Purpose – To examine a simple testing method of measuring the force to pull a fabric through a series of parallel pins to determine the fabric softness property.
Design/methodology/approach – A testing system was setup for fabric pulling force measurements and the testing parameters were experimentally determined. The specific pulling forces were compared with the fabric assurance by simple testing (FAST) parameters and subjective softness ranking. Their correlations were also statistically analyzed.
Findings – The fabric pulling force reflects the physical and surface properties of the fabrics measured by the FAST instrument and its ability to rank fabric softness appears to be close to the human hand response on fabric softness. The pulling force method can also distinguish the difference of fabrics knitted with different wool fiber contents.
Research limitations/implications – Only 21 woven and three knitted fabrics were used for this investigation. More fabrics with different structures and finishes may be evaluated before the testing method can be put in practice.
Practical implications – The testing method could be used for objective assessment of fabric softness.
Originality/value – The testing method reported in this paper is a new concept in fabric softness measurement. It can provide objective specifications for fabric softness, thus should be valuable to fabric community.
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