Impact of Fabric Moisture Transport Properties on Physiological Responses when Wearing Protective Clothing

Yueping Guo, Yi Li, Hiromi Tokura, Thomas Wong, Joanne Chung, Anthony S.w. Wong, Mayur Danny Indulal Gohel, Hang Mei Polly Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of fabric moisture transport properties (MTP) on physiological responses when wearing protective clothing. Ten healthy subjects wore two kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles and exercised on a treadmill, worked on a computer, and moved a mannequin in an environment that simulated where health carers work. PPE1 consisted of cotton underwear and 100% polyethylene outerwear. PPE2 consisted of cotton underwear with moisture management function and outerwear made of waterproof breathable fabric. The results showed that there were significantly higher cumulative one-way transport capacity, liquid moisture management capacity, and wetting time in PPE2 than in PPE1 underwear. There was significantly higher water vapor permeability (WVP) in PPE2 than in PPE1 outerwear. Deep ear canal temperature, mean skin temperature, and chest wall skin and clothing microclimates (temperature and humidity) were significantly lower with PPE2 than PPE1. The level of plasma oxygen saturation was significantly higher with PPE 2 than PPE1. In the present study, due to the MTP of the fabrics, liquid sweat transferred from the skin surface to the opposite surface quickly and speeded up the processes of evaporation and heat dissipation. It was concluded that the fabric's MTP, when incorporated into protective clothing, is the main physiological mechanism for reduced heat stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1069
Number of pages13
JournalTextile Research Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • clothing microclimates
  • deep ear canal temperature
  • fabric moisture management properties
  • mean skin temperature
  • plasma oxygen saturation
  • water vapor permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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