Clothing is used to protect the wearer from the external environment, and provide protection from hot and cold weather. Also it has become a social norm to wear well suited clothes, to enhance the looks as per the occasion. Clothing requirements change depending on the geography, social and cultural factors, occupational requirements, gender differentiation and mostly as an expression of personal taste and style.
Looking at the customers buying behaviour, the below 3 factors are mostly considered while deciding the Clothing :
- Fashion – The apparel industry has always been driven by changing fashion, and it has an impact on the Style, Silhouette, Colour, Embellishments, etc., of the garment. Due to social media, customers have started to follow the Global fashion trends, and expect to get the latest in fashion at the same time globally. So Fashion is something that can be related to the “Look” of the garment.
- Feel – Handfeel and texture of the fabric has always been important in deciding a garment, as it is in direct or indirect contact with the skin. That’s the reason fine fabrics of Cotton, Silk, Pashmina,etc. have always been preferred. If the handfeel of a fabric is coarse, it is generally considered of low quality, and not preferred by the wearer.
- Fit – Once the customer is satisfied with the Fashion and Feel of the garment, they actually put on the garment to try the Fit of it, and how it looks on them. This is the final stage in buying a garment. With the growing use of yarns like Spandex, more body fitting and shape enhancing garments are being offered. So overall the garment construction and the fabric used, provides the right fit that is required by the customer.
But through this buying process, we can see that the very basic need of Clothing, that is for its Functionality has been missed. Many times, the buyer and seller both ignore this aspect, and end up with good looking but inappropriate clothing.
Function involves five factors, that must be considered for every piece of clothing :
- Insulation : It controls the Thermal property of the garment, and controls the flow of body heat to the outside environment, and flow of the outside heat/cold to the body. For summers we would prefer a loosely constructed fabric, which will allow better air flow, but for Winters it will be better to use tightly constructed fabrics, which can give more insulation and wind proofing. Also finishes like brushing on the fabric, improves insulation by trapping the body heat inside the garment. Insulation is determined by the Clo value of the garment.
- Moisture permeability : The body constantly releases moisture in vapour form, and any clothing which enables it to release it to the outside environment is considered to be comfortable. Else it may cause uneasiness like in high humidity. Cotton is good for transmission of Water in Vapour form, so its been the preferred choice for Casual clothing. It is determined by the Moisture Vapour Permeability (MVP) of the garment.
- Water Absorbency / Wicking : An average person produces upto 2Ltr of Sweat per hour while doing Active exercise. Cotton fabrics which are good for transmission of water in vapour form, are not suitable for Sweat, as it absorbs the sweat quickly but does not dry fast. Due to it the wet fabric transfers the body’s heat at a very fast rate and makes the body feel cold. So for Activewear/ Sportswear, fabrics with Wicking/ Quick dry properties are preferred, which are able to absorb the sweat and also dry quickly, to ensure better air circulation and provide comfort to the skin. It is determined by the time taken to absorb water in seconds.
- Drying time : As explained together with water absorbency, the time taken by the fabric to Dry is very important to provide comfort to the wearer. Fabrics like Cotton, Rayon, Wool which take a long time to dry, tend to feel sticky, clingy, when wet. Whereas Polyester/ Nylon fabrics which have Quick Dry property, can disperse the moisture through its capillary movement, and enable it to dry quickly.
- Water penetration : This function is required to prevent the body from the rain/ snow. With the Water Proof/ Water Repellent function, the fabric does not allow the water to penetrate through the fabric, hence keeping it dry on the inside.
The choice of Fiber, Thickness, Fabric construction, Finish(Wicking, Coating, Brushing, Perforation, etc.) can have an impact on the Functionality of the garment. Also while deciding the comfort of a clothing, it is important to consider the Characteristics of the Clothing, along with the Perception of the wearer about it.
Hence with the advancements in Functional fabrics, this 4th element of Clothing has become increasingly important to consider while making a choice of the garment, and fabric to be used accordingly.
We at Positex have been striving to get you the best in Fabrics & Fashion, since our inception in 2005, as Pashupati Overseas LLP. Specialising in the field of Fabrics for Sportswear, Jackets and Outdoor wear we have been dealing with a variety of Functional Fabrics, considering the evolving requirements of the market and garment application.
We understand that based on the end use of the garment, the functionality of the fabric needs to be offered. For Eg. For Sportswear where the heat and moisture transmission is very important, we offer Breathable and Quick Dry fabrics. At the same time for Outerwear Jackets where Insulation is important, we offer Wind Proof, Water Repellent, Stay Warm(Fleece), fabrics.
With our commitment to deliver “Quality and Quantity, On-Time, Everytime”, we have been the preferred supplier in the industry..
Serving you with an experienced & committed team, we are prepared to cater to your requirements, through our main office at New Delhi, and associate offices at Bengaluru, Mumbai & Ludhiana. For sourcing and inspections we have a Liaison office in China as well.