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Piece Goods Inspection: Fabric Quality Control  - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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If you want to produce high quality garments, you need high quality piece goods.  When a sewing factory receives fabric from the mill, it is difficult to conduct a full 100% inspection of the fabric.  Apparel Search recommends a minimum 10% inspection of all piece goods prior to spreading the fabric.  Many factories attempt to inspect the fabric during the spreading, but this is probably unrealistic to depend on the spreader to control the fabric quality evaluation.  The fabric should be inspected prior to the fabric reaching the cutting tables. 
There are several piece good inspection systems for measuring the quality of fabrics.  Their is a Ten-Point System, which was developed in the 1950's.  That system assigns penalty points to each defect, depending on the length of the defect.  The system is a bit complicated because the points per length vary for warp and filling defects.  There is also a Dallas System published in the 1970's.  That system was developed specifically for knits.  According to this system, if any defect was found on a finished garment the garment would then be termed a second.  In regard to fabric, this system defines a second as "more then one defect per ten linear yards, calculated to the nearest ten yards."  For example, one piece 60 yards long would be allowed to have six defects.  Another system for evaluating piece goods is the Four-Point System.  In this system, you should inspect at least 10 percent of the total rolls in the shipment.  Make sure to select at least one roll or each color way.  The defect classification works as follows.
Size of Defect:
3 inches or less = 1 point penalty
Over 3 inches but not over 6 inches = 2 point penalty
Over 6 inches but not over 9 inches = 3 point penalty
Over 9 inches = 4 point penalty
Note: a maximum of 4 points should be charged to one linear yard.  Also, note that only "major" defects are charged.
The acceptable score varies.  Many companies use 40 points per 100 yards as acceptable defect rate.  However, others may find this not acceptable...
Here is some math to show you an example.
Total Yardage received: 5400
Acceptance Point-count:  40 per 100 yards
Total Yards Inspected: 540
Total penalty points found in the sample inspection: 150 points
150 divided by 540 times 100 = 27.77 points per 100 yards  (because the allowance is 40 points per 100 yards, this shipment would be acceptable).
Above are only a few examples of fabric testing procedures.  In fact, above is only a short summary of the processes.  If you are responsible for inspecting fabric, you really will need to do more research on this subject
Make sure that your company has a very good QC Manager.

Learn about Cutting Department Quality Control and In-Process Quality Control.

You may also want to learn about colorfastness, crocking, and bleeding of fabrics.

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