An Overview of International Textile Standards

As a textile manufacturing company, textile laboratory personnel, or textile R&D developer, you must have some understanding of textile standards. This is a main focus in textile design or fabric design. This article summarizes the basic knowledge of international textile standards.

Classification methods for textile standards

Classification by fiber raw material, fabric structure, processing technology

This classification method is more detailed, resulting in numerous product standards. This method is mainly used in China and Russia. The proportion of textile product standards in China and Russia’s national textile standards is higher than in other countries. For example, China’s cotton textile product standards include native color cotton cloth, printed and dyed cotton cloth, colored cotton cloth, large jacquard native color cotton cloth, printed and dyed cotton fleece cloth, combed poly-cotton blend native color cloth, combed poly-cotton blend printed and dyed cloth, combed poly-cotton blend colored cloth, native color cotton corduroy, printed and dyed cotton corduroy, polyester-viscose medium-length blend native color cloth, viscose fiber printed and dyed cloth, etc. Additionally, cotton, wool, silk, linen, and synthetic fibers, each have their own set.

Classification by the final use of the textile

This classification method has been recognized by countries and regions such as Europe, America, and Japan.

For example, the classification of American ASTM textile product standards includes standard performance specifications for woven fabrics for men’s adult and children’s shirts; standard performance specifications for woven fabrics for men’s and women’s adult and children’s swimwear; standard performance specifications for woven fabrics for women’s adult and children’s robes, pajamas, nightgowns, casual wear, long skirts, and underwear, etc. Although this method may cause overlapping classification areas, it is purposeful and operational as it is divided based on the final use.

The standards set by the UK, Germany, France, Japan, and others are similar to ISO, many of which are basic and methodological, thus allowing commercial standards to have more room for development.

The biggest feature of European and American standards is that they determine standards based on the product’s final use, establishing corresponding assessment indicators without considering the product’s raw material composition and process differences. This makes the assessment indicators closer to the actual application, and the quality indicators are stricter. Free from the constraints of raw materials and processes, the vast array of textiles no longer needs to establish corresponding product standards.

The International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee on Textiles, ISOTC38, also incorporates “not considering the weaving method when setting performance specifications for textile products” into its development strategy. The idea is to establish product performance standards that are not limited by manufacturing processes.

Common standards for textile and apparel industry

  • Chinese Textile Standards (GB, FZ, etc.)
  • American Society for Testing and Materials Standards (ASTM)
  • American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Standards (AATCC)
  • International Standards (ISO)
  • European Standards (EN)
  • British Standards (BS)
  • Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS)
  • German National Standards (DIN)
  • French National Standards (NF)
  • International Wool Secretariat Standards (IWS)
  • Russian National Standards (GOST)
  • International Oeko-Tex Standards
  • Bureau International for the Standardization of Man-Made Fibres (BISFA)
  • European Disposables and Nonwovens Association Standards (EDANA)

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