21 December 2012

Winter and the Evolution of Cloth Technology

With the winter season approaching, it is best to stock your cabinets and drawers with quality winter clothes to avoid frostbite and common colds brought on by the harsh elements. For most people living in areas where wintry months consume a large portion of the year, winter clothing may mean thick socks, thick scarves, and thick everything. Meanwhile, others would complete their winter attire with a pair of the so-called ice pants, complemented with an ultra thick goose-down jacket. Much of what makes winter apparel distinct from attire worn in other seasons is the material used and its composition.

In its most basic form, winter attire is comprised mainly of animal byproducts, including leather, wool, and fur. During the 19th century, average individuals wore easy-to-produce garments including leather boots and woolen coats to survive the unforgiving climates. Those with insufficient means usually resorted to layering their clothing plus an addition of a knitted woolen jacket or coat. These custom designed fabrics stayed in prevalent use for winter up until the contemporary era. With the augmentation of 3M's apparel insulation during the 70s, plus the artificial cold-weather textiles including polar fleece, winter clothes have become more affordable, lighter in composition, and simpler to fabricate.

Many current fabrics are generated in both warm- and cold-weather counterparts, with differences in the material used accordingly. Firms will usually have a standard A-line dress, for instance, and manufacture it from delicate cotton for use during summer months, and a fatter wool layer specially designed for the winter season. However, many particular garments are created merely for winter apparel. Caps, gloves, earmuffs, and scarves are a necessity for winter months, as is thermal undergarments. There is also a special kind of footwear for winter season, which usually changes from summer slippers to fleece laced boots and rugged shoes. For outdoors during cold weather, sturdy boots with spikes underneath are usually needed to walk through blocks of ice comfortably.

Location-Based Winter Clothing

Winter attires vary, depending on several factors - one of which is location. You'll find people wearing a different winter attire in Alaska from that of New York. The staple items are unchanged, yet the composition is completely different. Winter clothes in Alaska are designed to endure extreme weather conditions, such as blizzards and biting temperatures. Meanwhile, cold weather textiles in New York and other Eastern states consist of fewer layers and are not as rugged and solid as Alaskan attires are. In fact, most winter clothing in these regions are more fashion-oriented rather than function-oriented.

Length of Use

Because some winter clothes can be put in layers for improved warmth and insulation, it is feasible to wear some of the layers longer than others. Most people start using winter fashion clothes around late September, and utilize gloves and caps the earliest in mid November or early December.

With the constant advancement of clothing technology, mankind has been able to thrive through varying weather conditions and climate temperatures. And thanks to the evolution of clothing technology, people won't have to suffer from frostbite and chills every winter!

Kelsey Kvinge writes about fashion technology, business and more. Her proudest piece is on the Top 25 Best Value Online MBA Programs.