RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — April 11, 2023 — For more than 50 years, labs around the world have used the same lighting conditions as well as standardized sample preparation, laundering procedures, and grading scales for consistent evaluation of textile appearance. Now, AATCC is combining that consistency with more energy efficient options.
Lighting conditions impact the appearance of textile products — and just about everything else. As the world transitions to new lighting technology, AATCC is working with specialists from the lighting industry as well as textile experts to identify alternative light sources for existing test methods.
A task group of AATCC committee RA61 Appearance Retention Test Methods is currently studying the influence of viewing environment on appearance evaluation. The group includes representatives from AATCC, Cotton Incorporated, Telelumen, Textile Color and Sourcing Solutions, VeriVide, and several other organizations. Adam Dakin, sales manager for VeriVide, spoke about why his company works with AATCC committees. “At VeriVide we understand the importance of accurate and repeatable viewing conditions for visual and digital assessment,” Dakin said. “For many years we have supported the AATCC with specialized visual assessment equipment to assist with their textile test methods. So, we were pleased to be asked to provide our technical support and to develop an up-to-date futureproof solution for the appearance retention test methods.”
The goal of the project is to approve light emitting diode (LED) lamps that give the same test results as traditional light sources. Pending ort existing regulations have made the currently specified lamps — and 8-foot fluorescent tube and a 500-watt incandescent flood lamp — increasingly difficult to source. AATCC sells the flood lamp but quantities are limited.
VeriVide donated a viewing board with LED illumination for the study. Four experienced evaluators from Cotton Incorporated and AATCC did a preliminary round of testing in March. They viewed creased specimens (AATCC TM88C) under three different lighting conditions. Statistical analysis of the data will be used to make recommendations for additional experiments and test method revisions. Labs with the standard fluorescent and incandescent lamps will be able to continue using them. Labs that need new or replacement lamps will soon have easier, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly options for evaluating fabric smoothness, seam smoothness, crease retention, product appearance, and stain release.
AATCC committee RA36 Color Evaluation Test Methods is also looking at LEDs. The committee is exploring ways to help retailers choose standard illuminants for viewing color that represent what consumers see in their stores.
To learn more about these and other committee projects, register to attend AATCC Research Committee meetings at www.aatcc.org/aatcc-events/research. Attendance is free and open to all. Join remotely from anywhere or attend in person to take full advantage of networking and learning opportunities.
Posted April 11, 2023