Material & Fibres
Natural fibres, regenerated fibres and synthetic fibres each have their own advantages that can be used individually or in combination.
Natural fibres come from natural sources (e.g. plants or animals) and have a limited length. Apart from silk, all these fibres are spun to thread as staple fibres. This means that the individual fibres are all aligned in the same direction (parallel to each other) and formed into a card sliver. They are then ready for the spinning process. During this process, several card slivers are repeatedly twisted together. This ultimately produces a sturdy yarn.
NATURAL FIBRES: Cotton, Linen, Hemp
ANIMAL FIBRES: Wool, Silk
REGENERATED FIBRES: Viscose, Modal, Lyocell, Tencel®, Milk protein fibre
Cotton grows from a very old cultivated plant from the tropics and subtropics. For example for our Organic and Noblesse ranges, we use cotton from Peru which is picked and sorted entirely by hand. This guarantees low levels of impurities and high quality, as only the fully opened seed pods are harvested. In addition, the fibres of this variety are particularly long, at more than 40 mm staple length. This means that garments made from this yarn will be particularly soft, tear-resistant and durable – even when worn and cleaned frequently.
Cotton can absorb up to 65% of its own weight in water but then dries quite slowly. Cotton textiles are very pleasant to wear and do not scratch; they are breathable, skin-friendly, easy to clean and suitable for the tumbler dryer.
Wool is the term for the soft hair of an animal hide (usually from sheep) and consists of keratin. We use Merino wool for our products, as this is extremely fine and very wavy. This gives it an insulating function and it retains warmth for a long time. Fine wool fibres have a length of 4-7 cm and up to 12 waves per centimetre.
Wool can absorb up to 33% of its weight in condensation without feeling damp and dries much faster than cotton. It is also relatively dirt-resistant, hardly absorbs any odours and is not prone to wrinkling. For Mey bodywear, we usually use a fibre blend of Merino wool together with viscose or silk.
Silk is a fine fibre extracted from the cocoon of a silkworm. It consists of protein and is the only continuous filament in nature with a length of 800- 3,000 m per cocoon. About 3,000 cocoons are required to spin 250 g of silk thread. Silk is characterised by its sheen and high durability along with its insulating effect against heat and cold. Textiles made from this material feel very light, smooth and cool to the skin.
Silk can absorb up to 33% of its weight in water and only creases slightly. Silk can also be dyed well and the colours appear bright and intensive. However, silk is very sensitive to high temperatures, rubbing, water marks as well as direct sunlight. Silk can be combined very well with other fibres – its softness and sheen perfectly complement other fibres.
Viscose is an artificially manufactured fibre made from natural cellulose, which is extracted from various types of wood. The yarns are therefore also biodegradable. In addition, much less water and energy is needed for manufacturing and processing than for cotton yarns.
It is manufactured synthetically in the viscose process (a wet-spinning process) as a continuous filament and has properties similar to cotton. There are, however, many other different ways of influencing the fibre properties in the manufacturing process. This makes it possible to even surpass the textile properties of cotton. Viscose is highly absorbent, very pleasant to wear and easy to wash. It hardly creases and dries somewhat faster than cotton. Viscose is also very skin-friendly.
MODAL® & MICROMODAL®
Modal is a synthetically manufactured fibre similar to viscose. Only cellulose from beech wood is used in its manfuacture. This gives the wet and dry fibres greater durability than viscose.
Textiles from MicroModal® feel very soft and supple due to the fine fibres. This material is particularly soft. Fabrics made of MicroModal® have a smooth surface with a silky sheen, retain their shape and, as a microfibre, can absorb even more water than cotton.
LYOCELL & TENCEL®
Lyocell are regenerated fibres from eucalyptus wood that have good strength. Like MicroModal®, they are very soft and have good moisture-absorption qualities. The fabrics do not crease much either.
The process, which uses a non-toxic solvent of which nearly 100% remains in the manufacuting cycle, has won the “European Award for the Environment”. In contrast to cotton, the manufacturing process requires significantly less water.
The yarn has a unique fibril structure. This means that extremely small hairs, which are in turn separated by tiny channels, are located on the fibre surface. Moisture is absorbed from the skin through these channels and directed to the interior of the fibre. The fabric thus feels pleasantly dry on the skin.
Synthetic fibres are either produced from natural raw materials (e.g. cellulose) or synthetically (e.g. oil) by applying a chemical process. They are so-called continuous filaments and therefore have a much smoother surface. Silk is also one of the continuous Material Science filaments, but has a natural origin and is therefore one of the natural fibres.
The fibre structure of synthetic fibres can be influenced as desired by using different spinnerets. In further processing stages, for example, the surface of the fibres can also be crimped. This creates a fibre structure similar to wool. This process is called texturisation. It guarantees the elasticity, volume or a better grip of the fibres.
Of course, synthetic fibres can also be cut and formed into a card sliver just like natural fibres for subsequent spinning. It is also possible to blend the fibres with other fibres at this point. In this way, very special textile properties can be created.
EXAMPLES OF SYNTHETIC FIBRES:
Polyester-COOLMAX®, Polyamide (Meryl®, Tactel®)
Polyacrylics, Elastane (Lycra®, Dorlastan, Creora®)
POLYESTER & COOLMAX®
COOLMAX® is a synthetic fibre developed especially for the sports sector, which features particularly good moisture transport and outstanding drying properties.
Polyester is basically not able to absorb moisture. However, if you want to create this property, the fibre must be manufactured in a particular way: due to the special propeller shape of the COOLMAX® fibre, the fibre surface is around 25 % larger than that of normal fibres. The capillary action allows moisture to be transported away from the skin very quickly to the exterior of the fabric, where it can immediately evaporate on hot days.
The COOLMAX® fibre is breathable, light and very comfortable to wear. It hardly creases, can be washed easily and feels pleasant against the skin.
Elastane is a synthetic fibre whose particular quality is that it can be stretched up to three times its initial length. As soon as the tension is relaxed, the elastane fibre contracts back to its original length. This works because the fibre combines rigid and elastic components.
Other advantages are the light weight and thinness of the fibre. Due to its improved wearing comfort, the fibre is often blended with other fibres, for example polyamide and cotton. For blends, the elastane yarn is simultaneously knitted parallel to the yarn of the other material. The result is that the elastane yarn is always located on the right side of the knitted loop. This process is called plating. Its good shape-retention properties allow the bodywear garments to keep their shape for a long time even after frequent wear and the usual wearing comfort remains unchanged: the fabric doesn’t stretch out of shape.
FOR OUR CASUAL COTTON UNDERSHIRT WE NEED APPROX. 9.1 KM COTTON YARN AND 1 KM ELASTANE FIBRE TO MANUFACTURE THE FABRIC.
This is the general umbrella term for woven and knitted fabrics and, for example, also for felt fabrics. Knitted fabrics are then subdivided into warp and weft knits.
Here at Mey, we mainly manufacture our own fabrics produced as knitted fabrics in various qualities and material blends. By doing so, we obtain various wearing properties like high elasticity, very good moisture absorption or a pleasantly smooth surface.
Consists of warp threads and the weft thread. The threads always lie at right angles to each other and form a mesh.
Consists of loops that are looped into each other from one yarn. There is a “right” side of the product and a “wrong” side.
Consists of very many single threads that are alternately intermeshed with neighbouring loops. Slanting loop structure.
Single knitted fabric with two different sides to the product. These each show only purl stitches on the inside and only knit stitches on the outside. Two different sides to the product: The knit stitches are on the outside so that the fabric is smooth to the touch. The purl stitches are on the inside to channel the moisture to the outside. The fabric is very elastic and pleasant to wear.
FINE RIP 1:1
Single knitted fabric in which knit and purl stitches are knitted alternately. All the knit stitches then lie over each other as a “rib”. Two identical sides to the product: You see a rib of alternate knit (raised) and purl (flat) stitches. The fabric is elastic with high transverse stretch, as the ribs allow great flexibility and can be drawn apart.
Double knitted fabric with right-right crossed yarns that are stitched with two rows of needles. The combination of both yarns results in one row. Two identical sides to the product: Dense, knit structure on both sides of product for smooth, cosy wearing comfort. The fabric is very durable but somewhat less elastic. It is still lightweight, due to the use of very fine yarn.