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Compression garments in sportswear: case studies to explore the effect of body type, tactile sensation and seam position in garments

Venkatraman, PD (2014) Compression garments in sportswear: case studies to explore the effect of body type, tactile sensation and seam position in garments. In: Indo-Czech International Conference on Advancements in Speciality Textiles and their Applications in Material Engineering and Medical Sciences.

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Abstract

Compression garments are becoming a staple product amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts in recent times mainly to support their muscle and boost their chance of performing better in their chosen activity. The market for compression garments especially for women’s apparel is on a rise compared to menswear. This paper discusses the significant factors that influence the design and development of compression base layer garments. One of the main areas that affect the comfort of these garments is tactile sensation whilst wearing the garment during an intense activity. In addition, compression garments aids in blood circulation and lowers the blood lactate level, and has different effect on type of body type, particularly the maximum oxygen uptake of the athlete when wearing compression tops compared to normal tops. It could be noted from previous observations that the pressure applied by compression garments at the seam position was less compared to other zones of the garment. This paper highlights a series of research conducted in the form of case study to understand the performance as well as the need to consider various factors during compression garment development specifically: • tactile sensation of base layer compression garments using a garment specific questionnaire from wearer trials (football); • the performance of compression garments on different body types – endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph (base layer tops) and; • the effect of seamless compression tights for cyclists compared to garments with seams. Outcomes from these researches inform specific garment development and inferences are drawn in the context of making suitable recommendations to develop a knowledge-base in this area. It was concluded that these factors (tactile sensation, body shape, and seams) were vital during the design and development of compression garments for sportswear for a wider market.

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