Throughout history, textiles have been made of various fibres using independent fibres and mixtures. Due to the abundance and similarity of textiles, identifying them is difficult, but an important procedure.
In this article, a short overview of different analytical methods for investigation of textiles is given. ATR-FT-IR (Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier’ Transform Infrared) spectroscopy and its advantages and limitations for identification of textile fibres have been paid a more detailed attention.
ATR-FT-IR spectroscopic method enables to identify fibres using interpretation of spectra and classification method. Using ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy with optical microscopy, it is possible to distinguish popular natural and artificial fibres. ATR-FT-IR is capable of distinguishing cellulose-based fibres from others, but linen and cotton spectra are almost identical. However, using optical microscopy additionally, it is also possible to distinguish between linen and cotton.
Classification enables quickly and easily to perform identification of pure and mixed fibre samples. Besides that, it is possible to perform semi-quantitative analysis, which enables to determine the approximate content of mixed samples. Classification and semi-quantitative analysis of different fibres were carried out using their ATR-FT-IR spectra and chemometric tools, such as principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis.
Our research showed that ATR-FT-IR spectroscopy is a fast, easy and non-destructive method for qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of most common textile fibres.
Table 1. Comparison of different methods for identifying textiles