Unique fabric characteristics have been developed using low melt thermobonding PET (copolymer) fibers in blend with cotton. The color carrying low melt copolymer is distributed onto the fabric structure during heat setting at the yarn crossover points when the fabric is finished. This is similar to a point bonding phenomenon. The resultant fabric can be classified as 100% cotton heather fabric, since the low melt fiber polymer is turned into a finishing agent. The cyclohexanedimethanol modified PET with optimum viscosity and flow property was used to produce the desired effect on the fabric. Fabric curing has been optimized according to the thermal behavior of the copolymer as observed in the DSC thermograms. The amount of pigmented PET copolymer needed to achieve the required heather effect was determined by varying concentrations of the copolymer in the blend. Both fibers and resultant fabric properties, as well as finishing of these fabrics have been studied extensively. The micrographs of these fabrics showed that proper distribution of the melt polymer could be achieved at a temperature between 195 to 200 oC. Fabric hand, tensile strength, pilling, and abrasion resistance have been investigated. This approach may provide another avenue to introduce other functional properties such as antibacterial, soil resistance, and so forth to the finished fabric.
By: Subhas Ghosh and Lila Villarreal
Submit Date: 6/14/2010 18:00