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IJFTR 34(2) 122-128

IJFTR 34(2) 122-128

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Published by Ahmad Samer
comfort properties
comfort properties

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Published by: Ahmad Samer on Feb 26, 2014
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Indian Journal of Fibre & Textile Research Vol. 34, June 2009, pp. 122-128
Comfort properties of suiting fabrics
R K Nayak 
, S K Punj & K N Chatterjee
The Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences, Bhiwani 127 021, India and
B K Behera
Department of Textile Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi 110 016, India
 Received 18 June 2008; revised received and accepted 7 September 2008
The effects of polyester content, pick density and weave on the thermal comfort and tactile properties of polyester/viscose blended yarn fabrics have been studied by measuring the low- stress mechanical properties on Kawabata evaluation system. The thermal comfort has been studied by measuring the air permeability, thermal insulation and moisture vapour transfer properties of fabrics. The tactile properties have been studied by measuring the fabric mechanical and surface properties, such as tensile, shear, bending, compression, surface roughness, surface friction and handle. The fabrics with higher polyester content give higher total hand value and higher thermal insulation, but lower air permeability and lower moisture vapour transfer. The fabrics with higher polyester content also show lower extensibility; the extensibility in warp direction is higher than in weft direction and twill woven fabrics give higher extensibility than the plain woven fabrics.
Air permeability, Fabric comfort, Fabric handle, Low-stress mechanical properties, Moisture vapour transfer, Thermal insulation
1 Introduction
Clothing comfort is an extremely complex phenomenon and has drawn the attention of many textile research workers. It can be classified into three groups, namely psychological, tactile and thermal comfort
. Psychological comfort is mainly related to the garment style, proper fit, fashion and suitability for the occasion and shows no relationship with the fabric properties. Tactile comfort is the feel of the fabric when it is touched and it is directly related to fabric handle. The handle of a fabric is influenced by its mechanical and surface properties. The ease of body motion and the level of load generated in fabric during body movement are obviously related to the fabric handle properties, and therefore a study of clothing tactile comfort must take into account the fabric low-stress mechanical properties. It is concerned with the subjective judgment of roughness, smoothness, harshness, pliability, thickness, etc. Many researchers have carried out extensive work on fabric handle properties
. Thermal comfort is the factor governed by the movement of heat, moisture and air through the fabric. The maintenance of thermal balance is probably the most important attribute of clothing and has drawn the attention of many textile research workers
. The main problem associated for thermal comfort is the incompatibility between the requirement of heat conservation during low metabolic activity and heat dissipation at high energy level. There are numerous factors regarding conditions of thermal comfort, such as age, sex, adaptation, season and heat-flow conditions as well as physical conditions existing next to the skin surface. Fabric low-stress mechanical properties are most important from tactile comfort standpoint. In this study, Kawabata evaluation system for fabrics (KES-FB) has been used to measure the low-stress properties because of its accuracy and high degree of sensitivity. Also the effects of polyester content, weave and pick density on comfort properties of polyester/viscose blended suiting fabric is studied.
2 Materials and Methods
2.1 Materials
Twelve plain and twill woven suiting samples (six samples of each) with fixed end density and three different pick densities were used for study. The 50:50 and 30:70 polyester/viscose (P/V) blended suiting fabrics were prepared in the CIMCO sample loom.
 To whom all the correspondence should be addressed. Present address: School of Fashion & Textiles, RMIT University, Melbourne, Vic 3056, Australia. E-mail: rkn.nayak@gmail.com
et al.
2.2 Methods
 2.2.1 Evaluation of Fabric Dimensional Properties
Thread density was measured by pick glass. Warp and weft counts were measured by Beesley balance. The constructional parameters of the fabric samples are given in Table 1.
 2.2.2 Testing of Fabric Tactile Comfort Properties
Handle properties of the fabrics were evaluated by measuring the fabric low-stress mechanical properties (tensile, shear, bending, compression, surface roughness and surface friction) on Kawabata evaluation system for fabrics (KES-FB). The tensile and shear properties were studied on KES-FB1 (tensile and shear tester). The tensile properties were measured by plotting the force extension curve between zero and a maximum force of 500 gf/cm and the recovery curve. Shear properties were measured by shearing a fabric sample parallel to its long axis, keeping a constant tension of 10 gf/cm on the clamp. Bending properties were measured on KES-FB2 (pure bending tester) by bending the fabric sample between the curvatures -2.5 and 2.5 cm
. Compressional properties were studied on KES-FB3 (compression tester) by placing the sample between two plates and increasing the pressure while continuously monitoring the sample thickness to a maximum pressure of 50 gf/cm
. The surface roughness and surface friction were measured on KES-FB4 (surface tester). The primary and the total hand values were calculated from the sixteen mechanical properties using the prescribed procedure by Kawabata and Niwa
 2.2.3 Testing of Fabric Thermal Comfort Properties
Air permeability tests were conducted according to BS 5636 on prolific air permeability tester. At least 10 specimens were taken for testing with exposed area of 10 cm
 under a pressure head of 10 mm of water column. Thermal insulation was determined using the KES-FB 5 (Thermolabo II). The dry contact method with an air velocity of 30 cm/s was used for the measurement of thermal insulation.
The evaporation cup method was used to measure the resistance of fabric to moisture vapour as per BS 7209. The fabric was sealed over a cylindrical cup containing distilled water and the rate of evaporation was measured under standard atmospheric conditions. The moisture vapour resistance was calculated in grams of water passing through square metre of fabric in 24 hours.
3 Results and Discussion
3.1 Tensile Properties
The tensile properties of suiting fabrics are shown in Table 2. The EM (tensile strain) value indicates low-stress extensibility and is related to crimp removal process during tensile loading. It is the factor affecting fabric tailorability and seam slippage. Higher value of EM provides wearing comfort but creates problem during stitching and steam pressing. It is observed that for the fabric with higher polyester content, the extensibility is lower. This may be attributed to the higher initial modulus and bending rigidity of polyester fibre. Matsudania and Kawabata
 have explained the tensile deformation of the fabrics in two steps. In first step, the crimps are stretched without any mechanical restriction and the removal of crimp depends upon the inter-yarn contact area. When the fabric is stretched, initially the tensile force is supported by the bending rigidity of the bent yarn. In the second step, the crimp interchange phenomenon takes place and the bending rigidity plays an important role in the tensile deformation. Hence, the compact structure of fabric having higher polyester content combined with the higher bending rigidity of polyester results in the decrease in extensibility with the increase in polyester content. Very high values of tensile strain in warp direction (EM1) generates problem in sewing and seam pressing due to distortion of fabrics during sewing. The tensile strain in weft direction (EM2) is also crucial for good tailorability and comfort. For all the fabric samples, EM1 is higher than EM2. The twill woven fabric is having higher EM values as compared to plain fabrics. This is because of more mobility of the yarns in a twill fabric due to less crossover points. The linearity of tensile property (LT) is indicative of wearing comfort. Lower values of LT give higher
Table 1—Fabric constructional parameters [Ends/cm 20, warp linear density 30 tex, and weft linear density 60/2 tex] Sample code Fabric (P/V) Weave Picks/cm S1 50:50 Plain 18 S2 30:70 Plain 18 S3 50:50 Plain 16 S4 30:70 Plain 16 S5 50:50 Plain 14 S6 30:70 Plain 14 S7 50:50 Twill 18 S8 30:70 Twill 18 S9 50:50 Twill 16 S10 30:70 Twill 16 S11 50:50 Twill 14 S12 30:70 Twill 14 P – Polyester and V – Viscose.
124 fabric extensibility in initial strain range indicating better comfort, but the fabric dimensional stability decreases. It is observed that LT is higher for the fabrics with higher polyester content. The LT values of plain fabric are higher than that of twill fabric; the values are higher in warp direction than in weft direction. The tensile energy (WT) also shows the same trend as the elongation for all the samples. The tensile resilience (RT) indicates recovery after tensile deformation. It has been observed that with the increase in polyester content, the tensile resilience increases. It may be attributed to higher resilience of polyester fibre compared to that of the viscose. The RT values are higher for the fabric with tighter construction (i.e. higher pick density) because of the crimp removal which leads to a better recovery in a tight fabric.
3.2 Shear Properties
It has been observed from Table 3 that the shear rigidity (G) increases with the increase in polyester content. This may be attributed to the higher flexural rigidity and coefficient of friction of polyester fibre as compared to viscose. The high value of shear rigidity causes difficulty in tailoring and discomfort during wearing. Shear rigidity of a fabric mainly depends upon the mobility of the warp and weft threads within the fabric. Subramanium
et al.
 have shown that the contact between the threads greatly affects the shear rigidity of the fabrics. In the tighter structure of the fabric, there is a greater contact between warp and
Table 2—Tensile properties EM, % LT WT, gf.cm/cm² RT, % Sample code Warp Weft Warp Weft Warp Weft Warp Weft S1 4.46 3.80 0.72 0.69 7.89 6.69 57.12 56.83 S2 4.97 4.17 0.71 0.65 8.57 6.81 54.27 55.94 S3 4.02 3.76 0.70 0.68 7.66 6.56 54.22 53.94 S4 4.56 4.50 0.68 0.67 8.26 6.74 50.56 52.64 S5 3.88 3.22 0.69 0.68 7.54 6.44 54.16 53.86 S6 4.48 3.32 0.67 0.64 8.12 6.57 49.78 48.57 S7 4.92 3.97 0.69 0.67 8.48 7.01 54.10 54.87 S8 5.19 4.22 0.68 0.63 9.46 8.27 49.83 50.35 S9 4.54 3.84 0.68 0.67 8.32 6.88 53.92 54.21 S10 5.00 4.89 0.67 0.66 9.00 8.36 49.26 50.24 S11 4.16 3.28 0.68 0.67 8.12 6.80 53.86 54.13 S12 4.86 3.82 0.66 0.62 8.24 8.22 48.64 50.10 EM—Tensile strain, LT—Linearity of tensile property, WT—Tensile energy, and RT— Tensile resilience. Table 3–Shear and bending properties G, gf/cm.deg 2HG, gf/cm 2HG5, gf/cm B, gf.cm²/cm 2HB, gf.cm/cm Sample code Warp Weft Warp Weft Warp Weft Warp Weft Warp Weft S1 1.129 1.063 2.211 1.411 2.446 2.132 0.058 0.078 0.045 0.065 S2 0.975 0.914 1.945 1.318 1.890 1.459 0.056 0.072 0.041 0.061 S3 1.101 1.012 2.106 1.214 2.347 1.921 0.057 0.074 0.043 0.061 S4 0.957 0.905 1.864 1.212 1.657 1.317 0.054 0.070 0.040 0.059 S5 0.908 0.899 2.003 1.198 2.332 2.012 0.051 0.071 0.041 0.059 S6 0.882 0.846 1.846 1.147 1.643 1.114 0.049 0.068 0.039 0.056 S7 0.795 0.742 1.466 1.133 1.563 1.122 0.070 0.076 0.055 0.057 S8 0.712 0.690 1.358 1.123 1.421 1.113 0.068 0.072 0.051 0.056 S9 0.772 0.701 1.309 1.152 1.443 1.071 0.065 0.071 0.052 0.054 S10 0.692 0.663 1.308 1.111 1.317 1.065 0.062 0.070 0.049 0.052 S11 0.722 0.655 1.269 1.099 1.308 1.113 0.063 0.068 0.051 0.053 S12 0.657 0.626 1.268 1.097 1.269 1.087 0.060 0.066 0.048 0.049 G—Shear rigidity, 2HG—Hysteresis of shear force at 0.5°, 2HG5—Hysteresis of shear force at 5°, B—Bending rigidity, and 2HB— Hysteresis of bending moment.

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