch) and divide this
example, consider the delivery calculations number by the picks/inch, the resulting
for a 36 pick/inch fabric with a two pile number is the proportion of the time these
end/dent draw making the following cross harnesses spend on this weave in picks/inch.
section in a 6 pick repeat: This percentage can be multiplied by the
1.10 delivery to get: (12 picks/in.
/36picks/in.) X 1.10 = .37 which is the
delivery that must be added to the tufting
delivery to arrive at the total delivery needed
for harnesses 1 & 2 to make this weave:
5.28 + .37 = 5.65 total delivery.

When we run through this same procedure

for harnesses 3 & 4, we get: 2.64 + .73 =
3.37 total delivery.

Figure 8. Two pick “V” Weave (Manley, Upon comparing the two deliveries, the
1999) lower delivery is 60% of the higher delivery.
This is important because the machine must
The delivery of harnesses 1 & 2 are the be geared to run the higher delivery and the
same so the ends for those harnesses could lower delivery is obtained by disengaging an
go on the same beam and delivery rolls. The electrical clutch 40% of the time. The
same is true for harnesses 3 & 4. To newest, most advanced dobby machines use
calculate the deliveries you must determine microprocessor controlled, independently
how many "v" tuft equivalents the harness driven beam let-off systems that offer better
makes in a repeat. Then determine the control. Jacquard machines rely on the

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pulling of yarn into the fabric from a creel. Woven velours are usually back coated with
Delivery calculations are still utilized for acrylic latex or a hot melt adhesive to
cost purposes as well as to determine what improve the tuft-lock. Particularly in the
size to make the pile yarn packages. case of automotives, the fabrics are often
laminated to poly-ether foam. In
Another way to increase the coverage of the applications where the laminated fabric can
pile is to increase the number of tufts/inch. be certified as a composite, the coating is
This is done by adding picks/inch or sometimes omitted. In addition to tuft-lock,
ends/inch. Adding picks is much easier coatings also help with FR (flame retardant)
since it is only a gear change or an input to requirements, percolation (the tendency of
the micro processor. Adding ends/inch fibers from backings or fillings to work their
requires re-reeding the draw and, if width is way to the surface of the fabric), and to
to be maintained, the addition of ends to the stabilize sewn seams so they do not distort
beams. As mentioned earlier, another under tension. Other treatments include
method of marginally increasing density is topical applications of softeners, stain
to allow more shrinkage in the finishing resistors, antistatics, antimicrobials, etc.
process. This method without changes in
the construction would result in narrower Construction Comparison
fabric and less yield.
Woven velours for the home furnishings
6. Finishing Applications market typically are low pick/inch (30-34)
and low sley (19dpi-21dpi) fabrics that
The finishing treatment of woven velours is utilize less costly acrylic and polypropylene
critical. The pile must be tip-sheared to pile yarns in low density constructions and
even the surface and it must be brushed to weaves. The pile is more laid than
open up the tufts. Brushing is also automotive velours (60 degrees) to mask the
necessary to set the pile angle. These open construction. Price pressure is
processes must be carefully controlled as tremendous in this market with the sell
pile height, fullness, and angle can greatly prices ranging from approximately $3.25 to
affect the appearance of the pattern and $6.25 per linear yard at widths of about 54".
color of the fabric. The use of heated cans
to reduce the floppiness of the fabric near Woven velours for automotive upholstery
the selvages before shearing or brushing are usually slightly denser. They generally
may be necessary to eliminate processing range from 34 picks/inch to 44 picks/inch
issues. Heating the fabric during brushing and from 20 dpi to 24dpi. Most of the
using IR heaters often makes the brushing fabrics utilize some variation of the "2 pick
more effective. 'V'" weave and are mostly full pile coverage.
Pile heights range from .090" to .115” The
Woven velours can be piece dyed, with care, tufts are most often erect or nearly erect in
by most methods. However, most of the angle. In order to get more design flexibility
velours produced in the U.S. today are either from the dobby machines, some 3 end/dent
package dyed or solution dyed because of constructions are used. Jacquards are
the limitations of color contrast and color usually 2 end/dent as mentioned before
complexity in the piece dye processes. because jacquard controlled machines
Piece dyed velours are now being used as inherently have much more design
bases for pattern finishing techniques such capability. The ground yarns are usually
as printing, etching, embossing, and pattern solution dyed polyester of about 450 denier
shearing, among others. These patterning and the filling is usually solution dyed
processes are certainly not exclusive to polyester of between 450 and 600 denier.
velours The pile yarn is in most cases filament
polyester of between 300 and 500 denier.

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At present, full dull pile is preferred because • wrong arrangements
it does not appear to finger mark as bad as • streaks
other lusters. Some, but very little, nylon is • lot-to-lot consistency
used as pile primarily due to cost and • mis-reeds
environmentally unfriendly dye carrier
systems. Polypropylene and wool blend There are some quality variables specific to
yarns are used for bus fabrics for there woven velours in either occurrence or
improved abrasion and flammability. appearance.
Novelty yarns used in these fabrics include
space dyed, knit-de-knit, dye/twist type, High and Low or uneven pile, some call it
color and slub injected, slub, bright luster, or wash-boarding, is caused by the action of
metallic-like yarns among others. New the rocker-bars (also called jerk-rods) in
yarns in the market are various microdenier relation to the delivery and the consumption
splitable polyesters (both mechanical and of the pile. The rocker-bars are the
chemical) for improved hand and suede mechanisms that temporarily store the
appearance. Selling prices can range from unused pile yarn that is delivered but not
$6 to $13 per linear yard at widths from 54" used because the ends from more than one
to 59". harness run through the same delivery. The
rocker-bars also serve the purpose of
Woven pile fabrics which have not been maintaining tension on the pile yarn during
separated into two panels are called harness movement. The mechanical
sandwich fabrics. These types of tensioning devices employed by the rocker-
constructions have potential for other uses in bars are springs. The tension exerted by a
automotives. Research in the creation of spring increases relative to its extension.
woven sandwich constructions for light Therefore, the longer the rocker-bar absorbs
weight, durable composites continues. These the delivered yarn, the lower the tension
polyurethane or resin impregnated woven applied to the ends on that harness.
velvets create composite panels used in Conversely the more the ends on a particular
transportation applications such as train harness are used relative to the other
flooring, convertible hard tops, boat hulls harnesses on that delivery, the higher the
and other vehicles (Judawisastra, H., 1998). tension applied to those ends. A balance
between consumption, delivery, and storage
of the yarn must be found to minimize the
Woven Velour Quality Concerns uneven effect. Most often, each harness has
its own rocker-bar for maximum draw
Many of the quality concerns of woven flexibility however, harnesses that move
velours are shared with other textile exactly alike or exactly opposite can run on
products: the same rocker bar.
• yarn defects

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Figure 9. Pile Delivery: Rocker Bars (Manley, 1999)

"J" tufts are usually considered to be an Pile density must be consistent. Barre' when
objectionable pile characteristic. This is the seen in the greige woven velour fabric
result the cutting action on a fabric sandwich manifests itself as horizontal bands of more
with poor tuft lock. This defect gets its and less dense pile and is usually caused by
name from one half of the tuft being shorter wear in the ground beam let-off. Another
than the other creating a "J" instead of a defect in inconsistent pile density is
"V". Actions that help tuft lock such as "pinholes"; this is caused by the take-up
using a different ground and/or pile weave, roller pins actually shifting the picks and
using larger or more bulky ground and therefore the pile in less dense constructions.
filling yarns, or using a center drawn pile (in "Pinholes" look like eyebrow shaped
the reed) should reduce the occurrence of distortions of the pile.
this defect. In some constructions for low-
end home furnishing fabrics, "J" tufting Tuft lock must not only be sufficient to
actually creates a more desirable finish. In make the greige fabric: the fabric must be
these fabrics, the coverage is very open and tightly enough constructed to make it to and
the pile is laid virtually flat. The "J" tufts through subsequent processing with the tufts
give the effect of higher pile and tend to intact. Even still, special care must be used
cover more of the open area. However, it is in the handling, transport, and processing of
not recommended that this be intentionally woven velour fabric. Bruised-backing can
developed into a fabric. The potential for occur when the back of the uncoated fabric
cutting related defects requires continuous rubs another object. Bruised-backing is the
maintenance of the blades and the cutting condition of having tufts partially pulled out
motion. Rough cutting results from dull or of the fabric as a result of the rub. Crush
improperly adjusted blades and insufficient marks or compression marks come from the
tuft lock. Chatter marks result from fabric being rolled too tightly or for too long
improperly adjusted or worn knife carriage of a period. Temperature and humidity are
guides. Moiré cutting can be caused by any variables that must be considered in
of the aforementioned items. planning for storage or transportation when
using certain fibers for pile. In prolonged

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Volume 3, Issue 4,Winter 2004
periods of shipping and storage, the fabric is Manley managed the production weaving,
usually suspended. beaming, and finishing departments for
woven velvets. Manley was also
Again, proper pile height, pile angle, and responsible for product design and
pile bloom makes an importance development and constructed a cost model
contribution to the desired appearance and for product line.
color of the fabric.
As Weave Plant Superintendent at
Conclusion: Collins & Aikman, Manley managed the
sample department, all plant capital
Woven velour design and manufacture are projects and contractor work, and
complex processes which must be evaluated and recommended capital
accomplished within the stringent equipment purchases for woven velours.
performance and price pressures of the Manley began his experience in woven
automotive industry. A multitude of velours as Shift Department Manager at
variables and their interactions can come Culp Woven Velvets
together to make a successful or
unsuccessful product. Once the physical Nancy Powell, Associate Professor, NCSU
aspects of the product have been University. Former Director of Design,
determined, colors and motifs must be Automotive Division, Milliken &
chosen that satisfy the design requirements Company.
of the automotive customer. It is most M.F.A., University of Georgia (1975)
certainly a challenge to accomplish this
while working within the limitations that Berry, E.B. (1964). The Designing of Pile
exist. It is this challenge to learn new ways Fabrics, Textile Designing, Pure and
to work within and expand these limitations Applied. School of Textiles, NCSU, Section
that makes creating woven pile textiles D
interesting Judawisastra, H., Ivens, J., Verpoest, I. The
fatigue behaviors and damage development
BIO: Scott Manley of 3D woven sandwich composites.
BS, Textile Management, Clemson The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary,
University (1991) (1973). George E. Linton, 4th edition: Braun-
As Senior Development Engineer / Brumfield, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan,
Technical Designer for automotive 1973. p. 627
development within Milliken & Co (1994 Textile Terms and Definitions, (1995).
- 2003), Scott Manley managed sample Textile Institute Terms and Definitions
manufacturing process for woven velour Committee. The Textile Institute, 10th
product line and all aspects of product edition, p.369
development. Previous experience included Manley, (1999). Textiles in Automotive
work in the successful start-up of a woven Conference, Clemson University.
velour manufacturing operation for
Guilford Mills as Technical Designer /
Production Manager for Automotive.

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Volume 3, Issue 4,Winter 2004