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Research progress on fabric hand evaluation methods
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Research progress on fabric hand evaluation methods

Fabric hand feel and surface characteristics have become important factors affecting consumer purchasing decisions. Therefore, in recent years, fabric researchers and clothing brands have strengthened their evaluation research on fabric hand feel. Fabric feel is the result of people's comprehensive perception of the surface texture of the fabric through touch, vision and hearing.

Classifying and quantifying fabric surface properties can help clothing brands and related researchers analyze and evaluate fabric feel and find improvement solutions. With the continuous advancement of science and technology, fabric feel evaluation and testing have gradually transformed and developed from subjective to objective, and the quantification and digital simulation technology of fabric surface properties have attracted attention.

1. Subjective assessment method

Early classification of fabric texture and feel was primarily accomplished by consumers, textile manufacturers, and textile researchers observing and touching fabrics. Subjective evaluation can more directly reflect people's perception of fabric texture, but the results are not accurate enough. With the development of textile product manufacturing processes, using objective characterization and measurement methods to test the feel of textiles has become the main goal of researchers in the textile industry.

2. Objective assessment method

Since 1955, three major categories of fabric hand testers have been developed: fabric fixed type, test device fixed type and non-contact type.
Type 1 testers prevent fabric curling and slippage from affecting the results during testing. The University of Orleans in France designed a fabric feel testing device. The fabric and the standard are fixed on the upper and lower surfaces respectively. The detection device of the fixed standard moves under set parameters to measure the feel of the fabric under different conditions. However, due to the relatively uneven surface of the fabric, it is easy to ignore the characteristic changes of other parts of the fabric when fixing the fabric, and the tensile deformation of the fabric may also affect the experimental results.

More researchers have chosen to develop a second type of tester that minimizes fabric changes by moving the fabric during the test. Researchers continue to innovate in the development of fixed fabric hand testers for testing devices, including the KES-F developed by Kawabata et al., the fabric simple tester FAST developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the fabric hand evaluation system LUFHES of the University of Leeds, and SDL Atlas. The fabric touch tester FTT, developed in cooperation with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has been put into textile inspection and testing applications.

3. Virtual tactile rendering technology

With the rise of digital design and the development of virtual technology, creating realistic virtual fabrics has become one of the main development directions for evaluating the feel of fabrics. Therefore, researchers have established texture databases such as VisTex and ImageNet to store and manage surface texture data of fabrics of different materials. Based on the data of fabric friction vibration measurement, JIAO et al. developed and applied a surface tactile display. The instrument uses two methods, ultrasonic vibration and electrostatic vibration, to manually adjust the friction between the finger and the surface to produce a tactile sensation. For the ultrasonic vibration method, physical ultrasonic vibration sends vibration signals to the human skin in contact, and the human tactile nervous system captures this signal and generates tactile sensation; for the electrostatic vibration mode, when the finger slides on the electrostatic screen, the voltage applied to the guide body will An electrostatic force is generated between the finger and the electrostatic screen, and different tactile sensations can be obtained by adjusting the applied signal.

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