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Dry goods sharing丨Textile pilling test: modified Martindale method

Clothes pilling has always been a headache, presumably everyone has encountered the problem of clothes pilling after wearing for a period of time or washing, but do you understand why clothes pilling? This time


Let’s take a look at the causes of textile pilling and how to test them!

Pilling terms and definitions

(1) Fluffing: obvious surface changes caused by the protrusion of the fibers on the surface of the fabric or the protrusion of the fiber ends to form plush;

(2) Hairball: The protrusion formed by fiber entanglement is from the surface of the fabric, dense and the light cannot penetrate and produce projection, and the hair change and the formation of the hairball may occur during washing, dry cleaning, wearing or use;

(3) Pilling: The process of producing hairballs on the surface of the fabric.

The above phenomenon is called the pilling of the fabric. Anti-pilling refers to the ability of the fabric to resist surface pilling due to friction.

Pilling process

● The basic component unit of the fabric is yarn, which is subjected to carding, stretching and friction during processing, and its surface is not smooth, and fluff will inevitably appear.

● The fabric in the process of taking, constantly by the action of external force, so that the surface of the fabric fluff or monofilament is gradually pulled out, when the height and density of the fur reaches a certain value, the continued effect of external friction makes the fur entangled into balls, protruding on the surface of the fabric, if the rigidity of the material is large, it is not easy to fall off after pilling, and finally form a hairball.

● Fabric pilling will deteriorate the appearance of the fabric and reduce its performance, which is one of the important detection items in trade transactions.

China’s standard testing method and its principle

Textile pilling test is an important standard for textile property testing, because textiles will encounter various situations during use, their friction conditions are not the same, so the friction resistance and pilling test test methods of textiles will simulate friction tests through different forms.

GB/T4802.1-2008 “Determination of pilling properties of textile fabrics Part 1: Circular trajectory method”

The circular trajectory method was used to measure the pilling performance and surface change of the fabric surface.

According to the specified methods and test parameters, use nylon brushes and fabric abrasives or only fabric abrasives to rub the fabric and pill. Then, under the specified light source conditions, the pilling performance is visually described and evaluated.

GB/T4802.2-2008 “Determination of pilling properties of textile fabrics Part 2: Martindale method modification”

The modified Martindale method was used to determine the pilling performance and surface change of the fabric surface.

Under the specified pressure, the round specimen rubs against the same fabric or woolen fabric or abrasive fabric with the trajectory of the Li Sharu pattern. After the specified friction stage, the fluffing and/or pilling performance is visually described and evaluated under the specified light source conditions.

GB/T4802.3-2008 “Determination of pilling properties of textile fabrics Part 3: pilling box method”

The pilling box method was used to measure the pilling performance and surface change on the surface of the fabric.

The specimen mounted on a polyurethane tube is turned arbitrarily in a cork-lined wooden box with a constant speed. After the specified number of flips, the fluffing and/or pilling performance is visually described and evaluated under the specified light source conditions.

GB/T4802.4-2009 “Determination of pilling properties of textile fabrics Part 4: random tumbling method”

The random tumbling method was used to determine the pilling performance and surface change on the surface of the textile.

A random tumbling pilling box is used to roll and rub the fabric in a cylindrical test chamber lined with cork and filled with a small amount of grey cotton. Under the specified light source conditions, the pilling performance is visually described and evaluated.

Overview of the Martindale Method test modification

Take GB/T4802.2-2008 “Determination of pilling properties of textile fabrics Part 2: modified Martindale method” as an example

01 Sample preparation

Take at least 3 sets of specimens, each containing 2 specimens, 1 mounted in the specimen holder and the other as an abrasive on the pilling table. If wool fabric abrasives are used on the pilling table, at least 3 specimens are required for testing. If more than 3 specimens are tested, an odd number of specimens should be taken. Another 1 specimen is taken for comparison during grading.

The specimen in the specimen holder is a round specimen with a diameter of 140±5 mm. Specimens on the pilling table can be cut into round specimens with a diameter of 140±5 mm or square specimens with a side length of (150±2) mm.

Note: The tensile stress during the entire process of sampling and specimen preparation is as minimal as possible to prevent the fabric from being stretched improperly.

02Test process

First, the specimen installation:

After the specimen is placed on the felt pad with the face up, place the specimen fixture with the felt pad and the specimen at the groove at the big end of the auxiliary device to ensure that the specimen fixture and the auxiliary device fit tightly, tighten the specimen fixture ring to the specimen fixture, and ensure that the specimen and the felt pad do not move and are not deformed.

Repeat the above steps to mount additional specimens. If required, place a loading block on the guide plate, on the groove of the specimen holder.

A piece of felt with a diameter of 140±5 mm is placed on the pilling table, on which a specimen or wool fabric abrasive is placed, and the friction of the specimen or wool fabric abrasive is facing upwards. Put a pressurized hammer and fix it with a fixing ring.

Second, pilling test

Test until the first friction stage (see Table 1). The first assessment is carried out on request (see Table 2 in the assessment below). During evaluation, the specimen is not taken out and the surface of the specimen is not removed.

Table 1

After the evaluation is complete, the specimen holder is repositioned on the pilling table in the removed position and the test continues. Each friction phase is evaluated until the test endpoint specified in Table 1 is reached.

03 Rating

Place the tested specimen and an untested specimen (with or without pretreatment) side by side in the middle of the specimen plate of the grading box along the longitudinal direction of the fabric. If needed, tape is used to secure it in the correct position. The tested sample is placed on the left and the untested sample is placed on the right.

Each specimen is rated according to the stages listed in Table 2. If it is between two levels, record half levels, for example, 3.5.

Table 2

The number of stages for each specimen is recorded, and the rating result of an individual person is the average of the grades it has rated on all specimens.

The test result of the sample is the average of all personnel ratings, if the average value is not an integer, it is revised to the nearest 0.5 level, and is represented by “one”, such as 3-4. If the difference between a single test result and the mean is more than half a level, the number of stages for each specimen is also reported.

Hang Mei suggested

How to prevent pilling in production

In the actual production process, how to improve the anti-pilling performance of textiles is also a systematic engineering. Comprehensive measures should be taken from the production process of fiber, spinning, weaving, finishing and so on. Communicate with suppliers and customers to strike a balance between pilling and performance such as feel and appearance and pilling.

01 Selection of fiber

When selecting raw materials for pill-prone varieties:

1. Mainly consider the content of short pile in raw materials.

It is necessary to choose raw materials with long fiber length, moderate fineness and less short pile.

2. For products blended with chemical fiber.

Choosing a chemical fiber with a thick diameter is more anti-ball than a thin one. But the feel is hard, and it is necessary to balance the relationship between the feel and pilling.

3. Select modified fibers:

Manufacture of less strong polyester or special-shaped cross-section fibers. Change the appearance, morphological structure and supramolecular structure of polyester and acrylic to improve anti-pilling performance. Such as three-leaf, pentagonal, flattened, and roughened fiber surface to increase the holding force between fibers. Such fibers can be called physically modified fibers.

The introduction of a third monomer in the polyester fiber macromolecule to manufacture anti-pilling fibers, such as the addition of the third monomer polyethylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, ortho or metaphthalic acid, aliphatic diacid, anti-pilling fibers can be obtained.

02Combed yarn

The fiber arrangement in the yarn is relatively straight. The staple fiber content is less, the fibers used are generally longer and the yarn hairiness is less. Therefore, combed fabrics are generally not easy to pill.

03Optimize the spinning process

In the spinning process, it is necessary to start from the aspect of controlling the amount of short pile and reducing hairiness, scientifically and reasonably set the process parameters, reduce the content of staple fiber in each product, reduce the amount of fine yarn hair and shorten the length of hair, improve the uniformity of yarn line dryness, and reduce coarse joints:

● When spinning, use a steel collar with high hardness to match the suitable wire coil.

● The twist degree of yarn can be appropriately increased, such as 8%~15%. However, the twist degree is increased and the hand feels harder.

● Automatic winding machine can be selected for winding, and its precision winding system can prevent yarn rewinding and reduce improper friction and hair during unwinding.

04Improve yarn structure

● Cotton and regenerated cellulose fibers (viscose, modal, tencel, bamboo fiber, etc.) can choose Sailo spinning, compact spinning, Sailo tight spinning and other spinning methods, less yarn hair, tight inter-fiber holding, wear resistance, anti-pilling performance is significantly increased.

● Pure wool or wool blends can be spun with Solospun, also known as cable spinning, which is a yarn made of multiple weakly twisted whiskers for higher strength, better abrasion resistance and less hairiness.

How consumers can avoid pilling on a daily basis

Minimize friction, especially with hard objects, such as backpacks; while preventing hooking and pulling with sharp objects; You can add some fabric softener when washing, cashmere sweaters and cardigans can use special laundry detergent, which contains some anti-pilling aids.

It is recommended that the majority of relevant enterprises pay attention to relevant laws, regulations and technical standards, carry out supply chain investigations, do a good job in product quality inspection, ensure product compliance and safety, and avoid the risk of product violations.


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