the Sensory Experience of Clothing

Do you have favourite clothes?

Learn more about sensory sensitivities here:

Full paper:

(Did you know that we are not-for-profit? So when you donate, all of your donation goes straight back into the work we do for the Nottinghamshire autistic community! You can donate here:!/DonationDetails)


Full paper:

Nothing about us without us
Who: Kyriacou and colleagues
Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Published: 2021
Title: Clothes, Sensory Experiences and Autism: Is Wearing the Right Fabric Important?

the Sensory Experience of Clothing

Most autistic people have sensory sensitivities and many experience tactile defensiveness. This study wanted to explore the textile preferences of some autistic adults.


Ten autistic adults discussed and rated seven different fabrics

They expressed a constant awareness of the fabrics they were in contact with on a daily basis, not only clothes, but also carpets, bus seats, and fabric chairs.

Some of the textiles were disliked not due to their texture but due to noises they might produce


Wearing comfortable clothes was important – and comfortable meant clothes which they cannot feel.

Many preferred loose clothes. The majority reported being unhappy with being in contact with labels, tags, and seams in their clothes.

They felt they could wear certain clothes only sometimes, when they felt up to it, and found them overwhelming at other times.


Many expressed that certain areas of their body, such as their shoulders and neck, were more sensitive to tactile contact than others

They had coping strategies such as choosing clothes which were comfortable, wearing something else under their clothes, or distracting themselves.
Some had items of clothing, like a scarf, the texture of which made them feel nice.

Overall, the autistic adults liked satin, denim, and cotton, due to their softness. They did not like hessian, polyester, wool, and spandex.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: