Value Added Services: Fabric Testing
Becoming an indispensable partner to our customers means providing services that shorten the supply chain, increase efficiencies, and result in higher quality materials. In order to do this, we offer a variety of value added services such as lamination, quilting, bias binding, textile consultation, stocking programs, and fabric testing.
When we built out our new headquarters at the beginning of 2022 – something we planned for was a larger more efficient fabric testing lab. We pride ourselves on quality materials, so it was extremely important that we have a testing lab in-house. MMI works with third-party testing labs as well if needed, however, being able to do our own testing allows for quick results for our customers and the assurance you are purchasing the correct fabric for your needs.
Some of our testing capabilities include spray rating, weight per oz./sq. yd., crocking, color reading, tear strength, break strength, shrinkage, and abrasion resistance. Also, we can oftentimes help in identifying a fabric or determining whether your fabric meets certain standards.
So, what fabric tests can we run here at MMI? Let’s break it down.
Spray Rating/Water Repellency
Using a spray tester can test the water repellency of a fabric. In this test, a small shower is produced by pouring water through a spray nozzle. The water falls on the fabric which is mounted over a 6 in. diameter embroidery hoop – fixed at a 45-degree angle. The hoop is tapped off after spraying to then measure the grade of the water beads.
Test Methods: AATCC TM22
Using a device called a fabric punch or circular sample cutter, we cut a sample of fabric to test for its weight in ounces per yard (oz./yd.). The weight is calculated using a digital textile scale.
Test Methods: FTM 5041
To determine the color fastness (against rubbing) of dyed or printed textiles, we use a crocking machine. Colorfastness can be tested under dry or wet conditions. Using a white standard rubbing cloth, the crocking machine rubs the fabric a specific number of times to see how much color has transferred onto the white cloth. Once taken off the machine, the tester can hold up the white standard cloth to a color grading sheet to determine the grade best fit.
Test Methods: AATCC 61 2A (Color Fastness), AATCC 8, FTM 5651 (Crocking)
In our lab, we have a Color Reader/IR Machine that measures how much light a substance absorbs. It is used to determine the color information from the optic properties of the material. The color reader can be used to capture a precise color measurement of a textile. We also have a lightbox that we can use for color matching and evaluation of any material where precise control of color is critical.
Break strength is a measurement of how well a material can withstand the effects of breaking. It is a useful engineering measurement for a wide variety of materials. The sample is held between two holders and a uniform pulling force is applied until the formed deformation or break occurs. This can then be calculated by dividing the force applied by the thickness of the material. Using different holders, our machine can test a variety of webbing and fabrics.
Abrasion resistance is the ability of a fabric to resist surface wear caused by flat rubbing contact with another material. We have a special instrument in our lab to test the abrasion resistance of fabrics. Our abrasion test places weight from the arms on the fabric and rotates the weight in circular motions over a period of time or until the fabric shows a hole.
How do I get a fabric tested?
Contact us or ask your sales representative for test results on materials that you are purchasing or interested in that we offer. If you are in need of a test we don’t offer in-house - we can send it out for third-party fabric testing. Please note that we currently only offer fabric testing on materials being converted or purchased through MMI Textiles.
Any questions about our fabric testing capabilities? Please contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050 our team of textile experts would be happy to assist you!