You’ve no doubt seen ads for clothes that promise to wick moisture and keep you cool. Now one maker has launched a shirt on Kickstarter that promises to do both thanks to the inclusion of volcanic sand in the threads of the fabric.
A Cool (and Hot) Concept
While there are plenty of lightweight fabrics out there that can keep you cool when temps climb, or warm when they plunge, there really aren’t any commercially available shirts that can do both. Last year, the University of Maryland invented a material that manages the feat, but thus far, there are no articles of clothing making use of it. That fabric used threads coated in metal made from carbon nanotubes.
Taking a different approach, the Canadian company, Modernature, has created its Volcanxx shirts using material produced by a company called 37.5 Technology to make shirts now being offered on the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. The fabric was invented by photo-physical chemist Gregory Haggquist, Ph.D., and has tiny particles of volcanic sand embedded in the threads.
So How Does It Work?
The company says that when the body is cool, there will be no moisture, so the particles hold on to the body’s energy to warm you up. However, if you are sweating, the particles will evaporate the moisture to cool you down. Additionally, the particles can trap odors and release them during washing, says the company.
While it’s always a little risky to plunge your cash into an untested Kickstarter project, it seems that the shirt’s material has some cred. It’s effectiveness was reported in a peer-reviewed study, and 37.5 Technology has partnered with some major brands already including Banana Republic, Burberry, Calvin Klein, and more. That begs the question: Why not just buy one of their products instead? Because, amazingly, none of them seem to sell a simple T-shirt made from the material. Also, the Volcanxx brand plans on enhancing the 37.5 Technology material even more.
“It’s kind of like KFC,” a company representative told Mindbounce. “Volcanxx is a ‘specific blend’ but not of herbs and spices … of other fibers that extend/expand the 37.5 performance capabilities and make it way more comfortable to the skin. We will be using the highest API (active particle index) that 37.5 has ever used in their thread.”
If you’re convinced, a pledge of CA$55 (about USD$42) will get you a T-shirt. As usual, with a Kickstarter campaign, you’ll only get your merch if the project gets fully funded, but after just a few days, it’s already raised more than half of its $15,000 goal, so it’s looking likely.