22/09/2016 – Lenzing — auf Deutsch lesen

Softness: the key to comfort

Lenzing is demonstrating its innovative expertise and presenting a new method to measure softness together with the instrument manufacturers Emtec Electronic.

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Softness is an individual feeling. The goal is to make softness measurable (Photos: Lenzing/Grebe)

 
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Fashion-conscious consumers have changed their purchasing behavior. The “look” itself is no longer the only important factor. The comfort that fashion should offer now also has priority. The softness of the textile is an important parameter for comfortable clothing. In fact, softness is a basic pre-requisite for comfortable clothing. The softness has to be perceived by the wearer to trigger the decision to purchase the garment.

How people perceive softness is, however, something that differs from person to person and is determined by how the textile and the skin interact. “We notice that softness is becoming increasingly important as a comfort factor in brands and with retailers. Lenzing Modal fibers are the softest fibers in our fiber portfolio. This is something you can feel. However, an increasing number of customers are asking for measurements to explain the softness of our fibers in physical terms,” Claudia Mommer, product manager for Lenzing Modal, explains. “Physical measurements are desired to confirm the individual’s feeling and directly persuade the consumer at the point of sale.”

New method to measure softness

To explain the complex process of softness in textiles and at the same time exclude personal preferences, physical measurement methods were developed to make softness “visible”. These methods are well known in the scientific world. However, they are highly complex. A group specially formed at Lenzing Research, which devotes its research to physiological properties, searched for easier methods to measure softness. “In the search for existing measuring methods to test softness, we examined related industries and found an interesting instrument which appeared suitable to measure the softness of textiles,” Mohammad Abu Rous, head of the tests, explains.

The device is well known in the paper towel industry and measures the softness of different products in this field. More than 100 fabrics were used for the test on Lenzing fibers to see whether this device can be used for textiles. “Following an intensive test phase, we approached Emtec Electronic to share our results with them and to arrange co-operation on further tests,” Abu Rous goes on.

Tests were then performed together to prepare a suitable algorithm for the device software which determines softness using a Sound-Spectrum. “In our capacity as instrument manufacturers it is important for us to tread new ground. Lenzing’s textile know-how was instrumental in developing our ‘Tissue Softness Analyzer’ further to become a ‘Fabric Softness Analyzer’,” Alexander Grüner from Emtec Electronic explains.

Lenzing’s Definition of Softness

Lenzing has already created a method to give a new definition to softness in textiles. Using the softness measuring device from Emtec Electronic and the well-known ring method, it is possible to show that the higher the amount of Lenzing Modal used in the textile, the softer it becomes. The test result itself shows that MicroModal is the softest fiber of all the fibers tested. “The test method should quickly depict the degree of softness of fabrics with Lenzing Modal, to help customers communicate softness at point of sale,” Mommer comments.

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