When Tommy Hilfiger released a pair of limited-edition jackets that could provide backup power for mobile devices via solar panels embedded in the garment, there was a reason they were removable. Let’s face it: they weren’t very easy on the eye. That’s why textile experts like Lauren Bowker of London-based collective The Unseen have said that the future of wearable technology lies in fiber science, not built-in devices.
The solar-activated technology, part of the Thermolite Pro offering, features Near Infrared (NIR) yarns that absorb rays from both the sun and artificial light sources to raise the temperature of the garment, providing insulation and minimizing heat loss to help optimize performance, even in freezing temperatures. Invista said the NIR performance is permanent and lasts the expected lifespan of the garment.
In addition to its warming properties, Thermolite Infrared has been engineered to dry garments faster than conventional moisture-management technologies, which also boosts insulation.
“It offers consumers a compelling new benefit, while meeting our rigorous standards for quality, dependability and performance,” Huw Williams, Invista’s global segment leader for activewear and outdoor, said in a statement Monday.
Thermolite Infrared will first be used as insulation for jackets, gloves, caps and sleeping bags, with an expanded product offering to be announced later this year.