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Martindale abrasion and pilling tester

Martindale abrasion and pilling tester

DSPAT The Martindale Abrasion and pilling tester
The Martindale Abrasion and Pilling tester

The Martindale Abrasion and pilling tester is a versatile instrument capable of measuring abrasion and pilling tests of fabric. 

This instrument uses precision components for delivering the proper abrasion or pilling movement required by all international and retailer standards. 

The Martindale tester is also designed to give a controlled amount of abrasion between fabric surfaces at comparatively low pressures in continuously changing directions. 

The results required determine the test and assessment method used. Assessments can include the determination of specimen breakdown, mass loss, or appearance change.

This instrument basically measures abrasion by creating a controlled amount of abrasion between fabric surfaces. (This is happening due to changing constantly wearing direction at low pressure.)

In this testing method, circular specimens of fabrics are prepared.

Each specimen has a 38 mm diameter and it is cut by using a fabric sample cutter. 

Samples are then mounted in the instrument in their specific space with the help of the specimen holder.

Weight for Martindale instrument
Weight for Martindale instrument

The specimen holders are joined with the instrument and sensors.

To create abrasion, A spindle and the correct weight are inserted through the top plate. 

Inserted weight generally has a size that gives a pressure of 12kPa.(However, lower pressure of 9kPa is also sometimes used - if specified)

DSPAT Martindale instrument working principle
Martindale instrument working principle

The standard abradant used for the test needs to be replaced at the beginning of each and every test. (for long-running a single test, after 50,000 cycles.)

Estimated number of cycles

Intervals for every inspection

Up to 5000


5000 - 20000


20000 - 40000


Above 40000


While the abradant is being replaced it is held flat by weight as the retaining ring is tightened.

Samples are abraded under specific pressure that gives a simple harmonic motion at right angles to one another of fabric surfaces. (One fabric is a sample and another is standard.)

Resistance towards this abrasion is measured by the loss of mass or weight of the fabric specimen.

To measure appropriate loss in mass, the average method is used. Around 8 samples are tested and then measured their mass.

These sample specimens are circular either 38 mm or 140 mm in diameter size. 

Normally the abradant is silicon carbide paper or woven worsted wool mounted over felt.

A force of either 9 or 12 kPa is applied to the top of the fabric sample to hold it against the abradant. 

In the case of the assessment of appearance change, there are requirements to be carried out, and then larger test pieces of 140 mm in diameter are required. 

The roles are reversed and the abradant is placed in the holder with the specimen as the base platform. 

The standard abradant should be replaced at the start of each test and after 50000 cycles if the test is to be continued beyond this number. Behind the abradant is a standard backing felt which is replaced at longer intervals.

The touchscreen controller in this instrument, with the most common functions accessible in one or two touches, makes it easy to use.

The specimen is observed at suitable intervals during testing without removing it from its holder to check whether two threads are broken or not. 

The above table indicates the time-lapse between examinations. 

If the likely failure point is known the first inspection can be made at 60% of that value. 

The abrading is continued until two threads are broken. 

All four specimens should be judged individually.

For assessment, the specimen is examined at suitable intervals to see whether two threads have broken, the mass has changed or the appearance has changed. 

Different fabric structures or components will require different inspection intervals. 

Some bias may occur if a fabric has low abrasion resistance.

Questions -

  1. Why Martindale abrasion and pilling tester is used?
  2. What is Martindale's instrument working principle?


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.

Shimo, S. S. (2017, December 6). Abrasion and abrasion resistance test. Textile Study Center.

Shiraga, A. (n.d.). Understanding abrasion testing. from

(N.d.). from http://chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

Further reading -

Part-1 Fabric abrasion resistance property

Part-2 Measurement and assessment of abrasion of the fabric

Part-3 Martindale abrasion and pilling tester

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