Filling, also known as weft or woof, is a term used in the textile industry to describe the yarn that runs horizontally across the loom during the weaving process. It is woven through the warp yarn, which runs vertically, to create a woven fabric. The filling is typically thicker and softer than the warp yarn, and it provides the fabric with its horizontal strength and stability.
Filling yarns are typically made from cotton, wool, silk, or synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon. The choice of filling yarn depends on the desired characteristics of the fabric, such as its weight, texture, and durability. Cotton is a popular choice for filling yarn because it is soft and absorbent, making it ideal for use in clothing and bedding. Wool is another common filling yarn used in heavy-duty fabrics such as blankets and outerwear because of its natural insulating properties.
The process of weaving filling yarns into a fabric involves the use of a shuttle or a shuttleless loom. A shuttle loom works by passing the filling yarn back and forth across the width of the loom through a small wooden device called a shuttle. The shuttle carries the filling yarn through the warp yarns and is then thrown back across the loom, where it is caught and guided through the next set of warp yarns. This process is repeated until the entire fabric is woven.
Shuttleless looms, also known as rapier looms, air jet looms, or water jet looms, use a different method to insert the filling yarn. These looms use a rapier or air jet to carry the filling yarn across the loom. The rapier loom uses a flexible metal rod to carry the filling yarn across the loom, while the air jet loom uses compressed air to propel the filling yarn across the loom. Both methods are faster and more efficient than the shuttle loom and are commonly used in modern textile production.
The properties of the filling yarn have a significant impact on the characteristics of the finished fabric. The thickness and type of filling yarn used can affect the weight, texture, and drape of the fabric. For example, a fabric made with a thin and lightweight filling yarn will be lighter in weight and have a more delicate drape than a fabric made with a thicker filling yarn. Similarly, a fabric made with a woolen filling yarn will have a coarser texture and be more insulating than a fabric made with a cotton filling yarn.
Filling yarns can also be used to create decorative patterns in woven fabrics. This is achieved through the use of different colored filling yarns or by weaving the filling yarn in a pattern, such as a twill or herringbone weave. The resulting fabric can have a subtle or bold pattern, depending on the design of the weave.
The textile industry uses filling yarns in a wide range of applications, from clothing and bedding to upholstery and industrial textiles. Clothing made from woven fabrics with filling yarns can provide warmth, durability, and comfort. Bedding made with filling yarns can offer softness, breathability, and absorbency. Upholstery fabrics made with filling yarns can provide durability, abrasion resistance, and stain resistance.
Some of the top manufacturers of filling yarns include companies such as Parkdale Mills, Inc., Unifi, Inc., and Gildan Activewear Inc. These companies produce a wide range of filling yarns in various fibers, thicknesses, and colors to meet the needs of their customers. The top users of filling yarns are often textile mills, garment manufacturers, and home textile companies that produce a wide range of textile products for commercial and consumer use.
In conclusion, filling is a crucial component of woven fabrics, providing horizontal strength and stability to the textile.