Testing Textiles

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Testing Textiles
Before any product goes into production it needs to be tested and any claims
the manufacturer makes needs to be tested. The two reasons for testing are:
1. Legal Requirements- labeling has to be accurate
2. Customer loyalty- ensure high quality and valued custom
Every time an item is returned to a store, it costs the brand money so before
large scale production testing is carried out.
Physical tests
Uses a Martindale machine which rapidly stimulates wear and tear on a
Pieces of standard woolen fabric are placed on each of the machine heads
and a weight is used to make sure they lay flat.
The test samples are put on heads and placed in the machine
The machine is programmed to run for a certain amount of time and it
slowly rubs back and fourth across the fabric, mirroring the friction
from bodies.
Once the machine is finished, the samples need to be graded. The fabrics
are viewed in a standard light-box and compared with an original piece
of the fabric
It is then giving a rating or grade. The best score is 5 (no pilling) and
most manufacturers regard 4 as a pass.
Martindale machine is used with different heads and settings to test for
The test works in the same way but the weights are used to keep
pressure on the fabric and the heads more quickly and change direction
Every few thousand revolutions, the samples are checked and once a
certain number of threads have been broken the test is stopped and the
results are noted down
Tear strength
A tensometer machine is used to see how much force is needed to pull a
fabric apart. This is called the wing rip tear test.
A pre cut sample is clamped into the machine and jaws slowly pull the
fabric apart
Sensors inside the machine record the force needed to tear the fabric
and the results are shown as a graph on the computer
The test is repeated to get an average result.
Tensile strength
It is important to know the breaking point of fabric in a certain

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A strip is clamped into the tensometer and the heads slowly pull apart
More force is applied until the fabric breaks and the results are taken
The test is then repeated
Burst testing
Truburst tester simulates pushing against a fabric
The sample is placed over a stretchy diaphragm and held in place by a
plastic cup
A pressurized jet of air causes the diaphragm and fabric to stretch and
The pressure is increased until the fabric tears
This is then repeated to gain…read more

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Performance Testing
A PU coating is the best way to make something waterproof but
materials need to be tested to see if they have been coated properly
A hydrostatic head machine is used to test this.…read more

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Moisture Management
Wickability and absorbency depend of the fibre and the construction of
the yarn. Both of these are tested in the same way.…read more


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