Source: Textile Review
Drape, one of the most important
properties of fabric, has played significant role in providing graceful
aesthetic effects in garment. Study of historic costumes of India, Egypt and Rome reveals that when stitch craft was not known to man, drape of
fabric was used as device of special adornment in the garment. This
article discusses factors affecting draping quality of fabric as well as
Aesthetic appeal of apparel has always been
important for men. Drape, one of the most important properties of fabric, has
played significant role in providing graceful aesthetic effects in garment.
Study of historic costumes of India, Egypt and Rome reveals that when stitch
craft was not known to man, drape of fabric was used as device of
special adornment in the garment. This article discusses factors affecting
draping quality of fabric as well as its measurement.
Drape aspect of fabric has been focus of
research in fabric engineering for many years. Although drape is a subjective
quality as it pertains to appearance, attempts have been made to
objectively define and measure drape in fabric form.
Drape is the ability of a fabric to fall under
its own weight into wavy folds of different nature. Fabric drape can be
evaluated objectively as well as subjectively.
Objective assessment of drape
Drape of fabric can be studied by objective
assessment and this is done with the help of an instrument. Monoplanar test and
multiplanar test are used to measure fabric drape quantitatively.
Monoplanar test is based on measurement of
fabric stiffness. Stiffness is the key factor in the study of drape.
Quantitatively stiffness of fabric is measured in terms of the bending length
or flexural rigidity. Stiffness tester based on cantilever principle is used to
measure bending length. A strip of fabric is pushed forward untiI gravity
causes the strip to bend to a prescribed length. This approach is still used
today in analyzing drape properties for strip geometries.
Stiffness values are measured only in one
direction (either warp or weft) at a time where as drapability is the result of
interaction between warp way and weft way characteristics of fabric.
An instrument known as drapemeter, which is
capable of distorting the fabric in all three directions is used to evaluate
drape quantitatively. Drapemeter measures three dimensional fabric drape due to
gravity. Circular drapemeter has been most widely used to study fabric drape
and factors affecting it.
The experimental method generally involves
hanging fabric specimen of 15 cm. radius over supporting disc of 9 cm. radius.
Unsupported area drapes down under its own weight. Drape is measured as drape
ratio or drape coefficient which theoretically varies from 0 to 100.
Subjective Assessment of Drape
Drape can be assessed subjectively. Fabric
assessment is often done by handling the fabric and verifying how it falls into
folds and how regular these folds are. Subjective evaluation of garment drape
is done by evaluating the garment for its appearance and aesthetic value by
Factors Affecting Drape Of Fabric
Drapability of a fabric is combined effect of
several factors such as stiffness, flexural rigidity, weight, thickness etc.
Stiffness, an attribute of fabric hand is one of the most important factors
determining draping quality of fabric e.g. soft fabric drapes closer to the
body forming ripples whereas stiff fabric drapes away from the body. Stiffness
of fabric itself depends upon geometrical parameters of the fabric.