Configuration of Spreading Systems Used in Apparel Industry

CONFIGURATION OF SPREADING SYSTEMS USED IN APPAREL INDUSTRY
Sadia Alam
KCC Women's College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: sadia.jui93@gmail.com





1.1 Fabric Spreading:
Fabric spreading means smooth lying out of fabrics as per marker direction. Fabric spreading is the preparatory process for cutting. In this processing no. of plies up to 300 is possible in one lay. This is a preparatory operation for cutting and consists of laying plies of cloth one on top of the other in a predetermined direction and relationship between the right and wrong sides of the cloth. The composition of each spread i.e. the number of plies of each color is obtained from the cut order plan. Number of plies depends on:
  1. Capacity of the cutting machine
  2. Volume of production
  3. Type of fabric itself (rough or slippery)
  4. Thickness of fabric
Fabric spreading
Fig: Fabric spreading
1.2. Types of Fabric Spreading: The spreads can be of two basic types:
1. Flat spreads- all plies are of the same length.

2. Stepped spreads- this as the name suggests, is built up in steps, with all the plies in one step having the same length. A stepped spread is generally used when the quantities to be cut precludes the use of a flat spread. The cut order plan details the colors and ply lengths for a stepped spread, if it is needed.
1.3. Spreading Quality Specification:
  1. Spreading quality must be measured with respect to the following factors:
  2. Ply alignment: length and width
  3. Ply tension: stretch, slack edge
  4. Grain alignment: bowing
  5. Splicing: waste and precision;
  6. Damage placement: economy of placement;
  7. Surface direction; and
  8. Static electricity
1.4. Fabric Spreading Objective:
The objective of spreading is given below---
  1. To place a number of plies of fabric under the marker according to the planning process.
  2. In the color required
  3. Correctly aligned as to length and width
  4. At correct tension
1.5. General Fabric Spreading System:
Before spreading some parameters must be keep in mind--
  1. Mark the Splice Zone on the Spreading Table
  2. Use Paper for the first ply in case the table surface is rough or when fine fabrics are being spread
  3. Identify the defects noticed in the fabric by means of sticker
  4. Use lubricated paper for separating layer
  5. To prevent scorching in the natural fibers (coarse fabrics).
  6. To prevent fusing in the synthetic fabrics.
  7. Ensure that decided number of ply count and height of the spread is achieved.
1.6. How to spread:
  • Pull the fabric to far end position
  • Position the fabric at the far end (with our without weight or pins)
  • Align the ply (width on one side
  • Cut the ply after each la
  • Repeat this process from until the entire roll is spread
  • Check ply count
1.7. Spreading layering the fabrics:
Fabric spreading is very important part of the production process because it is basic for obtaining a high quality final product. Spreading is the process of unwinding large rolls of fabric onto long, wide tables in preparation for cutting each piece of a garment. The number of layers of fabric is dictated by the number of garments desired and the fabric thickness. Fabric Spreading Machines are used for bulk production.

1.8. Spreading or Laying:
Spreading is the process of unwinding large rolls of fabric onto long, wide tables in preparation for cutting each piece of a garment. The number of layers of fabric is dictated by the number of garments desired and the fabric thickness. Spreading can be done by hand or machine. Depending upon the fabric and cutting technology, up to 200 layers of fabric may be cut at one time. Fabrics that are more difficult to handle are generally cut in thinner stacks.
Spreading layering the fabrics
Fig: Spreading layering the fabrics
Spreading and cutting is smooth laying out of fabric in superimposed layers or piles of specified length. The cutting marker is laid on the topmost layer. The maximum cutting width is the usable fabric width minus selvedge or needle marks caused by stencil marks. Fabric utilization is the amount of fabric actually utilized in the marker as the percentage of the total fabric area.

1.9. Types of Lay Plan:
  1. Half Garment Lay includes only half of the garment pieces for example one side left or right. Generally used for tubular fabrics.
  2. Whole Garment Lay includes garment pieces, left and right sides. Generally used for Open width fabrics.
  3. Single Size Lay is used using all garment pieces of one single size. Disadvantageous as the consumption of fabric is higher.
1.10. Types of Lay:
1. Single Ply is a single layer of fabric generally to make samples
2. Multiple Ply is a number of fabric layers stacked on one top of other
3. Stepped Lay is multiple lay in which groups of layers have different lengths generally used for getting best utilization and consumption of fabric.
1.11. Removing Tension in the Lay:
1. An essential element of spreading is to relax tension in the fabric during the
2. Spreading process. Should there be any significant „stretch‟ in the fabric after
3. Spreading, when the fabric is cut into parts, each part will shrink. Even 5% shrinkage is enough to change a whole garment size
1.12. Forms of Spreading:
1. One Way Cutting is when fabric is laid the same way up with grain or print pattern running in the same direction. Fabric has to be cut at the end of each ply.

2. Fact to Face Cutting is when the plies are laid in pairs face to face. The grain or pattern runs in the same direction.

3. Two Way Cutting is when plies are laid continuously from left to righ and right to left without cutting at the end. Most Efficient method of spreading. Cannot be used with grain restrictions or one directional printed fabric.
1.13. Presentation of Fabrics:
Presentation depends on type of materials, their application. Generally fabrics are Open width (rolled), Doubled (wound) and Tubular (plaited)

1.6. Requirements of Spreading Process:
  • Alignment of plies in both length and width direction- length and width of fabric must be at least equal to marker length and width. 
  • Elimination of fabric defects/flaws- any faults identified on the incoming fabrics will be tagged and will be avoided. 
  • Correct ply direction (especially for asymmetrically printed fabrics)- all faces up, all faces down, face to face etc. 
  • Correct ply tension- ply tension must be uniform and as much less as possible. 
  • Avoidance of distortion in the spread during cutting- polythene sheets are used under the bottom ply to resist friction of the bottom ply with the base plate of the knife. 
  • Fabrics must be flat and free from any crinkle & crease- these cause defects in garments due to variation in dimension. 
  • Checks and stripes should be matched.
1.14. Objectives of spreading process:
  1. Understanding the process of fabric spreading
  2. Factors affecting spreading
  3. Face and nap of the fabric
1.15. The Spreading Process:
Spreading process and spreading mode is very important terms of garments manufacturing. Quality of garments depends upon the spreading process and spreading mode. Manual spreading process is slower than automatic spreading process. Quality of spreading process is depends upon operator quality.

Two aspects of spreading that affect spreading efficiency are the setup and actual layout of fabric. Setup involves loading and threading fabric through the spreader and positioning the machine and related equipment. The actual process of spreading involves laying out fabric in the desired number of layers. Fabric may be spread face up, face down, or face-to-face.

1.16. Spreading Modes:
A spreading mode is the manner in which fabric plies are laid out for cutting. The spreading mode is determined by the fabric characteristics, quality standards of the firm, and available equipment.

Two fabric characteristics that determine the spreading mode are the direction of fabric face and the direction of the fabric nap.

1. Direction of Fabric Nap:
A second consideration in selecting the spreading mode relates to the direction of the fabric nap. Placement of the nap may be nap-one-way (N/OW) or nap-up-and-down (N/U/D).

2. Direction of Fabric Face
The fabric face may be positioned in two ways: face-to-face (F/F) or with all plies facing-one-way (F/O/W), face up or face down. Face-to-face (F/F) spreading may be continuous as the spreader moves up and down the table.

1.17. Fabric Put-up and Spreading Modes:
1. Fabric Put-up; Open and Rolled
Fig: Fabric is flat open with the face to the inside of the roll
2. Fabric Put-up; Folded and Rolled
Fig: Fabric is folded on one end and both selvedges are superimposed on the other edge of the roll . Face is to the inside of each folded layer
3. Fabric Put-up; Tubular Fabric Rolled
Fig: Tubular Fabric from a circular knitting machine is rolled up. Face is to the inside of the roll, and there is a fold at each end of the roll
4. Spreading Mode; Open Fabric, Face One Way, Nap One Way (F/O/W, N/O/W)
Fig: Spreading starts at one end of the table on each ply
5. Spreading Mode; Open Fabric, Face One Way, Nap UP and Down (F/O/W, N/U/D)
Fig: Spreading starts at one end of the table. Fabric is cut at the far end, rotated 180 degrees, then spread to the beginning. The Fabric is cut and rotated 180 degrees then the process is repeated.
6. Spreading Mode; Open Fabric, Face to Face, Nap One Way (F/F, N/O/W)
Fig: Spreading starts at one end of the table. Fabric is cut at the far end, the roll is brought to the beginning of the table, rotated 180 degrees, then spread to the far end again. The Fabric is cut at the far end, brought back to the beginning of the table, rotated 180 degrees then the process is repeated.
7. Spreading Mode; Open Fabric, Face to Face, Nap Up and Down (F/F, N/U/D)
Fig: Spreading starts at one end of the table. Fabric is folded over at the far end, then spreading continues back to the beginning of the table. The Fabric is folded over then the process is repeated.
8. Spreading Mode; Folded Fabric, Face to Face, Nap One Way (F/F, N/O/W)
Fig: Folded fabric spreading starts at one end of the table. Fabric is cut at the far end, then returned to the beginning. Then the process is repeated. On the control side of the table the Fold is superimposed one layer on the previous layer. This process is also used on tubular rolled fabric
9. Spreading Mode; Folded Fabric, Face to Face, Nap Up and Down (F/F, N/U/D)

Fig: Spreading starts at one end of the table. Fabric is spread to the far end of the table. The fabric is folded over, then spread back to the beginning. The fabric is folded over, then the process is repeated. On the control side of the table the Fold is superimposed one layer on the previous layer. This process is also used on tubular rolled fabric

Fig: THE SPREADING PROCESS & SPREADING MODES OF FABRIC IN A GARMENTS FACTORY
1.18. The Method of Fabric Spreading:
The Method of Fabric Spreading are describe below:

1. Manual method: This method is three types:
a. By hand
b. By hook
c. Spreading truck with the help of operator.
2. Mechanical method: This method is two types:
a. Semiautomatic
b. Full automatic
By Hand: Fabric roll is spreaded on the table by two laborers according to the length & width of marker. Sometimes it is done by entering a rod which is made by wood or metal in the center paper table which is present in the center of the fabric roll.

By Hook: In this process the top of the table on which the fabric is spreaded is set at 10ยบ angle perpendicularly. The hook which placed on the upper face of the table is 15cm long and the hook is joined with one end of selvedge of the fabric. After completing the spreading of fabric, the top of the table is set again. The hooks are displaced and the marker is spreaded on the fabric lay.

Spreading truck with the help of operator: There is a spreading truck on the one end of the spreading table in which the fabric roll is placed. Then the truck is operated by hand from one end to the other end of the table & with the same time the fabric is open out from the fabric roll and the fabric is spreaded according to the length and width.

Semiautomatic: Spreading machine is run on the rails which are placed at two side of fabric spreading table surface and operated by motor. Fabric roll is set in a predetermined place of the machine. The machine is run from one side to the other side of table by using electrical and mechanical motion and fabric is spreaded to make lay.

Full automatic: This is the improvement of semiautomatic machine. There are so many advantages of this machine to make fabric lay because this machine is operated by controlling with the help of robot and micro processor.

1.19. Automatic Programmable Spreading Machines:
All the requirements of spreading process can be fulfilled by fully automatic spreading machines. Their features include:
  • Automatic loading/unloading and threading/rewinding device for fabric rolls.
  • Automatic roll turning arrangement for face to back lay.
  • Automatic leveling device for fabric edge alignment.
  • Automatic cutting device (one way or two way cutoff) at the end of a run.
  • Automatic tensioning device to control fabric tension.
  • Automatic lay height sensing elevator.
  • Programmable lay length, ply height and step-laying.
  • Spreading seeds up to 140 m/min.
1.20. Techniques for Spreading Quality:
  • Removing Tension in the lay
  • Cutting at the Ends
  • Reducing fabric waste at the end
  • Fabric Control during Spreading
  • Damage Remove
  • Ends and Damaged Good. 
Spreading is the main operation where quality can be control before cutting.

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