Transformation of towels and gauze from “fabrics for wiping” to “fabrics for draping”
We pursue towel comfort and gauze comfort to delight the skin and mind with materials such as Marshmallow Gauze, which features a blissful new texture of delectable softness and lightness.
Commentary by Toyonori Nishimatsu, Doctor of Engineering
The comfort of towels that soothe the mind and body
Humans have always draped something over their skin, whether it was animal fur, tree bark, or just a piece of cloth. Originally, the purpose was not fashion and simply something to protect themselves from temperature changes and obstacles. The objective of beautifully adorning the body came later as needs for clothing, food, and shelter were gradually met. But at any rate, the era of wearing clothing for the purpose of protection was long. Besides design, there has been dramatic development of function and wear comfort for clothing, and interest is shifting toward texture and comfort. In addition to flattering the person, there is an increasing focus on how good the clothing feels. This is where the towel comes in. Towels have a distinctive pile weave, and they are light in proportion to their bulk, highly absorbent, and have good moisture absorption and dispersion properties as well as heat retention. It is a given fact that this material holds many advantages compared to other cloth materials.
We conducted an analysis of evaluations for “the feel” of towels (including gauze and waffle) and knit items, as well as the “wear comfort” of relax wear made with those materials at my laboratory. Pile weave towels and especially zero-twist yarn were evaluated to be “soothing,” “seem high-grade,” and “feel nice to touch (or wear).” It was apparent that the feel of the pile gave an impression of being high-grade and feeling nice. We also analyzed the correlation of “wear comfort” evaluation with measured compression attribute, friction attribute, and thermal attribute. We found a correlation between texture/wear comfort and fabric compression attribute (compression recovery property). It seems that the pile-weave towel attribute of having higher compression recovery compared to other weaves and knits created comfort and a nice touch. Which is why towels should be considered to be more than just a type of cloth. Towels have a unique texture and comfort function—a comfortable touch and image. They also function as if they breathe (excellent absorbency, heat retention, moisture absorbency and dissipation). The towel should be considered a delightful material indeed. The towel is an ideal material for embracing the body and soul. It is inevitable that it has quickly evolved from an everyday commodity that simply wipes moisture away to become stress-free clothing (casual clothing, relax wear, etc.) that can be worn regardless of age and gender and even accessories (hats, scarves, sandals, etc.) that gently embrace our entire bodies.
- Toyonori Nishimatsu, Doctor of Engineering
- Professor and Director, Shinshu University
- Faculty of Textile Science & Technology
- Dept. of Advanced Textile Engineering, Advanced Textile R&D Center
- Chairman of Sensation & Measurement Committee, Society of Fiber Science and Technology
- Chairman of Sensation Engineering Committee, Japan Society of Kansei Engineering
- Director, The Textile Machinery Society of Japan