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An insight into garment testing
When producing garments, an integral part is the testing. This is key to delivering something that not only looks good but feels good and wears well. At Murray we do our testing to approve each fabric and component, which ensures they are fit for use. Products undergo quality checks to ensure they fit the desired brief. As you’ll read below, our colleagues visit our garment factories overseas to build and maintain relationships but to also ensure that quality checks are carried out to the highest standard.
To kick off, we’ve highlighted examples of the principle testing stages that will be carried out on the garment.
First Stage (Concept/Development)
Base test reports will be completed for every new fabric used; this includes different weighted fabrics. Test reports must be performed in an accredited and recognised testing house and submitted to Murray Uniforms for approval.
These tests are for fibre composition, stability and performance depending on the intended use. Tests on any new trims being used will also need to be submitted for approval to ensure only suitable trims are being used.
Transfers and prints will need to be tested to ensure adhesions, colour fastness and durability. Test reports will need to be submitted on the correct fabric base and a similar colour if possible.
Bulk Fabric (After Fabric Production)
Colour fastness and stability tests will be performed on the bulk fabric to ensure this performs to the same standard as the approved base fabric.
A minimum of 2 pieces of 300mm x 300mm fabric hangers will need to be sent for testing and comparison.
Finished Garment (AAW)
Appearance After Wash tests will be performed (unless we are using a previously tested batch of fabric and trim).
The garment must be finished to a pre-production standard with all the bulk materials and correct trims, so the test results reflect the bulk production standard.
Two pre-production samples will be required for testing. Time will need to be factored into the critical patch when agreeing ex-factory dates to be able to receive and complete the testing. It is the responsibility of the supplier to ensure garments are manufactured to pass test standards specified in Murray Uniforms Testing and Performance Manual
A key process with testing is to ensure garments pass inspections at source before clients receive them. One way we do this at Murray is via on-site factory testing which allows us to assess the quality and compliance of goods. The factory visits we make are a great opportunity to maintain our relationship with employees but equally to make thorough quality checks. Our Head of Supply, Chain Everest, frequently travels to overseas countries to visit the factories who supply some of our garments. As a business it is essential to communicate with suppliers and ensure a solid quality control system is in place, so the goods we supply meet our high standards and client’s expectations. Conducting inspections during production helps us to identify possible issues and take corrective measures, in good time, reducing defect rates at a later stage.
It is rare to inspect every single item unless there is a very low quantity, as this is an inefficient and time consuming process, so instead quality checks are performed in line with AQL standards across a higher scale of products.
Regarding testing, defects can come in different forms and in different locations on a product. Based on our knowledge and experience in the industry, Murray have developed upcoming defect lists of four common consumer goods in the market, which can be used by QC/QA teams immediately for inspection. The list can be modified to best suit specific needs. Defects are categorised by the attributes and properties of the goods. For example, workmanship of a garment is an important assessment criterion, while the safety of a toy is more significant. It can also effectively serve as a step by step inspection flow of the relevant goods. We also use a defect type classification – critical, major and minor.
Definitions of these three types of defects are as follows:
- Critical defect: fails to meet mandatory regulations and/or affects the safety of consumers/end users.
- Major defect: leads to product failure and reduction of product’s usability or saleability to a large extent.
- Minor defect: shows deviation from quality standard but is not likely to reduce the usability or saleability of the product.
A few examples of possible defects would be:
- The threading patterns not matching
- Colour running when washed
- Poor / incorrect sizing
We hope you found this of use and thanks for reading!
The team have been busy creating a manual with a set of specific tests. If you’d like to find out more, please email email@example.com