Date Approved

6-30-2006

Date Posted

10-1-2009

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Technology Studies

Committee Member

Subhas Ghosh, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Morell Boone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julie Becker

Abstract

The desired attributes of sports apparel garments are to have durability characteristics, such as tearing and tensile strength, and comfort characteristics, such as wicking, vapor transmission, and air permeability. Currently, most sports apparel is made from a blend of polyester or other synthetic fibers. Through examining the uniqueness of natural fibers, such as cotton and flax, the advantages and benefits of using a higher percentage of natural fibers when manufacturing comfortable and functional high performance athletic wear can be obtained.

Results from this study, regarding durability, determined that for both tearing and breaking strength, traditional sports apparel made with polyester/cotton blends are comparable to the test polyester/flax blend fabric As well, traditional sports apparel made with 100% cotton are comparable to the 75% cotton/25% flax test fabric.

Comfort results indicate that polyester/flax is superior to all other tested fabrics for air permeability. In addition, cotton/flax fabric is highest in absorptive capacity. Last, all five fiber blends tested for moisture vapor transmission are comparable since they are not significantly different.

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