Design Associate [2016/10 – 2017/2]


Paper: S++: A Hybrid Textile for Healthcare and Well-Being Contexts





ジュリア・カセム 特任教授[京都工芸繊維大学 KYOTO Design Lab]
鋤柄佐知子 教授[京都工芸繊維大学先端ファイブロ科学専攻]
桑原教彰 教授[京都工芸繊維大学]
増谷一成 博士[京都工芸繊維大学バイオベースマテリアル学専攻]

Design Associate [2016/10 – 2017/2]

John McNair

Paper: S++: A Hybrid Textile for Healthcare and Well-Being Contexts

S++: a hybrid silk textile for healthcare scenarios

Can a traditional ‘intelligent’ silk fabric be re-engineered to allow it to meet the functional requirements of the healthcare market?

The focus of the project was to investigate whether it was possible to re-engineer chirimen, a traditional ‘intelligent’ silk fabric being woven primarily for use as kimono. Against a background of industry decline for this highly sophisticated textile, it was hoped that future scenarios of use and new product applications could be found for it in the burgeoning healthcare market.

High functional demands are made of healthcare textiles used in care or clinical environments. Thus, they have specific design requirements. The new materials’ physical properties required considerations regarding absorbency, tenacity, flexibility, softness, moisture management and air-permeability. The latter two, in particular, are crucial where patients may be bed-bound, incontinent or spend long periods in fixed positions and thus vulnerable to the risk of pressure sores. The weave structure was designed so as to maximise air and moisture permeability. We took advantage of the yarn twist and the fact that silk shrinks. Varying the weave structure and introducing Polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT), a thermoplastic polymer, enabled the creation of a hybrid textile of silk, which is hydrophilic and PTT which is hydrophobic. The result is a soft structured fabric in which the tightly twisted silk yarn untwists during the processing stage, pushing the PTT toward the skin surface thus ensuring maximum comfort and the ability to wick moisture away from the skin.

Project Team
Professor Julia Cassim [KYOTO Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Professor Sachiko Sukigara [Department of Advanced Fibro-Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Professor Noriaki Kuwahara [Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Dr. Kazunari Masutani [Department of Bio-Based Materials Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Ichiro Izawa [Kyoto Prefectural Institute for Northern Industry]
Mayumi Shirai [Dupont Industrial BioScience]