from summer puffer jacket to glowing hat, reactive materials give clothing new properties

from summer puffer jacket to glowing hat, reactive materials give clothing new properties

thermal-CHANGING materials sewn in jackets and accessories

 

With the chilly seasons coming in, people may stack up layers of clothing to protect themselves from the shivering cold. In other parts of the world, they might be fending the sweltering heat, ditching layered outfits for a single shirt or top. These days, designers are looking into maintaining people’s body temperature regardless of what the person is wearing by devising jackets and hats that become cool or warm to adapt to the wearer’s needs. While the tech-based apparel and its playful designs and tantamount pockets can attract the wearer to put them on, the materials regulating body temperature may be the main reason they want to own it in the first place.

 

These materials are intentionally selected for their properties. Research time has been invested before the designers take on the challenge of how they can integrate these materials into clothing. Take a team of scientists from The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute and their studies as an example. They delved into the thermal properties of graphene, a hexagonal layer of single-carbon atoms, and discovered that it can be used to create clothing that can lower the body temperature of the wearer in hot climates. It can also be sewn into clothes to keep the wearer warm in cold seasons, as evidenced by startup UZE’s integration of graphene into their heat-regulating jacket.

thermal jackets hats materials
image by UZE

 

 

UZE’s modular heated jackets use graphene heating pads

 

Wearable technology startup UZE unveils its heated jacket with graphene-infused heating pads, comprising three heat levels that can be activated with a single touch. The sewn logo on the right part of the jacket acts as the button of the heated jacket, changing its temperature from mild and moderate heat to intense warmth to keep the wearer toasty during extreme cold conditions. UZE’s design team says that graphene heating pads have heat-conducting properties and heat up three times faster than traditional heating pads. These carbon atoms can also reach higher temperatures of up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or 70 degrees Celsius).

 

UZE’s heated jackets have many movable parts to suit the wearer’s needs, from its detachable hood and adjustable cuffs to fingerless gloves and foldable rain hem. UZE envisions its heated jacket as an all-season wear since it can also be worn during the summer as a light jacket (they just need to strip off the layer of padding using the zipper). The graphene is embedded into the heated jacket’s UZEShield fabric, which makes the outfit water and windproof. In a campaign, the UZE team plans to ship the heated jacket between December 2023 and February 2024.

thermal jackets hats materials
UZE unveils its heated jacket with graphene-infused heating pads

 

 

thermal-reactive Ice Jacket or summer puffer with beer cans?

 

Researchers have also studied the thermal properties of polyurethane and proposed that it possesses thermal insulation properties, leading to brands using it as a thermal insulation material. In fact, Stone Island’s thermal-reactive Poly Strata Ice Jacket is created by stitching two layers of bonded polyurethane. The outer shell reacts to temperature changes caused by the infused micro-encapsulated reactive pigments, and feathers are also added as additional material to increase the heating properties of the jacket. As the temperature changes, the jacket slowly changes its color, signaling to the wearer whether the place is cool or warm.

 

Other times, research about the thermal properties of a material can pave the way for designers to toy with their creativity. Beer brand Tiger Beer, fashion designer Izzy Du, and creative studio Whatever Co., for example, envisioned a puffer jacket that can be worn during the summer. Their inquiry led them to create a real-life summer puffer jacket that can cool down body temperature using a network of water-filled tubes inside the outfit and cold cans of beer. These tubes make contact with key points where the arteries are closest to the skin, and as soon as the wearer puts ice-cold cans in the beer pockets, the canisters chill the water, thus cooling down the body temperature before sweat begins to form.

thermal jackets hats materials
Stone Island’s Poly Strata Ice Jacket is created by stitching two layers of bonded polyurethane | read more here

 

 

vents on nike’s jacket and glow-in-the-dark vollebak hat

 

These thermal-regulating materials for apparel can also just be a film; a moisture-reactive film to be exact. That is how NIKE did it with its Aerogami jacket. The brand has incorporated automatic air vents into the jacket’s design, enabling it to cool down the body temperature of runners while they jog. These vents, which resemble creases and folds across the jacket, open up when sweat accumulates against the runner’s skin to allow airflow and prevent sweating. As the body cools down and sweat dries, the vents automatically close to seal in warmth. NIKE’s Aerogami technology is powered by a moisture-reactive film applied to the vents, which autonomously contracts and expands in response to sweat.

 

Moving up to the body, parka and jacket hoods are often insulated with the same material as the entire outfit. However, this does not mean designers cannot have fun with the hood’s style. At least for Vollebak, this is the case. Its insulated Solar Charged Hat glows in the dark at night like a green firefly, transforming the wearer into a human lamp when darkness falls. The hat is engineered with a three-layered material: ultra-soft fleece lining and insulation followed by water and wind-resistant fabric, concluded with adjustable storm flaps reinforced with Cordura panels.

 

The Solar Charged Hat’s second layer is infused with a phosphorescent compound that helps the hat quickly store any light it comes into contact with and re-emit it slowly over time. This emerging use of science-backed materials in clothing to help adjust the wearer’s body temperature has witnessed the arrival of the series of apparel seen here. With advanced technologies continuing to progress and the unrestrained curiosity of designers, it might not be a surprise anymore that jackets and hats sewn with thermal-regulating materials will soon expand and continue to grow their collections.

thermal jackets hats materials
the summer puffer jacket’s materials comprise a network of water-filled tubes | read more here

nike aerogami jacket automatic air vents
NIKE Aerogami jacket is breathable performance gear with on-demand ventilation | read more here

vollebak-solar-charged-hat-jacket-glow-in-the-dark-designboom-1800

insulated Solar Charged Hat glows in the dark at night like a green firefly | read more here

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Stone Island's Poly Strata Ice Jacket
Stone Island's Poly Strata Ice Jacket
Summer Puffer Jacket
Summer Puffer Jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
UZE's modular heated jacket
Vollebak's Solar Charged Hat
Vollebak's Solar Charged Hat
NIKE aerogami jacket enables airflow around the body, thanks to a moisture-reactive film on the automatic air vents
NIKE aerogami jacket enables airflow around the body, thanks to a moisture-reactive film on the automatic air vents

project info:

 

design: UZE, Stone Island, Tiger Beer, Izzy Du, Whatever Co., NIKE, Vollebak

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