Importance of Apparel Testing
Textile and apparel testing is vital for Fashion industry and conducted so that apparel manufactures clothing retailers and fashion wholesalers can evaluate and ensure the quality of the garments they manufacture and sell is safe to use by consumers and fit for the purpose, conforms to international or regional compliance, retain performance specification, quality standards, meets product liability, environmental and other current legislation, prevent recalls and promote repeat sales.
It is important for the manufacturers to learn and understand about fabric testing methods set by retailers and to stay compliant in regard to quality. If a clothing manufacturer does not know the retailer testing standard requirements that company may run into problems such as receiving a chargeback claims or returned merchandise.
Typically, a retailer will require that testing be conducted at a third party laboratory so that factories are not tempted to manipulate the testing results. In addition to avoiding test altering, using a qualified third party lab will help insure that the "proper" fabric testing method are used.
It is important to note that all standards and regulations encapsulated in the Textile Apparel testing have one or both of the following aims: Safety and Quality. While quality is related more to general consumer satisfaction, safety is an important aspect as products not meeting regulations can jeopardize the health of the consumer.
Many internationally recognized standards and practices for testing yarn, fabrics, clothing etc. are applicable for Europe and United States and broadly denoted by the name of well recognized institutions which developed them. Some tests are highly specialized in nature, but there is a core series of tests that are applicable depending on the end use of the products. Methodology and equipment may vary among regional labs but basic objectives remain the same.
Explanation of some of the Tests
Appearance Evaluation after Home laundering and dry-cleaning: Test method to evaluate overall general appearance of a garment and other textile products after repeated home laundering and dry-cleaning.
Colorfastness to accelerated Laundering: Test to evaluate the colorfastness properties like color loss, bleeding and surface changes of textiles that intended to be laundered frequently.
Colorfastness to Crocking: Test to evaluate the degree of color, which may be transferred from the surface of colored textile material to other surfaces by rubbing action such as upholstery, carpet and other wearing apparel in the normal course of use.
Colorfastness to Dry-Cleaning: Test to evaluate the colorfastness property of textiles during commercial dry-cleaning.
Colorfastness to Home Laundering: test to evaluate the colorfastness properties of textiles during actual home laundering process as followed by consumer.
Colorfastness to Light: Test to evaluate the colorfastness property of textiles when subject to light exposure.
Colorfastness to Non Chlorine Bleach: Test to evaluate the colorfastness performance of a textile fabric when subjected to the action of Non-Chlorine Bleach
Colorfastness to Perspiration: Test to evaluate the colorfastness property to Textiles to the effect of perspiration on textile.
Colorfastness to Pool Water: Test to evaluate the colorfastness property of textiles to the effect of chlorinated poor water.
Colorfastness to Sea Water: Test to evaluate the colorfastness property of Textiles to the effect of sea water.
Dimensional stability to dry-clean: Test to determine the dimensional stability (shrinkage or elongation) in woven and knit fabrics when subject to commercial dry-cleaning.
Dimensional stability to Home Laundering: Test to determine the dimensional stability (shrinkage or elongation) in woven and knit fabrics when subjected to home laundering
Fabric weight: Test to determine the weight of textile fabrics in garments generally at 70 Fare height/21 degrees Celsius and 65% relative humidity.
Fiber content: test to determine the fiber composition of textile goods through special, microscopic and chemical methods.
Flammability: The purpose of this test is to test and rate the flammability of textiles and discouraging the use of any dangerously flammable clothing.
Formaldehyde: Test to determine the residual presence of Formaldehyde in textile products finished with chemicals containing formaldehyde.
Lead Content: Test to determine any usage of lead or lead contaminants in excess of 0.06% of the weight of total nonvolatile content of paint.
Mechanical Hazard/Sharp edges: Test to evaluate clothing or toys intended for use by infants/toddlers for any measurable risk of injury by laceration or incision.
Mechanical Hard/Sharp Points: Test to evaluate clothing or toys intended for use by infants/toddlers for any measurable risk of injury by puncture or laceration.
Mechanical Hazard/Small parts: Test to evaluate clothing or toys intended for use by infants/toddlers for any unreasonable risk of small parts choking hazard.
PH Value: Test to indicate the efficiency of washing operation after various wet treatment either bleaching or scouring.
Seam Slippage: Test to evaluate the resistance to yarn slippage at sewn seams in woven fabric when a load is applied at seams.
Seam Strength: Test to measure the maximum seam strength which can be achieved in woven fabrics when a force is applied perpendicular to the seam.
Skewness in Fabric: Test to evaluate percentage of torque in a garment, which may occur during laundering procedures commonly used by consumers at home
Snap/De-snap: test to determine the force required to disengage snap fastness by a pull perpendicular and parallel with the plain of the snap fastener.
Tearing Strength: Test to determine the average force required to continue a tear from a cut in a woven fabric by means of falling apparatus.
Tensile Strength: Test to determine the breaking strength and elongation of most textile fabrics. Not recommended for knit fabrics or fabrics with high stretch value.
Thread Count: Test to determine the number of Warp and Weft yarns or Wales/courses per unit distance in woven or knitted fabrics respectively.
Water Repellency: Test to indicate the resistance of fabrics to get the wet by water.
Yarn size: Test to determine the size of fineness (linear density of a yarn expressed either as mass per unit length or length per unit mass depending upon yarn numbering system of all types of cotton, woolen, worsted or manmade fabrics in measurable length.)
Quality Performance and Regulatory Test of major types of Apparel
- Abrasion - Flex and Abrasion (Stroll)
- Pilling - Home Laundering
- Bleach (Chlorine)
- Bleach (Non-Chlorine)
- Burnt Gas Fumes
- Crocking (Flat or Rotary)
- Dry Cleaning
- Dry Heat (Excluding Pressing)
- Dye Transfer in Stoppage
- Host Pressing
- Light (Carbon Arc)
- Perspiration (Acid and/or Alkaline)
- Solvent Spotting
- Water (Bleed Resistance)
- Water (Chlorinated Pool)
- Water (Sea)
- Water Spotting
- Phenolic Yellowing
Fabric and Apparel Construction
- Blow and Skew
- Filament Count
- Stitch Count
- Thread count
- Twists per Inch
- Weave Identification
- Yarn Size (Denier)
- Children's sleepwear
- Wearing Apparel
- Acetic Acid
- Carbon Tetrachloride
- Fiber content
- Quantitative -% Reported
- Fiberglass Content
- Formaldehyde Content
- Melting Point
- Non0Fibrous Content
- Presence of Labile Sulfur
- Dry Cleaning
- Home/Hand Laundering
- Laundering Evaluations
- Color Change
- Crease Retention
- Skewness (Torque)
- Smoothness Appearance
- Smoothness of Seams
- Soil/stain Release
Oil & Water Absorbency/Repellency
- Terry Fabrics
- Water-Dynamic Tumble Jar
- Water-Spray test
- Hydrostatic Press (High & Low)
- Impact Penetration
- Rain Test
- Care Label Determination/Verification
- Color Migration
- Component Test - Buttons, Clasps, Hooks and Loop Fastener (Peel and Shear)
- Odor - impact
- Small parts Test (Torque/Tension)
- Thermal Protective Performance
- Ultraviolet Protection Factor
- Wrinkly recovery
Strength and Durability
- Bursting Strength
- Puncture Resistance
- Resistance to Yarn Slippage
- Sean Strength
- Snap Strength
- Stretch and Elongation
- Stretch Elastic Fabrics
- Set and Recovery
- Tear Strength
- Tensile Strength and Elongation
- Zipper Strength
- Fabric Drying time
- Humidity Moisture Pickup
- Moisture Regain/Content
Chemical Analysis - Eco Testing
- Banned Azo Colorants
- Formaldehyde Content
- Heavy Metals Residue
- Ozone Depleting Chemicals
- Pesticide Residue