Designing Functional Clothes for Persons with Locomotor Disabilities

Open access


The life quality improvement issue is a problem of national and international interest. This acquires total different values when it is to refer to a series of disadvantaged categories, that is the persons with locomotor disabilities. It is an inevitable social responsibility to create equal opportunities for disabled people, to prevent any intentional or unintentional discrimination that they face and apply positive discrimination if necessary to improve their living standards and to let them have an equal share from social development as productive individuals of society.

A disability is any kind of restriction or inability to accomplish a certain activity, which belongs to the interval considered as “normal” for a human being. Disabilities are characterized by deficiencies or excesses in the activity or behaviour that is normally expected from a person; they can be temporary or permanent, reversible or irreversible, progressive or regressive. The physical disabilities that require the use of wheelchairs imply the manufacturing of special clothing products that meet certain needs at a functional and/or therapeutic level.

The study presents the main aspects involved in designing and developing textile products for this category of users. Therefore, the apparel that is specially designed for persons with disabilities has to: allow more freedom and independence when is being worn, correspond to the aesthetic point of view, offer psychological benefits and help to socially integrate the individual who wears it. In addition, clothes should not hinder the individual’s mobility and must allow the use of the chest and of the superior limbs to the maximum, they must be durable, have a low level of electrostatic charge, be absorbent and comfortable, present the so-called “rehabilitation functions”, and last but not least, be beneficial for the wearer both from a physical and psychological point of view.

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