Introduction:


Quality is of prime importance for every industry or business, to get increased sales and better name amongst Consumers & fellow Companies. Generally Quality control Standards for export are set strictly, as this business is also holds the prestige of the country, whose company is doing the export. Quality standards like ASTM, AATCC, BS, DIN and JIS & ISO must be recognized and agreed by all levels of management. However quality expectations for exports are related to the type of customer Segments and the retail outlets. For textile and apparel industry product quality is calculated in terms of quality and standard of fibers, yarns, fabric construction, colours fastness, Surface designs and the final finished garments products. The present paper was aimed at investigating the testing required for assessing the better quality of the Garment.


Different testing parameters to assess the Garment:


To control the quality of the garment. It is necessary to assess the different parameters which is affecting the quality of the garment. Here are the some properties that are taken into Consideration for garment.


2.1 Seam Strength:


This test method is used to determine the seam maximum force of sewn seams when the force is applied perpendicularly to the seam. The test applies to the standard seam applied to fabric samples or the Production seam as received in finished garments. The major contributors to seam strength are fabric type and weight, thread type and size, stitch and seam construction, stitches per inch and stitch balance. Seam Strength in woven and knit is same as fabric breaking and bursting strength respectively. Generally, a seam made with Chain Stitch will be stronger than the seam made using lock stitch. Obviously, stronger the sewing thread, the stronger the seam. Higher number of stitches per cm (or in.) up to a point will give higher seam strength stitch.


2.2 Seam Slippage:


This test method is used to determine the resistance to slippage of filling yarns over warp yarns, or warp yarns over filling yarns, using a standard seam. It is used as an indication of the tendency of yarns to slip at a seam when stress is applied. The result is that the yarns pull out but the thread and the stitch doesn't rupture. To assess the seam slippage on the CRE Instrument, it is tested either at fixed seam opening or at fixed load. Seam slippage is usually caused by poor fabric design (too loose of a weave) or too narrow of a seam margin. Not using enough stitches per inch and a poor stitch balance can also contribute to seam slippage.  


2.3 Colorfastness:


It is the property of a dye or print that enables it to retain its depth and shade throughout the wear life of a product. Dyes are considered fast when they resist the deteriorating influences (Such as Laundering or drycleaning, exposure to sun, Perspiration, etc.) It has been observed that the fabric looses color resulting from detergent solution & abrasive action during hand or machine washing. One garment do stains other garments when washed together. Parameters affecting colourfastness properties:


a)       Proper selection of dyes

b)       Dyeing process parameters; (Time, Temperature/Pressure, and m: l Ratio, pH)

c)       Dyeing method

d)       After treatment etc.


 

2.3.1 Colour Fastness to washing:


These are accelerated laundering tests designed to evaluate color fastness to laundering of textiles and textile end products which are expected to withstand frequent laundering. Stainless Steel Balls of 0.6mm dia are required to enhance the abradant effect of the laundering process. To evaluate the color fastness, Change in color and staining of adjacent fabrics are assessed. To check Staining on other fibre types multifibre adjacent fabric is being used. It is made of yarns of various generic kinds of fibres, each of which forms a strip of specified width providing even thickness of the fabric i.e. Acetate, Cotton, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic & Wool. Assessment of Colourfastness and Staining is being done using grey scales by visually comparing the difference in colour or contrast between the untreated and treated specimens with the differences represented by the scale. In Colours Fastness to dry-cleaning, the method is same as colour fastness to washing, except that instead of different detergents, dry-cleaning solution (percholoroethylene or tetrachloroethylene) is used. The Drying condition of the sample depends upon type of garment and care instruction i.e. Line dry, Drip dry, flat dry & tumble dry etc.


2.3.2 Colour Fastness to Perspiration:


Human perspiration is acidic/alkaline in nature which sometimes causes colour change in colored textile materials and staining to other adjacent textile material. A specimen of colored textile in contact with other fiber materials (multifibre) is wet out in simulated perspiration solution, and then subjected to a fixed mechanical pressure and temperature for defined time. The specimen is then dried and evaluated for colour change & staining. The testing is performed with Perspirometer at 38 deg C, as human body temperature is around 38 deg C.


2.3.3 Colour Fastness to light:


It is the resistance to degradation of fabric dyes and prints due to light is an important requirement of a garment because without such resistance, the garment may change colour and such colour may not be acceptable to a consumer from an aesthetic point of view. The samples are placed in special holders and exposed to artificial daylight produced by a special light source which mimics the action of sunlight, but in a more intense manner so as to speed up the fading effect. A standard (blue wool reference) is also exposed with the sample and the colourfastness is being assessed by comparison of the colour change of the exposed portion to the unexposed portion of the test specimen using scale or blue references used.


2.4 Dimensional Stability after washing:


Consumers consider the dimensional change in a garment to be a critical performance characteristic. Shrinkage may be ascribed to one or more of the following four distinct causes such as relaxation, Swelling, Felting, and Contraction etc. This test method is intended for the determination of dimensional changes in woven & knit fabrics / garments, when subjected to repeated automatic laundering procedures commonly used at home. The dimensional changes of textile specimen subjected to washing are measured using pair of bench marks applied to the fabric before washing, important bench mark locations for different garments for assessing the dimensional changes are:

  • Shirt - Collar, Collar Band, Body Lengths, Sleeve Lengths, Width at chest and Cuffs
  • Trousers - Front rise, Back rise, Inseams, Outseams, Waist and Seat
  • Pajama Top - Lengths, Sleeves, Hem and Chest
  • Pajama Bottom - Inseams, Lengths, Hip and Waist
  • Uniform/Dress - Bodice lengths, Skirt lengths, Sleeve lengths, Shoulders, Chest, Waist, Hip and Hem
  • Blouse - Lengths, Sleeve Lengths, Shoulders, Chest and Waist
  • Skirt - Lengths, Hem, Hip and Waist


We also assess the shrinkage after dry-cleaning also and the test performed in the dry-cleaning plant depend upon the requirement.


 

2.5 Appearance after washing:


This test is used for evaluating the appearance of fabrics or garments after washing and the number of washes depend upon the requirement. The main purpose of this test is to describe the degree to which textile retains its original appearance after washing. Evaluation is performed using standard lighting and viewing area by rating the appearance of specimen in comparison with other reference specimen. For appearance evaluation two identical garments are required. Inspect the garment before taking it into testing. If any flaw is observed at initial stage, that should be marked and recorded.


Single garment along with ballast should be washed as per care instructions and wash procedure. If detergent with optical brightener is used, the colour change should be evaluated with and without suppressor. Suppressor is meant to suppress effect of fluorescent brightening agent. Washed garment should be evaluated in artificial day light in comparison to unwashed identical garment. The important points to be observed during testing are as follows:


1)  Colour Change (Grey scale rating)

2)  Multifibre staining (Grey scale rating)

3)  Self Staining

4)  Pilling or fuzziness

5)  Seam puckering/opening/grinning/break

6)  Performance of Surface ornamentation

7)  Performance of Trims and accessories

8)  Dimensional stability/skewness/twisting/distortion

9)  Surface smoothness/creases.


Some other testing is performed on the garment depend upon the type of garment such as: Flammability testing, Care label recommendation/verification of the garment, testing of Garment trims & accessories etc.


Conclusion:


Quality is ultimately a question of Customer Satisfaction. Good quality products or processes can increases the value of a product or Service, establishes brand name, and builds up good reputation for the garment exporter, which in turn results into consumer satisfaction. All the factors to be investigated must be covered in the one trial. The perceived quality of a garment is the result of a number of aspects, which together help achieve the desired level of satisfaction for the customer. To full these requirements making use of the emerging technology and well trained worker to give best output and complete planning before the production for give the best result for the company and the countries income and profit.


Acknowledgement:


First of all I would like to express profound gratitude to the management of the SGS India Private LTD., Gurgaon and our Lab Manager Mr. Rahul Garg for giving encouragement and guidance to work on Quality Aspects of Garments.


References:


1)    Testing and Quality Management, Vol. 1 by Dr. V.K. Kothari.

2)    Quality Systems for Garment Manufacture by V. Alagulaskhmi, K. Subthathra, S. Vanitha form www.Fibre2fashion.com.



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