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Clothing Physiology and Comfort
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Clothing Physiology and Comfort

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Culturaland sociological theories have frequently tried to give oversimplifiedexplanations of the motives of human clothing. Dress is not motivated only bymodesty, adornment, and protection, or even-a still more one sided theoryoffered by Freud- by sex alone. All dress appears to be motivated primarily bythe environment. Although the purposes of clothing are determined byenvironmental conditions, its form is determined by man's own characteristics,and especially by his mental traits. Forms of clothing are influenced by (1) physicalenvironment and (2) social conditions, including sex relations,costume, caste, class, and religious, metaphysical, or other supersensoryrelations. Hence the main requirement of any clothing is its comfort in varioussituations of atmosphere which describes its physiological behavior. Dress isfounded primarily in the world of emotions. It is not only a kind of coveringbut also a kind of mimicry through which man expresses many of his subjectivesocial sentiments. The development of dress proceeds from two poles- thecultural-psychological and the concrete psychological characteristics of men.Man has always been interested in the relationship between clothing and physicalwell-being. In this paper, we have summarized the milestones of a developmentthat ranges from the first form of human clothing made from hide and leatherthrough to modern functional textiles. Using the methods of clothingphysiology, items of clothing can now be optimally tailored to their respectivearea of application.

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Tanveer Malik is a Reader at the Department of TextileTechnology, Shri Vaishnav Institute of Technology and Science

This article wasoriginally published in the Textile Review magazine, April, 2012, publishedby Saket Projects Limited, Ahmedabad.

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