Clothing is a type of fabric and protective clothes or textile that we wear on our bodies. Another word for clothing is garment or apparel. It is a feature of nearly every human society, and human beings limit themselves with the clothing they wear.
Since the dawn of time, clothing has served to protect the human body from both real and imagined physical, social, and spiritual threats. Today, the term “protective clothing” refers to clothing and apparel accessories that focus on physical protection for the body.
Protective clothing can range from the simple to the complex, such as a sun hat or a spacesuit. Clothing today protects against an infinite number of physical threats. Most people wear clothing to protect themselves from the elements such as cold, heat, rain, snow, and sun. However, protective clothing allows the body to exist in hazardous environments like the deep sea or outer space.
6 main kinds of protective clothing in various sectors
Protective textiles were once used to shield the human body from environmental dangers. Its primary purpose is to maximize worker workplace safety. A protective fabric has the potential to save a worker’s life. Protective clothing has a huge role to play in the workplace.
In 2019, the global protective clothing market was worth $8.7 billion. It is expected to reach $12.0 billion by 2027, with a 6.0 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2027. There are some unique requirements for clothing performance in a particular human, clothing, and environmental system. The main functions of protective textile are as follows:
- Protection: The primary purpose of protective textiles is to protect the wearer from environmental hazards.
- Clothing comfort: Offers human comfort, such as tactile and thermal comfort.
- Mobility: Keep the wearer mobile while performing certain tasks.
The first step in selecting a protective textile is to identify the hazard. Assess the risk of exposure and choose the appropriate level of protection. Depending on the classification type, protective textiles have a broad array of applications. Some of the primary applications for protective textiles are as follows:
Chemical protective textile
Firstly, to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals, whether liquids, powders, or gases, workers in the chemical industry wear special clothing/suits. When exposure occurs during chemical operations, it is not always obvious. Many chemicals are dangerous because they are imperceptible and have no warning properties.
Toxicology, corrosiveness, flammability, reactivity, and oxygen deficiency are just a few of the hazards that chemicals pose. Any combination of hazards may occur depending on the chemicals present. This is especially true in the chemical, photography, automotive, aerospace, and agricultural industries. It holds true in the military as well.
Biological protective textile
Biological hazards, also known as biohazards, are biological substances that endanger the health of living organisms, primarily humans. Medical waste or samples of a microorganism, virus, or toxin (from a biological source) that can harm humans are examples of this. It may also contain substances that are harmful to animals.
All unicellular organisms can form an endosymbiotic relationship with microorganisms, which are microscopic organisms. This is why microorganisms are effective agents in the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases. Biological protective clothing helps to prevent the spread of infections by stopping bacteria and microorganisms from moving around.
Fire-proof protective textile
The use of thermostable fire-resistant materials will provide good fire protection. As in the case of a firefighting outfit, it ensures a certain measure of comfort for the wearer. The suit, jacket, pants, underwear, helmet, gloves, boots, station wear uniforms, and so on are all part of the system. The outer layer, vapor barrier, and thermal barrier are the three layers of structural fire protective clothing.
Certainly, heavy molten metal splashes are a common hazard for workers in industries like metals, aluminum, and steel. There, they work at extremely high temperatures. As a result, they must dress in flame-resistant clothing. As a result, they wear flame-resistant clothing in such an environment.
Electrical protective textile
Special textile fabrics made of intimately blended metal and textile fibers provide electrostatic protection. It is an efficient method of controlling static charges. To control static electricity, continuous multifilament metal fibers must weave into fabric.
Electromagnetic and electrostatic protection are the two major types of electrical hazards protection. Utility workers who work near power lines and electrical equipment are at risk of electric shock and intense flammability. Those working in the vicinity of very high voltage equipment must wear electrical protective clothing in this case. These garments should be flame resistant, resistant to abrasion, and comfortable to wear.
Ultraviolet radiation protective textile
In a radioactive environment, protective clothing is used to keep the body safe from radioactive substances. UV protective clothing’s primary function is to shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Skin cancer is now one of the most common types of cancer in the world. As a result, protecting textile surfaces from UV radiation has become increasingly important, particularly for children’s clothing, sportswear, and workwear.
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is to blame for the material deterioration in useful properties and service life. It includes textiles, furniture, electronic components, and building materials. Textiles’ UV protection varies depending on the fiber, fabric construction methods, dyeing, and finishing agents used.
Healthcare protective textile
Lastly, the goal of protective healthcare clothing is to keep medical professionals safe from blood and other infectious fluids. Emergency room textiles, barrier products, surgeon and nurse’s caps, masks, and footwear are examples of protective healthcare textiles.
In many medical situations, both health care professionals and patients will be wearing protective equipment. Medical professionals and others dress according to the demands of their jobs. Manufacturers make medical protective clothing out of a variety of materials. Meanwhile, the protective apparel market is expected to grow at a 6.9% CAGR from $8.8 billion in 2020 to $12 billion by 2025.
Lab coats, surgical gowns, coveralls, scrubs, and other protective medical clothing are examples of protective medical clothing. Medical protective clothing should be cost-effective, breathable, comfortable, dependable, and efficacious.
In conclusion, the key point of this post is to demonstrate 6 dominant applications in different protective textiles or clothes. Nowadays, the protective textile market is becoming valuable. Innovative new products are driving the market for protective textiles. There are opportunities and needs for high-quality, expensive equipment. The market, however, is fragmented and difficult to navigate. Long and expensive development and lead times are common. Due to the growing problems related to workplace health and safety, it is becoming an increasingly appealing category.
Defense, manufacturing and construction, mining, oil and gas, space exploration, healthcare, emergency services, and other industries use a wide range of protective textiles. Protective textiles help users avoid hazards and reduce the number of workplace accidents. In the healthcare industry, the role of protective textiles is critical. It provides healthcare professionals with protective masks, gloves, surgical gowns, protective coveralls, and other items for their safety. The above are some popular applications of the protective textile.
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