<strong>Why Quality Matters in Textiles</strong>

Why Quality Matters in Textiles


Textile products can present hazards to consumers, including safety issues around flammability or through the use of hazardous chemicals. Hence, there has been an increase in clothing and textile testing audits and certification programmes, which aid businesses in complying with regulatory laws and fostering consumer trust. Divya Shetty explores companies that provide business certifications and conduct textile testing in order to maintain a quality supply chain.

Testing is the process of determining the properties of various types of substances. The textile industry relies heavily on testing. During textile testing, we can easily detect flaws in machinery and materials. Furthermore, textile testing is required to ensure compliance with changing government safety regulations as well as to meet growing consumer demand for high-quality textiles and apparel. It is possible to conduct a proper test if the testing lab has adequate testing equipment. Textile testing enables businesses, consumer groups, and the government to ensure that textiles are safe, of high quality, and that customers get what they pay for. Textile products are manufactured all over the world and distributed to markets all over the world. Testing ensures that nothing dangerous or illegal slips through the regulatory cracks.

C Dhandayuthapani, Director, MAG Solvics

Textile testing enables businesses, consumer groups, and the government to ensure that textiles are safe, of high quality, and that customers get what they pay for. “To meet customer requirements, it is very important to test the quality from raw material stage. Quality of Fibres, yarn and fabrics which suits for one product may not suit for other product. In the same way, quality of in-process material has to be checked and tuned the processes to meet final product quality,” says C Dhandayuthapani, Director, MAG Solvics.

Manjit Singh Saini, CEO & Technical Director, Paramount Instruments

“Quality Testing is critical in the textile industry because it helps to ensure that the final product meets required quality & performance standards and fully meets customers’ expectations. For quality testing it is pertinent to have an in-house quality control lab to do regular quality testing to brighten the future of an organisation,” states Manjit Singh Saini, CEO & Technical Director, Paramount Instruments.

Anitha Jeyaraj, Deputy Director – Softlines, Connectivity & Products, SGS India, explains the expectations of buyers by saying, “Buyers expect products to meet both regulatory and general market requirements. It is very important to ensure that each product’s specifications match claims made on the label, as well as regulatory requirements. SGS recommends ensuring quality end-to-end, from raw material stage to final product. This means putting stringent control points in place during processing, as any corrections later or at the finished stages are going to be costlier. Exporters should also be mindful of the regulatory requirements of the country of destination, as laws vary and in many countries are very strict.

Suvodeep Mukherjee, Senior General Manager, South Asia- TÜV SÜD

Clothing and textile certification programs help manufacturers in the garments industry put their products through rigorous testing to ensure compliance with relevant product regulations. Textile and clothing products can present hazards to consumers, including safety issues around flammability or through the use of hazardous chemicals. “There is a growing expectation that manufacturer to consider environmental and social issues into account during the production processes. Clothing and textile testing audits and certification programs help your business comply with relevant regulations and boost consumer trust,” explains Suvodeep Mukherjee, Senior General Manager, South Asia- TÜV SÜD.

In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, the testing of chemical formulations used in manufacturing, processing and in finished textile products is key to ensuring product quality. Earlier, only a few companies would test their products. But with the growing awareness of consumers, all brands are becoming cautious of safety standards.

Gabriela Peters, Product Manager Yarn Testing, Uster Technologies.

“Assessing textile quality was once a matter of opinion. Today it’s a matter of fact – objective, repeatable and universally understood. Quality now has numerical values, as the basis for trading, pricing and ultimately consumer satisfaction,” asserts Gabriela Peters, Product Manager Yarn Testing, Uster Technologies.

Saini lists down the benefits that quality testing brings to the organisation:
Develops quality mindset: The quality testing establishes quality mindset in the organisation, which helps in taking the business to the next level. It helps to ensure that the fabrics or garments meet industry standards and regulatory requirements for safety, durability and environmental obligations.Reduces rejections: Quality testing helps in reducing the rejections by identifying defects at an early stage, which reduces wastage of money and resources.Saves money & time: Quality testing results in the saving of money and time in Retesting, if the sample fails repeatedly. Quality testing avoids this.Strengthens the trust of the buyer: Quality testing builds the trust of the buyer as the buyer is sure that he is getting the quality tested product after testing.Your confidence gets enhanced: Quality testing helps in building your confidence and you can go to your buyer with reinforced assurance as your products are properly tested.Compliance & accreditation: Quality testing helps in regulatory compliances and also helps in getting the NABL Accreditation as well as approvals & nominations from the buyers / customers.Helps grow business and increases profitability: With enhanced trust of the buyer through quality testing, the buyer will like to place bigger orders resulting in the growth of business and profitability.Excellent ROI: The Return on Investment is very lucrative when you have the quality testing thru in-house quality testing lab. The amount spent on installing the equipment can be recovered very quickly within 2 years and sometimes even in 12 months.Peace of mind: With reduced rejections, saving on time and money, strengthening the trust of the buyer and continuously growth in the business will ultimately result in peace of mind, which also happens to be the craving of every business soul.

Certifications available

Every industry strives to be successful in its niche. However, success is only possible if three criteria are met: the first is economic, the second is social, and the third is environmental. These criteria are assessed on a variety of grounds. These evaluations serve as the foundation for textile industry certifications. Certification ensures that proper standards are met, expands customer reach, and evaluates the quality management system.

TÜV SÜD : TÜV SÜD provides testing, inspection, audits and certifications service to textile and apparel industry. “As a trusted and independent partner to our customers, our dedicated team of experts and worldwide laboratory network assures the safety, compliance, and performance of innovative products. We enable our customers to harness the advantages of technological progress, to anticipate risks, and manage the entire product lifecycle and international supply chains. We add value by reducing time to market of products and by developing new safety standards for a better future. Our experts support manufacturers, buyers and retailers with their knowledge of existing and new guidelines. As a recognised organisation, we are accredited with all major international certification bodies.” informs Mukherjee.

The legal requirements for harmful substances in textiles and leather articles vary from country to country or are constantly changing. In order to avoid warnings, product recalls or inconveniences with authorities, TÜV SÜD provides support in complying with due diligence and bringing clothing onto the market that is harmless to health. In addition, the quality and safety of products made of leather or textile can be proven.

MAG Solvics: MAG Solvics provides instrument conformity certificate for its intended use along with its relevant calibration certificate. All our products are CE marked as it is mandatory for certain countries. “Test certificate, Warranty certificate and calibration certificate are part of our supply,” adds Dhandayuthapani.

Uster: The Uster Tester has its place in every serious textile laboratory. But its modern role is much wider, thanks to seamless connectivity with other Uster testing and measuring instruments. Critically, it unites lab testing with in-process monitoring, by intelligent cooperation with Uster yarn clearers in the winding department.

“Through the Uster Quality Expert, and the unique ‘Assistant Q’ guidance facility, mills now have the benefit of ‘Total Testing’. This delivers effective and preventive process optimisation, with smart alerts pointing instantly to potential trouble spots in the entire process. Integration between 100 per cent in-process monitoring and precise lab measurement ensures quality is secured at the right level every time,” tells Peters.

SGS: SGS has full capability to support the entire supply chain, from chemical formulation to complete products. “In addition to providing testing services, we also offer training, chemical management and consultation services to help suppliers in overcoming issues/failures,” opines Jeyaraj.

Approved for ZDHC wastewater testing and the ZDHC MRSL conformance indicator, SGS provides technical support to the industry on how to identify safer chemicals for production, and on the proper implementation of chemical management systems. “We have also developed a training module – Hazardous Substance Control (HSC) – to support the apparel industries with risk assessments for chemicals and to phase hazardous chemicals out of the production process. Based on the manufacturing set of the apparel industries, we are providing custom solutions for achieving zero discharge of hazardous chemicals. Plus, the company has developed an advanced digital platform, SGSmart CARES, that takes our clients beyond compliance by supporting practical and actionable chemical management practices along the whole textile supply chain,” adds Jeyaraj.

Paramount: Each Paramount Equipment comes with a Life Time buy back Warranty. “Our Products adheres to All National and International Standards. Each Paramount Product is supplied with a Calibration Certificate, traceable to NPL. Many of our Clients have gone in for NABL Accreditation and we provide complete assistance to them in getting this accreditation. We also help our clients to get nominated by various international buyers in regard to their In-house Testing,” explains Saini.

Emerging testing equipments

Technological advancements have always driven change in the textile industry. The industry is constantly evolving, with new fibres with unique properties and functions being developed.

In textile industry now a days there is a huge vacuum in trained / qualified persons. Hence, industry prefers automation of testing and self-diagnostics which avoid human interference as well as accuracy of the results.

MAG Solvics launched a fully automatic high volume cotton fibre testing instrument called HVT Genius 2 where it eliminates most of the manual operations and sample feeding. Manual intervention for comb preparation to test length & strength of cotton is fully avoided. Feeding of sample in Fineness checking is automated by simple pressing of button. Moreover, instrument made compact wherein the operator can stand in single place and feed the samples in 3 places to manage the testing of all parameters.

From manual testing instruments, to electric to electronics, the current trend textile testing instruments is moving towards Touch panel Controls of all the functions of the equipment. Paramount is focusing on 4.0 IIOT. IIOT clearly seems to be the future of the quality control.

SGS launched a virtual sampling, cloud based, and virtual colour assessment to the market. This enables management of the colour supply chain virtually, from anywhere in the world, without the need for physical samples. During the fabric digitisation process, surface texture data and physical properties are captured; enabling accurate simulation of a fabric’s draping behavior. The data is also easily being shared between stakeholders, removing the costs associated with sending physical garment samples.

Through the Uster Quality Expert, and the unique ‘Assistant Q’ guidance facility, mills now have the benefit of ‘Total Testing’. This delivers effective and preventive process optimisation, with smart alerts pointing instantly to potential trouble spots in the entire process. Integration between 100% in-process monitoring and precise lab measurement ensures quality is secured at the right level every time.

On the audit side, there is an emerging trend of remote audits. In testing, the majority of the testing equipment is digitalised and interfaced with the laboratory management system. This ensures the accuracy, integrity and traceability of the tests results. The recent trend is in testing for waste water (effluent water) for harmful substances at the ETP of factory premises.

Challenges exporters deal with

Meeting global buyer’s requirement: Since most of the textile quality parameters tested across the value chain is based on representative sample size and mostly in destructive testing method, ensuring 100 per cent of quality is paramount task for the industry to meet the foreign buyer’s requirement.

Sourcing raw material: One of the quality challenges is the sourcing of raw material at cheaper cost, because of the cost pressure for certain segments of their customers. Else at laboratories we don’t have any significant testing failure trend for any particular test parameter.

Meeting design standards in a cost-effective way: Understanding the needs and designing standard for meeting quality is big challenge. Certain parameters like uniformity, random faults, shade variation, contamination, etc can be monitored and controlled within the agreed band through online testing also. It is possible to achieve with available technology. We need to put efforts to bring out with affordable cost.

As per Saini, along with many challenges faced by the exporters, the 7 most important challenges faced by garment exporters are:
Colour matching problemColour bleeding due to rubbing fastnessColour bleeding due to washingFinding correct GSM of the fabricsDetermining the correct shrinkage in the fabricsFinding the yarn countChecking the EPI /PPI REED/Pick in any type of fabric or garment

What’s for future?

Companies are updating themselves to meet global standards on a routine basis, and as a result, testing agencies are also coming up with top-notch solutions and have already prepared a footprint for the future.

“As industry needs automated testing and online monitoring system, our growth plan is focused on these categories to meet both Indian customers as well as abroad customers,” says Dhandayuthapani.

“We have plans to add and promote new value-added services i.e. biodegradability, recycled PET testing, Microplastic testing,” adds Mukherjee.

“We are coming up with a New Plant in Manesar where we have more than 40000 square feet of Area. All latest CNC Machine like: CNC Turning, CNC VMC, CNC Brake Press, Metal Laser Cutting Machines etc. are being established in the New Project. We are also adopting the IIOT Technology in most of our instruments” concludes,” explains Saini. “In an environment where speed and user-friendliness are vital, the latest Uster Tester interacts with Uster Statistics to provide a one-click check of yarn quality and specifications,” says Peters.

“To develop an eco-system that works on a sustainable model, we are working with a holistic approach for all stakeholders, from chemicals and auxiliary manufacturers to brands and retailers. We support the chemical industry with RSL/MRSL chemical screening and testing for chemicals and formulations. We have developed capabilities for recycling/upcycling verification, wastewater solutions, traceability solutions, micro-fibre release, etc. We also have capabilities for anti-microbial, anti-fungal and biodegradability testing for special material claims,” concludes Jeyaraj.

Quality testing is an important work or process in every export-oriented industry department. Customers prefer consistency over quantity. In every department of the textile industry, the quality of each content is maintained. Because one material’s quality is dependent on the quality of another. If eligible fibre is used, good yarn will be produced.