Clothing & Clothing Comfort
Clothing is an integral part of human life. Clothing protects from cold or heat to maintain body thermal comfort throughout the full range of human activities. Comfort may be defined as a pleasant state of psychological, physiological and physical harmony between a human being and the environment.
Clothing comfort or the sense of coolness/warmth is one of the important parameters of sportswear. Comfort in fabrics is related to three main factors, namely thermo-physiological, censorial and physiological.
Moisture management is an important aspect of any fabric meant for apparel, which decides the comfort level of that fabric. The moisture management properties of a fabric are critical to wearers’ comfort, especially in sportswear for moderate to intensive physical activity. Various types of tactile, moisture and thermal interactions between the clothing material and the human skin determine the comfort level of a person at a given environmental condition while engaged in a specific level of activity.
Considerable research has been carried out on ideal structure for sportswear. However, different sports demand different construction of the garment, though some structures are commonly used. Layered structures are most common structures in that category. The performance of layered structures in thermo-physiological regulation is better than single layer textile structure.
Layering of fabrics used as garment has major effect on properties such as thermal conductivity, air permeability and moisture vapour transmission. A simple double-face construction is preferred, in which inner face is made of a synthetic fibre, say polyester that is hydrophobic and has a good capillary action; the outer face is made from a hydrophobic fibre like viscose/modal/cotton that absorbs the transported moisture and allows it to evaporate.
Research & development has been carried out to develop a bi-layer knitted fabric that will achieve a high level of clothing comfort for active sportswear. In this regard, moisture management properties of several bi-layer knitted structures made out of Viscose-Polypropylene, Modal-Polypropylene, Viscose-Micorfibre Polyester, Modal-Micorfibre Polyester, Viscose-Polyester, Modal-Polyester and Bamboo-Polyester were studied.
From the research, it can be concluded that the bi-layer knitted fabric because of its good moisture management properties are preferred for sporting apparel because they quickly release perspiration from the skin to keep the wearer dry.