Defects to look for during a fabric inspection

Fabric flaws should never be discovered in any of your goods by your customers. These flaws will never surprise you or your customers if you are aware of them. This is why fabric inspection is imperative.

When you visit your supplier’s factory as a clothing importer, you’re probably thinking of one thing: customer satisfaction when they purchase an item from your line. 

There is, nevertheless, a snag.

Your supplier’s “priced” fabric does not meet your requirements. In reality, it has numerous flaws. Numerous defects, ranging from drop stitches to color coloring variance, are discovered during fabric inspection. 

The severity of the defects indicates that the clothing maker would have to cut around the flaws to use the fabric, resulting in material waste.

In the inspection industry, the 4-point method is the industry standard for measuring fabric consistency. This system assigns penalty points to a roll of fabric based on the size, consistency, and severity of the defect. 

However, before you can use the 4-point method, you must first consider the various types of fabric defects to search for.

  • Horizontal lines
  • Shade variation
  • Dirt/stains
  • Dyeing/printing/dye traces that are uneven
  • Stitches should be dropped

Horizontal lines

The irregular lines that run from side to side characterize this fabric defect. 

Horizontal lines are commonly caused by the following factors: 

  • The bobbin has flaws (the barrel used to hold the yarn in place) 
  • Thread stress that isn’t consistent
  • Horizontal lines: causes and prevention 

It’s easy to prevent horizontal lines from appearing in cloth. Replace the bobbin on a regular basis, and monitor thread tension and positioning regularly.

Shade variation

Shade variation, one of the more visible visual defects found on raw textiles, is characterized as a difference in shade and color depth from roll to roll or piece to piece. Fabric shade variation is caused by:

  • Fabrics used in manufacturing are mixed. 
  • Variations in the manufacturing process in terms of time and pace 
  • Cutting, bundling, and/or numbering errors 
  • Fabric stretching that is uneven 
  • Shade variation: what causes it and how to avoid it

Shade variation can be effectively avoided by using the same base material and collection of parameters for each output lot. 

When visiting a factory that produces raw textiles, make sure employees are just mixing garments of the same color and not cutting and bundling inefficiently. By properly counting textile forms, you can avoid accidentally mixing cuts of different shades.


Stains, which are characterized as spots or patches of varying colors, are fairly common among dyed textiles. Textiles are never completely stain-free since stains can happen at any time during or after processing if they aren’t stored in a safe environment.

Stains may appear on fabrics from a variety of different sources. Sources include dirt from the factory floor, oil from machines, and dyes. Stains are relatively easy to spot and avoid as long as fabric quality is monitored by suppliers.

  • Dirt/stain causes and avoidance 

Your manufacturer can avoid stains during manufacturing by cleaning production machines and machinery on a regular basis to ensure that no unwanted oils, grease, or dyes end up on the textile. 

Stop post-production stains by wrapping finished rolls of fabric in plastic and keeping them in a different area away from the dying area.

Dyeing/printing/dye traces that are uneven 

Dye marks are irregular patches on raw textiles’ surfaces. Dye marks are commonly caused by:

  • The base fabric is of poor quality. 
  • Agents of leveling that aren’t up to par 
  • Incorrect pH during the manufacturing process 
  • Entanglement in the dyeing machine 
  • Dyeing/printing/dye marks: causes and prevention 

Preventing dye marks may be as simple as ensuring there are no initial issues with the base fabric before stitching. Any problems that go unnoticed now will show up later in the manufacturing process.

Other precautions include maintaining the proper pH level, using the proper dying agent, and using a backup power generator to ensure that production machines do not break down while in operation.

Stitches should be dropped

Drop stitches are holes or missing stitches that occur spontaneously in the fabric and are one of the most common quality issues found in raw textiles.

The following are the most common causes of drop stitches: 

  • Yarn carriers are set up incorrectly. 
  • Knots and slubs 
  • Overfeeding or underfeeding of the yarn 
  • During the manufacturing process, there was some loose stitching. 
  • Drop stitching causes and how to avoid it 

Drop stitches can be avoided by checking the yarn carrier and all other machines during development to make sure they’re adjusted to the correct tension.

This problem can be resolved by resetting the template chain.


If you’re using fabric to make low-cost promotional t-shirts or high-end furniture upholstery, knowing the different types of fabric defects will help you avoid them. You will ensure fabric quality meets your expectations by learning how to recognize numerous fabric defects and their causes.

Consider establishing a defect tolerance for fabric quality issues in a QC checklist prior to production. Setting up a mutually agreed-upon framework for recognizing and classifying fabric defects will help you avoid future conflicts with your supplier.

Try using a third-party inspection company like Inspectaman for fabric inspection if you’re tired of dealing with quality problems and product returns. By devoting time and effort to resolving problems and preventing potential fabric defects, you will ensure that the product meets company and consumer expectations.

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