Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing

1st Edition

By Jane Moira Taupin, Chesterene Cwiklik

CRC Press

251 pages | 85 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420068214
pub: 2010-11-24
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pub: 2010-11-24
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When a crime or other incident takes place, clothing items are often present or left behind, and can become directly involved in the case itself. Items of clothing are thus one of the most common types of exhibit examined in court. They can provide valuable information in cases of violent crimes, such as homicide or rape, as well as in burglary, robbery, arson, and vehicular accidents.

A unique reference in the forensic arena

The first of its kind, Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing discusses the forensic examination of clothing in criminal cases. It examines the ramifications of DNA profiling and its effect on the screening approach to clothing examination. Coverage includes protocols and procedures, preliminary assessment, examination, testing and sampling, quality assurance and control, and the significance of results.

Applicable to a myriad of readers

Suitable for a wide range of readers, this book is designed for examiners trying to decide how to approach a clothing examination, those looking for more information on a specific topic, laboratory quality assurance officers in need of a reliable reference, as well as attorneys, investigators, archaeologists, and curators.

Expert authors

Author Jane Moira Taupin has testified as a forensic expert more than 130 times. Chesterene Cwiklik is a founder of the Pacific Coast Forensic Science Institute. Their expertise makes this a valuable resource for all those who examine clothing items and interpret subsequent findings.


An interesting feature of this text is the practical exercises at the end of each chapter encouraging the reader to apply the various principles under discussion, and to visit local good and bad examples of green chemistry.

—Lucy Mitton, Chemistry World

"The science is supported by excellent illustrations and case studies. Each chapter is well-referenced for further study. … essential for the proper understanding and preparation of that special case."

Law Society Journal

"The authors are experienced forensic scientists with different perspectives; their experiences combine to provide useful suggestions for the practitioner responsible for the forensic examination of clothing. The forensic scientist assigned to examine clothing for physical evidence would benefit greatly from a full understanding of the suggestions in this book. More importantly, stakeholders (investigator, litigator, and trier of fact) will benefit from clothing examinations conducted in the ways described in this book."

— Richard E. Bisbing, in American Academy of Forensic Sciences

" … provides a very good starting point for readers that have no or limited exposure to the field. I would recommend this book to any forensic examiner understudy … "

—Ghislain Cormier, National Operations Specialist, RCMP Forensic Investigations Support Services, Ottawa, Ontario

"This is a practical and useful book … more than meets the hopes of the authors. It should be essential reading for all forensic scientists to remind them tht the forensic process is holistic and not about single evidence types."

—James Robertson, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences

Table of Contents

Protocols, Procedures, and Philosophy

The Importance of Clothing Examination

Clothing a "Crime Scene"

Multiple Hypotheses, Alternative Explanations

The Origin of Evidence

Searching for Evidence and the Screening Effect

Checklists, Guidelines, and Protocols

Nonprescriptive Holistic Approach

Preliminary Inquiries

Focus of the Examination

Information Concerning the Crime

Levels of Information

History of Exhibit

Reference and Control Samples

Preservation, Handling, and Storage

Contamination Issues

Health and Safety

Preliminary Assessment




Clothing Construction

Yarn and Fabric Composition

Yarns or Threads



Sewing Terminology

Clothing Construction Terminology

Stains and Deposits


Information from Preliminary Examination

Getting Started: Workflow for Examination of Stains and Deposits

Sampling of Stains and Deposits

Questions That Can Be Addressed by Stains and Deposits

Sorting Tools for Stains and Deposits

Establishing a Reference Collection

Writing Reports


Terminology for Stains and Deposits

Pattern Evidence

Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA)

Firearm Discharge Residue Patterns

Direct Contact Impressions: Imprints and Indentations

Physical Fit



Damage Categories

Examination Approach

Normal Wear and Tear and "Recency"



Holes and Punctures



Physical Fit

Glass Cuts

Microbial Damage

Thermal (Fire and Heat) Damage

Firearm Damage

Other Textiles


Glossary of Terms

Human Biological Evidence




Vaginal Secretions, Urine, Feces, and Vomit



Wearer DNA

Trace DNA

Multiple Body Sources


Nonhuman Biological Evidence


Traces and Debris

The Nature of Debris

Sorting Tools for Evaluating Traces and Debris

Composition of Debris

Component vs. Non-Component Debris

Transfers of Debris

Questions That Can Be Addressed by Examinations of Traces and


Questions of Contact

Target vs. Context-Based Examinations

Absence of Debris

Summary: Nature, Composition, Source, and Transfers of

Traces and Debris

Sampling and Sorting

Reference Samples and Reference Standards

Reconstruction of Events

Process-Based Descriptive Terminology for Traces and Debris

Trace Evidence Recovery Guidelines (SWGMAT, 1999)

Results and Their Significance

Significance of the Evidence


Context of Evidence Obtained from Clothing

Objectivity and Opinion

The Adversarial System and the Law

Interpretation and Communication of the Evidence

Peer, Technical, and Administrative Reviews

Training and Maintaining the Expertise of the Clothing Examiner



About the Authors/Editors

Forensic scientists and technicians, attorneys, and judges.

About the Series

Protocols in Forensic Science

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General