What’s Acceptable Quality Level – AQL in Garment Inspection? (2023 Updated)

What is Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)?

The term AQL stands for Acceptable Quality Level or Acceptance Quality Level. It is one of the most used terms in the stages of inspection in garment industry when it comes into consideration to quality garment inspection, as we call it AQL Inspection. (Related: How to use the AQL Table?)

Most of the acceptance decisions of export shipments are made based on AQL-based random sampling plans. An AQL chart or AQL standard has to follow during the quality inspection of garments or apparel, which varies even from buyer to buyer to ensure the right quality.

Related textile and garment inspection procedure please check HERE.

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) refers to the maximum number of defective items that could be considered to accept during the random sampling of pre-shipment inspection. A percentage (%) number of average defective items, where the average defective item is the multiple results of a total number of defective items found during the inspection, and the total number of items were inspected.

AQL standard in Garment Inspection

AQL Table, AQL in garment inspection, AQL standardThe faults or defects found during a garment inspection are mainly classified into three categories:

  • Critical: Must be 100% accurate. There is no range.
  • Major: Normally 2.5
  • Minor: Normally 4.0

Anyway, the AQL standard will be used for inspection is also dependent on the price and quality of the product, you can see AQL standards such as AQL 1.0 used for higher price garments and lower figure AQL standard such as AQL 6.5 for lower quality and lower price garments, following AQL system in garments industry for final inspection

  • AQL 1.0
  • AQL 1.5
  • AQL 2.5
  • AQL 4.0
  • AQL 6.5

Example of AQL Inspection for Garment

AQL table example in Pre-shipment Inspection report as below, which inspection we did for European customer:

The inspector random checked 125pcs, the acceptance quality level (AQL) is Critical: 0, Major: 2.5, Minor: 4.0, so the maximum allow defects is 0pcs/7pcs/10pcs, and according to the garment inspection checklist, the inspector actual found the defects are 0pcs/3pcs/7pcs, that means the workmanship within AQL and acceptable.

Sample sizeAQL 2.5AQL 4.0
K-125pcsAllowed 7pcsAllowed 10pcs
Actual found6pcs8pcs


During the inspection process, 125pcs samples were randomly selected for inspection, it was found that Major Defects included 2pcs Fabric Defects, and 3pcs Skew front logo, 1pc skew front logo and dirty mark at fabric, and also found some minor problems, such as Wrinkle mark, Dirty mark, Run-off stitching, Uncut thread, etc., the final statistics are Major 4pcs, Minor 8pcs,

According to the AQL sampling standard G-II/AQL 0/2.5/4.0, this defective quantity is within the acceptable range;

Please click here to download the sample inspection report for the textile and garment. and contact us for the typically classify defects in quality control inspection in garment industry.

(Related: 3 Different Product Inspection Result In Third Party Inspection Report)

What is AQL Table?

Please refer to the AQL table below and better know the sample size, the number of defective items was acceptable to decide with your shipment; also you can contact us for AQL standard suggestion. (Find your AQL sample size use AQL Calculator)

One more important thing: it’s the supplier’s responsibility to ensure that the product is manufactured based on the AQL standard, the supplier must have the internal audit system in place at all stages of mass production.

What are the Types of Inspection in Garments Industry?

Third_Party_Inspection_Agency_AQI_Service_China_inspectorIn the garment industry, quality control is essential to ensure that products meet the desired standards. There are several types of inspections that can be conducted at different stages of the production process.

Pre-Production Inspection

This inspection is performed before the production process begins. It involves checking the raw materials, accessories, and machinery to ensure that they meet the required specifications and quality standards.

In-line Inspection

During the production process, in-line inspections are conducted to monitor the quality of the garments. This involves checking random samples at various stages of production, such as cutting, sewing, and finishing, to identify any defects or inconsistencies.

Final Inspection

Also known as the final inspection, this process takes place when the garments are completed, and before they are packed and shipped. End-line inspection involves checking the finished products for any defects, ensuring that they meet the required quality standards.

Random Sampling Inspection

This inspection method involves selecting a random sample of garments from the production line and evaluating them for quality. It is typically performed using the AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) standard, which determines the acceptable number of defects within a given sample size.

100% Inspection

In some cases, a 100% inspection may be performed, meaning that every single garment produced is checked for quality. This method is time-consuming and costly, but it guarantees that all products meet the required quality standards.

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Author: AQI Service as a professional quality control service company in China specialized in providing a complete range of quality inspection and testing certification services in China & Asia for global importers, buyers, retailers, and sellers.

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