Title:
COMPOSITE FABRIC AND A METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates generally to a composite fabric and a method and apparatus for manufacturing a composite fabric, especially suitable for apparel application, upholstery, bed and bath applications. In an embodiment, a composite fabric comprises a base fabric made by weaving or knitting. A plurality of gaps is disposed in-between the fibers of the yarns of the base fabric. A plurality of functional fibers is entangled in the gaps followed by swelling of the fibers, with predetermined retention to the yarns of the base fabric.



Inventors:
Kulkarni, Sachin (Ahmedabad, IN)
Application Number:
12/449990
Publication Date:
07/15/2010
Filing Date:
12/18/2007
Assignee:
Arvind Limited (Ahmedabad, IN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
442/181, 442/304, 28/104
International Classes:
D03D15/00; D03D25/00; D04B1/00; D04H1/498
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHOI, PETER Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NATH, GOLDBERG & MEYER (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A composite fabric, comprising: (i) a base fabric made by weaving or knitting; (ii) a plurality of gaps disposed in-between the fibers of the yarns of the base fabric wherein a plurality of functional fibers are entangled in the gap with predetermined retention to the yarns of the base fabric.

2. A composite fabric according to claim 1 further comprising a plurality of functional fibers locked in-between the yarns of the base fabric.

3. A composite fabric according to claim 2 further comprising a plurality of functional fibers in mutually entangled configuration.

4. A composite fabric according to claim 1 wherein the entangled functional fibers and the fibers of the yarns of the base fabric are permanently swollen.

5. A composite fabric according to claim 1 wherein the base fabric comprises at least one of a natural or a synthetic fiber.

6. A composite fabric according to claim 1 wherein the functional fiber is selected based on required properties and application of the composite fabric product.

7. A composite fabric according to claim 6 wherein the functional fiber includes at least one among the group consisting of phase change fiber, anti-microbial fiber, eco-friendly fiber, regenerated fiber, cotton, bamboo, nylon, silk, polyester and wool.

8. A composite fabric according to claim 6 wherein the fabric product is at least one among an apparel, upholstery, bed and bath fabric product.

9. A composite fabric manufacturing apparatus, comprising: (i) at least one first entanglement unit for stabilizing a base fabric; (ii) at least one second entanglement unit for entangling a plurality of functional fibers into the yarns of the base fabric, wherein the entanglement units are configured having a plurality of injectors and perforated drums operating at predetermined operating parameters so as to lock the functional fibers into the yarns of the base fabric.

10. An apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the drums are covered with sleeves having openness in the range of about 20% to 80%.

11. An apparatus according to claim 9 further comprises a means for maintaining the dimensional stability of the stabilized base fabric.

12. An apparatus according to claim 9 further comprises a means for squeezing the composite fabric.

13. An apparatus according to claim 9 further comprises a unwinding unit configured having a means for continuous monitoring and control of the original dimensions of the base fabric.

14. A composite fabric manufacturing method, comprising: (i) stabilizing and forming gaps in-between fibers in the yarns of a base fabric, using a fluid jet of predetermined first pressure; (ii) entangling a plurality of functional fibers in the gaps using fluid jet of predetermined second pressure wherein the functional fibers are coupled to the yarns of the base fabric with predetermined retention.

15. A method according to claim 14 wherein the fluid jet comprises water.

16. A method according to claim 14 wherein the first pressure is in the range of about 20 bar to 250 bar.

17. A method according to claim 14 wherein the second pressure is in the range of about 60 bar to 400 bar.

18. A method according to claim 14 wherein the length of the fluid jet is in the range of about 6 mm to 12 mm.

19. A method according to claim 14 wherein the jet size is in the range of about 0.07 mm to 0.3 mm.

20. A method according to claim 14 wherein the yarns are spun with substantially low twist levels and/or with substantially shorter and coarser fibers.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a composite fabric and a method and apparatus for manufacturing a composite fabric, especially suitable for apparel application, upholstery, bed and bath applications.

PRIOR ART

Conventional textile fabrics are produced mainly through weaving and knitting technology. This value chain starts from fiber selection and development/modification so as to bring them to a spinnable form. This is followed by spinning of the yarns. Many spinning technologies are known in the art. However, ring spinning is the most versatile and dominant one. Compact spinning is the latest advancement in this ring spinning technology. Spinning is followed by weaving or knitting process wherein yarns are interlaced or intermeshed together to form a fabric.

Woven fabrics are interlaced structures involving two series of threads i.e. warp and weft at right angles to each other. The fabric properties are governed by its constructional parameters like yarn count, thread density, yarn crimp, weave and area density which is a function of all other parameters. Fabrics are woven with variety of structures like plain, twills, ribs and combinations thereof. Woven fabrics find a wide range of applications as apparels like denims, bottom weights, shirting, ladies dress material etc. Compared to knitted fabrics, woven fabrics are well known for their graceful appearance, crease recovery and drape. But the properties like thermal insulation, water vapor permeability & air permeability are poor in these constructions because of compact structures resulting from the pressure of interlacing at the cross over points. In order to make these fabrics more functional with respect to insulation properties and water vapor transmission, wrinkle free, etc structural modifications need be done in combination with suitable additional materials/chemicals.

On the contrary, knitted fabrics are intermeshed structures, which are developed from a single source of yarn. They can be weft knitted or warp knitted. Since there is no axial alignment of threads in knitted fabrics they lack the gracefulness as in case of woven fabrics. Thus, the drape is poor and these fabrics are soft to handle. Most of these fabrics in use are weft knitted and preferred for next-to-skin inner garments or as casual wear. The crease recovery of these fabrics is also poor.

Thus, in order to improve aesthetics of these constructions without affecting their basic functionality, reinforcement may be provided which is loose in construction and has open fiber configuration. Knitted fabrics can find wide spread applicability with all desirable functional properties and dimensional stability as a formal wear.

Additional function can be introduced in a basic fabric through the structural modifications or through chemical finishes. While modifying the parent woven and knitted fabric structures, it should always be borne in mind that the basic properties should not be affected. The structure-property inter-relationships are so intense in textile materials, that one property cannot be altered in isolation from all other properties. Further, route of chemical finishes has a limitation of life of finish and also the fabric doesn't remain eco-friendly

Thus, the most appropriate approach is to achieve optimization with respect to all functional properties at the same time taking into consideration the economic aspects of production. A composite textile fabric is the best solution. While the composite structure results in better functionality, composite structures can be made out of combination of woven and/or knitted and for nonwoven fabrics or layers.

Nonwoven is a latest technology of forming fabric directly from fibers and/or filaments. It involves first step of preparation of web of fibers and/or filaments followed by the bonding of the fibers so as to form a fabric. Chemical bonding and thermal bonding are the known methods. Fabrics made through these processes are very stiff and lag in handle and feel and not suitable for any application next to human skin.

Known composite fabrics include at least one layer of a non-woven fabric added on as a fused or interlined layer on a base fabric made of a woven or knitted material. Some composite fabrics include a sandwiched non-woven layer in-between two woven, knitted or any other synthetic layers. However, both need to be produced separately in the beginning and then should be bonded together in a separate process either by using chemicals or by means of heat or by stitching. Also these layers always tend to behave as separate entities and the characteristics of the two layers may not be complementing each other. Additionally it is a long and expensive process to produce a composite fabric.

Thus, there exists a need for a composite fabric wherein (i) the fabric is soft and lofty and suitable apparel textile (ii) air permeability is excellent and controllable (iii) the fabric could be made using fibers which otherwise could not be made through conventional textile processes (iv) the fabric has improved tensile strength and bursting strength (v) throughput of the textile machine is improved (vi) obtains reduced value chain.

Further, conventional composite fabrics, methods and systems for manufacture of the same do not provide a fabric (i) wherein induced stresses in the fabric are substantially minimized without repositioning of the yarns and/or reduction in dimensions of the finished fabric (ii) hygienic and eco-friendly method of manufacturing a composite fabric (iii) a composite fabric whose strength and properties can be adjusted during manufacture so as to suit desired application (iv) a significantly wider range of application as against traditional textiles.

SUMMARY

In an embodiment, a composite fabric comprises a base fabric made by weaving or knitting. A plurality of gaps is disposed in-between the fibers of the yarns of the base fabric. A plurality of functional fibers is entangled in the gap, with predetermined retention to the yarns of the base fabric.

In an embodiment, a composite fabric manufacturing apparatus comprises at least one first entanglement unit for stabilizing a base fabric. At least one second entanglement unit is provided for entangling a plurality of functional fibers into the yarns of the base fabric. The entanglement units are configured having a plurality of injectors and perforated drums operating at predetermined operating parameters so as to lock the functional fibers into the yarns of the base fabric.

In an embodiment, a composite fabric manufacturing method comprises stabilizing and forming gaps in-between fibers in the yarns of a base fabric using a fluid jet of predetermined first pressure. A plurality of functional fibers is entangled in the gaps using fluid jet of predetermined second pressure wherein the functional fibers are coupled to the yarns of the base fabric with predetermined retention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a cross-section of a composite fabric according to an embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of an apparatus for manufacturing a composite fabric according to this invention.

FIG. 3 shows a flowchart of a method for manufacturing a composite fabric according to an embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Various embodiments of this invention provide a composite fabric. Further embodiments of this invention provide a method and apparatus for manufacturing a composite fabric. However, the embodiments are not limited and may be used in connection with various applications that will be described in later part of this specification.

FIG. 1 shows a cross-section of an embodiment of a composite fabric according to this invention, wherein the composite fabric (5) comprises a base fabric (1) made by weaving or knitting. A plurality of functional fibers (7) is coupled with predetermined retention to the base fabric (1). A plurality of gaps are disposed in-between the fibers of the yarns (3) of the base fabric (1). A plurality of functional fibers (7) is locked (entangled) into the gaps in-between the fibers of the yarns (3). A plurality of the functional fibers (7) is locked in-between the yarns (3) and the functional fibers (7) are also mutually entangled.

In an example, the base fabric (1) may comprise a natural fiber such as, a cotton fiber, vegetable fiber, etc. However, the base fabric (1) may also include a synthetic fiber. Examples of functional fibers (7) may include outlast fiber (phase change fiber), lyocell (anti-microbial fiber), organic cotton (eco-friendly fiber), Cotton, bamboo (anti-microbial), regenerated fiber (viscose), nylon, silk, polyester, wool or any other functional fiber depending on the required properties and application of the composite fabric product.

FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of an apparatus for manufacturing a composite fabric according to this invention, wherein the apparatus comprises a preparatory unit (80) for opening a bale of functional fibers (7) (not shown in FIG. 2) and feeding it on to a carding unit (90). The carding unit (90) converts the functional fibers (7) into the form of a web (110) and feeds on to a belt (120) that transports the web (110) to an entanglement unit (140). The web (110) obtained has predetermined properties such as, uniformity, linear density for example, in the range of 8 gm/m2 to 130 gm/m2, fiber orientation for example, completely random orientation up to 5:1 direction. It should be noted that the properties of the web (110) are controlled so as to obtain composite fabric properties like tensile strength, stiffness, recovery from the wrinkles, etc. The base fabric (1) is unwound by a fabric un-winder (10). The fabric unwinder (10) delivers the base fabric (1) under predetermined tension to an entanglement unit (130) maintaining the base fabric width. The tension in the base fabric (1) may be set in the range of 0 to 250 gms.

In an embodiment, an entanglement unit (130) comprises at least one perforated drum (D1) with or without sleeve and at least a pair of injectors (132). This entanglement unit (130) stabilizes the base fabric (1) and delivers the base fabric (1) to the next entanglement unit (140). A compaction belt (150) is provided to combine and compact the stabilized base fabric (1) and the web (110) from the carding unit (90). This is followed by entanglement of the functional fibers from the web (110) into the base fabric (1) thus forming a composite fabric (5). This entanglement is done using a plurality of drums (D2-D4) and injectors (142, 152, 162) at predetermined operating parameters. This is followed by a squeezing unit (160) that squeezes and removes excess water from the composite fabric (5) thus formed and delivers the composite fabric to a drying unit (170). The drying unit (170) comprises a plurality of steam heated drying cans and/or air-heated drums. Thus dried composite fabric (5) is wound on to a composite fabric winder (190).

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment wherein a composite fabric manufacturing method comprises preparing a web (110) of functional fibers using the preparatory unit (80) and the carding unit (90). The base fabric (1) selected is in unfinished grey or semi-finished or finished form. A fluid jet for example, water jet at predetermined pressure (example 20 bar up to 250 bar) is used for pre-wetting and entanglement of yarns in the base fabric (1) preferably at the cross over (intermeshing/interlacement) points and also reorganize the fibers in the yarns of the base fabric (1) to relax the prevailing stresses in the base fabric (1) thereby making the base fabric (1) stable.

Furthermore, in an embodiment of the method of manufacturing a composite fabric, the repositioning/reorganizing of the fibers simultaneously opens out the yarn structure in the base fabric (1). The opening out of the yarn structure in the base fabric (1) increases the surface area to generate additional space among the fibers to accommodate functional fibers (7) for entanglement.

In some embodiments, the fibers in the yarns of base fabric (1) may be treated with chemicals such as, caustic soda, ammonia, etc so as to facilitate availability of extra space for the functional fibers (7) to reside into. The base fabric (1) with yarns made out of partly or fully with the synthetic fibers may be heat set to stabilize and some times initiate the preliminary yarn-to-yarn and fiber-to-fiber bonding.

In some embodiments, fibers, yarns and/or the base fabric (1) itself may be treated with chemical adhesives, binders, etc so as to activate the surfaces thereby facilitating improved entanglement strength.

In some embodiment, fibers, yarns and base fabric (1) may be treated with plasma so as to activate the surfaces thereby facilitating improved entanglement strength.

In general, the base fabric (1) is constructed lightly facilitating achievement of required properties in the composite fabric (5).

In an embodiment, the yarns (3) of the base fabric (1) are spun with low twist levels (3% to 6%) and/or with much shorter and coarser fibers. This enables more yarn diameter and more free space among the fibers of the yarns (3). This also helps in fiber movement and creation of additional space during entanglement and stabilization of the base fabric (1). This helps in entangling more proportion of functional fibers (7) into the gaps among the fibers in the yarns of the base fabric (1).

Thus stabilized base fabric (1) is laid with functional fibers (7) from the web (110) followed by compacting.

A series of fluid jets at predetermined pressure (example 60 bar up to 400 bar) is used for entanglement of functional fibers (7) from the web (110) with the base fabric (1). In the process, functional fibers (7) are systematically separated out from the web followed by pushing them preferably in a single fiber form into the gaps created among the fibers in the yarn. For those functional fibers (7), which do not get this opportunity, are assembled in a proper format followed by their entanglement with the already entangled functional fibers (7) and at the end amongst themselves. For example, the number of fluid jets is at least two. This step is followed to lock the functional fibers 7 into the gaps in-between the fibers of the yarns (3). A plurality of the functional fibers 7 is locked in-between the yarns and the functional fibers 7 are also mutually entangled.

The high-pressure fluid jet is impacted on the base fabric (1) such that the fluid jet penetrates into the fibers of the yarn (3). The penetrated fluid jet further gets reflected at substantially in all directions from the surface of the sleeve or the surface of the perforated drum (D1) through the fibers in the yarn (3). The fibers in the yarn (3) get reoriented/reorganized wherein during such repositioning/reorganization of the fibers, the fibers absorb the energy from the fluid jet and thereby get relieved of their stresses and also reach to the minimum energy position.

The wet base fabric (1) delivered by the entanglement unit (140) is uniformly squeezed so as to remove excess water and at the same time facilitate further pushing of partially pushed-in functional fibers (7) into the spaces still available in the yarns and in the base fabric (1). In case of surface activated base fabric (1), the squeezing helps in creating uniform bonding thereby improving entanglement strength. The squeezing helps in reducing the overall weight of the composite fabric being offered for the drying under a predetermined tension. This weight reduction and reduction of mobilizing agent like water enables the reduction of the possibilities of weakening of entanglement points before they are frozen during drying.

A plurality of functional fibers is entangled to the base fabric (1) from at least one side of the base fabric (1).

In an embodiment, the perforated drums (D1-D4) are covered with sleeves with predetermined openness (example 20% up to 80%). This is one of the factors to control the entanglement strength.

The length of the fluid jet (example 6 mm up to 12 mm) decides the entanglement strength. For example, lower the length of the fluid jet, the entanglement strength initially increases followed by more scattering of the functional fibers (7) due to severe reflection from the surface of the drum and the sleeve, with further reduction thereby resulting into reduction of the entanglement strength.

A vacuum slot (6 mm up to 14 mm) in the perforated drum (D1) decides the amount of reflection of the fluid jet from the surface of the sleeve or the perforated drum (D1) and thereby the entanglement strength.

In an embodiment, the number of jets per inch is in the range of 10 up to 120. The jet size is in the range of 0.07 mm up to 0.3 mm. The number of rows of jets is in the range from 1 up to 3. These parameters decide the way of entanglement and the entanglement strength.

In an embodiment, the through-put rate of 10 m/min up to 100 m/min decides the residence time of entanglement zone on the composite fabric (5) and thereby the entanglement strength.

In an embodiment, the number of passes through the entanglement unit (140) also decides the entanglement strength. For example, increased number of passes will result in improved entanglement strength to an optimum. Further additional passes start deteriorating the entanglement strength and also composite fabric (5) becomes more stiff comparable to paper material.

In an embodiment, in the entanglement unit (140), on drum (D4) another side of the composite fabric (5) is treated by at least a pair of high-pressure fluid jets (example 20 bar to 120 bar) and preset parameters (0.07 mm to 0.12 mm jet size, 40 to 80 holes/inch, etc) to a necessary level thereby achieving the necessary surface effects require for apparel, upholstery, bed and bath applications.

In an embodiment, on the drum (D4), by selecting suitable sleeve and fluid jets, various surface effects such as striking off of loose hairs, loose color, embossing, aperturing effects may be created on the composite fabric suitable for apparel, upholstery, bed and bath applications.

In an embodiment, on drum (D4), by adjusting one of the fluid jets, at an angle (example 20 deg to 35 deg) to the drum and fabric surface thereby combing the yarn surfaces very effectively. This arrangement may be used for creating the effects equivalent to pitching or emery finishes on the composite fabric (5) surface suitable for apparel application.

The composite fabric (5) made according to this invention may be further processed using chemicals or heat so as to lock and freeze the entanglement points to a necessary level thereby achieving a balance between elastic and plastic movement.

Thus, according to the principles of this invention, the composite fabric can be made at an affordable cost in the following way.

Tear and Tensile strength of the base fabric (1) can be improved substantially by virtue of realizing the strength of fibers directly from the non-woven web combined with the base fabric (1). The composite fabric (5) can be made isotropic or anisotropic by controlling non-woven web geometry. Therefore, there is no need to use expensive fibers.

Fabric body can be improved, for example, a 11-ounce fabric can be made to feel like 14-ounce fabric. This can be achieved through web geometry and level of entanglement with base fabric (1).

Complete dimensions of the fabric can be retained to as close as possible to the loom/manufacturing stage dimensions with the achievement of best dimensional stability. Functional fibers from the web (110) which are locked into the yarn structures of the base fabric (1) will freeze the yarn positions as they are, resulting into minimal shrinkage potential and best dimensional stability.

Keeping the OE based fabrics, flatness and washdowns of ring yarns based fabrics may be obtained. Also, economical stretches can be developed through this route and flat washdowns can be achieved.

Wherever possible by using heavier functional fiber webs (110) of waste and/or blend of waste and virgin fibers, basic fabric can be made lighter and/or thinner thereby saving overall costs.

Also, there will be a great opportunity for bringing down the raw material cost. The usage of expensive fibers can be curtailed in the conventional fabric process and can be supplemented by proper selection of fibers, web geometry, hydro-entanglement energy and number of passes through the hydro-entanglement process. This is a most economical way.

Conventionally, functions are introduced in the fabric by way of chemical finishes that do not stay long. Expensive functional fibers are blended with regular fibers. And one doesn't have a direct control on fiber position in yarn structure. Accordingly, there will not be a complete realization of benefits of these functional fibers. Also, if the fibers are of different origin, will call for dyeing of both which would be an expensive proposal.

In an embodiment, according to this invention, in a composite fabric, we can place only required quantity of fibers at the right place and realize the complete benefits. Also, in case of backside functional layer, the fibers selected need not be dyed or else one can use predyed fibers and initiate the action. Since these fibers are of only adequate quantity and are properly entrapped into yarn structures, the fibers will stay long enough and offer functions for a substantial long time.

    • Functions that can be inculcated are as follows:
    • High absorbency for comfort
    • High wicking, transportation and release for high comfort
    • High wicking, transportation and slow release for temperature regulation
    • Entrap heat for warmth
    • Wrinkle free
    • Wrinkle resistant
    • Stretches
    • Vegetable fiber based functional fabrics
    • Fluorescent/Reflective exteriors
    • Metal fiber based antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal
    • Protective/Filtration
    • Stain, water, oil Repellent/Resistant

According to the principles of this invention, the applications of the composite fabric may include:

Denims

    • 1) Chamrey with 10 gsm web through Expresso™ for trouser and five pocket jeans
    • 2) OE to Ring through Expresso™ technology with/without new AT rotors
    • 3) Vegetable fiber denims
    • 4) Expresso™ denims
    • 5) Unstable construction with 200-gsm web
    • 6) Truly Organic Denims
    • 7) Rope to Sucker Muller for dark shades using Plasma activated warp sheet
    • 8) Plasma treated dull Polypropylene/Polyester spun and/or filament based Indigo
    • 9) Dyed Denims
    • 10) Electronics integrated—Denims

Khakhis

    • 1) 16*12 with DP 4
    • 2) PCM khakhis
    • 3) Truly organic Khakhis
    • 4) Durable stain and water repellency using film/membrane and staple fibers through combination of Expresso™ and thermal/steam bonding technology
    • 5) Durable functionalities through functional fibers
    • 6) Work wear and protective wears
    • 7) Vegetable fiber khakhis
    • 8) Expresso™ khakhis
    • 9) Long life chemical finishes using plasma activation technology.

Knits

    • 1. Cotton sports wear using cotton fiber web and Expresso™ technology.
    • 2. Knitted stretch Indigo denims
    • 3. PCM knits
    • 4. Truly organic knits
    • 5. Multilayer undergarments using viscose/silk fiber web from bottom side and Expresso™ technology.
    • 6. OE to Ring knits
    • 7. Durable Functionalities through functional fibers from bottom side and Expresso™ technology.
    • 8. Vegetable fiber knits
    • 9. Electronics integrated knits
    • 10. Long life chemical finishes using plasma activation technology
    • 11. Semi durable and durable knits using staple fiber web and Expresso™ technology with or without chemicals

Shirts

    • 1. DP 4
    • 2. PCM shirts
    • 3. Durable functionalities through functional fibers and Expresso™ technology.
    • 4. OE to Ring shirts
    • 5. Plasma activated yarn dyed shirts. Plasma activation will help high exhaustion rates and thereby reduction in dyes and chemical consumption. This will reduce the loss of yarn strength. Overall this will result into deeper and darker shades at lower cost. Possibly, one can also save on fiber cost.
    • 6. Long life chemical finishes using Plasma activated shirting fabrics
    • 7. Electronics integrated shirts
    • 8. Semi durable and durable shirts using staple fiber web and Expresso technology with or without support of chemicals.
    • Furthermore, according to the principles of this invention, the upholstery applications include:
    • 1. Lightweight and fine yarn based jacquard structured fabric stabilized with or without web —Expresso™. These fabrics in original form are highly unstable and very delicate. These can be stabilized, strengthened using Expresso™.
    • 2. Machine washable microweight upholstery fabrics—using Expresso™ alone this can be achieved.
    • 3. Pre-washed and stabilized Indigo micoweight upholstery—can be achieved by selecting proper combination of jet strips, pressures. Effect is generated on fabric face side and while going through this process whole fabric will get dimensionally stable.
    • 4. Stiffness without coating and chemical finishes can be inculcated in the fabrics by using 10 GSM webs with MD: CD of 10:1 and heavily entangling the two together. This will add up the necessary stiffness and unidirectional drape.
    • 5. High durability and anti pilling—By simple Expresso™ and with proper selection of entanglement parameters, the surfaces of the fabric can be made very tough.
    • 6. Fire resistant and Fire proof upholstery—By selecting Aramid fies like NOMEX or Asbestos based fibers and entangling the required web gsm on face side of the fabric these properties can be achieved. Further, by using embossing and aperturing technologies of Expresso™, surface looks can be engineered.
    • 7. Water and stain repellent—This can be achieved by entangling required gsm of web of low melting temperature fibers like PP on back side in such a way that intentionally few % of fibers are allowed to project thru the fabric onto face side. Using these fibers the whole structure can be thermally bonded with water repellent films like PE, POLYESTER, NYLON etc to make the surface water and stain repellent.
    • 8. UV repellent Upholstery—By using UV repellent treated polyester fibers on the face side, this fabric function can be achieved. GSM of the web will be optimized between look and function level.
    • 9. Absorb light and convert it into heat upholstery—This can be achieved through optically sensitive fibers available in Japan. The web can be on face or back side of the fabric.
    • 10. Fragrance release upholstery—This can be achieved thru temperature sensitive fragrance release chemicals doped during extrusion of fibers. Using web of these fibers, this function can be achieved. Further, it can be made sensitive to temperature that is interactive.
    • 11. Antistatic Upholstery—By using a thin web of antistatic fibers on both face and backside of the fabric, this effect can be achieved.
    • 12. Durable non woven upholstery—Embossed & or/apertured cotton/blended nonwoven fabric by at least 15% followed by resin spot bonding will meet this requirement. By using long staple synthetic polyester/Nylon fibers and higher level of entanglement, one can also generate durable non-woven upholstery. Also by hydroentanglement of light bonded spunbond nonwoven fabric, one can produce durable upholstery.
    • 13. E-Upholstery—by embedding various e-components while doing Espresso, one can generate a range of smart upholstery.
    • 14. Heat-proof table tops and upholstery—this can be achieved by bonding asbestos/carbon/aramid fibers on the top surface and soft bulky 100% cotton/blend layer at bottom.
    • 15. Wind proof curtains—this can be achieved by controlling the porosity in the web through right selection of fiber properties, web geometry and entanglement/aperturing parameters of Espresso. It can be 100% non-woven or composite also.
    • 16. Highly Breathable upholstery—This can pass on the heat and air very fast. This can be achieved by controlling the parameters as described in point 15.
    • 17. Mosquito repellent upholstery—this can be achieved thru polyester/viscose fibers with mosquito repellent finish.
    • 18. Hygienic upholstery—this can be achieved through Expresso™ process and also by using antibacterial antimicrobial and antifungal finished fibers in the web and the web can be bonded on the required side of composite upholstery fabric.
    • 19. Disposable table tops, sofa covers and window laminates—these are functional one time usage non-wovens.
    • 20. Highly absorbent table-tops—these can be produced using 3 layered composite durable/semi durable non-wovens and woven/knitted and non-woven composites.
    • 21. Anti-termite dosing upholstery—this can be done using polyester/nylon fibers with suitable finishes and may be activated thru e-controls or temperature based or light based release mechanisms.
    • 22. Anti-mite upholstery—this can be done using split fibers and multilayer non-wovens.
    • 23. Anti-cockroach upholstery—this can be achieved thru polyester/nylon fibers doped with suitable finishes and the fibers can be on the operating surface of the product.
    • 24. Anti-spider upholstery—this can be achieved thru polyester/nylon fibers with suitable finishes and fiber can be on the operating side of the product.
    • 25. Structured upholstery—this can be through two routes,
    • A. Non-woven on the top and woven on bottom side—limit of imagination=limit of options. Different embossing/aperturing tools can be used to generate the effects. Further options can be thru differential bonding levels at different locations resulting into “n” number of effects.
    • B. Woven fabric on top and non-woven on bottom—using jacquard one can generate required designs. The design and fabric structure will be consolidated by Espresso. Fibers can be functional or aesthetic support through different web geometries
      • Different colored fibers
      • Different shrinkage behavior fibers
      • Fibers piercing thru the fabric onto face side
      • Different levels of bondings=different effects.
    • C. This can be a woven fabric alone—use all Espresso variables like
      • Jet strips
      • Pressures
      • Oscillating jets
      • Block the jets at preferred locations
      • Different embossing sleeves.

Fibers and additives undoable through conventional processes can be done using the principles of this invention and be made as the integral part of the base fabric (1).

Further, aperturing, embossing tools of this non-woven fabric can be used for enhancing further the base fabric using the principles of this invention. For example, (i) wash and remove Indigo/Sulphur from the selected areas on the fabric and generate various patterns, logos, etc on face side of fabric (ii) Emboss the patterns and generate different look, touch and feel of the fabric (iii) offer pre-washed fabric wherein one can vary the level of wash, uniformity of wash and also generate virtual optics during wash. This can be achieved through proper selection of jet pressures, throughput rates, and different embossing sleeves. If the need be, fabric can be apertured in different patterns using different aperturing sleeves.

However, one can take any fabric, define a function, get right fiber and/or additives hydro-entangle the composites together using right combination of parameters. In the apparel textiles, upholstery, towels and wipes, conventional textile process doesn't need much changes implying easy to get through. We can use all types of staple fibers manmade, natural, etc. Also, one can use powders/very small fibers like wood pulp, paper pulp, etc and find out new applications. This is a 100% hygienic process since it uses water in the form of high pressure jets to bond the composites. Accordingly, products are hygienic.

The fear of pilling or poor abrasion resistance or peeling off of layers does not exist, as there is no 100% non-woven fabric. Fibers from the web (110) are pushed through and are entrapped into yarn structure of the base fabric (1). Also, the right combination of web GSM, Fiber type, web geometry, hydro-entanglement energy levels, entanglement time and number of passes will result into trouble free composite fabric (5).

Various applications of the composite fabric includes durable stain and water repellent fabric using film/membrane and staple fibers, work wear and protective wears, long life chemical finishes using plasma activation technology, semi durable and durable goods.

Thus, various specific embodiments of this invention provide a method and a system for treating a fabric. Further embodiments of this invention provide a method for manufacturing a composite fabric and a composite fabric thereof.

Various modifications of this invention are possible. However, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that all such modifications have been deemed to be covered by this invention and are within the spirit and scope of the claims appended hereto.