The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) has announced the public release of a globally aligned and standard test method to determine the level of microfibres shed from fabric during domestic laundering. The test method has been developed through collaboration between the University of Leeds (UoL),European Outdoor Group (EOG) and TMC, along with the larger stakeholder network. It has been released publicly now to assist and encourage adoption by the international textile industry and beyond.
In November 2019, TMC and UoL unveiled the world’s first thoroughly tested, validated and internationally aligned method for measuring microfibre material loss from textiles, and outlined plans for developing a comprehensive fibre fragmentation database. Work on a pilot continued throughout 2020 and now, in mid-2021, the data portal contains detailed fabric specification information for over 250 materials and yarns that were provided for testing, including ~170 knit fabrics and ~80 woven fabrics, ranging in fabric weight from 6g/m2 to 500g/m2. Fabrics from over 70 global vendors were submitted. This was possible thanks to samples that were sent by TMC brand, retail and supplier members. Data is all now hosted on the TMC Fibre Fragmentation Data Portal, in order to support the collective scaling of understanding.
Using ISO 105-C06* at its core, the TMC Test Method has been developed to use standard laboratory equipment and provide accurate comparable data, in a manner that can be scaled commercially across a range of lab facilities. Those wishing to utilise this test method, can do so using TMC third party laboratory members, which currently include SGS and Eurofins.
Sophie Mather, executive director of The Microfibre Consortium, comments: “It has always been our intention to publicly release this method for broader use across the textile industry and we are very excited to now do this. We are able to do so following a year of robust testing and use by our members, and with additional accreditation steps in place with the third party labs. All of this has been possible thanks to the collaborative nature of how the test method has been developed.
“We openly invite any organisations that are looking to utilise this method to submit results to the TMC Fibre Fragmentation Data Portal. This is a really important resource that is already being used by TMC members. Opening it up will increase the scale of understanding at a global level, which is an essential step as the textile industry seeks to reduce the level of microfibre shedding. Submitting data to the portal will help everyone to strengthen and expedite the actions that are needed to bring about necessary change around the world.”