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High-grade textiles (e.g. Cashmere, Pashmina and other natural fibers) are nowadays often counterfeited. Cashmeres shawls labeled as „100% Pashmina” can be made out of almost 100% polyester or other synthetic fibers. For this reason, a tool to proof the fabric composition declared on the label is very desirable.
Investigation tools for textiles known from prior art are either based on a microscopic optical evaluation or on chemical analysis. These two methods imply respectively the use of expensive equipment and a destructive analysis of a textile sample. Both are not affordable in the framework of routine product qualification procedures. A fast, easy-to-implement, low priced and non-destructive method to analyze the presence of a particular fiber, especially cashmere fibers, in textile items is not offered by the actual state of the art.
The object of this invention is a reliable method to determine the type and the nature of a fiber. The characteristic diffraction pattern of the fiber, recorded with an USB camera, enables the determination of the thickness, the surface structure as well as the grade of transparency and eventually the internal structure of the fiber. On the base of this information a reliable identification of the fiber material is provided.
Keywords: Kaschmir, Fälschung, Produktpiraterie, Stoff, Fake, Polyester, Grenzbeschlagnahme, Material, Cashmere, Pashmina, counterfeit, piracy of products, border confiscation, textile
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The image resulting from the measurement of a Cashmere fiber (Figure c) is characterized by thin long bright lines over and under the diffraction plane and it is clearly distinguishable from those of the other synthetic or natural fibers.
The method object of this invention is easy to implement and do not require the use of an expensive and complex equipment. The setup to measure includes a laser light source, a device to mount the fiber, a camera sensor to record the diffraction pattern and a processing unit (e.g. a laptop). The machine is designed to fit in a suitcase in order to be available for measurements on site performed by customs authorities or quality inspectors. The equipment could be further developed and customized in the framework of cooperation with an interested manufacturer.
A German patent application is pending. On behalf of the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences PROvendis offers licenses and cooperation opportunities to interested companies.
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