Thesis Details

Thesis Title: Development of a Comfort Mesasurement Matrix
Thesis Author: Melissa Burchett
Abstract: Comfort has been shown to be a key determinant in textile product sales, yet as a concept, it is elusive. Comfort is comprised of a series of interactions with the human body and its environment. Comfort thus varies by end-use and the individual whims of the wearer or user. In order to study comfort, efforts were begun with fabric hand. The Kawabata Evaluation System (KES-F) is known as the most complete method of evaluation for fabric hand and comfort characteristics, however, the breadth of information, time, and expense involved in this system has rendered it obsolete for use by the US textile industry, especially within the manufacturing environment. The current research is thus focused on the development of a more simplistic objective test method, and one that is suited to the needs of the industry. Two methods were identified for use in this research as potential alternatives to KES-F. These are the CSIRO Fabric Assurance by Simple Testing (FAST) and a Ring Pull-Through (RPT) method. Trials were run on six fabric types, all six of which displayed variations in finishing treatments. Results from the two objective methods were compared to rankings from a subjective fabric hand evaluation, conducted in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. The results show that the RPT method is able to discriminate between finished styles of a fabric type at a similar level to that of human judges. Additionally, multiple regression models for all test data suggest the strongest correlations between subjective preference data and FAST-3 extension variables. RPT peak load and area values also showed strong negative correlations with FAST-3 extension ratings, indicating the combined use of the RPT device and an extension test as a promising predictor of subjective comfort preferences. A matrix, or methodology, for utilizing these methods is proposed.