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dc.contributor.advisorLaing, Raechel
dc.contributor.advisorBrooks, Heather
dc.contributor.authorMcQueen, Rachelen_NZ
dc.identifier.citationMcQueen, R. (2007). Axillary odour in apparel textiles (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe axilla is a major source of human body odour from which the characteristic musky, urinous or acidic odours emanate, and are predominantly due to bacterial metabolism of the protein-rich fluid secreted by the apocrine and sebaceous glands located in this area (Senol and Fireman, 1999). Clothing has been implicated in contributing to body odour intensity, possibly even increasing the intensity (Dravnieks, et al., 1968; Shelley, et al., 1953) by the transfer of secretions, skin debris and bacteria from the body to the fabric substrate. Despite much anecdotal evidence indicating that some fibres and fabrics are better at limiting odour intensity than others, there appears to be no published research confirming this. The purpose of this study therefore, was to determine whether fabrics varying in fibre content (cotton, wool, polyester) and fabric knit structure (interlock, single jersey, 1x1 rib) differed in the extent to which they retained and emanated axillary odour following wear, and whether the intensity of odour was linked to the number of bacteria transferred to the fabrics. A procedure for collecting odour on fabrics was developed as was a method for evaluating odour through use of a sensory panel. Total aerobic bacteria and aerobic coryneform bacteria extracted from the fabrics were counted to determine if an association between bacterial counts and fabrics existed. Sensory analysis recognises the unique capability of humans as odour-detecting instruments whereas, instrumental analysis has the potential to offer information on the concentration and identification of axillary compounds, which a human assessor cannot. To investigate a new method for detecting axillary odour on apparel fabrics, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) was used to analyse volatiles emitted from fabrics differing in fibre type. After removal of garments from the human body, axillary odour can be detected on fabrics, with the intensity of odour being strongly influenced by the fibre type from which the fabrics had been made. Polyester fabrics emanated odour of high intensity, cotton that of mid-low odour intensity, and wool fabrics were low odour. Fabric structural properties such as thickness, mass per unit area and openness of knit structure also had an effect on odour intensity. However, as the principal factor influencing odour intensity was fibre, only fabrics characterised by a high intensity (i.e. polyester) were influenced by structural properties. Differences in odour intensity among fabrics were not necessarily related to bacterial numbers, and no 'inherent antimicrobial' properties were evident for any of the fabrics. Bacterial populations persisted in all fabrics up to 28 days. A decline in numbers was apparent for high-odour polyester fabrics, while numbers in low-odour wool fabrics remained relatively stable. PTR-MS detected compounds likely to be short-chain carboxylic acids which increased in the headspace above the polyester fabrics after 7 days. However, this increase was not evident for either the wool or cotton fabrics. Therefore, bacterial numbers per se cannot be a predictor of the odour intensity emanating from fabrics at least on the basis of these fabrics and fibres. The intensity of axillary odour emanating from fabrics was found inversely related to fibre hygroscopicity. Keywords:fibre content, fabric structure, axillary odour, sensory analysis, bacteria, corynebacteria, instrumental analysis, PTR-MSen_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otagoen_NZ
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjecttextile fabricsen_NZ
dc.subjectproton transfer reactionsen_NZ
dc.titleAxillary odour in apparel textilesen_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ of Clothing and Textile Sciencesen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otagoen_NZ Thesesen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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