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~500,000 tons of microplastic fibers enter the world's oceans every year.

During the production, use and washing, fiber fragments are released from textiles. If they are not effectively removed by wastewater cleaning processes, they enter our rivers, lakes and oceans. Along the way, synthetic microfibers attract pollutants, harming sea life and entering the food chains of larger sea life and humans.

Determination of Fiber Release during Textile Care and in Wastewater

We support measuring, understanding and reducing your microfiber impact in a targeted manner.

Textile Impact

Measure the combined impact of microfiber shedding, biodegradation and ecotoxicity.


Identify and quantify the fiber content in process and wastewa­ter.

Microfiber Impact Assessment Method - DIN SPEC 4872

Microfibers + Biodegradation + Ecotoxicity
Test Method

DIN SPEC 4872 Test Method

DIN SPEC 4872 is a standardized test method for determining and classifying the environmental impact of textiles during washing. The test method examines how many fibers are discharged when textiles are washed, how well these fibers degrade in wastewater and how harmful the fiber residues are to the environment.

Once the test has been completed, we assign a classification code, which reflects the degree of fiber discharge, the biodegradation rate and the ecotoxicological potential of the textile product.

Download DIN SPEC 4872

Tests Conducted

Hohenstein Testing and Analysis

  • Classification of the fiber discharge during the washing process
  • Verification of the fiber residue's biodegradability in wastewater (DIN EN ISO 14851) and the degree of degradation within a defined period of time
  • Determination of the ecotoxicology of the fiber residues (DIN EN ISO 20079) after the biodegradation process

Reliable Data for Targeted Product Development

Actively control or avoid environmental pollution.
  • Objective measurement of fiber discharge during washing, biodegradability and the ecotoxicological potential of fiber residues
  • Expert and independent evaluation, comparison and improvement of your textile products
  • Determination of the environmental benefits and risks of products for claim verification, sourcing, quality control and product development
Quality Label

Hohenstein Quality Label

3rd party claim support for environmental impact

The Hohenstein Quality Label - Tested Environmental Impact - transparently communicates the environmental impact during washing.


AAFA Webinar

AAFA & Hohenstein: Microfibers x Biodegradation = Reduced Impact

Fiber Release Test Methods

Identification + Quantification

Determining Fiber Release in Wastewater

Using analytical methods, we quantify:

  • Fiber release behavior from different textile surfaces
  • Fiber content in processes
  • Fiber content in wastewater
Test Methods

Determination and Quantification of Fiber Con­tent in Pro­cess and Waste Water

Combine test methods for customized scope.
  • Quantification of fiber release and fiber length distribution with the Hohenstein method: Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA)
  • Gravimetric measurement of total abrasion by filtration according to the University of Leeds/Microfiber Consortium (UoL/TMC) method or AATCC TM212

Advantage through Data

Quantified status quo for informed development or claim verification + independent verification of sustainability efforts
  • Analyses of textiles and wastewater (various sample types from a single source)​
  • Determination of amount, type and shape of released fibers
  • Objective measurement of fiber release​
  • Quality control of wastewater
  • Optimization of processes and processing steps

Hohenstein is driving textile sustainability with intensive research.

Benefit from our active involvement in research and standardization committees.

In considering the environmental impact of textiles, there’s no way around microplastics. Hohenstein has been at the forefront of this research since 2016.

Along with the University of Leeds and other textile industry leaders, Hohenstein is a contributing research member of the Microfibre Consortium (TMC). We're working to minimize microplastic emissions from textiles and increase sustainability in textiles.

Test Kit for Textile Microfiber Shedding

Under Armour and Hohenstein Collaboration for Product Developers

This test kit is designed to help textile companies develop/choose lower shedding materials.

Order your kit


So is Hohenstein. We work with any application where textiles interact with humans and the environment.
Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Americas