Friday, 05 July 2013 10:00
Can a Fabric Really Keep You Warm in the Cold and Cool in the Heat?Written by d'Italia
Fabrics and clothes that keep wearers “warm in the winter and cool in the summer” are often boasted about, but can this really be possible? It’s a convenient ideal that would make these garments exceptionally versatile, but in practice, the truth may be a bit less convenient than what one would hope.
Cool vs. Hot Fabrics First, let’s consider what makes a fabric warm. Wool, for instance, isn’t in itself warmer than cotton, but what makes it warmer is its ability to retain heat (i.e. keep body heat from escaping). The converse would be true for cotton. With its breathability, cotton isn’t great at keeping heat in on its own, allowing body heat to escape rather than insulating it like wool. The Answer … Sort Of Many people, however, do find that fabrics like cotton and linen do well in both types of climates. Linen, while generally a summer fabric, does actually retain heat quite well, and may be an exception to logic. For the most part, though, clothes that breathe well in the summer tend to be poor for cooler temperatures for that very reason, letting body heat out and wind in.