Testfabrics, Inc. was founded by Werner Klaas, a Swiss silk textile technologist selling silk piece goods in the US in the 1930s. Mr. Klaas’s sales territory included metropolitan New York and New Jersey and the many textile mills, dyers, printers and their dye and process chemical suppliers were among his clients. They purchased silk piece goods for use in their laboratory work and for their clients. The chemists in the laboratories became very active consumers and began to ask for more things than his employer provided and Mr. Klaas was resourceful enough to go and get these customers what they needed and wanted, other fabrics than just silk. He did an excellent job and soon these clients began to rely on him to solve their textile sourcing problems.
These chemists and colorists had a new professional association called the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and this group had standing research committee to ‘common problem solve’ industry wide problems too big for any one company to solve independently. With growing demand for quality control tested raw materials, they needed specific ‘test fabrics’ to use to prove their product’s value to the buyers. They turned to their textile problem solver, Mr. Klaas, for help and he provided them with special ‘test fabrics’ to satisfy their needs. These included the first ‘multifiber adjacent test fabrics’ used in AATCC colorfastness tests for washfastness, water fastness etc.
Supplying the necessary piece goods for dye, detergent and chemical testing and producing and distributing the same ‘multifiber test fabrics’ and their subsequent descendants remains as the very core of our business today.
Over the decades, Mr. Klaas’s business common sense and ability to comprehend the needs of his clients allowed the business to grow and develop into the worldwide supplier it is today. Testfabrics, Inc. was a niche business before it was an economic ‘buzz word’ and it was ‘globalized’ by 1946, long before ‘export’ became the mantra of the US economy.
Growth and Market Development
Testfabrics Inc.'s reputation as the problem-solver for special interest textile markets was established and became widely known. Soon, chemists working in the newly emerging surfactant and synthetic detergent industries approached us for help. Individual firms had difficulty interesting suppliers in their specialized requirements. Again, Werner Klaas stepped in to fill a need by acting on behalf of these clients.
In 1965, Testfabrics, Inc. purchased Elkay Weaving Co., of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Elkay had been the sole producer of all the special multifiber fabrics and related fabrics for over 15 years. The acquisition of its own manufacturing capability gave Testfabrics, Inc. increased levels of control over the production its critical core products.
As time progressed, other groups of clients needing similar special attention paid to their particular textile needs found their way to Testfabrics, Inc. Our inventory of prepared for dyeing fabrics, (including fabrics from all the major fibers, both woven and knit) provided the starting place to service the needs of various groups within the museum community, the textile artists community (including quilters), theater and costume clients and other client groups.
Our goals are the same for all our clients, help them get the textile products and services they need.
Testfabrics, Inc.’s textile industry clients had become such ardent supporters and users of the firm’s products that AATCC participants in the International Standards Organization (ISO) introduced many of the firm’s
‘testfabrics’ for consideration as ‘standard reference test materials’ to be specified for use in prestigious ISO, textile colorfastness procedures. In 1989, ISO Technical Committee TC 38, SC1, (subcommittee 1, textile chemical tests) recognized two of our long standing multifiber adjacent fabrics, as well as several of our single fiber adjacent fabrics and our AATCC crockmeter cloth as ‘reference standard test materials’ and for worldwide textile industry procedures governing textile production. Documentation can be found in ISO 105 F1-10 documents available from ISO, Geneva, Switzerland.
Over the years, Testfabrics, Inc. has continued to respond to the input of its many different client groups and continues to provide solutions for their textile problems. New improved materials for colorfastness testing, detergent testing, museum applications and other products and services have resulted from our clients’ input. We are active participants in the various professional organizations for our clients to give us as direct access as possible to them to be able to respond to their input.
Testfabrics, Inc. has been the industry leader for eight-decades by maintaining close relationships with its clients. We are a totally consumer driven supplier. We are only able to help them if they help us and tell us exactly what their needs are. We serve our clients with care and attention. We continue to look for new opportunities to service their special textile needs, how can we help you?