Texture retention after fabric-to-fabric abrasion

Texture retention after fabric-to-fabric abrasion

Berkalp, O B


Changes in appearance brought about by mechanical abrasion may be evaluated with respect to changes in image texture properties, e.g., periodicity. This paper discusses the application of gray-scale image analysis to texture periodicity measurements in fabrics. The techniques described are appropriate for “ordered” textures with relatively well defined features such as the Miratec(R) class of fabrics. Our samples consist of three sets, a woven twill, a Miratec (nonwoven) twill, and a loosely bonded herringbone hydroentangled nonwoven. In general, our data show that mechanical wear may result in a decrease in texture definition and a tendency toward randomness. The Miratec fabric shows that at the same level of wear, the structure retains its appearance and exhibits no loss of texture.

Tactile (hand) and appearance properties are very important in all classes of fabrics. The characteristics of textile fabrics in general, and of technical textiles in particular, depend on their geometry and surface contours. These are determined in a complex manner by the surface structure of the fibers and the yarn and fabric construction [4]. Appearance retention is directly related to the longevity and serviceability of fabrics. A fabric may lose its aesthetic appeal due to wear, which is a combined effect of several factors like abrasion, repeated laundering, application of forces in dry and wet states, etc., arising from everyday use and service. Surface abrasion is considered perhaps the most important of these factors, and so it has become routine in fabric testing.

Surface texture, and thus fabric appearance, is usually evaluated subjectively by a panel, following the procedures set forth in a number of standardized methods [1, 2]. But because of their subjective nature, these methods are characterized by poor accuracy.

The term “texture” originates from the Latin word “textura,” which means “to weave.” Thus, texture generally refers to repetition of basic texture elements called texels. A texel contains several pixels, whose placement can be periodic, quasi-periodic, or random. Natural textures are generally random, whereas artificial textures are often deterministic or periodic.

In periodic assemblies, the placement of the objects (texels in the case of textured surfaces) determines the appearance. Texture may be coarse, fine, smooth, granulated, rippled, regular, irregular, or linear [5, 7]. These properties refer to the spacing of the units, or what we would regard as the texture period. Additionally, the degree of exactness of the placement determines the degree of order. If one considers the texture in the Fourier space, then the period refers to the spacing and the power refers to the strength of the degree of order within the texture.

We consider textures as a continuum between two extremes. At one end is the deterministic texture, which has a regular pattern. Here, a texture is defined by elements that occur repeatedly according to some placement rules. The other extreme is the stochastic (or random) texture, well exemplified by white noise. Most textures, however, occur somewhere between these two extremes [16, 12]. Indeed, loss of appearance is merely moving along this continuum. That is, strong textures move toward randomness.

The viability of our approach and others is firmly established in the literature for determining carpet appearance changes due to mechanical wear [8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16-21]. In this paper, we extend our previous work to the study of changes in the appearance of hydroentangled and woven fabrics.



Literature Cited

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21. Wu, Y., Pourdeyhimi, B., and Spivak, S. M., Texture Evaluation of Carpets Using Image Analysis, Textile Res. J. 61(7), 407-419 (1991).

22. Xu, B., Assessing Carpet Appearance Retention by Image Analysis, Textile Res. J. 64(12), 697-709 (1994). Manuscript received February 26, 2002; accepted June 18, 2002.


Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, U.S.A.

1 Current Address: Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Makina Fakultesi, Tekstil Muhendisligi Bolumu, No: 87 80191, Gumussuyu, Istanbul, Turkey.

2 Address for correspondence.

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