Fabric inspection is improved using near-infrared (NIR) illumination and a conventional monochrome camera. It takes advantage of the residual sensitivity of a monochrome camera that commonly reaches up to 1000 nm. Fabrics having a superstructure of colored squares, bands, etc. superimposed to the basic web structure can be advantageously analyzed because the contrast of the superstructure signal appears reduced under NIR illumination.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.