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Apparel Committee Proposing User-Friendly Fabric Performance Standards

Apparel Subcommittee D13.61 is developing standard performance requirements for nightwear and underwear that retailers can ask international vendors to meet. The specifications will present acceptable requirements for fabric strength, stability, shrinkage, growth, color fastness, and flammability.

Part of ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles, the subcommittee welcomes comments and participation as it drafts:

• Work Item WK 2584, Proposed Standard Performance Specification for Bathrobe, Dressing Gown, Negligee, Nightgown, and Pajama Fabrics; and
• Work Item WK 2585, Proposed Standard Performance Specification for Brassiere, Slip, Lingerie, and Underwear Fabrics.

“Have you ever put a red robe on after bathing and your skin turns red? It could happen,” says textile generalist Karen Mueser, an apparel testing specialist on the subcommittee who established fabric performance standards for 23 years with Sears Roebuck and Co., Ill.

The subcommittee is creating the fabric performance specifications by consolidating several ASTM apparel specifications inherited from the federal L-22 standards. An independent textile consultant from Park Ridge, Ill., Mueser says a consolidated specification will be much more user friendly, providing clear, understandable guidance to retailers who import fabric and need specific performance requirements for vendors.

According to Mueser, ASTM inherited government performance standards that are about 50 years old and created multiple duplicate performance standards by defining “men’s and boys’” or “women’s and girls’” fabric. As men’s and women’s fabric requirements grew similar over time, the subcommittee agreed to combine the existing ASTM standards for nightwear and underwear into two performance standards. The committee is in the final stages of consensus and welcomes comments from all interested parties.

“There are still a few more performance specifications that we need to consolidate,” says Mueser. “Once we’ve done that, we’d like to go back and look at other parameters that are not referred to in the current standards. It might be seam strength; it might be abrasion resistance, depending on the specification.

Contact Mueser to comment or join these activities (phone: (847/318-9545). Committee D13 on Textiles meets March 21-24, 2004, in Salt Lake City, Utah. For membership or meeting details, contact Leonard Morrissey, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9719). //

Copyright 2003, ASTM