Prior art fabrics used to manufacture military combat uniforms typically are made from yarns comprised of a blend of cotton and nylon fibers. This blend supports dyeing and printing techniques that use a combination of acid and vat dyes to impart a camouflage pattern. The yarns made from the blend are combined with lightweight, thin fabric construction to produce fabrics that provide comfort, durability, and UV resistance. Other fabrics, such as flame-retardant fabrics, are made from blends of Nomex® synthetic fiber meta-aramid fiber, Kevlar® synthetic fiber para-aramid fiber, and P140 electrostatic-dissipative fiber, and also provide a level of visual and near-infrared camouflage protection; however, they do not provide anti-odor, anti-micro-bial, or electrostatic dissipation performance in a single, complete fabric. Other prior art techniques involve treating uniform fabrics with antimicrobial treatments, but some of these are not durable and wear out after repeated laundering.
New yarns and fabrics are needed in order to address the deficiencies and problems associated with prior art protective clothing, and related prior art techniques for making such clothing.
Multi-functional yarns and fabrics that exhibit anti-static, anti-odor, and anti-microbial (or anti-bacterial) properties, and can be used to make a standalone garment that performs the functions of separate garments, have been developed. A significant advantage of these yarns and fabrics is that they eliminate the need for separate undergarments, underwear, or inner layers of clothing, while still providing antimicrobial, anti-odor, and anti-static functions. The yarns and fabrics can be used to fabricate a single, standalone garment that is suitable for hot-weather environments, or a single, standalone garment that is suitable for cold weather environments.
The yarn comprises a blend of fibers that includes those exhibiting antimicrobial, anti-static, and anti-odor characteristics, including nylon fibers, cotton fibers, and fibers having anti-microbial, anti-static, and anti-odor properties. This blend may also contain stretch fibers. The anti-microbial, anti-odor, and anti-static fibers are configured as metallic-coated fibers.