All of us like to be wrapped in a cozy blanket. Whether you throw them on the couch or sofa for comfort, warmth and look or carry along to your camping or travel, a great blanket is a must have for anybody. Blankets are available in a variety of fabrics and choosing the right material for your blanket depends on your requirements and advantages.
While cotton blankets are ideal for summer and woolen for cold months, a fleece blanket is a great alternative to any other blanket. It is an ideal choice for those who need warmth and softness but are allergic to wool. Fleece is composed of synthetic materials but shares a lot of properties with wool and keeps the moisture away from the body providing warmth.
Fleece blankets are soft, delicate, lightweight and easy to clean and dry. They are available in a wide variety of colors, prints, patternsand sizes to choose from. If you have ever wondered how fleece blankets are manufactured, read on to learn about the complete method involved in custom fleece manufacturing. (Other questions you can contact Zengbo blanket manufacturer
Choosing the Fleece fabric for blankets
The first step in manufacturing fleece blankets is picking the best quality fleece fabric. Most fleece blankets are made from filament micro-fiber yarns which make the blankets soft and warm. The weight, durability and quality of fleece make the difference to the fleece blanket manufactured.
Fleece is a man-made product created out of plastic. Soft, warm and breathable characteristics of this material make it ideal for coziness and outwear needs. Other natural fibres are often incorporated into fleece like rayon or wool to create a specific vibrancy or texture. Fleece can also be created using recycled plastics like water bottles.
Polyester fleece requires creating polyester fibres first. These fibres are created through a chemical reaction between petroleum and its derivatives. These chemicals are heated until a thick syrup is formed which then hardens and is spun to form threads. Once these threads are knitted into yarns, it weaves into cloth. The fabric is then passed through a machine named napper where bristles raise the fabric surface.
When polyester is made from recycled plastic, used PET containers are first collected and emptied into moving belts where they are separated from any foreign objects and containers. The sorted plastic moves onto a sterilizing bath after which they are dried and crushed. The chips are washed and when completely dried, they are put into vat and heated and passed through spinnerets to turn into yarn.
Drawing and Crimping
The spool of yarn is pulled through heated rollers of drawing machine to 3-4 times of its original length. Drawing increases the fibre strength and helps set the PET molecules structure to smooth threads.
The tow is then passed through crimping machine that compresses it and gives it a texture like an accordion. This adds strength too. the crimped tow passes through a dryer and then cut into lengths and baled. The hair-like fibres look like wool at this stage.
The polyester, after baling, is inspected for thickness and strength and then sent to a carding machine which aligns the fibre into thicker, rope-like strands. Such strands come out of the machine and are rolled into containers.
Ropes are then fed to a spinning machine which twists the strands into finer diameter and collects the finished yarn onto spools.
Knitting and Dyeing
The yarn is then passed through a circular knitting machine to knit it. The knitting machine binds the yarn into a continuous tube of fabric which is hundreds of yards long. Once done, the fabric is immersed in dye vats to give them the desired color. After dyeing, the yarn is passed through a drying machine.
When making custom fleece blankets, screen printing or digital printing is carried out at this stage to get the blankets printed with required logo, design or artwork at the desired location for customization.
Making the Blankets Soft and Cozy
A good fleece blanket is the one that is soft and cozy. To make sure that the blankets remain soft and cozy after washing, they are brushed with sharp brushing bristles to raise the softness. Brushing helps raise the surface of the blanket to bloom. As the blanket is brushed, the bristles lift the fabric yarn to make it warmer, softer and cozier. This process also prevents the fleece from shedding or pilling in the future. Once brushing is done, a blade is used to trim the fleece fibre of the blanket to give a beautiful, leveled pile.
The fabric is then sprayed with some chemical or waterproof material that sets the fleece texture. Once finished, the material is ready for cutting according to customer requirements.
Cutting for Size
Blankets are often cut in batches either by hand or machine. They are cut for different sizes – queen, king, twin or baby and quilts. Cutting the blankets is a process that requires care to ensure that they are cut straight so that they appear good when folded. Once the blankets are cut to the right sizes, they are ready for the next step.
Once the blankets are cut, it is the time to introduce the custom embroidery for logo and customization. Embroidered blankets go through embroidery machines to reflect the logos and artwork at desired spots on the blanket as instructed by customers.
Sewing and Hemming
Different types of sewing machines are used to sew and hem the fleece blankets. They are hemmed in one of the kinds of hems to add durability and appeal. Over lock stitch is often used at the edge where the hems meet.
Cutting, brushing, shearing and hemming fleece blankets create loose threads and this requires gentle vacuuming. This process ensures none of the threads remain on the blanket.
Each blanket manufactured is then inspected to check for potential quality issues. The blankets are inspected for length, width, loose threads, dirt, stains, holes or poor stitching. Any blemishes like spots or color shading are checked. Each blanket is checked to ensure that it is plush and warm before approval. Custom blankets are embroidered or monogrammed and the embroidery and printing are also inspected to make sure the customers get what they order.
Packaging the Blankets
The blankets are then packaged and shipped to customers. They are folded carefully and placed into appropriate interior and exterior package and shipped.
Fleece blankets go through these steps to get ready for use in commercial or domestic settings. Fleece blankets can be customized easily to requirements and make an ideal choice for kids, adults and pets looking for some warmth and comfort all through the year. They are durable and great-looking and can be cherished for years to come.