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Fabric handle properties of superfine wool fabrics with different fibre curvature, cashmere content and knitting tightness
journal contributionposted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Bruce McGregor, Maryam NaebeMaryam Naebe
The handle properties of single jersey fabrics composed of superfine wools (17 μm) of different fibre curvature (114 vs. 74 °/mm) in blends with cashmere (fibre curvature 49 °/mm) were investigated. There were four blend ratios of cashmere (0, 25, 50, 75%) plus 100% cashmere. Each of the nine fibre blend combinations were replicated three times, and each was knitted into three tightness factors. The 81 fabrics were evaluated using the Wool HandleMeter, which measures seven primary handle attributes and Overall handle, and have been calibrated using a panel of experts and a wide variety of commercial fabrics. Results were analysed by ANOVA and general linear modelling. Tightness factor significantly affected all Wool HandleMeter attribute values, with the effect of tightness factor varying according to handle attribute. The Wool HandleMeter was able to detect differences between fabrics composed of superfine wool differing in fibre curvature, with lower fibre curvature wool fabrics having more preferred Overall handle and softer, looser, cooler, lighter and less dry handle attributes at some or all tightness factors compared with fabrics composed of higher fibre curvature superfine wool. Progressively blending cashmere with wool significantly improved Overall handle, increased soft and smooth handle, reduced dry, heavy and tight handle. Linear regression modelling indicated that fabric mass per unit area explained more than 50% of the variance in overall fabric handle and in combination with variations in fabric thickness and yarn elongation could explain 71% of the variance in Overall handle.