ASTM D1388 - 08(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Stiffness of Fabrics

    Active Standard ASTM D1388 | Developed by Subcommittee: D13.60

    Book of Standards Volume: 07.01


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    ASTM D1388

    Significance and Use

    Both test options in this test method are considered satisfactory for acceptance testing of commercial shipments since current estimates of between-laboratory precision are acceptable and the method is used extensively in the trade for acceptance testing.

    In case of a dispute arising from differences in reported test results when using this test method for acceptance testing of commercial shipments, the purchaser and the supplier should conduct comparative tests to determine if there is a statistical bias between their laboratories. Competent statistical assistance is recommended for the investigation of bias. As a minimum, the two parties should take a group of test specimens that are as homogeneous as possible and that are from a lot of material of the type in question. Test specimens should then be randomly assigned in equal numbers to each laboratory for testing. The average results from the two laboratories should be compared using the appropriate statistical analysis and an acceptable probability level chosen by the two parties before testing is begun. If a bias is found, either its cause must be found and corrected or the purchaser and the supplier must agree to interpret future test results with consideration to the known bias.

    In general, these procedures are more suitable for testing woven fabrics than knit fabrics.

    The Cantilever Test Option is the preferred procedure because it is simpler to perform. It is, however, not suitable for very limp fabrics or those that show a marked tendency to curl or twist at a cut edge.

    The Heart Loop Test Option is suitable for fabrics that show a tendency to curl or twist.

    Both options can provide a correlation with a subjective evaluation of a given fabric type. That is, a higher number represents a stiffer fabric.

    The stiffness of a fabric may change with storage.

    No evidence has been found showing that bending length is dependent on the width. The tendency for specimens to curl or twist will affect the result, because of the rigidity provided at the edge. Consequently, the wider the strip, the less important is the edge effect.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the measurement of stiffness properties of fabrics. Bending length is measured and flexural rigidity is calculated. Two procedures are provided.

    1.1.1 Option ACantilever Test, employing the principle of cantilever bending of the fabric under its own mass.

    1.1.2 Option BHeart Loop Test, employing the principle of a loop formed in a fabric strip and hung vertically.

    1.2 This test method applies to most fabrics including woven fabrics, air bag fabrics, blankets, napped fabrics, knitted fabrics, layered fabrics, pile fabrics. The fabrics may be untreated, heavily sized, coated, resin-treated, or otherwise treated.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The U.S. customary units may be approximate.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D123 Terminology Relating to Textiles

    D1776 Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles

    D2904 Practice for Interlaboratory Testing of a Textile Test Method that Produces Normally Distributed Data

    D2906 Practice for Statements on Precision and Bias for Textiles

    D3776 Test Methods for Mass Per Unit Area (Weight) of Fabric

    D4850 Terminology Relating to Fabrics and Fabric Test Methods


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 59.080.30 (Textile fabrics)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11160000(Fabrics and leather materials)


    DOI: 10.1520/D1388-08R12

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