October 27th, 2011

This mismatched Nissan C35 Laurel is owned and driven by a young fellow named Tatsuya Fukui-san. As a matter in fact he is the Subsection Chief in the Manufacturing Department for RS*R. It’s totally awesome to see such a late 90’s 4 door sedan getting thrown in sideways at a tiny little circuit like Meihan and I think thats what got my attention.

The car is driven by a single turbo RB25 which was quite a surprise. It was awesome to meet Fukui-san and I even shot a full feature during the lunch break which you can see on Speedhunters.

Origins of flocking can be traced back to a very remote past. Some sources are speaking about
first applications in China 1000 BC. In more recent time flock curtains dated 1750 are conserved
at Victoria & Albert museum in London.
First industrial use of textile flocking can be found in the USA around 1910. Electrostatic flocking
machines are already described in a USA patent dated 1933. In the patent description we can
find some ideas, which anticipated some of the concepts that, nowadays, are considered very
important in roll to roll flocking lines like the air conditioning system for keeping constant humidity
and temperature.
“The conductivity, at least the surface conductivity, of the fibers is increased by the
sorbed moisture and this alters the rate of distribution of the charges upon the fibers and
the manner in which they are moved and oriented in the electric field. It has been found
that when the relative humidity of the air carrying the fibers is below 40 percent, the fibers
are noticeably slower in depositing and forming a pile. A relative humidty above 45%
percent, on the other hand, tends to cause rapid deposition, but not .in an orderly
manner; treeing and undesirable massing of the fibers result.”

After this, many patents followed on the story of flocking equipment some of them with real
innovations that entered into the technical standards of flocking machines manufacturers.
In America flock started to be more and more used on several sectors, finally in Europe flock
started to be a textile finishing system in the 50’s.

Aigle started producing flocking machines initially only via mechanical flock sieving systems;
through R&D investments, the company was able to develop and produce an electrostatic
generator that allowed AIGLE to achieve reliability and high performance, all in a relative low
weight machine. This happened in the mid of the 60’. Main applications were decorations for
curtains and women polyamide stockings. In these and following years machinery market
demand was really high: customer were paying additional money for each week the
manufacturer, Aigle in our case, managed to anticipate the delivery of the machine
(unfortunately these time are really passed). Get the best deals from this professional Spectro flock manufacturer.

Evolution of flock, adhesive and flocking process technology allowed the use of flock on textile
not only for decoration but also for functional use like crushed velvet for garments, sofa covering
and car sits covering. Then the higher precision cut of the tow in the flock manufacturing process
was allowing better results in terms of quality of the flock pile. On the other side adhesive
originally were not breathable as a conventional fabric is. Upholstery cushions could not easily
release air and stayed puffed up like a balloon. Reformulating flock adhesives, by air injection
just before application, allowed for breathability. Formulators created ways to maintain physical
properties, while allowing air to pass through the flocked fabric. In this way it was achieved

another great improvement: to maintain the flock fabric washability as far as resistance to
washing chemicals.

These important improvements combined with better machine’s quality brought a higher speed
and a better quality production. Also diversified finishing technology of the flocked fabric highly
improved the possible use of flocked fabric especially in garments
One of the more famous and popular finishing systems were the so called “Pig”: a viscose flock
fabric passed through a special foulard and an open tumbler that became very popular for
garments and interlining fabric; on another hand, finishing of nylon flocked fabrics was mainly
obtained by air embossing and by traditional printing system, giving a large variety of designs
and special effects, particularly appreciated for upholstery application.

At the end of the ’90, flock manufacturers started to offer on the market more sophisticated fibres
so-called microfibres that were capable to give to the finished textile a better hand in terms of
softness touch.

Speed of flocking textile process in Europe was reaching around 15 mt/m’, in the US up to
double; the reason of the speed gap stays in the technology: D.C. electrostatic system used in
Europe is much safer and is giving a more vertical results on the dipping of the millions of fibres
on the adhesive but above a certain speed defects are very evident: in this way the velvet effect
was higher with softer touch. On the other hand, USA A.C. electrostatic system is more
dangerous due to higher power necessary, but is allowing higher speed due to the extremely low
defect problem in presence of higher pile. Softening of the fabric is obtained by special finishing
treatment of the flocked fabric. Other important sector of textile flocking is design flocking: in this
case adhesive is coated by rotary screen, and the flocking machine is be fixed on the printing
machine structure.
Flocking machine is equipped with a very efficient suction system, in order to keep clean the
environment.