Haptics and Textiles

December 13, 2023 - December 14, 2023

The human touch: How do we define, determine, and deal with the tactile sense in the textile industry?

How do humans experience a fabric’s feel? What factors influence this perception, and what are the limits to the human tactile experience? How can textile professionals integrate textile haptic evaluation into digital systems?

In this digital lab, textile industry experts, including researchers, product developers, technicians and chemical suppliers, come together to discuss both traditional and progressive methods for measuring the haptics of textiles and nonwovens and what can be done to improve the process.

The two-day series features:

  • an introduction to the fundamentals of haptics testing in the industry
  • an overview of current testing methods and measuring instruments,
  • a look at the advantages and disadvantages of different measuring methods
  • ideas for leveraging haptic test results to improve quality assurance and product development
  • a way to digitize, categorize, and easily communicate sample data using an online marketplace
  • a live demonstration of the TSA Tactile Sensation Analyzer, a digital haptic testing instrument designed by the German manufacturer emtec Electronic, and discussion of results

Attendees can look forward to hearing perspectives from eight industry professionals from all over the world, including speakers from adidas, Lenzing, Black Swan Textiles, Cotton Incorporated, the Technical University of Dresden, and Dokuz Eylül University in Turkey.

Registration Fees
AATCC Individual &
Corporate* Members
*Corporate members must contact Kim Nicholson to register offline.
  • Haptics and Textiles Digital Lab

    DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2023
    9:00 AM - 2:30 PM (ET)
    Moderator: Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles
    9:00 AMOpening Remarks and Presentation:
    Fundamentals of Haptics & Textiles – Applying a Digital Handfeel Management Model at Scale—Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles
    9:30 AMHow Do We Experience Touch? Intro to Handfeel Measurements—Alexander Gruener, emtec Electronic GmbH
    10:00 AMAn Overview of Tactile Comfort of Light Weight Denim Fabrics—Nazli Uren, Dokuz Eylül University
    Tactile comfort of a garment is an important criterion that determines consumers’ preferences and has been investigated for almost a century by many researchers. The presentation discusses tactile sensation, components of fabric hand, objective test methods and sensory evaluation techniques together with the scientific findings regarding tactile comfort of light weight denim fabrics.
    11:00 AMBreak
    11:15 AMPossibilities for Evaluating Relations between the Structural and Production Parameters of the Textile Structures and their Haptic Appearance—Yordan Kyosev, Technical University of Dresden
    The presentation starts with overview of the different type of textile structures (weft- and warp knitted, woven, nonwoven), their structural levels (fiber, single ply yarns, multu-ply yarn). The haptic relevant parameters at the different structural levels are pointed - yarn twist, fiber length distribution, fiber fineness, bending stiffness of the fibers, density of the textile structure. Finally different techniques for the evaluation of the correlations between the haptic perception and the textile parameters are discussed. Results of large investigations with panel tests, EMTEC testinting device and microscopic analysis will be presented and different methods for mathematical analysis of the correlations like Principal Component Analysis and Fuzzy Logic data sets are discussed.
    12:00 PMLunch Break
    12:30 PMObjective Measurement of Haptic Quality Parameters with the emtec TSA Tactile Sensation Analyzer: Explanations of TSA Functions and Live Demonstration—Alexander Gruener, emtec Electronic GmbH
    Haptic parameters, such as softness, smoothness or flexibility, which together make the overall haptic impression when touching a fabric’s surface, could not be measured reliably and objectively in the past. There have been several approaches. Some are not as accurate and reliable as such a measurement needs to be, some are too complicated to be used as a tool for daily quality control or process optimization. The emtec TSA Tactile Sensation Analyzer is able to individually measure the basic haptic parameters that determine the overall haptic impression or touch. From these individually measured parameters, a so-called hand feel value can be calculated, which usually shows a correlation to the human expectation of up to almost 100%. The device has already proven its accuracy and reliability in an industry with similar concerns. In the tissue paper industry, the instrument and its results are used as a language, which is used by the different players of the industry to communicate among each other. It is industrial standard and a TAPPI-recommended test method.

    To understand the device and how it functions, it is helpful to understand the processes going on in the human hand, which finally lead to the human tactile sensation. The presentation will therefore focus on how we humans feel, the traditional hand test used to determine the haptic quality of textiles, the functional principle of the device and the application in the field.
    2:00 PMQ&A / Panel Discussion—Day 1 Speakers
    2:30 PMClosing Remarks, Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles
    DAY 2 - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2023
    8:55 AM - 2:30 PM (ET)
    Moderator: Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles
    8:55 AMWelcome Back—Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles
    9:00 AMHuman and Instrumental Handfeel Assessment in Industrial Daily Business Conditions—Mohammad Abu-Rous, Lenzing AG, Austria
    Handfeel (haptic) properties are a decisive criterion in consumer choice criteria of textiles. It is therefore in the interest of supply chain partners to assess these properties in order to predict the consumer choice. Instrumental methods based on textile physical properties cover part aspects of the rather complex human hand perception. Furthermore, a compromise must be found between precision and broadness of parameters on the one hand, and practicability and measurement speed on the other.

    In our experience, physical measurements (Tissue Softness Analyzer, Phabrometer, simple ring pull-through) provided in many cases reliable ranking of fabrics. They are more or less correlated with more sophisticated methods, such as Kawabata Evaluation System (KES) and Fabric Touch Tester (FTT). More concordance of the physical methods was observed on loose flexible structures like knitted fabrics than on rigid thin fabrics like light woven fabrics.

    In the case of insufficient concordance, a human reference is needed as ultimate judge. More divergence was observed when the differences between the fabrics are not enough large. As this is the case in daily business, where optimizations of fiber, fabric and treatments take place, it would be difficult to rely on one single instrumental method. More reliable results were obtained by a trained internal handfeel panel, supported by the mentioned instrumental methods.

    9:30 AMMeasuring the Durable Softness of Cotton—Stephen Payne, Cotton Incorporated
    The durable softness of cotton can mechanically be measured, when tested on both sides of a garment, at Zero HLTD, 10HLTD, 20HLTD, and 30HLTD.
    10:15 AMEnhancing the Lifetime of Sports T-Shirts through Objective and Subjective Handfeel Measurements—Lars Claussen, adidas
    Extending the lifespan of garments is one of the most effective ways of reducing the environmental impact of the apparel industry. Two studies investigating the long-term quality change of sports t-shirts during actual wear and simulated wear through repeated laundering have shown that handfeel plays an important role in extending the lifespan of sportswear. This presentation will share insights from these studies and show how the emtec TSA can be used to measure changes in handfeel perception throughout the life of garments.
    11:00 AMBreak
    11:15 AMFrom a Cloud Solution for Color to Virtual Haptic Library: A Digital Database for Haptic Evaluation—Magnus Kanholt, Tailr
    12:00 PMLunch Break
    12:30 PMDigitization of Samples and Integration into an Online Haptic Library: Live Demonstration—Alexander Gruener, emtec Electronic GmbH
    2:00 PMQ&A / Panel Discussion—Day 2 Speakers
    2:30 PMClosing Remarks and Adjourn, Keith Hoover, Black Swan Textiles

  • Moderator and Presenters

    Keith Hoover, President of Black Swan Textiles, addresses manufacturing-focused color and fabric development having implemented digital color management programs for Ralph Lauren, Target, Lands' End, JCPenney, and Under Armour, ultimately leading to a process that eliminated labdips altogether. At Under Armour, Hoover championed the UA Lighthouse, driving digitalization and advanced manufacturing processes to enable local-for-local sourcing. He recently developed BlackOPS Fabric Decoder (BFD), a technology that digitizes fabric and provides comparable benefits to digital color.
    Dr. Mohammad Abu-Rous is a project manager at the department for Textile Fiber Research and Product Development at the Global R&D of Lenzing AG, Austria. He studied Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Vienna and the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His field of activities at Lenzing includes the development of new fibers and product developments, and the design of praxis-near testing of textile thermos-physiological comfort, hygiene, haptics and surface characterization.
    Lars Claussen is a trained textile engineer who received an MSc from Hochschule Niederrhein and a double bachelor's degree from Hochschule Niederrhein and Tianjin Polytechnic University. Before starting his PhD, he gained industrial research experience in the field of textile auxiliaries. Lars Claussen joined the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre at Loughborough School of Design and Creative Arts in April 2020, where he is doing a PhD in collaboration with Adidas. His research focuses on sportswear, testing methods, quality perception, and sustainability.
    Alexander Gruener studied economics at the University of Leipzig and joined emtec in 2011 as the sales area manager for North America, China, Australia and New Zealand. Today, he is responsible for the global marketing for emtec Electronic and the business development, e.g. introduction of emtec test devices to the textile industry worldwide.
    Yordan Kyosev has a M.Sc. in Textile Engineering (1996), M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Informatics (2002), PhD in Textile Engineering (2002); Habiltation (D.Sc.) in Textile Technology (2019). 2006-2019 Professor for Textile Materials, Textile Technology and Quality Management at HS Niederrhein, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Since 2019 Professor and Chair Holder the chair “Development and Assembly of Textile Products”, TU Dresden, Germany
    Stephen Payne graduated from Clemson University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Textile Chemistry. His interest in the development of functional formulations started with antimicrobial treatments, that were designed to last the life of the garment. Which led Stephen to working in production, for the re-development and the creation of each application bath, to now have the research privilege to design functional finishes for Cotton.
    Nazli Uren is a textile engineer with a PhD degree in physical testing of textiles and comfort assessments. She has several studies investigating conventional and novel test methods and measurement techniques for characterising surface and mechanical properties of textile structures.

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