What is Mélange...?
Mélange is produced with a mixture of raw and dyed fibers. Therefore, creating a unique mixed colour effect with a wavy pattern. The fibers can be in cotton or blended.
Type of mélange yarns:
· 100% cotton mélange
· Poly cotton mélange
· Poly viscose mélange
· 100% polyester mélange
· Marl or Siro mélange
· Core spun mélange
· Slub injected mélange
· Tri-blend mélange
Grey mélange and ecru mélange:
Grey Mélange, in this type, a mixer of cotton and viscose is used. The percentage of cotton and viscose may vary depending on the requirement of the buyer. Such as – 85% cotton + 15% viscose (Dark Grey Mélange), 90% cotton + 10% viscose (Grey Mélange), 95% cotton + 5% viscose (Light Grey Mélange), 98% cotton + 2% viscose (Ecru Mélange) etc.
Mélange can be classified into two of its very basic types:
1. Blended mélange
2. Non‐blended mélange
1. Blended mélange:
Such type of yarn in which different fibers are mixed/blended in a certain fixed ratio for instance PC (Polyester: Cotton blend) 50:50, PV (Polyester: Viscose) 80:20, CV (Cotton: Viscose) 60:40, etc. Mélange yarns are generally made with Cotton and Viscose fibers. In these yarns, the cotton portion will be in light shade and the Viscose portion will be in dark shade.
2. Non‐blended mélange:
Yarn in which there are no different fibers blended, but different coloured fibers of the same type are used to make the yarn e.g., 100% cotton dyed yarn, etc.
Applications of mélange fabric
Mélange fabrics are being used in the knitwear and denim industry.
In knitwear t-shirts, uppers, trousers, undergarments, swimwear, socks, bed sheets, curtains, towels.
In Denim it is mainly used in the weft.
Important features of mélange
1. Environmentally friendly: Mélange yarn is a yarn-dyed product, which means that part of the fibers is dyed before mixing into the raw fibers (those fibers that have not been dyed) for spinning. Mélange yarn processing can save around 50% water compared to the conventional processing of spinning before dying, and reduces around 50% of wastewater, which all feature mélange yarns with apparent advantages of energy-saving, emission reduction and environmental protection. The fabric that knitted with grey mélange yarn is not needed to dyed.
2. Fashion: Mélange fabrics are popular due to their very attractive and unique fabric appearance. The wavy like effect due to different fibers blending and wide range of colour tones due to different fibers blending makes it much popular and rich in look. Its fabric smoothness is much better. The fabric may have a very soft feel and shiny look.
Common problems in making mélange yarn
Following are the common problems occurring during the manufacturing of mélange:
1. Shade variation: Shade variation is a common problem for mélange fabric. As dyed fibers are used here, so proper mixing of fibers and doubling of slivers are the major challenge here. If the mixing is not done properly shade variation may occur in the yarn.
2. Variation in ratio (esp. in PC/PV/CVC) yarns: While using different blended fibers, we have to care about the ratio of the fibers. Experimenting before the production ratio can be fixed, all depends on the property of the fiber.
3. Spots in the fabric: This issue is related to the quality parameters of the fabric. It tells us about the final quality of the fabric/ yarn. It should be kept in mind that there should not be any of the white spots (neps) on the surface of dark shades. Similarly, there should be no dark neps on lighter shades. So, raw material used should be considered before to avoid such problems.
For instance, any darker shade with 80% is shade and 20% is white cotton. So, we should use combed sliver in mixing recipe instead of cotton bales that may cause the neps in the final fabric. If we use colour mélange yarns with a higher percentage of Viscose, the fabric made with these yarns will have higher shrinkage.