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Materials and Clothing testing

Materials testing, including textiles, fabrics and leather, assesses a wide range of properties including physical performance and durability, colour fastness, flammability, material type and content, chemicals, and the effects of washing and cleaning.

Physical performance and durability

Materials testing covers a wide range of properties including physical performance and durability, colour fastness, flammability, fibre type and content, chemical analysis for hazardous substances. We can evaluate and measure performance attributes and comfort properties of all types of fabrics and textiles, including whole garments ranging from underwear and hose to high performance outdoor clothing. Our environmental test chamber can be varied from -40°C to +50°C and our sweating guarded hotplate is a breathability test at set conditions. Performance testing at SATRA also includes wash testing and fabric care evaluation.

Accelerated ageing

SATRA has the facilities and expertise to artificially age fabrics. Equipment includes UV and weathering machines, and a wide variety of flexing and cyclic loading machines which can be used to fatigue an item and simulate a predefined period of use, after which we can assess whether it still meets the requirements of a particular standard, for example European legislation regarding the useful life of personal protective equipment (PPE). SATRA also has considerable experience of conducting wear trials, using our own staff or coordinating assessments involving professional user groups.

Leather

SATRA’s experience and expertise in the technical aspects of leather can be traced back to our origins in 1919 when the organisation was formed to serve the footwear sector and whose predominant material at the time was leather. Over the years, SATRA has built up considerable knowledge on the production and use of leather in various product sectors worldwide including footwear, leathergoods and furniture. SATRA was the first company to create a leather grading system accepted by Chinese tanneries and Western international brands. We called it ‘leather one language’ and it is still used today alongside SATRA’s leather cutting and production efficiency systems that save manufacturers millions of dollars each year. SATRA laboratories can undertake a comprehensive range of physical testing on leather material and whole product made from leather including chemicals analysis to European and US standards. And our research team constantly works with SATRA member companies to help develop the next generation of leather products that are better performing, more comfortable and safer for the wearer.

Materials research

Materials research is essential for successful product design and manufacture as performance, comfort and safety are increasingly important in determining consumer purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. SATRA’s research team is often at the forefront of product development, for example investigating and helping to improve features such as breathability and thermal rating, and water, slip and impact resistance.

Apparel testing

SATRA can undertake garment testing, textile testing and fabric testing, from underwear to performance outdoor clothing, from shirts to hose. We can measure performance attributes and comfort properties of all types of clothing in extreme environments - our environmental test chamber can be varied from -40°C to +50°C. SATRA’s Sweating Guarded Hotplate - the only one in the UK - is a breathability test at set conditions.

Specific tests for clothing include: tensile and tear strength; abrasion resistance; dimensional stability (properties and changes following various pre-treatments such as washing and dry cleaning); durability (pilling and snag resistance, colour fastness to light, heat, water and other factors); water resistance; comfort and breathability; stain resistance; flammability and ignition properties (for example children’s night-dresses); chemical properties including restricted substances; quantitative fibre analysis; compression hose (support stocking).