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Vartest CEO Receives Alumni of the Year Award at FIT!

We are proud to announce that Vartest President & CEO, Adam Varley, has been awarded the Alumni of the Year Award at the FIT TDM 2019 Dinner. The annual event is hosted through the Textile Marketing and Development Department, celebrating accomplishments of both alumni and seniors in the program. This award acknowledges Adam’s distinctive contributions toward the fashion and apparel industry through his achievements in textile testing.

Permethrin Testing at Vartest

Vartest is one of the few labs that are able to deal with both the textile technology and organic chemistry aspects of permethrin testing.

 

Permethrin is the most widely used insect repellent against mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, and other pest insects. It is typically applied as a finish to both textile piece goods and finished apparel.

 

Permethrin molecule, displayed from 2 angles

 

Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) based industry standard methods and military specifications, Vartest is able to report the amount of permethrin present on a garment both as a percentage on weight of fabric (OWF) and as a mass per unit area (grams per square meter or ounces per square yard).

 

Vartest is also able to assess the amount of permethrin present on a garment after refurbishment, using both diagnostic and industrial wash formulas as well as dry cleaning.

 

For more information, contact us at info@vartest.com.

DR. PREETI ARYA AND HER FIT CLASS VISIT VARTEST

Vartest hosted Dr. Preeti Arya and her Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Textile Development and Marketing class.  Students watched a PowerPoint focusing on the difference between Product Performance Specifications and Test Methods.

The students toured the lab seeing ASTM, AATCC, ISO, GB, ACT, BIFMA and Federal Standard 191 test methods for testing fiber, yarn, fabric (both coated and uncoated), used in apparel, aerospace, medical, military, couture, upholstery and active sportswear end uses.  Specialty testing markets like HVSA (High Visibility Safety Apparel) were reviewed in detail.

Vartest is glad to have built a relationship with the textile and apparel quality assurance and compliance executives of the future and continues to work with both FIT and its students.

Vartest publishes yarn technology whitepaper to AATCC Resource Center

SEM Image of Vortex spun yarn from Vartest Laboratories - Copyright 2018

Fascinated by what a ‘fasciated’ yarn is? Vartest recently published a whitepaper on the AATCC website to showcase our advanced capabilities in classifying yarn structures created by recent textile technologies such as Vortex spinning.  This work complements our expertise in identifying open end, ring spun, and air jet yarn types.

Download this whitepaper from the AATCC Resource Center.

Contact us now to learn more about our other yarn and fiber related testing services such as:

  • Staple Length Analysis
  • Yarn Count and Denier
  • Filament Count
  • Fiber Density
  • Cross-sectional Analysis

For more information, please visit our Fibers, Yarns & Fabrics page or contact us here.

Vartest Featured on “Every Little Thing” Podcast – What Do Care Symbols Mean?

(Click here to skip straight to the Podcast)

 

WTF Do the ⏺ 🔼 ⏹ on My 👕 Tag Mean?

 

We recently had a visit to the Vartest lab from Flora Lichtman of Every Little Thing in Brooklyn, NY to discuss textile testing for care label symbols. What resulted is an interesting and informative introduction to the care symbols used in garment labels around the world.

Of special note are comments from John Langdon of Drexel University in Philadelphia (The inspiration for the Robert Langdon character in Dan Brown’s books) on the challenge of intuitively understanding the meaning behind the current symbols. We also get insight from Ginetex, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, on the origin of the symbols. Ginetex shared that symbol comprehension is surprisingly low – 70-80% of consumers don’t know what 3 of the 5 main care symbols mean.

If you have a question that needs answering, call the Every Little Thing Help Line at 833-RING-ELT. Gimlet Media is the award-winning narrative podcasting company that aims to help listeners better understand the world and each other.

Every Little Thing Podcast - Brooklyn, NY

Gimlet Media – Every Little Thing

 

Click here to go to the Podcast.

Vartest in Action: Dynamic Seam Fatigue Testing

Dynamic Seam Fatigue (ASTM D4033) assesses the ability of a fabric to be sewn effectively for use on upholstery fabric. The cyclic impact of a weighted wheel over a fabric-covered foam block simulates repetitive stress onto a seat cushion. Just think: how many times this week have you crashed onto your couch after a long work day?

Similar to assessing a portion of your most comfortable reclining chair, a diner booth, or newly upholstered car seat, Dynamic Seam Fatigue testing measures resistance to yarn slippage.  This method is used across a variety of markets—contract & residential upholstery, home, hospitality, and automotive textiles to name a few.

How it works:

The Dynamic Seam Fatigue tester plunges a rubber-faced wheel 7,000 times onto a standard 7-SPI (stitch per inch) upholstery seam. Specimens are sewn in the warp to warp, filling to filling, and warp to filling direction. If after 7,000 cycles, the seams demonstrate no failure, the fabric is determined to have passed the criteria established by ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) and BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association). ASTM D4033-92 is used, modified by BIFMA X 5.4-2012 Seating Durability Test as the standard test method.

See the machine in action below!

How we can help:

Along with the fabric ratings, Vartest provides photographs of any failing specimens so that the Dynamic Fatigue test report can provide effective communication with the supply chain.

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

Peel Adhesion Testing Methods

Vartest upgraded our Instron with a 90-degree peel fixture earlier this year.  It now allows us to perform the following methods:

ASTM B571: Qualitative Adhesion Testing of Metallic Coatings
ASTM D429 Method B: Rubber Property—Adhesion to Substrates
ASTM D3330 Method F: Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tape
ASTM D6252: Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Labels
ASTM D6862: 90 Degree Peel Resistance of Adhesives

Methods such as ASTM D3330 can be found at www.astm.org.
Other physical testing methods can be found at Physical Testing.

Instron Peel Adhesion Sled

Peel Adhesion Testing

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.

 

photoofppt

Bisphenol A Added to Prop 65 List

Update: Be aware that BPA was added back to the California Prop 65 chemical list. BPA can be frequently found in hard plastics and polycarbonate. Effective May 11, 2016, a warning label is required in California for exposure to BPA. There is no published safe harbor level from OEHHA for BPA.

Source: OEHHA

 

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

Adam Varley Presentation at FIT

Adam Varley is giving a presentation at FIT for “Global Sourcing in the Textile Industries.”

Download the Slideshow from his presentation here: Working with Labs

Visit the Fashion Institute of Technology website.

FIBER CROSS SECTIONS AT VARTEST

Vartest is equipped with state of the art fiber cross sectioning equipment not normally found in labs without significant seasoned experience in working with the fiber, yarn, fabric, apparel and allied trades.

Vartest Microtome

Vartest’s Sledge Microtome And Resin Embedded Sections

This system provides outstanding cross-sections as seen in the following slide show:

Vartest-Fiber-Cross Sections POWERPOINT

 

Both natural and synthetic fibers, yarns and fabrics can be sectioned with this system.  For further information contact either Esmeralda Castillo or Trevor Trapp.”

AATCC Press Release

News Release
For Immediate Release

AATCC Recognizes Varley, Greeson With TCR Service Award

     RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, April 10, 2014— H. Kenneth Greeson of Cotton Incorporated and Adam R. Varley of Vartest Laboratories Inc. were honored by the AATCC Technical Committee on Research (TCR) with the TCR Service Award in recognition of their achievements and service to AATCC. The award was presented at the 2014 AATCC International Conference in Asheville, NC, on April 3, 2014. Varley was recognized for his contribution toward the development of the Fiber ID Technical Supplement and for almost yearly additions or revisions to Test Methods TM 20 and TM 20A in an effort to make those the most complete test methods in the world. Greeson was recognized for his contribution toward the major revision of AATCC Test Method 97 (Extractable Content of Textiles) for the 2014 AATCC Technical Manual. Greeson attended North Carolina State University (NCSU) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in textile chemistry. His current position at Cotton Incorporated is Manager, Textile Chemistry Research, in the Textile Chemistry Research department. His primary responsibilities include research and development in the field of fabric finishing, including areas such as wrinkle resistance, moisture management, repellency, flame retardancy, and abrasion resistance. His responsibilities also include management of the Finishing Research Laboratory.

     Varley is Technical Director and Co-Founder of Vartest Laboratories Inc. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1978 to 1980, working toward an Associate Degree in Textile Technology. In 1987 he graduated with a BA in Computer Science and Business Management from New York University and in 2001 he received a Master of Textiles, Textile Chemistry and Apparel Management, from North Carolina State University. He has been a member of AATCC since 1978 and has been active in several research committees, especially in RA24, Fiber Analysis Test Methods, where he has served as chair or acting chair and is currently chair. Outside of AATCC, Varley has served on ASTM Committee D13 for textiles, two subcommittees responsible for test method and specification development, and on the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO/TC38-Textiles for Working Group 22, Chemical Test Methods.

     The Award: The Technical Committee on Research Service (TCR) Award was established in 2008 to recognize those members who have contributed greatly to the AATCC organization in a technical capacity. Senior members of the Association with at least five years of continuous membership in AATCC, who have contributed outstanding technical service to the Association through activity in a research committee, are eligible. Selection is by unanimous choice of the TCR Service Award Committee, composed of the current Chair of Technical Committee on Research, Vice Chair of TCR, Chair of the Executive Committee on Research (ECR) and the Secretary of TCR. The Award consists of a plaque and an honorarium, presented at the International Conference.

     About AATCC: AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 60 countries throughout the world.

For a photo of our TCR Service Award winners, please visit the following links:
– Adam Varley: http://www.aatcc.org/media/pr/2014/AdamVarley.jpg
– Ken Greeson: http://www.aatcc.org/media/pr/2014/KenGreeson.jpg

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 In The News

Vartest Laboratories, Inc. recently appeared on ABC’s 20/20 in a special titled “20/20 True Confessions: Dirty Little Secrets from the Dry Cleaners”. In the segment, 20/20 sampled 10 drycleaners in Manhattan with identical garments containing mustard, wine, and nail polish stains. Vartest Laboratories was chosen to perform a Spectrophotometric Analysis of the stains on the returned garments to discover just how many of the selected drycleaners were able to remove the stains the best.

The ABC special as well as the results of the investigation can be found here: 20/20 True Confessions

Learn more about Spectrophotometric Analysis
, AATCC 130, AATCC 135, AATCC 158, and many of the other tests offered by Vartest on the Vartest Laboratory website here: www.vartest.com

Vartest Offers Same Day Testing!

Vartest Laboratories now offers Same Day Service for select testing where it is feasible to do so. Such testing is subject to a 100% Premium Charge.

Check out the rest of the conditions as well as the tests we offer for Same Day Service on our Feasibility List.

TB 117-2013: The New Flammability Standard For Upholstered Furniture

Attending the CPSC’s Upholstered Furniture Fire Safety Technology Meeting on April 25th, 2013, where Californian flammability standard TB 117 was a major topic of discussion, provided Vartest with an opportunity to interact in person with stakeholders in the area of upholstered furniture safety, where an important new method, TB 117-2013, is about to come into effect. Video links to details of the meeting are below:

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Part 1
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64490

Part 2
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64506

Part 3
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64503

Part 4
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=64502

This new standard will be effective on January 1, 2014 and will become mandatory on January 1, 2015. TB 117-2013 is published by the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation November 22, 2013.

Current strong interest in reducing levels of flame retardants used in home furnishings have resulted in the adoption of a new standard focusing on cigarette smoldering rather than open flame as the challenge. To pass the new test, both smolder-resistant cover fabrics and barrier fabrics placed under the upholstery fabric are commonly used technologies. This new test method, TB117-2013, is the first activity in this particular area of flammability testing in forty years. It is another example of a consensus-based furniture flammability test that helps keep consumers safe.

Vartest conducts a variety of flammability testing on fabrics, garments, furniture, rigid materials, and more. We anticipate serving the needs of our clients as consensus standard test methods and product performance specifications continue to evolve.