Types of Preventive Clothing and Their Uses or Applications Part-9

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A wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is worn by surfers, divers, windsurfers, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports, providing thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. The insulation properties depend on bubbles of gas enclosed within the material, which reduce its ability to conduct heat. The bubbles also give the wetsuit a low density, providing buoyancy in water.

Hugh Bradner, a University of California, Berkeley physicist invented the modern wetsuit in 1952. Wetsuits became available in the mid-1950s and evolved as the relatively fragile foamed neoprene was first backed, and later sandwiched, with thin sheets of tougher material such as nylon or later Lycra/Spandex. Improvements in the way joints in the wetsuit were made by gluing, taping and blindstitching, helped the suit to remain waterproof and reduce flushing, the replacement of water trapped between suit and body by cold water from the outside. Further improvements in the seals at the neck, wrists and ankles produced a suit known as a "semi-dry".

Different types of wetsuit are made for different uses and for different temperatures. Suits range from a thin (2 mm or less) "shortie", covering just the torso, to a full 8 mm semi-dry, usually complemented by neoprene boots, gloves and hood.
Figure 61: “Wetsuits for men and women”
Dry Suit:
A dry suit or drysuit provides thermal insulation or passive thermal protection to the wearer while immersed in water, and is worn by divers, boaters, water sports enthusiasts, and others who work or play in or near cold water. A dry suit normally protects the whole body except the head, hands, and possibly the feet. In some configurations, however, all of these are covered as well. Dry suits are used typically in these cases:
  1. Where the water temperature is below 15°C (60°F).
  2. For extended immersion in water above 15°C (60°F), where discomfort would be experienced by a wet suit user.
  3. With an integral helmet, boots, and gloves for personal protection when working in and around hazardous liquids.
The main difference between dry suits and wetsuits is that dry suits are designed to prevent water entering. This generally allows better insulation making them more suitable for use in cold water. Dry suits can be uncomfortably hot in warm or hot air, and are typically more expensive and more complex to don. For divers, they add some degree of complexity as the suit must be inflated and deflated with changes in depth in order to avoid "squeeze" on descent or uncontrolled rapid ascent due to over-buoyancy.
Figure 62: “The One Size is a patented dry suit that adapts itself to the measurements of the user, so the need for different sizes is minimized.”
An apron is an outer protective garment that covers primarily the front of the body. It may be worn for hygienic reasons as well as in order to protect clothes from wear and tear, or else due to a symbolic meaning. The apron is commonly part of the uniform of several work categories, including waitresses, nurses, and domestic workers. Many homemakers also wear them. It is also worn as a decorative garment by women. Aprons are also worn in many commercial establishments to protect workers clothes from damage, mainly bib aprons, but also others such as blacksmith or farrier aprons.

In addition to cloth, aprons can be made from a variety of materials. Rubber aprons are commonly used by persons working with dangerous chemicals, and lead aprons are commonly worn by persons such as X-ray technicians who work near radiation. Aprons, such as those used by carpenters, may have many pockets to hold tools. Waterproof household aprons, made of oilcloth or PVC are suitable for cooking and washing dishes.

The word apron is from the metanalysis of the term "a napron" to "an apron". The original spelling of napron has been lost (from the Old French naperon; Modern French napperon).
Figure 63: “Apron in use of professional chefs”

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