What’s Acceptable Quality Level – AQL in Garment Inspection?

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 garment industry when it comes into consideration to quality garment inspection, as we call it AQL Inspection. (Related: How to use AQL Table?)

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

Related Textile and Garment Inspection Services introduction, 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

The 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 standard 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 inspector actual found the defects are 0pcs/3pcs/7pcs, that means the workmanship within AQL and acceptable.

Sample size AQL 2.5 AQL 4.0
K-125pcs Allowed 7pcs Allowed 10pcs
Actual found 6pcs 8pcs


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 check the sample inspection report for the textile and garment.

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

What is AQL Table?

AQL Table, AQL in garment inspection, AQL standard

Please refer to the AQL table below and better to 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.

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