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SDL Atlas

Fabric Comfort and Hand Measurement Explored at TBIS

Release Date 10.10.12Subscribe RSS

Clothing is one of the most intimate objects associated with our daily life. Because it interacts directly with our skin, comfort is a basic prerequisite when selecting clothing. However, comfort is difficult to explain qualitatively since it is a complex and interdependent combination of perceptions and can be highly subjective. In order to meet the comfort needs of consumers, objective measurement methods are needed for process control purposes.

The Faculty of Textile Science and Technology of Shinshu University, in Ueda City of Japan, hosted the 5th Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Symposium (TBIS 2012) in August 2012. The Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society (TBIS) was incorporated in 2007 to foster, develop and promote all aspects of science and technology in bioengineering of materials, fibers and textiles, and to study how fibers, textiles and clothing influence human biology, medicine, behavior and health, as well as human living environments.

One area of particular interest in this year’s symposium was the efforts being made by testing equipment manufacturers in partnership with universities and standards development organizations to develop objective measurement of the comfort and hand properties of textile materials. One workshop in particular, the “Fabric Comfort and Hand Evaluation” workshop devoted special attention to technology innovations on how to evaluate the comfort and hand properties of textile materials focusing on the latest developments and innovations in testing methods, standards and instrumentation. There, Professor Sachiko Sukigara of Kyoto Institute of Technology Japan, Prof. Yi LI and Dr. Jun-Yan Hu, of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Mr. Robert K Lattie, the Product Development Director of SDL Atlas Ltd, and Mr. Chris Boardman of Unilever R & D Port Sunlight laboratory in the UK led a lively discussion of the use of objective and subjective evaluations of fabric comfort and hand properties as well as the development of testing standards.

An exciting development to come out of this Workshop was the public introduction of the Fabric Touch Tester from SDL Atlas. The development of the Fabric Touch Tester is a columniation of a 2.5 year research project funded by the Hong Kong Research Institute for Textiles and Apparel at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with the goal of identifying ways to definitively measure skin touch comfort.

The research papers presented the human physiological response to various comfort related stimuli from clothing and the environment. Additional papers described the details of the development of Fabric Touch Tester and its correlation to human panel studies covering a wide range of fabrics. Key features of the newly development instrument included a surprisingly quick test and simple operation that will allow these research grade measurements to be made in quality control laboratories.

“This new technology has dramatic potential in the wide spread global supply chains of today’s apparel brands,” said Mr. Lattie. “We can now finally measure fabric hand instrumentally as objectively and reliably as we measure color.”

The SDL Atlas Fabric Touch Tester is now available for order. For more information about the instrument, inquiries can be made to any SDL Atlas office or agent.

The SDL Atlas Group of companies offers the largest range of textile testing equipment, supplies, consumables, and services available from a single source. With its own offices in the United States, Hong Kong and China, plus agents in over 100 countries, SDL Atlas is ready to support its customers anywhere in the world. The goal of SDL Atlas is to provide customers with the most complete solution at the best value.

For more information, visit or contact an SDL Atlas solutions expert:
- (US) T: +1 803 329 2110; F: +1 803 329 2133; E:
- (Hong Kong) T: +852 3443 4888; F: +852 3443 4999; E:
- (China) T: +86 755 2671 1168; F: +86 755 2671 1337; E:

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