Quality Assurance: Stains

Perils of Stains

Oil and stain resistance are desirable attributes of fabrics—in the garments we wear to protect us, well, against ourselves! Everyone drops, spills, or sits on some type of soil medium at some point in time. While these “accidents” are harmless, they can be the source of angst when the soil medium stays on the fabric as a stain. Sometimes, stains that can’t be removed may cause the garment to no longer be used and, ultimately, discarded.


Stain Release

Stain release performance after laundering became an important function because the textile-finishing chemistries that were used to create smoothness appearance and dimensional stability also create an affinity for retaining oily stains.




Stain Release


Grass & Other Soils


Oil Repellency: Hydrocarbon Resistance

The textile industry needed a test to detect the performance of the soil release finishes. The test for judging how well a finish performed was developed by AATC’s Committee on Stain Resistance; it’s called RA 56, Test Method 118. Oil Repellency: Hydrocarbon Resistance, has been edited, reaffirmed, and used since 1966.


Soil Release: Oily Skin

Being able to figure out whether or not a fiber, fabric or finish stained by an oily soil medium can be removed in laundering is a desirable attribute that a consumer can see.

TERMS TO KNOW (click to flip)


A fabric characteristic measured as the increase of specified distance under a prescribed tension, usually expressed as a percentage of…

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An increase in distance of specified benchmarks after extension to a prescribed tension for a time interval followed by the…

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Water Repellency

The characteristic of a fabric to prevent water from being absorbed or passed through the fabric structure.

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Water Resistance

The ability of a fabric to withstand water going through its structure.

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Stain Release

The ability of a fabric to let go of soil particulate, oils, or other sources of discoloration after laundering.

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