Functions of Functional Yarn


Functions of Functional Yarn

Israt Jahan Eusha

A famous yarn brand once twitted, “It’s not a pile of yarn, it’s a pile of potential.” Yarn has the potential to be used in the production of textiles and fabrics; in the processes of sewing, weaving, and knitting; in the embellishments through crocheting, braiding and embroidery. The potential of yarn market can be witnessed from its compound annual growth rate or CAGR. The CAGR of yarn market is 2.4%. Yarn is required in apparel, home textile and other industrial processes. An Industrial Growth Analysis carried out in 2020 has given a forecast on textile yarn market. It states that from 2021 to 2026, the yarn market is expected to grow from USD 10K million to USD 12K million. This market comprises animal-based yarn, plant-based yarn and synthetic yarn. When yarns get special classified characteristics, they are used as functional yarns. The numerous functions that the functional yarns are dedicated for are too amazing to be left unknown to people. Therefore, we are shedding light on it.

A highly advanced type of yarn that shows the unique combination of mechanical and functional properties is called Functional Yarn. Wet winding or round spinning, air blow-through spinning, and open-end spinning are different ways of manufacturing the functional yarn. Different brands have trademarked a wide variety of functional yarns which is a gift towards the mankind. We are grateful to those brands for their remarkable initiatives. Since this article’s objective is to share knowledge on the benefits and functionality of functional yarn, no promotional activities for those brands are going to be carried out here in this article. With that cleared, let’s dive into the world of functional yarn.

The functional yarns would always contribute to add value to the ordinary conventional yarn. They can add value in terms of showing unique qualities or contributing to the sustainability of the environment. Researchers of famous yarn making brands have found that the functional yarns made from recycled PET bottles can reduce up to 60% Carbon di Oxide emission.

Luster is something every customer would look for in the fabric they are purchasing. A yarn manufacturer has come up with continuously mercerized yarn which ensures better dyeing affinity. This results in lustrous appearance of the end product. It saves the fabric manufacturer from going through multiple process. Thus, it adds value to the production by reducing the lead time.

Antibacterial yarns are like protective shields from bacteria. Such yarn can be used in clothes to keep people safe from getting affected by any bacteria. Metal oxides are used in the yarn as bacteria or fungi absorber. This makes the yarn sterilized and anti-bacterial. This effective metal oxide component is added to the surface of the core fiber during spinning. The metal oxides are not taken from any heavy metal such as, Ag or Silver, Hg or Mercury, Pb or Lead and Cr or Chromium. The core fiber is specially treated to reduce contamination of viruses even after repeated laundering. The antibacterial rate remains 99% even after 30 times washing.

Another special functional yarn is made with combination of California long staple cotton fiber and Supima extra-long staple cotton. This special functional yarn provides desired staple length for desired spinning. It results in proper and enhanced yarn strength.

There is cotton yarn with quick drying function. The fiber is processed in a special way which contributes in its drying process. Specific surface area of the fiber is increased through processing and the fiber is also given a micro groove. This functional yarn results in achieving the function of rapid perspiration, moisture absorption and sweat releasing. This yarn is the perfect combination for quick drying under any circumstances.

Cool clothing during hot suffocating summer days is the requirement of everyone. Therefore, special jade powder is added to the fiber to reach such a cool effect in the cool yarn which keeps the temperature of the yarn and clothing 1 to 2 degree Celsius comparing with regular yarn.

Elasticity is mandatory in the clothing. More elasticity would result in more comfort as stiff and tightened clothing cause very much discomfort. Proper elasticity retains the comfort as well as the proper shape of the garments. Such function is found in Nylon Mechanical Stretch yarn because of manufacturing the yarn with special molecular arrangement of the fiber.

image002Flame retardant or heat resistant yarn is a very important sort of functional yarn because these are used in life-saving protective equipment. Fire retardant Meta aramid fibers are used for producing fireproof thread. Such fibers are 2.5 times stronger than nylon or polyester material. The yarn doesn’t stretch or melt and starts charring at 600-degree Fahrenheit while 700-degree Fahrenheit can decompose it eventually. Fire retardant fabric, fire proof mat, fire proof bag can be manufactured with this kind of functional yarn. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these yarns can only be used is clothing dedicated for fire safety. These can also be used in heat protective clothes to be safe during hot summer days and enjoy the smooth touch and shiny luster of such yarn.

Functional yarn named conductive thread are used for conductive effect on conductive textile. Conductive gloves made with conductive thread can make our lives easier by conducting our touch signal on the screens of our smartphones. Such wonderful functional yarn can be manufactured just using spun polyester, filament polyester or nylon thread twisted with conductive materials such as, stainless steel filament, spun stainless steel, silver plated, copper fiber, carbon fiber or any other conductive fibers. Not only conductive but also anti-static functional yarns are worth mentioning that limits the conduction of static electricity the giving a protective layer against electricity and good resistance to static, chemicals and abrasion. It is generally required in the sewing of anti-static uniforms, anti-static shoes, anti-static gloves, anti-static wrist bag, anti-static packaging bag, anti-static bubble bag, anti-static packaging bag and so on. It is also applicable in electronics, medicals, biology, optics, spaceflight industries as a staple element.

image005Luminous functional yarn glows in the darkness which is very much popular among joggers. Such yarns can also be used in making clothing for kids or belts for pets so that the innocent babies and animals can be easily found if lost in the dark. Being washable, eco-friendly and not harmful to living creatures are the reasons for this yarn being chosen in the manufacturing of products for kids and pet animals as people are really sensitive about these members in the family. These threads which glow in the dark are manufactured with added advanced luminescent material with polyester for being used in special embroidery. These functional yarns can glow for more than 10 hours with only 10 minutes of exposure to light. These yarns are widely used in clothing, shoes and hats, toys, computer embroidery and other machine embroidery and hand embroidery industries. Main products such as industrial sewing threads, embroidery threads, clothing and decorative fabrics such as weave fabric, underwear, curtains, portiere, tablecloths, or shoelace and mobile phone hanging bangs, carpet, tapestry fabric material, sofa fabric and embroidery products are manufactured with this functional yarn as the core raw material.

image008Color changing functional yarns are very much attractive to the buyers because the yarn switching colors and giving different look through the clothing intrigues them. Some color changing functional yarn changes color because of different temperature. Such yarns are made with two pigments. The pigments show their colors at lower temperature and become colorless at high temperature.

There is another type of color changing yarn which changes its color in UV rays. Such color sensitive yarns change colors whenever they are exposed under the sun and comes in contact with the UV rays. Therefore, the garment would reflect one color during the day and another color in the night.

A very widely used functional yarn is water proof yarn which gives protection from unwanted water exposure. These yarns are used for waterproof clothing, shoes, bags, tents, outdoor supplies and other waterproof fabrics. Such clothes are mandatory during monsoons and whenever someone is required to save themselves from exposure of water.

Volcanic rocks and carbonized materials are used in manufacturing warm functional yarn to give protection from frostnip or frostbite caused by excessive cold weather.

Advanced equipment and high production cost are prerequisite for functional yarns. USD 14.00 to USD 16.00 would be the cost of the functional yarn required for manufacturing a simple piece of garment such as, a scarf. An amount of USD 30.00 to USD 50.00 per kg might be required to acquire the functional yarn with special properties. Then there are yarns which are not even very much expensive if we consider the benefits, we are getting from them such as, the cost of Nano copper polyester spun functional yarn enlisting anti-bacterial properties is $7.0 per Kg. With proper marketing tools, these yarns should be publicized. People should invest in making technical garments with these functional yarns to embrace the futuristic journey of the textile industry. The huge potential hidden in a pile of yarn should be utilized as much as possible.



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