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Dimension stability of the knitted fabric

Dimension stability of the knitted fabric

Measurement of dimensional stability

  • The Dimensional fabric can be measured by simple scales and to measure dimensional stability some specific instruments are used.
DSPAT Knitted fabric
Knitted fabric dimensional stability

WIRA steaming dimensional stability tester

WIRA dimensional stability tester is used to measure the dimensional stability of fabric using a steaming cylinder.

To measure the Dimensional stability of fabrics, samples are prepared and marked out to be laid them down as per the British standard method.

According to the British standard method, a sample size of 50 cm X 50 cm is prepared (Sample size 30 cm X 30 cm is also considered as a standard measurement.)


4 warp way and 4 weft way samples are prepared of the above size.

The samples are then marked with three sets of marks in each direction, a minimum of 35 cm apart from each other and at least 50mm from all edges. 

In the case of the smaller sample, the marks are made 25 cm apart from each other, at a distance of 25 mm from the edge. 

Samples are first preconditioned and then conditioned for 24 h in the standard testing atmosphere at a temperature lesser than 5O° C with a relative humidity of between 10% and 25% to achieve a more appropriate result. 

The created shrinkage on the fabric surface is exposed by steam in this instrument. 

This steam level and passage of steam in such a way that, it can't relax shrinkage and not felting or consolidation shrinkage.

In this test method, the fabric is kept in an unconstrained state and subjected to dry saturated steam at atmospheric pressure. 

(These conditions are slightly different from those that occur in a steam press where the fabric is trapped between the upper and lower platens while it is subjected to steam.) 

The four specimens sample is then placed on the wire support frame of the instrument.

Then steam is allowed to flow through the cylinder for at least one minute to warm it thoroughly.

The frame is then inserted into the cylinder keeping the steam valve open so steam can remove in 30-35 sec. (Generally, in 1 minute of testing half time is for steam insertion and another half time is for releasing steam from the cylinder.)

This cycle is repeated three times without additional intervals. 

The specimens are then allowed to cool, preconditioned, and then conditioned for another 24 h to bring them into the same state they were in when they were marked. 

Samples are then remeasured on a flat smooth surface and the percentage dimensional change is calculated.

 The mean dimensional change and direction are reported as shrinkage.

Shrinkage percentage = (Original measurement - final measurement ) *100 / Original measurement.

DSPAT WIRA Dimensional stability instrument
WIRA steaming dimensional stability tester

Questions -
  1. How dimensional stability of knitting is measured?
  2. How WIRA steaming dimensional stability tester works?


Booth, J. E. :. (n.d.). Principles of textile testing an introduction to physical methods of testing textile fibres, yarns, and fabrics. London: National Trade Press Ltd,1961. from

Cenote, M. (2015). Google Books. In The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law (pp. 847–858). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Ferreiro López-Riobóo, J. I. (2015). Long-term (2001–2012) study of a proficiency testing scheme for textiles. Accreditation and Quality Assurance20(4), 239–245.

Patwary, E. M. Z. (2012, May 30). The procedure of dimensional stability test. Textile Fashion Study; Engr. Mohammad Zillane Patwary.

Saville, B. P. (1999). Dimensional stability. In Physical Testing of Textiles (pp. 168–183). Elsevier.

What is Fabric Dimensional Stability? How to do the Shrinkage Test? (2017, June 19). Testex.

Further reading - 

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