Scope and Principle

To determine the dimensional change of fabrics / garments when subjected to an appropriate combination of specified washing and drying procedures.

Test Method
ISO 3759/ ISO 6330/ ISO 5077/AATCC 150/AATCC 135

This test method is intended for the determination of dimensional changes in woven & knit fabrics / garments, when subjected to repeated automatic laundering procedures commonly used at home.

The dimensional changes of textile specimen subjected to washing are measured using pair of bench marks applied to the fabric before washing.

Sample Marking

Dimensional stability Sample Marking

Important bench mark locations for different garments

Shirt – Collar, Collar Band, Body Lengths, Sleeve Lengths, Width at chest and Cuffs
Trousers – Front rise, Back rise, Inseams, Outseams, Waist and Seat
Pajama Top – Lengths, Sleeves, Hem and Chest
Pajama Bottom – Inseams, Lengths, Hip and Waist
Uniform/Dress – Bodice lengths, Skirt lengths, Sleeve lengths, Shoulders, Chest, Waist, Hip and Hem
Blouse – Lengths, Sleeve Lengths, Shoulders, Chest and Waist
Skirt – Lengths, Hem, Hip and Waist

Sample Marker
Wascator FOM 71S and programme cards, or
Wascator FOM 71MP and programme cassettes ROM, or
Wascator FOM 71 MP/Lab Model, or
Wascator CLS
Domestic tumble dryer, 5kg load ~ with a cool-down facility
Balance capable of weighing 150 ~ 200g and accurate to 0.1g
Balance capable of weighing up to 2.0kg accurate to 1.0g. – 5.0g
British Standard Makeweights
Mesh drying rack and drying line
Stability template and % shrinkage / extension ruler
DALO Marker and / or an indelible marker pen
Front Loading Washing Machine
Front Loading Washing Machine

Specimen Preparation


The minimum size for a stability square is 50 x 50cm. Testing on smaller pieces is not acceptable.

Lay the fabric to relax for 4 hours on a bench in ambient conditions so that it is smooth and tension free.

Do not use the fabric within 5cm of the selvedge.

Place the template on the fabric with the side of the template parallel to the length (warp) direction.

Mark the three width and length marks in pairs 35cm apart, (see additional notes below for different fabric types). Draw around the edge of the template, do not round off the corners.

Draw an arrow outside the measurement area, to denote the length (warp) direction prior to cutting from the main piece.

Woven Fabrics:

Use a single layer of fabric. Use the slots in the template to mark the fabric with an indelible pen.

Warp Knit Fabrics:

Use a single layer of fabric. Use the holes in the template to mark. Use a DALO marker rather than a pen, as this prevents the fabric being dragged.

Weft Knit Fabrics:

Fold the fabric into a double layer, with the fold parallel to the wales. Use the holes in the template. To prevent the fabric being dragged by a pen, use a DALO marker.

Crinkle Effect Fabrics:

Lie the fabric piece on a smooth surface and allow to relax naturally. Without placing the stability template on the fabric remove a specimen approximately 50x50cm.

Place 3 warp and 3 weft measurement points on the specimen using the shrinkage/extension ruler in approximately the same areas of the stability template.

Note: When placing the ruler across the crinkle effect do not allow the ruler to press out the crinkle effect. This may have to be done manually to ensure that the measurement points are 35cm apart.

Trims / Elastics:

Cut three specimens 450mm in length
Using the stability ruler mark one set of gauge marks 350mm apart on each of the three samples, ensuring that they are approximately 5cm in from the end of the sample.
Sew the three test specimens onto a pre shrunk stability square, ensure that the samples are not under any tension and also allowing enough slack for any shrinkage that may occur. Ensure that the sewing line is outside the area of measurement.


Woven Fabrics: Overlock all edges.

Warp Knit Fabrics: Overlock all edges.

Weft Knit Fabrics: Form into a bag by overlocking together the two length way directions and one width way direction. The
remaining width is overlocked as a single thickness.


Refer to the garment measurement guidelines stated in buyer, for any garment/product that is not stated please refer to the buyer Fabric Technologist for guidance.

Test Procedure

Wash Load:

Ensure no more than half of the load are test specimens, the rest of the load being made up of British Standard makeweights.


Use ECE detergent and Sodium Perborate.

Wash Programme:

a) Select the correct programme for the wash required depending on the type of machine being used. Set temperature, water levels and pull out correct knobs if using a FOM 71S Wascator.

b) Place makeweights then the test specimens in the washing machine. Dissolve the powder with a small quantity of warm water in a beaker.

c) Start the machine. When the water is above the base level in the sight tube pour the dissolved powder into the machines by lifting the lid on the top of the machine. Flush down by rinsing the beaker out with an additional quantity of warm water.

d) On completion of the programme remove the wash load.

Drying Methods
Line dry – Specimen is hanged by two corners with the fabric length in vertical direction.
Drip dry – Dripping wet specimen is hanged by two corners with the fabric length in vertical direction.
Flat dry – Specimen is dried by spreading on a horizontal screen or perforated surface removing wrinkles without stretching and distorting it.
Tumble dry
- ISO dryer: Auto reversing action
Re-Measuring Procedure

Woven and Knitted Fabrics:

Re-measure after 4 hours relaxation.

Transfer the specimen onto a work surface in the same location. Do not move the specimen about whilst re-measuring.

Use one of the following methods for re measuring:

Using the % shrinkage/extension ruler and holding it at a 45° angle, read off the % change in dimensions for the three length (warp) and three width (weft) dimensions.


For measurements taken with a metal ruler, use the following formula:

(Original length 350mm – Tested length mm) x 100 = % Dimensional Change

Original length
Crinkle Effect Fabrics:

To re-measure untie the specimen and allow to naturally relax and lie flat on a smooth surface. Do not stretch the specimen.
Place the shrinkage/extension ruler lightly on the surface of the crinkle garment and record the dimensional change in both directions.

Trims / Elastics:
Remove each of the three specimens from the stability square by cutting along the sewing line.
Allow to relax for a minimum of 4 hours. Do not stretch the specimen.
Place the shrinkage/extension ruler lightly on the surface of the specimen and record the dimensional change.


Re-measure original measurement points and calculate the dimensional change using the following formula:
(Original length 350mm – Tested length mm) x 100 = % Dimensional Change

Original length


Knitwear ~ Rib Recovery

After measuring the above measurement points stretch the rib manually to its original measurement to see if the rib is recoverable. This can be done by placing a metal ruler on a smooth surface and placing the rib over the ruler. Then manually grab the rib by hand at the side seams and pull steadily to see if the rib recovers to its original measurement. Report as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (with comments).


For Weft Knitted Garments calculate the % Spirality using the formula stated in buyer Test Method
Note: When recording the length measurement this must be taken for the underarm to the hem of the garment.

Appearance Assessment

As a guideline comment on the general appearance of the tested specimen with respect to colour change, surface appearance etc. Report as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (with comments)

Specimens that extend and shrink within the same specimen should be calculated as in the following example:-

Measurement 1                + 2.0
Measurement 2                   1.0
Measurement 3                + 1.0
= + 2.0  3 = +0.66% (+0.7%)

Spirality on weft knitted fabrics can be calculated using the stability specimen


Report the garment measurement points and % dimensional change as indicated on the tables below the garment diagrams .
Where applicable report the % spirality.


Report the Rib Recovery in addition to the above.

-Wash and dry the sample 3 times for AATCC and once for ISO as per the procedure explained earlier.
-Condition the sample. After conditioning lay each test specimen without tension on a flat smooth horizontal surface. Measure and record distance between each pair of benchmarks.
-Calculate the difference between the before wash and after wash measures and report in %.

DC % = 100 ( B – A) / A

DC = Dimensional Change
A = Original Dimension
B = Dimension after Laundering

Shrinkage is denoted as ‘-’ which is decrease in dimensions
Elongation is denoted as ‘+’ which is increase in dimensions.

Test Report

Report the test method number and title.


Report the average change in dimension of the length and width directions. Use a positive sign to indicate an increase in length and a negative sign to indicate a decrease in length. Quote the results to nearest 0.1%.

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5 Responses

  1. abel says:

    first i would like to say thank you . But how can i get printable test procedure.

  2. M.R.Mamun says:

    Can You please update method wise recipe on ISO & AATCC

  3. Musaddeq Hossain Khan says:

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks for your post. but it lack main important Knowledge
    Please add the Chemical mixing ratio though you mention Chemical name.
    then your post will be complete.

  4. Pls, if possible to share a copy of DS to Washing ISO 6330 method.

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