Human wetness perception of fabrics under dynamic skin contact

This experiment studied textile (surface texture (ST), thickness) and non-textile (local skin temperature (Tsk) changes, stickiness sensation and fabric-to-skin pressure) factors affecting skin wetness perception (WP) under dynamic interactions. Changes in fabric texture sensation between WET and DRY state and their effect on pleasantness were also studied. ST of eight fabric samples, selected for different structures, was determined from surface roughness measurements using the Kawabata Evaluation System (KES). Sixteen participants assessed fabric WP, at high pressure (HIGH-P) and low pressure (LOW-P) conditions, stickiness, texture and pleasantness sensation on the ventral forearm. Differences in WP (p < 0.05) were not determined by texture properties and/or texture sensation. Stickiness sensation and local Tsk drop were determined as predictors of WP (r2 = 0.89), and although thickness did not correlate with WP directly when combined with stickiness sensation it provided a similar predictive power (r2 = 0.86). Greater (p < 0.05) WP responses in HI-P were observed compared with LOW-P. Texture sensation affected pleasantness in DRY (r2 = 0.89) and WET (r2 = 0.93). In WET, pleasantness was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) compared to DRY, likely due to the concomitant increase in texture sensation (p < 0.05). In summary, under dynamic conditions, changes in stickiness sensation and WP could not be attributed to fabric texture properties (i.e. surface roughness) measured by the Kawabata Evaluation System. In dynamic conditions thickness or skin temperature drop can predict fabric WP only when including stickiness sensation data.