Measurements of surface characteristics of pile fabrics by various methods to determine surface smoothness is reported. It is demonstrated that the number of peaks detected by methods using a roller, stylus, and friction traces is the best indicator of fabric smoothness. A negative correlation between this quantity and smoothness suggests that fabrics that yield more peaks are likely to be smoother than those with fewer peaks. This also agrees broadly with the results of friction measurement, lateral air flow, and microscopic measurements. Subjectively, judges found fabrics readily identifiable, but finding the right descriptive adjective for these differences remains a problem.
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