Forensic Fabric Analysis Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2310 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice - Forensics

Afterwards, use a comparison microscope to compare two fabric side-by-side. The following tools will help you in finding the physical and chemical traits of a fabric (Lyle, 2004).

Birefringence: Whenever light is passed through synthetic fabric, it has to be refracted twice if it is to emerge as two completely different wavelengths of polarized light, where each type has its own refractive traits." (Lyles, 2004). After you birefringence two fabrics, you can then compare them and identify.

Microspectrophotometry: You can use this to determine a fabric's true color with the highest form of accuracy (Lyle, 2004).

Polarized Light: Here, determining reflective index is possible, and this contributes in establishing the fabrics makeup (Lyle, 2004).

Refractive Index: Direct a narrow light at a fabric before calculating the extent at which light bends and passes through (Lyle, 2004).

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM): This is predominantly used when fabric is damaged. Uncovering subtle details on the fabric's structure and exposing the extent on damage that took place is carried out here too (Lyle, 2004).

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SEM is often used in combination with dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer. Similarly, the other procedure employed here involves the use of Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (GS/MS) which produces chemical composition that is separate and helps with identification of the fabric's chemicals in addition to pigments, which are added before and after the manufacturing procedure. With these two procedures, identifying manufacturer and the source of the fabric is possible (Lyle, 2004).

Collecting and preserving fabric evidence:

Term Paper on Forensic Fabric Analysis Some of Assignment

Handling fabric is important and should be carried out in the same manner that is used with hair, and must involve scrupulous care if you are to prevent potential cross contamination. If you want to remove fabric from the scene of crime, you can use tape or forceps. On the other hand, while carrying out this task, you must pay great attention to the tiniest of details if you intend to preserve the fabric without causing untold damage, or collecting what you do not need (Nickell and Fischer, 1999 ).

You will mostly find fabric at the site of crime or directly around it, although you must search the fundamental areas of entry and exit. (Nickell and Fischer, 1999).

Searching clothes and blankets or other items for fabric is often frustrating and quite time-consuming, but you should still do it within the shortest time possible to avoid losing it, which occurs rather fast. According to the latest studies, within the first 4 hours, 80% of he fabric will have fallen off, while close to 95% will be lost within the first 24 hours (Lyle, 2004). The most efficient procedure is to vacuum the area.


The three basic activities that take place during an analysis include a) Collecting representative sample, b) preparing the sample collected for analysis, c) analyzing the sample using the recommended and appropriate methods (Nickell and Fischer, 1999).

The activities mentioned above are independent of each other; although this does not mean that they are do not have a significant effect on one another. Trough each step, it is impossible to steer clear of errors, and the examiner has the task of identifying these and avoiding them. Regardless of the method of analysis that you choose, you must look at specific attributes that include precision, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, practicality, and dependability. You must consider all these factors before you choose the method that you determine to be the most appropriate, and one that will answer the question at hand more adequately. Inevitably, the examiner has the task of evaluating all the information that is available before deciding on the issue of uncertainty that falls within acceptable limits on any set of samples (Nickell and Fischer, 1999).


When you reconstruct two or more pieces of fabric, this indicates that a physical match has occurred proving that at one time, they were part of a single piece of fabric or cordage. Such an examination is carried out through a proper description and documentation of cuts, tearing, and damaged edges that you find on questioned items, in addition to taking close look on the issue of how these correlate to areas on known items. The best form or method of documentation under such a situation is photography (Baden and Roach, 2001).

A positive physical match may be impossible to effect even though this depends on the size of sample, its suitability and other traits that it exhibits (Baden and Roach, 2001).


Innes, B. (2000). Bodies of Evidence. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Press.

Lyle, D.P. (2004). Analyzing Trace Evidence. Forensics for Dummies. Chapter 17, pgs. 269-275. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Saferstein, R. (2004). Hair Fibers, and Paint. In Criminalistics, An Introduction to Forensic Science. (8th Ed.) Chapter 8. Pgs. 194-219. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.


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How to Cite "Forensic Fabric Analysis" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Forensic Fabric Analysis.  (2014, February 11).  Retrieved October 1, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Forensic Fabric Analysis."  11 February 2014.  Web.  1 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Forensic Fabric Analysis."  February 11, 2014.  Accessed October 1, 2020.