Popular science: Is functional clothing really "functional"?


With the continuous improvement of living standards, pe […]

With the continuous improvement of living standards, people's demand for functional textile products has become increasingly prominent. In recent years, the import volume of functional garments has continued to rise. The major outdoor sports brands have launched the main features of moisture absorption, quick-drying and UV protection. Functional clothing such as waterproof and antibacterial to meet the needs of consumers in special environments such as outdoor sports. However, is the functional clothing of imported brands really “functional”? Why do functional clothing have special features? How do ordinary consumers identify the pros and cons when purchasing functional clothing? A few days ago, the reporter interviewed the Industrial Products Center of Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau to unveil the mystery of functional clothing functional fabric.

Moisture-wicking and quick-drying clothing

Hygroscopic and quick-drying fabrics have been widely used in underwear, T-shirts, sportswear, etc., underwear or sportswear made of ordinary fabrics may have better moisture absorption performance, but the perspiration performance will be poor. The moisture-absorbing and quick-drying fabric can transfer the heat and moisture of the body surface to the outside, and through the process of “hygro-conduction-evaporation”, the effect of moisture absorption and quick-drying is achieved.

In the supervision and inspection of imported functional clothing in 2016, a total of 439 batches of imported moisture-absorbing and quick-drying performance garments were inspected, and 230 batches that did not meet the standard were detected. The non-conformity rate was as high as 52.4%, involving Nike, Adidas and Uniqlo. 30 brands including UNIQLO), Columbia, THE NORTH FACE, Jack wolfskin, UNDER ARMOUR, H&M, Beanpole and new balance. Among them, the highest non-conformity rate was H&M, reaching 73.3%, NIKE's non-conformity rate was 58.8%, and Uniqlo's non-conformity rate was 59.7%.

When purchasing moisture-absorbing and quick-drying functional clothing, we should pay attention to the fiber composition, which is generally made of chemical fiber or its blended fiber. If the fiber component marked by the label is natural fiber such as cotton or general anesthesia, it is not a moisture-absorbing and quick-drying garment. In addition, if the label only indicates moisture absorption, perspiration or quick-drying performance, it means that the garment is not completely hygroscopic and quick-drying, but only has some functions.

UV resistant clothing

For summer clothing, everyone is looking for a light, comfortable, beautiful appearance, but also hope to have a certain degree of UV resistance. Therefore, the development of UV protective clothing is increasing, mainly used in outdoor sportswear, T-shirts, casual shirts and so on. UV-resistant garments usually incorporate sunscreen auxiliaries into the fabric to protect against UV rays, but after washing, UV protection is reduced. There are also some high-grade UV protection garments that use the reflection and scattering of UV rays by functional fibers to prevent UV rays from damaging human skin through the garment. The UV protection of such garments is less affected by washing and has longer lasting performance.

In 2016, during the inspection of imported functional clothing supervision, a total of 156 batches of imported anti-ultraviolet performance garments were randomly selected, and 32 batches that did not meet the standard were detected, and the non-conformity rate was 20.5%. Including Columbia, THE NORTH FACE, Jack wolfskin, Adidas, Runda, Uniqlo, ARC' TERYX, Callaway, Decathlon And 27 brands such as Nike, among which the highest non-conformity rate is Callaway, which is 66.7%, Adidas non-conformity rate is 57.1%, and Uniqlo's non-conformity rate is 60%.

The solar ultraviolet light can be divided into three bands according to its wavelength: long-wave ultraviolet UVA, medium-wave ultraviolet UVB, and short-wave ultraviolet UVC. Most of the short-wave ultraviolet and medium-wave ultraviolet rays are absorbed by the ozone layer. Therefore, the ultraviolet protection is mainly for the long-wave ultraviolet UVA. According to China's standard GB/T 18830-2009 "Assessment of UV Protection Performance of Textiles", UV protection garments must meet UV protection factor UPF>40 and UVA transmission rate T(UVA)AV<5%. Therefore, when purchasing UV protection products, consumers should choose products with UPF40+ or UPF50+ on the label. The higher the UPF value, the better the UV protection performance. The second is to use clothing with deep color, tight fabric and low light transmission. Third, excessive stretching should be avoided during use, and the suspension should be placed in accordance with the requirements of the clothing label to avoid damage to the product protection performance.

Waterproof clothing

At present, there are many waterproof garments on the market. The waterproof performance mainly includes two aspects. One is impermeability. The surface of the fabric is not waterproof, but it can prevent water from penetrating through the garment, so that the inner layer of the garment is dry. This is usually the case. A microporous film is laminated on the inner surface of the garment fabric, and its waterproof performance is expressed by its water pressure; the other is water-repellent, that is, the water will be dispersed into small water droplets on the garment and slipped off, the surface of the fabric surface It will not be wetted by water. This is a special treatment on the surface of the fabric, usually coated fabric. However, the waterproofing of the fabric does not mean that the whole garment is 100% waterproof. The waterproofing of the whole garment also needs to be treated with a rubber strip at the seam.

In 2016, during the inspection of imported functional clothing supervision, a total of 163 batches of imported waterproof performance garments were randomly selected, and 27 batches that did not meet the standard were detected, and the non-conformity rate was 16.6%. Involving 22 brands including Columbia, UNIQLO, THE NORTH FACE, Jack wolfskin, Denon, Beanpole, Patagonia, Nike Among them, the highest non-conformity rates were Beanpole and Nike, both of which were 50.0%. UNIQLO's non-conformity rate is also as high as 40%.

Therefore, when purchasing waterproof garments, consumers should pay attention to whether the waterproof performance on the label is anti-seepage or anti-staining (or water-repellent), and purchase as needed. In addition, at the seams of garments, such as the seams of the shoulders and sleeves, if they are treated with a rubberized strip, the feel is usually thicker and harder than other parts. In the process of use, one should pay attention not to over-fold, preferably hanging; second, be careful not to over-stretch, so as not to pull the waterproof film; third, pay attention to keep away from high temperature, do not soak with hot water, because of pressure, fit The waterproofing process relies on high-temperature heat bonding, which will destroy its waterproof performance in high temperature environments.