As a technique that creates a feel that is soft to the touch, peaching is a relatively easy way to create material that can be used in a number of different ways. Here is some information on how to create peached fabric, and how the material can be used.
Peaching is simply a process that involves sanding the fabric. The technique can be applied to just about any type of fiber, although it does seem to work more effectively with natural materials. After the fabric is woven, sections of the material are dipped in chemical compounds that permeate the fabric. The sections are then stretched taut and left to dry.
Once the sections have dried, the material is brushed either by hand or with the use of automated machinery. In either case, rollers with abrasive bristles, similar in appearance to a toothbrush, are brushed across the fabric. This helps to break some of the small fibers on the exterior of the material and teases them out. Teasing the broken fiber ends is what created the peached appearance and feel for the sanded fabric.
Along with the use of abrasive rollers, peached fabric can also be created by the use of chemical abrasion. With this method, the fibers are gently broken down with the use of chemical compounds, rather than being sanded by bristles. Laundry abrasion is also a means of producing this fabric. Essentially, it is the motion within the laundering process that creates the break in the outside fibers and helps to produce the soft feel that is associated with this textile.
Because peached fabric holds its shape very well and is soft to the touch, the material is often used in household textiles such as casual tablecloths and napkins. Kitchen curtains can also be made from this fabric. When it comes to clothing, peached fabric is an ideal choice for casual shirts, golfing shirts, and undergarments. The sanding techniques do not take away from the ability of the material to absorb and maintain color, which means that peached fabric is available in any color or pattern that one can imagine.
Both the finished product and the fabric treatment derive the name from a few observations about the look and feel of the material that results from the process. Looking at the material through the lens of a microscope, the material will appear to have a small layer of fuzz on the top, much like the fuzz that is found on the outside of the peach peel. Because the end result is both the look of peach fuzz and a feel that is not unlike rubbing a hand across the fuzz on a peach, the popular name came into common use in no time.