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Effects of material properties and fabric structure characteristics of graduated compression stockings (GCS) on the skin pressure distributions

Abstract

Graduated compression stockings (GCS) have been widely used for the prophylaxis and treatment of venous diseases. Their gradient pressure function largely related to their fabric structure and material properties. By combing fabric physical testing and wear trials, this study investigated the GCSs fabric structure and material properties at different locations along the stocking hoses, and quantitatively analyzed the effects of fabrics on skin pressure longitudinal and transverse distributions. We concluded that, Structural characteristics and material properties of stocking fabrics were not uniform along the hoses, but a gradual variation from ankle to thigh regions, which significantly influenced the corresponding skin pressure gradient distributions; Tensile (WT, EM) and shearing properties (G) generated most significant differences among ankle, knee and thigh regions along the stocking hose, which significantly influenced the skin pressure lognitudinal gradient distribution. More material indices generating significant gradual changes occurred in the fabric wale direction along stocking hose, meaning that materials properties in wale direction would exert more important impact on the skin pressure gradient performances. And, the greater tensibility and smoother surface of fabric in wale direction would contribute to put stocking on and off, and facilitate wearers’ leg extension-flexion movements. The indices of WT and EM of stocking fabrics in series A have strong linear correlations with skin pressure lognitudinal distribution, which largely related to their better performances in gradual changes of material properties. Skin pressure applied by fabric with same material properties produced pronounced differences among four different directions around certain cross-sections of human leg, especially at the ankle region; and, the skin pressure magnitudes at ankle region were more easily influenced by the materials properties, which were considered to be largely related to the anatomic structure of human leg.

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Correspondence to Rong Liu.

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Liu, R., Kwok, YL., Li, Y. et al. Effects of material properties and fabric structure characteristics of graduated compression stockings (GCS) on the skin pressure distributions. Fibers Polym 6, 322–331 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02875669

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Keywords

  • Material property
  • Fabric structure
  • Compression stockings
  • Skin pressure
  • Distribution