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The Latest Varley Family Textile Technology Scholarship

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Foundation’s Varley Family Textile Technology Scholarship is a $7,500 scholarship that supports students pursuing a career or performing coursework in textile engineering, textile chemistry, textile science or a related discipline at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) or Cornell University College of Human Ecology. It is is in memory of Gerald M. Varley, who founded Varley Textile Associates and, in 1986, co-founded Vartest.

This year an award was given to Kushbu Jivan, a rising junior at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Textile Development and Marketing with minors in Art History and Ethics & Sustainability. She is independently pursuing biochemistry to help aid in her research and development of sustainable bio-materials that can be commercially applied to apparel, home, and performance textiles. The AATCC Foundation Varley Family Scholarship will allow Kushbu to continue her education and her pursuit of bio-material development while allowing her to become more involved in the industry. She would like to thank all of her teachers for their support as well as the AATCC Foundation for giving her the opportunity to pursue her passion.

You can learn more about the award and apply in the future at the AATCC website.

Impact and Puncture Testing at Vartest

Impact and Puncture testing provides data on how well your product/material can withstand penetrative forces. Due to the vast variety of materials, properties and rate of energy delivered, there are multiple methods that fall under this category of testing. These tests are a necessity for industries including but not limited to auto, medical, and apparel. It is important to know the resistance of puncture of a product to determine if the specimen’s properties are suitable for the industry, it is in. For example, a backpack made of PVC should not be punctured by a sharpened pencil rustling around inside. If it is then the material is not strong enough for the planned end use. This is one of many problems that can be detected with Impact and Puncture Testing here at Vartest.

Vartest now has the following:

Which gives us a brand new instrument to run:

  • ASTM D2794 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Organic Coatings to the Effects of Rapid Deformation (Impact)

    This test method is used to rapidly deform via impact a coating film and its substrate and for evaluating the effect of such deformation. Due to low reproducibility all testing for this method should be conducted in one laboratory.
  • ASTM D4226 Standard Test Methods for Impact Resistance of Rigid Poly (Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Building Products

    We use this test method to determine the amount of energy needed to crack or break PVC (poly vinyl chloride) sheeting, or moulded test samples. The machine releases a freefalling standard weight which strikes an impactor with the specimen. This test could be used for quality control in addition to product research, and development.

    There are two configurations for this method:
    • Option A: Is used to determine the minimum energy required to cause a failure. I.e., hole, crack, split, shatter, or tear.
    • Option B: Is used to determine the minimum energy required to cause a brittle failure.
  • ASTM D5420 Standard Test Method for Impact Resistance of Flat, Rigid Plastic Specimen by Means of a Striker Impacted by a Falling Weight (Gardner Impact)

    We use this test method to determine the respective ranking of materials based on the energy required to crack or break flat, stiff plastic specimen under numerous conditions of impact of a striker impacted by a falling weight.

Vartest also runs:

  • ASTM F2878 Standard Test Method For Protective Clothing Material Resistance To Hypodermic Needle Puncture.  Vartest runs all options: 28 Gauge Hypodermic Needle, 25 Gauge Hypodermic Needle, and 21 gauge hypodermic needle.

    This test method is used to determine the force required to cause a hypodermic needle to penetrate through protective clothing material. There are three-gauge options for this test: -21, 25-, 28- gauge needles. These are used to evaluate puncture resistance of protective clothing. This test method is not a representation of all conditions. Some conditions not covered are stiffness of backing materials, presence of lubricants, and tension on the specimen.
  • ASTM D4833-07 Standard Test Method for Index Puncture Resistance of Geomembranes and Related Products

    This test method is an index test for determining the puncture resistance of geomembranes and related products. The use of this test is to establish a basis for uniform reporting. This test method is adequate for acceptance testing of commercial shipments of geomembranes and related materials.
  • ASTM F1342 Perpendicular Puncture Resistance of Protective Clothing

    We use this test method to determine the puncture resistance of protective clothing material by measuring the force required to cause a pointed puncture probe to penetrate through the specimen. This test method obtains three protocols:
    • Method A:
      • (1) Elastomeric materials
      • (2) Textiles
      • (3) Coated materials
    • Method B:
      • (1) Textiles
      • (2) Coated materials
    • Method C:
      • Watch this video to get a better understanding on the fixture for this test.
  • ASTM D2582 Puncture Propagation Tear

    The puncture-propagation of tear test measures the resistance of a material to snagging or tear. This test method covers plastic film and thin sheeting that may encounter end-use snagging hazards.
  • ASTM D751 Resistance Of Coated Fabric to Puncture

    We use this test method to test coated fabrics and rubber products made from coated fabrics. These goods are an essential part of commerce and require adequate testing.

    To gain a better understanding of what this method entails, peek at a failed test here.
  • ASTM F1306 Slow Rate Penetration Resistance of Flexible Barrier Films and Laminates

    Here at Vartest, this test method is used to the slow rate penetration resistance to a driven probe. The test is performed at room temperature by applying stress at a single velocity until a tear happens. The force, energy, and probe penetration to failure are calculated.
  • ASTM D5171 Impact Resistance of Plastic Sew-Through Buttons

    This test method determines the resistance of a button breaking under impact. A scenario would be ironing your shirt, or placing it at the bottom of a suitcase while packing.

High-Visibility Safety Apparel standard has been improved for 2020

The American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel (ANSI/ISEA 107) has been updated for 2020.

Companies wishing to represent their products as compliant will be a need to certify and/or recertify background materials, reflective tape, and garments to the 2020 standard.

Vartest is a member of the High Visibility Products Group of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), the organization that created this updated standard. We’re well-positioned to test and offer consultation on the new standard. Contact us for more information or to get started.

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Vartest has a FAQ on UVC/UVGI and Textiles

Vartest Is Performing Accelerated UVC Testing Of Contract Textiles

  • Anticipates years of healthcare end use exposure in weeks.
  • Permits ranking and product development of woven, knitted, nonwoven, and coated fabrics.
  • Multiple evaluation methods are available:
    • Visual assessment of shade change.
    • Spectrophotometric assessment of shade change.
    • Embrittlement
    • Topcoat degradation including changes in gloss and surface chemistry and physical structure.
    • Change in anti microbial activity.
Read the rest of this entry »

Vartest awarded prestigious investment grant for developing advanced technologies

NYC wants to help manufacturers developing, learn about, and adopt innovative advanced technologies. Vartest has won a 2019 Advanced Material Grant from the Cornell Center for Materials Research, Invest-NY, and Ops21 to develop methods to analyze wool and cashmere fibers — Vartest will use this grant to standardize methods to detect and report the make-up and quality of important industrial materials.

More information is available from Cornell and from Ops21

Rise of Hi-Vis Counterfeit Garments: Using Standards as a Solution

The battle against counterfeit goods is well known in the luxury industry. As production shifts overseas, companies have less control over their supply chains, leading to the rise of fakes. With the total global trade of counterfeit goods reaching nearly half a trillion dollars a year, no industry is immune to counterfeiting and IP infringement.

However, in the personal protective equipment (PPE) arena, counterfeiting poses more than just a branding and business challenge. It represents a human life safety concern. For example, high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) is critical to workers in highway, roadway, and traffic zones. In such cases, HVSA helps alert vehicle drivers to the presence of workers in low-light, low visibility environments. Given the hazards of working in high-traffic areas, there is a huge safety risk for workers who wear HVSA garments that are non-compliant and fake.

ANSI/ISEA 107: Using Standards to Fight Counterfeits & Non-Compliance

One keystone document used to assess the integrity of HVSA garments is ANSI/ISEA 107: The American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories. This standard provides the minimum performance requirements for high-visibility garments, as well as performance class guidelines for HVSA garments worn in different work zones.

Following and understanding these guidelines will be the first step to combating counterfeit, and non-compliant HVSA garments. Many items in the market fail performance requirements. Yet they are still sold and improperly marketed since qualities such as retroreflectivity are difficult to examine visually. The following three part summary will aid your understanding of the performance standard.

3 Components to Evaluate Compliance of Hi-Vis Garments According to ANSI/ISEA 107

Fluorescent Background Material: Under normal daylight, the fluorescent background—for example, fluorescent yellow—provides adequate contrast against a background to improve visibility.

Retroreflective Tape: This component plays a huge role in nighttime visibility. As its name suggests, retroreflective materials can bounce light back to its source. This quality ensures that the wearer is noticeable in all postures and orientations.

Design: Different garment types must contain a “minimum area of visible materials.” For example, an HVSA garment used for off-road zones constitutes a Class 1 garment. This classification requires a minimum area of 0.14 sq. m of fluorescent background material and 0.10 sq. m of retroreflective tape. Design features such as pocketing and logos affect the proportion of visible tape and background material. Thus, one must consider style variations when evaluating HVSA compliance.

Performance Class 2 Vests in Two Different Styles with Labels; Protecting against counterfeit
Pictogram of Performance Class 2 Vest in Two Different Styles

Vartest Laboratories keeps counterfeit HVSA Garments off the market

We leverage our comprehensive expertise in HVSA garment evaluation to help keep fake products off the market, ensure worker safety, and educate consumers. In May, Vartest CEO Adam Varley presented on counterfeit textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s “Forum on Sustainable Labor Practices” AATCC Student Chapter event. A summary of his talk is featured in Applied DNA Science’s June newsletter.

For more information on our technical services for safety apparel, please visit our HVSA website. A summary of our PPE and HVSA capabilities, and third-party certification programs can also be accessed here.

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


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.