Source: Textile Review


The primary purposes of military clothing have always been protection, functionality, and identification. In general, comfort has taken a secondary role to these other factors. Many textile researchers have captured the trade off that has to be made between providing protection versus the clothing comfort. It is very important to know that any human being cannot perform satisfactorily until they are completely comfortable. In an overall understanding, we consider the comfort as how an individual feels wearing a fabric.

Throughout the ages, fighting men have worn protective clothing or armour, and since the Middle Ages military forces have adopted standards of military clothing that we refer to as 'uniforms'. The primary purposes of military clothing have always been protection, functionality, and identification. In general, comfort has taken a secondary role to these other factors. Many textile researchers have captured the trade off that has to be made between providing protection versus the clothing comfort. It is very important to know that any human being cannot perform satisfactorily until they are completely comfortable. In an overall understanding, we consider the comfort as how an individual feels wearing a fabric. Comfort properties mainly comprises of three main areas - thermal, tactile and fit of the garment. In this report, you will see the various properties that influence the comfort of the military clothing. Effort has been made to describe about the various testing procedures for the testing of the comfort properties of the military clothing also.


War is not something which started in the middle ages. People from different countries and areas have.been fighting from the ancient period, mainly for land power and other basic resources. We know the warriors in the ancient period wore protective armour, and by the starting of middle age and henceforth, military forces have adopted standards of military clothing what is known as 'Uniforms'. The primary purposes of the military clothing have always been protection, functionality, and identification - protection from projectiles, explosions, toxic chemicals and gases, extreme environments, radiation; functionality to aid in the performance of military tasks quickly, effectively and with a minimum of energy expenditure; and identification of friend and foe. In general, comfort has always taken a secondary role in military textiles.

Slater in the year 1996, mentioned in his paper 'Comfort or Protection: the clothing dilemma' that 'human beings cannot function satisfactorily if they are not completely comfortable'. For instance, low moisture permeability in the garment can lead to heat stress, profuse sweating which impedes visual, cognitive and physical performance. Abrasive materials can cause chafing in the skin. These can give raise to psychological discomfort that interferes with motivation and wiIIingness to perform high-risk missions.


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About the Author


Author is currently pursuing Final Year in Bachelor of Textiles in Textile Technology in DKTES Textile and Engineering Institute, Shivaji University, Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra, India.


Originally published in Textile Review: February 2010