For all types of clothing and body worn technologies it is important to consider how
they integrate and interact with the complex shapes that form the unique profile of the
human body. This interaction determines the fit of these products and it is often
difficult to generate a fit that can simultaneously accommodate these complex shapes.
Achieving the correct fit is determined by a number of different factors that must be
combined appropriately to create the fit associated with a particular product. This is
particularly applicable to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure it provides
protection while maintaining comfort, mobility and good interaction with the
surrounding environment. Integrating suitable anthropometric data into the design and
manufacture of this type of clothing plays a critical role in achieving a good fit. By
using various processes of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided
Manufacture (CAM), the detail contained within these data can be quickly and
accurately transferred into physical tools.
The aim of this study was to demonstrate and validate a method of enhancing
the fit of PPE handwear. This has been achieved through an action research strategy
using descriptive and practical research methods. The research tools primarily used
are case studies, used to demonstrate how manually collected 2D anthropometric data
can be used to generate computer models that represent these data in a 3D form. The
products of the case studies are tools that have been introduced into the design and
manufacture processes of commercial handwear manufacturing environments. The
tools have successfully been used to produce gloves using two different
manufacturing methods and been assessed to analyse their fit. An improvement in fit
for the gloves has been quantified through user trials to determine the level of
increased performance afforded to the wearer.
The conclusions drawn from the case studies demonstrate that the integration of
anthropometric data and CAD/CAM can greatly influence the fit of handwear and
improve the iterative processes of its design. However, the data alone does not
achieve this as the added integration of tacit knowledge related to glove design is
needed to ensure the correct properties are included to the meet the needs of the target
population. The methods developed in the case studies have the potential to be applied
to other products where fit and interaction with the human body are important design
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.