fabrics, Fashion, fast fashion, indian textile industry

Mechanical Finish Vs Chemical Finish

mechanical finish vs chemical finish featured image

Before a fabric is shipped to a client, the product is passed through a “finishing process”. A finishing process is simply a value-adding step where the properties of the fabric are altered using various treatments either by using a chemical or a mechanical process. This additional treatment varies depending on the results required by the clients. It is mostly divided into two. Mechanical Finish and Chemical Finish. Let’s understand both these types of finishing in depth.

What is Mechanical Finishing Process?

Mechanical finishing is the process that alters the hand feel, appearance, durability, and performance of a textile. The key feature of mechanical finishing methods is that they used manual methods to alter the fabric’s properties. Depending on a variety of factors like fabric material used, type of dye, and dyeing method, the mechanical finishing method also changes. This ensures that the finishing process is efficient.

What are the types of Mechanical Finishing?

Like we discussed above, we are taking into consideration the fabric properties, type, and the desired end result before considering the type of mechanical finish.

At Dinesh Exports, we manufacture a wide range of fabric using a wide range of mechanical finishing methods. Contact us for more details.

  1. Calendaring Finish

Calendaring mechanical finish

When a fabric is wet-processed and dried, it will be in its least lustrous state. The surface will be rough due to the presence of highly crimped and wavy threads. In order to solve this problem, the fabric is passed in between two rollers or bawls of a machine called a ‘Calendar’. Hence the process is called calendaring. It is a common mechanical finishing method.

We can compare the calendaring process with calendaring as it smooths out the fabric. Benefits of the calendaring process are:

  • It increases the luster of the fabric
  • It makes the fabric more compact
  • Creates a soft and handy feel on the surface
  • Changes the appearance of the fabric

What are the types of calendars?

  1. Ordinary calendar: An ordinary calendar is a series of hard and soft rollers. The fabric is passed in between these rollers. Hard rollers are made of polished metal, while soft rollers are made out of compressed wood, paper, or cotton.
  2. Friction calendar: In order to achieve a higher luster, gloss, or greater closing up of the fabric, this type of calendaring is used. Here, one roller will rotate faster than the other. It will be heated and polished. This method is mainly used for finishing lining, shirting, and printing clothes.
  3. Embossing calendar: Fines lines are embossed on the fabric using this method. It will be a temporary effect that increases the luster and smoothness of the fabric.
  4. Swizzing calendar: This is an ordinary calendaring process with seven rollers that are run at the same peripheral speed.
  5. Chasing calendar: In order to get a linen-like appearance on the fabric, this type of calendaring process is used. There will be five rollers, all running at the same speed.


  1. Raising

It is a type of mechanical finishing process in which the layers of fibers are lifted from the surface of the fabric in order to form a pile. This process is known as raising. It makes the fabric exceptionally soft. The pile enables a large formation of air causing the fabrics to become warm and soft.

Cotton fabrics are mostly raised. But in recent times, even manmade fibers are also put under this process. The raising process is done in a wet state making it easier for implementation.


  1. Setting & Heat-setting

heat setting finish

During processes like spinning or weaving, the chances of fabric undergoing distortions in fabric structure designs and also uneven shrinkage are higher. In order to avoid this, a setting is implemented. Setting stabilizes the woven structure of the fabric in a regular and permanent manner by relaxing the stresses. The agencies used for bringing this effect are heat, moisture, and pressure. This is a chemical-free process.


  1. Sanforising

Sanforization is a type of mechanical finishing process invented by Sanford Lockwood Cluett in 1930. This process is mainly applied to cotton fabrics and textiles made from natural or chemical fibers.

During the sanforization process, the fabric is stretched and shrank in order to fix both the length and width before cutting and production. This process helps in reducing the shrinkage which would otherwise occur after washing.


  1. Napping

Napping is a process in which the surface of the cloth is raised, cut even, and smoothed by a napping machine. This machine is known as planetary napper.

The machine creates a pile on the fabric which makes it exceptionally soft and comfortable. The nap is generally brushed in one direction of the fabric through which light can reflect in a particular way. The most commonly used fabrics are velvet fabric and corduroy fabric. At Dinesh Exports, we have a wide range of corduroy fabrics. Reach out for samples.


  1. Shearing

Shearing is a type of mechanical process in which the fiber ends are cut off. This process removes the random lengths of fiber and achieves a smooth and leveled pile. Moreover, fabrics that go through the napping process are usually sheared.


  1. Sanding

Sanding is a process that makes the fabric surface resemble suede leather. The fabric surface is subjected to one or more rolls of abrasive material moving at a much higher surface speed than the fabric.


  1. Compaction

compaction finish

Compaction is a mechanical finish in which the length of the fabric is reduced by compressing the structure of the fabric. The fabric is more likely to shrink because of its structure. Fabric structures that have a more open style have a greater propensity to shrink. Compaction helps to avoid this.




What is Chemical Finishing Process?

Chemical finishing processes involved the usage of chemicals to change the properties of a fabric to get desired end results. The underlying selection criteria for selecting the type of chemical finish to be implemented depends on the type of fiber, its properties, and its application.

In general, various chemical finishing processes takes place after dyeing the fabric but also before the fabric is converted into a garment. Chemical finishing is a highly versatile and complex procedure. Depending on various factors, chemical finishing is divided as below:

  1. Wrinkle-free finish

This type of chemical finish is applied to eliminate wrinkles or creases on the fabric. It is further divided into two.

  • Pre-cure process: For fabrics that do not require pleats and are to remain flat are generally applied with this type of chemical finishing. All the steps (pad dry and cure) are performed at the mill level.
  • Post-cure process: In this process, the uniform distribution of chemicals is assured, since sensitization is done at the mill level in the fabric form.

Anti-crease finish, wash-and-wear finishes, durable press finishes are a further development of wash-and-wear finishes.

  1. Parchmentizing

Fabrics that are made up of cellulose fiber (like cotton) are treated with concentrated sulphuric acid to get a unique organdie finish. This chemical process is known as the parchmentizing process.

chemical finsih

A thin closely woven cotton fabric is transferred into a beautiful transparent fabric with slight stiffness, the effect is permanent. The action of sulphuric acid is characterized by three different effects depending upon its strength.


No Time to Read This Post? Download the PDF here!


  1. Anti soil finish

Anti soil finish is a type of chemical finish that minimizes the interaction between soil and the textile material (substrate). Soil can be water-soluble organic or inorganic soil, water-soluble inorganic cement, water-soluble organic, non-polar type soil (pigments), water-soluble organic, polar soil (fatty acids in the form of sweat, proteins-egg yellow). This increases durability and adds efficiency to the fabric. It prevents the fabric from getting dirty easily and increases its stain removal factor. It also helps in creating fabrics that remain clean for longer periods of time.

  1. Flame retardants

Flame retardants are a type of chemical finishing process which is done on fabrics that are non-flammable. Phosphor amide is one of the most common things which is used to make flame retardants and is highly suitable for the purpose. In recent reviews, the more important durable flame retardants used as additives or co-reactants in fibers or in finishes for fibers were summarized.

  1. Fluoro-chemicals as textile finishing agents

Fluoro-chemicals help in propelling water, oil, stain, and dirt from textile materials. When a drop of oil is added to a textile surface it forms a contact angle with it.

  • If the contact angle is higher than 900, there is drop formation and hardly any wetting of the surface.
  • If the contact angle is less than 900, there is the wetting of the surface.
  • If the angle is 00, there is complete wetting of the surface, immediately.
  1. Deodorant and antimicrobial finishes

antimicrobial finish

Microorganisms are a dangerous part of our everyday lives. Mold, fungus, mildew, yeast, and bacteria can cause various diseases to us. But with the help of identifying the microorganism and applying the right antimicrobial finishing, it can avoid harmful effects from them. Depending on the client’s requirements, various chemical finishes are applied. When implemented safely, it increases the durability and effectiveness of the fabric.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *