Scientists at Stanford University are working on a high-tech textile that could help consumers stay warm in some of the coldest environments. While conventional clothing does a decent job of curtailing heat loss, traditional fabrics are not designed to capture radiant body heat. Stanford researchers have found a way to capture wasted body heat through the use of an innovative new fabric.
The scientists produced the high-tech textile by coating fabric in silver nanowires and then placing it in a chemical bath. The network of thin metallic wires boost a garment's thermal properties without impacting functionality. Clothing made from this fabric would be able to trap radiant heat while still providing the same level of breathability as conventional fabrics. The fabric would not only keep an individual warm in cold weather, but it would also help them stay warmer indoors without additional heating. In cold climates, this reduction in heating could help to reduce electricity consumption.
While the fabric is still in the early stages of testing, the new technology demonstrates how smart textiles could revolutionize our daily lives.