Human ecology and functional apparel

We research the interface between human body, the designed objects and environments they interact with; into diverse materials and technology relevant to performance apparel and apparel assemblies.

It covers apparel, fabrics and textile materials for applications such as sport, human protection medical and related applications. It also covers Virtual Product Design and Engineering, Virtual Sampling and Manufacturing as applicable to apparel with emphasis on performance apparel.

The research approaches the issues of apparel and apparel systems performance in combination with their physiological comfort:

  • Thermophysiological wear comfort (fibres, fabrics, garment, garment systems)
  • Skin sensory wear comfort (fibres, fabrics)
  • Ergonomic wear comfort (garment construction and fit, garment systems, assemblies and their interaction)
  • Psychological wear comfort (design, branding, perception)

The areas of the research applications include, but not limited to:

  • Protective apparel systems ( Fire fighters, smelter workers, police, army)
  • Performance sportswear (high-speed sports, endurance sports, extreme climate sport)
  • Performance outdoor apparel and corporate wear
  • Medical textiles
  • Intelligent fabrics, apparel and apparel systems

Research expertise covers textile fibres and yarns, woven and knitted performance fabrics, emerging textile technology, functional/ performance apparel design and construction. Majority of the projects are carried out as interdisciplinary research in cooperation with sport, electrical/electronic and aerospace engineering, textile and product design and technology.

Virtual Product Design and Engineering expertise covers CAD/CAM systems and software and is aimed at the application of new technologies, and computer-based design protocols including mass customisation to high value sports garments for elite international competition and performance apparel for protection, medical applications and other special functions.

The majority of this cluster’s research is applied with the aim of the research commercialisation.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer