New technology to nail cheap textile imitations

September 18th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 18 (IANS) Cheaper imitations of high-value fabrics have spelt ruin for many established textile brands. Imitations are so good that it is difficult to tell the genuine from the fake.Not any longer, thanks to a new technology, Verifi TT, developed jointly by AgResearch and DatatraceDNA. It is set to nail copycat manufacturers who pass off imitations as the real thing.

AgResearch manager Peter Ingham spoke of countless incidents where high-end brand garments or fabric were replaced by cheaper imitations, leading to damaged reputations and, in some cases, lawsuits.

Ingham said while some other technologies are available to identify the origins of fibres and fabric, they are expensive and destructive because they mostly involve cutting and analysing the fabric.

It also requires specialised skill and time consuming, expensive lab testing whereas the Verifi TT can be operated by anybody. “And it’s 100 percent safe for use in all textile applications,” he added.

Another AgResearch scientist, Peter Brorens, said with this new technology, fabric or yarn can be made containing a unique customer-distinct tracer fibre, reports Sciencealert.

This tracer fibre is added early in the normal textile processing sequence in minute quantities - around 300 grams per tonne of conventional textile fibre. “The tracer material and the handheld scanner can be coded uniquely for each customer,” he explained.

“By scanning the Verifi TT hand-held reader over the fabric or yarn, it can detect this tracer and then verify the authenticity of the fabric. The Verifi TT tracer itself is invisible to the eye because of the minute quantities used.”

The test can be applied at all points along the value chain, including the retailer’s shelf.

The system also has promising applications in textile labels.

A label containing Verifi TT tracer in a garment can be quickly scanned to check its authenticity.

AgResearch has trialed this technology in the textile industry. Companies from China, Germany, Italy, the US and Australia have expressed strong interest in this technology.

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