Vol.7 Finishes

Vol.7 Acabados

In the last blogs we have touched on topics about different processes to obtain the final product on the fabric. Precisely the finishes are one of the latest transformations that are made to textiles so that they have added value, fulfill a function, achieve a certain appearance, feel and cost.

At this stage the finishing touches and durability of a fabric are given. It is important
mention that it has a certain life and use time. They are classified into the following:

    • Permanent: that is, for life.
    • Durable: It has a certain lifespan.
    • Temporary: It only remains until it is washed with water or dry.
    • Renewable: can be reapplied at home and without any equipment.

A textile finish is any process performed on fabric, fiber or yarn to make, change or improve the appearance, feel and behavior of textiles.
There are different types of finishes: general, aesthetic, staining, printing techniques and functional.

These are attached depending on the differentiator, innovation or function that the designer wants to create to obtain better quality fibers, which is why every finish increases the cost of a fabric.

Among the general finishes are: cleaning, whitening, carbonizing, mercerizing, gassing, shaving, brushing, fulling, fixing, macing, calendering, branching and inspection. We are going to talk about the most relevant and most used ones.


Cleaning occurs in natural fibers because they have gums or impurities that must be eliminated in order to apply other finishes.

There are three types of cleaning:

  • Degummed on silk. Using hot water removes the oil from the silk and modifies its natural shine.
  • Scouring: Happens only in cotton. The fiber, thread or fabric is cooked with alkaline solution to eliminate impurities and rubber residues. This allows for good dyeing and whitening.
  • Washing wool: This fiber also has a lot of fat that has to be removed by washing.

Bleaching removes color from threads or fabrics, generating a pure white. It also works so that when dyeing the color remains pure and does not change.

Carbonizing is a treatment with sulfuric acid that is given to wool fabrics and threads to eliminate plant material from it.

Mercerizing is mainly used in linen and cotton. Its purpose is to make the fabric more lustrous, shiny and soft. However, it causes tissue shrinkage, increases resistance and generates greater affinity to dyes.

Shaving is done to remove loose fibers or thread ends, knots and other similar defects. Then brushing is done to clean the surface of the fabric.

On the other hand, brushing is when the fibers are passed through a comb to divide the short and long fibers and filaments.

Branching is one of the final operations, it is done to straighten and dry the fabrics. If the fabric is introduced crookedly into the branch, when it is removed it will be deviated from the thread. Fixing is when the fabric is passed through a hot machine so that a color remains impregnated into the fabric, for example a print.

Another category of finishes is staining . Within this are fiber dyeing, yarn dyeing, piece or fabric dyeing, garment dyeing, atmospheric pressure machines, high pressure dyeing.

Fiber or yarn dyeing is generally known as pre-dyed, since the color remains uniform and is impregnated in the purest way. Unlike this one, you can very easily notice the dyeing per piece or garment because you see spaces without color, there is blurring and the color is not even.

Illustration 1: Pre-dyed.

Illustration 2: Piece dyeing

Many people consider printing as a finish and it is true, since there are different techniques to carry out this process, such as roller printing, heat transfer printing, better known as sublimation, screen printing, frame printing, flock printing and the digital.
We will go into more detail about this particular topic later, but it was really important to mention that it is part of the finishes.

Aesthetic finishes are those that highlight the beauty and attractiveness of a fabric. They can also cover defects. On many occasions, when the appearance and feel of a fabric is modified so much, a new one is generated, for example embroidery. This category is divided into mechanical aesthetics and chemical aesthetics.

In the mechanical ones there is calendering or embossing, laying, gassing, fulling, highlighting, moiré, waxing, flock, quilting and many others. We will talk about some below.

Calendering: It is a mechanical finishing that is carried out on the fabric by means of sets of rollers that pass over it. It is applied through heat, since the fabric is ironed and thanks to this and the pressure, drawings and shine are generated.

Illustration 3: Calendering.

Tundido: After lifting the hair from the fabric this process is created. Its function is to create a smooth fabric and uniform the size to generate relief effects where the designs and background can be cut to different lengths.

Illustration 4: Capsized.

Gassing: It is also used as an aesthetic and general finish, as it causes the ends of the fabric to be rough and pilling to form.

Illustration 5: Gassing.

Fulling: It is mainly applied to wool fabrics to improve the appearance and feel. The process consists of a wet application, with heat and friction to generate felting.

Illustration 6 : Fulling.

Enhancement: This is when a polymer is applied that stiffens the fabric and forms a 3D design.

Illustration 7 : Enhancement.

Moiré: It is a widely used technique, as it draws a lot of visual attention from the
people, since it gives a watery litmus effect through hot rollers engraved with a drawing.

Illustration 8 : Moiré.

Pleating: It consists of several folds using high heat pressures. However, it is important to mention that this effect is only lasting in synthetic fabrics, but not in natural ones.

Illustration 9 : Pleated.

Quilting or quilting: It has a fluffy enhancement appearance, as it is united by three layers, the surface, the filling and the backing.

As for chemicals, solutions and chemical substances are needed to obtain certain results on the fabric. There are different finishes in this section such as hardening, silicone, coating, etc. However, the most relevant one will be discussed.

Illustration 10 : Quilting.

Devoré or devoured: It is obtained through a design printed with chemicals on a fabric composed of fibers of different classifications, whether natural, artificial or synthetic. The fibers then break down, leaving transparent or thinner areas in the fabric.

Illustration 11: Devoré or devoured.

To conclude the last category of finishes are the functional ones and the ones that we use the most at FORMATEX, not only because we want the fabrics to fit perfectly and be innovative, but also because we care about the safety and practicality of our clients, since the Main application is interiors and the objects within it.

Functional finishes are intended to improve the performance of fabrics and are constantly experimenting to obtain better technological advances capable of changing the characteristics of the fibers. For example, the water repellent fabric category was transformed from an absorbent fiber to one that resists water absorption.

Surely you have seen or even have fabrics from this section at home and you were not
aware of it. For example, anti-wrinkle to improve resistance, fire retardant to reduce flammability and resist fire, abrasion so that a textile performs better despite rubbing and washing cycles, UV protection to absorb UV rays and the fabric has greater resistance, anti-stain like our Easy clean and revolution fabrics to prevent or reduce absorption and stains, anti-pilling to avoid pilling, anti-static to generate less static, antimicrobial, which helps kill bacteria and bad odors.

Author | Jimena Chavez

"This information is for reference only, to obtain precise details about the use, qualities and care of our products, it is necessary to consult directly with your seller before making a purchase or receiving recommendations."


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  • Author image
    Blanca: October 24, 2022

    buen dia ¿cuentan con cursos?

  • Author image
    Maricruz Hernández: October 24, 2022

    Que promedio de vida tienen las telas antiarrugas, antiestáticas, UV, etc.

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