Pressing: Important Finishing Process in Garment Industry

Last Updated on 30/12/2020

Pressing: Important Finishing Process in Garment Industry

Mayedul Islam
Merchandiser at Fashion Xpress Buying House.
Badda, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Pressing Process:
The process by which the unwanted creases and wrinkles are removed from the garments and the outlook of the garments is improved as well is termed as pressing. The pressing process influences the final garment appearance and hence the garment appeal. Finishing and pressing machines contour the semifinished garment panels as well as finished garments by bringing down the fibres in the fabric to an elastic state and then deforming and setting them. It is also known as ironing. Pressing is an important finishing process of in garment industry. In garments industries there is a separate section for ironing the products. It is generally done by heated plates and electric irons in moist condition of garments.

Pressing Process in Garment Industry
Fig: Pressing Process in Garment Industry

Basic Components / Parameters of Pressing:
In order to achieve good pressing quality, there are four basic parameters that need to be controlled to meet optimum performance: heat, moisture, pressure and cooling with vacuum.

The importance of each parameter is discussed below:

1. Heat: Heat is required in most pressing operations to enable the fibres to soften and thus stabilise the garment shape. Temperature selection is of utmost importance, as an incorrect temperature setting can cause damage to fibres and yarns.

2. Moisture: Moisture is introduced by the use of steam. Steam at different pressures has different moisture contents; the higher the steam pressure, the lower the moisture in the steam. The presence of moisture is required to aid in fiber swelling and thus shape stabilisation. Different fibers require different amounts of moisture. For example, natural fibres such as cotton and wool and regenerated cellulose fibres such as bamboo viscose and viscose rayon require the presence of moisture in the steam, and therefore steaming tables are usually preferred. On the other hand, synthetic fibres require heat to promote swelling and therefore relaxation of the structure. Excessive moisture may cause fabric shrinkage and colour bleeding.

3. Pressure: Pressure is applied to the garment during pressing to give good crease retention and permanency. Excessive pressure may result in garment or crease distortion.

4. Vacuum: Vacuum is applied at the completion of the pressing operation. This draws cool air through the garment, reducing the garment temperature, lowering the moisture content and increasing shape retention. Particularly important for garments made from wool and wool blends, this also applies to cotton and viscose blends with synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon.

Classification of Pressing:
The basic processes that are involved in pressing can be divided into two groups:

1. Under pressing: It is the pressing operation performed on garment components as they are made up.

2. Top pressing/Final pressing: This refers to the finishing operation, which a garment undergoes after being completely assembled.

Both groups involve a huge number of individual processes, their extent determined by the cloth, quality and design of the garment.

Objectives of Pressing Process in Garment Industry:
The main object of pressing is to improve the outer appearance of the garments. However, the objects of pressing include much more:

1. Removal of unwanted creases and wrinkles: During garments manufacturing, creasing occurs in garments due to operator’s handling and for tying up garments tightly in boxes. To remove these creases and unwanted wrinkles pressing is to be done.

2. Hiding imperfections: Pressing can hide a multitude (huge number) of garment’s imperfections and faults such as puckered seam and neps.

3. To apply creases where necessary: Sometimes in garment we may need to apply some permanent creases such as pleats in shirts and for that purpose we have to apply creases or folds by pressing. Sometimes the pressing is done before sewing though after sewing it is also common.

4. Shaping: Dart and seam are used to make garments properly fit with the shape of human body. To make these darts more attractive, pressing is applied which is known as shaping. The part of garment may have to be shrunk or stretched for shaping.

5. Under pressing: For sewing easily and properly pressing is done on some parts of garments before sewing, which is called under pressing. Under pressing is done in manufacturing jackets, trousers, coats, etc. They also require final pressing.

6. Final pressing: The pressing which is done before packing the garments is known as final pressing. By final pressing the garments become glossy (silky).

Types of Pressing Equipments:
There are various types of pressing machine used in apparel industry. I have already published an article on garment pressing equipments. You can read here, Essential Equipments for Garment Pressing

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