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Report | June 2014

Design and development of compression garments for various applications

Superior compression clothing will provide consistent compression over a prolonged period of time at all angles of the wearers body parts without compromising on the comfort, feel Bagavathi M, Sharmitha P, G Ramakrishnan.

Compression garments, which can be worn as an upper-, lower- or full- body piece, are tend to be elastic, body-molded suits with an engineered compression gradient. Superior compression clothing will provide consistent compression over a prolonged period of time at all angles of the wearers body parts without compromising on the comfort. Exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) is a common phenomena in athletic activities. Exercise type, intensity, duration and habituation to the exercise are the factors influencing degree of muscle damage. Compression garment, by creating an external pressure gradient, thereby reducing the space available for swelling, is widely used in sports garments. Compression garments have been helpful in enhancing the peripheral circulation and venous return in vascular patients and in reducing the blood lactate accumulation which usually occurs after exercise, reduce muscle oscillation and vibration, maintain successive vertical jump power and improve post exercise clearance of muscle damage markers.

Rationale behind compression clothing

Exerting a balanced surface pressure over specific body parts stimulates an acceleration of blood flow thereby increasing oxygen delivery to the muscle groups, which are worked to ameliorate their performance. The enhanced circulation reduces the lactic acid and other metabolic waste build up in the body. The aggregate of these consequences allow one to work for a longer period at a higher rate. The gradient compression technology has been engineered to provide more vital oxygen to active muscle so as to boost ones power, speed and stamina. When close fitting garments are worn, muscles will appear more toned that helps in motivating people to keep on their pace with their exercise regimen.

Working for compression garments

Compression garments are meant to support three important characteristics. First, the blood vessels when squeezed causes them to open forcefully, which allows blood and oxygen to move inside the muscle and helps in shunting the waste thus improve running performance. Secondly, reduction of soreness by means of securing the muscles in place, which prevents muscular breakdown due to the vibration. Third, compression after exercise is used in helping the removal of metabolic waste and introduce substances, which the muscles require to rebuild by creating extra blood flow. The compression gear tend to provide force impacts, muscle longevity, blood flow, reduced lactic acid and psychological influence.

Fabrics for compression gears

A compression garment is usually made of fabric, which is strong and durable with the ability to distribute pressure all over the body, easily recoverable to its original shape after periods of extreme stress, the ability to breathe, should not hold within them any allergy causing agent. The fabric may preferably contain polyester (60-85 per cent) and elastomeric (15-40 per cent) in the ratio 73.1 per cent to 26.9 per cent respectively as filled in the compression garment manufacturing patent.

Warp knitted fabrics are used with multiple fine quality yarns. These fabrics do not have any natural stretch. The spandex mix imparts desired amount of elasticity and perfectly controlled compression. Circular knit fabrics, which have natural stretch make it difficult to maintain the appropriate level of compression,moreover,it is less durable and likely to run if snagged.

Power net, a textile construction, which is open hexagonal, flexible, net construction well known for its strength and it appl

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