Fusing Essentials

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Interlining appearance issues and solutions A fusible interlining material is defined as a base fabric having a layer of adhesive resin which can be bonded to another fabric on application of heat and pressure. Fusible interlinings have enabled the apparel industry to make great strides in the in efficiency and quality of the final garment in the past several decades but the right interlining material for a specific shell fabric continues to present challenges. If fusing is not handled properly, the shell fabric can change in color or surface appearance. Interlining material forms a very small part of the entire cost of manufacturing a garment, but has a huge impact on the overall quality, use and longevity of the final garment. Compatibility between shell fabric and interlining fabric To ensure good appearance and drape of the finished garment the interlining should be compatible with the shell fabric. However, fusible interlinings vary in terms of base fabric composition, base fabric structure and type of adhesive and finish. It is not an easy task to select the most suitable fusible interlining for a specific shell fabric or a specific range of shell fabrics. In general most companies have guidelines on how to select fusible interlinings. The traditional method of choosing a suitable interlining fabric is trial and error and/or by past experience. In general, many problems in fusible interlining selection and use can he avoided if manufacturers collaborate with their interlining suppliers in choosing the right fusible, and conduct pre-production testing to ensure consistent performance. Common fusing related problems and solutions During fusing, following parameters must be considered
  • The fusing method
  • The fusing machine
  • Conditions of the fusing viz. temperature, time, pressure and cooling
  • Quality and construction of fusing material used
  • Quality and construction of shell fabric
If the above parameters are not properly selected and/or adjusted, a number of problems can occur. Some of the common fusing related problems and their causes are detailed below-
    1. Low peel strength : This refers to a material's inability to resist forces that can pull it apart by separating the fusible interlining from the shell fabric. Causes
    • Bonding conditions are not suitable, such as bonding temperature is too high or too low or time is short or not enough pressure applied
    • Interlining or fabric is damp
    • Interlining quality is poor
    • Adjust the bonding conditions (temperature, time, pressure)
    • Change storage conditions to prevent moisture
    • Change for other interlining
    2. Blistering after bonding : Causes
    • Improper fusing conditions causing the bonded foam
    • Thermal difference between shell fabric and interlining
    • Uneven hot melt coating
    • Moving bonded fabric before allowing it to cool
    • Adjust the bonding conditions (temperature, time, pressure)
    • Select the fabric to match the lining
    • After bonding, the adhesive body should be fully cooled before moving.
    3. Blistering after washing : Causes
    • Improper fusing conditions resulting in washing performance degradation, and blistering within the specified number of times
    • Unsynchronized shrinkage of interlining and shell fabric for e.g. if lining side curls it shows that lining shrink is larger than that of the shell fabric
    • Adjust bonding conditions
    • Choose interlining and shell fabric with the same shrinkage
    • Adjust bonding pressure. If pressure is too low, the adhesive
    • strength will be weak. On the other hand if pressure is too high, it will affect washing performance.
    • In addition the above, attention must be given to the direction of fabric and lining to avoid shrinkage difference.
    4. Glue seepage : Glue seepage causes strike-through or strike-back i.e. the adhesive resin appears on the outer face of the fabric being fused or on the non- adhesive side of the fusible interlining after fusing. Causes
    • Particle size of hot melt adhesive powder does not match with the adoption process and causes bleeding gum
    • Lack of compatibility between shell fabric and interlining.
    • Interlining must be chosen keeping in mind the thickness and texture of shell fabric
    • Understand the performance of hot melt adhesive, in order to choose the best bonding temperature and bonding time.
    5. Color changes during fusing : Inappropriate fusing can cause temporary or permanent color changes (shine/glazing and/or discoloration) in fabrics Causes
    • Excessive heat, pressure and time during fusing process
    • Regulate pressing temperature, pressure and time to avoid overheating and over pressing
    • Allow fused fabrics to cool down for a while to regain their color
    • Select Multivariable Adhesive (MVA) that requires lower temperature, pressure and time for fusing
    • Put a cloth (same material or cotton) to cover the fusing material during heat pressing
    6. Fusing distortion Causes
    • Inadequate fusing conditions
    • Improper handling of fusing panels
    • Poor stability of the fabric
    • Adjust fusing conditions
    • Choose a stable fabric and ensure proper handling