What is it about?

During use sportwear fabrics undergo biaxial stretch which influences fabric air permeability and thus comfort of the athlete. Yet fabric airpermeability is tested in non-stretch conditions. This paper introduces a non-automatic device to apply biaxial stretch and investigates the effect of biaxial stretch as well as domestic washing on air permeability of polyamide-elastane knitted fabrics for sportswear

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Why is it important?

We found that air permeability of the selected fabrics significantly increased upon biaxial stretch, regardless the fabric type and stretch level (5 % or 10 %) applied. On contrary, the effect of domestic washing (5-10-15 washing cycles) on air permeability of PA knits with up to 42 % elastane content was limited. The manual device proposed applies stretch in one or two directions, it is robust and easy to handle, and fabric preparation is quite straightforward. The fabric holder used in this study is particularly suited to the head of the air permeability tester and the level of stretch applied depends on type of fabric.


Unlike the fabrics used in this study, depending on fabric construction, the air permeability of some fabrics may decrease upon stretch and this should be avoided at any time as it jeopardises the thermo-physiological comfort of the wearer, and this is especially critical during high-intensity activities. Manufacturers of fabrics, sportswear or compression clothing need knowledge about variation of air permeability under biaxial stretch in designing or selecting the fabrics for sportswear respectively.

Dr. simona vasile
Univesity College Gent

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of Biaxial Stretch and Domestic Washing on Air Permeability of Elastic Knitted Fabrics for Sportswear, Fibers and Polymers, April 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s12221-019-8871-6.
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