2019 R&D 100 Awards - Winner (Process/Prototyping)
Related Projects: Revolutionary Relaxation Process for Sweater Manufacturing
The project is a pioneer work in developing a new approach to finishing of knitwear. The objective of knitwear finishing is mainly in the improvement of the garment appearance as well as hand properties. This can be achieved through relaxation treatment of the fabric off the machine. The new process to be developed is able to induce an even external force all over the fabric structure. The result is an extremely effective relaxation process. For the purpose of knitwear finishing, the new process is by far more satisfactory than the conventional method which is a wet process. The new process made use of energy released during vaporization of water. Hence water is the energy carrier which is able to cover the whole surface area of the knitted structure down to the fibre scale. This explains the highly effective relaxation process. Comparing with the conventional process there will be savings in time, energy and water. There would be no risk of pilling of the knitwear since the new process is almost static. Since water is not used as a fibre swelling agent in the new process, fibres with no affinity to water can also be relaxed effectively.