Fabric Tensile Tester – An Ultimate Guide for Textile Manufacturers and Laboratories

Suppose you are a textile manufacturing company or a researcher in a textile laboratory. In that case, the quality control of textile products and the development of new fabrics are inseparable from the fabric strength tester. This article will take you through various aspects to understand the origin, principle, purpose, composition, application, and thoughts on future innovations of the fabric strength tester.

What is a Fabric Tensile Tester

The fabric strength machine, commonly called fabric tensile tester or fabric strength testing machine, that you work with is a specific application of general strength machines or a universal testing machine (UTM). Strength machines are devices used to test tensile properties like stretching, tearing, bursting, set elongation, set load, elasticity, seam slippage, and peeling in various materials. These machines are extensively used in industries handling rubber, plastics, leather, metals, wires, paper, packaging, building materials, petrochemicals, electrical engineering, and geotechnical materials.

In the textile manufacturing, the fabric tensile tester is a fabric material testing machine. It is designed based on the basic principles of general strength machines, tailored to meet the specific requirements of the tensile test. Its development and progress are aligned with the overall advancement in material testing machines (universal testing machines).

Electronic Fabric Strength tester

Why We Need Fabric-Strength Machines

Fabric tensile testers can be seen in various advanced research and development laboratories. So, why are these machines needed? It’s similar to the reason the first strength machine was developed in the 17th century, due to the industrial development at the time, which urgently required a machine to quantitatively test the mechanical properties of various materials. The need for fabric tensile machines arises for the same reason. The characteristics of fabrics determine that they need to withstand various mechanical loads during use. For example, clothing needs to withstand forces such as stretching, twisting, and compression caused by human movement; geotextiles used in construction need to endure the pressure of concrete; and furniture fabrics need to resist wear caused by various friction forces. Measuring the fabric’s response to these physical forces, such as strength, toughness, elasticity, resilience, and elongation rate, allows for better control over the impact of these forces during product design and fabric selection. Quantitatively measuring the durability of products can greatly predict the impact on large-scale production in the fabric development and textile design stages, and also assist in quality control during mass production.

Benefits of Using a Fabric Tensile Tester

Versatility: Fabric tensile testers apply to a wide variety of fabrics and textile products. With the advancement of technology, a single fabric tensile equipment can perform an increasing number of tensile tests on fabrics, covering the majority of strength test requirements needed for various textiles.

Accuracy: These strength machines provide highly accurate and repeatable measurements. The microcomputer control system ensures precision. A reliable fabric tensile tester produces test results that can be directly used to define fabric performance.

Compliance: Fabric tensile testers meet various industry testing standards, such as ASTM D5034 and ASTM D5587. International standards organizations have written detailed standards to define fabric performance. Fabric strength machines intelligently present test results, providing a quantitative basis for fabric quality, rather than relying on human subjective judgment to determine fabric quality and performance.

Efficiency: Testing with a fabric tensile tester is faster and more precise compared to manual methods, making the testing process both quick and accurate.

Composition of a Fabric Strength Machine

An electronic fabric strength machine consists of two main parts:

Microcomputer Control Section: Housed inside the display/control box, this section is centered around a microcontroller. It comprises a force value sensor, photoelectric encoder, operational amplifier, AD converter, interface circuit, setting and control buttons, display, and printer, among other components. This section controls the operation of the instrument and processes the test values. The results are then output via the display or printer.

Speed Control Section: Located inside the speed control box, this part is controlled and adjusted via a control panel on the control box. The instrument’s movement (both descent and ascent) and its operational speed are regulated here. The instrument’s physical and electrical quantity conversion uses a high-precision load sensor. This data is amplified by a chopping stable zero operational amplifier to a certain level and then converted from analog to digital by a 16-bit A/D converter, before being sent to the computer for processing.

Working Principle of a Fabric Strength Machine

  1. Sample Clamping: The machine uses clamps to securely hold the tensile specimens in place.
  2. Force Application: A predetermined force is applied to the sample, causing it to stretch or compress.
  3. Sensing and Recording: During the test, force sensors and displacement sensors record the force applied and the displacement of the tensile specimens.
  4. Data Processing: The data processing system, set according to the test’s objectives, analyzes the collected data to determine the performance indicators of the tensile specimens.

Type of Fabric Strength Tests

A fabric strength machine can perform nearly all tests related to the strength of fabrics, including stretching test (grab method, strip method), tearing test (trouser-shaped tear test, tongue tear test, trapezoidal tear tests), seam strength test, slippage test, peeling test, top breaking test, etc.

Stretching Test: 

The tensile strength of a fabric is measured by stretching a specified size of the fabric using a tensile strength machine at a constant rate until it breaks. The force required to break the fabric is the measured tensile strength. There are two methods for testing tensile strength: the grab method and the strip method, and the specific testing method is chosen based on different testing standards and client requirements.

Tearing Test:

Tearing strength is measured by clamping a specified size of the tensile specimens in a tearing strength tester. The tests assess the resistance of fabric to tearing under specific conditions. The sample is often prepared in a particular shape such as trouser-shaped, tongue-shaped, or trapezoidal, to measure the force required to tear the sample. The shape of the tensile specimens is determined by the type of fabric and standard to meet.

trouser tear method
Trouser Tear Method
trapezoid Tear Method
trapezoid Tear Method

Seam Slippage Test:

Seam slippage is tested by folding a specified size of fabric, sewing along the width, and then cutting it at a certain distance from the seam. The tensile strength machine stretches the fabric at a constant rate until a certain seam opening is achieved, measuring either the force used at a specific opening or the opening distance at a certain force. Seam slippage can be tested in two ways: fixed opening method and fixed load method, with the specific method chosen based on different testing standards and client requirements. Seam slippage is generally tested only on woven fabrics.

Seam Strength Test:

Seam strength is similar to seam slippage. The fabric is folded and sewn along the width, then cut at a certain distance from the seam. The tensile strength machine stretches the fabric at a constant rate until the seam breaks. The force used at this point is the measured seam strength. Seam strength can be tested simultaneously with seam slippage and is generally used only for woven fabrics.

Peeling Test:

The peeling test, or fabric peel strength test, is used for determining the peel strength of garments, semi-finished garment pieces, and samples that use adhesive lining.

Top Breaking Test:

The Top Breaking Test measures the fabric’s resistance to deformation and rupture. In this test, the fabric sample is clamped within a circular ring attached to a fixed base. A spherical top bar then moves vertically at a constant speed towards the fabric, causing it to deform until it breaks. The force at which the fabric breaks is recorded as the top breaking strength.

Common Standards Used for Fabric Tensile Test

Here are some of the most common standards used for fabric tensile testing:

International Standards:

ISO 13934-1: Textiles – Tensile properties of fabrics – Part 1: Determination of maximum force and elongation at maximum force using the strip method.

ISO 13934-2: Textiles – Tensile properties of fabrics – Part 2: Determination of maximum force and elongation at maximum force using the grab method.

ISO 5034: Textiles – Determination of breaking strength and elongation of textile fabrics (Grab Test).

ISO 4632: Standard Test Method for Grab Breaking Load and Elongation of Geotextiles.

American Standards:

ASTM D751: Standard Test Methods for Coated Fabrics.

ASTM D5034: Standard Test Method for Breaking Strength and Elongation of Textile Fabrics (Grab Test).

ASTM D4632: Standard Test Method for Grab Breaking Load and Elongation of Geotextiles.

European Standards:

EN 14775: Textiles – Determination of tear resistance of woven fabrics – Ballistic pendulum method.

EN ISO 13936: Textiles – Determination of tear resistance of fabrics – Part 1: Constant-rate-of-extension (CRE) method.

EN ISO 13937: Textiles – Determination of tear resistance of fabrics – Part 2: Elmendorf tearing strength test.

Other Standards:

AATCC 135: Dimensional Change of Fabrics After Home Laundering.

BS 3424: Methods of test for fabrics.

JIS L 1096: Tensile strength test method for woven fabrics.

Important Aspects to Keep in Mind When Do Strip Test and Grab Test

If your textile company designs or mass-produces for clients from around the world, you might need to pay special attention to the similarities and differences in tensile testing standards among the United States, Europe, Japan, and China.

There are two types of tensile strength testing methods: the strip method and the grab method. In the strip method, yarns are drawn out to ensure the test strip reaches the width specified by the standard. European, Chinese, and Japanese standards generally require a width of 5 centimeters, while American standards have both two inches (ASTM D5035, rarely used) and one inch (ASTM D5034, commonly used). The grab method doesn’t require drawing yarns to set the width of the test strip; instead, the width is determined by the clamping jaws. Currently, European, Chinese, Japanese, and American standards are all either 2.5 centimeters or one inch. American clients mostly request the grab method, while Japanese clients mostly use the strip method. The strip method is more accurate, but not as convenient as the grab method. The grab method has higher equipment requirements, especially for the maintenance of the clamping jaws, to avoid bias, but it is very convenient for testing. For example, most Chinese textile and dyeing factories use the strip method, a 5 cm width, for testing grey fabric. If these results are used to assess the strength requirements of American clients’ finished products, there can be a significant discrepancy due to the different testing methods. The strength of the grey fabric might far exceed the requirements for the finished product, yet fail the finished product test. If your client is from the United States, it’s especially important to note that the force area for grey fabric strength might be 5 cm wide, while the force width for the American standard finished product strength test is one inch, leading to a significant difference in the results.

Introduction to DaRong’s Tensile Tester 

DaRong Textile Testing Instruments Company has 35 years of experience in manufacturing fabric tensile machines. Below is a demonstration of the simple process of using DaRong’s fabric tensile tester YG(B)026HC for ASTM D5034 testing.

All of DaRong’s Testers have an English Version Operating Panel. 

Fabric Tensile Strength Test ASTM D5034 Grab Method Video

Fabric Tensile Strength Test ASTM D5035 Strip Method Video

Fabric Tensile Strength Test ASTM D2261 Video

Fabric Tensile Strength Test ASTM D4964  Video

If your factory or laboratory needs to order or customize a specialized fabric strength machine, please contact DaRong. DaRong engineers can assist you in finding the right equipment for your specific needs. Our custom service will deliver a fabric tensile tester tailored to meet the unique requirements of your factory or laboratory.


The use of fabric strength machines is a testament to how the advancement of human production technology has positively impacted human life. This seemingly minor technological progress has significantly enhanced the comfort provided by everyday fabric products, reduced waste in mass production, and extended the lifespan of textile products. Therefore, the contribution of fabric strength machines to sustainable human development and environmental protection is immeasurable.


Q: How to maximize the utility of a single fabric tensile tester for diverse applications?

A: DaRong’s programming team possesses a wealth of test method software. Consult with DaRong’s engineers to have them install the specific programs you need on the fabric strength machine during pre-installation, ensuring maximum utility.

Q: Does Wet or Dry Fabric Testing Make a Difference in Tensile Strength?

A: Sometimes wet or dry testing does make a difference, depending on the fabric. Fiber swelling, change of fiber structures、 interactions will possibly affect the results.

Q: The Main Difference between fabric tensile strength and tear strength

A: Tensile strength is the fabric’s resistance to stretching and elongation, while tear strength is resistance to the fabric’s ripping and propagation.

Further Resources:

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

British Standards Institution (BSI)

Japan Industrial Standards (JIS)

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