Ganga Acrowools - Seal of Safety
December 03, 2022
What is OEKO-TEX certification?
OEKO-TEX certifies products to comply with European Union regulations. It further certifies that certificate holder makes products without presence of any harmful substances and ensures environmental compliance.
What are the various product classes of OEKO-TEX
Certificate distinguishes between four product classes:
Product class I:
This is highest class of certification for Textiles and materials to be used for babies, toddlers, it certifies that product in this case - yarn is safe for making baby articles.
Product class II:
Textiles and materials, the surface of which mainly comes into direct contact with the skin: underwear, bedding, towels, shirts, blouses, socks and so on.
Product class III:
Textiles and materials, the surface of which mainly comes into direct contact with skin to a minor extent: jackets, coats, outdoor textiles, and so on.
Product class IV:
Furnishing materials for decorative purposes: table linen, curtains, upholstery fabrics and so on.
Ganga and Heartbeats products have been certified in which product class?
All Ganga and Heartbeats products are certified under Class 1, which has the most stringent OEKO-TEX criteria, which means Ganga and Heartbeats yarns are safe for baby articles as per European Union Regulations (REACH - Annexure XVII & Annex 4) and American requirement for children's articles (CPSIA).
All About Acrylic
September 14, 2022
What is Acrylic ?
Acrylic yarn is made from Acrylic fibre / tow – which is a man made fibre basic derivative is acrylonitrile which is further made from crude oil . Acrylic fibre is available in various deniers ranging from 0.9 to 17 , most commonly used denier for Hand knitting yarns range from 2 to 6 , Lower the denier of the fibre softer is the yarn , higher the denier bulkier is the yarn , Hence right mix depending on end use of the yarn is needed , Example baby yarns will have lower denier mix , Latch yarns can have higher denier mix
What is Bulky Acrylic or HB ( High Bulk Acrylic ) ?
Acrylic fibre started becoming popular in early on 1970s – it has a unique property when stretched on special machines it becomes shrinkable ( means will shrink when subjected to heat / steam ) therefore Acrylic tops ( basic form ) of acrylic fibre to spin yarn can be made as shrinkable Tops and Non Shrinkable Tops ( also called as Relaxed tops ) These 2 kinds of variants are mixed in order to make what is called Bulky Acrylic yarn ( most common type hand knitting yarn ) , when both fibres are mixed -the shrinkable fibres , shrink by 15% to 25% they make non shrinkable fibres to crimp around shrinkable fibres , hence provide very good volume / bulk to the yarn This bulk / crimping resembles the natural volume of wool caused by natural crimp of the wool fibres , Therefore Acrylic is the closest man made fibre that resembles wool in terms of bulkiness Acrylic bulky yarn can be High Bulk , Medium Bulk , Low Bulk, or No Bulk ( Called as Relax yarn ) Lower the bulk softer is the yarn , but weight per square knitting will also increase where as bulky yarns will result in Light weight garment Just to give an idea of the bulk of the yarn Bulky Acrylic hand knitting yarn . The volume would be double that of cotton or polyester yarn , example if One container / carton box can contain 10 kgs of cotton yarn it can only contain 5 Kgs of Acrylic yarn and 6 Kgs of wool yarn So the products made from Acrylic yarn will be half the weight of cotton ( light weight ) There are some acrylic yarns ( Relax yarns ) which are not bulky they will knit heavier
Advantages of Acrylic
- Bulkier , results in light weight products Excellent crimp factor , insulation effect , hence very good for winter , provides warmth retains heat
- Bright colors , Dyes very well , very good washing fastness ( doesn’t bleed )
- Durable – Easy wash , Easy Care
- Moth Proof & Non Allergenic
- Excellent knit definition
- Closest synthetic fibre to wool ( Often called Common mans wool ) Cost effective
- Can be mixed with any fibre , especially can be mixed wool which provides best of the both fibres called as Acrowool yarns ( mix of Acrylic & wool )
- Dyeing process of acrylic is good to environment unlike cotton where only 70% -75% dyes as absorbed rest all wasted in water and needs extensive treatment , Acrylic fibre absorbs 95% to 98% of dye stuffs therefore rendering waste water practically clean of dye stuffs , This water can be biologically easily treated as it has very low BOD and COD loads
Disadvantages of Acrylic
- Tends to Pill more
- Cannot be used for very breathable products such as socks – Not ideal for socks
Acrylic & Acrowool yarns
Acrylic is mostly spun on worsted / Semi worsted spinning system ( Long Staple spinning ) -as explained in All about yarns section , Acrylic yarns can be made by dyeing fibre first and then making the yarn ( called as Fibre / Tow dyed yarns ) or they can be dyed later after raw white yarn is made then yarn itself can be dyed – Normally on Hanks Acrylic can be easily mixed with any fibre , for example Acrylic Wool , Acrylic Merino, Acrylic Nylon ( Very soft yarns for babies ) , Acrylic Alpaca , Acrylic Tencel , while Acrylic will provide the bulk , and other fibre will provide the property it is intended for
All About Wool
September 14, 2022
Since the existence of early man, who used to use raw hides with wool to protect himself, Humans have been washing, wearing wool since 10000 BCE . Source of wool is sheep, depending on the breed, region etc the wool from particular breed of sheep determines the quality of the wool
Scouring ( washing ) of Wool
Sheep doesn’t bathe every day hence the wool on the sheep gathers, dust, vegetable matter, and becomes greasy full of oil ( like if don’t wash our hair for long time it will become dusty and oily ), When wool is shorn from sheep it is full of dust, grease, oil, and plant matter, it is called as Greasy wool - it needs to be washed, The process of washing wool is like we do shampoo ( it is called as Scouring ), what we are left with is called as scoured wool, Raw wool fibres, entangle with each other, short, long, very short, very long wool fibres.
Combing of wool
The wool fibres then have to be carded and combed, carding is the process where these entangled random wool fibres and made parallel and brought in straight form and long unit which can be spun in to you, these form of carded wool is called wool tops,which further is combed ( like we comb human hair ) after washing and drying, combing further parallelizes the wool fibres, takes out very short fibres, and also removes residual vegetable matter . The combed tops are then spun on spinning machines to make different kinds of yarns
Classification and properties of wool
Wool can be classified on many parameters some important parameters are
- Origin and Breed of Sheep : Wool being natural fibre different breeds of sheep inhabiting different parts of the world produce
- Merino : One of the important of these breeds is Merino – Merino sheep produces very soft, good quality wool, good color, It is expensive but ideal for apparels and accessories. Generally 24 micron or below is classified as Merino wool if from Merino Breed, Wool mark company certifies Merino as 22.5 microns or below
- BCross Bred Wools : These wools range from 24 microns to 32 microns from mixed breeds, it is cheaper than Merino wool as microns are coarse, therefore very affordable and imparts nice feel, handle and warmth
- Carpet grade wools : Wools more than 31/32 microns are generally used for carpets, floor coverings Origins : Wool specific to regions can have unique properties for example, 85% of worlds Merino is produced in Australia, NZ has best carpet wools, Wools from UK have excellent bounce crimp factor so are bulkier, Argentinian wools can be very soft, clean, extra white, Scandinavian wools are very good extreme cold places and so on
- Wool Microns : Wool microns ( diameter of the wool fibre ) is measured in microns, hence called as Wool microns 1 micron = 0.001 mm, 10 microns is 0.01 mm, Hence 25 microns would be 0.025 mm.
- Most common range for wool microns for Hand knitting yarns is 19 to 32
- Merino is generally 17 to 24 microns – can be finer as well.
- Wool below 19.5 microns is called as Super fine or Extra fine Merino
- Wool below 17.5 microns is called Ultra fine Merino
- Lower the microns more expensive is the wool and hence softer
- Machine washability of wool : Wool fibres have scales on them, when washed in warm water wools tends to join other fibres and these scales fuse with each other, Wool shrinks and knitted wool after shrinking forms fabric, this process is called as felting . In order avoid wool to shrink, we treatment before spinning is given called as shrink resistant treatment, or Super wash or TEC ( Total Easy care ), scales are removed, such wools become machine washable or shrink resistant. Care should be taken and wash care symbols should be checked on the label, if wool is machine washable it can be washed or tumble dried and if not then wool It should washed by hand with care to avoid felting or shrinking.
Advantages of wool
- Wool pills less, as compared to other synthetic fibres like acrylic, fibres of which can stick to your skin, wool wont
- Wool is a natural insulator hence warmer than synthetics or other fibres
- Wool is naturally safe. It is not known to cause allergies and does not promote the growth of bacteria.
- Wool is naturally Anti Static – ( Synthetics produces a lot of static charge )
- Wool is renewable, Biodegradable – when mixed with soil it decomposes and becomes part of soil in short time
- Wool is Flame retardant, it retards the flame growth unlike synthetics
- Wool has high level of UV protection ( much higher than cotton or synthetics )
- Wool has natural elasticity and bounce as compared to cotton – which tends to rigid, flat
- Wool is Anti Wrinkle, wool fibres and yarns and spring, coil like bounce back to regain original shape when bent with pressure
- Wool is stain resistant, Wool has outer protective layer which prevents stain to be absorbed hence, stains on wool are easily removable and washable
Why wool is best for socks
- Our feet take the most load and often are the most ignored part of the body which remain in closed environment ( especially with socks further surrounded by shoes for hours together
- Feet have maximum number of sweat glands in the body, constantly sweating and remaining most when in socks and shoes
- Wool has best absorption of moisture and water – it is the most efficient in absorbing sweat amongst all textile fibres, It is the ideal fibre for your feet, it will keep feet warm and moisture free, Wool can absorb moisture upto more than 30% of its weight, Acrylic moisture absorption is less than 2% as such it is damaging to your feet when kept in closed environment for longer period of times – Unless Acrylic is Anti Microbial / Bacterial /Fungal ( it is not recommended to be used for socks or anything with close contact to skin for longer time )
- Odour resistant – Wool absorbs sweat and releasing it into the air, before bacteria has a chance to develop and produce unpleasant body odour, hence odour resistant, ( Acrylic wont absorb sweat,hence prone to odour )
- Wool a breathable fibre, when you wear only socks at home , without shoes the fibres breathe allow air to be exchanged, keeping your feet healthy without loosing warmth
All About Yarn
September 14, 2022
What is a yarn ?
In simplest terms , yarn is strands of fibres , twisted together , for use in Knitting , weaving , crocheting , ropes , tufting , embroidery , sewing , etc etc
How are yarns spun ?
The yarns can be spun by hand directly or simple hand operated machines / tools ( remember the good old Charkha / Spinning wheel ) , or by Electrically powered machines , when we spin yarns by machines , there are different technologies , ( These machines are generally installed and used ) in what is know as spinning mills or spinners .
What are different systems of spinning or yarn categories ?
There are many modern day technologies which are used to spin yarns , and choice depends on many factors , one of the basic factors length of the fibre used , Long, medium , short , very short – All natural fibres which occur in nature have natural staple length ( measured in mm ) and thickness ( measured in microns ) , Spinning systems are generally chosen depending on this important factor ( While there are other factors as well . Some systems of spinning are
- Woollen System – is traditional system of spinning , ideal for many different fibres , especially Wool, Cashmere , – can use mix of short / long / medium fibres
- Long staple spinning – Also called as worsted / Semi worsted – Can spin long length fibres 65 /70 mm to 110/130 mm – Ideal for Wool/ Merino , Alpaca , Silk , Mohair etc etc
- Short Staple spinning – Cotton is a plant fibre which has short staple length 25 mm to 45 mm – Cotton is spun on this system Fancy Yarns : Novelty yarns , with structures like , Boucle , Loop, Slubs , Frieze , Knots etc etc use system of spinning called as Hollow , There are other Novelty yarn spinning systems like Air Jet, Crochet ( Warp Knitting ) , Needle crochet etc etc , used to make hairy yarns , chain yarns , Ladder yarns , Eyelash , caterpillar , chenille , etc etc
- Then there are many other systems of spinning like DREF , Open End , Mule spinning , Continuous filament yarns etc etc
Natural fibres versus Synthetic fibres
Natural fibres as name suggests are found in nature , main sources are Plants and Animals , examples of Plant fibres are Cotton , Hemp , Jute , Flax etc etc examples of Animal fibres are Merino ( Wool ) , Alpaca , Mohair , Cashmere , Silk , Yak , Quivit , Pashmina , Angora etc etc . Please check out our 2021 calendars for both categories of fibres 2021 Calendar Synthetic fibres are man made , can be derived from crude oil , or other polymers , these can ne tailor made to fit any system of spinning – we can control staple length , microns ( in synthetic fibres thickness is defined in terms of denier ) some of the common Synthetic fibres are , Acrylic , Polyester , Viscose , Nylon ( Polyamide ) , Poly propylene etc etc , These can be used on any basic system of spinning provided they are manufactured to the specifications to run on that system
Craft Yarns ( Knitting and Crochet yarns )
Most important systems for these are Long staple ( worsted / Semi worsted ) , Fancy , Woollen , and Short staple ( for cotton or cotton blends )