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Information on the time-related criteria of the degradation of protective clothing materials after wear and laundering is lacking. The materials were obtained from three sources in the evaluation of the material changes due to wear and laundering. The materials consisted of FR wool, aramid, FR viscose blend and FR cotton. The flammability, behavior of the material when exposed to radiant heat, water repellency, water penetration, oil repellency, air permeability, mass per unit area, thickness, tensile strength and tear strength, abrasion resistance, and dimensional stability of the fabrics were tested. The coefficient of variation was high for all measured properties. This is an indication of uneven wear and tear in use. No obvious unexpected latent alteration was seen in the old garments, with the exception of long afterglow and afterflame times in aramid fabrics. Dirtiness and age were cofactors for unfulfilled requirements in the flammability tests. Wear and a few launderings can change the materials to the same extent as several launderings in the laboratory. Mere laundering does not give sufficient information about the effect of wear.
flammability, textile properties, washing, wear and tear, degradation
specialist researcher, Institute of Occupational Health, Vantaa,