What is the Martindale Test?


Developed by J.G Martindale in the 1940’s under the support of the Wool Industries Research Association of England, the Martindale Test is used to check the durability of a fabric to see if it’s got the required abrasion resistance that make it suitable for the various tasks at hand.

How does it work?

The fabric to be tested is placed on to one of the lower plates contained within the Martindale machine. Small discs of either wool or sandpaper are continually rubbed against the test fabric in a Lissajous figure (kind of like a wider figure of eight shape.) While the test is ongoing, the material is checked at multiple intervals throughout to make sure that no wear or tear has occurred to the fabric.

The test is complete when either the fabric tears or there has been a noticeable difference in the appearance of the fabric compared to when the test first began. With most tested fabrics achieving total rubs in the tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands, tests can last for hours and even days.

So why is this important?

When it comes to workwear clothing such as padded workwear trousers, high visibility clothing and any other garments that you rely on to keep you safe in the workplace, durability is paramount. As most jobs can involve rather rigorous activities with garments exposed to an array of machinery, materials and chemicals, the garments need to be made of a fabric that has a high threshold to withstand a bit of wear and tear while still maintaining that high performance you require. The Martindale test ensures that the fabric used in the creation of various workwear and safety clothing is going to provide the wearer with long lasting performance.

Which garments have their fabric tested by the Martindale Test?

The answer is pretty much most workwear garments you can think of. This includes but isn’t exclusive to: