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by Mike Zazaian October 18, 2006 - 6:25pm, 1 Comment

A close-up of Klimeo applied to strands of Wool

A new nanotechnology from French fashion company Chargeurs allows fabrics to adjust insulation based on ambient temperature, keeping wearers warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Dubbed Klimeo, the technology entails treating pure or mixed-wool fabrics with phase-changing nanoparticles called Polectron. The Polectron particles change to a solid state when the surrounding area is cooler and to liquid when warmer, constantly adjusting insulation to keep the wearer comfortable. Said Pascal Senkoff, General Manager of Product Marketing at Australian Wool Innovation, who has working on the project:

You can really notice the amount of warmth or coolness in the fabric as the skin temperature changes.

The Klimeo process is unique from other such insulating techniques, as it allows clothing designers to use conventional knit fabrics rather than less comfortable alternatives. Klimeo’s effect won’t lessen with time, either, as the particles stay on fabric even after washing or dry-cleaning. It also won’t change the appearance of a given garment, as the particles are invisible to the naked eye.

At a recent Avelana and Roudiere launch event, demonstrators put Klimeo to the test. Two fabric samples, one treated with Klimeo, were heated to 34 degrees Celsius using a hair dryer. Once they hit 34 degrees, the average temperature of human skin, demonstrators sprayed the fabrics with an aerosol can of cold air for several seconds. After a series of demonstrations the Klimeo fabric always remained warmer, each time by a margin of between 20 and 30 degrees celcius.

Klimeo will initially be integrated into Merino wools, which display natural temperature-regulating properties. Chargeurs, teamed with aussie fabric company Australian Wool Innovation, will soon distribute Klimeo-integrated fabrics to clothing manufacturers worldwide.

[via Gizmag]
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