In order to achieve certain appearance and effect on fabrics or to avoid paying high import duty on garments to be exported to United States which is the biggest buyer of garments from the Asian producing countries, often different fibers are mixed with the yarns to make fabrics. Instead of using only one kind of fiber, two or three different kinds are used. As each kind of fiber has its own characteristics, when mixing them, one should consider their characteristics to create a hybrid with the characteristics needed.
Therefore it is important the characteristics of the following key fibers
Cotton：Soft, very absorbent, shrinks when washed, easy to crease
Ramie or Linen: Compared to cotton not soft, less absorbent, shrinks when washed, but to a less extent, easy to crease
Rayon: Compared to cotton softer than cotton, equally absorbent, shrinks more than cotton, very easy to crease, has a luster like silk
Polyester: Compared to cotton not soft, not absorbent at all, does not shrink in normal wash, not easy to crease
Wool: The characteristics vary dependent upon the kind of wool it is, but has the following general characteristics
Compared to cotton not very soft, not absorbent. The staple is slightly crispy which can lead to a bulky effect when finally made into a fabric. It shrinks seriously when washed in hot water. Not easy to crease.
Nylon:Can be soft or firm dependent upon the finish applied, not absorbent , does not shrink when washed, not easy to crease, very strong
Silk: Finer and softer than cotton equally absorbent, shrinks more than cotton, easy to crease, has a smooth surface with luster when it is made into fabric
Acrylic: Not soft, not absorbent, does not shrink in normal wash. The staple is slightly crimpy which can make the final product, the fabric, bulky or beefy not easy to crease
With these characteristics following blending can be done:
Polyester Cotton blend: In trade this blend is called “TC” which means “Tetoron & Cotton”. “Tetoron” is actually a trade name for polyester, same as Decron. In early years of the textile history in Asia,” Tetoron” was used in place of “Polyester” and the abbreviation “TC” was formed and used ever since.
TC Fabric usually means 65% polyester, 35% cotton, but strictly speaking it means 51% or more of polyester with balance in cotton, If you read the characteristics of cotton and polyester , you can understand that this mixture should have the following characteristics:
Still soft, absorbent, does not shrink or shrinks very little, not easy to crease and thus making of this combination is more for practical value than appearance.
Other than the polyester blend, which is the most popular blend, there are the following blends which are designed to create either better surface appearance or better practical value or both
Polyester-wool Acrylic wool Polyester Rayon Silk cotton T-R-C (Polyester, rayon, cotton)
Sometimes fabrics of the above composition are made of blended yarn and sometimes they are made of yarn of only one kind of fiber, but generally 2 kinds of yarn, warp (vertical threads) one kind, and weft (horizontal threads) another kind are mixed to achieve the effect. This is called “mixed weave” or it is knitted fabric it’s called “mixed knit”
In case of a mixed weave or a mixed knit, we must calculate the percentage of each kind of fiber used to make sure the chief weight or chief value is what we think it is. A mistake in this regard can cause the merchandise to be rejected by customs of the importing country.