Perceived moisture in shirt fabrics was determined using psychophysical methods and objectively measured moisture absorption behaviours. Four shirt fabrics were assessed: cotton; regular polyester; high-performance polyester; a high-performance polyester/polypropylene blend. After a screening test, six of 10 female subjects participated in the determination of difference thresholds (DLs) for moisture perception. Low and high amounts of sweat were simulated using 0.5 and 1.5 ml of standard stimuli (St), respectively. The results showed that the different threshold values were affected by the amount of sweat due to the characteristic absorption behaviour of the different fabrics. At St=0.5 ml, cotton showed the largest difference threshold (DL1=0.257 ml); it also had the highest initial absorption rate. With the high level of simulated sweat (St=1.5 ml), the high-performance polyester, which had the highest wicking rate at 30-70% of its maximum absorption capacity, had the largest DL (DL2=0.543 ml). These data indicate that cotton and high-performance polyester provide better moisture comfort in low and heavy sweat situations, respectively. The results suggest the possibility of using the psychophysical method as a tool to predict the end-use-specific performance of functional textiles when traditional subjective ratings fail. Statement of Relevance: Since the moisture management behaviour of high-tech and conventional fabrics may differ, the moisture comfort of high-performance fabrics cannot be predicted using existing subjective rating methods. The feasibility of incorporating psychophysical human factors into the end-use-specific performance evaluation of high-performance textiles was examined to help develop and optimise their comfort level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation