This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Engineering Comfort for Micro-resolution Mosquito Bite Blocking Textiles




England, Alexa

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Biosystems Engineering

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Over a million people die yearly from diseases spread by biting insects, especially mosquitos. Pesticides are currently used to control harmful insect populations although there are often negative side effects from pesticides. In addition, there is a long tradition of using bed nets to protect against mosquito-borne diseases. Bed nets are still widely used today. However, natural selection and nature have resulted in some mosquitoes adapting to bed nets and becoming resistant to insecticides. Humans can also protect themselves from bites via thick clothing. However, thin comfortable clothing that also blocks mosquito bites is uncommon. This study aims to examine many known knit structures and their variable parameters that can be used to create a knit with micro-resolution mosquito bite blocking and high comfortability. Prior researchers found that a single knit structure, interlock, after washing, can block mosquito bites regardless of the fiber used for the yarns. I tested a variety of knit structures including the interlock knit with various fiber compositions toward the task of engineering more comfortable mosquito blocking clothing. Various tests were conducted to evaluate a given textile’s comfort, including air permeability, water wicking, temperature difference, and a 9-factor perceived hand-feel comfort test. This thesis aims to quantify comfort and engineer specific properties that contribute to comfort. Major conclusions drawn from this thesis are that: i) Using Spandex/Nylon blends to construct mosquito bite blocking textiles yields most comfortable garments; ii) The structures Interlock, Half-Cardigan, and Jersey Skip were able to maintain a low body temperature no matter what yarn was being used, in comparison to the Under Armour control; iii) The combination of Spandex/Nylon creates a synergic effect improving the water wicking ability of a textile; iv) The air permeability might be a good predictor of mosquito bite blocking capability, textiles that are too permeable and are unlikely to block; Half-Cardigan, Single Jersey, and Jersey-Skip knits can block mosquito bites with Spandex additions.