ASTM D4772 - 14

    Standard Test Method for Surface Water Absorption of Terry Fabrics (Water Flow)

    Active Standard ASTM D4772 | Developed by Subcommittee: D13.59

    Book of Standards Volume: 07.02


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method may be used to test the surface water absorption of terry fabrics for bath towels, bath sheets, hand towels, kitchen towels, dishcloths, washcloths, beachwear, bathrobes, and the like. Different specifications may be needed for each of these fabrics because of different applications.5

    5.2 It is recognized that surface water absorption is only one of the characteristics that the ultimate consumer may use in determining which terry fabric is acceptable. Consult Specification D5433 for other characteristics that may be applicable to terry fabrics.

    5.3 This test method is recommended for quality control testing of terry fabrics during manufacturing and product comparisons of different terry fabrics by manufacturers, retailers, and users.

    5.4 This test method may be used for the acceptance testing of commercial shipments of terry fabrics, but caution is advised since interlaboratory precision is known to be poor. Comparative tests as directed in 5.4.1 may be advisable.

    5.4.1 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 laboratory sampling units (such as towels) that are as homogeneous as possible and that are from a lot of material of the type in question. The laboratory sampling units should then be randomly assigned in equal numbers to each laboratory for testing. The average results from the two laboratories should be compared using appropriate statistical analysis for unpaired data and an acceptable probability level chosen by the two parties before the testing is begun. If a bias is found, either its cause must be found and corrected or the purchaser and supplier must agree to interpret future test results with consideration of the known bias.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method determines the ability of a terry fabric to rapidly absorb and retain liquid water from surfaces such as human skin, dishes, and furniture.

    1.2 This test method is not applicable to non-terry fabrics such as huck towels, waffle-weave towels, crash towels, flour-sack towels, and nonwoven wipes. The steep angle of the specimen on the apparatus may cause a large amount of water to runoff these non-pile fabrics, or the lightweight/open structure of these fabrics may allow a large amount of water to completely pass through the specimen; thus the test result may not be a valid measure of a non-terry fabric's ability to absorb water.

    1.3 This test method is not applicable to decorative terry fabrics that will not be used to absorb water from surfaces.

    1.4 This test method is written in SI units. The inch-pound units that are provided are not necessarily exact equivalents of the SI units. Either system of units may be used in this test method. In case of referee decisions the SI units will prevail.

    1.5 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

    D3136 Terminology Relating to Care Labeling for Apparel, Textile, Home Furnishing, and Leather Products

    D5433 Performance Specification for Towel Products for Institutional and Household Use

    AATCC Standard

    TestMethod 135 Dimensional Changes in Automatic Home Laundering of Woven and Knit Fabrics Available from American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), P.O. Box 12215, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, http://www.aatcc.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 59.080.99 (Other products of the textile industry)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11161804(Knit synthetic fabrics)


    DOI: 10.1520/D4772

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