Comfort and Safety Properties
•The complexities of comfort depend on characteristics such as absorbency, heat retention,
density and elongation
•Absorbency is the ability of a ﬁbre to take up moisture from the body or from the environment.
It is measured as moisture regain where the moisture in the material is expressed as a
percentage of the weight of the moisture-free material.
•Hydrophobic ﬁbres have little or no absorbency
•hydrophilic ﬁbres tend to be oleophilic - meaning they have strong attraction for oil
•Hygroscopic ﬁbres absorb moisture without feeling wet - absorbency is related to static
buildup; problems with static are more likely to develop in hydrophobic ﬁbres because they do
not contact electrons readily
•Fibres that have good absorbency also tend to have good dyeabilty - they are receptive to
coloration by dyes. They also tend to be good electrical conductors.
•Absorbent ﬁbres to not build up static charge readily and do not attract lint or create problems
with static cling.
•Wicking is the ability of a ﬁbre to transfer moisture along its surface
•Heat or thermal retention is the ability of a textile to hold heat - this property is affected by
ﬁbre, yarn and fabric structure and layering of fabrics
•Heat conductivity is the ability to transfer heat through a fabric
•Heat sensitivity describes a ﬁbre’s reaction to heat
•Flammability describes how a fabric reacts to ignition sources and how it burns
•Density or speciﬁc gravity is a measure of ﬁbre weight per unit volume
•Allergenic potential is the ability to cause physical reactions such as skin redness resulting
from exposure to the ﬁbre
•Resiliency is the ability of a textile to return to its original shape after bending, twisting or
•Compressibility is resistance to crushing
•Loft or compression resiliency is the ability to spring back to the original thickness after
•Dimensional stability is the ability of a fabric to retain its original size and shape through use
and care, which is desirable - including the properties of shrinkage resistance and elastic
•Shrinkage resistance is the ability of a fabric to retain its original dimensions throughout
care. It is related to the fabric’s reaction to moisture or heat.
•Elasticity or elastic recovery is the ability of a textile to return to its original dimension or
shape after elongation it is measured as the percentage of return to original length
•Aging resistance is resistance to deleterious changes over time
•Mildew resistance is the resistance to the growth of mould, mildew or fungus
•Moth resistance is resistance to insect damage, including moths beetles, crickets, roaches
Resistance to Chemicals
•Resistance to chemicals and chemical reactivity determines the appropriateness of care
procedures and end uses for ﬁbres as well as selection of appropriate dyes and ﬁnishes for
fabrics and products