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New UV-sensitive yarn gets much warmer when exposed to the sun’s rays

You know that winter’s coming when it’s time to trade in the T-shirts for some knitwear. But as nice as it can be to wrap yourself in a nice thick scarf or a chunky sweater, the folks at renowned American yarn company Red Heart have come up with a way to make it even cosier. Their new Red Heart Heatwave yarn promises to keep wearers even warmer thanks to patented fibers which get considerably warmer when exposed to UV rays.

Even on a cloudy day, the futuristic yarn can heat up to temperatures 12 degrees Fahrenheit in excess of traditional yarn, thanks to their solar-activated fibers. Head indoors and the yarn immediately cools back down, thereby effectively regulating your body temperature. The 100% acrylic yarn has the heating properties woven directly into its fibers, ensuring that they won’t wash out or decrease over time.

“Our product development team is consistently looking to develop new, innovative products that bring new technology and trends to our consumers,” Amy Olson, product development lead at Red Heart, told Digital Trends. “With hats, gloves, and scarves being some of the top patterns being made in the colder months, heat-generating fiber became a natural fit. We are excited to be able to incorporate dynamic development into such a traditional craft, and think it is a great evolution to the industry.”

This isn’t the first temperature regulating material we’ve covered at Digital Trends. Recently, we wrote about a research project carried out by engineers at the University of California, Irvine. They have been working to develop a dynamic material that could one day let users control the temperature of their smart clothes with the tap of a smartphone display. It is able to do this thanks to a thin metal coating with nanostructures that can either trap in or release heat as required. While the technology is proving promising, however, for now, it remains firmly the province of research labs.

Until we get to the point that such smart clothing is available, UV-controlled knitwear like Red Heart Heatwave might be the best solution for anyone looking for responsive clothing that will keep you nice and warm on cold days.

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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