Factors Affecting Human Comfort Response to Garments

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Title: Factors Affecting Human Comfort Response to Garments
Author: Bernard, Andrew Blake
Advisors: Dr. Roger Barker, Committee Chair
Dr. David Hinks, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Pam Arroway, Committee Member
Abstract: Clothing comfort is defined by the tactile sensations felt by a subject through the mechanical interactions between the body and the garment. This research investigated the mechanical properties of 100% woven cotton fabric that significantly contribute to the perceived in-wear comfort of garments treated by various laundering methods. Treatments included washing methods using detergents and softeners, as wells as after treatments with selected starch applications. The treated fabric samples were initially assessed via development and execution of a hand panel consisting of 26 females. Mechanical properties of the samples were measured using the Kawabata Evaluation System. A comparison of hand ratings and KES properties of each treatment showed a significant difference between treatments. Subjects were not able to perceive a difference between two of the treatments and after testing of other treatment methods a sample set was selected for a wear test. Four of the nine bipolar descriptors correlated well with overall hand ratings including harsh/soft, rough/smooth, sandy/slippery, and rigid/flexible. The hand panel results were employed to design a full garment wear test. The same fabric was used for manufacturing button down blouse garments of varying sizes to fit the human subject panel of 29 females. In this experiment, subjects performed four activities of controlled dynamic movements and rated the garment after each activity. The activities included: donning where subjects simply changed into garments; arm crosses where subjects switched the position of two small weights on a counter top by crossing their arms; toe touches to arm raises in one continuous movement; and bowling where subjects played a bowling game on a Nintendo Wii systems that required subjects to make bowling motions with one arm. Correlation models were then developed for the dynamic garment wear test and Kawabata measurements. The type of dynamic movement performed had a significant effect on comfort ratings. A final model was constructed correlating mechanical properties to descriptors which were correlated to overall comfort. The descriptors significant to predicting overall comfort were scratchy and stiff which were included in the model with the activity type. The mechanical properties geometric roughness, coefficient of friction, and mean deviation of coefficient of friction were correlated to the descriptor scratchy and the mechanical property shear stiffness was correlated to the descriptor stiff. Locations of sensation were identified during each activity and will be used in further wear testing to measure dynamic properties.
Date: 2009-04-16
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/311

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