Random Tumble Pilling Tester

Random Tumble Pilling Tester


Standards ASTM D3512, JIS L 1076, DIN 53867
Width 530 mm (21 inch)
Depth 380 mm (15 inch)
Height 750 mm (30 inch)
Power 220/110 V, 50/60 Hz
Size of Testing cylinder Dia145mm
Rotation speed 1200r/min

Random Tumble Pilling Tester, to determine the pilling and fizzing characteristics of textile fabrics. Random Tumble Pilling Tester uses stainless steel impellers that rotate within individually lit aluminum chambers constantly tumbling test fabrics against cork liners for a pre-determined time controlled by a timer and audible alarm.


Compressed air is also injected into the chamber to assist in the tumbling action. With 2 or 4 pilling test chambers. Laboratory standard compressed air supply is required.


Optional order

  • Cork Liner (Pack of 50)
  • Cotton Sliver (pack)
  • Photographic Standards (Set of 5)



  • This test method covers the determination of resistance to the formation of pills and other related surface changes on textile fabrics. The method utilizes the Random Tumble Pilling Tester. The procedure is generally applicable to all types of woven and knitted apparel fabrics.
    • Note:- For other methods of testing the pilling resistance of textiles, refer to the following ASTM methods:
    • D3511 test for Pilling Resistance and Other Related Surface Changes of Textile Fabrics: Brush Pilling Tester Method.
    • D3514 Test for Resistance of Apparel Fabrics to Pilling (Elastomeric Pad Method)

For directions covering the measurement of resistance to pilling by the Appearance Retention Tester, refer to Method D 1375 in the 1973 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Part 24. For direction covering the measurement of resistance to pilling by the Inflated Diaphragm Tester and the Reciprocating Table Tester, Refer to Method D 1375 in the 1966 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Part 24.

  • Some fabrics that have been treated with a silicone resin cannot be satisfactorily tested by this procedure because the silicone resin appears to rub off on the cork liners in the test chamber and to cause erroneously low results.
  • This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems associated with its use. It is the responsibility of who everuses this standard to consult and establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.



  • Fuzz : untangled fibre ends that protrude from the surface of a yarn of fabric.
  • Pilling resistance : resistance to the formations pills on a textile fabric.
  • Pills : Bunches or balls of tangled fibers that are held to the surface of a fabric by one or more fibers.
  • For definitions of other textile terms used in this method, refer to Terminology D123.


Summary Of Test Method

Pilling and other changes in surface appearance, such as fuzzing, that occur in normal wear are simulated on a laboratory testing machine. Fabrics are caused to form typical pills by a random rubbing motion produced by tumbling  specimens in a cylindrical test chamber lined with a mildly abrasive material. In order to form pills that resemble those produced in actual wear in appearance and structure, small amounts of short length cotton fiber (gray in color) are added to each test chamber with the specimens. The degree of fabric pilling is evaluated by comparison of the tested specimens with visual standards that may be actual fabrics or photographs of fabrics or photographs of fabrics,  showing a range of pilingresistance. The observed resistance to pilling is reported on an arbitrary scale ranging from No.5 (no pilling) to No.1 (verysevere pilling).


Uses And Significance

  • The pilling of textile fabrics is very complex property because it is affected by many factors, such as type of fiber of blend, fiber dimensions, yarn and fabric construction, and fabric-finishing treatments. This method of testing fabrics for resistance to pilling is not recommended for acceptance testing of commercial shipment, because the between-laboratory precision is poor. In some cases the purchaser and the supplier may have to test a commercial shipment of one or more specific materials by the best available method, even though the method has not been recommended for acceptance testing of commercial shipments. In such a case, if there is a disagreement arising form differences in values reported by the purchaser and the supplier when using this method or acceptance testing, the statistical bias, if any, between the laboratory of the purchaser and the laboratory of the supplier should be determined with each comparison being based on testing specimens randomly drawn from one sample of material of the type being evaluated.
  • The pilling resistance of a specific fabric in actual wear varies with individual wearers and general conditions of use. As a consequence, it can be expected that garments of the same fabric will show a fairly wide pilling resistance spectrum after wear and much greater variation in wear that in replicate fabric specimens subjected to controlled laboratory tests. This experience should be borne in mind when adopting levels of acceptability for any series of standards.
  • Finishes and fabric surface changes may exert a large effect on pilling. Therefore with some fabrics, it may be desirable to test before as well as after laundering or dry cleaning, or both.
  • Pills observed in worn garments vary appreciably in size and appearance, the latter depending particularly in the presence of lint and degree of color contrast, factors that are not evaluated when pilling is rated solely on the number of pills. The development of pills may be accompanied by other surface phenomena such as loss of cover, color change, or the development of fuzz. Since the overall acceptability of a specific fabric is dependent of both the characteristics of the pills and the other factors affecting surface appearance, it is considered desirable that fabrics tested in the laboratory be evaluated subjectively with regard to their acceptability and not rated solely on the number of pills developed. A series of standards, based on graduated degrees of surface change of the fabric type being tested, may be set up to provide a basis for subjective ratings. The visual standards are most advantageous when the laboratory test specimens correlate closely in appearance with worn garments, that is, show similar ratio of pills to fuzz, etc. Counting the pills and weighting their number with respect to their size and contrast, as a combined measure of pilling resistance is not recommended because of the excessive time required for counting, sizing, and calculation.


Apparatus, Reagents, And Materials

  • Random Tumble Pilling Tester, including air injection device with the following accessories.
    • Cork Cylinder Liners, about 146mm (5¾ in.) wide by 452mm (17 13/16 in.) long cut from 1.5-mm ( 1/16 –in.) thick flat sheets of Type P2117A material conforming to Specification F104. The original surface of the liner produced by slicing the material should be used without any further treatment such as sanding.
    • Vacuum Cleaner, with brush attachment.
    • Rubber Adhesive, No.01-9094.
    • Plastic Bottle, for applying cement.
    • Air Injection Device to give 21-kPa (3-psi) air pressure in each test chamber.
  • Cotton Sliver, 5300 tex (75 grain), fine cotton. Egyptian Karnak, or equivalent. Cotton dyed to gray shade before carding using 0.25% Pontamine Fast Black E (Based on weight of cotton ) or equivalent, at 820 C (1800 F for 60 min rinsed and oven – dried.
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone, technical, for diluting the rubber adhesive.
  •  Standard pilling Test Fabric, having and established pilling resistance rating for checking machine performance.
  •  Fabric Rating Standards – A series of tested specimen of a specific fabric type which show degrees of pilling orboth, for the fabric to be tested. Store the fabric rating standards and handle them under conditions that will preserve their original form and appearance. Mounting with thick cardboard framing around the specimens is recommended.
  •  Photographic Rating Standards – A set of five photographs 105 mm square numbered 1 to 5 illustrating varyingdegrees of pilling from “very severe pilling” t “no pilling”.
  •  Apparatus for Fabric Evaluation –Facilities for illumination and simultaneous viewing of test specimen and fabricor photograph rating standards.
  • Facilities for Laundering samples.
  • Facilities for Drycleaning samples.



  • Take a lot sample as directed in the applicable material specification, or as agreed upon by the purchaser and seller. In the absence of such a specification or other agreement, take a laboratory sample as directed.
  • If sampling from rolls or pieces of woven or warp knits fabric in the lot sample, cut at least one laboratory sample the full width of the fabric and at least 305 mm (1ft) along the selvedge. From circular knit fabrics cut a band at least 305mm wide.
  • If sample from garments, take fabric samples as agreed upon by all interested parties.

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