Fabric Preparation

With the exception of denim and a few types of knit, most fabric that is coloured, printed, or finished must first be prepared. Preparation, also known as pretreatment, involves a number of different treatment and rinsing activities that are essential to achieving positive outcomes in later textile finishing operations. Natural impurities or processing chemicals that obstruct dyeing, printing, or finishing are removed by the mill during preparation. Desizing, scouring, and bleaching are frequent preparatory methods. Processes intended to chemically or physically change the fabric, including singeing and mercerizing, can also be included in the preparation phases.

What is Fabric Preparation?

Before stitching and quilting, the fabric must be prepared, which is a crucial step. The fundamentals include prewashing to check for colour bleed and pressing with starch or sizing. Washing and using Retayne or Sythropol can erase, or at the very least lessen, the dye discharge from some materials, such as hand-dyed fabric or batiks, which may continue to do so. Additionally, ironing the fabric will guarantee that it is flat and easy to fold for cutting. Painting, dyeing, or inking your fabric requires additional preparation. For your desired project, properly preparing the fabric might make the difference between success with cutting and subsequent washing and failure with cut components that are too big or subsequently shrink in the wash and cause colours to bleed.

For instance, the fabric is chemically treated during the mercerizing stage to strengthen the fibres and improve dye affinity, or the capacity to absorb dyes. As a result, the fabric treatments used during finishing are more durable. When processing chemicals and agricultural residues that have previously been applied are removed, several contaminants are created. Inadequate preparation can result in the transfer of these chemical leftovers to later phases. For the majority of mills, the same preparation tools can be used across the board for the products they manufacture. Facilities typically choose continuous preparation methods over batch ones for financial and pollution-reduction reasons.

Process of Fabric Preparation

The following are pretreatment procedures that simplify the dyeing and softening steps that follow. Uneven desizing, scouring, and bleaching during the pretreatment stages may significantly worsen the attributes of processed products, such as uneven dyeing and a reduction in fastness.

  • Singeing

  • Desizing

  • Scouring

  • Bleaching

  • Mercerizing

  • Dyeing


The literal meaning of the verb singe is “to burn on the surface.” Singeing is a crucial component of pretreatment and technically refers to the burning off of loose fibres that are not firmly bonded into the yarn and/or fabric structure. This is the process of burning off fibre ends that stick out from the fabric’s surface. Uncertain print patterns, splotchy fabric surfaces, and pilling are the results of improper application. A cloth is singed to create a smooth fabric surface that makes it possible to see the fabric’s structure clearly. In the event of singed fabrics, the risk of pilling is decreased, particularly with synthetics and their blends. The printing of delicate, detailed designs on singed fabric is possible with excellent clarity and detail.


Desizing is the process of utilising an enzyme to dissolve the starch or size that has been applied to the warp yarn. Chemical oxidizer or other substances There are three different desizing techniques and four different methods that have been applied during wet processing. The materials are soaked out in water during this process and left to sit damp for several hours. Other than that, employing enzymes has been the most often used technique in this wet processing.


Scouring is the process of removing impurities such as oils, fats, gums, soluble pollutants, and solid dirt that are typically present in textile material to create a hydrophilic and clean fabric. The main goals of this process include eliminating all naturally occurring and artificially added impurities with essentially hydrophobic characteristics as completely as possible, increasing the absorbency of textile material, and leaving the fabric in a highly hydrophilic state with minimal chemical or physical damage.


A bleaching procedure is used to make fabric whiter. This is accomplished through the bleaching process. The cotton’s inherent colouring components are broken down into colourless compounds during the bleaching process. The whiteness of cotton fabric is enhanced by removing these colourants. The main goals of this technique are to create white fabric by eliminating colourants while causing the least amount of fibre degradation, to increase colour brightness after dying or printing, and to further enhance whiteness when the fabric is intended for marketing as white.


Mercerization is a chemical process used to permanently give cotton fibres and fabrics a higher affinity for dyes and other chemical finishes. Depending on the process, mercerizing also increases the tensile strength, absorptive capacity, and, typically, the degree of shine of cotton fabric. Basically, mercerizing is the process of applying a potent caustic alkaline solution to enhance the lustre, hand, and other characteristics of cotton. It can be utilised in this procedure for three different things: printing, finishing, and the overall final appearance.


Various methods of dyeing are used for various types of fibres and at various phases of the textile production process to add colour to fabric. Any phase of the textile manufacturing process can involve dyeing. Depending on the type of fabric or garment being produced, textiles can be dyed as fibre, yarn, fabric, or garments.


To sum up, before dyeing, printing, and/or mechanical and functional finishing, preparation operations are essential for removing impurities from fibres and improving their aesthetic appearance and processing ability as fabrics. Sizing is necessary to prevent breakage and to slow the weaving of a variety of natural and synthetic fibre yarns, whereas singeing may be required to create a smooth and uniform fabric surface. While scouring is used to remove impurities from both natural and synthetic fibres, it takes particular scouring techniques and carbonization techniques to remove a number of waxes and impurities from wool. All sorts of fibres are treated with bleaching agents and optical brighteners to enhance their look and make them more consistent for upcoming dyeing and finishing procedures. For cellulosics and, in some cases, cellulose/synthetic fibre blends, mercerization with alkali or treatment with liquid ammonia increases the moisture sorption, dye uptake, and functional fabric qualities. Although purification and pretreatments are typically carried out in a specific order, they have also been used at various stages of dyeing and finishing to get the appropriate fabric qualities.