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Posts tagged with “Textile Testing”

Adam Varley cited in new Fashion Law and Compliance Book

We are happy to share that Adam Varley, co-founder of Vartest Laboratories in NYC has been interviewed and cited in the newly released book by Deanne Clark-Esposito, entitled, “A Practical Guide to Fashion Law and Compliance“.   Adam’s comments are part of a Q&A in “Chapter 5 – Flammability Testing and issues specific to children’s products”.

This guide can be purchased on Amazon.

Click here to learn more about the author, Deanne Clark-Esposito, or Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C.

A Practical Guide to Fashion Law and Compliance

Fashion Law and Compliance

Bed Sheet Thread Count Testing

Thread counts are an important characteristic of top of the bed fabrics, both for consumers and technologists.

As commonly used in the United States the thread count, or “T number,” of a top of the bed (bed sheet) fabric is the sum of the ends (lengthwise yarns) per inch plus the picks (widthwise yarns) per inch contained in the fabric.

The most common woven fabric construction for top of the bed fabrics is the plain weave.  Light and scanning electron images of a lightweight 100% plain weave cotton sheeting fabric are shown below:

 

Light Microscopy of 100% Cotton Sheeting Fabric

 

Scanning Electron Microscopy of 100% Cotton Sheeting Fabric

 

Graphically, this is represented as:

 

Plain Weave

 

Another common woven structure for top of the bed products is the satin weave:

 

Satin Weave

 

Fabrics made of 100% cotton can always have their thread counts determined unambiguously using current definitions, as can intimate blends of cotton and polyester staple (polyester fibers cut up to a length similar to cotton). Top of the bed fabrics containing continuous filament yarns can be trickier to deal with, partially due to unclear definitions of how to count continuous filament yarns in top of the bed products, and partially because of the nature of continuous filament yarns.

The following shows the back of a top of the bed woven satin made with 100% cotton yarns. This fabric uses “10 pick insertion.”  10 individual picks are inserted into the shed (the temporary separation between the upper and lower warp yarns through which the filling is woven) of the loom before the harnesses of the loom alternate and a new shed is formed.

Several years ago ASTM updated the standard terminology for how plied yarns used in bed sheets are counted:

“ASTM D7023 06 (Reapproved 2012) Standard Terminology Relating to Home Furnishings:

thread count, n—in woven textiles as used in sheets and bedding, the sum of the number of warp yarns (ends) and filling yarns (picks) per unit distance as counted while the fabric is held under zero tension and is free of folds and wrinkles, individual warp and filling yarns are counted as single units regardless of whether comprised of single or plied components.

DISCUSSION—The thread count of sheets and bedding articles is frequently displayed on the outside packaging of such items, or utilized in advertising literature. The specific construction of the warp and filling yarns used to construct the fabric in such items may also be displayed. Examples:

“300 Thread count, 2 ply yarn.” A representation of “600 thread count” for this same product would be likely to mislead consumers about the quality of the product purchased.

“Finely woven 380 2 ply fabric.” The representation of “finely woven 760 threads per square inch” is considered to be misleading to the consumer.

The following shows the back of a top of the bed satin fabric made with a 100% polyester filament filling and 100% cotton warp.”

With filament filling yarns the presence of distinct separable yarns comprising a multiple pick insertion fabric can be hard to determine.

To find out more about bed sheets, Take A Video Tour Of An Indian Top Of The Bed Factory or contact us directly.

Vartest is an ISO 17025 Accredited Laboratory in Manhattan providing fast turnaround and technical drill down testing for all aspects of fiber, yarn, fabric and end product testing.

Vartest Approved Under Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Data Acceptance Program

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Vartest Laboratories conducts testing of high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA), including garments, retroreflective tapes, and background materials for a range of global standards.  This includes ANSI/ISEA 107, CSA Z96, ISO 20471, ASNZS 1906.4, and NFPA 1971.

As of August 2016, Vartest is certified to participate in Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Third Party Test Data Program (TPTDP). Under this program, test data from Vartest will be accepted by UL in support of UL Mark certification.  Vartest’s scope of testing under this program applies to UL’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard, Including ISEA 107, CSA-Z96, and NFPA 1971. These standards cover compliance of high-visibility garments, background materials, and retroreflective tapes.

UL’s typical certification process requires samples to be tested and approved through one of their own laboratories. This means that manufacturers and vendors seeking a UL Mark for one of their products must test and approve samples for compliance, and then have them tested a second time by UL themselves. When working with a TPTDP participant, however, only one round of testing is necessary, as the participant’s data is accepted by UL. Per UL’s website, this alternative process provides “increased control over the timing and schedule for their product testing and certification program,” because testing, and approval can all be performed at one location. This can significantly reduce the time and expenses incurred during testing.

Vartest prides itself on being an independent third party lab focused on quick and accurate test results. Our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation through A2LA makes us fully qualified to test under ANSI/ISEA 107-2015.

 

Puncture Propagation Tear Testing via ASTM D2582 at Vartest

Vartest tests coated and uncoated fabrics used primarily in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) using ASTM D2582. This test is often used in the medical and military markets and Vartest also has the capacity to provide anti-bacterial, moisture management, physical, flammability, washing and dry-cleaning tests that performance specifications calling for ASTM D2582 often include.

 

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Vartest Laboratories supported the Drexel effort to bring the National Network for Advanced Functional Fabrics Manufacturing to Philadelphia

“The U.S. Department of Defense has tapped Drexel University as a key leader in the creation of a $75 million national research institute that will support American textile manufacturers in bringing sophisticated new materials and textiles to the marketplace. [1]”

Vartest looks forward to being a technical resource for AFFOA projects, as part of the Fabric Innovation Initiative (FIN). This resurgence of cutting-edge textile technology in the North East harkens back to the birth of the US textile industry in the North East and the development of a significant textile technology department at MIT, but with a pleasant and welcome, modern high-tech twist.

[1] http://www.rle.mit.edu/fabric/

AFFOA

Vartest’s Outstanding Achievements and Service Recognized by AATCC

Adam Varley, Vartest’s Technical Director & COO was honored to be the recipient of the TCR Service Reward “In Recognition for His Service to AATCC Research Committees”. On Thursday, April 3rd 2014, Adam attended a luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, North Carolina, and was presented with this award for “his contribution toward the development of the AATCC Fiber ID Technical Supplement and the continuous updating of AATCC Test Methods 20 and 20A.”

AdamsAward

Vartest Reaccredited By A2LA

Vartest is proud to announce our reaccreditation under the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). This marks our laboratory’s eighth year of accreditation.

According to A2LA’s own documentation, “A2LA is the leading US laboratory accreditation body with almost 2,000 laboratories accredited in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005, about 50% of the total number of 17025 accreditations granted by all other US laboratory accreditation bodies.” Organizations eligible for A2LA recognition (defined by A2LA as “CAB”s, or “Conformity Assessment Bodies”) must pass a thorough evaluation process to determine the quality of their equipment, staff, and performance.

By passing this evaluation, Vartest has demonstrated excellence in the following qualities as defined by A2LA:

• Capability
• Responsibility
• Scientific approach
• Objectivity
• Impartiality
• Measurement traceability
• Reproducibility
• Transparency

Additionally, Vartest’s scope for fabric and textile testing now includes the following test methods:

• ISO 811
• ISO 14184-1,2
• JIS L 1041

We at Vartest extend our sincere thanks to A2LA for their recognition, and will continue to serve our clients with our diverse and ever-growing range of test procedures.

Vartest Accredited to Test For Phthalates Under CPSIA:

Vartest has obtained A2LA accreditation to test for phthalates under the Consumer Product and Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This test (designation CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3) provides an excellent complement to Vartest’s lead and heavy metal detection testing services, allowing our laboratory to ensure full safety compliance for a range of materials and products.

Three-dimensional model of a Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, one of the most common phthalates in use.

 

Phthalates are compounds of phthalic acid widely used as plasticizers, chemical compounds which increase the strength and malleability of plastics. Found in or on the majority of plastic or polymeric products worldwide, including toys, textiles, garments, and upholstery, phthalates and plasticizers in general are produced and used by the millions of tons per annum. However, phthalates’ weak chemical bond to the plastics in which they are used (specifically, the lack of a covalent bond) allows them to be relatively easily released into the environment when the plastics age. This process has been associated with certain detrimental effects to the environment, resulting in phthalates’ regulation under CPSIA as of February 10, 2009.

Structural Diagram of DEHP Phthalate

 

Vartest tests for phthalates using the Standard Operating Procedure supplementary to CPSC-CH-1001-09.3, dissolving the sample in a solution of HPLC-grade tetrahydrofuran (THF), precipitating sample polymers with HPLC-grade hexanes, and filtering the solution through a .45μm polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter. The filtered solution is then subjected to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMS) to isolate and identify the resultant phthalates. Samples are monitored using both full scan mode and selected ion monitoring (SIM), and our machinery runs a quality control sample each day. Products tested include fabric adhesives, coatings, print applications, children’s products, plastic components of various garments, and other end use items.

Vartest GCMS Equipment

 

Vartest provides testing for the following phthalates:

  • Di-n-butylphthalate(DnBP) (CAS No. 84-74-2)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate(BBP) (CAS No. 85-68-7)
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate(DEHP) (CAS No. 117-81-7)
  • Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP) (CAS No. 117-84-0)
  • Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) (CAS Nos. 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0)
  • Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) (CAS Nos. 26761-40-0, 68515-49-1)
  • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) (CAS No. 84-75-3)

Vartest offers services under CPSIA testing standards for a diverse clientele, and will continue to expand its testing capabilities.

FAST TURN COLOR ANALYSIS TESTING OF FIBER, YARN, FABRIC, APPAREL AND OTHER END USE ITEMS:

Vartest offers fast turnaround time color analysis testing of fiber, yarn, fabric and end use items from its ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory located in Midtown Manhattan. Spectrophotometers available include Dual Beam Sphere for use in retailer color management programs, 45° Illumination and 0° Viewing for fluorescent samples and Dual Beam Sphere with Near Infra Red capability for military programs. All of them are interfaced with state of the art color management and communication software.

These instruments provide objective, quantitative visual color measurement and assessment as well as shade sorting, shade grouping and banding, tapering, lab dip approval as well as objective rating of colorfastness test results such as crocking, laundering, light, storage and perspiration.

Vartest’s color quality control capability provides an Accredited Third Party backup to retailer, manufacturer and importer color management systems. QTX files can be generated and emailed by Vartest containing digital color information on standards, lab dips, production samples and fabric rolls destined for the cutting table.

 

Color Measurement Proficiency Interlab Results Displayed Electronically

Color Measurement Proficiency Interlab Results Displayed Electronically

 

 

Instrumental color measurement systems are operated by experienced technologists with specialized training in color measurement. The visual acuity of operators is checked using the Farnsworth Munsell color vision test in conjunction with Vartest’s calibrated Macbeth light boxes which are used for visual assessments when needed.

Polyester Fiber And Triexta Fiber Generic Subclass Testing Capability Enhanced

Using a combination of analytical techniques as well as experience with weft knit, warp knit, woven and non woven textile structures, Vartest provides a unique capability for analyzing polyester fiber and the polymers which make them up including FTC designated polyester fiber subclasses and related fibers.

 

Micro FTIR Analysis Allows Molecular Structure Analysis Of Single Fibers And Filaments

Preparing Vartest's FTIR Microscope For Textile Fiber Work With Liquid Nitrogen

 

The Federal Trade Commission covers but is not limited to three related polyester polymers used to produce textile fibers: Polyethylene terephthalate (often abbreviated as PET and the polymer which makes up the world’s most commonly used textile fiber), polytrimethylene terephthalate (FTC generic sub class triexta and also commonly known as PTT and with the current IUPAC name poly(propyleneterephthalate) and polybutylene terephthalate (often abreviated as PBT). The structures of PET, PTT and PBT are shown in the following ball and stick models:
Polyester Polymer Chains Modeled With Chem Bio 3D Ultra

Three Repeat Unit Chains Of Polyethyleneterephthalate, Polytrimethyleneterephthalate and Polybutyleneterephthalate

 

Fibers made of PTT may be labelled “Triexta” however fibers composed of PBT do not have an FTC designated subclass and so can be labeled “Polyester” and be more fully characterized as PBT Polyester. Fibers made of PET are usually simply labeled as “Polyester”.
The chief difference in chemical structure between these three polymer groups is the addition of a single methyl group to the polymer repeat with each of PTT and PBT. PET has two methyl groups in the hydrocarbon chain connecting phthalate esters, PTT three and PBT four. The addition of methyl groups leads to significant changes in fiber performance in end use, making PTT for example, particularly suited to end uses such as carpeting. The addition of methyl groups to the hydrocarbon chain also leads to decreasing melt point as seen in the following differential scanning calorimetry curves:

 

PET, PTT and PBT compared

Differential Scanning Calorimetry Comparison Of PET, PTT and PBT

Micro Fourier transform infrared analysis helps to differentiate these polymer groups with clear separation of PBT, PTT and PET capable with even a single fiber and enabeling dissected filament yarns from a complicated structure such as a multi bar tricot warp knit to be positively identified both qualitatively and quantitatively as seen in the following light micrograph:
Triexta (PBT) and conventional textile polyester (PET) dissected from a two bar tricot warp knit fabric.
Once dissected micro FTIR spectra of the yarns above are obtained and run against a search library for identification. The image above shows the dissected PET top bar yarn of a 1-0/2-3 fully threaded tricot structure as well as the PBT 1-2/1-0 back bar. A micro Fourier transform infra red analysis of SmartStrand carpet fiber is shown below with a 95% Euclidean hit to a control sample of known triexta fiber:
Eulidean Library Search For Triexta

Micro Fourier Transform Infra Red Analysis Of SmartStrand Triexta Fiber

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) testing complements this work differentiating between PET, PTT and PBT as seen in the following Hydrogen-1 NMR and Carbon-13 NMR comparison done at 300 megahertz with deuterated trifluoroacetic acid as the solvent:
Comparison Of PET, PTT and PBT

300 Megahertz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra

Polyester Comparison Via FTIR

300 Megahertz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra

Vartest provides in depth analysis of all characteristics of fiber make up, morphology and performance assisted by a proprietary search library of thousands of fibers from all markets and end uses.