Since 2002, comprehensive product and print tests for quality control have been carried out at the Leipzig production site for all Spread Group brands. This has ensured high quality and product longevity for its current 283-article product assortment. Thanks to additional investment in technological infrastructure, quality control within the Spread Group is now being strengthened at all sites.
In the wake of introducing direct-to-film (DTF) printing technology, the Spread Group has reorganized its quality management and reinvested in its testing infrastructure: With new washing machines and dryers, washing and drying tests are now carried out around the clock at the Leipzig production site. Spread Group’s headquarters functions thus as a research and development center, conducting tests for UV printing and non-textile products as well. Further investments in the production sites in Poland, the Czech Republic and the USA are on the horizon.
Since its founding, Spread Group’s internal testing methods have been seamlessly integrated with those of manufacturers. Among other criteria, manufacturers check for compliance with limit values in chemical pre-treatment.
As Application and Quality Specialist, Markus Kellner has been responsible for the implementation and evaluation of internal test methods in Leipzig since 2008: “Over the years, my colleagues and I have built up a great deal of know-how in the field of quality assurance, which enables us to measure product quality with precision.”
According to him, a slight loss of circumference after washing is a normal fiber change in organic textiles: the reaction is a clear indication that the organic article has not been chemically pretreated. This example illustrates how important it is to consider all material changes in the overall context of their chemical composition. However, this characteristic has no effect on the high material quality, which is a basic prerequisite for product longevity and inclusion in Spread Group’s range.
All internal test procedures are carried out under realistic test conditions, such as would typically occur with customers: Average values were chosen as test parameters, such as a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius per wash cycle and no fabric softener use. For a first test run, Markus Kellner first takes the product measurements and prints or embroiders the article. This is followed by five wash cycles and the second test of fabric and motif. If this first test run is passed, the product is washed five more times, dried and tested again.
Markus once conducted more extreme product quality tests, to see how the product withstands heavy wear. To do this, he printed a T-shirt from the standard collection with Flex print and washed it every day for 6 months. As the result shows, the white fabric did turn slightly gray, but the print motif showed hardly any traces of abrasion. Markus advises Spread Group customers to contribute to product longevity by following the care instructions: “You should wash your favorite self-designed pieces at low temperatures and with like colors if you can. If possible, do not tumble dry and always iron the product inside out.”