Water absorption and transport property of textiles is important since it affects wear comfort, efficiency of treatment and functionality of product. This paper introduces an accurate and reliable measurement tester, which is based on gravimetric and image analysis technique, for characterising the transplanar and in-plane wicking property of fabrics. The uniqueness of this instrument is that it is able to directly measure the water absorption amount in real-time, monitor the direction of water transport and estimate the amount of water left on skin when sweating. Throughout the experiment, water supply is continuous which simulates profuse sweating. Testing automation could even minimise variation caused by subjective manipulation, thus enhancing testing accuracy. This instrument is versatile in terms of the fabrics could be tested. A series of shirting fabrics made by different fabric structure and yarn were investigated and the results show that the proposed method has high sensitivity in differentiating fabrics with varying geometrical differences. Fabrics with known hydrophobicity were additionally tested to examine the sensitivity of the instrument. This instrument also demonstrates the flexibility to test on high performance moisture management fabrics and these fabrics were found to have excellent transplanar and in-plane wicking properties.
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