fabric, Fabric Knowledge, fashion

What fabric is the warmest (get the science)?

Air layer fabric for winter

After the first snow in 2022. The weather is really cold now.

This article is about the real fabric that can provide warmth to your body.

And make sure you don’t get cheated by the false advertisement.

There are TWO main  factors that decide a fabric is warmer than the others:

  1. the air layer

  2. the material

The air layer

Let’s starting from the ‘down jacket’ I am sure you have seen these kind of down jacket. They are thin, light and warm.

Picture from : https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/

It is normally padding the acrylic/nylon/polyester/down fibre in the middle of the cloth.

But why is it so warm?

Someone will say because it is thick…

Here is the science:

First,they are all padding the acrylic/nylon/polyester fibre in the middle of the cloth, which created an air layer to keep the heat of your body and block the cold from the outside. 

These synthetic fibre are more fluffy than cotton and hydrophobic.

Here, you need to understand what is warm? Why do you feel hot?

Everything in this world is formed by basic molecules, the molecules are constantly moving everywhere unless the tempreture dropped to or below absolute zero degree.

You feel hot, because the molecules transfer the heat(the energy) of the object to your skin and trigger the reaction in your brain.

For example, you can put your hand in a 200°c oven( in the air) , but you will get burned in a 60°c water.

Because the molecules in the air  have a bigger gap, so it is the slowest to transfer the heat to you.

States of matter — Science Learning Hub

That’s how the sandwich material comes from,

There can be three layers of the fabric: the inside using a brushed fabric creates comfortable feeling to your skin. The ouside using a wind breaker to block the cold wind. In the middle an air layer to slow down the heat transmission, and keep your heat.



This type material can be very thin as well, because some of the synthetic fibre and be made hollow in the middle ( to create an air layer), the picture below:

Hollow Fibre - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Some of the thin fabric can even have a support layer and radioactive element in the middle(generate heat itself).

  1. Screen-Shot----at-..


    the material

Modern thermal garments made from synthetic fabrics ( which are breathable and actively wick moisture away from your skin ) are better than anything made of cotton.

The newest fashioned synthetic fabrics using micro technology to structurally improve the breathability of the fabric. For example, the Lycra coolmax, Nike Dri-fit

The Lycra company introduces COOLMAX® and THERMOLITE® EcoMade fibers -  TEXtalks | let's talk textiles...

 The other way to get rid of the odors is by mixing the non-breathable synthetic fabrics with the natural fibre which have a better moisture absorption rate ( such as Tencel, Viscose, SIlk).

Label Types | Different Types of Label Used in Garments - Garments  Merchandising

Cotton is particularly ill-suited to cold weather, as cotton holds water, but has poor moisture wicking properties. 


Meaning as you sweat you’ll feel chilly when the weather turns cold and wet. Also it is very slow to dry and become very heavy. In cold weather cotton can actually pull heat from your body , increasing the risk of hypothermia .

In cooler temperatures wool shirts , socks and sweaters are also preferred. Cashmere, wool, in particular , is an excellent fabric , as it’s warm , breath able and moisture – wicking – plus.  It’s not as prone to retaining odors. However, it is not as affordable and need a lot of care when it gets dirty. 

In conclusion, a synthetic fibre mixed with other fibre fabric can significantly provide both comfort and warmth. Also easy to care and very affordable.


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