Is A Wear Trial A Reliable Odor Test?

March 24, 2016

As odor control becomes a more popular finish on various types of apparel, brands are continuously looking for the best ways to test the performance of these finishes. One popular way to test odor control in apparel is an internal wear test, but is this really an effective way to test odor control performance?

Inconsistency in Perception of Odor

Every person has their own perception of odor. What you perceive as a pungent odor, may not be pungent at all to someone else. Additionally, the odors we give off can vary by a number of different factors such as age, gender, diet, etc. These are just a couple contributing factors among many that can create inconsistency in the perception of odors.

Untrained Odor Assessors

When brands conduct an internal wear test, how they assess the odor control invites variability to the process as well. In these situations, a wear trial is depending on untrained observers who are attempting to evaluate odors from unstructured exposure conditions, which often leads to variable and unreliable results.

Generation of Odor

Do you know how much odor you generate when you work out? Do you feel that it likely varies from one workout to another? Participants in internal wear trials may not always, or repeatedly, generate enough odor to create a decisive difference between the treated fabric and control fabrics. This inconsistency leads to unreliable results.

So what is a reliable alternative to a wear trial?

In our previous blog post, we introduced a few test methods that are commonly used. Our paper discusses the different methods that can be used to evaluate an odor control technology. Click below to download the paper and learn about the most reliable ways to evaluate odor control technologies.

Download the whitepaper