The evaluation and optimization of sensorial comfort

Smith, Julia Elizabeth 1987, The evaluation and optimization of sensorial comfort , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

Download (15MB) | Preview


The factors which are commonly considered to be of prime importance in determining the comfort of garments are thermo-physiological comfort, garment fit and sensorial comfort. The last of these factors is the topic of this thesis. Although these three factors are separated into distinct groups, they are also dependant on one another. Therefore a knowledge of all of them is necessary for an assessment of overall clothing comfort. Sensorial comfort has. been a neglected area of clothing comfort in comparison to the other comfort factors. Vhen research has been carried out it has been on specific sensations or fibres and no over-view of the range of sensations and their relative severity has been established. This means that different research studies in this area cannot be compared because they are so specific. This research programme has established the foundations for future sensorial comfort studies by providing this information. This was done by an extensive wearer trial when a large selection of commercially available fibres and fabrics were worn next to the skin for a range of activities. Nine major discomfort sensations were identified. These were: tight fitting bands, tickle, prickle, scratchiness, local irriation due to labels, seams and trimmings, fibre shedding, initial cold feel, wet cling and tacky cling. Four of these sensations: tickle, local irritation, fibre shedding, and tacky cling had not been investigated before. A glossary of terms was compiled to describe these sensations and this is proposed as a standard terminology. This wearer trial also enabled a hierarchy of potential discomfort to be identified for these nine major discomfort sensations. These sensations were further investigated by specific wearer trials to determine the main physical, physiological and psychological factors influencing their presence and severity. New test procedures were designed and developed to assess a fabric or garment for the presence of discomfort sensations. When.test procedures were inappropriate, recommendations were made. The attitude of the general public to the factors producing discomfort from their clothing was also determined. A range of 1004 people in the north of England were asked for their views on all aspects of clothing comfort. Some of the .major findings were that people associate discomfort with the fibre type, and not the fabric or garment. Fibre absorbency is thought to be very important for clothing comfort, but wet cling is not thought to be an annoying sensation in comparison to other skin sensations, and the appearance of the fabric has an over-riding influence on the acceptance of a garment. This research has provided the information necessary to describe and, in many cases predict the presence of sensorial discomfort sensations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 12:07
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:27

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year