It might not seem to be the best time of the year to talk about heated clothing but I learned recently about an advanced textile technology, the Far Infrared (FIR) fibers which are not only used as textile heating elements in cold weather clothing but they are widely used in the therapeutically clothing segment as well.
First some basics of far infrared: Far infrared rays are part of the sunlight spectrum that is invisible to the human eye. The wavelength of infrared waves range from 0.76 micron to 1,000 microns. This range is further subdivided into the ranges of Near, Medium, and Far-Infrared Rays.
Far Infrared fibers are made of a blend of polypropylene and special lead-free bio-ceramics. The ceramic is the key for ’emitting’ the far infrared rays.
The bio-ceramic is ground into micro particles in nano scale and is either inseminated into the polypropylene during the polypropylene fiber forming process or for impregnation through a soaking or coating process.
Interesting how the FIR fibers work: it starts with the fact that the human body constantly emits thermo energy. When the bio-ceramic is stimulated by the thermo energy of the human body, it converts it into the far infrared rays and reflects it back into the human body penetrating the skin up to a depth of 3 inches.
According to the medical literature, there are no know side effects coming from far infrared rays. Far infrared clothing can benefit the human body in a gradual and constant way as studies have shown. People wearing these clothes demonstrate improved blood circulation and energy level. This effect is used as treatment method for people suffering from Arthritis and similar conditions.
The very same FIR fibers are used in some advanced heated clothing as well. For heated clothing, an additional power source (battery) is used to stimulate the warmth radiating properties of FIR fibers giving off a soothing warmth even in the coldest winter (or sometimes even summer) days.