Dynamic temperature control: the coolest textile trend so far
Temperature can make or break the comfort of outgoing consumers. No matter the quality of your fabrics; people like to work out and we all get to deal with large temperature differences, sweat and sticky clothes. Now, as a textile manufacturer, you can’t reduce the sweat that’s released through the skin of your customers. What you can do, is read into something called dynamic temperature control. It might just be what your customers need to face the heat and stay comfortable while doing, well, pretty much everything.
Temperature: a hot topic
“So people get sweaty during their workouts or run for the bus. What’s new?” you might ask. It’s a good question, with a simple answer: customers are more critical than ever. While sports are getting more popular and integrated in everyday life, customers are also more focused on comfort. This makes them search for extra functions in clothing to help them stay dry and ventilated throughout the day. Second, climate change is real, and people all around the world start noticing larger temperature differences with every new season. As a result, the cooling fabrics market is rapidly growing. In 2016, it was valued at 1.25 billion dollars and it’s forecasted to grow at a CAGR of around 11% between 2017 and 2025. Those are big numbers!
Which problem are we solving?
Let’s start off with a little biology. When people get active (or stressed out, or both), the human body has several tricks to get rid of the excess heat. First, it turns chemical energy into mechanical energy, which is partially transferred into heat. Second, the body stimulates the production of sweat, that’s released through the skin. It’s the evaporation of sweat which helps us to cool down evaporation. Evaporation requires heat from the skin to evaporate, which leads the skin to feel cool. However, sweat also causes discomfort. Clothes get wet and stick to the skin, which gets worse when the sweat and heat have nowhere to go because of hydrophilic materials. When you put it like this, it’s obvious that textile manufacturers actually hold the key to a more comfortable work-out and maybe even a more comfortable life in general.
What needs to be done?
In your attempt to make temperature differences more bearable to your customers, a simple change of fabric is not the way to go. Whereas polyester keeps all the sweat imprisoned at the inside of the clothes, cotton has a tendency of getting wet and heavy. Neither of these situations is ideal. The solution lies in producing lightweight and breathable fabrics that have the ability to wick moisture away. Moisture wicking transfers moisture through hydrophilic material, so that it can be pulled out or up. This solves the hydrophilic issue and a has a cooling effect on the body surface.
Dynamic temperature control through micelles
There’s a second condition your products should comply with. Your customers might get hot, but they won’t be all day long. This is why you should implement a technology that activates cooling features only when needed. This is what we like to call dynamic temperature control and it’s a most promising development in the world of textiles. Often, textile manufacturers use static temperature control to maintain a static level of breathability and cooling. This method doesn’t adapt the level of insulation according to changes in environmental conditions or the body’s microclimate. This can either lead to a cooling effect that’s way too strong, or to no effect at all. A great way to make your cooling features dynamic, is to use the micelle technology. Micelles are little cells that activate when they get into contact with body heat and moisture, which activates the cooling ingredients they hold. Micelles dehydrate when left in the closet, which makes them highly durable.
In the previous paragraphs, we talked about sportswear in particular. This is logical, as people in sportswear deal with temperature differences all the time. Sports brands have already anticipated the call for so-called smart textiles by offering breathable clothing that helps athletes stay dry while cooling down their body temperature. Still, there are plenty of other options. Take mattress ticking, for example. One of our customers uses dynamic temperature control in a product line which contains mattresses that cool down the body of the owner, maximising sleep quality. If you think about it this way, you can join the dynamic temperature control trend with every piece of textile you like. Think about furniture pads, car upholstery, leisure wear, medical wear and yoga wear. The sky’s the limit!
Did our blog inspire you to learn more about dynamic temperature control? Our product TASTEX Cool, which uses micelle technology to release xylitol as a cooling agent might do the trick for you!