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TexTest Helps Products Get to Market Quickly—and Safely—Among Changing Regulations

As manufacturing standards have evolved, so too have customer expectations—and government regulations.

In order to help apparel and textile manufacturers get their products to market more quickly, more accurately and much more safely, TexTest offers a variety of products and services that ensure companies are compliant with the most current regulations. The fabric-testing company, a division of Central Textiles, partners with a wide range of manufacturers, including apparel, upholstery, bedding/mattress, linens/towels, safety apparel, outerwear, footwear/hosiery and marine/outdoor/tent manufacturers.

To help these companies discern whether their fabric meets the level of quality required across varying environments and industries, TexTest has the ability to certify products to indicate they comply with such government standards as the American Association of Textile Chemist and Colorists (AATCC), American Standard Test Methods (ASTM), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Industrial Fabrics Association Inc (IFAI), Standard for Automotive Testing (SAT) and International Standards Organization (ISO).

Thanks to changing regulations—many of which stem from concerns of eco-friendliness, Ann Underwood, TexTest manager, told Sourcing Journal—the dyes used to color fabrics may be different than what a manufacturer has previously used when seeking certification. Switching to a new dye can often result in additional testing to ensure manufacturers are receiving the consistent colors they need.

However, because of the digital processes TexTest employs, the duration in which its customers can receive their testing information is faster than ever, helping speed to market. According to Underwood, customers receive a report in their email within two days of TexTest receiving a sample. A certified report is also delivered in the mail.

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Beyond safety certifications, other concerns can be levied. When color cohesiveness is crucial, such as with apparel tops and bottoms, results can be thrown into disarray when pieces are made at different factories and the colors don’t match.

To help with this, TexTest’s new Color Match system ensure consistency across high volumes. As customers send dye submits to the company for matching, the results are then entered in TexTest’s system with the color reading. This enables a manufacturer to see how the quality is faring over time and whether or not it’s becoming off-shade, Underwood said.

Consumer expectations hinge upon accurate color matching, she confirmed, and consistent and accurate tests results are key to achieving this. The process also helps offset rising costs by reducing the number of reworks when running production tests.

Companies even have the ability to use Pantone colors to match their fabric colors. While this practice isn’t necessarily widely used, Underwood said, the recognizable Pantone name can be a benefit for those familiar with it.

Thanks its wide range of laboratory equipment, TexTest isn’t limited to color testing. The company can also determine if and how a product can be recycled. For example, fabric samples are put through a chemical extraction process to determine if its recycled fibers can be recommended for recycling.

Its flammability lab, meanwhile, enables the company to certify apparel, mattresses and upholstery to ensure products meet National Fire Protection standards. Once again, speed to market is at the forefront, as initial flame testing can be certified in less than five days, said Underwood.

It’s this variety in offerings that has Michael Resnick of Jag Textiles view TexTest as more than just a testing lab. “They are a strategic partner,” said Resnick. “We work together to improve performance on current programs and collaborate developing new opportunities.”

In addition to informing clients about the most appropriate tests for their markets, TexTest can also develop customized testing programs to align with a company’s individual needs and categories.

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