ThermoHuman and the textile industry: textile manufacturing based on thermography.

ThermoHuman and the textile industry: textile manufacturing based on thermography.

22/08/2023 Home

A new study reveals how thermography applied to textile design, evaluated with the ThermoHuman methodology, can help make fabrics for the comfort of users, in this case athletes.

The recent study by the group of Moran-Cortes JF et al. (2023) from the University of Extremadura has published research on how thermography can aid in the design and manufacturing process of textile garments to enhance the well-being and thermoregulation of individuals, in this case, athletes.

The study utilized the ThermoHuman methodology to assess the foot protocol of the subjects participating in the experimental design. This scientifically validated protocol was found to be faster—requiring up to 80% less time for image analysis—and more reliable than manual analysis processes (Requena-bueno et al 2020)

Study Design for the Textile Industry.

The authors selected 34 participants who were randomly divided into two groups (those who were to undergo the test with socks having a 2mm separation for breathability, and those wearing socks with a 1mm separation) to participate in a 14 km trail test. Measurements were taken before and after the test. The participants were trained individuals who ran more than 40 km weekly.

Thermal images of the feet were obtained using a FLIR E60BX and analyzed with ThermoHuman software for the foot protocol, both before and after the test. (Figure 1)

textile design

Figure 1. Study design

Statistical analyses were conducted on the temperature increase between measurements.

Results of the Textile Test.

The results demonstrated a significant increase in temperature in the soles of the feet for all regions after completing the test. This rise is independent of the type of sock used and is mostly due to exercise-induced thermoregulation that increases vasodilation in the extremities. In the case of the foot, being isolated by the sock and shoe impedes the exchange of energy for heat dissipation.

Thermal sensation differed among the analyzed garments. Socks with more breathability space provided a more comfortable thermal sensation in tests conducted at 27°C, which could make them more suitable for such activities.

Study Conclusions.

The thermoregulation of extremities is more dependent on the chosen exercise modality than on the garments used in textile research.

Thermography is a useful tool for investigating regions with better thermoregulation and can be considered a “gold standard” when selecting the best designs for human comfort. Moreover, it can be used to study how different fabrics and designs affect body thermoregulation during physical activity. This contributes to the development of garments that help maintain optimal body temperature, knowing that elevated body temperature limits physical performance.

In summary, thermography is a valuable tool in the textile industry because it enables the assessment of textile quality, optimization of thermal and comfort performance in garments, and enhancement of research and development for new products.


Moran-Cortes JF, Gómez-Martín B, Escamilla-Martínez E, Sánchez-Rodríguez R, Gómez-Carrión Á, Martínez-Nova A. Thermoregulation in Two Models of Trail Run Socks with Different Fabric Separation. Life. 2023; 13(8):1768.

Requena-Bueno L, Priego-Quesada JI, Jimenez-Perez I, Gil-Calvo M, Pérez-Soriano P. Validation of ThermoHuman automatic thermographic software for assessing foot temperature before and after running. J Therm Biol. 2020 Aug;92:102639. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102639. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32888554.

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

CDTI Thermohuman has received funding from the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), in participation with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), for the R+D activities involved in creating a new tool, based on thermography, for the prediction and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. See project detail.