Author: Li, Nga Wun
Title: Novel design of buoyant swimwear for children : exploration of inlaid knitted structure
Advisors: Ho, Chu-po (ITC)
Yick, Kit-lun (ITC)
Zhou, Jin-yun (ITC)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2021
Subject: Bathing suits
Swimming for children
Textile fabrics
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: xxiv, 192 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: With the increasing popularity of buoyant swimwear for children in recreational swimming, different types of buoyant aids are now becoming available in the market to assist children as they learn to swim. An investigation of knitted textiles is therefore crucial to optimise functional clothing designs that offer buoyancy.
The aim of this research project is to enhance the functional performance of conventional buoyant swimwear for children for recreational swimming by using knitting technology in terms of fit, comfort and mobility. First, a review of current buoyant swimwear is provided to identify the possible means of improving their functional performance. Then, a practice-based research methodology is adopted to create the knitted buoyant swimwear for children to enhance their confidence in the water by providing sufficient buoyancy. The aim of this study, the research gaps and design process are determined with reference to a literature review and market analysis. Buoyant fabrics are manufactured by using inlay knitting with various buoyant foam rods and tubes. The research results provide useful information for selecting suitable inlaid knitted fabrics to develop prototypes. Feasible solutions to improve the fit and comfort of conventional buoyant swimwear as well as the mobility of the wearer are recommended. Five prototypes of the knitted buoyant swimwear are developed. The benefits of the design process model and design principles of the knitted buoyant swimwear are systematically validated on the basis of the results from objective and subjective measurements. The characteristics of the prototypes are compared with those of two market samples. It is found that Prototype 5 with four knitted buoyant layers and a shell has the highest level of buoyancy and highest overall wear comfort, thus increasing the confidence of the wearer in the water, and allowing ease of arm movement and movement during swimming. The output of this project can be extended to the development of other buoyant garments and will advance current knowledge on a new dimension of functional clothing for water safety.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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