Wrapping yourself in plastic wrap might not sound appealing, but that’s not stopping researchers from developing a fabric that could usher in the next big wave of smart apparel.
The Stanford University scientists have designed a new polyethylene-based fabric that’s meant to lower its wearer’s body temperature by almost four degrees. Unlike materials used for other smart fabrics, polyethylene is readily available – it can be found in ordinary kitchen wrap and batteries. The polyethylene is then treated to give it the feel and breathable properties of ordinary cloth.
Whether of not this will catch on is anyone’s guess; environmentally conscious consumers (and guard companies) might scoff at apparel made of plastic. But it’s part of a larger apparel trend to influence behavior – the fabric is being touted an energy-saving alternative to air conditioning.
We’ll keep you posted.