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


Heidi Rand said...

Great explanation Marion! But darn, now I have to find some of that wonderful florist's wrap to use in a project ...

Gill said...

Thanks Marion! You've reminded me I have a piece of that florists wrap somewhere! now what to do with it????