Literary Review on Clothing Worn By Outdoor Workers.
‘Indura Ultra Soft Flame Resistant Fabrics’ by Charles Parsons talks about how there is a high risk of electrical fire related accidents happening on the job. One of the main problems is the clothing, the article states that out of the 400+ accidents that take place, 80% of people received serious extra complications and infections due to their clothing catching fire. Parsons states clearly that it is not mainly the electric that harms you; it’s mostly down to the clothing catching fire. After researching these statistics, Parsons took on the task of creating a fabric that was fire resistant and reached all the requirements it was supposed to, such as proven protection, durability, comfort, and wash stability- meaning it will remain fire resistant and hold their shape and size for life. The required standards that the fabric is supposed to meet are not yet necessary; however Parsons took them into consideration when creating the fire resistant fabrics.
This is a very in depth article as Parsons talks of the research and tests that went into producing fire resistant fabrics, and the requirements it had to meet, and then tells us the many performance requirements it met when the product was finished. Parsons points out towards the end of the article some issues with other fabrics that should be asked about and researched, and reasons why fabrics should be tested before use. For example, is the fabric guaranteed fire resistant for life? Parsons tells us that not all fire resistant fabrics will stay that way over a period of time after they has been washed, and for workers to stay safe they need to get a guarantee that the treatment on the fabric will not deteriorate over time. The Indura Ultra Soft Fabrics are guaranteed fire resistant for life. I feel this is a reliable conclusion as the fabrics don’t even go through the proper tests until it has been industrially laundered over 50 times, therefore showing that unlike ordinary fabrics, they still do the job after more than just a few washes.
‘Spray-on Clothing Becomes a Reality’ by Ian Sample is an article about the new spray-on fabric created by Manel Torres, a Spanish fashion designer, who teamed up with scientists at the Imperial College London to create a spray which, when making contact with the body, creates a seamless fabric. Torres says he wanted to create a material which was quick to put on and comfortable. It took Torres 15 minutes to spray on a t-shirt onto one of his models for a demonstration; he wanted to create a way of putting on clothing that sped up the traditional way of constructing garments and materials. To invent the type of fabric that he needed to stick seamlessly to the human body, Torres says he had to look right back to the origins of textiles such as felt, which was a material similarly produced as the material is made out of thousands of fibres, bound together without being woven or stitched together. I feel this is a good article to be looking at for our research, as we could look at the positives of what this could do for outdoor workers, such as making the fabric waterproof. Torres has researched and put onto a website a list of all the different possibilities this new invention could be used for, such as binding, lining, repairing, layering and covering. I feel this could be used as an advantage for outdoor workers as it could solve a lot of issues people have had, such as the need for warmer clothing (which can also be lined with the spray-on fabric for extra warmth or to make it more fitting and comfortable, depending on the job), if it were waterproof it would be a quick and easy way to waterproof your clothing you already have on so as the workers wouldn’t have the hassle with many layers. I feel however this article was not very in depth about the product, it could have talked more about what other ways they could expand it, without further research, and what other areas they could cover by developing the product more. Such as medically, it could be used as dressings or bandages or even casts, which could also be proven useful in outdoor working.
I feel these two articles really highlight the improvements and development that people are putting clothing through such as the rigorous tests and meeting the high standards before they can even put the products on the shelves. However, due to health and safety, sometimes the standards keep getting changed and are getting harder and harder for companies to meet and keep up with. I feel that a designer teaming with scientists is a big step forward in developing clothing from a practical and comfortable point of view as they’ve come up with a faster and easier conclusion which could easily be incorporated into different situations and could be very successful. I feel the practical development of clothing as gone the same way as technology, everything is becoming smaller and simpler and easier to use.
Article by Charles Parsons – ‘Indura Ultra Soft Flame Resistant Fabrics’ (March 2010)- http://www.smarterclothing.com.au/Page2.aspx?Category=1&Element=460
Article by Ian Sample- ‘Spray-on Clothing Becomes A Reality’ (September 2010) – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/16/spray-on-clothing-t-shirt