How FITR Is Used in Textiles and Fabrics

How FITR Is Used in Textiles and Fabrics
  • Opening Intro -

    Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a form of spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is the study of light as it interacts with matter.

    As such, FTIR can be used to perform qualitative analysis on chemical species by identifying them based on their unique bond structure and functional groups.


FTIR is a non-destructive method that does not require samples or preparation; therefore, it can be used for any application, from research to quality control in numerous different industries, including textiles and fabric manufacturing. Experts like eds testing can help you in this process.

What Is Infrared Spectroscopy?

Infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a spectroscopic technique that employs the absorption of infrared light, usually from sunlight or artificial sources, by a material in order to study its physical and chemical properties.

Infrared radiation covers a range of wavelengths over the electromagnetic spectrum between 0.75 micrometers and 300 micrometers.

Spectroscopic FT IR testing is one of the most popular methods of fiber identification and comparison in forensics due to its low-cost instrumentation and ability to provide accurate results. This method uses energy absorbed in an organic material as it transitions from its ground state to an excited state.

The amount of energy required for this transition depends on the chemical structure of the molecule, meaning each chemical compound has a unique frequency at which it vibrates when absorbing light.

IR spectroscopy produces a plot showing peaks representing this information on an intensity vs wavelength scale referred to as an IR spectrum.

How FITR Is Used in Textiles and Fabrics

For a solid such as textile, the infrared radiation interacts with the vibrations of its C-H chemical bonds. Every molecule has certain frequencies of vibration at which it can absorb infrared light; in the case of a hydrocarbon like a polymer, these frequencies correspond to the stretching and bending of the C-H bonds. You can look at this in more detail by focusing on a simple example: ethane (C2H6), or as you know it, "gasoline."

If you shine infrared light onto an asymmetric stretch mode in ethane–where one H atom is moved closer and another further away from its carbon neighbor–you’ll get an absorption band at about 3100 cm-1. At the same time, if you shine a light on a symmetric stretch mode–where all hydrogen atoms are moved either toward or away from their carbon neighbors–we’ll see an absorption peak at about 3000 cm-1.

The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy procedure is non-destructive and gives you a window into the chemical makeup of fabric, without requiring that you damage it at all. All you need to do is put the fabric in between two plates and observe what happens.

FTIR is also non-destructive, meaning that you do not have to sample from your fabric. Most FTIR spectrometers use a diamond ATR accessory, which allows the light to interact with the sample without touching it.

The diamond ATR is a diamond crystal mounted on a base, and when pressed against the sample, directs the light into the crystal. A waveguide then creates a path for the light to travel through the sample, allowing for analysis.

You can also use FTIR to:

  • Compare materials
  • Determine organic or inorganic content
  • Determine water content
  • Determine crystallinity
  • Determine particle size


Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyzes the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths between 2.5 and 25 microns to determine the composition of a sample.

Fourier transform refers to a mathematical process that breaks down complex patterns such as electrical signals or light waves into elementary sine waves that can be studied individually or added together to obtain a more complete picture.

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