Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Although the traditional technologies and processes of producing fabric structures, via yarn spinning, weaving, knitting, lacing, tufting, or the like, continue to be the ‘major league’ players in textile manufacturing today, the modern hydroentanglement system, commonly known as “spunlacing,” has a good chance of dramatically transforming fabric manufacturing by efficiently converting a web or bat of an appropriate fibrous material directly into a woven-like nonwoven fabric of desired properties for specific treatments and functionalities for certain end-use applications. A typical woven fabric is produced today at a maximum rate of ~ 3 to 5 meters a minute, while a ‘similarly looking’ nonwoven fabric of same or similar constituent fibers can be produced at least at 100 m/min. No doubt, however, the hand, drape and uniformity of hydroentangled nonwoven fabrics are still less than satisfactory for certain apparel end-uses, but the research conducted by the ARS-USDA scientists in New Orleans has led to believe that the hydroentangling process metrics, coupled with proper selection of the fibrous substrates and the fabric finishing, can produce the resulting products of required or highly desirable attributes and functionalities, such as: 1) Improved absorbency, without chemical scouring, of partially hydrophobic greige cotton fabrics. This enables bleaching, dyeing and some special finishes including, among others, flame retardency, silver salt antimicrobial, disinfecting and cleansing of contaminated surfaces for institutional and industrial applications. 2) Almost negligible air and/or moisture permeability of light-to-medium-to-heavy weight fabrics of polyester, polypropylene, nylon or the blends thereof for parachutes, suitcases, tents and the like. 3) Advanced surface embossed patterns and textures of fabrics for certain industrial and institutional end-use applications. 4) Controlled stiffness of fabrics for interlining materials using blends of appropriate fibers. 4) Linens for hotels, motels, railways and hospitals.