Computational Modeling of Functional Clothing:

Applied Mechanics of Textiles at The University of Iowa

In many circumstances, clothing adversely impacts human performance while also providing protection from
exposure to a wide spectrum of external hazards. Our research objective is to realistically describe
clothing with computational models and to then exercise these models to realistically predict how different
types of clothing (of varying fabrics, cut, and fit) impact human performance when engaging in physical
tasks such as running, climbing, walking, etc. With a knowledge of how clothing impacts human performance,
the clothing can be re-designed to improve performance. This research combines many long-standing issues in
solid mechanics such as the following:

The third issue is especially challenging since the yarns slide (irreversibly) relative to one another under
deformation of the fabric, and this needs to be captured in fabric constitutive models, since it impacts the
incremental stiffness response of the fabric (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. a) Schematic of tension vs. stretch behavior of fabric showing both nonlinearity and hysteresis;
b) Schematic of hysteresis in moment-curvature response of fabric; c) human-scale fabric model;
d) undeformed unit cell model of plain-weave fabric; e) biaxially stretched unit cell; f) biaxially
compressed unit cell; and g) virtual mannequin clothed with a mathematical clothing model.

Selected Writings Macro-Scale Clothing Simulations Animated Virtual Mannequins
Fabric Meso-Scale Mechanics Fabric Micro-Scale Mechanics Benchmark Fabric Contact Test Problems

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Last updated 10-28-09 by ccs.