Laboratory in the factory

Fletcher Jones becomes the first Australian clothing company to have its own fabric testing laboratory in which around 30 different tests for strength, shrink resistence, shape retention, pilliing, were conducted.  The laboratory opened in 1964 at the Pleasant Hill factory.   

'The FJ laboratory consists of two separate sections – Physical Textile Testing and Chemical Textile Testing. Practically all the routine testing is on the physical side with chemical testing such as quantitative and qualitative analysis of fibres and finishes only being done when required for trouble shooting purposes or investigations. 

All fabric purchases are based on laboratory approval and a summary of the fabric’s test report is enclosed with the order.  The fabric is then sampled upon receipt and retested for comparison with the buying sample. … After this the fabric is tested at intervals to check that the quality of the fabric being delivered is maintained. 

The laboratory also engages in similar testing procedures for trimmings and accessories as well as being a major contributor to in-house development work.  There is also a continuous exchange of information with other textile testing laboratories and technical intuitions.'   Information shared by Robert Lanchbery - who worked at FJs for 34 years including as Factory Tour Guide. 


Sue Peterson in the FJ Laboratory in 1974. Photo: Jones Family Collection
Heather Durham, Dirk Polderman and Sue Peterson in the Laboratory, 1974. Photo: Jones Family Collection
Lyn Wilson, Alison Bence and Shirley Duke in the Laboratory. Photo: Jones Family Collection
View of the FJ laboratory at Pleasant Hill factory. Photo: Jones Family Collection

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