Wearable Functional Textiles: History
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Wearable E-textile systems should be comfortable so that highest efficiency of their functionality can be achieved. The development of electronic textiles (functional textiles) as a wearable technology for various applications has intensified the use of flexible wearable functional textiles instead of wearable electronics. However, the wearable functional textiles still bring comfort complications during wear. The purpose of this review paper is to sightsee and recap recent developments in the field of functional textile comfort evaluation systems. For textile-based materials which have close contact to the skin, clothing comfort is a fundamental necessity.

  • wearable technologies
  • functional textiles
  • comfort evaluation
  • intelligent systems

1. Introduction

Comfort is the most significant feature of materials that have close contact with human skin. Rossi [1] defined clothing comfort as a feeling or condition of pleasing ease, well-being, and contentment. He classified comfort dimensions as thermophysiological, psychological, and sensorial. Thermophysiological comfort is concerned with the heat balance of the body during various levels of activity, while psychological comfort is all about being at peace with oneself. Sensorial comfort is a fabric handle related to tactile, moisture, pressure, and thermal sensations [2]. Furthermore, some attempts have been made to give definitions in relation to clothing comfort. Here are some of them:
  • A term related to the roles, values, and societal standing is the so-called physiological comfort [3];
  • A state of harmony between the wearer and the surrounding environment [4]; and
  • Balanced thermal regulation of the body—thermal comfort or a combination of physiological, psychological, and mental wellbeing of the human being [5].
All the said definitions are equally important in the aspects of clothing comfort. Comfort is a very fundamental and decisive factor for when people buy clothes. Knowingly or unknowingly, people check for physiological or psychological clothing comfort. Therefore, a fundamental understanding of clothing comfort, more specifically wearable functional textiles, is very important for quality of life.
Assessing the clothing comfort of clothing material is critical as there are many dynamic contacts between the clothing and the human body, such as tension force and bending of clothing occurs as the garment is worn on the human body where there are body parts brought the fabric to be bent or tensioned, as well as friction, compression, and some gravitational force against the human body where it stands. Figure 1 details various factors that contribute to discomfort of clothing.
Figure 1. Illustrates where a rigid body (a) (assumed) is in continuous contact with a dynamically moving cloth (b). At first contact, the garment touches the skin; then, when the movement and friction tighten, it touches the soft tissues, and finally has the probability of disturbing the bone. The directions of the arrow on the cloth indicate the reaction of the cloth with the human skin. For example, the direction of gravity shows where the fabric has external forces beyond friction and contact with the skin.

This entry is adapted from the peer-reviewed paper 10.3390/ma14216466

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