CLOTHING DESIGN TO ACCOMMODATE PHYSICAL DISABILITIES AND IRREGULARITIES Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depends on functional considerations (such as a need for warmth or protection from the elements) and social considerations. In some situations the minimum amount of clothing (such as covering of a person's genitals) may be socially acceptable, while in others much more clothing is expected. Clothing can serve as protection from the elements. Clothes can also enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking, by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Further, clothes can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping toxins away from the body and limiting the transmission of germs. The quality of life for disabled and elderly people can in many cases be substantially improved by a better choice of good looking and functional clothing and other textile products. Disabilities often lead to special functional requirements of clothing and other textile products in living environment. Persons with highly sensitive skin have to consider the skin contact or tactile properties and avoid clothing with hard seams. For wheelchair users and for persons lying prolonged time in bed, who have a relatively low heat production, the thermal comfort properties are important. The transmission of moisture (sweat) from the skin is also a frequent problem. Also the mechanical durability of the materials in certain parts of the products can be a problem in many cases. It is not only the needs of an individual but also the different types of care provided for that individual which will dictate the performance requirements for garments and textiles i.e. home care, care at a service home, institutional and hospital care have different requirements. Adaptive Clothing- Modified clothing in essence is adaptive equipment, because It reduces the effort needed to perform a difficult activity. If you have a disability or struggle to dress yourself, then you should consider wearing adaptive clothing. Modified apparel is designed to make dressing easier for people who physically struggle to change themselves. If you're caring for a loved one, who is unable to dress themselves, then take a moment to explore how adaptive attire can ease your burden. Changing someone who is unable to give you much assistance can be frustrating for both you and the person being changed. But with adaptive clothing it's literally a snap to get a loved one dressed. Well sometimes it's a snap and other times it's a VELCRO® brand fastener which closes the clothing, but either way it makes life easier. The modified attire isn't just functional, it's also stylish. 1. Sitting in a wheelchair
Wheelchair users are fairly well served with special garments. However more product ranges are needed to provide for the wide variety of individual needs. Also the prices may be considered too high, especially if the garments do not fit even after alterations. When designing clothing and choosing the materials for wheelchair users the most critical issue is the sitting posture, which must be taken into consideration. In garment design both aesthetical and practical aspects should be fulfilled e.g. the bodyrise of trousers must be increased in the back and decreased in the front. Accumulation of excess fabric in the stomach area and exposure of the back area must be avoided to ensure a good fit and comfort in sitting. The leg length has to be adjusted according to the sitting posture. The body movement at rolling of a mechanical wheelchair requires fabric allowances in back and in sleeves of the garment. The garment design should also allow to dress up and undress independently or visit the toilet independently; a small decoration in the front of the garment to recognise the front piece...
References: http://www.squidoo.com/Adaptive-Clothing-For-The-Disabled-And Elderly#module148857927
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