Future Fabrics May Help With Our Planet's Warming Summers
With current air conditioning measures taking a fiscal and environmental toll, clothes made out of Infrared-transparent visible-opaque fabric (ITVOF) might come in handy
Comfortable clothes for summer have long taken advantage of the nature of specific fibers to allow for heat transfer and air cooling. It's why silk and linen are popular near the equator and wool is not. Jonathan Tong, a PhD student at MIT, has developed a high-tech fabric that takes this to a new level by wicking off heat in hot climates and trapping heat when it's cold.
The fabric isn't just about personal comfort. Five percent of the United States' overall energy use comes from running air conditioning, a total of $11 billion per year in financial costs plus the environmental price associated with that energy production. If we wear more comfortable clothing, we'll reduce our energy footprint and enjoy all the benefits that reduction carries with it.