The fibre content of Textiles Materials is subject to a Statutory Instrument 2006 No.3298 The Textile Products (Determination of Composition) Regulations 2006. This regulation states the test methods used should be those given in European Directive 96/73/EC for binary textile fibre mixtures (ammendment 2006/2/EC) and European Directive 73/44/EC for ternary fibre mixtures. Previously the test methods referred to were those in BS 4007 (1988), this standard can still be referred to as an every day working document, even though it is no longer given any special status in the Regulations. The test methods in BS 4007 are basically the same as those within 96/73/EC and 73/44/EC.
The regulations cover all forms of textile materials
and gives details of the various labeling requirements for different garments
and fabrics, the inclusion or exclusion of decorative threads and fibres added
for a specific purpose are also covered. The indicated percentage may differ
from the actual percentage by not more than +/- 3% calculated on the total weight
of textile fibres in the finished product on which the indicated percentage
The actual quantitative analysis is carried out using the various test methods from 96/73/EC and 73/44/EC. The test methods involve the separation of the different fibres using a range of solvents and chemicals to remove specific fibres without undue degradation of the remaining fibres. The sample to be analysed is given a pretreatment to remove and non-fibrous material before analysis and the calculations are based on the dry weight with the standard regain allowance added after the addition of any loss factors for any insoluble components which are partially dissolved in the reagent used to dissolve the soluble component. Where possible the the fibre components being analysed should be separated manually (i.e. where the warp and weft in a fabric are different fibres). Certain fibre which mixtures cannot be separated manually or chemically can sometimes be analysed microscopically, certain animal fibre mixtures (i.e. Wool & Rabbit Hair) and certain cellulosic fibre mixtures (Cotton & Flax).
The percentages of the fibres present in the sample are calculated using a program developed in house which adds the regain allowance to the dry weight of each fibre after the addition of any loss factors and produces the fibre percentages to the nearest 0.1%.
There are a number of high performance fibres which are not covered by the EC test methods, the Textile Institute book (Identification of Textile Materials) is a useful additional reference for commonly used fibres and also for the identification of certain high performance fibres.
Downloads EC Fibre Composition Regulations (Adobe PDF Documents)
Statutory Instruments 2006 No. 3297
The Textile Products (Indication of Fibre Content) (Ammendment and Cosolidation of Schedules of
Textile Names and Allowances) Regulations 2006
Wool Fibre Fineness (Projection Microscope (BS 2043))
The principle of the method is the projection onto a screen of a lengthwise image of short pieces of fibre and the measurement and recording of the widths of these images by a graduated scale. The magnification used is 500x, the stage has motor driven controls for moving the slide linearly in two directions at right angles in a plane perpendicular to the optical axis. Calibration of the projection microscope is undertaken periodically with a certified micrometer scale, the method is applicable to woolen and worsted products at all stages from raw materials to yarns.
The measurements from the test are input into a specially developed computer program to calculate the mean fibre diameter in microns, the standard deviation, coefficient of variation and confidence limits, a printout is supplied with the test report together with a fibre diagram.
Wool Fibre Fineness (Airflow (BS 3183)
A test specimen of fixed weight is compressed to a fixed volume in an air permeameter. A current of air is drawn through the specimen and the fibre diameter of the specimen is obtained from the flowmeter or manometer of the permeameter. The method is applicable to clean wool noils, it is not suitable for samples of wool that have not been opened and cleaned. The airflow apparatus is calibrated using 8 wool slivers covering the range 17.1 to 37.4 microns, these samples are measured for fibre diameter using the projection microscope method, samples of measured slivers are available from the IWTO.
pH Value (BS EN 1413)
The method involves the electrometric measurement of the pH value of the aqueous extract of textiles at room temperature by means of a glass electrode. Test specimens of 2 g are taken from the laboratory sample and agitated in a stoppered flask containing 100 ml of deionised water for 2 hours, the water having a pH value between 5 and 7.5. The pH meter used for the subsequent measurements of the aqueous extract is calibrated using standard buffer solutions.
Moisture Content (BS ISO 6741-1)
The method consists of drying weighed samples in an airtight container then drying in an oven at a temperature of 105
degrees celsius, sealing the container, cooling and weighing, the operation is repeated until the dry weight is constant, the moisture content is then calculated as a percentage of the total weight or as a moisture regain (percentage of the dry weight).
Clean Wool Fibre Present/Wool Base & Yields (ASTM/IWTO)
Weighed sub-samples of the wool sample are scoured, dried and weighed, test specimens of the scoured wool are then taken for the separate determinations of vegetable matter, ash and alcohol extractives in the scoured wool. These non-wool constituents are subtracted from the dry scoured wool content to give the dry weight of wool fibres free from all impurities ('wool base'). The 'Wool Base' is finally converted to 'IWTO Clean Wool Content' or 'ASTM Clean Wool Fibre Present' by the addition of standard amounts of ash, alcohol extractives nd moisture. Other yields can be calculated from the 'Wool Base' such as 'Theoretical Top and Noil Yield', 'Estimated Commercial Top and Noil Yield' and 'Estimated Commercial Card Sliver Yield'. A specially developed computer program is used for the calculations from the results of the analysis to calculate the final result to any desired yield.
Oil Content (BS 8459)
A weighed sample is is enclosed in a cellulose thimble and placed in a Soxhlet apparatus and the solvent added, the flask is heated on thermostatically controlled electric heating element so that the solvent siphons at least six times per hour for 4 hours. At the end of the prescribed time the specimen is removed and the solvent is distilled, the extracted matter is then filtered dried and weighed in a pre-weighed flask. Dichloromethane is recognised as a suitable solvent for extracting oils and fats, other solvents may be used if the sample contains certain synthetic fibres.
Alkali Solubility (BS 3568)
The solubility of wool in alkali provides a useful index of the extent of change in its chemical properties brought about by certain agencies. Treatment with acids or with oxidising or reducing agents, or exposure to heat or light, causes an increase in the solubility, whereas treatment with mild alkali, as used in normal processing, or with cross-linking agents causes the solubility to decrease.
The sample is extracted with petroleum spirit and cut into lengths of approximately 10mm and conditioned within the laboratory atmosphere. Two 1 g samples are then weighed for the test and another 1 g sample is dried in an oven at 105 c (used in the calculation of the result). 100 ml of 0.1 M sodium hydroxide is placed in a stoppered flask and fixed in a heated water bath at a temperature of 65 c. The test specimen is introduced and the flask is shaken gently at intervals during the duration of the test (1 hour). After this period the solution with the specimen is filtered through a sintered glass crucible under suction washed with water acidified with dilute acetic acid and water again before drying at 105 c cooling in a dessicator and weighing. The alkali solubility is given as the loss in mass and is calculated on the dry weight, if the pH of the sample is below 4 an acid content determination is carried out and an allowance for this is made in the calculation.
Urea Bisulphite Solubility (BS 3584)
The solubility of wool in urea-bisulphite solution provides an index of the extent of change in its chemical properties brought about by certain agencies. Treatment in neutral or alkaline solution, or steaming wool in a neutral or alkaline condition, usually leads to a decrease in solubility. Hence the method is particularly useful for investigating setting processes. Dry heating or treatment with cross-linking agents also causes the solubility to decrease, whereas oxidation or acid-dying increases the solubility. The test method is similar to the alkali solubility (see above) except the test solution used is a mixture of urea, disodium disulphite and sodium hydroxide.
Linear Density(Mass/Unit Length) (BS EN ISO 2060)
The linear density is calculated from the length and mass of suitable specimens. Specimens of suitable length are prepared by reeling the lengths using a reel with a diameter of 1 metre at a controlled tension of 0.5 +/- 0.1 cN/tex. The mass of the yarn can be determined under various conditions (i.e. scoured conditioned, conditioned or dry). The yarn count is then calculated using a specially developed program which takes as input the yarn test weights, lengths and other relevant test values and outputs the count in the required system and calculation method.
Breaking Force (BS EN ISO 2062)
A specimen of yarn is extended until rupture by a suitable mechanical device, and the breaking force and elongation at break are recorded. Two gauge lengths are permitted: usually 500 mm (with a rate of displacement of 500 mm/min), and exceptionally 250 mm (with a rate of displacement of 250 mm/min). We use a Hounsfield Constant Rate of Specimen Extension (CRE) machine linked to a computer running software supplied by Hounsfield to control the machine and record the test results.
Twist (BS EN ISO 2061)
The twist in a known length of yarn is removed by rotating one end of the specimen with respect to the other until the components of the yarn being tested are parallel. The exact number of turns required to remove the twist is reported in terms of turns per unit length of yarn. The apparatus used is a twist counter consisting of a pair of clamps, one of which is rotatable in either direction and positively connected to a revolution counter. The position of one of the clamps is adjustable to permit testing yarn lengths from 10 mm to 500 mm.
Abrasion Resistance (Martindale Method) (BS EN ISO 12947)
A circular specimen, mounted in a specimen holder and subjected to a defined load, is rubbed against an abrasive medium (standard wool fabric) in a translational movement tracing a Lissajous figure, the specimen holder being additionally freely rotatable around its own axis perpendicular to the plane of the specimen. We use James Heals Martindale abrasion machines, calibrated by the manufacturer, they also supply the standard consumable items used in the test. The normal end point of the test is when two threads are broken or in the case of pile fabrics when the pile has completely worn off. The inspection interval is dependent on the end point of the fabric and is usually every 1,000 up to 5,000 rubs, every 2,000 between 5,000 & 20,000 every 5,000 between 20,000& 40,000 and every 10,000 above 40,000.
Lissajous Motion Diagram (16 Revolutions)
Tensile Properties (Strip Method) (BS EN ISO 13934-1)
A fabric test specimen of specified dimensions is extended at a constant rate until it ruptures. The maximum force and the elongation at maximum force are recorded. Test samples are prepared for testing in both the warp and weft directions and the results are recorded separately, the test specimens are 50 mm wide and long enough to allow a gauge length of 200 mm. We use a Hounsfield Constant Rate of Specimen Extension (CRE) machine linked to a computer running software supplied by Hounsfield to control the machine and record the test results.
Seam Slippage Resistance (BS EN ISO 13936-1)
A strip of fabric is folded and stitched across its width. The strip is cut at a distance from the seam line and then extended at right angles to the seam by using grab-test jaws, and the force required to cause a specified seam opening is determined. Five specimens are prepared for warp ways and weft ways seams each 100 mm wide and 350 mm long. A white 1005 polyester core spun sewing thread is used for the test (ticket number 80) and the sewing machine adjusted to give stitch rating of 5.0 stitches per centimetre. We use a Hounsfield Constant Rate of Specimen Extension (CRE) machine linked to a computer running software supplied by Hounsfield to control the machine and record the test results.
Seam Tensile Properties(Fabrics & Made up Textile Articles) (BS EN ISO 13935-1 & 2)
Part 1 (Strip Method) - A fabric test specimen of specified dimensions having a sean in the middle is extended perpendicularly to the seam at a constsnt rate until the seam ruptures, the maximum force to seam rupture is recorded.
Part 2 (Grab Method) - A fabric test specimen having a seam in the middle is gripped in its centre part by jaws of specified dimensions and is extended perpendicularly to the seam at a constant rate until the seam ruptures. The maximum force to seam rupture is recorded.
Pilling Resistance (Pilling Box Method) (BS EN ISO 12945-1)
Specimens are mounted on polyurethane tubes and tumbled randomly in a cork-lined box at a constant rotational speed. Fuzzing and pilling is assessed visually after a defined period of tumbling (typically 6 hours).
Pills are formed when fibres on a fabric surface "tease out" and become entangled during wear. Such surface deterioration is generally undesirable, but the degree of consumer tolerance for a given level of pilling will depend on the garment type and fabric end use.
Rating (Visual Assessment):
5 = No change
4 = Slight surface fuzzing and/or partially formed pills
3 = Moderate surface fuzzing and/or moderate pilling
2 = Distinct surface fuzzing and/or distinct pilling
1 = Dense surface fuzzing and/or severe pilling
Sample Pilled Fabrics (Rating: 5 to 1)
Pilling Resistance (Modified Martindale Method) (BS EN ISO 12945-2)
A circular test specimen is passed over a friction surface comprising the same fabric at a defined force in the form of a lissajous figure, fuzzing and pilling are assessed visually using the same rating system given above for the pill box method after defined stages of rub testing. The test machine used is a standard martindale abrasion tester which is modified to accommodate the larger test specimen holders.
Tear Properties of Fabrics (Wing-Shaped) (BS EN ISO 13937-3)
This is a single tear method to determine fabric tear force, known as the wing test using a test specimen cut to form two wings for clamping inclined at a defined angle to the thread direction in a CRE tensile testing machine. The tear force measured is the force required to propogate a previously started tear. The tear force is calculated from force peaks of the autographic trace, or by on-line electronic means.
Trapezoid Tearing Strength (ASTM D4533)
An outline of an iscosceles trapezoid is marked on a rectangular specimen cut for the determination of tearing strength, and the non parallel sides of the trapezoid marked on the specimen are clamped in parallel jaws of a CRE tesile testing machine. The seperation of the jaws is continuously increased so the tear propogates across the specimen. At the same time , the force developed is recorded. The tearing strength, which is the maximum value of the tearing force, is obtained from the autographic force-extension curve.
Linear Density (Gravimetric Method) (BS EN ISO 1973)
50 Specimens of a measured length are weighed on a balance after conditioning in a standard atmosphere the linear density (Denier/Decitex) is calculated from the total weight and overall length of the fibres under test.
An alternative method is to measure the fibre diameter using a projection microscope and calculate the linear density taking into account the density of the fibre being tested, this method is only accurate for fibres of circular cross section.
Staple Length (BS 6176)
Method A: Measurement of the individual length of each fibre on a straightened fibre on a graduated rule, under a light tension applied with the aid of forceps and grease (Reference Method).
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
The regulations cover filling material, Looses fillings, permanent covers and covers other than permanent covers.
The test methods are those given in BS 5852 Part 1 & 2 (1979/1982) with certain slight modifications.
Deviation of FR Polyester From Standard
SCHEDULE 1 (Part I):
Ignitability test for polyurethane foam in slab or cushion form.
SCHEDULE 1 (Part II):
Ignitability test for polyurethane foam in crumb form.
SCHEDULE 1 (Part III):
Ignitability test for latex rubber foam.
SCHEDULE 2 (Part I):
Ignitability test for non-foam filling materials singly.
SCHEDULE 2 (Part II):
Ignitability test for composite fillings for furniture other than mattresses, bed bases, cushions and pillows.
SCHEDULE 2 (Part III):
Composite test for ignitability of pillows and cushions with primary covers.
SCHEDULE 2 (Part IV):
Ignitability test for composite fillings of mattresses and bed-bases.
Ignition resistance test for interliner.
Mattresses and Upholstered Bed Bases
(Smouldering Cigarette & Match Flame Equivalent) (BS EN 597-1,2) (BS 6807)
The BS EN 597-1, 2 standards lay down the test methods to assess the ignitability of mattresses, upholstered bed bases or mattress pads when subjected to a smouldering ignition cigarette and a gas flame equivalent to a match. The upper surface of the test specimen are are used for the tests, the cigarette is an un tipped with a smouldering rate of 12 +/- 3 min/50 mm, the match flame equivalent is provided through a stainless steel tube connected through a flowmeter to a cylinder containing butane, the gas flow rate is 45 ml/min and the burn time is 15 sec.
BS 6807 describes the method of test for the assessment of the ignitability of mattresses, upholstered divans and upholstered bed bases when subjected to flaming types of primary ignition sources of varying severity. The ignition sources 2 to 7 from BS 5852 (see below) are used for the tests. The test rig consists of a platform of expanded steel or open mesh supported at least 75 mm above a solid base.
Upholstered Seating (BS 5852)
This standard describes methods for assessing the ignitability of material combinations, e.g. covers and fillings used in upholstered seating, when subjected to either a smouldering cigarette or to flaming ignition sources of thermal output ranging from that of a burning match to that approximating to the burning of four double sized sheets of full-size newspaper, as might be applied accidentally to any item of furniture. If the proposed item of furniture comprises different combinations of materials in the seat, back and arms, all such combinations are tested separately on the rig. The test rig consists of two rectangular frames hinged together and capable of being locked at right angles to each other, the frames hold expanded steel platforms consisting of a steel mesh.
The cigarette used in the tests is an un tipped with a smouldering rate of 12 +/- 3 min/50 mm.
The butane flame sources are provided through a stainless steel tube connected through a flowmeter to a cylinder containing butane, for ignition source 1 the gas flow rate is 45 ml/min and the burn time is 20 sec, for ignition source 2 the gas flow rate is 160 ml/min and the burn time is 40 sec, for ignition source 1 the gas flow rate is 350 ml/min and the burn time is 70 sec. These flow rates are measured at 25 degrees Celsius and correspond to flame heights of 35 mm, 145 mm, and 240 mm respectively. The ignition sources 4 to 7 consist of pine wood sticks glued together forming a square structure with a piece of surgical lint in the bottom to which Propan-2-ol is applied to ignite the crib at the start of the test. The cribs increase in size from the smallest crib 4 to the largest crib 7 to provide increasing levels of ignition source, all the tests are conducted in purpose built draught free stainless steel cabinet permitting an adequate supply of air.
Bedcovers and Pillows (BS 7175)
This standard describes the methods of test for the ignitability of bedcovers and pillows when subjected to smouldering and flaming types of ignition sources. A test specimen is placed on a mineral wool fibre pad and subjected to smouldering and flaming ignition sources placed on top of and/or below the test specimen. The test rig consists of a platform of expanded steel or open mesh supported at least 75 mm above a solid base. The ignition sources are the same as those given in BS 5852 (see above).
(Smouldering Cigarette & Match Flame Equivalent) (BS EN 1021-1,2)
These standards describe the method of test for the ignitability of upholstered furniture using the same ignition sources as BS EN 597-1,2 and use the same test rig as BS 5852, the method is applicable to covers and fillings used in upholstered seating.
Cleanliness of Fillings and Stuffing's
Bedding Upholstery and Other Domestic Articles (BS 1425-Part 1)
The method specifies the cleanliness requirements for filling and stuffings used for bedding, upholstery and other domestic articles, the tests involved are bioburden, insoluble extract and oil content (the bioburden test is only applicable to materials containing used vegetable fibre and/or fibres of animal origin).
The bioburden test uses a dip slide coated with two different types of agar (CLED & MacConkey) which are selective for the cultivation of urinary pathogens and coliforms respectively. Test samples are immersed in a sterile salt solution and the diploid is introduced briefly and then incubated at 37 c for 16 hours, the dip slide is then examined and the number of colony forming units (cfu) are counted. The maximum bioburden levels are 5 cfu for MacConkey and 10 cfu for CLED. The insoluble extract percentage is determined by shaking a test specimen in a closed glass jar under controlled conditions, the resultant liquid is poured through a test sieve and measured portions of the fluid are evaporated before and after filtration and the insoluble extract is the difference between the two. The maximum insoluble extract allowed is 2.8%. The oil content is determined by extracting a test specimen with petroleum spirit in a soxhlet apparatus and the solvent evaporated to determine the percentage oil. The maximum oil content allowed is 5.0%.
General Principles (BS EN ISO 105-AO1)
This part of the standard provides general information about the methods for testing colour fastness of textiles for the guidance of users. Colour fastness is meant as the resistance of the colour of textiles to the different agents to which these materials may be exposed during manufacture and their subsequent use. The change in colour and staining of undyed adjacent fabrics are assessed as fastness ratings. The conditions in the tests have been chosen to correspond closely to treatments usually employed in manufacture and to conditions of ordinary use. An adjacent fabric is a small piece of undyed cloth of a single fibre or more usually a multifibre strip made from yarns of various generic kinds of fibres (acetate, bleached cotton, polyamide, polyester. acrylic and wool). The grey scales used for assessing the change in colour of the test specimen and the staining of adjacent fabrics cover a range of 1 to 5 with half grades, 1
being severe staining/change and 5 being no staining/change.
Washing (BS EN ISO 105-CO6)
This part of the standard specifies the methods intended for determining the resistance of the colour of textiles to domestic or commercial laundering procedure used for normal household articles. A specimen of the textile in contact with specified adjacent fabrics is laundered, rinsed and dried. Specimens are laundered under appropriate conditions of temperature, alkalinity, bleaching and abrasive action such that the result is obtained in a conveniently short time. The abrasive action is accomplished by the use of a low liquor ratio and an appropriate number of steel balls. A suitable mechanical device consisting of a thermostatically controlled water bath containing a rotatable shaft which supports stainless steel containers, we use a J Heals Gyrowash for these tests. The change in colour of the specimen and the adjacent fabric is are assessed by comparison with the grey scales.
Rubbing (BS EN ISO 105-X12)
This method is intended for determining the resistance of the colour of textiles to rubbing off and staining other materials. Specimens of the textile are rubbed with dry rubbing cloth and with wet rubbing cloth. The staining of the rubbing cloths is assessed with the grey scale. The testing device known as a crockmeter comprises a rubbing finger cylinder moving to and fro in a straight line along a 10 cm track on the specimen with a downward force of 9 N. The test duration is 10 times to and fro in 10 seconds.
Perspiration (BS EN ISO 105-EO4)
This method is intended for determining the resistance of the colour of textiles to the action of human perspiration.
Specimens of the textile in contact with adjacent fabric are treated in two different solutions containing histidene, drained and placed between two plates under a specific pressure in a suitable testing device. The specimens and the adjacent fabric are dried separately. The change in colour of each specimen and the staining of the adjacent fabric are assessed with the grey scales. The two solutions used in the test are buffered to pH 5.5 & 8.0. The test duration under pressure is 4 hours at a temperature of 37 c, a suitable testing device is a Perspirometer.
Water (BS EN ISO 105-EO1)
This method is intended for determining the resistance of the colour of textiles to immersion in water. A specimen of the textile in contact with the adjacent fabric is immersed in water, drained and placed between two plates under a specified pressure. The specimen and the adjacent fabrics are dried separately. . The change in colour of the specimen and the staining of the adjacent fabrics are assessed with grey scales. The test duration under pressure is 4 hours at a temperature of 37 c, a suitable testing device is a Perspirometer.
Chlorinated Water (BS EN ISO 105-EO3)
This method determines the resistance of the colour of textiles to the action of active chlorine in concentrations such as are used to disinfect swimming-bath water. A specimen of the textile is treated with a weak chlorine solution of a given concentration and dried. The change in colour of the specimen is assessed with the grey scale. The test duration is 1 hour at a temperature of 27 c a suitable testing device is a Gyrowash as used for the colour fastness to washing tests.
Oils & Solvents
Flash Point (Abel (Closed Cup) (BS EN ISO 13736)
This test method involves the use of the Abel Closed Cup Apparatus, the test portion is placed in the cup of the apparatus and heated at specified rates. A small test flame is directed into the cup at regular intervals and the flash point is taken as the lowest temperature at which the application of the test flame causes the vapour above the test portion to ignite with a distinct flash inside the cup. Separate test procedures are defined for liquids flashing between - 30 c and 18.5 c inclusive and between 19 c and 70 c inclusive.
Flash Point (Pensky-Martens (Closed Cup ( BS EN ISO 2719))
This test method involves the use of the Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Apparatus, the test portion is heated at a slow, constant rate with continual stirring in a cup closed by a lid. A small flame is directed through an opening (kept closed at other times) into the cup at regular temperature intervals with simultaneous interruption of stirring. The flash pint is the lowest temperature at which application of the test flame causes the vapour above the test portion to ignite. This method is generally used for flash point above the range of the Abel Apparatus.
Concrete & Mortar
Concrete (BS 1881 Part 124)
This part of the standard describes the sampling procedures and analytical methods used to determine the cement content. The insoluble matter, calcium oxide and soluble silica are the three main constituent percentages required to determine the percentage of portland cement. The procedures apply to concretes made with portland cement and, in favourable circumstances, concretes containing ground granulated blastfurnace slag. The analysis of concretes made with other cements and the determination of pulverized-fuel ash are outside the scope of this part of the standard.
Mortars Screeds & Plasters (BS 4551 Part 2)
This part of the standard specifies the methods of chemical analysis and aggregate grading of mortars for bricklaying, screeding, plastering and rendering. Methods of interpretation of chemical analysis results are also specified, the methods given are not intended to be applied to to mortars containing high alumina cement. The standard covers the analytical methods for the determination of Insoluble Matter, Calcium Oxide, Soluble Silica and Sulphate and the subsequent interpretation of these figures to obtain the mix proportions of the mortar screed or plaster.