In this application note Nanovea have compared the texture of silk and denim samples using the ST400 non-contact optical profilometer.
Non contact profilometry is ideal for testing textiles such as silk which may be damaged by contact testing methods. Having height data on the micrometer level allows the user to have a greater understanding about why their textiles feel or behave in a certain way and to make appropriate amendments to processing to alter these behaviours.
Unsurprisingly in this study the silk sample was shown to have a much smoother surface with finer threads. An Abbott-Firestone curve showed that the height variation of the silk sample was around 70µm resulting in a lower surface roughness Sa of ~17µm. In comparison the denim sample had a height variation of ~350µm and a roughness Sa of 58µm.