Skip to main content

Fabric thickness measurement

Measurement of fabric thickness

  • Fabric thickness measurement is generally carried out by measuring the distance between the upper and lower layers of fabric. This test is mainly part of the Siro FAST compression meter or KES compression instrument.
  • In the conventional method, thickness is measured by making direct observations of the fabric cross-section using a microscope, but these have mostly been abandoned because of the difficulty of identifying the edges of the fabric sample. 
  • In the SiroFAST system, compression property tests include fabric thickness, fabric surface thickness, and released surface thickness. 
  • The fabric is considered to consist of an incompressible core and a compressible surface. 
  • The fabric thickness is measured on a 10 cm2 area at two different pressures, In the first stage at 2 gf/cm2 (equivalent to 0.195 kPa or 19.6 mN/cm2) and then at 100 gf/cm2 (equivalent to 9.807 kPa or 981 mN/ cm2). 
  • The difference between these two values gives a measure of the thickness of the surface layer. The fabric thickness measurements are repeated after steaming on an open Hoffman press for 30 s in order to determine the stability of the fabric finish. 
  • As per the KES-FB3 tester, the compression energy, compressibility, resilience, and thickness of a specimen can be obtained. 
  • A circular compressing board of 2 cm2 attached to a sensor is used to apply the force on the fabric specimen. The applicable compression force is 0.1 gf/cm2 (minimum) to 2.5 kgf/cm2 (maximum) and the machine is running at different compression deformation rates from 0.1 mm/s to 10 mm/s.

Digital fabric thickness tester

DSPAT Digital fabric thickness tester
Digital fabric thickness tester

Digital fabric thickness tester is widely used to measure fabric thickness due to its quick result and mobility features.

A standard-sized circular sample is prepared by a fabric sampler cutter. 

The specimen is then placed into the instrument and a loaded circular disc is released gently from the topside.

The distance between the upper plate and base plate is measured digitally and indicated on the digital screen.

This distance is nothing but the fabric thickness.

This is an inexpensive and accurate soft material thickness tester with a counterbalance designed to exert minimal load on the sample.

This instrument is able to measure through 1.129" (28.7 mm) diameter presser foot. 

Digital display of thickness up to 1/2" (13 mm) or 1" (25 mm). 

Generally, this instrument is supplied with a loading weight to provide a load of 0.6 psi (4.14 kPA). Other configurations are available on the application. 

The optical method for the measurement of fabric thickness is the modern and most accurate method.

It measures the fabric thickness without any physical contact with the fabric surface. 

However, the problem with such methods is that it crates fall estimates in the case of highly hairy and fancy fabric due to defining precisely where the surface starts. 

Questions -

  1. Explain the measurement of thickness step by step.
  2. How digital fabric thickness 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.

Measurement of Specific Handle Force of woven fabrics. (2020, September 15). Textilecoach.

Objectively evaluating fabric handle. (n.d.). from

Sinclair. (2018, November 17). Fabric hand. Polymerexpert.Biz; Polymer Expert.

Subjective Evaluation of Fabric Hand. (2015, February 5). Textile Protection And Comfort Center.

(N.d.). from

Further study

Part -1 Fabric thickness

Part-2 Measurement of fabric thickness

Writer - 

Popular posts from this blog

Any query? then tell us


Email *

Message *