Electrostatic charging of fibrous materials are of concern for the performance of electret filters and comfort issues of textiles. However there is a huge controversy in the characterization techniques of ion beam irradiated or corona charged fibrous materials. In this study we reported a reliable, simple surface potential measurement method. Large variations in potential measurements were found to be mostly due to structural nonuniformity such as packing density, thickness and fiber fiber proximity. Test samples were prepared after optimizing those parameters and we were able to reduce coefficient of variation below 15%. Methods that were developed so far were also reviewed. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.