What is Air Permeability?

Air permeability is a term used in textile science to describe how easily air can flow through a fabric. It depends on several factors, such as the type of fiber used, the size of the yarn, and how the fabric is constructed.

The air permeability of a fabric is crucial in determining its comfort level and its suitability for different uses. For instance, garments made from highly air-permeable fabrics will provide better air circulation and breathability, making them more comfortable in hot weather. In contrast, fabrics with low air permeability may be more appropriate for applications where protection from the elements is critical, such as tents.

To measure the air permeability of a fabric, textile scientists use a device called a permeameter. This gadget measures the rate of airflow through a sample of the fabric under specific conditions. The test results are reported in units such as CFM/sq ft or L/sqm.

Fabrics with high air permeability include cotton, linen, and some synthetic materials like polyester mesh. On the other hand, tightly woven fabrics like canvas, as well as some polyester and nylon fabrics, are characterized by low air permeability.