Mechanical comfort: One of fundamental need of human body

Dr Muhammad Mushtaq Mangat HH_physiology_4_nerves.htm

  Skin sensational

Mechanical comfort is also known as:


wear comfort Tactile comfort Sensorial comfort Movement comfort Dynamic comfort

Mechanical comfort
  Is based on:

Skin sensation Touch by human body parts Context in which fabric is touched Response profile of person Pressure Friction

Mechanical comfort is deeply rooted in feeling of a person due to any interaction between clothing and skin

  Judged by

subjective evaluation

Diverse aspects of mechanical comfort
  Assessment of user keeping in mind place,

seasons, fashions and personal preferences [6] and fabric [7]

  Stimulation developed by friction between hand   Personal feeling after taking fabric in hand [7]   Comprehensive observation based on sensation

when a textile fabric is taken into control with the help of hand, fingers and rolled around[7] pain [8]

  Responses of nerves based on thermal, pressure,

Types of Mechanical Comfort
  Tactile sensations:   prickly, tickling, rough, smooth, craggy, scratchy, itchy, picky, sticky.   • Moisture sensations:   clammy, damp, wet, sticky, sultry, non-absorbent, clingy.   • Pressure (body fit) sensations:   snug, loose, lightweight, heavy, soft, stiff.   • Thermal sensations:   cold, chill, cool, warm, hot [7,8]

Psychophysical comfort
  It ideals with quantitative investigation of

interaction between stimulus and sensation of human body sensation perceived by human due to any stimulus acts on human skin

  It is a type of study, which measures the

  It depends upon subjective feelings of persons   Action is purely mechanical and impact is

assessed on the basis of subjective feelings

Factors affecting psychological comfort [2, 5]

Bending rigidity Drape of fabric Shear resistance Elasticity and elastic recovery Surface roughness Friction of coefficient


Composition Thickness Density
Type and fineness of fibers Alignment of fibers in yarn and yarn thickness Dimensional rigidity and friction Match between human body size and clothing size Surface profile variation Compressibility of fabric

Surface smoothness

Tensile strength
Porosity of fabric


Skin and sensation

Human skin is quite sensitive to any change occurring in the environment Finger tip has more than 300 receptors One of the functions of skin is to intimate any change in any part of the body through human body signal system to brain for necessary actions Generation of signals depends upon the contact between clothing and skin It is a complex sum of a number of receptors reporting feeling of texture, stress, dimensional change, change in temperature, deformation ,vibration etc.


Subjective assessment depends
Depends upon

Influential factors
  Gender, age,

Assessment conditions Assessment technique The method of ranking Scaling the assessment Analysis of the results [12]

education and cultural backgrounds are potential. Female are more sensitive than man [13]

Four handle methods [11]


Types of sensations
There are five basic qualities of sensations   occur in the sensory nerves of skin.


Touch pressure (mechanoreceptors) Cold (thermo receptors) Warm (thermo receptors) Pain Itch

[McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience]

Cutaneous sensation

A specific set of nerves for each type of sensations Finally, a comprehensive sensation emerges from the integration of these sensations At each spot, there is one kind of nerve There is no overlapping Each nerve does a specific job and sends signals Finally, at one point in brain all signals are processed and comprehensive observation is developed… all such sensation is called Cutaneous sensation

Types of mechanoreceptors
  There are seven kinds of mechanoreceptors

present in the skin

Seven Types of mechanoreceptors [1]
Receptor Meissner Corpuscle Pacinian Corpuscle Merkel Disc Ruffini Ending Hair tylotrich, fluttering Hair-down Type Sensation Stroking, fluttering Vibration Pressure, texture Skin stretch Hair guard Stroking, Light stroking

  Some retain their position for longer time and

other may come back quickly

Somatic sensation
  Sensory information collected through nerve

system is called somatic senses

  Three categories:
  Mechanoreceptors – stimulated by

mechanical displacement   Body   Thermo receptors –temperature changes Nocio receptors –pain sense

Human Skin published by WebMD LLC 2009

Skin response
Skin experiences two types of sensations:
1.  There is a pressure, friction or and constriction

on the


Change in temperature and moisture on the surface of the skin

Share % of different feelings
  Final decision of customer depends upon:   smoothness (28%)
  softness (22%)   stiffness (8%)   roughness (7%)   thickness (5%)   weight (5%)   warmth, hardness, elasticity, creasing

propensity, drape etc. (25%) [7,9]

Fabric deformation


Sensation process

Touching of fabric with fingers Complex multi-sensory, emotional and cognitive experience starts Memory is stirred Emotion, feeling and association takes place Minds decides based on experience and memory, Impression is embossed in the mind Decisions and motivations are linked with anticipated reality of preference, personality ,emotion and moods [11]

Engineering approach and clothing
  Following factors should be considered

during designing of clothing:   Placement (where on the body it should go)   Form Language (defining the shape)   Human Movement (consider the dynamic structure)   Proxemics (human perception of space)   Sizing (for body size diversity)   Attachment (fixing forms to the body) [3]

Thermal sensation of skin and regional diversification

Different parts of body have different sensation of hot and cold. Three parts of the body; face, under arm and legs have different sensation Face is much sensitive to hot as compared to leg, no big difference is in case of cold. No big difference in skin sensation during winter times in different parts of body In winter; face may be exposed to environment. Nevertheless, people cover their faces if they experience strong wind. [4] People in deserts cover fully their faces to prevent any loss to skin from heat. Veil by Muslim women is another example to understand the significance of face protection during summer.

Man in desert
Face is fully covered

Subjective assessment of fabric

It is a psychological reaction due to touching and intimated to brain through nerves Individuals are used as a tool to estimate the properties of fabric When a person runs their finger across the surface of a fabric, a complex multi-sensory, emotional and cognitive experience takes place. A memory is stirred, an emotion, feeling and association is evoked and a decision is made, an impression becomes embossed in the mind. Decisions and motivations are based on anticipated reality of preference, personality, emotion and moods, for audience or non-audience participation (Moody et al., 2001).


Objective measurement systems

Objective measurement is a method which instrumental measurement is carried out and final assessment is made regarding the mechanical comfort of fabric The KES-F system (Kawabata’s Hand Evaluation System for Fabrics) in 1972 is an example which is much in use and reliable [14] The Kawabata Evaluation System for Fabric (KES-F) which has been widely used since the KES consist of four sets:

FB1 for tensile and shearing FB2 for bending FB3 for compression FB4 for surface friction and variation

A total of 16 parameters are measured

KES Measuring system [14]

KES measuring system[13]

FAST (Fabric Assurance by Simple Testing)
  Developed by The Australian CSIRO   Alternative of KES, relatively inexpensive,

reliable, accurate, robust and simple to operate

FAST System detail [15]

Individual objective measurement testers [16]

Stiffness tester and circular bending rigidity tester by Shirley Drape meter sharp corner drape meter for drape properties by Cusick Tensile testers for tensile and shear properties, thickness gauges for thickness and compression properties, Universal surface tester and Frictorq for friction properties by Universalcan Griff-Tester for fabric extraction method and devices

Stiffness and bending tester [17]

(a) Image analysis system, (b) Captured image on the drape meter [10] (c) Sharp corner tester [2]

The relationship between the subjective and objective evaluation

Subjective is based purely on personal assessment Lot of conflict between subjective and objective evaluation Many ways have been developed to decrease the distance between subjective and objective evaluation Following are few methods commonly used: Steven`s law, Rank correlation, linear regression mode, Multiplefactor analysis, weighted euclidean distance, Component analysis, Decision and information theory, Canonical correlation methods, fuzzy logic–based methods, neural network statistical models … many more


[1] Dunne, L.E. Psychophysical Elements of Wearability. . in CHI 2007 2007. San Jose, CA, USA. [2] Hes, L. Fundaments of design of fabrics and garments with demanded thermophysiological comfort. in International Round Table «Clothing Comfort – Condition of Life Quality» 2009. Romania [3] Goldman, R.F., Thermal Factor: Concepts and Definitions, in Clothing Comfort Intercation of Thermal, Ventilation, Construction and Assessment Factor, N.R.S. Hollies, and Goldman, R. F., Editor 1977, Ann Arbor Publishers: Michigan. p. 3-8. [4] Elansaria, A.M., and Hobanib, A.I., , Effect of Temperature and Moisture Content on Thermal Conductivity of Four Types of Meat. . International Journal of Food Properties, 2009. 12(2): p. 308 - 315. [5] Ancutienė, K., and Sinkevičiūtė, D., The Influence of Textile Materials Mechanical Properties upon Virtual Garment Fit. MATERIALS SCIENCE (MEDŽIAGOTYRA), 2011. 17(2): p. 160-167.

[6] Bakar, B.A. (2004). Subjective and Objective Evaluation of Fabric Handle Characteristics, The University of Leeds, Department of Textile Industries, Master of Science [7] Bishop, D. P. (1996). Fabric: Sensory and Mechanical Properties, The Textile Institute, Textile Progress, UK, Volume 6, No:3, ISBN 1 870812751 [8]Dhinakaran M., Sundaresan S. & Dasaradan B.S. (2007). Comfort Properties of Apparels, The Indian Textile Journal, Vol.32, pp. 2-10 [9] Grinevičiūtė, D., Daukantıenė, V., Gutauskas, M. (2005). Textile Hand: Comparison of Two Evaluation Methods, Materıals Scıence (Medžıagotyra), Vol. 11, No. 1. 2005, pp. 57-63 ISSN 1392– 1320 [10]Hu, J. (2004). Structure and Mechanics of Woven Fabrics, CRC Press Boca Raton Boston New York Washington, DC, Woodhead Publishing Limited Cambridge England [11] Moody, W., Morgan, R., Dillon, P., Baber, C., & Wing, A. (2001). Factors Underlying Fabric Perception. In: 1st Eurohaptics Conference Proceedings. Birmingham [12]Mahar, T. J., Wheelwright, P., Dhingra, R. C. & Postle, R. (1990). Measuring and Interpreting Fabric Low Stress Mechanical and Surface Properties, Part V: Fabric Hand Attributes and Quality Descriptors, Textile Research Journal, 60, pp. 7-17.

[13] Mäkinen, M., Meinander, H., Luible, C., Magnenat-Thalmann, N. (2005). Influence of Physical Parameters on Fabric Hand, Proceedings of the HAPTEX'05 Workshopon Haptic and Tactile Perception of Deformable Objects, Hanover, December [14] Gonca Öz.elik Kayseri, Nilgün Özdil; Gamze Süpüren Mengu , Sensorial Comfort of Textile Materials., 2012 [15] Saville, B. P. (1999). Physical Testing of Textiles, Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge England, ISBN 0849305683 [16] Kim, J.O., Slaten B.L. (1999). Objective Evaluation of Fabric Hand Part I: Relationships of Fabric Hand by the Extraction Method and Related Physical and Surface Properties, Textile Research Journal, Vol.69 (1), pp. 59-67 [17] Silva, L.F., Seabra, E., Lima, M., Vasconcelos, R., Alves, J., Guise, C., Martins, D. (2010). A Successful Partnership for the Development of a Laboratory Friction Testing Apparatus: A Project Review, International Conference on Engineering Education Proceedings, July 18–22, Gliwice, Poland

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