Footwear research organisation SATRA has built new specialist equipment that allows it to measure the thermal and water vapour resistance properties of shoe materials including leather and fabric.

The machine, described as a "sweating guarded hotplate", works by imitating the heating and sweating process at the surface of the skin with water, a measuring unit, thermal guard ring with heaters and temperature sensors.

Based at SATRA's technology centre in the UK, the machine also has applications for other textile products such as apparel.

"Our sweating guarded hotplate is one example of a new generation of SATRA test equipment developed to keep our members at the forefront of comfort technology," said Austin Summers, head of SATRA safety product center.

Separately on Thursday, SATRA announced that Julie Gale, one of a select group of footwear technicians to have gained SAFT - SATRA Accredited Footwear Technologist - has joined the test and research center.

Formerly at the Pentland Shoe Company, she is now a member of the organisation's quality service team where she will carry out laboratory audits and equipment calibration for SATRA members around the world.