Standarization of cloth objects and its relevance in robotic manipulation

Irene Garcia-Camacho1, Alberta Longhini2, Michael C. Welle 2, Guillem Alenyà1, Danica Kragic2 and Júlia Borràs1

1 Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC, Barcelona, Spain.

2 Robotics, Perception and Learning Lab, KTH Royal Isntitute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract - The field of robotics faces inherent challenges in manipulating deformable objects, particularly in understanding and standardizing fabric properties like elasticity, stiffness, and friction. While the significance of these properties is evident in the realm of cloth manipulation, accurately categorising and comprehending them in real-world applications remains elusive. This study sets out to address two primary objectives: (1) to provide a framework suitable for robotics applications to characterise cloth objects, and (2) to study how these properties influence robotic manipulation tasks. Our preliminary results validate the framework’s ability to characterise cloth properties and compare cloth sets, and reveal the influence that different properties have on the result of some manipulation primitives. We believe that, in general, results on the manipulation of clothes should be reported along with a better description of the garments used in the evaluation.

Textile Characterization

We provide a step-by-step of the measurement systems to quantify the properties of cloth objects.

Supplementary material

We provide some templates to facilitate the application of the measurement systems, including a printable ruler for measuring the elasticity and friction and an Aruco pattern to measure the stiffness.

The code to measure the stiffness of clothes can be found on the Github page.

Physical properties

Identify the different types of cloth objects based on its shape. Measure the length on each line according to the cloth type: Measure the weight of the object in grams using a scale.

Identify the different primary and secondary colors, as well as the different prints. Identify the material of which the object is composed. Identify if the cloth object has a woven or knitted yarn.

Mechanical properties




Benchmarking cloth sets

The measurement systems can be used, in addition to characterising individual objects, to compare and evaluate different sets of cloth through the quantity of variability that they provide in each property. This can serve to imrpove the creation of a cloth set that suits its purpose. To do so, it is necessary to take measures of the abovementioned properties of all the cloth objects in the set and represent the variability in a radar chart computing the difference between the maximum and minimum values of each property.

This has been done for three existing cloth set used in the cloth manipulation literature. The radar chart for each cloth sets are shown in the corresponding links.

Influence in robotic manipulation

Set of primitives

Accompanying video


I. Garcia-Camacho, A. Longhini, M.C. Welle, G. Alenyà, D. Kragic and J. Borràs, Standardization of cloth objects and its relevance in robotic manipulation, submitted to ICRA 2024


Send any comments or questions to Irene at: