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New Clothing Material Could Help You Stay Cool Without AC

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Now that it's September, we're all about the return of PSL's and gearing up for Fall, but just a few weeks ago it was still seriously hot outside. When temperatures rise, it usually means we pump the AC and wear skimpier clothing like shorts, tanks, and rompers to combat the heat. But what if there was another way your clothes could help keep you cool? Researchers at Stanford announced last week that they have created a completely new clothing material that can help you avoid overheating in the hottest of temperatures. (FYI, this is What Running In the Heat Does to Your Body)

The textile, which is primarily made from the same plastic we use as cling wrap, works to cool your body in two main ways. First, it allows for perspiration to evaporate through the fabric, which many of the materials we already wear do. Secondly, it allows the heat that the body emits to pass through the textile. The human body gives off heat in the form of infrared radiation, which is not nearly as technical as it sounds. It's basically the energy your body gives off, which is dependent on your body temperature and is similar to when you feel heat coming off of a hot radiator. While this heat-releasing development sounds pretty simple, it's actually completely revolutionary since no other fabric can do this. In fact, the researchers found that wearing their invention can make you feel almost four degrees Fahrenheit cooler than if you were wearing cotton.

The new fabric has a lot going for it, including the fact that it's low-cost. It was also formulated with the idea in mind that it could keep people from needing to use air conditioning consistently throughout hotter seasons, and could provide a solution for people who live in hot climates without access to air conditioning. Plus, "if you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live, that will save energy," as Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at Stanford said in a press release.

Since energy conservation is such an important issue in today's environmental climate, the ability to stay cool without using energy resources is a major step forward.

Next, the researchers are planning to expand the range of colors and textures of the fabric in order to make it more versatile. How cool is that?

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