Jeans: Quality V Price - School of Design on TV

Dr Richard Blackburn, Associate Professor and leader of the Textile Technology research group in the School of Design recently appeared on channel 5's "Shop Smarter: Save Money".

As part of an investigative segment of the programme, presenter Alexis Contran visited Dr Blackburn here in the School of Design labs. Looking at quality versus price, they  tested 10 similar pairs of black Jeans from across 5 popular high street retailers. The jeans ranged from £7 from Primark to £85 from Levis.

Firstly Rubfastness testing was conducted in our very own Textile Testing lab in order to compare the jeans to if any colour transfered onto a white piece of cotton, showing how easily the jeans lost their colour.  In this test, some of  the more expensive brands including jeans from Levis and Topshop lost their colour more easily than a cheaper pair of jeans from Next.

Later in the programme, the jeans were tested to see which held their colour best when washed. For each brand, one pair was washed ten times then colour measuring tools and methods were used to compare the colour of the washed jeans with the same unwashed pair and to see how much colour each brand's jeans had lost.  Again, one of the cheaper brands, Next performed best only losing 3% of their colour compared to a more expensive pair from Topshop which lost 26% of their colour after the ten washes.

This demonstrates some of the exciting work we do in the area of clothing perfomance testing within the School of Design. We continue to work closely with business, the community and the media to ensure our work has a positive impact on wider society.