Apparel / Garment Quality Inspection System | Four Point System

Fabric Quality Inspection:
Inspection in reference to the apparel industry can be defined as the visual examination or review of raw materials (like fabric, sewing threads, buttons, trims, etc). It is an important aspect followed prior to garment manufacturing to avoid rejects due to fabric quality and facing with unexpected loss in manufacturing.

The quality of a final garment depends on the quality of a fabric when it is received as a roll. Even the most outstanding manufacturing methods cannot compensate for defective materials. Normally, we inspect 10% of the rolls we receive and evaluate them based on a four-point system. This way, we can avoid fabric related quality problems before it is put into production. Normally four system are used for inspection of finished garments.
  1. 4 point system
  2. 10 point system
  3. Graniteville "78" system.
  4. Dallas system.
But among them four point system is widely used. Now a short description of 4 point inspection system is given below.
Apparel inspection
Four Point System:
The 4-Point System, also called the American Apparel Manufacturers (AAMA) point-grading system for determining fabric quality, is widely used by producers of apparel fabrics and is endorsed by the AAMA as well as the ASQC (American Society or Quality Control).

The 4-Point System assigns 1, 2, 3 and 4 penalty points according to the size and significance of the defect. No more than 4 penalty points can be assigned for any single defect. Defect can be in either length or width direction, the system remains the same. Only major defects are considered. No penalty points are assigned to minor defects.

In this system, one should inspect at least 10 per cent of the total rolls in the shipment and make sure to select at least one roll of each colour way. Fabric defects are assigned points based on the following:
Size of defect
3 inches or less
1 points
Over 3 but not over 6
2 points
Over 6 but nor over 9
3 points
Over 9 inches
4 points
Total defect points per 100 square yards of fabric are calculated and the acceptance criteria is generally not more than 40 penalty points. Fabric rolls containing more than 40 points are considered "seconds".

The formula to calculate penalty points per 100 square yards is given by:

= (Total points scored in the roll * 3600) / Fabric width in inches * Total yards inspected

The following are noteworthy points for this system:
  • No more than 4 penalty points can be assigned for any single defect.
  • The fabric is graded regardless of the end-product.
  • This system makes no provision for the probability of minor defects.
  • 4 point system is most widely used system in apparel industry as it is easy to teach and learn.
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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