Moisture management

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Moisture management, also known as moisture-wicking, is a crucial functional property in textiles that facilitates the transfer of moisture from the skin through the fabric via capillary action. This process spreads the moisture over a large external surface area, aiding in quick drying. The significance of moisture management lies in its contribution to thermal comfort in textiles[1].

Key Points:

  1. Functionality: Moisture-wicking textiles absorb liquid sweat from the skin and distribute it across the fabric’s surface through capillary attraction. This mechanism exposes the moisture to drier air, promoting faster evaporation compared to fabrics that retain water within the fibers. Consequently, this process prevents the accumulation of moisture and the discomfort associated with dampness[1].
  2. Mechanism: The movement of liquid water through a textile involves wetting, wicking, and diffusion of absorbed water within the fibers. Wetting is essential for wicking to occur, as it influences the contact angle between water and fiber, enabling effective moisture transfer[1].
  3. Performance Criteria: In contemporary apparel comfort standards, moisture management stands out as a critical performance criterion. It is defined as a garment’s ability to handle moisture effectively, ensuring wearer comfort and overall satisfaction with the clothing[2].
  4. Clinical Application: Beyond textiles, moisture management plays a vital role in healthcare settings, particularly in wound care. Healthcare providers employ their clinical expertise to manage moisture effectively for patients with chronic wounds. This involves assessing moisture levels, selecting appropriate dressings, and utilizing antibacterial products to optimize patient outcomes[4].
  5. Evolution: The concept of “moisture management” has evolved alongside evidence-based wound care practices, replacing the traditional term “moisture balance.” This shift acknowledges the dynamic nature of managing moisture levels in wounds based on their healability classification (healable, nonhealable, or maintenance). The Wound Bed Preparation framework guides healthcare providers in tailoring moisture management strategies to individual patient needs for optimal wound care[4].

In conclusion, moisture management is a multifaceted concept that extends beyond textiles into healthcare practices, emphasizing the importance of effectively handling moisture for both comfort and healing outcomes.

Moisture management or moisture-wicking is a functional property in textiles that enables them to transfer moisture from the skin, by capillary action through the fabric, spreading it over a large external surface area, which helps in drying quickly. The property is one of the most important for thermal comfort of textiles.

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