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Fabric Breaking strength testing

Breaking strength

  • Breaking strength is the force required to break a fabric when it is under tension.
  • Breaking strength is mainly used for woven fabrics.
  • Breaking strength is expressed in pounds.
  • Breaking strength value is highly important in the case of fabrics usage in Automotive safety belts, Parachute harnesses, and pants.
  • Breaking strength can also be used to test the effects of destructive forces upon a woven fabric including sunlight, abrasion, laundering, etc.
  • In this method, Testing force is applied in one particular direction on the fabric.
  • Garments which are made from higher breaking strength fabric can be able to work for a long period and not easily show physically damaged wear appearance.

Grab test

The grab test is used to measure fibre tensile strength by holding the ends of the specimen and observing the specimen breaking point.

The standard-sized sample of fabric specimens is prepared for this testing.

The specimen is placed in an instrument by holding the jaw. Hang the specimen vertically with the help of the top and bottom jaw.

Jaws are the part of the clamping device that grips the fabric during a test. Jaws should be capable of holding the test piece without allowing it to slip as well as not damaging the fabric specimen.

(For this reason, suitable packing materials like paper, leather, plastics or rubber can be used in the jaws.)

DSPAT fabric grab test
Fabric grab test

To avoid slip or damage of the specimen during clamping in the instrument, the fabric sample slipped asymmetrically by more than 2 mm gauge, and the results need to be discarded. 

To avoid slippage of smooth fabrics, capstan or self-locking jaws with an appropriate clamping face may be used.

In the grab test, the width of the jaws is less than the width of the specimen. I.e. - For a 100 mm wide specimen 25 mm wide jaw is suitable. 

This method is used for woven high-density fabrics.  The grab method is used whenever it is desired to determine the ‘effective strength’ of the fabric in use.

In the Modified grab test version, lateral slits are arranged with the specimen. This slit has basically severed all yarns bordering the portion to be strength tested. This will reduce to a minimum the ‘fabric resistance’ inherent in the grab method. 

This method is desirable for high-strength fabrics.

Strip test

The strip test method is used to measure fabric tensile strength by strips.

In this method, two types of strips are used the raveled strip test and the cut strip test. 

The standard-sized sample of fabric specimens is prepared for this testing.

The specimen is placed in an instrument by holding the jaw. Hang specimen vertically with the help of top and bottom jaw.

The raveled strip test is suitable for woven fabric and specimens are prepared by removing threads from either side of the test piece until it is the correct width. 

The cut strip test is suitable for fabrics that cannot have threads removed from their sides such as knits, non-woven, felts, and coated fabrics. The test specimens are prepared by accurately cutting to size.

In tensile strength measurement factors like the number of the test specimens, gauge length, extension rate and types of the jaw are affect the test results.

DSPAT Comparison of grab reveled strip, and strip method
Comparison of grab reveled strip, and strip method

(In general, there is no simple relationship between grab tests and strip tests since the amount of fabric resistance depends on the fabric structure, fabric count, mobility of yarns, and many other factors. The strip tests can provide information on tensile strength and elongation of fabric; however, the grab test can only give the breaking strength.)

Questions -
  1. What is breaking strength?
  2. Why breaking strength is done?
  3. What is a grab test?
  4. What is a strip test?


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.

Babu, S. (n.d.). Fabric tensile strength test. from

Fabric Strength. (2020, September 12). Texpedi: A Reliable Source of Learning Textiles; //

Mobarak Hossain, M. (2016). A review of different factors of woven fabrics’ strength prediction. Science Research4(3), 88.

(N.d.-b). from

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