Diana WymanAugust 17, 2021 AATCC Newsletter

AATCC TM212-2021, Test Method for Fiber Fragment Release During Home Laundering, provides a standardized method for quantifying fiber fragment shedding in the ongoing challenge to combat aquatic pollution. These fragments are sometimes referred to as “microfibers” or “microplastics.”

filtered fiber fragments

AATCC TM212 was developed to provide a means to determine the mass of fiber fragments released in an accelerated laundering setting.   This method provides the global industry with a consistent and uniform test method to follow.

AATCC TM212 defines standard nomenclature with the terms fiber fragment and microfiber, which address discrepancies that have long been a source of confusion for many who work to tackle pollution.

Originally assumed to be a plastics problem, natural fibers are also appearing in marine life’s food cycle. AATCC TM212 is not limited to man-made fibers, as it can be used to determine the fiber shedding potential of natural fibers and blends.

The standard is the result of collaboration, not only within AATCC committee RA100 Global Sustainability, but among stakeholders from several organizations including The Microfibre Consortium, headquartered in the UK, and the Cross Industry Agreement of European signatories. The outgoing Chair of RA100, Heather Elliot, extends her sincere gratitude. She says, “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. We can’t thank you enough! Here’s to measuring our mess so we can figure out how to clean it up!”

Filtered fiber fragmentsThe incoming Chair of RA100, Shulong Li of Milliken, goes on to add, ” small fiber 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.”

Although unofficial and proprietary methods have been in use, AATCC TM212 is the first global standard published to address the issue of quantifying fiber fragment release. The test method was developed and approved by consensus from a diverse group of experts from around the world and across related industries.

AATCC TM212-2021 is now available for purchase at https://members.aatcc.org/store/tm212/3573/. It will also be included in the AATCC 2022 Manual of International Test Methods and Procedures to be released January 2022.


About AATCC: AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 50 countries throughout the world.

Media Contact: Erika Simmons, AATCC Technical Director; +1.919.549.3222; simmonse@aatcc.org


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