Concept of cooling fabrics
Cooling fabrics refer to new advancements in the textile industry that offers a cooling sensation to the skin developed for comfort. Cooling fabrics also adopt the form of protective clothing in areas where burning sensation could be uncomfortable. These fabrics are made using moisture management and evaporative cooling methods. Some cooling fabrics operate by equally assigning sweat over the fabric with an aim to make them dry quickly and thus, generate a cooling effect.
Cooling fabrics are created from synthetic as well as natural materials. Cooling fabric is a new and unique product that provides warmth, cooling & a skin-like soft texture. By utilizing cooling fabrics, customers feel convenient as this material helps in the process of evaporation of sweat and limits the fabric from sticking to the body. Controlled circulation & evaporation of moisture are the primary benefits of cooling fabrics. These fabrics are distinct from textiles used for thermoregulation.
Mechanisms of cooling
Thermal management is considered as an essential feature of functional clothing. It is because it is crucial to maintain the convenience of the wearer both at the time of activity as well during rest. During exercise, the human body is capable of converting energy into heat, which increases the core body temperature.
Heat and sweat are sent to the environment with an aim to cool the body. Moreover, this process ensures heat and sweat to remain within a secure and comfortable temperature range. Clothing develops an obstacle between the human body and the environment. If clothing is not appropriately made, clothing can hamper the essential natural cooling mechanisms – which can not only be inconvenient for the user but could be harmful too.
Specifically, in warm conditions, the fabrics worn during physical activities should correctly facilitate cooling to control the body heat produced by the activity and ideal temperature. As we know, the human body can function ideally between 36 and 37.5 degrees Celsius. Within that range, the body works effectively but external to this range, there could be extreme physical and neurological changes.
Kinds of Cooling Fabrics
1. Synthetic Fibers
Moreover, the segment would showcase a similar kind of trend during the forecast period by maintaining its dominating position in the global market. The high revenue share can be credited to the superior strength & improved performance of synthetic fabrics.
These are utilized in several applications ranging from medical to sportswear. Synthetic cooling fabrics currently lead the market due to their advantages like better cooling & moisture management as compared to other garments. Characteristics of the fabric like superior strength & durability have broadened its scope of utilization in different applications.
Rayon, polyester, nylon, and spandex are some of the examples of synthetic fabrics & these fabrics are high breathability & appropriate ventilation. The easy & high availability of raw materials for making synthetic cooling fabrics is another factor that boosts the growth of the market. The inclinations toward nylon & polyester for making cooling garments have increased due to their smooth feel, lightweight, and resistance to perspiration & UV rays.
2. Natural Cooling Fibers
The natural cooling fabric segment garnered a major revenue share in 2019. The product would display a substantial growth rate during the forecast period due to its characteristics like high biodegradability & breathability.
Natural fabrics consist of inherent ventilation properties but are expensive & less durable than synthetic fabrics. The natural segment obtained a comparatively low revenue share in 2019. Though, the increasing environmental concerns would fuel the demand of the segment.
A constant limitation for makers of cooling fabric technologies is the issue of correlating lab-tested performance with ideal performance in the field. Several easy, regular test techniques are generally utilized to evaluate these fabrics in the lab. These are generally techniques focused on evaluating the moisture management attributes of fabric – for instance, wicking capacity, absorption rate, and wetting/drying times, among others.
More complicated testing procedures are also accessible – which is due to the various aspects, thus providing a more exhaustive evaluation of performance.
Apart from activewear, cooling fabrics can be used for various other apparel applications, mainly apparel for wear in extreme conditions like space and deep-sea exploration or military uniforms, where the cooling effect can considerably enhance the safety and performance of the user.
Another major advantage of fabrics with thermal management characteristics is that their capability to maintain the body at an optimal temperature. It also decreases the requirement to change the temperature of the surrounding environment, therefore they could assist to cut down the energy needed to cool and heat buildings.