HKS 4 P EL: Pile velour is right on-trend – with the new furnishing fabrics

Furnishing fabrics with fleecy surfaces are right on-trend, especially in Turkey. Manufacturers there are reacting to the increased demand by producing stylish, warp-knitted textiles and completely new types of fabrics. They are produced on e.g. four-bar tricot machine as a flat fabric and then raised to give them a velvety feel – an efficient way of producing this type of fabric, but not the only one! As well as producing velour by a raising process, it is also possible to produce voluminous fabrics with a soft and cuddly feel by producing textiles which have pile loops and then shearing them. The HKS 4 P EL is ideal for this purpose. This high-speed tricot machine operates with a pile sinker bar which, together with the EL pattern drive, produces attractive designs, which are easy to work. The collection of cushion covers shown here, which were produced by KARL MAYER, illustrates some of the possibilities.

Relief patterns made from pile loops

Ground guide bar 1 was not used on the HKS 4 P E to produce the warp-knitted fabric with the geometrical design. The other bars, working with textured polyester, produced an attractive high/low sculptured effect. GB 4 produced the dense, uniform ground with a closed tricot lapping. Combining fancy threading, lapping and two-coloured yarns, GB 2 and GB 3 produced wavy and zigzag lines, checks, simple stripes or hearts, which rise up three-dimensionally from the surface of the due to the use of a pile bar. A contrasting look is produced, which offers a huge potential for imitating burnout looks. The geometrical velour designs, as well as other patterns, can be produced more easily by using the pile sinker than when producing velour fabrics by raising the underlaps. The pile layer is also higher. The loops in the pile velour are usually 2 to 3 mm high. In general, the aim is to produce a small pile loop with a steep radius in the head to minimise waste during the shearing process.

Injecting new life into an old business

With its new furnishing fabric collection, KARL MAYER’s aim is to help pile-patterned velour fabrics to make a comeback. “The patterned, velvet-like textiles have become established as seat covers especially in the automotive sector. Velour fabrics were particularly popular in the 1980s, but had all-over, uniform pile layers then. We are hoping that our fabrics, with their three-dimensional velour designs, will inspire home textile producers to come up with some completely new product ideas,” says Jürgen Wohlrab, a product developer specialising in textile technology at KARL MAYER, when speaking about the aims of his latest work.

With final fabric weights of between 310 and 440 g/m2, the new pile velour fabrics are too lightweight for use as upholstery fabrics without being laminated, and they are also too transparent. But as furnishing fabrics, such as cushion covers, these attractive, fleecy textiles, with their striking relief patterns, can be used to inject new life into the home. Jürgen Wohlrab also has the clothing sector in his sights. This textile developer has produced a fabric containing viscose for producing burnout looks for use in high-end fashion wear. He is also planning to modify the ground. Tulle-like constructions in the ground should lead to the development of completely new fabrics for the market.

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