We all love the warm and cozy feeling when climbing under a jacket on a chilly winter day. Coats and jackets are among the most common yet crucial winter wear, known for their exceptional ability to keep us warm despite freezing temperatures.
But have you ever wondered how does a jacket keeps you warm — what does it have that other clothes don’t? In this article, we’ll discuss the technology that goes behind creating winter jackets for effectively keeping your body warm, so read until the end.
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How Does a Jacket Keep You Warm?
Jackets keep you warm by building an insulating layer over your body.
Materials used in jackets and coats are porous, containing several gaps and air pockets that trap your body heat, preventing it from escaping.
You’ll notice that fluffy jackets are often warmer because they have more heat-trapping pores that maintain your body temperature throughout the day.
The outer layer is usually of materials like polyester, whose tiny pores do not allow the atmospheric temperature to interfere and make you cold.
Top Three Common Fabrics Used in Coats and Jackets
Your jacket’s insulating properties largely depend on the material used. A warm jacket would warrant a material with the best insulation technology.
Here are the three most common materials used in jackets, along with their features:
Extracted from geese and ducks, down is widely popular for its insulating properties. We all know how birds have a natural ability to keep themselves warm even during harsh winters, which is what has inspired the making of down jackets.
Why Choose Down Jackets?
This is a super soft, fluffy, and easily compressible material which means you can pack light even during winters. Not to mention it’s much more durable than synthetic alternatives.
Since this material is naturally sourced, jackets made out of down feathers are pretty expensive.
Another downside is a lack of moisture resistance. If your down jacket gets wet, not only will it lose its insulating properties but also clump together. To protect your down jacket from moisture, go for new-age water-resistant down fabrics.
Wool is another popular choice for winter jackets. Its porous fibers do an excellent job trapping heat to keep your body warm. Also, wool is a poor conductor of heat, meaning it doesn’t allow your body temperature to escape.
Why Should You Choose Wool?
Wool is widely available in almost every part of the world, making woolen winter outfits very affordable. On top of its excellent insulating properties, it’s also resistant to moisture, odor, and creasing. It’s one of the most low-maintenance winter fabrics.
Woolen outfits are prone to shrinkage, especially on repeated washing. That’s why you need to be extra careful while washing or dry cleaning woolen jackets.
Unlike other materials, woolen fibers are not very soft. If you end up choosing a low-quality or poorly stitched woolen jacket, your skin might get slightly irritated and itchy.
If you’re looking for lab-generated fabrics to keep you warm this winter, try fleece. Fleece is a secondary material, which is made from other natural sources, including cotton and wool.
If you’re exclusively on the hunt for a synthetic material, go for a Polar fleece made out of polyester. The benefits and features remain the same for polyester fleece, and they look equally stylish as any other form of this material.
Why Should You Choose Fleece?
Unlike other winter materials that weigh you down while keeping you warm, fleece is compact and lightweight. Being made from polyester, it’s also resistant to water and dust, so it’s perfect for people that want hypoallergenic options.
Fleece is extremely delicate, so you need to wash your jackets with utmost care. Avoid using hard detergent, bleach, or even fabric softener with the fleece; else, you risk damaging its fibers.
Plus, fleece tends to retain odor, meaning the smallest amount of sweat can make it all stinky.
Other popular materials include Flannel, Faux Fur, Leather, Cashmere, etc. And if you feel these materials alone cannot help you fight the cold, layering is always a great option. Double layers make it difficult for your body to lose heat, and extra gaps between the two layers strengthen the overall insulation.
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Two Important Properties Every Winter Jacket Should Have
We already know that insulation is one of the essential properties of a winter jacket, which largely depends on its material. To add to that list, here are two other important features that your winter jacket should have:
In addition to the obvious drop in temperatures, most winters are characterized by chilly winds. Whether you’re out snowboarding or headed towards work, winter winds are everywhere, and if you manage to face them, half the battle is won.
Winter jackets must be capable of deflecting the winds without losing any heat to them. That’s why you need wind-resistant jackets with tiny pores and excellent insulation properties.
While dropping temperatures and nerve-wracking winds are a headache, the biggest trouble for you is the uncontrolled amount of precipitation and condensation that dampens your outfit.
Not only does moisture decrease the insulation efficiency of these materials but also makes you feel colder. That’s why we recommend opting for water-resistant jacket materials like polyester that let moisture droplets slip off your body with zero absorption.
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We hope you now have the answer to the question: how does a jacket keep you warm?
Winter jackets work by insulation, where the material is responsible for trapping body heat in its air pockets to minimize heat conduction.
If you want to keep your body warm and make the most out of the winter and snowboarding season, opt for materials like wool and fleece that come equipped with these features.