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How to evaluate the results of a Taber abrasion test on textiles?

Sometimes the results from the Taber Abrasion Test are not consistent and there can be many reasons for this. In the field of material (fabric) evaluation, understanding wear indicators like pilling or color change can be confusing. Determining the appropriate sample size, selecting the right abrasive wheels, and interpreting wear indices can leave even experienced professionals confused. 

But understanding Taber Abrasion Test results can be simple. One way is to count Cycles to a Specific endpoint. In this, you note when fabric shows noticeable wear. Then, you record Loss in Strength, Yarn Breakage, Loss of Coating or Gloss, and Color Change. But there are more methods as well! 

In this guide, we will make it easy to interpret your Taber Test results and we will also help you get accurate results for the durability of textiles.

Understanding Taber Abrasion Test Results for Fabrics


The Taber Abrasion Test is a widely used method to check how well different materials can resist wear and tear. It uses a Taber Abrasion Tester machine. Created by Edward Taber in the 1930s, this test is still important today in many industries like textiles and automotive to measure how durable materials are. Here’s How it works: 

  • Sample Mounting: Firstly, the material sample is securely placed on a rotating turntable of the Taber tester. 
  • Abrasive Wheels: Position the two abrasive wheels on the sample. You must choose the right abrasive wheels and weights based on the material and test standards (e.g., ASTM D3884, ISO 5470).
  • Abrasion Process: As the turntable rotates, the wheels rub against the sample for a set number of cycles (often 1000). 
  • Measurement: After the test, visually inspect the sample for wear signs like pilling, roughness, or color loss. The measurements of the sample Weight before and after is also important. Overall, calculate mass loss, and measure thickness loss with a micrometre. 

As you get the main idea of the Taber Abrasion Test, it’s important to understand it in detail. By knowing the ins and outs of this procedure, you will be effectively able to evaluate how durable a fabric is. Read further to know about the sample preparation, the procedure, and the results. 

Guidelines to Follow for Sample in Tabwear Test

Firstly let’s talk about what sample size you need. Aside from the size, you need to consider some factors, let’s get into it! 

Ideal Sample Size Requirements  for Tabwear Test

What is the sample size for the tabwear test? The standard sample size for the Taber wear test is a circular piece of sample with a diameter of 100 mm (4 inches). This size is ideal as it ensures the fabric covers the entire testing platform and you get uniform abrasion across the surface. However, variations may be required based on specific standards or fabric types, such as a 114 mm diameter for ISO 5470-1. 

Variations in Sample Size: Adjustments to the standard size may be necessary depending on specific test protocols or the type of fabric being tested. It is essential to follow guidelines provided by standards such as:

  • ASTM D4060 and ASTM D3884: In this, the sample is recommended to be of 100 mm disc or square specimen. The maximum thickness should be 6.3 mm.
  • ISO 5470-1: This requires six test pieces each with a diameter of 114 mm, cut from non-adjacent, randomly distributed positions in the coated fabric sample.

Note! It’s important to refer to specific standards for detailed sample size requirements to ensure accuracy and reliability in your testing. Also, use appropriate cutting methods for rigid and flexible fabrics. 

  • Key Factors for Preparing Fabric Samples for Abrasion Tests

What factors should be considered when preparing a Taber wear abrasion test sample? Do not forget that Mounting technique matters! Properly mount the sample to avoid wrinkles or slackness. Then, consider these on the sample as well as the Taber Abrasion Tester: 

  • Sample Cleaning: 

Clean samples to remove any dirt, grease, fingerprints, or other contaminants. Use isopropyl alcohol or a soft cloth if solvents or cleaners affect the material.

  • Fabric orientation

Ensure consistent cutting relative to the fabric’s weave or knit pattern. The way you cut the fabric matters. Make sure all samples are cut in the same direction relative to the fabric’s weave or knit pattern to keep tests consistent.

  • Sample conditioning

Condition samples for at least 24 hours in the test environment before testing. For organic materials, a 48-hour conditioning period is recommended. Also make sure drying and curing conditions are suitable for the material, as heat and moisture can affect physical properties. Conduct all tests in a standard lab environment of 23 ±2°C with 50 ±5% humidity. (It’s important! Read under-given content to know why it’s crucial for accurate results)

  • Material-specific preparation

The preparation process varies depending on the material. Following industry practices and specific test guidelines ensures accurate and repeatable results. For Example:

  • For organic coatings (following ASTM D4060), you need to apply a uniform coating on a flat, rigid panel. The panel should have surfaces that are parallel to each other. The coating then needs to be cured under the agreed temperature and humidity conditions.
  • For coated fabrics (following ASTM D3389), you need to make sure the test specimen doesn’t have any holes, blisters, or other flaws. This prevents the material from wearing out prematurely during the test. 
  • Abrasive wheel selection

Choose the right abrasive wheel (like CS-10, H-22, or H-18) based on the fabric type and test requirements. The type of wheel affects the level of abrasion, so it should be consistent across tests. 

For example, The CS-10 Calibrate wheel offers a medium abrasive action for evaluating a variety of materials like coatings, plastics, textiles, leather, and paper, and requires refacing with the S-11 refacing disc. You’ll know this according to the taber test device you have. 

Steps to Evaluate Taber Test Results on Textiles

Understanding the results of the Taber Abrasion Test is crucial for assessing the durability and quality of textiles. After you put the fabric sample on the Taber Abrasion Tester. 

The test is done by having the fabric rub against a pair of grinding wheels while a certain amount of weight is applied. Once the test is done, Evaluating Taber Test results for textiles can seem complex–But breaking it down into simple steps can make it more manageable. 

Here’s a detailed explanation of how to understand the results from the Taber Test properly:

  • Step: 1 Counting Cycles 

One common way to evaluate the results is by counting how many cycles (rotations) it takes to reach a certain point. Notice the time when the fabric shows noticeable wear. You need to note down: 

  • Loss in Strength: How much weaker the fabric has become.
  • Yarn Breakage: Whether the threads in the fabric have broken.
  • Loss of Coating or Gloss: Any reduction in the surface finish or shine.
  • Color Change: Any fading or discoloration like Change in gloss, Color loss, and Other changes in appearance. 

For visual assessments, compare the worn-put fabric (abraded sample) to a standard sample using a visual grading scale (e.g., a five-step scale) or pass/fail criteria.

  • Step: 2 Measuring Weight Loss 

Another method is to weigh the fabric before and after the test to see how much material was worn away. Here’s how to do it:

  • Weigh the fabric before the test (Weight A).
  • Weigh it again after the test (Weight B).
  • Calculate Weight Loss (L) = A-B.
  • Where A is the weight of the specimen before abrasion and B is the weight of the sample after abrasion.

Note! Make sure to clean the sample thoroughly to remove any loose particulates before weighing.

  • Step: 3 Calculating the Wear Index 

The Taber wear index shows how fast the fabric wears down. It’s calculated by measuring weight loss per 1,000 cycles of abrasion. 

  • Use the formula: Wear Index (I)= (A-B)x1000(÷)C. In this:
  • A = Weight before the test
  • B = Weight after the test
  • C = Number of test cycles

A lower wear index means the fabric is more resistant to abrasion.

  • Step: 4 Measure the Volume Loss 

If you’re comparing fabrics with different densities (specific gravities), adjust the wear index to reflect true wear resistance:

  • Corrected Wear Index= I ÷ Specific gravity

Note! Ensure test parameters, including wheel selection and load, are consistent when comparing materials with different specific gravities. 

  • Step: 5 Checking Wear Cycles Per Mil 

Measure this just for coated fabrics. This shows how many cycles it takes to wear through a coating of known thickness. Just follow the formula W=D÷T. (D is the number of cycles to wear through the coating and T is coating thickness in mils)

Other Textile Fabric Testing Methods

    • Percentage Loss in Breaking Strength: To find out how much strength the fabric has lost, Use the formula AR%=100x X-Y÷X. Overall, AR% = abrasion resistance percentage, X = breaking force before abrasion, in grams (g) or pounds (lb), and Y = breaking force after abrasion, in grams (g) or pounds (lb).
    • Measuring Depth of Wear: To find how deep the wear is, use a thickness gauge and measure the fabric thickness at four points before the test. Repeat after the test. Lastly, calculate the average thickness difference.
  • Residual Breaking Force: This technique measures the effective strength of the fabric after abrasion, as specified in ASTM D5034 and D5035. Adjust the referenced distance between clamps to 25 mm and position the abrasion path midway between the clamps. Report the breaking load to the nearest 0.5 kg.
  • Average Breaking Strength: Calculate the average strength of both abraded and unabraded samples to find out how much strength the fabric has lost.

Best Practices for Operators in Wear Testing

What should operators be aware of when fabrics are tabwear tested? From the alignment of abrasive wheels to maintaining and calibrating the Taber abraser, there are several important considerations for operators to keep in mind. Don’t know much about it? Let us help you out: 

Calibrating Your Taber Abraser

Keeping your Taber abraser in top shape is important. Regular calibration makes sure the machine gives you accurate and reliable results every time. It’s best to follow the instructions from the manufacturer and the standard testing methods when calibrating the Taber abraser. Here’s How to generally calibrate the Taber abraser and why it’s important:

  • Adjusting Your Taber Abraser 

Taber Industries offers a calibration service for the Rotary Platform Abraser (Abrader) using a special system to measure important parts. We recommend letting skilled technicians check the instrument against set limits and making any needed changes to make sure it meets the required standards. If they find any issues, they will let the customer know before doing any repairs.

For international customers, Taber also provides a Calibration Verification Kit for the Rotary Platform Abraser. This kit, while not a replacement for regular calibration, can help identify any potential problems. It also shows if the instrument needs to be recalibrated or repaired before its next scheduled service. The kit includes instructions for important checks and allows operators to monitor:

  • Proper wheel alignment
  • Proper wheel tracking
  • Irregular bearing wear
  • Vacuum suction force

Why is it important? Calibration is crucial because the Taber Abraser machine has many interconnected parts. If one part is not working correctly, it can greatly impact the test results. 

For instance, if the abrasive wheels are not properly aligned, they might rub against the surface in different ways, which can affect the accuracy of the test. Some key sources of error include under-given factors that Operators Need to Know About Taber Wear Tests:

Key Points for Operators During Fabric Abrasion Testing

Even seemingly simple tests with the Taber Abraser involve complex interactions among components. Operators must be aware of the following factors:

  • Misaligned Abraser Arm:

    If the arm is not aligned correctly, it can change the wear area by about 1000 sq. mm and reduce the wheel overlap from 100% to 65%. Make sure the wheels are properly aligned. If not, each wheel will create different abrasion paths, affecting up to 50% of the total abraded area.

  • Worn Wheel Bearings:

    While calibrating, it’s important to ensure wheel bearings are in good condition. Worn bearings can either move too much or stop the wheel from rotating properly. This can lead to more aggressive testing, making products fail too soon, and possibly being rejected.

  • Vacuum System Efficiency:

    Regularly clean or replace vacuum filters and bags, and clean the vacuum pick-up nozzle to ensure proper debris removal and keep the test accurate. If you don’t do this, debris can build up and change the test type and results.

  • Wheel Condition:

    Wheels that are rounded or have a raised edge (Crowned) can change the test results. This is because the rounded wheels increase the pressure and reduce the contact area between the sample and the surface. This can then lead to the sample failing the test earlier than it should. Use the same wheel type consistently throughout the testing process.

  • Table Runout Issues:

    Keep in mind that if the table wobbles, it changes the wheel contact area during rotation. Even small deviations (like 0.035″ runout) can greatly affect results, causing uneven wear patterns. 

  • Load Consistency:

    The abraser arm applies a standard 250-gram weight that can be adjusted to 500 or 1000 grams using extra weights. Using the right weight is important for accurate testing. To apply the load, use the marked extra weights for each arm separately to maintain consistent conditions.

  • Other Consistency Guidelines for Bearing Tests:

    Keep test conditions like load, speed, and cycles consistent for accurate results. Throughout the testing process, keep a close eye on things and make sure everything is positioned properly and working as it should. If you notice any issues, deal with them right away.

Common Fabric Test Standards for The Abrasion Test

In textile testing, abrasion testing is key to ensuring fabrics can handle everyday wear and tear. These three are common methods with official standards:

  • Martindale Method (ISO 12947): In this, Circular or rectangular fabric samples undergo rubbing against an abrasive fabric in a specific pattern. The operator measures fabric durability and resistance to wear and tear. It uses a complex rubbing motion to simulate real-world damage. Martindale Abrasion Test is gentler than the Taber test but limited to textiles.
  • Taber Abraser Test: Fabric samples rotate against abrasive wheels. We Evaluate various wear modes like pilling and color loss. It can simulate different types of wear based on wheel material.


  • Wyzenbeek Method: The Fabrics are rubbed back and forth against an abrasive surface. This determines fabric strength and resistance to wear. Operators run the test until there is noticeable wear in the area being rubbed or until two yarns break.

Note! Associated Standards are ASTM D3389, ISO 5470-1, and JIS L 1096 for Detail abrasion resistance testing protocols for different fabric types.

Also, ASTM D3884 and ISO 5470-1 provide guidelines for coated fabric abrasion resistance. Lastly, ASTM D496 gives standard method for Martindale abrasion testing of textile fabrics.

Test  Description  Key focus  Best for  Standards 
Martindale Method Rubbing fabric against an abrasive surface Overall abrasion resistance Textiles, home textiles, and garments ISO 12947, ASTM D4966-2010, and more 
Taber Abraser Test Fabric rubbing against rotating abrasive Comprehensive assessment of wear modes Textiles and coated fabrics ASTM D3389, ISO 5470-1, JIS L 1096, and ASTM D3884
Wyzenbeek Method The back-and-forth rubbing against abrasive Resistance to repeated rubbing Upholstery fabrics and textiles ASTM D4157

Tips for Comparing Taber Test Results on Fabrics

    • Factors to Consider When Comparing Taber Test Results:

  • Yarn Characteristics

The type of yarn used is really important for how well the fabric can handle rubbing and wear. Yarns that are twisted a lot can become stiff, which makes them less able to resist getting worn down. Yarns that are not twisted enough can be too loose, and that also makes them less durable. So finding the right balance of how the yarn is twisted and made is key to getting the best abrasion resistance.

  • Fabric Structure

Next, The fabric’s shape and design come into play–Thicker fabrics usually do a better job at resisting flat abrasion, while thinner fabrics are better at resisting bending abrasion and edge folds. Fabrics with a high number of threads running lengthwise and widthwise, and with short loose threads, are more resistant to abrasion. The weight of the fabric per square meter is also significant, with heavier fabrics generally showing better abrasion resistance.

  • Fabric Finishes

Fabric finishes also influence abrasion resistance.  For example, using a process called hot melt resin finishing can change the fabric’s characteristics, making it more or less resistant to wear and tear when it’s rubbed against different surfaces with varying amounts of force.

  • Material Type and Properties

It’s important to consider the type of material and its qualities. Materials differ in how well they can resist being worn down, with nylon being one of the toughest and glass fiber being one of the weakest. The material’s strength and how its surface can make a big difference in how well it can resist abrasion. Check out our table to understand more! 

  • Intended Application

Considering the intended application of the fabric also is important for guiding the testing approach. Fabrics intended for high-traffic areas require more rigorous testing compared to those used in low-impact environments. Make sure to follow certain rules set by the industry, like ASTM, ISO, or DIN, that match how the fabric will be used.

  • Abrasion Mechanism

Different materials undergo different types of wear and tear. When doing a Taber test, it’s vital to pick the right abrasive wheel based on the material. For example, for delicate fabrics like silk or lightweight synthetics, it’s better to use a softer wheel like the CS-10 to avoid too much damage. But for tougher fabrics like cotton or canvas, a more aggressive wheel like the H-22 or H-18 might be needed. 

Your choice of wheel should match what you’re testing for. The CS-10 is good for checking surface wear and pilling, while the rougher H-22 or H-18 is better for assessing resistance to scratches or punctures.

  • Environmental Conditions

Maintaining the right environmental conditions during Taber abrasion tests is important for getting accurate results. Why is it important to consider environmental conditions when ensuring reliable Taber abrasion test results? That’s because this helps replicate real-world situations and prevents factors like temperature and humidity from impacting the measurements. Keeping the testing conditions consistent allows you to fairly compare different materials and make better decisions when developing new products.

  • Comparing Abrasion Test Results Across Fabrics: 

What should operators consider when comparing the results of the Taber abraser test on different fabrics? Here’s an example of how to compare the results of the Taber abraser test on different fabrics: 

Fabric Material Type Martindale Cycles Wyzenbeek Double Rubs Taber Cycles Results 
Denim Natural 8000+ 12000+ 3000+ Heavyweight, extremely durable, and gets better with washing.
Canvas Natural (Cotton/Linen) 5500 N/A  1500-2000 Rugged and heavy-duty fabric 
Cotton Broadcloth Natural  2500 6000 1000 Durable and resistant 
Polyester Synthetic 3500 8000 1500 Durable
Nylon  Synthetic 4500 8000 1500-2000 Strong and great for outdoor gear
Wool  Natural 1000 3000 500 Soft and prone to pilling.
Linen Canvas Natural 5500 N/A 1500-2000 Strong and durable, especially when wet. 

Our takeaway: 

  • Natural Fibers: Denim and canvas show high abrasion resistance, with denim outperforming most other natural fibers.

  • Synthetic Fibers: Synthetic fibers like Nylon and Ballistic Nylon are engineered for high durability and specific uses.


By carefully following standard steps and considering factors like sample prep and environment, accurate results are guaranteed. To evaluate the test outcomes, simply count cycles, weigh the fabric, calculate the wear index, check volume loss, and note wear cycles per mil for coated fabrics. That’s it! 


  1. What is Taber’s abrasion measurement?

Taber Wear Index shows how quickly something wears out. It’s found by measuring how much weight is lost per thousand cycles of rubbing. A lower index means better resistance to rubbing.

  1. What size sample is needed?

A square sample of 100 mm with a hole in the center of 6.5 mm is recommended. The thickness should be 6.5 mm, but with an extension nut, samples up to 12.7 mm thick can be tested (a 9.5 mm center hole is needed).

  1. How is the abrasion test determined?

An abrasion test checks how hard materials are. It measures how much they wear out when rubbed against steel balls. It’s called the Los Angeles abrasion test.

  1. How to remove wear debris during the test?

The Taber Abraser has a vacuum system to clean debris from the specimen’s surface. The vacuum should be set at 100% and the nozzle gap should be 3 ± 1 mm. Operators should monitor to ensure the vacuum removes all debris.

  1. Can abrasion tests vary?

Depending on the material, the abrasive wheels may change during testing. If wear debris sticks to the wheels instead of being removed, they should be resurfaced more often. Monitoring the mass loss every 50 cycles can help decide when to resurface.


For more information on textile testing methods/standards
or textile testing machines, contact us:
What’s App: +86 180 2511 4082
Tel: +86 769 2329 4842
Fax: +86 769 2329 4860
Email: [email protected]

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