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Measurement of Water permeability of fabric

Measurement of water permeability

Shirley's hydrostatic head test 

DSPAT Shirley hydrostatic head test
water permeability tester

Shirley's hydrostatic head test is used to measure water permeability digitally.

The Hydrostatic Head Tester is designed to help labs be more efficient by testing at global standards. 

For this test, a standard-sized square fabric sample is prepared for testing. After sample preparation specimen is conditioned according to the standard method.

For more accurate test results, more than two samples are suitable to test.

Once the sample is prepared make it into the instrument. Then press the upper cup structure onto the fabric sample. 

This will create a closed chamber with including fabric surface at 100 cm2 test head included in this chamber.

The compact design of the instrument can reach 3 bar of pressure using standard lab compressed air on the water flow. 

This pressure forced water to pass from the fabric's surface.

After completion of it, an alarm indicates fail pressure is closed and a technician should begin observing.

The real test area is well-lit behind a clear shield for observing when droplets appear. All passed water and remaining water values are collected by machine and show their percentage ratio from both sides of the fabric sample. 

According to this analysis, the instrument shows the water permeability value of the fabric.

(When the Water permeability of fabric is tested for waterproof fabric or any other effects of water on fabric, the water repellency test is more suitable than this test.)

Questions -
  1. What is Shirley's hydrostatic head test?
  2. How Shirley hydrostatic head 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.

Babu, S. (n.d.). Textile Adviser. from

Ding, X. (2008). Fabric permeability testing. In J. Hu (Ed.), Fabric Testing (pp. 189–227). Elsevier.

Hakoo, A. (2019, April 29). Importance of Air Permeability/Fabric porous structure in the production of technical textile fabrics. Textile School.

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