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Temperature control fabrics
published in Issue 21, 2nd Quarter 2007
The popularity of cold winter sports such as alpine climbing, ice climbing and recreational skiing has spurred the demand for fabrics and technologies which help to keep the outdoor enthusiast dry, warm and comfortable.
Cold temperatures are less of a problem for people pursuing outdoor activities than they were in the past. Advances in insulating technologies have led to the creation of clothing systems which keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature, even in some of the coldest weather conditions.
Technological developments have also made it possible to create fabrics which maintain comfortable temperatures for the wearer without adding significantly to the bulk of the garment. A key trend in this performance wear category is the use of lighter-weight insulation which offers greater comfort without sacrificing warmth. Duvet-like ski jackets are becoming a thing of the past with the growing popularity of lightweight soft shells which combine insulation with the durability and weather resistance of a hard shell.
One of the most noteworthy developments in the field of temperature control fabrics has been the use of phase change materials (PCMs). Unlike traditional insulations, PCM-based fabrics work interactively with the body to prevent overheating when activity levels or ambient temperatures increase. Although PCM technology has not taken off as rapidly as its proponents had expected, the range of textile applications to which it is being applied has broadened considerably in recent years.
Over the past decade, with the advent of wearable technology, battery powered heating devices have begun to enter the temperature control market. However, while great work has been done to improve the temperature control, expense and wearability of these garments, much has yet to be achieved.
Other temperature control technologies are also attracting the attention of outdoor enthusiasts and include silver-based fabrics, adjustable insulation systems and bionic climate membranes.
For the future, research into temperature control systems for the performance apparel industry is set to grow in importance as efforts are stepped up to develop all-weather clothing systems which provide optimum comfort.
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
Reports in Performance Apparel Markets include:
reports on major developments in the global performance apparel market, focusing on new products and technologies, innovative fibres and key players;
detailed, independently-researched reports on one of the following topics: antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, anti-static technology, flame resistant fibres and fabrics, high strength fibres and fabrics, high visibility apparel, microencapsulation, moisture management fabrics, performance swimwear, seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming technologies, smart and interactive textiles, stain protective apparel, stretch fibres and fabrics, surfwear and surf-inspired clothing, temperature regulation, UV protective fibres and fabrics, and waterproof breathable fabrics;
company profiles, outlining the business, product, market and manufacturing strategies employed by key players in the performance apparel industry; and
business news and developments affecting global performance apparel markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and financial performances.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in smart textiles and nanotechnology – and the sector’s growth prospects are helped by the trend in increasing demand for performance features in mainstream fashion.
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