Textile performance, also known as fitness for purpose, is a textile's capacity to withstand various conditions, environments, and hazards, qualifying it for particular uses. The performance of textile products influences their appearance, comfort, durability, and protection. Different textile applications (automotive, clothing, sleepwear, workwear, sportswear, upholstery, and PPE) require a different set of performance parameters. As a result, the specifications determine the level of performance of a textile product. Textile testing certifies the product's conformity to buying specification. It describes product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where fitness for purpose is the primary criterion. Engineering of high performance fabrics presents a unique set of challenges.
The fitness for purpose of textile products is an important consideration for both producers and buyers. Producers, distributors and retailers favor the expectations of the target market, and fashion their wares accordingly.
Serviceability in textiles or Performance is the ability of textile materials to withstand various conditions, environments, and hazards. The term "serviceability" refers to a textile product's ability to meet the needs of consumers. The emphasis is on knowing the target market and matching the needs of the target market to the product's serviceability.
Aesthetics, durability, comfort and safety, appearance retention, care, environmental impact, and cost are the serviceability concepts employed in structuring the material.
Aesthetics imply the appearance and attraction of textile products; it includes the color and texture of the material.
Durability in textiles refers to the product's capacity to endure use; the amount of time the product is regarded adequate for the intended application.
The performance of textiles extends to functionality through comfort and protection. The term "comfort" (or "being comfortable") refers to a state of physical or psychological well-being—our perceptions, physiological, social, and psychological requirements are all part of it. After food, It is the clothing that satisfies these comfort needs. Clothing provides comfort on a number of levels, including aesthetic, tactile, thermal, moisture, and pressure.
Protection in textiles refers to a large application area where the performance (of functionality) is more central than aesthetic values.
The ability of a textile product to retain its appearance after being used, washed, and ironed is referred to as appearance retention.
The treatment necessary to maintain the appearance of textile products is referred to as care. Textile products need to be cleaned and ironed to keep their look. This includes things like how to wash them and how to dry them. Care labelling for textile products takes into account the performance of each component as well as the manufacturing methods.
It is influenced by a variety of elements. The cost of a textile product includes the raw material, manufacturing, and maintenance costs.
Every textile product has an impact on the environment. The extent to which textiles harm the environment during manufacturing, care, and disposal is a concept of textile serviceability. The substances which add performance to textiles have a severe impact on the environment and on human health. The halogenated flame retardants, PFC treated stain repellant, and triclosan or triclocarban or silver-containing antimicrobial fabrics certainly have a lot to do with the effluent and environment.
|Name of the substance||Advantage in textile products||Associated health risks and environmental impacts||References|
|Perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA), Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon)||Hydrophobic effect||Endocrine disruptor|||
|Fluorocarbon (PFC)||Hydrophobic effect||May cause respiratory illness|||
|Bromine||Brominated flame retardant||Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances may cause Neurobehavioral disorders and Endocrine disruption|||
|Silver Or Silver nanoparticle||Antimicrobial resistance||Environmental impact of silver nanoparticles and toxic effects on human health|||
Fundamentally, each fiber and fabric has distinct properties, and they are chosen based on their suitability for fitness for purpose. Users have five basic criteria for performance, including appearance, comfort, durability, maintenance, and cost. These performance expectations are not the same as those of specialist textiles. Due to the often highly technical and legal requirements of these products, these textiles are typically tested in order to ensure they meet stringent performance requirements. A few examples of different areas are:
|Car section or part||Fabric consumption in square meters||Material||Properties of fibers||Performance expectations from the material used|
|Airbags||3.5||Nylon coated with silicone or neoprene from inside||Strong, elastic, tough and stable in terms of shrinkage||Capability of holding air when inflated and should be strong enough to withstand the impact without rupturing|
|Upholstery||10.0||Nylon and polyester||Abrasion resistance||Strong abrasion resistance to withstand the friction of sliding objects and passengers. To retain the shape and smoothness of the seats. Colors should be fast to sunlight and rubbing to sustain the exposure.|
|Carpet||4.0||Nylon||Strong, tough and abrasion resistant||Strong enough to stand friction, the material must be tough and resilient|
|Trunk||4.0–5.0||Nylon||Strong, tough and abrasion resistant||Strong enough to stand friction, antimicrobial|
|Headliner||4.0–6.0||Composite/blended/laminated fabric adheres to melted polyurethane foam||Strong, insulating||Aesthetics, feel, stiffness, and sound reduction|
Tensile strength, bursting, sensorial comfort, thermal comfort, heat transfer, water repellency MVTR, air permeablity, pilling, shrinkage, fading, lightfastness, drape and hand feel are a few performance parameters.
Performance of textile products is primarily based on fiber and fabric structure. Fiber properties are fundamentally determined by their physical and chemical properties.. Specific finishing methods, functional finishes, fit, and product design could all be used to improve the overall performance of a textile product, allowing it to achieve higher performance levels.
Performance has an array of characteristics that affect appearance, durability, and comfort. Performance characteristics are in-built or incorporated into the textile materials. For example, technical textiles are classified into twelve separate categories. In which the performance is predetermined, and textiles are manufactured and structured as per the application and end-use. Durable water repellent is another functional finish that makes fabrics resistant to water (hydrophobic).
Clothing insulation is a property that provides thermal insulation for the wearer. A stain-repellent is an added property of fabrics to make them stain resistant. Sun protective clothing aids in the avoidance of both light and harmful UV rays.
There is a whole panoply of properties that relate to material functionality and their use in performance fabric applications. These include, inter alia:
In terms of performance, wool has been advertised as a "miracle fabric" as it naturally possesses a variety of functional properties, including stretch, warmth, water absorption, flame retardance, and the ability to wick away body moisture. Additionally, Merino wool has the ability to protect from harmful UV rays. Natural and synthetic fibers have various properties that influence the final textile performance. Most of the natural fibers are suited for comfort, where synthetics are better for aesthetics and durability.
Additional properties are properties other than the inherent properties of the textiles which are specifically added in accordance with the specific needs. They may be added during different textile manufacturing steps from fiber to fabric.
High-performance fibers are specifically synthesized to achieve unique properties such as higher heat resistance, exceptional strength, high strength-to-weight ratio, stiffness, tensile strength, chemical or fire resistance. These high-performance fibers are used in protective clothing (PPE) with exceptional characteristics like chemical resistance and fire resistance.
Finishing improves appearance and performance.
Textile finishing is the process of converting the loomstate or raw goods into a useful product, which can be done mechanically or chemically. Finishing is a broad term that refers to a variety of physical and chemical techniques and treatments that finish one stage of textile production while also preparing for the next. Textile finishing can include aspects like improving surface feel, aesthetical enhancement, and adding advanced chemical finishes. A finish is any process that transforms unfinished products into finished products. This includes mechanical finishing and chemical applications which alter the composition of treated textiles (fiber, yarn or fabric.) Mechanical finish purports machine finishes such as embossing, heat setting, sanforizing, sheering, various, luster imparting, surface finishes, and glaze finishes.
Chemical finishing refers to the process of applying and treating textiles with a variety of chemicals in order to achieve desired functional properties. Chemical finishing of textiles is a part of the textile finishing process where the emphasis is on chemical substances instead of mechanical finishing. Chemical finishing in textiles also known as wet finishing. Chemical finishing adds properties to the treated textiles. These properties may vary from Normal to Advanced or High Tech. Softening of textiles, durable water repellancy and wrinkle free fabric finishes are examples of chemical finishing.
Cravenette was an old chemical finish of the early 20th century that makes cloths water repellant.
The first modern waterproof raincoat was created following the patent by Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh in 1824 of new tarpaulin fabric, described by him as "India rubber cloth," and made by sandwiching a rubber softened by naphtha between two pieces of fabric. Application of performance finishes are not a new concept; Oilcloth is the first known coated fabric. Boiling linseed oil is used to make oilcloth. Boiling oils have been used from the year 200 AD. The "special purpose finishes" or ''Performance finishes'' are that improve the performance of textiles for a specific end-use. Performance finishing contributes to a variety of areas. These finishes enable treated textiles with different characteristics, which may be opposite to their natural or inherent nature. Functional finishes add value other than handfeel and aesthetics. Certain finishes can alter the performance suiting for thermal comfort (thermal regulation), antimicrobial, UV protection, easy care (crease resistant cotton fabrics), and insect repellant etc.
Nanotechnology in textiles is a branch of nano-science in which molecular systems at the nano-scale of size (1–100 Nanometre) are applied in the field of textiles to improve performance or add functions to textiles. Nanotechnology unites a variety of scientific fields, such as material science, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering. For example: Nanocoating (of microscopically structured surfaces fine enough to interfere with visible light) in textiles for biomimetics is the new method of structural coloration without dyes.
See further Nanofabrics
Surface tension biomimetics is a phenomenon of exploitation of biomimetics properties to create functional effects such as shark skin, and lotus leaf that have the ability to repel water and self-cleaning. In textiles, surfaces with hydrophobic or hydrophilic properties are formed with the help of coatings and applied finishes.
Certain technologies can alter the surface characterizations of textiles.
Plasma is a highly reactive state that activates the substrate, and the oxidized surface of the plasma-treated textile improves dyeing while reducing environmental impacts. Plasma can also be used to treat textiles to obtain waterproofing and oil repellent properties. Different gases in the same fiber may have other effects, and various gases are chosen for different results.
|Plasma process with||By using chemical element||Result on treated textile|
|Noble gas||Helium, argon||Etching|
|Oxidizing||Oxygen, carbon dioxide, water||Cleaning, functionalisation and etching|
|Hydrocarbon||Nitrogen or oxygen containing hydrocarbons||Plasma polymerization|
Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) irradiation is used to modify the structural and surface properties of textiles, as well as to texturize them.
Main article: 3D textiles
3D textiles are used in versatile applications, like military textiles, bulletproof jackets, protective clothing, manufacturing 3D composites, and medical textiles. Examples include 3D spacer fabrics, which are used in treating a wound.
Standards vary with the use and application areas. Military textiles, industrial textiles have separate tests to analyze performance in extreme conditions. The American National Standards Institute approves the textile performance standards set by ASTM International. Other testing agencies or bodies which are recognized or accepted as international standards depending on the contracts:
|AATCC||American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists|
|ISO||International Organization for Standardization|
|IWTO||International Wool Textile Organisation|
The comfort performance of textiles is the foremost requirement that influences product acceptance. Following comfort, safety and protection are the top priorities. Numerous tests are conducted to evaluate the performance of textiles.
The test method evaluates the thermal resistance and water vapor permeability of fabrics, which bear on the garment's comfort.
Water vapor transmission rate also called moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) is a method of testing or measuring the permeability for vapor barriers.
The air permeability test method is for measuring the ability of air to pass through textile materials.
The moisture wicking or moisture management test is for testing moisture management properties such as wicking capabilities and drying efficiencies.
The Qmax test method is used to evaluate the surface warm-cool sensations of fabric and to indicate the instantaneous thermal feeling sensed when the fabric first comes into contact with the skin surface.
A thermal manikin is a device for analysing the thermal interface of the human body and its environment. It assesses the thermal comfort and insulation properties of clothing, such as protective gear for the military.
Kawabata evaluation system measures the mechanical properties of the textiles such as tensile strength, shear strength, surface friction and roughness, The Kawabata evaluation system predicts human responses and understands the perception of softness. Additionally, it can be used to determine the transient heat transfer properties associated with the sensation of coolness generated when fabrics come into contact with the skin while being worn.
Clothing serves a variety of functions in our daily lives, from the home to occupational hazards. The role of textiles in comfort, recreation, and safety. The performance aspects of textiles through images.
For steady exposure to cold and warm environments, thermal comfort and neutral temperature sensations lie in the range for physiological thermal neutrality (28°–30°C), in which there is no physiological temperature regulatory effort. Discomfort increases more rapidly below 28°C than above 30°C, while thermal sensation for both heat and cold increases rapidly each side of neutral. Discomfort correlates best with lowering average skin temperature toward cold environments and with increased sweating toward hot environments. In general, discomfort is associated with a change of average body temperature from 36.5°C.
Carbon woven fabrics from Compositesplaza are used in the following applications:Model building, Yachts- and Boats construction, Automotive (car parts), Sporting goods, Orthopedic parts, Aviation parts, industrial Construction, Luxury items and jewelry, Motorsport parts.