An affectionate, time-worn habit among my friends and family is to tease me about how temperature sensitive I am. Perhaps it is the effect of covering thermal processing for more than 20 years (though I doubt it), but I can sense even a degree or two difference in the ambient temperature. Fortunately for me (and those around me), I’ve gathered an arsenal of supplies to help offset the ups and downs and keep me within my own personal sweet zone. I will admit, some look a bit more ridiculous than others; unfortunately for the curious, I generally sport the most outlandish items only in private. Aside from an effective HVAC system and the kooky apparel, electric space heaters and heating pads, battery-powered water misters and evaporative cooling wraps are never far from me in the coldest and warmest months.
Imagine my excitement when I read about research into flexible heating patches that can be sewn into your clothes. Developed by engineers at Rutgers University and Oregon State University, the personal heating patches consist of tiny silver wires fused to polyester using intense pulses of light that create swatches to be sewn into garments. Though the research is not the first personal heating swatch fabric to be developed, the Rutgers/Oregon State technology generates more heat per patch and is reportedly more durable. If such patches could somehow be paired with the plastic clothing materials that cool the wearer being developed elsewhere, I would replace my entire wardrobe.