Skip to main content
Student with mannequins


Textile Testing and Conservation Services

Standard performance tests for textiles and apparel are conducted in textile testing laboratories. The laboratory is equipped with a range of testing machinery and a conditioning room. Tests are carried out according to standard ASTM or AATCC procedures. Dr. Martin Bide carries out development work, textile testing, color measurement, and troubleshoots for textile dyeing and finishing, (401) 874-2276.

The textile conservation laboratory was established to treat textiles, costumes and accessories. Treatments include fiber, fabric and dye analysis; wet-cleaning; repair and stabilization; and preparation for exhibition. A condition analysis, treatment proposal and cost estimate are prepared for each object to be treated. Analysis of archaeological textiles from Native American burials is another specialty of the faculty. Analyses for extant textile fragments, dyes and pseudomorphs are performed. Dr. Linda Welters is chair of the Department and conducts archaeological textile analysis (401) 874-4525. Dr. Margaret Ordoñez carries out textile conservation treatments, archaeological textile analysis, and fiber analysis using optical and scanning electron microscopy (401) 874-5481

Major items of equipment and services available in the textile testing and conservation laboratories include:

  • Q-Lab Q-Sun XE-3-HS  Weather and light exposure system
  • Datacolor color measurement and control system
  • Q-test CRE tensile testing system
  • Ahiba Polymat dyeing machine
  • Scott CRT tensile tester
  • Atlas Launderometer
  • AATCC standard Washer/Dryer
  • Brookfield Rheometer
  • Olympus stereo and polarizing microscopes, with video camera
  • Padding, printing application equipment
  • Curing oven
  • 96"x 96" Wet cleaning table
  • Stereomicroscopy, with video and photographic recording
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Rheology measurement
  • Reverse Osmosis Water Purification

Durability/Performance Testing

Physical Testing*

  • Tensile Strength
  • Tear Strength
  • Abrasion
  • Seam Slippage
  • Pilling Resistance
  • Wrinkle Recovery
  • Shrinkage
  • Appearance after laundry
  • Comparative Testing for Flammability, Moisture Vapor Transmission

*Effect of Weathering can be added

Fabric Analysis

  • Yarn count, twist
  • Fabric weight, Fabric Count
  • Fiber Content
  • Bow, Skew

Color Fastness

(Instrumental or grey scale assessment of results)

  • Light (Carbon Arc, Xenon)
  • Crocking
  • Laundering
  • Perspiration
  • Sea Water, Chlorinated Pool Water

Color Measurement

  • Color difference, 555 sorting
  • Dye strength (reflectance, transmission)


  • Color matching,
  • Trial finish application
  • Dye calibration for match prediction

Training seminars are available in the following areas, and may be conducted at the University, or arranged on site at your facility.

  • Textile Testing
  • Basic Textile Science
  • Textiles for Consumers
  • Textile Conservation
  • Dyeing, Finishing
  • Color Science

If you are interested in any of the services listed above, please contact the department or the individual faculty members. Prices will be quoted based on the number of tests to be performed and will be competitive. Written reports of the testing are provided.