The need for American textile test methods became apparent during the First World War, when the blockade in the Atlantic prevented European dyes from coming to America, and the fledgling American dye manufacturers struggled with providing consistent products.
Louis A. Olney was a professor at the Lowell Textile School and is considered the Founder of AATCC. Olney had been a founding member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a member of the American Chemical Society, involved in higher management at several New England mills, and was editor of the Technical Section of American Dyestuff Reporter.
AATCC was founded at a meeting of 140 men on November 3, 1921, at the Engineer’s Club in Boston, Massachusetts
Local sections of the Association began forming immediately after AATCC was formed.
Proceedings of the Association’s activities were carried in American Dyestuff Reporter until AATCC launched Textile Chemist & Colorist in 1969.
AATCC was housed at the Lowell Textile School until 1963.
AATCC published its first four color fastness test methods in 1923.
AATCC built and moved into the Technical Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina in 1964.
AATCC began conducting test method training programs in 1965. Durable press testing was the most popular training initially offered at the Technical Center.
AATCC symposia began in 1966 at hotels and other venues throughout the US. What to Test for Durable Press was the first AATCC symposium, held in Washington, D.C. in March 1966. A Flock Technology Symposium was held in Washington, D.C. in December 1967.
AATCC first published Textile Chemist & Colorist in January 1969. The cover of the first issue featured a photomicrograph of hand-drawn polypropylene filament.
AATCC launched www.aatcc.org in 1996.
In 1997, AATCC launched a public charitable arm, AATCC Foundation Inc. The Foundation provides scholarships and grants for textile education and research.
In 1999, AATCC purchased American Dyestuff Reporter.
AATCC also began exhibiting at international trade shows in 1999.
In 2000, AATCC established a Mexican office and conducted test method training in Mexico. The satellite office has since been closed.
In 2001, AATCC combined Textile Chemist & Colorist and American Dyestuff Reporter into AATCC Review and received its first of many Apex Awards for Publications Excellence.
AATCC Proficiency Testing Programs were launched in 2002.The Membership Directory went online for easy use by all members that same year.
In 2002, the first major renovation of Technical Center included new ceilings and lighting, a new HVAC system and boiler, refurbished lab counters and cabinets, and a new roof. The renovations spanned a two year period.
AATCC launched International Test Method Training Programs in 2003, beginning in India. The program now includes 30 trainers in 13 countries.
Test method training CDs were launched in 2003.
AATCC began offering its UV Calibration Program in 2004.
In 2004 AATCC made major changes to its Constitution, transitioning the 50-plus member governing Council to an approximate 20-member Board of Directors. Three interest groups—Chemical Applications, Concept 2 Consumer, and Materials —were also created and incorporated into the governance. .
The online Buyer’s Guide and downloadable test methods were introduced to the website in 2004.
For the first time in 2004, AATCC co-located the International Conference with the American Textile Machinery International (ATME-I) show in Greenville, S.C.
In October 2004, the first issue of the online newsletter AATCC News was published.
In November 2004, sale of the the AATCC Technical Manual in a searchable CD format was approved.
In that same year, AATCC agreed to be one of the four sponsoring organizations for the online peer-reviewed Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics (JEFF).
AATCC purchased the Computer Integrated Textile Design Association (CITDA) in 2005 and launched the C2C Student Design Competition.
The Indian Section, centered around Mumbai, became the first local AATCC section outside the US.
AATCC made available all journal articles from 1969 to the present available in a searchable, online archive. The journal itself became available in digital as well as printed format.
The Materials Engineering Competition began in 2005.
In 2006, an agreement allowed China Textile Leader to translate and reprint articles from AATCC Review.
A lower priced developing nation membership was developed in 2006, incorporating the digital magazine.
The China Textile Information Center was contracted to translate the AATCC Technical Manual into Mandarin, print, and sell the manual in China.
AATCC dedicated the William R. Martin, Jr. Walkway at the Technical Center at the end of 2007. Proceeds from inscribed bricks support AATCC Foundation’s charitable activities.
The second international section, the Kongu section, began around Tirupur, India in March 2008. This section was later reabsorbed by the India section.
AATCC approved an international student chapter at SASMIRA in Mumbai, India in November 2008. The group officially launched in early 2009.
Web-based Textile Fundamentals modules are offered in conjunction with the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University.
In 2008, AATCC released Color Vision and Technology. The book was written by Rolf Kuehni and published in CD format.
AATCC launched another international student chapter at UNMSM in Lima, Peru in 2009.