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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

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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FIGURE 9. Normalized surface roughness pa-

rameters for (a) AATCC wrinkle replicas, (b)

AATCC smoothness appearance replicas, (c)

prepared single needle seam pucker samples, (d)

prepared double needle seam pucker samples.

NOVEMBER 2005 759

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760 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL

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