Let’s Go Outdoors & Play: Sportswear Performance Criteria
Whether you are going on a holiday at the seaside with friends and family or going aboard for an adventure of a lifetime, you have to solve one happy problem: what to pack in your suitcase. You may be surprised to see a range of functions added to garments, which offer comfort and protection
As a consumer, buying a piece of comfortable clothing is important. Some functions such as antibacterial and moisture management features are added to enhance the consumer’s experience.
Wanting to stay fresh on-the-go? Antibacterial textiles such as socks and tops are good news for active people. Textiles of such nature are typically given an antibacterial treatment to suppress the growth of bacteria on the fabric which may cause unpleasant odours. This may make you feel refreshed throughout the day.
Those who head to sunny resorts may take clothing, like running tops, with moisture management functions. To achieve the intended purpose, these types of clothing may contain some of the following elements:
Wicking: fibres channel moisture along the filament through “capillary actions”, pulling moisture to the fabric surface.
Push/Pull Actions: utilises a double layered approach with inner layer which typically moves moisture away from the surface and an outer layer being hydrophilic or “waterloving”, which will let the moisture be spread out and able to evaporate from the surface.
In addition to comfort factors, protecting oneself from the elements is also important for staying safe on holiday. Common features include:
Heading to the beach? You better slip on a shirt and slap on some sun screen. Shirts and hats with UV protection are often made with special material and constructed in ways which reduce the UV rays reaching our skin. For example, higher density fabrics would offer higher UV protection than a lower density fabric.
Water Resistant Clothing
Water resistant jackets would probably be one of the most important items to take on holiday. These items of clothing are specially designed to protect the user from elements such as wind and rain. They often incorporate fabric which is treated to prevent water penetration but to allow the fabric also to be breathable. Breathable fabrics allow vapour phase moisture to move away from our bodies and out through our clothing.
Putting “water resistant” and “breathable” fabrics together seems counterintuitive, however it is technically achievable by adding a barrier layer with pores that are small enough to prevent rain droplets from entering and large enough to allow vapour moisture from the inside to escape. Liquid water droplet size is significantly larger than that of vapour.
Those heading to a colder climate this summer may wish to take some warmer items, such as woollen hats. Common sense suggests that as the thickness of the layer increases to keep us warm, the breathability decreases, making us feel uncomfortable. Fear not, many of these items sold in shops today incorporate features of breathability to enhance the physiological comfort of the user.
Unwinding after the day’s activities
Relaxing and knowing that the “second skin” that you have worn offers protection is simply bliss. In addition to the functionality, performance and versatility that these products offer, product safety, such as the absence of restricted substances, also is a primary concern. SGS offers a range of services throughout the supply chain to assist and verify products compliance both at the regulatory and contractual levels, giving you peace of mind.
Find out more info on SGS Services for the Sportswear Industry.
Karen E. Kyllo, Ph.D.
Deputy Vice President, Global Softlines
SGS North America Inc.
t +1 973 461 7934
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.