Saturday, 8 January 2011

Textile and Comfort

People have always been interested in the connection between clothing and physical well-being.Comfort has its physiological, physical-chemical and psychological components. Major components in case of textiles are Warmth, Absorbing capacity and humidity, General comfort , Cloth convenience , Skin perception , Weight and Softness. Out of these major part of comfort is directly related to the body temperature. Thus any clothing can be measured on comfort by the fact that how well it can regulate the temperature of the body. Sweating is the most effective way the human body has of cooling down. How well can a clothing provide comfort depends upon (among other factors) how well it can handle sweating.

The most effective cooling is achieved by sweat evaporating directly on the skin. Thus any clothing that behaves closest to the skin is comfortablee. The ability of a textile to transport perspiration in the form of vapour through itself and out to the exterior is generally referred to as its breathability. It is incorrect to use the terms breathability (or resistance to water vapour) and air permeability interchangeably, because low air permeability does not in itself result in lower breathability. The best example of this is modern wind- and waterproof membranes, which allow very little air to permeate in from outside (windproof), but still allow evaporated perspiration to pass through from the inside.

Fiber characteristics influence breathability the most. However contrary to popular belief,synthetic fibers are not always bad in terms of comfort. If textiles made from synthetic fibres were properly designed, they could not only offer the same heat and moisture management qualities as natural fibres but even exceed them.For example in in double faced clothings, layers of natural and synthetic fibres were combined, yet kept separate. The synthetic fibres of the "double face material" were next to the skin and conducted perspiration quickly and efficiently away from the body and into the outer cotton layer. In combination, the two materials were far more comfortable than cotton, because of the drier feeling on the skin."

There are some interesting developments in getting comfort characteristcs of fabrics they include a gradual variation in the fineness of the fibres and yarns from the inner surface of the textile to the outer surface. It improves moisture management; because the resulting narrowing of the capillaries (denier gradient) means that the moisture can be transported away from the skin really effectively. Other measeures include integrating electrical and electronic components such as heating or cooling elements. The latest battery technology and innovative methods of processing and wiring.


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