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Design and development of a new fashion product with high protection performance against uv radiation

The present project proposes to create ecological, comfortable textiles which protect human body from harmful uv radiation by using natural fibers and dyes.

The WESHIELD project aims to develop modern garments with UV protection. The increased solar radiation of the last decade is associated with different types of skin cancer, mutations in DNA, decrease of the immune system, sunburn, skin aging etc. The harmful solar UV radiations contribute to 50%-90% of skin cancer and affect especially the vulnerable category of children and adolescents. Hence, garments with UV protection represent an adequate solution to these problems for the quality and health aware European consumer. The present project proposes to create ecological, comfortable textiles which protect human body from harmful UV radiation by using natural fibers and dyes. Several attempts were performed to create protective textiles against the destructive effects of UV rays, such as treatment with UV absorbers, dyeing with selected dyes and design of a special fabric structure. The main limitations of the current approaches are: the reduced range of colors able to provide a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF>50 +), especially for pastel shade; the inability of textile materials to ensure a high comfort for hot and humid climate (generally, the UV protective textiles have an heavy weight, a tight construction with low permeability to air/water, a low thermal transfer, a high accumulation of static electricity); the reduced use of natural yarns (most of UV protective fabrics are made in synthetic yarns); the rapid discoloration of the dyes under solar light, ozone, temperature, humidity, pollutants; use of toxic compounds (e.g., UV absorbers) to increase the solar protection. The WESHIELD project tackles the following new technological elements: use of selected natural dyes with high affinity and enhanced colorfastness to light, washing, perspiration and ozone; simultaneous finishing/dyeing to avoid large consumption of resources, simultaneous dyeing / mordanting with natural mordants extracted from vegetables or safe metal ions salts; enhanced comfortability, breathability and safety of clothes based on natural yarns (cotton, bamboo) and yarns with high UV absorption. A new approach of the UV protection by clothing will be employed: besides the UV absorption by the dyes and fabrics, also the UV rays reflection by special structured textiles surface is envisaged and will be experimentally analyzed. As the UV radiation carries 8% of thermal energy, reduction of this source of thermal energy causing increased thermal discomfort may contribute to increased thermal comfort of the wearers. For determination of comfort properties of modern garments with UV protection, recent methods will be employed, based on innovative fast working non-destructive skin-model instruments. Comfort properties of clothing involve wearing (sensorial) properties and thermo-physiological properties, which characterize the wellbeing of humans when wearing the UV protecting garments. The thermo-physiological ones are considered more important. Within the project, thermo-physiological properties of the developed garments will be preferably determined, particularly their thermal resistance and water vapor resistance. Determination of these basic parameters of thermo-physiological comfort of clothing will respect the modified ISO 11092 Standard. The methodological approach envisages the identification of critical parameters to create new fabric structures, manufacturing of weaving and knitting samples, evaluation of the textile characteristics and optimization of dyeing and finishing technologies with setting of an efficient, cost-effective and ecofriendly method to enable really industrial dyeing and development of UV protective textile materials. The development of fabrics dyed with natural dyeing plants, in a wide range of colors, healthy for human organism and protecting against UV radiation will open new market niche for summer clothes, sportswear and leisure equipment. The produced high quality garments, providing functional properties, (UV protection and improved comfort) with a high added-value, contribute to the safety and health of the consumers as well as to the development of the knowledge in this domain and has a positive impact on the turnover of the manufacturing companies, estimated to 4,5%. The consortium consists of 6 partners: three manufacturing companies, two research providers and one company, specialized in comfort investigation. INCDTP will provide the research for new fabric structures and new finishing solutions for UV protection, INNOVATEXT aims to contribute to the development UV-protective eco-textiles with minimized colour changes to ozone. MAJUTEX will manufacture and dye the woven fabrics and the large company TANEX will manufacture knit and UV protective garments. PIRIN-TEX will manufacture high comfortable and UV protective clothes including protective uniforms. The Czech company Sensora will investigate the comfort properties and UV protection assessment, in cooperation with INCDTP.
Acronym: 
WESHIELD
Project ID: 
9 941
Start date: 
07-01-2016
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 010 000.00€
Technological Area: 
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Market Area: 
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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.