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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