It is spelled ‘finishing’ but it is read ‘set of operations to refine fabrics’, one of the most emblematic phases of the transformation of fabrics, which, thanks to a series of specific treatments that improve their look, hand (feel), and properties, pass from the raw version to the semi-finished or finished one, ready for final product manufacturing.
Carried out both on fabrics made with digital printing and on those printed traditionally, modern finishing, in addition to making use of physical means such as heat, pressure, friction, tension, and humidity and steam, also uses chemical solutions specifically designed to achieve the desired goal.
But, concretely, why are these operations important?
Because by acting on the structure of the fabrics, they bring improvements ranging from the development of the finish in its fundamental components (hand and look) to the enhancement of those properties that guarantee optimal behaviour during the tailoring and use, up to the improvement of structural qualities or aesthetics in response to the needs of fashion.
On the basis of the fibrous nature of the fabric and its final use, make room then for calendering to obtain a glossy, smooth, and compact effect; polishing – a type of calendering that uses heat, friction, and sometimes polishing agents – embossing, to have a design engraved on the fabric; grinding and brushing to give the fabric a softer hand and a greater insulating effect that reaches its apex with raising. But there are other treatments like topping and singeing, which consist respectively in cutting the surface hair of the fabric or eliminating it with a flame; fulling, which changes the structure, compaction, and shrinkage of wool; mercerization – a treatment reserved for cotton whose hydrophilicity is optimized so as to save the dye during the dyeing process and to enhance lustre, hand, and other properties – and sanforization, to prevent the dimensional alteration of the warp and the weft. Instead, to eliminate the glossy effect of the fabric, regularize its surface, and stabilize its dimensions, the answer is decatising.
It is therefore clear how finishing is a true art that has undergone significant evolutions over the years. This is confirmed by Dino Masso and Marco Bardelle of Tintoria Finissaggio 2000, a company specializing in piece dyeing, wool and cotton finishing, reactive polyurethane lamination, and digital printing.
‘In the last 10 years,’ they explain, ‘the world of finishing has changed: response times have shortened and requests for items with technical and more performance-oriented purposes have increased, as has the need to obtain greater comfort. The future is certainly always oriented in this direction which aims to increase the comfort factor and decrease waiting times, all in the name of innovation.’ Innovation that they recognize in the latest-generation products of Tollegno 1900. ‘Your 4.0 project, which led to the development of super-performance features for yarns such as Harmony 4.0 or New Royal 4.0 and fabrics such as 3DWOOL, has also changed our operations for the better, helping us obtain excellent results.’ A virtuous cycle that has positive repercussions also for the consumer, who can count on products with high performance that also do not forget about the aesthetic component.