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 its measurement.
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 judges.
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.