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Spreading of Fabric & Modes of Spreading

Spreading of Fabric & Modes of Spreading

Spreading is the method of reorganizing large rolls of the fabric on long, wide tables in readiness for each piece of clothing getting constantly cut. The process of spreading may be done manually or by computer-controlled machines.
  • One or two people may be involved in the spreading process based on fabric type and width of fabric, type of spreading machine and spread scale.
  • Two persons are normally required in the manual spreading process except when the spread is too small.
  • Throughout spreading one person on each side of the spreading table would work to keep the fabric flat, smooth and tension-free. The equipment itself controls the fabric tension, fabric placement, and travel rate using the automatic spreading process.
  • Spreading is a cutting preparation process.
  • The purpose of the spreading process is to lay the various tissue plies that are necessary for the production process to the length of the marker without any tension on the fabric.
  • The height of the layer depends on the order size, the characteristic of the cloth, the spreader power, cutting method and the equipment used.
  • The preference of spreading mode will affect the spreading costs as well as the quality of the finished garment.
  • The composition of each spread is derived from the cut order plan, i.e. the number of plies of each color.
Spreading of Fabric & Modes of Spreading

NUMBER OF PLIES DEPENDS ON: The capacity of cutting machine, output rate, fabric form itself (raw or slippery) and fabric thickness.


The spreads can be categorized into two basic types, flat spread and stepped spread, respectively.
Flat spreads (scrambled spread) –It is the economical spreading method where a single section maker comprises patterns in the ordered style ratio. 
The tissue is usually distributed over multiples of the marker ratio. All plies are of the same longitude in this form of distribution.

Stepped spreads (section spreads)–The spread is usually built as small steps in this process, with all the plies of fabric having the same length in one step.
It is widely used when the order has to which the difference between the quantities to be cut which prevents the flat spread being used. In most circumstances, the marker section is located closest to the left of the spread, with the need for the greatest number of plies. Then, after the first going down the table, each section in the order of decreasing number of plies is positioned.

Spreading Mode 
Different types of machinery and equipment used in the process of fabric spreading.
They are basically classifiable into three categories. They are:
Semi-automatic spreading machines
Manual spreading machines
Fully automatic spreading machines

The objective of Spreading-

  • Shade sorting of fabric rolls: Normally one spread needs more than one fabric roll; the correct order quantity requires many rolls. Hence, roll-to-roll shade variation is possible. A garment assembled from components cut from these different rolls of fabric could exhibit a variation in shade between its various panels. While spreading fabrics of more than one roll in a spread, they need to be separated by interleaving paper which helps to easily identify and separate the plies for bundling.

  • Ply direction and lay stability: It is influenced by the fabric type, pattern shape and spreading device. For example, for symmetrical patterns, the fabric could be spread either face-up or face-to-face manner. For asymmetrical patterns, on the other hand, the fabric can only be spread face-up or face-down.

  • Alignment of plies: Every fold of the spread needs to have the length and width of the marker, as well as the minimum possible extra outside those measurements, especially in width due to the possibilities of variation in width between fabric rolls and to a lesser extent within the roll. Keeping this into account, the marker design is usually produced to the narrowest fabric width. The surplus fabric width could be distributed at the opposite extreme of an operator outside of the marker plan by aligning the fabric edges at the end of the fabric could be centrally aligned by distributing the extra width equally on both sides.

  • Correct ply tension: During spreading it is very crucial to spread the fabrics with sufficient tension. Suppose if the fabric is spread at low voltage, then the fabric may form ridges with irregular completeness. Conversely, if the fabric is spread with high tension, they will maintain their tension while being held in the lay but it will contract after cutting or sewing, resulting in a smaller size of the component of the garment. Relaxing the fabric overnight, beating the layers and constructive fabric feed is the typically prescribed methods for eliminating stress in the lay.

  • Elimination of fabric faults: During fabric inspection, a plastic tag is usually fastened to the fabric edge in line with the fault. Make-through systems, cut out at the lay and sort and recut system are the fundamental ways to take action to localized faults.  The fabric faults are left in the garment as they are in the make-through system, and are inspected at the final stage of manufacturing. This option can be used if fabric faults are relatively smaller and the market for' seconds' is available. At the lay cutting uses ' splicing ' during spreading. In this process, at the point where the fault is located, the fabric is cut across the fabric ply and overlays it as far back as the next splice mark, which is sufficient to allow a full garment panel to be cut instead of sections only. In the case of the sorting and re-cutting process, the fabric faults are labeled with a strip of contrasting cloth; however, at the spreading stage, no action is taken.
  • After the cutting cycle has been completed, the cut parts are inspected for faults and the defective panels are recut from the fabric that remains. This is a cost-effective method and is especially used when the fabric costs are high, the pieces of clothing are large, and the fault rate is high.

  • Elimination of static electricity, fusion and stiff selvedge in cutting: In the case of synthetic fibers, particularly on dry days, static electricity can build up within a layer. The spreading process will be harder in such circumstances. Due to the heat generation in the knife blade, cut edges of thermoplastic fiber fabrics could fuse together during cutting. Anti-fusion paper that consists of a lubricant may usually be used to lubricate the knife blade, thereby reducing the heat generation in the cutting knife. Tight selvedge in the central area of the spread generally leads to fullness. They may be corrected to release the tightness by cutting into the selvedge.

  • Control of the fabric during spreading: Ideally each ply in the lay should always be spread by overlaying the fabrics with their ends aligned one above the other. 
  • Smoothing fabric–it is important to open any unnecessary folds during spreading and to avoid' bubbles' caused by uneven tension in softer fabrics.
  • Skewing-Skewing is a condition that angles the fabric across the course.
  • Bowing–Bowing is created when the weft bends down the table in the center of the fabric additionally, which is difficult to minimize.

  • Avoid distortion in the spread: spreaders are vital for the tension-free laying of the fabric. Therefore, after cutting the garment panels don't shrink. Normally, a glazed paper with its glossy side held down is placed at the top of the spreading table before spreading to prevent disturbance of the lower plies of fabric while the base plate of a straight knife cutting device passes under it.

Spreading Table

Spreading Table

Spreading normally takes a smooth, flat surface. Standard widths are required for the spreading and cutting tables.
A table which spreads should be about 10′′ wider than the width of the cloth. It may have rails fixed at the top of a table spreading to direct and control the spreader as it travels along the table length.
All the drives are synchronized with modern high speed spreading machines to control the tension of the fabric.

What is spreading mode?

The mode of fabric spreading is the way fabric plies are laid out for cutting.
The spreading mode is determined by the properties of the fabric, the company's quality standards, and the equipment available.
Two fabric characteristics that decide the mode of spreading are fabric direction and fabric nap direction.
All the plies are spread in one direction, with their faces side up. After a ply is laid it is cut across its width from the roll of cloth. This method of spreading is the most widely used. There are several reasons for its wide application: This can spread most types of textile materials.
During the spreading cycle the exclusion of fabric faults can be carried out.
Styles with asymmetric components which can be cut in a marker as pattern pieces are also put side-up with their heads.

‘Face up in a single direction’

The downside of this mode is that every ply needs to be spread from one end of the spread.
The' dead-heading' movement of a cloth ply has to be replicated over the table for the entire sheet, thereby raising the time and work needed for spreading.
The spreading of' face up in one direction' cannot be used for fabrics with a short-cut stack (velvet, corduroy, plush, artificial fur), since the plies are likely to slip over each other.

‘Face up in both directions’ spreading mode: 

All the plies are spread in both directions, with their faces side up. After a ply is laid it is cut across its width from the roll of cloth.
 To ensure that the face side in all plies is upward, the cloth roll at the end of each ply has to be rotated around 180 °.
Unlike the' face up in a single direction ' mode, this mode does not include the' empty heading.' Nevertheless, it takes extra time to turn the roll of fabric at the end of every ply.
In the following situations, this spreading mode cannot be used: if the fabric has a nap or pile; if the fabric has a pattern in only one direction and its location are strictly determined in a style.

‘Facedown in a single direction’ spreading mode: 

All the plies are placed in a single direction with their facial side down. After a ply is laid it is cut across its width from the roll of cloth.
This method of spreading is used in knitted fabrics where the cut edges roll. When the face side up spreading is used, it is difficult to fix the ply ends.
This spreading mode cannot be used in the following situations: where a design has asymmetric components and the pattern pieces in a marker is positioned side-up with their face; where fabric faults have to be rejected during spreading.

‘Face to face in a single direction’ spreading mode: 

The first ply of material is stretched side-up with its face. The ply is laid and then cut across its width from the roll of cloth.
The fabric roll is rotated around 180 ° after or during the ' dead-heading ' process and the next ply is spread in the same direction with its face side downwards.

The tissue is distributed in both directions. The fabric is folded at the end of each ply, and the spread proceeds in the opposite direction. So, the first ply has its face up, the second ply has its face down and the third ply is face-up again.

‘Face to face in both directions’ or ‘zig-zag’ spreading mode: 

The spreading of' Zig-zag' may be used for different fabrics. It does not require cutting of the fabric plies and therefore saves time. The material can also be saved, as there is no need for security allowances at the end of a spread. Folded material plies can also be separated by shears or a knife if necessary.

This spreading mode cannot be used in the following situations: where fabric rejection during spreading has to be performed; where a style has asymmetric components; where a fabric has an asymmetric pattern and its type of position is strictly defined.

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