Since the invention of compression hosiery in 1947, no major innovations have been introduced. Different products exist on the market, suitable for therapy and prevention. Compression Hosiery is usually worn by elderly and sick people. When applying and removing compression hosiery they encounter many problems: they lack strength in their arms and hands, they can't bend properly or they suffer from pain in their arms, hands or feet. One of the characteristics of compression hosiery is that the highest pressure in the stocking is found at the ankle. This is also the narrowest part of the stocking. The trouble is that it's this narrowest part that has to be pulled over the widest part of the foot (the tarsal circumference). At this point the stocking exerts a very high degree of pressure, which is considerably higher than the therapeutic pressure value that's desired at the ankle. The stocking is also pulled over the leg in a double layer (i.e. fabric over fabric), both when it is being put on and when it's taken off. The resistance in this process is extremely high. Many people stop wearing their hosiery as a result of these problems (or wear them less frequently). This decrease in compliance, means an aggravation of the disease status, with an increased risk of complications and a corresponding increase in costs. A number of patients receive help from family members or through domiciliary care. Our objective is to develop a novel hybrid fabric based on superelastic fibres to manufacture a new concept of compression hosiery that overcome current limitations. This will support the SME proposers and the SME leaded European hosiery sector in profiting from sales worth at least 370 MEuro/year in Europe, only considering the 1,2 % of the adult population suffering from leg ulcers among the 15% having varicose veins and requiring compression therapy.
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