Textile companies mostly use scissors and knives to work with fabric. Manual processing leads to an inability to increase productivity.

While automated equipment is capable of working with both organic materials and metal as well as fabric. Machines provide high productivity with incredible processing accuracy. 

Methods of cutting fabrics

There are several methods of processing fabrics.  Let us consider the most common ones.

Manual method

This type of textile processing is still one of the most popular today. Before the advent of machines with automatic processing, it was almost impossible to work with textiles on a machine. It was not possible to fix the fabric material on the surface of the machine, so it was very difficult to achieve accurate cutting and avoid damage to the material.

The manual method allows you to cut textiles and fabrics accurately and without damage. However, low material processing speed significantly affects productivity.

Cutting with a laser machine

cutting fabric on conveyer

The advent of laser equipment has provided companies with the ability to automatically process textiles. The cost of the equipment is quickly recouped by the high productivity and the cutting quality is always high.

Advantages of laser equipment for processing fabric material:

  • High performance. The laser method has no equal in the speed of material processing. It allows you to perform a huge amount of work with minimal time.
  • Cutting quality. The laser treats the textile material by evaporating its particles. Automated equipment provides high quality cutting with straight edges. With manual processing, there is always a chance that the tailor will ruin the material.
  • Ease of use. Laser equipment provides non-contact cutting and ease of use without additional tools.
  • Sophisticated design. A design made on a laser machine is performed on the way it is set in the program. Thanks to the thin laser beam, complex contours and laces can be obtained without damaging the material.
  • A wide choice of material. The list of suitable ones is very diverse. For example, fur, leather, suede, eco-leather, etc.

Laser equipment for processing fabrics provides incredible opportunities for production developing and is in many ways superior to manual processing. All advantages mentioned above demonstrate that buying a laser machine for the textile industry is a very profitable decision. 

What fabric is suitable for laser treatment?

engraving jeans on cnc laser

Wattsan managers often receive questions from the clients about what materials can be treated with a laser machine. High-tech laser equipment is focused on working with different types of materials. As for the fabrics, the most popular types are listed below.

  • cotton;
  • silk;
  • synthetic textiles;
  • flaxen linen;
  • polyester;
  • denim;
  • acryl, etc.
piece of fabric

Each fabric has its own features when treated by a laser. For example, a laser beam leaves yellowish edges when cutting cotton or linen fabric. It can be avoided by using certain lenses and cutting settings. 

How does laser cutting of fabrics work?

cutting fabric on cnc laser machine

The main tool of laser equipment is the beam. Thanks to it the fabric is cut. The beam is generated in the laser tube. Passing through lenses and mirrors, it is projected onto the material, vaporizing it according to a set contour.

To cut fabric, machines with several laser heads are mainly used. This solution allows increasing the scale of production.

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The principle of cutting fabrics on laser equipment is quite comprehensible. Therefore, we suggest getting acquainted with laser machines and learning their technical features and components. This will help you when choosing the most optimal machine for cutting fabric.

Design of a laser fabric cutting machine

working area for cutting fabric

Machines for processing fabrics are usually equipped with:

  • working area;
  • movement system;
  • laser tube;
  • cooling system;
  • control system.

To process some types of textile, additional equipment is required.

Working area

laser heads on cnc machine

Laser machines with a standard working area are used in different production spheres, including the textile industry. However, textile treatment often requires cutting from a roll since this is the only way to automate the whole process.

The machine with a through table without lifting is the ideal choice to cut fabric. And for maximum acceleration of the production process, we recommend paying attention to equipment with a conveyor table. Such design eliminates the need for manual dragging of material.

The machines’ working area usually coincides with the standard width of a fabric roll – 1600 mm.  

Linear motion system

fabric for cnc machine wattsan

Machines for processing fabric are equipped with guide rails and runner blocks. The gantry is driven by stepper motors, but sometimes servomotors are installed to ensure high machining speed and accuracy.

Laser tube

co2 laser tube wattsan

The choice of installed laser tube depends on the material to be processed. To cut common textile, a 100 W laser tube is normally used. However, if you are going to process fiberglass, then the power of the laser tube can be up to 280 W. 

Cooling system 

To prevent the laser tube from failing, machines are equipped with a water cooling system, a chiller. 

Compressor

The choice of compressor also depends on the type of material to be processed. For example, cutting denim or polyester batting requires a powerful piston compressor. At the same time, to work with ordinary fabric a diaphragm compressor is a perfect option.

Control system of a laser machine

control system of laser cutting machine

Wattsan laser machines are equipped with the Ruida control system that is compatible with RdWorks software.

Ruida is a multi-tasking control system, which allows both cutting and engraving material at various depths.

What is a laser machine capable of when processing textile?

artificial fur cutting on cnc laser machine

The main feature of laser treatment is that the laser beam affects the surface of the material evaporating it. At the same time, the rest of the material remains unchanged. Thanks to this feature, it is possible to achieve maximum complexity in the design of products.

The laser is capable of performing complex cutting and engraving of detailed images without danger of damaging the original material. Laser equipment can also machine the material that is normally impossible to handle manually, for example, organza. And the control system allows saving material by producing new items from scraps.

Using of noble gases when cutting fabric

The noble gas blowing system is indispensable for laser processing of fabrics in several layers. The fact is that this method can cause the edges of the cut to turn yellowish or tan, resulting in a loss of aesthetics in the finished product. Noble gas neutralizes oxidative reactions and helps to avoid such unpleasant consequences during operation.

It is worth noting that there is no need to upgrade the machine to use noble gases. The gas is supplied in a small steam through the built-in blowing system.

Peculiarities of engraving on denim

Denim engraving has won great popularity. However with improper processing, the engraving can wear off very quickly.

To avoid this, it is recommended to perform images on those areas of the material that are least susceptible to rubbing.

Taking advantage of this advice is important because the laser beam vaporizes the surface layer of the fabric making it less durable. As a result, when rubbing, engraving can be ruined.

How to choose laser equipment for processing textile?

When choosing equipment, we recommend taking into account some features.

The size of the working area should match the size of the processed material or be slightly larger.

It is worth noting that the machine cost depends on the working area, too. The larger the size, the higher the price.

Large format working tables have a major advantage – versatility. You can machine both large and small sheets of material. To work with ordinary fabric, a low power laser tube (60 W) is quite enough.

Some laser machines are equipped with the function of automatic loading of the material. This solution helps to automate the treating process and increase productivity.

An Lee
We are happy to advice you from the very beginning
Contact us now.
Make a request

When choosing a laser machine, you should also consider the reliability of the manufacturer and the services he is ready to provide. Wattsan supplies CNC machines all over the world. Our customers get both service support, maintenance and warranty on all our machines.

What laser equipment is suitable for processing fabric? 

We suggest considering several models suitable for working with textiles. 

Wattsan 1610 duos conveyer

1610
DUOS CONVEYER
Work area 1600 x 1000 mm
Tube power 100-120W
Max engraving speed 600 mm
Dimensions 2200 mm*1800 mm*1105 mm
More
laser cutting coveyer

The large format machine is equipped with a standard sized working area (1600×1000 mm). Such dimensions allow working with any type of roll fabric. The machine perfectly copes with the processing of fur, faux leather and ordinary textiles.

The standard configuration includes:

  • 2 laser tubes with the power of 120 W;
  • Ruida control system;
  • 3-phase steppers and belt gearboxes;
  • 2 cutting heads;
  • working table with auto loading of the material.

Such a machine can easily replace 12 cutters. The design of the equipment and a removable front wall allows performing through cutting. The Wattsan 1610 duos conveyer helps to increase the production volumes and save on labor.

The machine is quite popular in textile companies.

Wattsan 1610 LT

1610
LT
Work area 1600 x 1000 mm
Tube power 100-120W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 1410 mm * 1790 mm * 670 mm + 315 mm (if on its wheels)
More
laser cutting and engraving machine wattsan

The large format machine with a working area of 1600 by 1000 mm. Such dimensions allow working with rolled textile.

  • Lasea laser tube with the power of 120 W;
  • Ruida control system that is compatible with RDWorks software;
  • 3-phase steppers and belt gearboxes;
  • Inductive end sensors;
  • laser head (an autofocus can be installed as an option);
  • automatic lifting of the lamellae table.

The machine is used in series production of non-metallic items. The equipment allows performing high-precision machining with incredible ease of operation.

The Wattsan 1610 LT is a universal tool that can handle both wood and textile.

Wattsan 1610 ST

1610
ST
Work area 1600 x 1000 mm
Tube power 100-120W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 1410 mm * 1790 mm * 670 mm + 315 mm (if on its wheels)
More
laser cutting machine for wood

The large format machine with identical characteristics to the previous model in question (Wattsan LT). However, the 1610 ST has a static table without an automatic lift function. This feature results in certain limitations when processing some types of material.

The Wattsan 1610 ST is a perfect choice for both small production and large workshops. For large-scale manufacturing, the Wattsan duos conveyer with auto loading of the rolled material is the best option. While for medium-sized universal production, we would recommend choosing the Wattsan 1610 LT or the Wattsan 1610 ST.

The choice of the laser machine model depends on the size of the manufacturer and the type of material to be processed.

Application examples of laser processing on fabric

Laser machines are used to make different types of products, for example cloths, draperies, décor, etc. The equipment also finds its application in the automotive sphere. Let us take a closer look at some of the uses of laser equipment.

Manufacture of clothing

clothe on cnc laser machine

The laser is widely used in this sphere. The main advantage is the possibility to combine different types of fabric in one item. For example, velvet and lace. Thanks to this, clothes with a unique design can be produced.

Furthermore, the laser provides higher quality of cutting. At the same time, the production cost is quite low, and productivity is superior to other methods of cutting.

Tailoring of draperies

To produce draperies, fabric with crumbly texture is normally used, such as silk, organza, chiffon, tweed.

When processed manually, this fabric crumbles a lot. At the same time, laser cutting melts the edge of the material to form a kind of selvedge. This selvedge holds the loose fabric, preventing it from crumbling. 

Production of decor

Decorations made of textiles are usually used in theatrical performances and similar events. A variety of draperies and three-dimensional structures involve the use of different fabrics. Thanks to laser cutting, it is possible to combine these fabrics and engrave different images on them.

Automotive industry

Cutting fabrics with a laser beam is often used in the automotive industry for sewing seat covers. For these purposes, very dense material is usually used. A laser tube with increased power is required to cut such fabric.

Scopes of application

Laser treatment of textile is used in many areas. Such as:

  • Design. In the manufacture of clothing, accessories, curtains, tulle, bedding.
  • Decor. Laser equipment has become widespread in the production of material for decorations.
  • Advertising. Laser equipment reveals its advantages in the manufacture of banners.
  • Automotive industry. Production of covers for seats.
  • Hobby art. Using laser machines, you can easily make soft toys, handicrafts and applique.

High-performance fabric processing with a laser machine has made it possible to automate the process as much as possible. The finest stitching, neat edges without tears and no need for workpiece fastening are the main reasons why textile manufacturers have abandoned manual processing in favor of using laser equipment.

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