FAST – Fabric
FAST – Fabric Assurance by
Pier Giorgio Minazio
International Wool Society (Secretariato Internazionale della Lana),
Objective measurement has played an important role in the wool-textile
industry. Its uses are many and varied and occur all along the wool-textile
pipeline, from the marketing of raw wool to various processing stages and,
finally, retailers of wool products.
While the objective measurement of raw wool has been widely accepted for
specification and marketing of raw wool, it is only in recent years that the
implementation of fabric objective measurement technology has drawn much
Credit for this must be given to Professor Kawabata, who developed the
Kawabata Evaluation System for Fabrics (commonly known as the Kawabata
system or the KES-F system). Fabric objective measurement provides a
scientific means to quantify the quality and performance characteristics of
fabrics. It can be used as a basis for fabric specification, product and process
development, process control, quality assurance and communication between
various industry sectors.
FAST-1 compression meter
The processes of worsted finishing, in particular dry finishing, modify the
surface of a fabric. These modifications are primarily fabric compression, which
occurs during the pressing operations, and the stabilization of the compressed
form (setting), which occurs during decatizing. The degree of fabric
compression and amount of fabric stabilization affect the thickness of the fabric
surface layer and consequently the appearance and handle of a fabric.
The FAST-1 compression meter (Figure 1) has been developed to measure
fabric thickness and, in addition, the variability and the durability of the
thickness of the fabric surface layer. The FAST-1 compression meter is able to
measure fabric thickness to micrometer resolution at two predetermined loads,
and thereby measure the thickness layer. The surface layer is defined as the
difference in fabric thickness at the two predetermined loads.
For determining the durability of the surface layer, the measurements of
fabric thickness are repeated after the fabric has been released. The fabric is
released by steaming on an open Hoffman press for 30 seconds. The increase in
fabric surface thickness obtained by this process is similar to the increase that
International Journal of Clothing
Science and Technology,
Vol. 7 No. 2/3, 1995, pp. 43-48.
© MCB University Press, 0955-6222