Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Wondering On Wednesday...What Is Spunbonded Fabric?
My lovely daughter in law, Tracey, who studied Textiles at college, asked me this on Facebook. And it seemed like a good question, so here goes.
We're used to fabric being woven, with a warp and a weft. It is uniform, can be torn in straight lines, has a tendency to fray. Spunbonded fabrics, however, are a type of non woven fabric, and are made in a completely different way. At its simplest, the fibres, which are man made, instead of being woven together, are placed on a belt, in a completely random way, to form a web. Then they are zapped (I'm not good at technical terms!) with heat, to bond them together. They are mostly used for industrial purposes; your sofa and bed are probably lined with Lutradur, for example, whilst Evolon was created as a fabric for industrial clothing.
The image above is a piece of spunbonded fabric. It isn't Lutradur, which is the brand name of a particular type of polyester spunbonded fabric; rather, it is a piece of florist's wrap, green on one side, silver on the other (and I have no idea how they did that...sorry!). You can clearly see the web-like construction of the cloth. That means that it will not fray, and that it is impossible to tear in a straight line, and often impossible to tear at all. It also tolerates heat better than most cloth made from polyester and/or nylon. These things make it ideal for textile and mixed media art.
Hope that answers the question, but if it doesn't, ask away