How to know which yarn is used in a fabric?

Question: Where can we know which yarn is used in fabric?

This question came from an OCS reader. I am not changing the question line. 

I am reading the question as to how to know the fibre content in the fabric or from where we can get fibre content details. Secondly, this question can be read as what type of yarns are used in making the fabric.

First thing first. First, I will explain how to know the fibre content in the yarn for making the fabric. Later I will tell you how to identify yarn type. 

From where to know fibre content of any fabric?

You can get the yarn information either from the fabric supplier (mills) or from the fabric shop from where you bought fabric.

If you purchased the fabric for your garments and you need to know fibre content of the yarn, ask your fabric supplier to provide yarn (fibre content) details for the purchased fabric.

In case you purchased the fabric from a retail store (fabric shop), you may get fabric details on the sticker fixed to the fabric roll regarding the fibre content. The sticker may not be available all the time and for all fabrics. The seller may be may nor be known the fibre content of each fabric he/she is selling.

If you fail to get yarn/fibre content information from the above two places, you need to follow one the following ways. Another point to remember - you are not sure whether the written information related to fibre content is accurate or not.
  • Doing fibre identification test
  • Getting fibre content report from a testing lab
If you know fibre identification tests (burning tests and chemical tests), you can find out the fibre content in a fabric by following the test methods.

If you are not aware of the fibre identification tests, send the fabric sample to a textile testing lab, and ask them to provide you yarn/fibre content of the sample fabric. This test will be chargeable.

Another important what is your purpose for knowing the fibre content of any fabric?

Are you going to print fibre content label for any garment items that you are making? If so, you must go for a test report from a known textile testing lab for your reference document.

How to identify yarn types in a fabric? 

The yarns come in different types – yarns made of staple fibres or continuous filaments, single ply yarn, 2-3 ply yarn, etc. 

To know the yarn type, take out a few yarns from the fabric and remove the twist of the yarn if any. If it is twisted, you can easily see whether it is a plied yarn or a single-ply yarn. 

Further, remove the twist of individual yarns and see whether it is made of staple fibre (short length of fibres) or a combination of continuous filaments.

From this method, you can find the yarn type of your fabric.

Woven fabric and knowing its fibre content

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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