The fashion and clothing industry is a global multi-billion dollar business. The large game has a massive number of players, including producers of counterfeit clothing and footwear. While customs agencies around the world are being given powers to seize and destroy fake goods, they also need methods to distinguish non-genuine items of clothing from the real ones. Counterfeit clothes can look and feel almost exactly like the genuine items. Classic examples of textile product fraud include substitution of the more expensive merino wool with wool of lesser grade, or selling rayon or polyester as natural silk.

Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy can be used in the analysis of the different textile types. The different chemical and physical characteristics result in differences in the spectral features of different materials. These differences can be used to build a calibration set for materials classification.