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Identification of Fabric defects


Often inspectors are given the responsibility of inspecting finished garments
without adequate training in fabric defects and their causes. The ultimate
solution, of course, is to provide actual examples or photographs of both
major and minor defects. This section provides a list of defects and
explanations and simplifies the language and the judgments used in making
visual fabric evaluations. The Quality Control Manager can provide this list
to inspectors as a practical tool for achieving uniform inspection decisions.

Major and Minor Defects

The following definitions are central to fabric inspection:

Major Defect - A defect that, if conspicuous on the finished product, would


cause the item to be a second. (A "second" is a garment with a conspicuous
defect that affects the salability or serviceability of the item.

Minor Defects - A defect that would not cause the product to be termed a
second either because of severity or location. When inspecting piece goods
prior to cutting, it is necessary to rate questionable defects as major, since
the inspector will not know where the defect may occur on the item.

Woven Fabric Defects

Defect Explanation Severity


Burl Mark When a slub or extra piece of yarn is woven into Major
the fabric, it is often removed by a "burling tool."
This will usually leave an open place in the
fabric.
Drawbacks Caused by excessive loom tension gradually Major
applied by some abnormal restriction. When the
restriction is removed the excess slack is woven
into the fabric. Usually the ends are broken
Dropped Pick Caused by the filling insertion mechanism on a Major
shuttleless loom not holding the filling yarn,
causing the filling yarn to be woven without
tension. The filling yarn appears as "kinky."

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There will also be areas of "end out."


End Out Caused by yarn breaking and loom continuing to Major
run with missing end.
Jerk-in Caused by an extra piece of filling yarn being Major
jerked part way into the fabric by the shuttle. The
or
defect will appear at the selvage. Minor
Knots Caused by tying spools of yarn together Usually
Minor
Mixed End Yarn of a different fiber blend used on the wrap Usually
(Yarn) frame, resulting in a streak in the fabric. Major
Mixed Filling Caused by bobbin of lightweight yarn or different Major
fiber blend used in filling. Will appear as a
distinct shade change.
Open Reed Results from a bent reed wire causing wrap ends Major
to be held apart, exposing the filling yarn. Will be
conspicuous on fabrics that use different colored
yarns on wrap and shuttle.
Slub Usually caused by an extra piece of yarn that is Major
woven into fabric. It can also be caused by thick or
places in the yarn. Often is caused by fly waste Minor
being spun in yarn in the spinning process.
Smash Caused by a number of ruptured wrap ends that Major
have been repaired.
Soiled Filling Dirty, oil looking spots on the wrap or filling Major
or End yarns, or on package-dyed yarn.
Stop Mark When the loom is stopped, the yarn elongates Can be
under tension; when loom starts again' the Major
slackness is woven into the fabric. or
Minor
Thin Place Often caused by the filling yarn breaking and the Major
loom continuing to run until the operator notices
the problem.

Knitting Defects
Defect Explanation Severity
Barre Occurs in circular knit. Caused by mixing yarn on Usually
feed into machine. Fabric will appear to have Major
horizontal streaks.
Birdseye Caused by unintentional tucking from Major

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malfunctioning needle. Usually two


small or
distorted stitches, side by side. Minor
dependi
ng on
severity
Broken Color Usually caused by colored yarn out place on Major
Pattern frame
Drop Stitches Results from malfunctioning needle or jack. Will Major
appear as holes or missing stitches.

End Out Occurs in wrap knit. Results from knitting Usually


machine continuing to run with missing end. Major
Hole Caused by broken needle. Major
Missing Yarn Occurs in circular knit. Caused by one end of Major
yarn missing from feed and machine continuing
to run.
Mixed Yarn Occurs in wrap knit. Results from wrong fiber Major
yarn (or wrong size yarn) placed on wrap. Fabric
could appear as thick end or different color if
fibers have different affinity for dye.
Needle Line Caused by bent needle forming distorted stitches. Major
Usually verticals line. or
Minor
Press-Off Results when all or some of the needles on Major
circular knitting fail to function and fabric either
falls off the machine or design is completely
disrupted or destroyed. Many knitting needles are
broken and have to be replaced when bad press-
off occurs. Bad press-offs usually start a new roll
of fabric.
Runner Caused by broken needle. Will appear as vertical Major
line. (Most machines have a stopping device to
stop machine when a needle breaks.)
Slub Usually caused by a thick or heavy place in yarn, Major
or by lint getting onto yarn feeds. or
Minor

Dyeing or Finishing Defects

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Defect Explanation Severity


Askewed or Condition where filling yarns are not square with Major
Bias wrap yarns on woven fabrics or where courses are or
not square with wale lines on knits. Minor
dependi
ng
Back Fabric Backing fabric is often used to cushion fabric Major
Seam being printed. If there is a joining seam in the
Impression backing fabric, an impression will result on
printed fabric.
Bowing Usually caused by finishing. Woven filling yarns Major
lie in an arc across fabric width; in knits the or
course lines lie an arc across width of goods. Minor
Establish standards of acceptance. Critical on
stripes or patterns; not as critical on solid color
fabrics.
Color Out The result of color running low in reservoir on Major
printing machine
Color Smear The result of color being smeared during printing. Major
or
Minor
Crease Mark Differs from crease streak in that streak will Major
probably appear for entire roll. Crease mark
appears where creases are caused by fabric folds
in the finishing process. On napped fabric, final
pressing may not be able to restore fabric or
original condition. Often discoloration is a
problem.
Crease Streak Occurs in tubular knits. Results from creased Major
fabric passing through squeeze rollers in dyeing or
process. Minor,
Depending on the product; usually Major for
fashion outerwear, Minor for underwear.
Dye Streak in Results from a damaged doctor blade or blade not Major
Printing cleaned properly. Usually a long streak until the
operator notices the problem.
Mottled Color applied unevenly during printing Major
or
Minor

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Pin Holes Holes along selvage caused by pins holding fabric Major,
while it processes through tenter frame.
Major> if pin holes extend into body of fabric far
enough to be visible in the finished product.
Sanforize Results from uneven wetting out on sanforize; Major
Pucker usually caused by defective spray heads. Fabric or
will appear wavy or puckering when spread on Minor
cutting table. Difficult to detect during inspection
on inspection machine with fabric under roller
tension.
Scrimp The result of fabric being folded or creased when Major
passing through printing machine. There will be
areas not printed.
Selvage Torn Usually caused by excessive tension while Major
processing through tenter frames.
Water Spots Usually caused by wet fabric being allowed to Major
remain too long before drying; color migrates
leaving blotchy spots.

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