JIS L 1920 test method is a Japanese industrial Standards testing method for antimicrobial activity and efficacy of textile products. Japanese standards formulated this test to examine the ability of antimicrobial-treated fabrics to inhibit or kill microorganisms. In this test, the technicians examine the material for its antimicrobial property over 18 hours.     

Antimicrobial agents are functional textile additives and are now more popularly used in many textile industries. They provide resistance against the microbes that cause foul odor and color change in the fabric.   With a more active and improved lifestyle, the demand for antimicrobial fabric products has increased to a greater extent.     

Various companies are developing antimicrobial and antifungal strains for incorporating in the textile. On the other hand, Biotechnologists have set and are still developing new techniques for adequately incorporating the antimicrobial agents in the material. The Japanese standardization system designed the JSI I 1902 test method to test antimicrobial activity and efficacy on textile products.   

For What Purpose is the Technique Appropriate?   

  • Analysis of All types of textile products, such as cloth, wadding, thread, clothing materials, furniture cloths, etc., is possible using this technique.   
  • Technicians can examine Organic, inorganic, natural, artificial, etc., all the types of antimicrobial agents.   
  • No matter which method the textile company uses to incorporate the antimicrobial agent into the product. Inbuilt, woven, grafting, or after treatment or non-woven. All type of analysis uses the test method.   

How are the Antimicrobial Agents Applied to the Fabrics?     

Some of the antimicrobial agents are woven directly into the fabric as a thread. Some of the antimicrobial agents are applied to the surface of the fabric form of a liquid solution. The antimicrobial agents used are as powerful to inhibit the growth of the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that cause several health issues in humans. This testing or final examination is necessary to ensure their performance, whatever the method of applying antimicrobial agents to the textile.     

JIS L 1902 Test Method     

The standard JIS I 1902 test method includes three steps of examination: 1of qualitative analysis and 2 of quantitative research.     

Quantitative Analysis   

It includes the Halo method, which is quite similar to the zone inhibition technique. The zone inhibition technique is routinely used in laboratories to study the antimicrobial activity of antibiotics against particular organisms. The Halo method is a bit modified method.   But it has basic steps similar to the zone of inhibition test. 

First, the inoculum of the test microbe is carefully poured into the molten agar before adding the test piece. Then as the agar medium and inoculum solidify, the microbiologist or biotechnologists add a piece of fabric to it and then place it for incubation. After inhibition, another task is observing and analyzing inhibition. These are basic follow-up steps of the Halo method.   

Quantitative analysis   

The JIS L 1902 Standard 1902 method uses the absorption method for the quantitative analysis of the textile. This method is similar to the technique in another popular way for fabric analysis. The absorption method directly inoculates the bacterial sample onto the finished textile sample.   Alternatively, the colony plate count method or the adenosine triphosphate luminescence methods are also used for quantitative analysis of textile products for antimicrobial activities.   

What is the Need for the JIS L 1902 Test Method for Textile Testing   

The microorganism plays a vital role in the deterioration of any material that comes into contact with the microbial suspension. When The fabric and finished textiles products connect with the body, they become more prone to the attack of various types of microorganisms. The fabric is more prone to microbes because of sweat from the person’s body. 

The waste released from the body during perspiration or sweating contains microbes that transfer to the cloth. If the textile is not resistant to the microbes, it would deteriorate and irritate the person. Such clothes are of lousy quality and poorly tested for antimicrobial activity.     

To get good quality and aesthetic value, it becomes essential to incorporate antimicrobial agents into the fabric. The JIS L 1902 test method helps determine or test the proper incorporation of the antimicrobial agents into the material. This is essential for assessing the quality of the textile.     

What is the Procedure of the JIS L Test Method?   

1) Preparation of the Inoculum:   

The first step is the preparation of The inoculum of the microorganism by growth in the culture medium. Usually, the laboratories perform tests for Staphylococcus, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Escherichia coli. Though if you want, the laboratory can perform the test for another microbe also. Using Specialized media for the growth different microorganisms are grown in labs.  Nutrition plays a vital role in the development of specific microbes.   

2) Sterilization     

The sample of the fabric is first placed in the test tube and sterilized. Then they take two samples, one as reference or control and another one as the test sample. Sterilization with the steam method using an autoclave or the dry method using the microbial oven.   

3) Inoculation   

After the sample sterilization, technicians inoculate microbes with the help of the dropper. While doing this, they take special care to ensure that the inoculum of the microbes is only in contact with the fabric. Then they determine initial concentrations of the microorganism at the time to zero by the elution method. The next step is the dilution of samples and plating of the control fabrics. The control is run along with the test samples to ensure that the technique efficiently neutralizes the antimicrobial agents.   

4) Incubation   

Once the injection of the microbes is complete, they are kept for incubation at body temperature at 37  C for 18 hours.  In this period, the growth of the microorganism occurs.     

5) Wash and Shake   

Now the addition of saline to the test tube, and the technician dilutes the microbial counts. Again the diluted samples are poured on the agar plate, and the count of the microbes is determined.   

6) Count   

There is a reduction of the microorganisms compared to the control sample and the time zero model observed.     

Advantages of the JIS L1902 Test Method   

  • Methods of the JIS L 1902 test method are more precisely defined than the other methods of antimicrobial textile testing.   
  • This method studies microbicidal as well as bacteriostatic properties of a given antimicrobial fabric sample.   
  • Microbial concentrations are standardized and provided with sufficient nutrients during the incubation period. This nutrition is enough for the microorganism to grow if the antimicrobial agents aren’t used adequately upon the fabrics.     
  • The method has passed/failed criteria based on the microbial count of the antimicrobial fabrics.       
  • It is an Accurate method for the determination of the antimicrobial activity of the fabrics.     

Disadvantages of the JIS L 1902 test method   

  • This process doesn’t show Odor inhibition and infection control by the antimicrobial textile.       
  • Often the hydrophobic samples are difficult to test through this process.     


With the growing demand for the antimicrobial activity of fabrics and textile products, it has become essential to test their antimicrobial activities. JIS L 1902 test method is one of the effective methods for the examination of antimicrobial activity.   Various laboratories around the world have adopted the techniques of textile antimicrobial testing. You can easily find microbial laboratories having such testing in your city too.

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