Sanitary Gusset Suitable for Undergarment Incorporation

Request Number REQ9369082
Due Date March 23, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Sanitary Gusset Suitable for Undergarment Incorporation
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global textile manufacturing company, invites proposals for the development of high performance materials suitable for producing a bodily fluids absorbing gusset. The materials should allow for a thin gusset that can be integrated in undergarments and absorb menstruation blood and/or urine. It should hold these bodily fluids for a 24-hour wearer cycle and keep the user dry at all time without any leakage on to the outer fabric. The materials should be durable and allow domestic wash cycles. Other essential functionalities are stain resistance/stain release, bacteriostatic, and active odor cancellation.


The sanitary product market is dominated by disposable products. These are easy to use but afterwards a lot of the disposable tampons, pads and napkins end up in sewage systems and landfills. Since they often include synthetic materials they do not readily decompose thus contributing to environmental problems.


In recent years reusable products have come to the market. NineSigma’s client is developing reusable solutions for the fem-care and incontinence market. They want to identify materials that can be incorporated into underwear and that are able to hold bodily fluids for a day-long period. Next to environmental benefits, the goal is to offer increased consumer comfort.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Small scale tests in a client defined setting  
  • Assessment of functionalities of the gusset core prior to garment assembly (overall absorbent capacity, drying rate, zero retention after wash + predefined set of individual material tests)
  • Assessment of bacteriostatic, focused active odor cancellation, stain resistance and release properties (functionality and appearance after predefined number of wash cycles)
  • Validation of the product in terms of real-life use in garment
  • Assessment of economics of proposed materials


Phase 2 – Scale up towards commercial use


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Provide an efficient and fast absorbance of bodily fluids
    • Retain a minimum of 20ml of menstruation blood or a minimum of 40ml urine without an increase in the defined dimensions of the gusset
    • Next-to-skin surface remain dry at all times. Bodily fluids should be absorbed immediately
    • Moisture absorbed and retained should not resurface during end-use conditions, e.g. no effect of pressure imparted from sleeping, sitting, running, bending
  • Use materials that are environmentally friendly
    • Compliant with Oecotex, Bluesign, Reach standards
  • Use materials similar to regular undergarment textile materials
    •  Be pliable, durable, dyeable
    • Next to skin layer should be soft in hand-feel (e.g. cotton like)
    • Be sewable and bondable (e.g. withstand processing conditions of >190°C and 6 atm pressure for 20 seconds)
  • Withstand over 50 home laundry washes at maximum 60°C
    • Retained bodily fluids should be removed completely from the undergarment’s core by a regular domestic wash cycle using regular detergent
    • The absorbent core should dry fast after a wash cycle
  • Be stain resistant to menstrual blood and urine or completely free of stains after wash cycle
  • Have antibacterial and anti-odor functionality


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:


  • Super-absorbing textile materials available as thin layers
  • Microfiber based proposals
  • Modified natural fibers
  • New garment construction methodologies, e.g.
    • distribution of absorbed fluids,
    • leak proof constructions,
    • methods to maintain drapability and thin edges of the gusset
  • Combinations of technologies and materials


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:


  • The use of toxic materials or materials that are not safe for human contact, e.g. materials that are not compliant with Oecotex, Reach and Bluesign standards
  • Solutions that are uncomfortable to wear


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology covering where possible:
    • Description of the proposed materials
    • Current application and use
    • Include available data or evidence for the efficacy of the proposed materials based on empirical reproducible methods
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Challenges to be overcome and proposed approach to overcome these
  • Availability of samples
  • Intellectual property overview
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company that has demonstrated a proof of concept of a multilayer cotton based material that fulfills the criteria of this request

You represent a university research department that has a novel absorbing material that should be suitable but requires more testing before commercial use


Area of Interest
  • Consumer Products
Request Priority
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