These services, which include evaluating evaporation and drying rates, water vapor transmission, and antibacterial and antifungal properties, are new to the U.S. market and offer manufacturers of activewear, furniture and outdoor fabrics a more efficient, timely option for testing.
The expanded U.S. capabilities are the result of investments in new equipment at Intertek’s textile testing laboratory in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The new machines allow experts in the lab to evaluate performance properties of fabrics for water vapor permeability and drying rates, as well as how they respond to variations in temperature and humidity. This information can be used to verify claims of breathability, quick dry and antibacterial qualities in textiles used for various products.
These new capabilities complement existing activewear testing services for wicking, wind-proofing and UV protection properties and, combined with Intertek’s antimicrobial center of excellence in Columbus, Ohio, allows the company to offer a full spectrum of textile evaluation and technical support across multiple industries.
“At Intertek, our priority has always been providing our customers with innovative solutions to help support functional and performance claims of their products in order to improve their competitive position,” Gregg Tiemann, executive vice president at Intertek, said. “Bringing these textile capabilities to the U.S. and building off our existing textile services will help customers in the region leverage our services and expertise in order to bring in-demand fabrics to the industry more quickly and easily.”
The new services complement Intertek’s existing U.S. textile services analyzing fibers, restricted chemicals, dimensional stability, colorfastness and flammability.
In that area, Intertek has also joined the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program, a major body for the textile, leather and footwear industries with a mission of reaching zero discharge of hazardous chemicals into the environment.
Intertek said it is committed to working collaboratively toward achieving the milestones set out in ZDHC’s Roadmap, through active engagement with other brands, retailers and stakeholders.
[READ MORE ABOUT THE ZDHC PROGRAM: ZDHC INTRODUCES NEW CONFORMANCE GUIDANCE FOR CHEMICAL USE]
The goals of ZDHC include wastewater and sludge testing and sampling services at manufacturing sites, Chemical Management System auditing services, training and management and testing for the Manufacturing Restricted Substances Lists. Intertek joins 23 fashion brands, 33 value chain affiliates and 14 industry associates in working together to drive industry-wide change in responsible chemical management, and commits to working on this task in a collaborative and open manner.
Intertek performs textile testing on items ranging from fabric samples to finished products, including activewear, apparel, accessories, soft home furnishings, linens and outdoor products. These services help customers meet consumer demand, minimize reputational risk and reduce environmental impact, while protecting the interests of retailers, brands, manufacturers and consumers.