Sueding or Peaching is a technique that creates a soft feel while touching. Sueding is a mechanical finishing process in which a fabric is abraded on one or both sides to raise or create a fibrous surface. This fibrous surface improves the fabric appearance, gives the fabric a softer, fuller hand, and can mask fabric construction and subdue coloration. These improved aesthetics can increase the value of a fabric in the marketplace. Sueding operation is done by sueder or sueding machine.
In the textile industry, the process of sueding is also commonly known as “sanding” or “emerizing” is a process in which fabric in open width is passed over one or more rotating emery-covered rollers to produce a suede like finish. Suede is a type of leather with a smooth nap finish. Normally this process is done only for buyer requirement.
A sueding machine is sometimes referred to a sander since the machine consists of one or more rolls covered with sand paper as the abrasive. Fabrics traveling over these rolls develop a very low pile and the materials surface can be made to feel like suede leather. The hand will depend on the fiber composition, the filament count in the yarn and the intensity with which the fabric is worked. Filament fabrics can be made to feel like a spun fabric and all fabrics will have a softer hand.
The emersing or sueding process aims to recreate the natural suede feel using other materials, making them ideal for certain clothing applications such as ladies’ bras and shoes as well as children’s apparel. This process is also used to make upholstery, table and wall coverings.
Types of Sueding Machine:
There are two types of sueding machine.
- Single cylinder sueding machine
- Multi cylinder sueding machine
1. Single Cylinder Sueding Machine:
With a single cylinder sueder, sueding takes place when the fabric passes between the abrasive covered roll and the feed back-up roll. The opening is adjustable to within 1/10,000th of an inch on contemporary machine models. Designing a machine with such accuracy requires close tolerance manufacturing and a method of maintaining this accuracy under operating conditions in a textile mill.
2. Multi Cylinder Sueding Machine:
To raise a pile on fabric, the multi-roll sueder relies on tension to allow the abrasive to penetrate the fabric surface. The use of several (usually five) abrasive rolls to perform this task reduces the amount of tension by spreading the work over several rolls. Each roll is independently driven, and can be rotated in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Adjustable idler rolls between the abrasive rolls control the slack in the fabric between rolls. Entry and exit drive rolls transport the fabric and control tension. The principle of exposing the fabric to more than one abrasive action area permits the use of a finer grain abrasive.
The sueding effect is dependent on the mechanical action on the fabric which in turn depends on:
- The number of rollers
- The direction of the rollers’ rotation
- The fabric tension
- The fabric speed
- The grade of the emery paper
Typical operating speeds as reported are as follows:
- Microfibre-woven fabric: 12–15 m/min
- Spun yarn-woven fabric: 15–25 m/min
- Knitted fabric: 10–20 m/min
Working Procedure of Sueding Machine:
The working procedure depends on the type of sueding machine, the type of sueding roller, the fabric density and weave, the peaching effect required and so on. Each mill has to prepare process sheet depending on the combinations they have.
The following are general procedures:
- Before starting the machine, clean the inside portion of it with compressed air. It is necessary to wear a mask as there shall be a lot of microdust on the sides of the machines and also on the brushes.
- Check the condition of the brushes and ensure proper condition and cleaning.
- Check the guide rolls for their alignment. Clean them before starting the machine.
- Check the air pressure and ensure it as correct.
- Check the tension of the fabric.
- Check the seam detector.
- Check the exhaust fan working. Ensure that the canvas cloths are tied properly and there is no air leakage. There should not be any hole in the bag.
- Check all dust bags. If bags are full, clean them and put new empty bags. Wear mask while cleaning the dust bags as it contains microdust, which is harmful.
- Set the fabric speed, speeds of all brushes, the setting of the guiding plates and fabric tension as per the requirement of the fabric. Refer to the process sheet for more details.
- Inspect the fabric before sueding and in between during process. Check the sueding effect. The fabric should not become hairy and the surface should be uniform.
- Check the fabric strength, both tear and grab test before and after peaching the fabric.
- Adjust the sueding parameters depending on the test result.
- Cover the trolley with polyethylene paper at the delivery end and keep at proper place.
- Keep proper tag on the batch.
- Close all air pressure valve while stopping the machine.
Specification and Parameters of Sueding Machine:
- Brand name: Lafer SPA
- Type/model no: GSI106
- Company: Italy
- Year: 2002
- No of motor: 08
- Winch speed: 10-30m/min
- Machine speed: 50m/min (max)
- Drum speed: 30-35-50 rpm (Max 70)
- Pile roller no: 06
- Pile made of Plastic
- Plaiter tension: 6kg
- Taker in tension: 20kg
- Fabric return driver Tension: 25kg
- Drum Tension: 50kg
- Speed range: 10-40 m/min
- No of cylinder/drum:
- 2 for double cylinder
- 1 for single cylinder
- No of pin roller:
- 24 x 2 = 48
- 24 x 1= 24
- Cylinder r.p.m (General): 100
- Tension: 3 kg
- Worker: 03
- Capacity: 3 tones/shift
- Actual production: 1.5-2 tones/shift.
- Handbook of Value Addition Processes for Fabrics by B. Purushothama
- Principles of Textile Finishing by Asim Kumar Roy Choudhury
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.