High Performance Clothing - When Fashion Gets Functional

When it comes to clothing, what is more important to you? Design or function?

01 June 2016

When it comes down to this, fashion and sports lovers may have completely different preferences. And a picky consumer with high expectations might even say: “Both are important!”

With advanced technology in clothing manufacturing, consumers’ requirements as regards design and functional materials are increasing. It’s very possible that the price of a branded T-shirt with breathable, dehumidification function will cost more than an ordinary windbreaker of the same brand. Since there is a big price difference between functional and ordinary clothing, to make a smart purchasing decision, you may need know more about high-performance clothing. We can find many different kinds of functional clothing in the market, which can be classified by function:

1. Dehumidification, Quick-Drying, Breathable Material: We sweat and release lots of heat when exerting ourselves and that’s why we need heat-releasing and breathable clothing. Good sportswear with dehumidification, quick-drying, breathable functions may be the key to giving everyone greater enjoyment from sporting activities.

2. Cooling Textiles:   Cooling textiles are very popular during hot summer seasons. These textiles make the wearer feel cooler by a factor of 1 to 2 degrees C. They are mostly used in underwear, shirts, and other outdoor wear, as well as bedding.

3. UV Protection Textiles:  Sun-protection clothes can be classified by their UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), which indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric. The higher the UPF, the better the protection. A UPF of 50 means just 1/50th of the sun's UV radiation can reach the skin. The technology is widely applied to swimwear, outdoor wear, hats, outdoor work-clothing, and so on. 

4. Soil Release:  Textiles with a soil-release function do not attract or attract very little dust or dirt. They also allow stains to be removed more easily. Most soil-release textiles can tolerate up to 40 or 50 launderings. So this function is very popular among manufacturers of waiters’ and chefs’ uniforms, business clothing, and carpets. 

5. Protection: Many sports/industries involve a high level of risk, such as fencing and car racing, so the protection function of the clothing is very important. In response to such protection needs, new advanced materials with a higher degree of toughness are preferred in the manufacturing process.

In addition to the above, other special functions include wind resistance, rain resistance, anti-radiation, anti-bacterial, warmth retention, reflective and extra-light materials, etc. Our technical experts are happy to share more information with you if you would like to know more. For textile industry professionals, please feel free to contact us to discuss different material applications, garment processing, functional assessment and management.


Intertek HK