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Fabric Surface Roughness Evaluation Using Wavelet-Fractal Method

Part I: Wrinkle, Smoothness and Seam Pucker


TAE JIN KANG
1
, SOO CHANG KIM, IN HWAN SUL, JAE RYOUN YOUN, AND KWANSOO CHUNG
Intelligent Textile System Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National
University, Seoul, Korea 151-744
ABSTRACT
A wavelet-fractal method to calculate the fractal dimension is proposed to objectively
evaluate the surface roughness of fabric wrinkle, smoothness appearance and seam
pucker. The proposed method was validated using the fractal surfaces produced from the
mathematical functions and compared with the box and cube counting methods. The more
accurate three-dimensional mesh grid data points of wrinkle replicas, smoothness appear-
ance replicas and seam pucker samples were obtained using a three-dimensional, non-
contact scanning system. As a supplementary reference the standard roughness parame-
ters, which differentiate the degree of fabric surface roughness, were also investigated.
The results show that the fractal dimension measured by the wavelet-fractal method as
well as the surface average mean curvature show the power to clearly discern the grades
of wrinkle, smoothness appearance as well as seam pucker, and thus can evaluate the
fabric surface roughness objectively and quantitatively
Fabric appearance properties such as wrinkle, smooth-
ness appearance and seam pucker are important factors
for quality control during manufacturing as well as aes-
thetic aspects for consumer choice. Therefore both fabric
and garment manufacturers have made considerable ef-
forts to control the fabric roughness and to establish a test
method to quantify roughness. The accurate measure-
ment of fabric surface roughness will contribute to de-
termining the optimum processing conditions to improve
the dimensional stability of fabric properties. The eval-
uation method of fabric surface properties has been
based on subjectively comparing the specimen with ei-
ther the standard replica [2, 3] or a photographic replica
[1] by well-trained observers. A considerable amount of
work has been done [4, 10, 14, 18] by many researchers
to precisely evaluate fabric surface roughness. In our
earlier work [6, 7], we extracted the fractal dimension to
describe the degree of fabric surface roughness from
three-dimensional (3-D) surface data using a laser scan-
ning method or stereo vision technique.
The rst critical step in grading the fabric surface
properties is obtaining the 3-D coordinates of the fabric
surface precisely and calculating the fractal dimension of
it. With the rapid development of 3-D surface measure-
ment technology, more accurate and ner 3-D surface
data can be obtained. Using this system, it is expected
that the fabric surface properties can be fully evaluated
with greater accuracy. We adopted a 3-D non-contact
scanning system to acquire 3-D data of the fabric surface
of interest.
The accurate calculation of the fractal dimension to
represent the extent of the fabric surface roughness
which, in our previous research, was evaluated by the
application of an appropriate algorithm, remains a sig-
nicant issue. Wavelet analysis has been a developing
subject in recent years, especially in the eld of surface
metrology. Wang et al. [15, 16] and Xiong et al. [17]
proposed a wavelet transform method as a means to
calculate the fractal dimension of surface proles. It is
based on the fact that the wavelet transform method has
the unique ability to characterize scale-invariant and
space-invariant physical phenomena, which are relevant
to the concepts of self-similarity and self-afnity, and
form the essence of fractal geometry. These methods do
not deal with 3-D surface coordinates by means of two-
dimensional (2-D) discrete wavelet transform (DWT) for
one time but with 2-D prole data by means of a one-
dimensional DWT used repeatedly.
In this study, to achieve objective and accurate eval-
uation of fabric surface roughness, a wavelet-fractal
method using a 2-D prole was applied to the calculation
1
To whom correspondence should be addressed: e-mail:
taekang@snu.ac.kr
NOVEMBER 2005 751
Textile Res. J. 75(11), 751760 (2005) DOI: 10.1177/0040517505058855 2005 SAGE Publications www.sagepublications.com
of the fractal dimension of the fabric surface. In addition,
the method to measure the fractal dimension from 3-D
surface coordinates using a 2-D DWT (3DSWTM) was
devised and validated by calculating the fractal dimen-
sions of the fractal surfaces generated by three mathe-
matical methods. The standard roughness parameters that
are used frequently in practice were also introduced as a
supplementary reference to rate the fabric surface rough-
ness grade. The box-counting method, cube-counting
method and DWT method using 2-D prole data
(2DPWTM) were also compared with the 3DSWTM.
Using a 3-D noncontact scanning system, we obtained
the accurate 3-D coordinates of AATCC wrinkle repli-
cas, smoothness appearance replicas and seam pucker
samples that were made to simulate the fabric seam
puckers with 3-D shapes. Then we evaluated the fractal
dimension of surface using the method proposed herein
from 3-D surface data. The results show that the wavelet-
fractal method using much ner 3-D coordinates was
more effective for the computation of the fractal dimen-
sion of the fabric surface and thus evaluated the degree of
fabric surface roughness with greater accuracy.
Methods
SYSTEM AND SAMPLES
The 3-D scanning system (Rexcan 460; Solutionix)
was used to scan the rough fabric surface. It is equipped
with a slit beam projector and sensor camera. When the
specimen is laid on the table, slit beams of various widths
are overlapped on it and the 3-D coordinates are mea-
sured from the differences of the beamed images. The
number of scanned data points varies according to the
area selected and the maximum number of data points
was set to 1,450,000 points.
We measured the topological surface shape of stan-
dard wrinkle replicas with ve ratings, smoothness ap-
pearance replicas with six ratings and simulated seam
pucker samples with ve ratings. Unlike the fabric wrin-
kle and smoothness appearance, the seam pucker does
not have a plastic standard replica but a photographic
seam pucker replica. Therefore, double and single needle
seam pucker samples of different grades from 1 to 5 that
had been subjectively graded by human eye evaluation
were used. Five specimens of seam puckers were pre-
pared for each grade. The size of seam pucker samples
was 300 mm 80 mm. The number of scanned data
points was about 180 000 for wrinkle standard replicas,
400 000 for smoothness appearance replicas and 100 000
for seam pucker samples. Computerized software to dis-
play the fabric surface topology from the points cloud
and to calculate the fractal dimension and surface rough-
ness parameters was based on Matlab and C Builder
software. Figure 1 displays solid models of the wrinkle
replicas, smoothness appearance replicas and seam
pucker samples generated from 3-D scanned data points.
In order to validate the precision and advantages of the
wavelet-fractal method it should be compared with the
existing box-counting method and cube-counting method
[9] for well-known fractal surfaces with different theoretical
fractal dimensions. Three-dimensional surface models can
be constructed using the WeierstrassMandelbrot function
[13, 15] and fractal Brownian motion generated with two
different methods [12]; namely the midpoint displacement
method and the interpolation method. A validated wavelet-
fractal method then can be applied to calculate the fractal
dimension of the fabric surface.
When the surface is scanned by the 3-D scanning
system, a large number of 3-D coordinates are obtained
and a lot of time would be required to process all these
data points. Moreover, it is difcult to apply the box-
counting method or the wavelet-fractal method using the
2-D prole of the points cloud. Therefore the values at
the grid points of a uniformly spaced rectangular mesh
superimposed over the points cloud were estimated from
the nearest-neighbor interpolation. The construction of
the mesh grid made the procedure faster and simpler. We
constructed a 256 256 mesh grid (65 536 data points)
for the purpose of computational efciency and the ap-
plication of the wavelet-fractal method which needs the
number of data points to be equivalent to a power of 2
and a sufcient number of decomposition levels for a
linear regression. The mesh grid data also have noise and
this has to be ltered to reduce it. The noise might be
attributed to the discontinuities of the mesh grid data and
the very low wavelength (high frequency) range varia-
tion that has to be removed. The 2-D nite impulse
response (FIR) lter was designed to smooth the mesh
grid data and effectively eliminate the high frequency
components. The ltered data are nally used to calcu-
late the fractal dimension by using the wavelet-fractal
method validated before as well as surface roughness
parameters as a supplementary reference. Figure 2 illus-
trates the overall procedures for evaluating the fabric
surface roughness using the wavelet-fractal method and
surface roughness parameters.
FILTERING
The 2-D nite impulse response (FIR) lter is em-
ployed to smooth the mesh grid data having discontinui-
ties and remove some noises caused by the variation of
very high frequency range. The 2-D FIR lter is designed
752 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL
using the frequency sampling method, which contains
the desired frequency response sampled at equally
spaced points along the x and y frequency axes. The FIR
lter can be implemented as a convolution of the form:
f

x,y
i W

j W
hi, j f x i,y j ,
where h(i, j) is the 2-D FIR lter, f (x, y) is the mesh grid
data and W {M i, j M}. h(i, j), the frequency
response of which is shown in Figure 3. The lter is a
rotationally symmetric Gaussian low-pass lter of size
15 with standard deviation 3 and cutoff 0.6.
WAVELET TRANSFORM
The discrete wavelet transform (WT) is dened as a
decomposition of the original signal f ltered by a low-
pass lter {h
n
} and a high-pass lter {g
n
}, with down-
sampling by a factor of two [5, 8]. In most practical
applications, one performs the transform using the fol-
lowing recursive equations.
c
j,n

k Z
c
j1,k
h
k2n
,
d
j,n

k Z
d
j1,k
g
k2n
,
FIGURE 1. Solid models generated from
scanned data points: (w1)(w5) wrinkle replicas,
(s1)(s5) smoothness appearance replicas,
(ssp1)(ssp5) prepared single needle seam
pucker samples, (dsp1)(dsp5) prepared double
needle seam pucker samples.
NOVEMBER 2005 753
where c
j,n
and d
j,n
are approximating and detail coef-
cients at scale j, respectively. The 1-D multi-resolution
wavelet decomposition can be easily extended to 2-D by
introducing separable 2-D scaling and wavelet functions
as the tensor products of their 1-D complements. The
2-D wavelet analysis operation produces one smooth
part, which represents the coarse approximation of data,
and three detailed parts, which represent the information
of the horizontal, vertical and diagonal directions of the
data. In the 2-D case, let the 2-D function be f (x, y)
c
0,n1,n2
fn
1
T,n
2
T ,
where f (n
1
T, n
2
T)(n
1
, n
2
1,2, . . . , M respectively) are
discrete sampling data of a surface f (x, y), M is the
number of data points and T is sampling distance. T is 1
since we use discrete mesh grid data. For 1 j J,
c
j,n1,n2

k1,k2Z
c
j1,k1,k2
h
k12n1
h
k22n2
,
d
j,n1 ,n2
h

k1 ,k2Z
c
j1,k1,k2
h
k12n1
g
k22n2
,
d
j,n1 ,n2
v

k1 ,k2Z
c
j1,k1,k2
g
k12n1
h
k22n2
,
d
j,n1 ,n2
d

k1 ,k2Z
c
j1,k1,k2
g
k12n1
g
k22n2
,
where c
j,n1 ,n2
are smooth components and d
j,n1 ,n2
are detail
components in direction corresponding to superscript at
decomposition level j. h, v, and d mean horizontal, ver-
tical, and diagonal directions, respectively.
WAVELET FRACTAL METHOD
Discrete Wavelet Transform Method Using 2-D Prole
Data (2DPWTM)
If
j,n
(x) is a Daubechies wavelet base with a vanish-
ing moment 2, and the continuous and bounded function
FIGURE 2. Overall procedures to evaluate the fabric
surface roughness.
FIGURE 3. The frequency response of 2-D FIR
lter of size 15 with standard deviation 3 and
cutoff 0.6.
754 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL
f x C

( is the exponent Holder continuous com-


plex space), then the wavelet transform spectra {d
j,n
}
have an inequality
d
j,n
E2
j0.5
,
where j J, J 1,
. . .
, 1; n 1, 2,
. . .
, 2
Nj
(N is the
power size of 2 of a discrete signal); 0 1 is
Lipschitz exponent; E is a constant. The fractal dimen-
sion of function f (x) is
D 2 .
Let E
min
E, the rst norms of {d
j,n
} have the equation
d*
j
E
min
2
j0.5
,
where d*
j

n1
2
Nj
d
j,n

2
Nj
15, 16 .
Practically, when d
*
j
is plotted against j on a double
logarithmic scale, the linear regression with a slope (
0.5) can be obtained using a least-square t algorithm.
Therefore the fractal dimension D of a 2-D prole is
D 2.5 slope .
Discrete Wavelet Transform Method using 3-D Surface
Data (3DSWTM)
So far, relatively little research has been reported on
calculating the fractal dimension from 3-D surface data
by using a 2-D DWT. The 3DSWTM is more computa-
tionally effective than the 2DPWTM. This is due to the
fact that for 2DPWTM the wavelet transform is applied
to all the 2-D proles of the x- and y-directions and then
the least square t algorithm is repeatedly implemented.
As the characteristics of the fabric surface cannot be
completely explained using only the 2-D proles of
either direction, it is necessary to comprehensively con-
sider all the data points of the surface to extract the
parameters to describe the surface properties. Therefore
the 3DSWTM based on the 2DPWTM introduced above
and the variation method for the fractional Brownian
motion images [11] is proposed.
d
j

n11
2
Nj

n21
2
Nj
d
j,n1,n2

2
Nj
2
Nj
E
*
min
2
j1
t h,v,d ,
where d
j
h
represents the horizontal information, d
j
v
the
vertical information, d
j
d
the diagonal information of a
3-D surface and E
*
min
is a constant. Likewise, when d
j
t
(t
h, v, d) is plotted against j on a double logarithmic
scale, the linear regression with a slope ( 1) can be
obtained using a least-square t algorithm. Therefore, the
fractal dimension of the surface is
D 3 3 slope 1 4 slope .
FRACTAL SURFACES
To conrm the possibility of the 2DPWTM applica-
tion to fabric surfaces and to validate the 3DSWTM, 3-D
surface models were obtained using the Weierstrass
Mandelbrot function and two different types of fractional
Brownian motion. The WeierstrassMandelbrot function
(WMF) [13, 15] is continuous, self-afne and never
smooth and so it can be used to simulate the determin-
istic rough surfaces, which exhibit a statistical resem-
blance to real surfaces. Fractional Brownian motion
(FBM) [12] is also very important for the study of rough
surfaces because its function is statistically self-afne.
Two methods that deal with FBM, namely the midpoint
displacement method (FBM
md
) and the interpolated
method (FBM
i
), were used here. The size of the gener-
ated surface data points was 256 256. Figure 4 shows
the examples of theoretical fractal surfaces generated by
the WMF, FBM
md
, and FBM
i
as range images, in which
gray scale equals elevation.
SURFACE ROUGHNESS PARAMETERS
The classical roughness parameters can be obtained
from 3-D mesh data points with higher accuracy. These
roughness parameters were used as a supplementary ref-
erence to help to estimate the degree of fabric surface
roughness. The mean absolute deviation, standard devi-
ation, mean height of peaks, and surface average mean
curvature were measured in this study. The mean abso-
lute deviation (MAD) is dened as
MAD
1
N
2

i

j
f
i, j
f

,
where N
2
is the total number of mesh data points and f

is
the average value of surface heights. The standard devi-
ation value (SD) is computed by
SD

1
N
2

i

j
f
i, j
f


2
.
The mean height of peaks (MHP) is calculated as the
average of the deviations above the reference value f

.
MHP
1
N
2

i

j
P
i, j
,
NOVEMBER 2005 755
where, P
i, j

f
i, j
f

, if f
i, j
f

0
0, otherwise
.
The surface average mean curvature (SAMC) is given
by
SAMC
1
N
2

i

j
H
i, j
2
,
where, H(i,j) is the mean curvature at each point of a
surface.
Results and Discussion
The 2DPWTM and 3DSWTM were conrmed and
validated based on three types of fractal surfaces with
different theoretical fractal dimensions and then com-
pared with the box-counting method (BCM) and cube-
counting method (CCM). For each surface generation
model, 10 fractal surfaces with the fractal dimension 2.1,
2.3, 2.5, 2.7 and 2.9 were generated, respectively. The
results are the average values for 10 fractal surfaces with
the same theoretical fractal dimensions. The wavelet
transform is performed to the discrete data of the size 256
256, which are symmetrically extended in order to
eliminate the boundary effect. The fractal dimensions of
both x and y directions are averaged and added to 1 in the
BCM and the 2DPWTM. In the 3DSWTM, the averages
of absolute wavelet coefcients d
j
h
and d
j
v
, which repre-
sent the information of horizontal and vertical directions,
respectively, are tted to the decomposition levels by the
least-square t algorithm. Two fractal dimensions cal-
culated using the horizontal and vertical information
are averaged to obtain a single value, the so-called
3DSWTM
hv
. The information for the diagonal direction
is excluded from calculating the fractal dimension to
avoid overlapping parts with the horizontal and vertical
ones.
Figure 5 shows the calculated fractal dimensions to
fractal surfaces produced with the WMF, FBM
md
, and
FBM
i
. The rougher surfaces correspond to the larger
FIGURE 4. Range images for fractal surfaces generated with (a)(d): WMF, (e)(h): FBM
md
and (i)(l): FBM
i
: (a), (e), (i) D 2.1;
(b), (f), (j) D 2.3; (c), (g), (k) D 2.5; (d), (h), (l) D 2.7.
756 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL
fractal dimensions. BCM and CCM have measured sim-
ilar results with theoretical fractal dimension within spe-
cic narrow range, but showed a large deviation outside
that range. In other words, BCM and CCM obtain higher
fractal dimensions in the range of relatively small theo-
retical fractal dimensions but lower fractal dimensions in
the range of relatively large theoretical fractal dimen-
sions. The precision of BCM and CCM is not as good as
the two wavelet-fractal methods, 2DPWTM and
3DSWTM
hv
, for fractal surfaces. Two wavelet-fractal
methods show perfect linearity in a wide span of the
fractal dimension. The results of the 3DSWTM
hv
are a
little higher than those of the 2DPWTM, but the calcu-
lated errors are not very big. Therefore, it is expected that
2DPWTM and 3DSWTM
hv
are capable of evaluating the
fabric surface roughness with higher accuracy than BCM
and CCM.
The fractal dimensions of wrinkle and smoothness
appearance replicas were repeatedly measured ve times
for the same region of interest and averaged (Figures 6
and 7). Figure 8 shows the estimated fractal dimensions
of single and double seam pucker samples for which
grades were subjectively assigned in comparison with a
photographic seam pucker replica. Table I lists the means
and standard deviations from measuring the fractal di-
mensions with 2DPWTM and 3DSWTM
hv
. The devia-
tion of the measurements for the same region of interest
is of the order of 10
3
and it can denote the system
reproducibility. The estimated fractal dimensions consis-
tently decrease as the grade of the standard replicas or
samples increase as expected. The fractal dimensions
show higher value than the previous work [6, 7] since
more data with greater precision are used to calculate the
fractal dimension. As the degree of surface roughness
FIGURE 5. Application of various fractal dimension calculating meth-
ods to fractal surfaces produced with the (a) WMF, (b) FBM
md
and (c)
FBM
i
.
FIGURE 6. Calculated fractal dimensions of AATCC wrinkle replicas.
NOVEMBER 2005 757
was relatively low for a fabric surface, the measured
fractal dimensions by the BCM and CCM were generally
higher than those of the wavelet-fractal methods. As for
the results for generated fractal surfaces, the fractal di-
mensions estimated by the CCM and 3DSWTM
hv
were a
little higher than those estimated by the BCM and 2DP-
WTM, respectively. Smoothness appearance replicas 3,
3.5, 4 require considerable effort to distinguish subtle
differences by visual assessment and so observers may
make different visual smoothness ratings even for the
standard replicas, which fall into these categories. The
BCM and CCM also cannot correctly differentiate
smoothness grade 3 and 3.5 in terms of fractal dimension
(Figure 7). But the fractal dimensions calculated by the
2DPWTM and 3DSWTM
hv
consistently decrease as the
smoothness appearance grade increases. The results
show that the wavelet fractal method is applicable to the
evaluation of the extent of fabric surface roughness with
added accuracy.
FIGURE 7. Calculated fractal dimensions of AATCC smoothness
appearance replicas.
FIGURE 8. Calculated fractal dimensions of (a) single needle seam
pucker samples and (b) double needle seam pucker samples.
TABLE I. Means (m) and standard deviations () of measured fractal dimensions with 2DPWTM and 3DSWTM
hv
.
Seam pucker samples
Wrinkle replicas Smoothness replicas Single needle Double needle
2DPWTM 3DSWTM
hv
2DPWTM 3DSWTM
hv
2DPWTM 3DSWTM
hv
2DPWTM 3DSWTM
hv
m m m m m m m m
1 2.207 0.002 2.298 0.002 2.485 0.004 2.559 0.003 2.237 0.013 2.365 0.014 2.317 0.022 2.390 0.029
2 2.136 0.002 2.210 0.002 2.323 0.002 2.338 0.002 2.204 0.016 2.274 0.026 2.245 0.004 2.360 0.011
3 2.103 0.005 2.183 0.004 2.274 0.004 2.280 0.003 2.192 0.012 2.261 0.014 2.239 0.012 2.306 0.014
3.5 2.173 0.005 2.228 0.004
4 2.055 0.003 2.132 0.002 2.093 0.002 2.119 0.002 2.173 0.014 2.254 0.007 2.195 0.019 2.251 0.018
5 2.020 0.005 2.050 0.003 2.031 0.003 2.052 0.004 2.100 0.019 2.124 0.016 2.021 0.017 2.045 0.015
758 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL
The classical surface roughness parameters were nor-
malized with a view to making its discriminatory power
more visible as shown in Figure 9. The surface roughness
parameters as a supplementary analytical tool also show
the tendency to decrease as the wrinkle, smoothness
appearance and seam pucker grade increase. Note that
the MAD, SD and MPH values of smoothness appear-
ance grade 2 are higher than those of grade 1. On the
other hand, the SAMC values of smoothness appearance
as well as wrinkle and seam pucker show a consistent
and relatively linear decrease with an increase in grade.
It is highly probable that the SAMC value is the most
reliable supplementary parameter among surface rough-
ness parameters for evaluating the fabric surface rough-
ness. It stands to reason that the fractal dimension cal-
culated by the wavelet-fractal method can be used to
objectively judge the degree of fabric surface roughness,
together with the SAMC value.
Conclusions
In this study we have proposed the wavelet-fractal
method to accurately calculate the fractal dimension as a
descriptor of fabric surface roughness. The wavelet-frac-
tal method was validated based on the fractal surfaces
generated with the WMF, FBM
md
, and FBM
i
. Its preci-
sion was higher than the box-counting method and cube-
counting method. The more precise 3-D coordinates of
wrinkle replicas, smoothness appearance replicas and
seam pucker samples have been obtained using a 3-D
noncontact scanning system. We found that the fractal
dimensions measured by the wavelet-fractal method
have the ability to distinguish the differences of the
degree of wrinkle, smoothness, and seam pucker with
added accuracy. The SAMC value can be also used as a
supplementary parameter for assessment of fabric sur-
face roughness.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work was supported by the SRC/ERC program of
MOST/KOSEF (R11-2005-065).
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