TEXINTEL
TEXINTEL BACKGROUND GRADIENT4.jpg

ARTICLES•INDUSTRY INSIGHT•NEWS•SHOWCASES

Articles, Industry Updates, Interviews…

UNDERSTANDING THE FIVE BASIC FASTNESS STANDARDS FOR PRINTED TEXTILES

TEXINTE-FABRICS PERFORMANCE-TESTS(2).jpg

HOW WILL THE FABRIC YOU’RE BUYING REACT TO LIGHT, WASHING AND RUBBING? READ OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE

Basic fabric performance standards are an integral part of understanding the product that you are selling or buying.

Fastness Standards determine the commercial acceptability of fabric, and are essential.

Is your printed fabric fit for the purpose you intend?

Take a look at the performance standards below and be sure to ask you print provider to certify the printed products you wish to purchase.

Texintel detail below five essential fabric standards, with a brief description of each.

Light Fastness

This standard measures the resistance to fading of dyed or printed textile colours when exposed to daylight. The higher the number the longer the printed or dyed colours in the fabric will stay true to the original. The level of performance is expressed by a number from the following table :

Rating Qualitative Description

8 Outstanding

7 Excellent

6 Very Good

5 Good

4 Moderate

3 Fair

2 Poor

1 Very Poor

An achieved level of 5-6 is generally acceptable for Light Sensitive products such as Drapes or Display Fabrics.

Wash Fastness:

The resistance of a material to change in any of its colour characteristics, when subjected to washing is called “colour fastness to washing”. The test simulates a severe domestic washing cycle and the performance in the test is expressed in the following table.

Rating Qualitative Description

5 Excellent

4 – 5 Very Good to Excellent

4 Very Good

3 – 4 Good to very good

3 Good

2 – 3 Fair to Good

2 Fair

1 – 2 Poor to fair

1 Poor

An achieved level of 4-5 is generally acceptable for wash sensitive products such as Tea Towels and Bedding.

Rub/Crock Fastness:

Crocking is the tendency of a fabric to release colour when the surface is rubbed. For fabrics, crocking may occur when it has excess dye, or has been improperly dyed or coated (PFDP).  The tests are made on both wet and dry fabrics, to determine the values achieved.

It should be noted: Deeper colours tend to perform worse than light colours. The level of performance is expressed from the following table.

Rating Qualitative Description

5 Excellent

4 – 5 Very Good to Excellent

4 Very Good

3 – 4 Good to very good

3 Good

2 – 3 Fair to Good

2 Fair

1 – 2 Poor to fair

1 Poor

An achieved level of 4+ is generally acceptable for Dry-rub and 3-4+ for Wet rub on rub sensitive products such as Upholstery and Outerwear.

Perspiration Fastness:

This test is designed for use in assessing the fastness of the dyed, printed, or otherwise coloured textile yarns and fabrics of all kinds to the effects of human perspiration. The test measures the transfer of dyestuff/colour when exposed to perspiration, and the levels of performance are shown in the table below.

Rating Qualitative Description

5 Excellent

4 Good

3 Fairly Good

2 Fair

1 Poor

An achieved level of 4+ is usually accepted as a minimum for the Sportswear and Athleisure sectors.

Martindale (Rub) Tests:

The Martindale test is a measure of the durability of a fabric. The tests are undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses i.e. Decorative chairs, Heavy-traffic areas or Commercial furniture. 

The test is also known as the ‘rub test’ and tests for abrasion resistance. The fabric is tested by giving the sample 1000’s of rotation rub cycles, and the greater the number the more durable the fabric. The levels of performance are shown in the table below.

Rating Qualitative Description

10,000 Rubs Decorative Textiles

10-15,000 Rubs Light Domestic

15-25,000 Rubs General Domestic

25-30,000 rubs Heavy Domestic

30,000 plus rubs Contract and Commercial

An achieved level of 30,000 plus is generally accepted to be satisfactory for Contract Upholstery, however, results in excess of 80,000 rubs are commonplace for Heavy Contract use.

In conclusion:

Note: There are many more tests and standards for fabric performance, not to mention Organic and Sustainable certification.

The five standards above are the basic toolkit for fabric understanding performance, and provide a reliable reference point for any Printed Fabric, Digital or Analogue, across all Ink types and print processes.

Need more information?

Contact our Technical team for expert consultancy and advice: office@texintel.com