“Production process” can indicate two different types of processes. First of all it can mean the complete production process, from the cultivation of the plant to the finished fabric. But it can also be used in a more narrow meaning, namely the way in which the raw material is transformed into the fiber.
This last process, from raw material to fiber, has a big impact on the eventual characteristics of the final fabric. Take viscose for example. It’s made in the same manner as modal, but due to a difference in chemicals, sequence and amount of repetitions of certain processes the modal fiber is stronger and more absorbent. The elasticity, strength, tendency to pill, absorption, all aspects that can be determined by this process.
The entire production process is furthermore (or in the first place…) of great impact on the environment. From the way cotton is cultivated or the type of tree that is used for the cellulose used for viscose, modal or lyocell, to the spinning, dyeing and weaving of the fibers. The use of organic seeds instead of GMO’s, the amount of land, water, fertilisers and pesticides that are used, the choice between organic or synthetic substances, the re-usage of materials and/or safeguarding their disposal. All examples of the impact of the production of fabric on the environment.
You can read a bit more about this subject here, and I will try to focus on it in later articles about specific types of fabric, because it can be rather complicated… The fact is that almost every fabric can be produced in an environmentally friendly or unfriendly way, depending on the choices the producer makes on all the described aspects.
Type of binding
Knitted fabrics on the other hand are always stretchable. You can find these fabrics under the name jersey or tricot (tricoter is French for “to knit”). Sometimes it will also be named T-shirt fabric. If you look closely at the fabric you can see the same kind of stitches as you would make yourself when knitting a scarf, for example. These stitches are just made with very thin yarn and needles, so you can’t see it well from a normal distance.