The textile manufacturing process is a large and complicated process consisting of washing, dyeing, bleaching, sizing and finishing, which consume large volumes of freshwater. In the light of water scarcity and global environmental issues, the need is to optimize processes that lead to lower energy usage and dry processes that reduce the huge water consumption. This is an environment that need for having a more effective and efficient textile manufacturing process.
The textile manufacturing process caters to the major segments such as fashion garments, technical textiles and household products. The textile manufacturing process is also categorized on the basis of the raw material that is used, and the main raw material are cotton, wool and synthetic fabrics.
How textiles are manufactured
The different stages in textile manufacturing are
- Fibre production
- Yarn production
- Pre Treatment
- Dyeing and printing
- Finishing treatments
- Manufacturing, transport, sales and retail
Textile manufacturing companies can get lean and more efficient by offloading many segments of the textile manufacturing process. Textile consulting firms specialize in making textile manufacturing processes more robust and lean.
Some of these processes include bonding and welding, coating and surface treatment, dyeing, crocheting, embroidering, knitting and knotting. Many textile manufacturing companies get these jobs offloaded to small units, and MSMEs themselves save costs on equipment and manpower. Garment exporting is an extremely competitive market, and Indian textile manufacturers constantly have to struggle to keep costs low.
Textile manufacturing also includes processing through blow room, carding, drawing and combing. Textile manufacturing starts from the process of converting fabric to yarn. The processes involved in this activity involve blending, mixing, cleaning, carding, drawing, roving and spinning. These processes are mechanical in nature and do not require any chemical application. Most of these processes have been automated, starting from the picking of cotton fibre which is now done by machine. The important process parameters are yarn diameter, hairiness, linear density, permeability and strength. Yarn with different properties is useful for garments and apparel, and the process has become more efficient by segregating yarn with different properties and parameters for different uses.
Several innovations have been made in textile manufacturing, and textile consulting firms have helped introduce CAD (computer-aided design), and automation has also been introduced in the basic activity of cutting and joining 2 pieces of fibre through the basic concept of the ubiquitous sewing machine remains the same.
Technical textiles are textiles used for various applications other than wearing on the body, which is an important sector for industrial development in the industrialized sector. Textile consultancy services recommend textile manufacturing companies manufacture the following itemsas technical textiles. Technical textiles have been classified on the basis of application and the sector they belong to
- Build tech- window blinds, wall coverings, ropes, tarpaulin.
- Transport tech- aircraft and automobile seats, boats, seat belts.
- Meditech- bandages, gauzes, sanitary napkins, mosquito nets, heart valves.
- Home tech- sofa and furniture fabric, mattresses, pillows.
- Clothing tech- parachute fabrics, sewing threads, linings.
- Pack tech- wrapping fabrics, packing material, tea bags, sacks for food grains and other loose items
Efficiency is brought in by value addition in the textile manufacturing process. This is done by
- Efficient pretreatment of the fabric before yarn processing
- Special finishing effects are now being done before the colouring process in order to improve fabric properties such as crease-resistance, flame retarding, water repellence, and anti-static and anti-bacteria.
- Innovation in the chemicals and dyes used in textile manufacturing to reduce the impact on the environment.
All these initiatives and innovations in different stages of textile manufacturing have helped improve efficiency. This is an ongoing project, and still, more innovation is required.