October 17, 2006 It sounds like the type of product found in a sci-fi novel, but French fabric house Avelana and Roudiere, has created a “thermoregulator” fabric line, which absorbs ambient thermal changes and offers a garment which keeps its wearer at a similar temperature regardless of the weather – much cooler in summer or much warmer in winter. The new Klimeo process involves the application of a treatment to pure or mixed wool fabrics and is ideal for traditional woven textile markets, and is beneficial for knitwear used in active outdoor and sports markets, as well as other next-to-skin applications. Though it adds remarkable new qualities to fabrics, Klimeo is invisible to the naked eye, and does not change the aesthetics, fall or texture of fabrics, and retains its new properties even after machine washing and dry cleaning.To create Klimeo, microcapsules are grafted to the fabric. These capsules change their phase depending on the temperature. The substance in the microcapsules is solid when you are in a cold environment and it is liquid when you are in a warm environment.
Klimeo marketing manager Laurence Jovet said the product suited anyone that travelled any distance, “it really is something that you can use every day; what exists on the market now is sportswear or outdoor wear, our product is really different to this as it’s for every day fashion.”
“It’s really the classical fabrics you use for suiting, or trousers or travelling- clothes that you can use every day, but without having any difference that you can feel.”
Mrs Jovet used the example of a man leaving his warm home on a winter’s morning to walk for 10 minutes in the cold before catching public transport. Wearing Klimeo, he would be protected from the sudden changes from hot to cold, and then to hot again as the fabric would increase its protection where necessary.
Mrs Jovet said it was an excellent everyday fashion fabric and had been trialled successfully this season in 100 per cent Australian Merino wool and wool blend suits, trousers and also dresses.
At the launch of KLIMEO thermometers were put in both non-Klimeo and Klimeo fabrics and they were warmed up using a hair dryer to about 34 or 35 degrees Celcius. When the fabrics reached the same temperature deep cold air was thrown on them at the same time. Each time the Klimeo fabric remained warmer than the non-Klimeo fabric by 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Mrs Jovet said the response from attendants at the launch was terrific. “They are very, very interested in the concept, people are eager to have real innovation in new fabrics.”
The invention of Klimeo began six years ago; Mrs Jovet said it was not an easy exercise. “We had to create a whole process with unique machinery; this process has since been patented.”
Chargeurs Fashion contacted AWI to assist in the creation of a variety of knitted textiles that are treated with the KLIMEO technology, it is expected to produce knits in-line with the requirements of performance apparel manufacturers around the world.
Mrs Jovet said Australian Merino wool was ideal for Klimeo as its natural properties helped to regulate its temperature, even without the microcapsules.
She said AWI were keen to get involved. “Wool has been through a tough time over the past few years and wool producers are very interested in finding some way to redevelop wool and give the end-consumer the will to have wool again.”
Mr Pascal Senkoff, General Manager Product Marketing at Australian Wool Innovation has been working on the KLIMEO project. “We see the KLIMEO procedure as a treatment that will increase demand for lightweight Australian Merino wool based knitted and woven apparel products including men’s, women’s, and corporate within key global markets… you can really notice the amount of warmth or coolness in the fabric as the skin temperature changes. We look forward to working with Chargeurs on this project” stated Mr Senkoff.