The impact of design variables and aftercare regime on the long-term performance of pressure garments

Lisa Macintyre, Sian Gilmartin, Michelle Rae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We sought to establish the impact of pressure garment design variables, moisturizer use, and laundry method on the ability of pressure garments to maintain their pressure delivering potential, indicated here by garment tension, over time and use. Twenty-six sets of three replicate pressure garment sleeves were constructed from four powernet fabrics, using three reduction factors and six sleeve dimensions. These pressure garment sleeves were extended for 23 hours on static cylinder models followed by hand or machine laundry up to 28 times. Some sleeves were additionally exposed to moisturizers during their extension. Garment tension and dimensions were measured before and during the simulated wear and wash period to indicate each garment's ability to maintain its tension and therefore pressure throughout a period of "use." The results of the investigation were analyzed in groups where each group contained only 1 variable, thereby allowing the variables with the most significant impact on tension degradation to be identified. The investigation confirmed that all pressure garments lost tension and therefore pressure delivering ability over time and use. It further revealed that pressure garments designed to exert greater pressures degraded faster than those designed to exert lower pressures. Contact between pressure garments and moisturizers accelerated tension degradation, and machine-washing pressure garments tended to prolong their pressure-delivering properties compared with hand-washing them. To maintain the initial pressure delivered by pressure garments, powernet fabrics should be prestressed before being designed/constructed and they should be machine-washed by patients. © 2007 The American Burn Association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-733
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


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