Magazine June 2020

New ideas and new perspectives

The fascination of everyday things

A Groz-Beckert employee reports on his extraordinarily ordinary discoveries while working from home:

As an employee in technical sales in the Weaving product area at Groz-Beckert, woven fabric and its production process are part of my everyday working life. And like many others, my place of work has been relocated to my home since the start of the corona pandemic. Despite the new surroundings and some necessary adjustments due to the new situation, I established a routine after a few weeks and started to become more consciously aware of my new working environment – and to see it through completely new eyes.

Today after work, my eye fell on a small microfiber cloth on my desk. I picked it up and looked at it from all sides. This cloth, made from ultra-fine spun microfibers woven into a textile fabric, started me thinking.

As a producer of tools for manufacturing and joining textile fabrics, Groz-Beckert usually only deals indirectly with the finished end products, which is why this small piece of fabric in my new workspace caught my attention so unexpectedly. I thought about my day again and about all the times I’d come into contact with woven fabric without even thinking twice about it. The sheets and bed linen – woven fabric. Towel and face cloth – woven fabric. The jeans I’m wearing – woven fabric.

The thought that people come across my work in practically every aspect of their life in this way captivated me even more and I consciously looked around for more. There, the curtains on the window and directly below, the carpet I’m standing on – woven fabric. The fabric for the sunshade and the garden chairs outside on the terrace – woven fabric. The trampoline our children play on – woven fabric. The sofa covering, yes, you guessed it – woven fabric! I see woven fabric everywhere I look.

But there’s much more. I went even further and wondered whether I could discover woven fabric where you wouldn’t immediately expect to find it. One glance at my smartphone and I saw that woven fabric is used there too; an ultra-fine metal wire cloth to protect the loudspeaker and the sensitive technology inside. In rough form we are familiar with this, for example, from the cover of a microphone.

But there's also an indirect use for metal wire cloths on electrical devices. It is used as an etching mask for the conductor tracks on circuit boards, which a computer wouldn’t be able to work without.

Woven fabric is used in many more places than we can immediately see, but also where we see it but don’t actually think about the fact that it’s woven fabric, never mind how it is made. So it seems that this textile fabric is all around us in our everyday life like no other and is an essential part of our life.

Follow me on a short voyage through the world of woven fabric production and share a little of my fascination for this fabric.

It all starts with the fibers. Thick and thin, endless spun and short staple fibers, natural fibers and synthetic fibers. The list of fibers and their properties seems endless. They can also be combined with each other, mixed and spun into a yarn. This creates practically unlimited variety. This yarn in the starting material for woven fabric and almost all other textile production methods. Nonwovens are the exception here. But what is the definition of a woven fabric? When two thread systems are crossed over each other at right-angles, the resulting textile fabric is known as woven fabric. This manufacturing process is one of the oldest in the world and dates back to ancient times.

Today, modern weaving machines produce woven fabric at astounding speed. The transverse threads are drawn from a single bobbin and incorporated in the woven fabric – these are known as weft yarns. The many longitudinal yarns are wound onto the so-called warp beam in an upstream process and drawn off again during the weaving process, which is why they are known as warp threads. Different tools are required in a weaving machine to enable a woven fabric to be created - and this is exactly where Groz-Beckert comes in.

As an expert and manufacturer for tools for producing a wide range of woven fabrics, we have been an important partner for weaving machine manufacturers and weaving operations around the world for decades - companies that enhance all our everyday lives with such a variety of fascinating fabrics and make them possible.

We not only produce and develop tools for manufacturing a woven fabric, but also machines in the field of weaving preparation and cleaning of weaving accessories. Detailed information on the entire product range is available in the downloads area.

I hope that some of my enthusiasm for this extraordinary fabric and its production process has rubbed off on you and that you will remember this article and the fascinating world of weaving when you are next enjoying a cold drink under your sunshade or simply drying your hands after a thorough washing.

The Weaving product area at Groz-Becket offers over 66,000 different products for producing woven fabrics.