Passing the Test: Performance Spotlights from CHF Fabric Testing

Our Culp Home Fashions manufacturing facilities have full capability to create from yarn to finished product, and our robust supply chain allows us to quickly respond to the needs of our customers. All of our products are developed and manufactured in-house so that you can trust our process, and we continually invest in innovation and manufacturing resources. Our quality fabrics start with thread, build with partnerships through valued customers, and continue through to the end user. We design and implement products with precision, because we deliver value in every detail, from trend to technology

Our exceptional research and development team understands the unique features of each of our yarns and finishes. They continually research technology in comfort, clean, and cool properties to provide the highest quality selections for customers.

Q&A with CHF Research + Development Team 

What’s a typical day-in-the-life look like for someone on the CHF R+D team?
There is never a typical day; we are always moving from task to task to ensure quality and innovation for CHF. Some of our daily activities include research on new items for our market, discussion with design and sales on new initiatives, trials or finish formulation for sales and design to show new items/finishes/yarns or to meet a customer request, creating specifications, reviewing and approving physical properties on all samples, meeting with suppliers to discuss current and new initiatives, and Product Development task force initiatives.

What does "quality" mean to your team and to CHF as a whole?
Quality Policy: CHF is committed to providing defect-free products and services to our customers at a competitive price, on time...every time. In order to achieve this goal, Culp Home Fashions has implemented a Product Development and Quality Assurance system that promotes continuous growth and improvement through personal involvement and teamwork. To ensure the success of this policy, management is dedicated to applying these principles in every facet of our operation, while maintaining an equal commitment to the health and safety of all associates, customers, and the environment.

How does your team ensure the quality of the product throughout the weaving or knitting process? 
We perform in-process checks of the fabric construction, fabric appearance, and fabric finish. At each manufacturing and finishing stage, we perform these checks to verify the quality and performance of the fabric.Our fabrics are Oeko-Tex certified, and our quality system is based on the ISO principles.

What equipment or tools do you use in your testing process? 
We use state-of-the-art equipment to test our products through the manufacturing and finishing process. The process may include Instron machines, Datacolor, C-Therm thermal testing unit, Martindale Abrasion & Pilling, Snagpod, pH control, Crock meter, FR screening, and Sublimation testing.

What are the main types of tests that you perform on fabrics throughout the process? 
We test the fabric construction properties to ensure the highest quality. Some of these properties include: cpi/wpi, width, fabric weight, finish add-on, seam slippage, tensile strength, and elongation.

What are the most common types of defects that you find on fabrics, and how do you prevent them (or handle them)? 
When a sample goes through inspection, our team monitors the fabrics coming through to check for common defects. These defects are the result of errors in knitting, weaving, or finishing, and can be anything from popped fill to scorched fabric. If defects are detected in a fabric, that roll will be pulled and will not go through to sampling. 

Most common defects are either knitting needle or yarn related. Yarn related defects are handled or prevented by good housekeeping, proper yarn testing to ensure sufficient critical factors are met, and electronic tension controls that allow the operator to make adjustments if necessary. Knitting needle related defects are handled or prevented by daily and weekly machine PM, roving knitter, or inspector checks.

We have visual boards on site with examples of common defects to easily identify issues, and we consistently practice ongoing housekeeping and preventive checks.

What do you do with the fabrics that are not up to standards?
Fabrics that do not meet customer or industry standards are not shipped to that customer and are quarantined in AS400 system; all waste fabric / yarn is baled and then sent to a recycling company. CHF’s recycling initiatives are important to our company to reduce landfill for a more sustainable future

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