A researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi has developed a "fabric feel tester" at a cost nearly 100 times cheaper than the ones presently available in market. According to officials, a patent has also been filed for the instrument which has been developed by professor Apurba Das and his team with support from the government's Department of Science and Technology.
The instrument measures the subjective fabric feel perception and expresses it by an objective numerical value.
Fabric feel is a generic term for textile sensations associated with fabrics. "The existing Kawabata Evaluation System of Fabrics (KESF) system used in the clothing industry is very complex and requires four different modules. The new instrument will not only measure fabric softness and feel directly but also help in selecting the optimum fabric finish treatment by comparing the feel," a senior IIT-Delhi official said.
"The instrument will help check change in fabric feel after chemical or mechanical treatment and thus help in developing newer fabrics and finishings with better feel. The cost of the new fabric feel tester is around Rs 1.75 lakhs as compared to the cost of complete KESF equipment which is more than Rs 1.5 crore," the official added. According to the official, the device finds its usage broadly in dyeing and finishing in textile and apparel industries, weaving industries, garment manufacturing units and testing laboratories.
"It will be helpful for industries who are dealing with the production, evaluation and application of textile fabrics for process, quality and quick decision making," the official said.