An amazing new finding by scientists has massive implications to how clothes are produced in the future.
In a discovery that may prove to be one of the most important inventions of the 21st century so far, researchers at Stanford may have found a textile that could totally change the way clothes are manufactured. This new textile derived from cheap plastics could be woven into clothing and cool you body by as much as 4 degrees, which could result in more comfortable clothing and even a reduction in energy costs as buildings wouldn’t be required to use as much air conditioning.
The fabric would be woven into clothing and would dissipate heat in two ways: first, it would let perspiration evaporate, and it would allow body heat in the form of infrared radiation to pass through it instead of trapping it, which is the problem with cotton-based fabrics, according to a statement from the university.
The study found that this fabric could result in a reduction in body temperature of nearly 4 degrees. It would do so much more efficiently than standard natural and synthetic clothing.
“If you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live, that will save energy,” said Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and of photon science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
“Forty to 60 percent of our body heat is dissipated as infrared radiation when we are sitting in an office,” said Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering who specializes in photonics, which is the study of visible and invisible light. “But until now there has been little or no research on designing the thermal radiation characteristics of textiles. … Wearing anything traps some heat and makes the skin warmer. If dissipating thermal radiation were our only concern, then it would be best to wear nothing.”
Researchers are looking to make it more inexpensive to produce.
“If you want to make a textile, you have to be able to make huge volumes inexpensively,” Cui said.