Intertek Adds New Testing Services for Activewear, Leathergoods

Intertek, the Chicago-based quality-assurance provider, has expanded its textile testing services to meet the needs of the makers of activewear and leather goods.

For activewear makers, Intertek can now evaluate performance properties such as evaporation/drying rates, water-vapor transmission rates and antibacterial/antifungal properties. (The makers of furniture and outdoor fabrics are also looking to measure these properties.)

To provide the new services, Intertek invested in new equipment at its textile testing laboratory in Arlington Heights, Ill. The lab now has new machines to evaluate a fabric’s performance properties, including water-vapor permeability and drying rates. The lab can now gauge how performance fabrics respond to changes in temperature and humidity to verify fabric breathability, quick-dry properties and antibacterial qualities. The Arlington Heights lab was already testing activewear for wicking, windproofing and UV protection properties. Antimicrobial properties can be tested at Intertek’s antimicrobial center in Columbus, Ohio.

“At Intertek, our priority has always been providing our customers with innovative solutions to help support functional and performance claims of their products in order to improve their competitive position,” said Gregg Tiemann, Intertek’s executive vice president. “Bringing these textile capabilities to the U.S. and building off our existing textile services will help customers in the region leverage our services and expertise in order to bring in-demand fabrics to the industry more quickly and easily.”

For the leather goods sector, Intertek recently launched the AP/APEOs Quick Test service to help textiles and leather-goods makers identify harmful alkylphenols (AP) and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) chemicals, which are commonly used in leather production during the dyeing and wet finishing processes. There has been growing awareness of the hazards of AP and APEO to human health and the environment.

Intertek’s AP/APEOs Quick Test can detect the existence of AP/APEOs in water-soluble chemical samples, which allows companies to identify these chemicals early in the manufacturing process rather than later in the mass production phase, according to an Intertek statement.

The AP/APEOs Quick Test is part of Intertek’s chemical testing services, which include compliance with the Restricted Substances List (RSL), the EU REACH and California’s Proposition 65.

“Leveraging Intertek’s market-leading expertise in chemical testing and its in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the textiles and leather industry, we developed the AP/APEOs Quick Test as a practical solution for our customers,” said Calvin Yam, Intertek’s senior vice president of global softlines. “Our AP/APEOs Quick Test offers an added layer of assurance throughout the supply chain as a result of the detection limit being lower than what is set by NGOs and industry organizations.”

Intertek operates a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and employs more than 42,000 people in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit