We spent a whole lifetime surrounded by all kinds of textiles since our birth, we might have some cheap clothing bought from the local store, just something off-the-rack, or some really nice brand garment from the super mall stores, but, what makes the price so different? Why we agree to pay the extra money? Regardless of the identical branding effect as a status symbol, the short answer might be: They look nicer, last longer and comfortable to wear.
Yes, quality is all about the fabric and the construction, today we are going to dive right into this topic from a Tech view – testing brings high quality and safety textiles, which in return differs the selling price.
All fabrics are created equal?
With the thought of all fabric types are created equal like “Cashmere is cashmere, and cotton is cotton.” is a common mistake people make. They are not created equally, high quality means intervention at the source, let’s revert back the journey of the garment, from the fiber to yarn, from yarn to fabrics, and finally to garments, every stage needs to be tested to ensure some standards are met, good fiber makes good yarn, good yarn be made to good fabrics.
What makes fabrics durable?
Strong to wear
Durable means garment is not to break down easily in daily wearing, no one like their clothes being too easy to break while wearing:)
How industrial professionals ensure durability? There is a list of testing need to be conducted to ensure the physical strength of garments like:
Yarn strength testing, textile tensile testing, tear testing, bursting strength testing, abrasion testing…
*bursting strength: bursting strength is the resistance ability to bursting pressure, it describes how strong the textile reacts to applied pressure. If you are interested in how to conduct the test through a bursting strength tester, refer to this page for more information.
Still looks nice in color after a lot of washing and daylight exposure
To ensure the color does not fade away after washing and sun exposure, procedures like washing fastness test, light fastness test are done to get the performance of the fabrics.
Colorfastness testing usually is carried out before the garments production(cloth cutting, sewing and etc).
What ensures the clothes comfortable to wear?
For different situations, you will choose different clothes, for example, what you would like to describe your favorite sportswear for running? “It does breath” it won’t make you feel wet after sweating, in textile industry, air permeability test is designed for this special purpose, to offer the garment designer solid information about whether the materials he or she choose will be comfortable to wear in after being made to garments.
Garment safety consideration
The safety of fabrics are mainly related in one stage: the dyeing and finishing process, there are five common potential hazards need to be tested to ensure the safety: Formaldehyde content, pH content, colorfastness, odor, banned azo dyes:
- Formaldehyde content: Textiles containing formaldehyde will release free formaldehyde during use and wearing. Through the human respiratory tract and skin, it strongly stimulates human respiratory tract mucosa and skin, which can cause respiratory tract inflammation and skin inflammation. May cause strong irritation to the eyes.
- Fastness to dyeing. There are three reasons for using dye fastness as a basic safety indicator (compare to good looking factors, this one is much more serious).
The first is that dyeing fastness is directly related to the detection of banned azo dyes and heavy metals in textiles.
The second is that if the dye can be permanently fixed on the textile without being transferred to the skin, it will not cause harm to the human body. When the dyeing fastness of the textile is not good, the dye will be transferred from the textile to the human skin during wear and use on.
Third, for infants and young children, it is possible to chew the used and worn textiles and suck the dyes in the textiles, thereby causing harm to the physical health of infants and young children.
As you can see, high-quality garments is the result of a lot testing to guarantee, which demands more investment to the raw material testing, manufacturers will either to build their own textile testing labs or find a third-party testing agencies, which do add a lot of costs to the whole products, material quality and safety performance plus the design, fit, craftsmanship, brand story, all these add the value to the garments, that what exactly you for you extra money for.