The AATC’s new globally approved test method is called AATCC TM212-2021 and will standardise how fibre fragment shedding is measured across the apparel industry.

The new standard for quantifying fibre shedding was developed by a diverse group of experts across related industries to measure fibre fragment shedding in a bid to reduce the amount of microfibres and microplastics contributing to water pollution.

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The collaboration included the AATCC committee RA100 Global Sustainability and stakeholders from several organisations such as The Microfibre Consortium and the Cross Industry Agreement of European signatories.

The RA100’s outgoing chair, Adidas’s Heather Elliot of Adidas, explained: “Thank you to everyone who helped make this test method happen. It has been years in the making and would never have happened without the hands and minds of so many amazing people.”

RA100’s incoming chair, Milliken’s Shulong Li added: “Small fibre fragments in the environment is an emerging and serious concern that raises heightened public attention. TM212-2021 results from extensive collaboration representing a broad range of stakeholders in the textile industry, public and private institutions, and technical experts in the global Sustainability committee. This new standard method provides a common and useful tool for the textile industry to gain a better understanding of the issues.”

The standardised method can determine the mass of fibre fragments released in an accelerated laundering setting and will address the discrepancies that have created confusion for those trying to tackle pollution.

The AATC TM212 can be used to examine fibre shedding in natural fibres and blends as well as man-made fibres, which is crucial as natural fibres are also appearing in the marine life’s food cycle.

The AATCC TM212-2021 will be included in the AATCC 2022 Manual of International Test Methods and Procedures to be released in January 2022. 

Click here to read about the AATC’s approved standardised test method for e-textiles.