An important aspect of fabric quality is durability to repeated cycles of wash and wear. Durability performance testing involves measuring strength and resistance to abrasion and pilling and requires a basic understanding of sample preparation, testing, and evaluation. Although there are no universal standards for the durability of textile and apparel products, the customer and supplier need to agree on levels of satisfactory performance for individual products and end-uses.
To ensure value to consumers, textile and apparel products must have some degree of durability. Durability depends to a large degree on yarn and fabric strengths. Strength testing is designed to measure how a product might perform without subjecting it to numerous cycles of wearing and consumer care. Various testing methods are used to predict strength quickly and accurately.
A key attribute of durability is good abrasion resistance. Abrasion resistance is the ability of a fabric to resist loss of surface as a result of friction with itself or another material. Key factors in fabric abrasion are the type of abradant, the direction and amount of force, the tension on the substrate, and whether the material is wet or dry.
Pills are small balls of entangled fibers attached to the surface of a fabric, and pilling resistance measures the tendency of a fabric to form pills. Pilling is a complex property, affected by many factors, including the type of fiber or blend, fiber dimensions, yarn and fabric construction, fabric finishing treatments, and end-use. Pilling may be accompanied by other surface phenomena, such as loss of cover, color change, localized frosting, or fuzzing.