Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Post 149  -by Gautam Shah 
Fibers, yarns and fabrics have poor bulk or lose the bulk during various treatments, are re-bodied by many different substances. Bodying is also possible without any substantive material application. Certain heat and water treatments shrink the materials, increasing the bulk, whereas mechanical (physical) manipulations also increase the apparent bulk.
Bodying is required to control the next process. Fibers (like silk) are bulked to aid re-spinning or handling before the end stage like stitching, packing and presentation or use of the material. Bodying has strong effect on the suppleness (fall of curtains, drapes, crease lines) and tactile feel of the material. It also affects the thermal management (through heat exchange and moisture movement). For curtains-drapery fabrics the bulking governs the diffusion of view across, ‘modelling’ of the objects, diffraction of light, masking and strength. For furnishing fabrics and floor spreads the bulk, suppleness, direction of texture, electrical behaviour, moisture absorption, dust and body scale retention, and micro air movements over the surface are important, and these are endowed by nature of such treatments.
Some of the prime techniques of bulking fibers, yarns and fabrics are manipulative in nature like: leave behind impurities, lints, staple fibers etc. by reduced carding, etc., mixing of different fibers before spinning, co-spinning (with coarser fibers), twisting, mixed fibre weaving (with mixed for warp-wefts), employing fabric formation techniques like weaving, knitting, shrinking, perma-crease setting, singeing etc.
Another method of bodying is to add some form of gum or size (simply starch), in the form of starch, gelatin, or resin or a combination of these with lubricating substances such as oils or wax. Some are temporary materials and are removed during laundering. Cheap cotton or rayon fabrics are often heavily starched for stiffness which after laundering may become quite limp. Fabrics like organdy are permanently stiffened cottons. The application of a carefully controlled acid solution causes the surface of the yarn to become softened and a gelatin like. An after wash in cold water causes the gelatinous outer surface to harden forming a permanently stiffened exterior.
Raw silk contains, from 25 to 30 percent of its weight in sericin or gum. And when the fiber is cleaned this substance is removed. Silks may be weighted both to enable the producer to regain some of the loss in fiber weight and to add greater body to fabrics. The silk fabric is first placed in an acid solution of stannic chloride (a chloride of tin). The fiber is allowed to absorb the substance, it is then washed, placed into a solution of sodium phosphate and then is washed again. During this process, an insoluble compound (tin phosphate) is formed within the fiber, and the weight and body of the fiber is increased. A further treatment with sodium silicate solution forms another chemical compound. The silk fiber can hold considerably more than its own weight of this added chemical weighting. Heavily weighted silks may have very poor abrasion resistance and eventually will break from their own weight. Any silk labelled pure dye Silk may not contain more than 10 percent of weighting, or 15 percent for black fabrics. If heavily weighted silks are burned, a skeleton of the metallic compound in the shape of the woven fabric is left behind.
Wool fabrics are fulled to give the fabric a more compact structure. In a type of pre-shrinking, fabrics are subjected to moisture, heat, soap, and pressure. This causes the yarn to shrink and to lie closer together and gives the fabric a denser structure. Wool cloth may be given more or less fulling, depending upon the desired characteristics of the resultant fabrics. Melton cloth, for example is one of the most heavily fulled wool fabrics and has a dense, felt like texture.

Friday, December 1, 2017



Post  148 --by Gautam Shah 


Openings’ treatments are exclusive to the purposes they serve. Such as the orientation (solar exposure, illumination, wind), usages (domestic, commercial, industrial, jails), space units (living areas, kitchens, toilets, store rooms), users (adults, children, disabled, afflicted). Openings’ treatments occur on the outside face -broadly called architectural systems or, on the inside face -largely known as interior treatments. Yet, some treatments are placed within the body of the opening and so do not belong to exterior or interior systems.

There are many exclusive classes of openings' treatments. Other categories of treatments emerge by the contrast they pose.

Architectural treatments generally occur on exterior faces, but also could be a scheme for the internal face or space. Architectural treatment over openings is one that is designed with the building and can be called the prime strategy.

Interior Design treatments occur with the occupation of the building and user is the key reference. These are often improvisations to customize the architectural design. Some features are corrective actions to add or distract the architectural provisions.

Barrier systems control the transactions occurring through openings. The transactions include passage of human beings, pets, insects, objects, light, air, moisture, odours, radiation, sound, etc. Barrier systems through their nature transparency or opacity allow or bar the transactions. The action of barricading by openings’ treatments occurs through passage and refraction, reflection or absorption. Curtains, blinds, mats, screens, lattices, films, etc. are some of the barrier systems.
Protection and insulation systems barricading or filtration devices such as barriers, parapets, grills, trellis and other preventive tools such as curtains and blinds.

Environmental systems are more affective if on the exterior side of the building, however, some openings’ treatments are mounted on the inside face so that their handling is much easier. Weather protection systems and shading devices such as porches, verandahs, Chhajjas, louvres, awnings, projections, galleries, balconies, arcades, planter boxes, all are environmental systems.

Utilities are placed over opening’s to take advantage of the change that occurs near or across it. These include: cloth lines, shelves for planters, hooks and frames for climbers, bird feeds, air conditioners, air coolers, exhaust fans, air curtain fans, lift pulleys, ladders, service cat walks, storm shutters, niches and recesses for diyas (lamps). 

Signs, Symbols are placed over openings for protection, luck, blessings, omen, to cast a good or bad spell, and to ward off evil. Signs are used for identification such as faith, religion, seals, coat of arms, profession, employment or social position, clan or group, educational and other achievements. Abstract presentations to instruct, warn, welcome, bid farewell, declare wishes, feelings or emotions, congratulate, felicitations.

Announcements and Declarations are placed over entrance or exit openings like doors and gates to catch attention of passerby. These include messages, honours, notices, results, legal orders, declarations of rights and prohibitions, seals, employment or social position.

Identification systems allow a visitor (entering or exiting) to declare, register or celebrate. The identifier systems are declarative through visual, audio and other sensorial faculties or mere registering (recording, acknowledging, checking devices). The identification system associated with openings are: bells, knockers, buzzers, talking pipes, chimes, whistles, sirens, rattlers, vibrators, horns, intercoms, video recognition and surveillance systems, finger, retinal image, DNA and other bio recognition devices.

 Decorations are declaration as well as objects for occupation or possession of space. Toran, Festoons, Plants, shrubs, Bonsai, flower arrangements, climbers, dry arrangements, artificial plants, pots, vases, baskets.

Figurines, artifacts, statuettes, seals are placed over doors of public, religious and also on residences. The purpose is for declaration of faith or affinity, or protection such as the Chinese warlords as door gods, or Ganesha as vignaharta (the trouble shooter).

Masking or Framing systems are placed over the opening to modify the view in or out and to adjust the size of the aperture. Traceries have been used in Gothic windows. Toran have been used over Indian doors as decoration and to ward off birds flying in. Grills are used to impose patterns on the view. Sheer curtains are used to tone the brightness.

Openings’ treatments as scaling device have been used to enhance or reduce the size or importance of the opening. These systems have in many periods of history become very stylized, overwhelming the architecture. Doors and gates have elaborate doorways and gateway structures.

         OTHER CATEGORIES are the contrasting entities.

External versus Internal systems of openings’ treatments. The former, are more exposed to the effects of environment and are usually more substantial or structural in nature. The later ones are in protected or interior locations and so can be very delicate in nature. External treatment substantially depend on their scale and form to be operative, whereas the interior systems take the advantage of their sensorial qualities to be effective.

Hard and Soft Furnishings as openings’ treatments, both are interior elements. However, soft furnishings consist mainly of fabrics and to a very small extent other pliable materials like paper, leather, etc. Some plastic sheets and films come within soft furnishing category. Soft furnishing items for openings’ treatment are not very long lasting and must be replaced frequently. Hard furnishings are qualified by their rigid format and permanence. Hard furnishing treatments are not easily detachable.

Seasonal or temporary treatment systems are meant to for a season or occasion, beyond which these are removed, stored for the next use or discarded. There no effort to integrate such opening treatments unless the effort to mount them requires technical expertise and heavy man-power.

Fixed systems versus Manipulable systems. Fixed opening treatment system require no triggering of any mechanism to be operative, or need to be intensified or slowed down. Manipulable system offer a series of choices through mechanical stops or rests, electrical energy step up-down and boost-stop systems, programmed choices.

Individual against Collective treatment systems. An individual system relates to single opening, and does not occur as the intervening unit between openings. A collective system ties up or disciplines several openings by providing a reference, linkage or a common enclosure.

Personal systems and Public systems allow use of an opening by the single user or offering customized facility. A public system is meant for large number of users often neglecting the needs of individual users. Public systems may be controlled away from the opening, by someone, often a non user.

Revealing versus Camouflage systems. A revealing system allows the ‘original’ character of the opening, but a camouflage system conceals the opening. A camouflage system may even completely negate the opening itself.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Changing Face of HUMAYUN TOMB Delhi India

Post 147   by Gautam Shah

Painting of Humayun Tomb Delhi India 1820 Image 

Changing Face of HUMAYUN TOMB Delhi India

Construction of Humayun's tomb (Delhi, India) was initiated by his first wife Bega Begum (Haji Begum) in 1569-70, close to the Dina-panah Citadel (Purana Qila -Old Fort), founded by Humayun in 1533. Besides the main tomb several smaller structures exist, some pre and other post dating the tomb building. Last Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, during Indian Rebellion of 1857. He was later captured by British and exiled to Rangoon. A 13 hectares Garden surrounding the tomb called CharBagh (four squares) was a typical Mughal style layout. It was changed several times but in complete ruins by the time Indian revolution of 1857 happened. It was replanted by British in English style " with circular beds replacing the four central water pools on the axial pathways and trees profusely planted in flowerbeds" -wikipedia. This was once again restored to 'Mughal' style between 1903–1909. The Tomb has been renovated-restored by AghaKhan Foundation,UNESCO and ASI of Govt of India.


Wikipedia Image by KD7827Facebook

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Post 146   by Gautam Shah

Sheer is tactile feeling that is satisfying and delightful. It is a feeling or a state of experience. Sheer fabric is a very fine, gossamer or diaphanous material that does not occlude vision through it. It is an important quality mark for lightness of mass. The word sheer is used to emphasize a state or situation that is extreme or complete, and does not involve any mix-up with anything else (does not involve anything else).

Tent Curtain Pixabay image by Unsplash

In the 1175-1225 period or Middle English word sheer (scīr, scere, shere, schere, shire) (cognate with German schier, old Norse skīr, Gothic skeirs) was used for a clear, free, bright, thin, shiny or water like material. Some of the synonyms are: utter, complete, absolute, total, pure, perfect, downright, out-and-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, through and through, consummate, patent, surpassing, veritable, unqualified, unmitigated, unalloyed, unadulterated, unmixed. 

Old Window with curtain Pixabay image by Paul Brennan Winder/USA

A Sheer fabric has three basic qualifications: It is thin or lightweight, It is translucent, and it is very supple. The lightweight features come from the quality of fibre material, its filament or spun thread (denier), the low density construction through knitting or weaving. Its translucency derives from sectional form of the fibre, degree of spinning, massing during spinning and weaving, and minimal or no addition of processing materials like dyeing, sizing, etc. Its suppleness results from the quality of fibre material, the low denier of fibre or filament, and avoidance of massing during spinning and weaving.
Sheer curtain with pattern > Pixabay Image by Unsplash

Sheer fabrics from natural fibres such as Silk, have yarns with multiple fibre stands, whereas Cotton has several staples entwined during spinning. The natural fibres create a fabric that is dull or with small sheen. Rayons are produced as staples, and so have slight sheen, unless treated differently. Synthetic fibres such as Nylon and Polyesters are filaments or very long staples, and usually with uniform cross sectional shape, and so provide glossy face.

Sheer curtains > Flickr image by Ket

Sheer fabrics are made from very thin threads and have low density construction, through mainly weaving, but sometimes through knitting. Sheer fabrics of netting type have comparatively low gloss due to greater de-fraction of light. Denser weaves have more sheen or shine. The density of a fabric (knitted or woven) is determined by several factors such as sectional form the fibre, degree of spinning, massing during spinning and weaving. The resultant fabrics have various levels of translucency. Sheer fabric of low density weave is supple, but a flimsy cloth.
Occluding the view with sheer fabric > Wikipedia image by TriviaKing (talk)DWS-Montag Zen

Denier is a unit of measurement for fineness of fibres or filaments, as threads, expressed as the weight in grams for 9,000 metres length of yarn. The surface area of a fabric is directly related to the denier. Smaller deniers yield more fibres per unit weight of the material. A micro-fibre is less than 1 denier, fibres for sheer fabrics are finer, just 0.9 denier, in comparison, a human hair is 20 denier.

Fabrics with a high denier measure are bulky, sturdy, durable, but nearly opaque, whereas fabrics with a low denier measure tend to be sheer, soft, and smooth. A fabric, of 3-5 denier is like a clear film, extremely thin. Ultra sheer refers to very light deniers of stockings or pantyhose, usually 10 or less.

Celula Nave "It happens in the body of time, where truth dance" Art installation in Nylon and Polyester Sheer fabric > Wikipedia image by Celula Nave Ernesto Neto (2004)/elefterial1
Sheer fabrics have a crisp to soft feel, depending on the quality of fibres and the density of weave. Fabrics’ coarseness or fineness, are mainly due the techniques of weaving. It is measured in warps or ends per length and in wefts or picks per length. Sheer fabrics include: Silks, Cotton, Rayon, Nylon, Polyesters and other synthetics. The fabric forms are crispy organdy, organza, voile, lawn, georgette. Supple forms include natural silk (unsized), artificial silks, rayons, tulle, netting, gauze, Gossamer, muslin. Soft sheers are difficult to stitch in comparison to crisp sheers. Art Silk or artificial silks are heat and chemically treated, or co-spun with rayon, cotton and silk staples to achieve desired level of feel.

Glow curtains Pixabay image by Pexels
Sheer fabrics are favoured for garments and draperies due to the suppleness (fall, contouring), transparency and low weight. Sheer fabrics are too thin to control incoming sunlight, but cause its de-fraction. As a curtain the sheer fabric allows sunlight to pass through during daylight, while maintaining a level of privacy.
Spanish Colonial era House 1780s > Wikipedia Image by Infrogmation of New Orleans

Early glass for windows was a flattened plane from cylinder or a flat cast sheet, but available in small sizes. Flattened glass had crinkles, whereas the cast sheet was unevenly polished. The vision through it was distorted, muddled or frosty. The sheer curtain masked the vision through the window. Sheer curtain fabrics do not offer any insulation against heat or cold, so need additional layer of heavy-opaque fabric curtains. Sheer curtains over bedsteads provide a romantic transparency. Sheer fabrics of low denier and high count weaves have little sound absorption, but higher proportion of gather or creases which add to sound absorption capacity.

Green Hued Sheer curtain > Flickr Image by Jessie Lynn McMains

Sheer fabrics for curtaining look best in their natural colours (original colour of the constituent fibre) or very lightly dyed or bleached shades, such as white, off-whites, cream, ivory, shades. Though many base-shades and prints are available. Lighter colours are preferred, due to the greater capacity to defract the light. Colour tinted sheer fabrics were popular to tinge the room with the particular hue. This is no longer needed, as vast varieties of paints and wall finishes with subtle variations of hues are available.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Post 145   by Gautam Shah

Fenestra-Window and Defenestration-Dewindowing

The Latin word FENESTRA (plus the normalizing suffix -ation) stands for the WINDOW. Fenestration in modern sense is an act of opening multiple (computer) screens or windows simultaneously. The word Defenestration comes from the Latin de- (down or away from) and fenestra (window or opening). That is why computer hackers humorously refer to it as the act of removing Microsoft Windows from a computer.

Defenestration > Wikipedia ART by Karel Svoboda 1824-1870

Historically DEFENESTRATION has been an act of throwing someone or something out of a window. It connotes the forcible or peremptory removal of an adversary. It was often said, if you throw your adversary out of the door, chances are the person will come back with more vigour, but by de-windowing (defenestration), the action is injurious or fatal. Historically, the word defenestration referred to an act of political dissent. ‘In December 1840, Abraham Lincoln and four other Illinois legislators jumped out of a window in a political maneuver to prevent a quorum on a vote’. In the "Cologne Defenestration,” during the Revolution of 1848, an agitated crowd forced their way into the town hall of Cologne. Two city Councillors panicked and jumped out of the window.
(New) Town Hall Prague place for defenestration > Wikipedia image by VitVit
The term Defenestration originates from two incidents in history, both occurring in Prague. The First Defenestration of Prague involved killing of seven members of the city council by a crowd of radical Czech Hussites on July 30, 1419. Jan Želivský, a Hussite priest of the Church of Virgin Mary of the Snows, led his congregation on a procession through the streets of Prague. It was as a result of the growing discontent at the inequality between the peasants and the Roman Catholic Church, the Church's prelates, and the nobility. The enraged crowd stormed the New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice) and threw the councilors out of the windows onto the spears of the armed congregation below.

Defenestration ART by Matthaus Merian the elder 1593-1650
The Second Defenestration of Prague was when the Roman Catholic officials ordered the cessation of construction of some Protestant chapels on land which the Catholic clergy claimed belonged to them. This was interpreted as a violation of the right of freedom of religious expression, and two imperial governors were found guilty. They were thrown out of 16-meter high windows of the Chancellery. The governors, however, landed on a large pile of manure and survived unharmed. 

Death of Jezebel > ART by Gustave Dore (1832-1883)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

FUSION JOINING without using any intermediate material

Post 144   by Gautam Shah 


Fusion joining without using an intermediate material, are used to join mainly metals and thermoplastics. Fusion joining is a common term used for many different types of welding processes. The welding processes rely on high temperatures that change the phase of materials to be joined aided by pressure (or impact). For phase change, the materials to be joined should have same softening-melting temperature and nearly similar composition.

Raincoat with fused joints > Flickr image by Mantelmann

Fusion joining as a category may include many other nearly similar processes, but which involve an intermediate to form the joint. There are three categories of such fusion joining systems, Soldering and Brazing, where the work pieces are not melted, yet joined using a meltable filler material, Welding the work pieces, and in some instances, the filler material, both are melted, and Chemical fusing or solvent welding (which are actually forms of adhesion fixing), where plastics are joined by solvents to dissolve (soften) the surface areas of the work pieces. The joint is created with or without application of pressure.

Brass vessel making 4 by Forging joining > Flickr image by McKay Savage  (HiH - Enterprises - MSE  )
The first fusion joining process was the forge welding. Blacksmiths used to beat the heated metals like brass, copper etc. for joining. For heating the work pieces, wood, charcoal and later mineral coals were used. Forging: Forging was an ancient process of hammering to shape materials like iron and other malleable metals, or by pressing (or rolling)in their plastic state (by application of heat).

Forged joints of Brass vessel at Madhurawada Visakhapatnam India > Wikipedia image by Asityamadhav83
 Forging has many modern versions. In these variants, the heat is created by electrical resistance, friction, laser beams, etc. Continuous pressure or intermittent impaction is done to fuse the heated components. Forge welding components are in sheet, or small section forms.

Forging created desired form, but also refined the grain size and arrangement, and thereby improve the structure of the metal. Forged metal is stronger and more ductile than cast metal, and exhibits greater resistance to fatigue and impact. Forging is also used to compact materials by removing gases and by packing the cavities.

Butt or spot welding is a widely employed technique for assembling sheet components of metals and plastics like car bodies, cabinets, furniture. It is a type of spot resistance welding. A high electric resistance-heat softens the material close to the melting level, and under pressure (of impact) the thin walls fuse and join. The joint developed has no apparent deformity, except a charred spot.
Wrought iron joints > Pixabay free images by avantrend

Seam or strip welding: Seam or strip welding is also a type of resistance welding method. It is used to join overlapping metal sheets of up to 3 mm thick. Instead of pointed (butt end) electrodes, and wheel-shaped electrodes roll along the work-piece, making a long continuous weld. Weld strength though is lower than other welding methods. The method is suitable for specific uses like formation of seamed pipes, and in terms integrity it is a fairly reliable process.
Blister packing -fusion joining > Wikipedia image by Alex Khimich
Seam or strip welding is also used for joining plastic sheet materials, like raincoats, wind-cheaters, shopping bags, containers, etc. In one process the sheet materials to be joined are pressed by a preheated straight wire, knife or a roller.

Induction welding is a form of resistance welding. Here the materials to be joined are heated by induction (non-touching or a distanced heat source). For this purpose a coil wrapped around a cylinder, causes opposite direction magnetic field in the materials, to melt-join together.

Butt fusion welding creates a joint between pipes gas and water pipe or other sections of doors, windows etc. The ends are pressed against a heated plate, and brought together to form a ‘beaded joint’.

Fusion joining requires a heat source, such as a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam, friction, or ultrasound. Fusion joining sometimes requires a slight to very heavy pressure. Forging is a very noisy process. Fusion joining is done under many different environmental conditions like open air, rain, frost, underwater in vacuum or space and sometimes under the shield of inert gases like Nitrogen, Argon, Helium, Carbon dioxide, etc. Fusion joining in spite of all care is essentially a hazardous procedure. It involves risks of high electric currents, high temperatures, sparks, fumes, and radiation.

Felt Cloth non woven assembly of fibres > Wikipedia image by en:User:Sannse from english WP

There are several other joining systems that use pressure, but not the heat (high enough for softening or melting). Here the (often purposely disarrayed fibres) two surfaces are pressed or rolled together to form a joint. These techniques are used for joining fibrous surfaces like papers, leathers, woven and non-woven fabrics, etc.


BODYING of FIBERS, YARNS AND FABRICS . Post 149  -by Gautam Shah  Fibers, yarns and fabrics have poor bulk or lose the bulk d...