Methods of Fabric Spreading in Garment Industry

Last Updated on 30/12/2020

Methods of Fabric Spreading in Garment Industry

Noor Ahmed Raaz
Faculty Member, Dept. of Textile Engineering,
Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology


Fabric spreading:
Fabric spreading means the smooth laying out of the fabric in superimposed layers (plies) of specified length. Knitted or woven fabrics are laid in one ply (single ply) or in several plies (multi lays) for simultaneous cutting in one operation. Fabrics are usually laid up manually.

The manual spreading process is suitable for small-scale production. Manual spreading may be used for all kind of fabrics, including those with complex structures and intricate patterns. In large-scale production, manual cutting is often used for working with intricately patterned and high-cut pile fabrics. When compared to automated spreading, the cost of technical equipment in manual spreading is low, but the productivity is poor. The fabric spreading process is carried out by one/two workers at each side of the spreading table who move the fabric ply to the beginning of a spread. The spreading process is repeated until the desired number of fabric plies are laid down.

methods of fabric spreading
Fig: Automated method of fabric spreading

Automated methods of fabric spreading have significantly increased the productivity of the spreading process, but have not altered its main work principles. Similar operations are performed in both the manual and the automated spreading processes.

Methods of Fabric Spreading:
Four methods of fabric spreading are available in garment industry:

  1. Completely manual laying-up;
  2. Electrically driven laying-up by spreading machines (Semi-automatic or fully automatic)
  3. Manual laying-up aided by spreading and cutting off devices;
  4. Manually driven, mechanized laying-up using carriages;

The piece goods are provided in rolled or lapped form and are spread open or folded. On the fold, markers are used for doubled lays while full markers serve for open lays. Piece good lays are either single lays (consisting of one fabric ply) or multi lays (formed by several plies).

1. Completely manual laying-up:
This is the most extensively used method in our country because of cheap labor cost, availability of workers and comparatively less time consumed. In this method, a roll of fabric is taken and its one end is fixed at one side of the table and spreading continued without using any mechanical assistance. A large number of workers is required to carry out this process to fulfill the requirements of fabric spreading.

2. Electrically driven laying-up by spreading machines:
An electrically driven and controlled cloth spreading machine including means for reversing the travel of the machine, means for controlling the high and low speeds of the machine, means for causing the machine to fail safe at low speed upon power failure and open circuit conditions caused by different changes in function of the machine.

3. Manual laying-up aided by spreading and cutting off devices:
The fabric in roll form may be supported to a frame and carried along the table where the end is secured by weight or by a clamp. The operators work back from the end aligning the edges and ensuring that there are no wrinkles or any extra tension. The ply is normally cut with hand shears or with a powered circular knife mounted on the frame. This system of spreading is suitable for checks or striped or other regular repeating patterns.

4. Manually driven, mechanized laying-up using carriages:
Spreading machine carries the piece of fabric from end to end of the spread dispensing one ply at a time onto the spread. Their is a frame or carrier wheels traveling on guide rails at the edges of the table, a fabric support and guide collars to aid the correct unrolling of the fabric. In the sampler versions, the operators clamp the free end of the fabric in line with the end of the spread, push the spreader to the other end, cut off the ply in line with that end, clamp the beginning of the next ply, push the spreader to the other end and so on.

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