‘Cool’ Fabrics

Sustainable Problem: Air-conditioned buildings bring welcome relief to people coming in from the heat. But creating that comfort comes with a cost to our wallets and the environment in the form of increased energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Category: Energy and Living


We already have moisture-wicking and smell-proof athletic gear and apparel that can block ultraviolet rays. Researchers have now designed a thermal regulation textile that has a 55% greater cooling effect than cotton, which translates to our own personal cooling unit, without any external energy needed to power it.

The researchers combined boron nitride—a material that transfers heat—and polyvinyl alcohol to create a Nano composite fiber that can be 3-D printed and woven into fabric. Testing to simulate the material on skin showed that the composite is 1.5 to 2 times more efficient at moving heat away from the body when compared to pure polyvinyl alcohol or cotton fabrics, respectively. Making clothes with the nano composite thread could help keep wearers comfortable and reduce the need to cool entire buildings.


  • Textile manufacturers
  • Textile designers


The researchers would need to plan to work toward realizing these applications with the help of the textile designers and scale up the production so that more of this technology is accessible to people around.

Customers would need to be incentivized to use this technology-enabled fabric and encourage others through word of mouth.

Article: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-fabric-cool.html



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I am a bit confused! The Cost per panel of WSPV technology is 65 cents per watt as per the article and it is also noted that only 20% of the tomato reap is benefited from the magenta windows. Do you think this Electricity-generating solar system could be better utilised in rural/urban areas for generating electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems?


3 thoughts on “‘Cool’ Fabrics

  1. Since you haven’t commented on cost – not sure how this technology will address your initial concern of providing comfort which comes with a heavy cost of wallets! Fabric from suggested technology will neither be cheap – consumer will have to bear the initial cost of research, technology, etc. Would also be keen to know how this fabric holds up in extreme hot weather environments.


    • I couldn’t find the cost, but yes! fabrics which claim to block UV rays and i have purchased, have been costlier relatively. Consumer will need to bear the initial cost, but that is true with all new techs put to use! Scalability will lead to lowering in cost as well!


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