Future of hydroentangled apparel fabrics
Woven-like nonwoven hydroentangled apparel fabrics are a reality. However, it will take time to penetrate into apparel sector.
Dr Paul Sawhney, an industry veteran of many decades specialising in natural fibre processing and currently a senior research scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture laboratory in New Orleans showcased his latest developments on hydroentangled apparel fabrics at the TAPPI 2014 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, held recently.
His laboratory has developed dyed hydroentangled fabrics from pre-cleaned cotton which were able to pick-up uniform dye. In speaking to this scribe, Dr Sawhney briefed that launderability and durability are not an issue. However, getting the feel or hand similar to finished woven fabrics is still a major challenge for hydroentangled fabrics to penetrate into the apparel sector. Various process variations such as using patterned finishing rolls and chemical treatments can be tried to develop hydroentangled fabrics with good hand, said Dr Sawhney.