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AATCC test method quantifies fibre shedding

Addressing discrepancies that have long been a source of confusion for many working to tackle pollution.

18th August 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Sports/​Outdoor, Clothing/​Footwear

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), based in Research Triangle Oark, North Carolina. has developed a standardised method of qualifying microfibre fragment shedding during home laundering.

Defining standard nomenclature with the terms ‘fibre fragment’ and ‘microfibre’, AATCC test method TM212-2021 provides the global industry with a consistent and uniform test method to follow, addressing discrepancies that have long been a source of confusion for many working to tackle pollution. 

Originally assumed to be a plastics problem, natural fibres are also appearing in marine life’s food cycle. AATCC TM212 is not limited to man-made fibres, as it can also be used to determine the fibre shedding potential of natural fibres and blends.

The standard is the result of collaboration, between AATCC’s RA100 Global Sustainability committee, the UK-headquartered Microfibre Consortium and the Cross Industry Agreement of European signatories.

“Thank you to everyone who helped make this test method happen,” said Heather Elliot of adidas, the outgoing chair of RA100.   “It has been years in the making and would never have happened without the hands and minds of so many amazing people.”

“The escape of small fibre fragments into the environment is an emerging and serious concern that raises heightened public attention,” added incoming RA100 chair Shulong Li of Milliken. “TM212-2021 results from extensive collaboration representing a broad range of stakeholders in the textile industry, public and private institutions, and technical experts. This new standard method provides a common and useful tool for the textile industry to gain a better understanding of the issues.”

TM212-2021 is now available for purchase through the AATCC website.

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