You are on page 1of 60


Understanding Clothing and

Clothing Comfort
Need and Selection of Clothing
 Basic Needs: Food, Clothing, Shelter
 Second most important basic need –
 Human expectation – much more than
basic need
 Wealth
 Status
 Occupation
 Age
 Occasion
 Gender
Factors affecting the Selection of
 Social factor;
 Economic factor;

 Environmental factor; and

 Physiological factor
Factors for clothing selection

Social factors Economic factors Environmental Physiological
factors factors

Socio- Economic Availability of

economic status of an technology /
condition individual raw materials

Climatic Protection from Unusual places

condition extreme (deep sea, space,
conditions etc.)

Age of a Health Physical Thermo- Activity

person condition of a structure physiological level
person of body responses of

Rural / Cultural Gender Occupation Occasion Social status

Urban background
Social Factor
 Where a person lives (urban or rural
 Cultural background of person

 Gender (Male, Female)

 Occupation (Nurse, Police, etc)

 Occasion (Formal wear, Casual wear,

Party wear)
 Social status (royal and common)
Economic Factors
 Economic condition of society
 Clothing selection depends on affordability

 Economic status of individual

 Individual income differs, depends on their
job and position due to which the status will
 Availability of technology or raw material
 The technology may not be affordable by
the society (or) the production of particular
fibre may be limited in a region
Environmental Factors
 Climatic conditions
 Winter, Summer, Rainy seasons

 Protection from extreme environment

 Protection from radiation, extreme cold,

fire, etc.
 Unusual places

 Space suit, deep sea suit, swimwear,

hazardous place, battle field etc.
Physiological factor
 Age
 Condition of health of person

 Allergy or Irritation to specific fibre,

or a person with electronic gadget
inside the body ……..
 Body structure

 Height, Fat or Thin, etc.

Physiological factor
 Physiological response of body
 Comfort level of an individual varies for
same type of clothing depends on the
thermo-physiological response of the
 Activity level

 Athlete, etc.
Comfort - Definitions
 Comfort is influenced by the physiological
reaction of the wearer.
 Comfort is temperature regulation of the
 Comfort is the absence of unpleasantness
or discomfort.
 Comfort is a state of pleasant
psychological, physiological and physical
harmony between a human being and the
Basic elements of clothing comfort
 Thermo-physiological aspect
 Transmission of heat, air, and moisture (liquid
and vapour)
 Sensorial or tactile aspect
 How a clothing generates feeling when it is worn
next to the skin (e.g. handle or feel, flexing,
softness, warm-cool touch, static charge
generation, pricking, itching etc.)
 Psychological aspect
 Aesthetic properties of fabric (e.g. drape, luster,
colour, crease, pilling, staining etc. )
 Fitting comfort
 Size and fit of clothing
Primary factors in clothing
Four `Fs’ in clothing comfort

Four primary factors in clothing comfort,

- function;
- feel;
- fit; and
- fashion.
Primary factor: Function
The functions related to clothing comfort parameters

- thermal transmission (fabric thickness, yarn and

fabric structure, porosity etc.)

- moisture (liquid and vapour) transmission

(type of fibre, weave structure of fabric and the
finishes applied to the fabrics etc.).

- water absorbency,
(fibre type, finishes, weave and design of fabric

- drying behaviour, etc.

(type of fibre, fabric and design of fabric etc.)
Primary factor : Feel
The clothing comfort related to feel are
broadly divided into following two
distinct areas,

- the feel of clothing when held

between the thumb and the fingers; and

- the feel of clothing by the wearer

when worn in contact with skin.
Present system ……..

 Fabric handle: Generally judged subjectively in industry

 Examination by certain physical movement

Primary factor : Fit

Fit may incorporate factors from

fashion, including concepts that may be
diametrically opposite to comfort


Applied pressure is related to the fit

of clothing
Primary factor : Fashion

The clothing fashion is related with the

psychological comfort
Clothing Comfort and Wearer’s

Attitudinal &
Characteristics of Psychological
Clothing perception
of the wearer

Comfort and satisfaction with clothing are influenced by

both characteristics of clothing (related to materials) as
well as by attitudinal and psychological perceptions of the
wearer (beyond the clothing as material)
Characteristics of Clothing

 Physical characteristics of fibres and

materials used
 Tactile characteristics

 Thermo-physiological characteristics
Wearers Attitude
 Sensory attributes of the clothing
 Softness/harshness, warm/cool touch, absorbent/non-
absorbent etc.
 Serviceability characteristic
 Durability, creasing, blend type etc.
 Expected comfort and satisfaction related attributes
 Prior experiences
 Information obtained about the clothing through
interpersonal communication, advertising, or retail
When I think about sweaters, I think about…………
When I think about jeans, I think about ………………
 By these types of questionnaires to consumers, the factors
underlying the concept of sweater or jeans can be
Wearers Attitude

 Design features of the clothing

 Brand labels

 Information on garment care

 Price
Wearers Attitude: Conjoint analysis technique

 It is a survey based statistical technique used in

market research that helps determine how
people value different attributes (feature,
function, benefits) that make up an individual
product or service.

 Widely used by researcher for assessing consumer

attitudes towards clothing
 This technique deals with the factors related to the
consumer attitudes and behavioral intentions by
using multi-attribute choice alternatives within a
specified experimental design
Conjoint analysis technique
 This technique enables the researcher to “work
backwards” from the choices or ratings to uncover
the relative importance of each factor to the
consumer’s decision process (e.g. denim in blue
colour is popular; cotton dress materials are gaining

 The product attributes are the dependent

 The attributes and their levels can be varied
Human -Clothing Interaction
Clothing as Thermal Barrier
 Hindrance to the release of body heat
 Clothing system as "a quasi-physiological
system interacting with the body"
 Relationship between human body and his
clothing is a two-way process
 clothing protects the wearer from the
environmental hazards for which it has
been designed; and
 at the same time the clothing does some
adverse things to the wearer
 unwanted thermal insulation when it is not
 hindering the free evaporation of sweat
from skin
Human-Clothing System
 The metabolic heat produced by a normal person in
 Normal condition is about 80-90 watts

 High activity rise to > 1 kw (worker in furnace, fire

 Human body needs effective cooling system
 Sweating (1 liter/hour)

 Excessive sweating may also results

dehydration – due to lack of proper thermal
 Linked mechanisms within the human-clothing
system which are essential to maintain the correct
body temperature and the failure of this link of heat
transfer in any form causes increase in body
temperature and the person may feel sick or dizzy
Fundaments of human thermal physiology

Human body as a thermal engine with the efficiency  = (5-25%)

Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body
This is a simplified model of the process by which the human
body gives off heat. Even when inactive, an adult male must lose
heat at a rate of about 90 watts as a result of his basal

Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body
One implication of the model is that radiation is the most
important heat transfer mechanism at ordinary room

This model indicates that

an unclothed person at
rest in a room temperature
of 23ºC would be
uncomfortably cool.

The skin temperature of 34ºC is a typical skin temperature taken

from physiology texts, compared to the normal core body
temperature of 37ºC.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Perspiration ≈ 17 Watts
Even when one is unaware of perspiration, about 600 grams
per day of "insensate loss" of moisture from the skin.

The cooling effect of

perspiration evaporation
makes use of the very
large heat of vaporization of

This heat of vaporization is 540 calories/gm at the boiling point, but

is even larger, 580 cal/gm, at the normal skin temperature.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Perspiration ≈ 17 Watts
The specific heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C
= 4.186 joule/gram °C
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Conduction ≈ 11 Watts
The basic heat transfer equation for conduction is

where in this case,

A would be the area of the

human body; and
k the thermal conductivity of the
air surrounding the body
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Radiation ≈ 133 Watts
The basic heat transfer equation for radiation is

A is the area of the human body; and
e is the emissivity of the skin.
In this case the temperatures must
be in kelvins.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Convection ≈ ??? Watts

In estimating the effect of

convection on the cooling of the
body, it is lumped in with

Together, they are not generally

adequate for cooling.

 Convection involves the transport of energy by means of motion

of the heat transfer medium, in this case the air surrounding the
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body

Even when inactive, an adult male must lose heat at a rate of

about 90 watts as a result of his basal metabolism

This becomes a problem when the ambient temperature is above

body temperature, because all three standard heat transfer
mechanisms work against this heat loss by transferring heat into
the body.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body

Our ability to exist in such conditions comes from the

efficiency of cooling by the evaporation of perspiration

At a temperature of 45ºC the evaporation process must overcome

the transfer of heat into the body and give off enough heat to
accomplish a 90 watt net outward flow rate of energy.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body

Because of the body's temperature regulation mechanisms, the skin

temperature would be expected to rise to 37°C at which point
perspiration is initiated and increases until the evaporation cooling is
sufficient to hold the skin at 37°C if possible.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling of Human Body
With those assumptions about the temperatures, the Stefan-
Boltzmann law for an area of 2 m2and emissivity 0.97 gives a
net input power of 109 watts to the body.

The perspiration cooling must overcome that and produce the net
outflow of 90 watts for equilibrium.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology

Cooling by Perspiration ≈ 207 Watts

When the ambient

temperature is above body
then radiation, conduction and
convection all transfer heat
into the body rather than out.

Since there must be a net outward heat transfer, the only

mechanisms left under those conditions are the evaporation of
perspiration from the skin and the evaporative cooling from
exhaled moisture.
Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Cooling by Perspiration ≈ 207 Watts
The cooling effect of perspiration evaporation makes use of the
very large heat of vaporization of water.

This heat of vaporization is 540

calories/gm at the boiling point,
but is even larger, 580 cal/gm, at
the normal skin temperature.

For, average 7.5 liter sweat evaporation per day,

Q/t = approximately 207 watts

Fundaments of human thermal physiology
Heating by Conduction ≈ 8 Watts
The basic heat transfer equation for conduction is

Q/t = approximately 8 watts

Fundaments of human thermal physiology

Now, we will consider the situations when

clothing layer is introduced between skin and
Human-Clothing-Environment System
Controlling Microclimate
Microclimate regimes and the associated
comfort levels

Controlling Microclimate should be the primary work of a comfortable cloth

The mechanisms for effective heat
 All the metabolic heat produced should be carried to
the inner body surface (inner layer of skin) by the
effective circulation of sweat (Not Adjustable)
 The skin should be able to generate the necessary
amount of sweat (Not Adjustable)
 The generated sweat should get transmitted
effectively (in liquid as well as in vapour form) through
clothing ensemble
 Can be controlled by proper clothing
Now: Retention of body heat
 Most of the environmental temperatures are below
the temperature of human body. Heat flows from our
body to surroundings: What is the comfortable
 So, clothing is required to hinder the flow of body
heat to the atmosphere
 When temperature difference is less (e.g. 27°C in
atmosphere), the number of clothing layers for heat
balance is minimum
 But if temperature difference is higher (e.g. >10° C)
heat loss from the body will be higher and we need
more insulating layer in the clothing which provides
insulating still air layer too. In windy condition?
Enhancement of Body Heat Release
 Higher activity such as walking or running the thermal
insulation of clothing reduces by forced air circulation
between and through the layers of clothing

 The thermal insulation also decreases by bellows effect

 It is further decreased by the wetness of the clothing
because of sweat at high activity level
All these may not be always sufficient!
 The clothing layers also hinder the evaporation of sweat so
that the wearer becomes over-heated and sweats (why?)
 In normal condition, sweat wets the clothing and in cold
condition sweat (vapour) gets condensed on the outer
layer of the clothing
Enhancement of Body Heat Release
 In either case the sweat removes less heat from
the body than it does when it is able to
evaporate from the skin (bare body), and
additional sweat therefore has to be secreted
to maintain the heat balance.
 Consequently, the wearer is too hot while he is
active, and when he later rests he becomes
chilled because of the reduced insulation of
wet clothing and the continuing evaporation
of water from it
The over-heating of body can also be
reduced by proper clothing design
 Creating openings, to allow natural convection by
chimney effect, at various places in the clothing,
e.g. neck, wrists, ankle and waist
 Designing loose fit clothing, to have free
convection of air and free interchange with outside
air by means of a bellows effect
 Providing full-length zippers in the clothing for
specific applications to enhance radiative heat loss.
 Avoiding the use of impermeable materials,
whenever possible, can further facilitate
evaporative cooling
Multilayer Clothing System

 Performance clothing assemblies consist of a

number of layers and each layer performs its
specific function
 Inner layer
 Middle layer(s) and
 Outer layer
Three Layered Clothing

Water Wind
Heat protection
Outer layer

Middle laye

Inner layer

Body heat / perspiration

Layered Clothing System
Functions of Layers
 Inner layer
 Sweat absorption
 Direct cooling of the skin
 Transmission, and
 Tactile functions
 The middle layer(s) (shirt or sweater)
 Still-air entrapment for insulation
 Moisture (liquid and vapour) transmission
 Outer layer
 Protection from extreme environmental factors,
like rain, wind, chemical, heat, radiation etc
Steps to Understand Clothing
Understanding Clothing Comfort:
Need and Consumer Trends
 Clothing is most important part of our life which we use
everyday to get physiological and psychological comfort and
to ensure physical conditions around our body suitable for
 It is necessary to have good understanding of the
fundamentals of clothing comfort
 Instruments have been developed to measure comfort related
characteristics such as mechanical, thermal and surface
 Consumer needs everything from clothing i.e., good look,
good feel, perform well, match with their attitudes, roles and
Understanding Clothing Comfort: Scientific Approaches

 To understand and predict the comfort

performance of clothing one needs
integrated scientific knowledge of physics,
physiology, neurophysiology, and psychology
of comfort
 Steps for understanding clothing comfort
 Market research
 Wear trials and subjective evaluations
 Objective evaluation of clothing characteristics
 Objective evaluation of fabric characteristics
Steps to Understand Clothing
 Market research
 identification of target group
 personal interviews, and
 consumer surveys to gather market information on
the products
 Wear trials
 in the field, in which the clothing are used
 in climatic chambers for psychological sensory
study of consumer focus group study, and
 subjective evaluation of clothing
Steps to Understand Clothing
 Objective evaluation of clothing
 Thermal and moisture transmission on human subjects
or thermal manikins
 Objective evaluation of fabric characteristics
 Testing transmission (moisture, heat)
 Handle
 Tactile and
 Aesthetic characteristics of fabrics