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Web Exclusive | August 2017

Do sweat-drenched textiles remain skin-friendly?

As the temperature rises, human beings produce more sweat. Heat puts the body under great strain, which can reach dangerous levels -- especially for the elderly. That is why the Hohenstein Institute has put together consumer guidelines with behaviour and protection measures, as well as recommendations for clothing that also take physiological findings from “body mapping” into account.

There is also the question of whether textiles convince consumers in terms of safety (skin compatibility) and performance (odour management). Hohenstein has been investigating questions regarding clothing that is worn close to the body: How skin-friendly are the textiles? And: To what extent do the textiles reduce sweat odour?

Certified test series offer textile manufacturers the opportunity to test the skin compatibility and odour management of textiles from the development phase onwards.

The skin compatibility test uses laboratory conditions to test live cells and record adverse effects of toxins that could be released from the sample material by sweat. The method allows evaluation of the danger that could be posed by damage to the skin cells.

The test is particularly suitable for:
  • Body-contact clothing, eg, sports clothing, underwear, fitness and functional textiles.
  • Textiles for sensitive persons such as those with allergies, small children, invalids and elderly persons
  • Reclaimed textiles
If this test is passed in conjunction with the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX product test, the textile is awarded the Hohenstein Quality Label “Skin Friendly”. Textile manufacturers receive an established label that can be used effectively for supporting advertising and attests to independent checks and trade safety for the consumer.

When a person starts to perspire, this leads to the production of sweat to eliminate excess heat and regulate the body’s temperature. Textile manufacturers are working on optimising the performance of their products. As sweat is diffused through the textile, the interaction of bacteria, fluid transport and the adherence and release of odour molecules all affect the level of sweat odour in the textile. All of these areas must be taken into account to achieve optimum results in odour management.
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