Apparels are one of the basic needs for mankind. In addition to protection, apparels have to be comfortable to wear. Knitted clothing is preferred by consumers for their easy care and comfort features. There are two main aspects of comfort, viz., tactile and sensorial. While tactile comfort is measured as fabric hand, sensorial comfort depends on heat and moisture transport properties of fabrics. Kawabata Evaluation System for Fabrics (KES-FB) is developed for assessing handle properties of fabrics objectively without the help of experts who traditionally do this assessment. The KES-FB system uses tensile, shear, compression, bending and surface properties of fabrics measured under low stress levels and predicts the hand value objectively. Present paper investigates low-stress mechanical properties of different products of woven and knitted cotton apparel fabrics using Kawabata Evaluation System for Fabrics (KES-FB).


Introduction


Fabric hand is an important property of apparel fabrics and it influences the final quality of the apparel to a great extend. Fabric hand depends on both fabric structure and low stress mechanical properties of the materials used (1-18). Fabric hand is a complex property, related to the behavior of fabric during tensile, shear, compressional, and bending deformations. In addition to this, surface features of fabrics like friction and roughness are also important. When we feel a fabric between our fingers, we are, in fact, subjecting the fabric to all the above mentioned deformations. Nerve endings at the finger sense the resulting sensations and produces by the fabrics and as a result we get a subjective feel of hand. The KES-FB system simulates this condition by way of measuring low stress mechanical properties of the fabrics and can predict perceptions such as softness, crispness, etc. with the help of a set of transformation equations developed for it. Kawabata and coworkers have developed a set of transformation equations linking the low stress mechanical properties of fabrics to the subjective hand assessment by expert judges. Thus, KES-FB system can predict Total Hand Value (THV) for specified end use from the measured properties of a fabric.


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The authors Gurumurthy Ramaiah is associated with Lovely Professional University, Department of Fashion Technology, Jalandhar-Delhi G.T.Road, Phagwara, Radhalakshmi.Y.C is with Central Silk Board, Central Silk Technological Institute, B.T.M.Layout, Madivala, Bangalore and Dr.R.P.Nachane is PS & Head QEID, CIRCOT, Adenwala Road, Matunga, Mumbai.