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Title:
HEAT REFLECTIVE LAYERED GARMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/073096
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Heat-reflective layered apparel or footwear constructed from various combinations of layers of materials having selected thermal and moisture transfer properties to provide improved performance characteristics. Within these various combinations, the addition of a very thin heat reflective layer, made with a metallic material such as aluminum, applied using a vacuum plasma vapor deposition method, provides a coating that will reflect infra red heat energy either back to the body or away from the body. This heat reflective coating is so thin that is does not adversely alter the original supporting fabrics hand feel, drape, weight, stretch or breathability. Various layers manage the body heat of an individual by reflection or thermal retention while also providing moisture wicking and antimicrobial function. Other layers manage thermal isolation from the external temperatures by using materials with very low thermal conductivity in combination with waterproof layers that can also be breathable.

Inventors:
CONOLLY, Brian, John (40A Upper Cliff Road, Northwood New South Wales, 2066, AU)
HUSSEY, Thomas, Kenneth (2 Roseberry Street, Balmain New South Wales, 2041, AU)
HURREN, Christopher (4 Tutegong Road, Winchelsea, VIC 3241, AU)
Application Number:
IB2011/002876
Publication Date:
June 07, 2012
Filing Date:
November 29, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZHIK PTY LTD (18 Whiting Street, Artarmon, New South Wales 2064, AU)
CONOLLY, Brian, John (40A Upper Cliff Road, Northwood New South Wales, 2066, AU)
HUSSEY, Thomas, Kenneth (2 Roseberry Street, Balmain New South Wales, 2041, AU)
HURREN, Christopher (4 Tutegong Road, Winchelsea, VIC 3241, AU)
International Classes:
A41D31/02; A62B17/00; D06M17/00
Foreign References:
US4583247A1986-04-22
US20090075019A12009-03-19
US20070048512A12007-03-01
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heat reflective layered garment system comprising: a protective shell layer; an outer base layer; an inner base layer; each layer having an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer; a metallic infrared reflective material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; a coating comprising a functional material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

2. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein the protective shell layer comprises: a nylon base, an outer coating on the outside surface of the protective shell layer, a water-resistant membrane layer bonded to the inside surface of the protective shell layer, and an inner covering bonded to the membrane layer.

3. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 2; wherein the outer coating comprises one or more of Teflon™, or Nanosphere™.

4. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 2; wherein the membrane layer comprises one or more of GoreTex,™

Dermizax,™ or neoprene.

5. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 2; wherein the inner covering comprises a tricot mesh.

6. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein the outer base layer or the inner base layer comprise one or more of a 3D warp knit mesh; Tytex AirX™; Heathcoat Spacetec™; Baltex XD-Spacer™; Muller-Textil 3 mesh™; composite silicon foam or aerogel ; perforated neoprene; woven, knitted, or nonwoven hollow core fiber textiles treated for moisture wicking; or a double-knit fabric.

7. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein the metallic infrared reflective material comprises one or more of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, tin, lead, copper, AgGe, CuZn, CuSn, CuAg, CuAgSn, or any alloy, oxide, or combination of these materials.

8. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein layers having deposited thereon a metallic infrared material comprise an antioxidation substance on both surfaces; and, wherein the antioxidation substance comprises an acrylic binder.

9. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein one or more of the layers is adhered, sewn, interwoven, combined, fused or connected with one or more of the other layers.

10. The heat reflective layered garment system of claim 1 ; wherein an air gap is disposed between the protective shell layer and the outer base layer; or, an air gap is disposed between the outer base layer and the inner base layer.

11. A heat reflective layered garment system comprising: a protective shell layer; a base layer; each layer having an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer; a metallic infrared reflective material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; a coating comprising a functional material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

12. A method of creating a heat reflective layered garment system

comprising the steps of: providing a protective shell layer; providing an outer base layer; providing an inner base layer; each layer having an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer; depositing a metallic infrared reflective material on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; depositing a coating on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

13. The method of claim 12; wherein the protective shell layer comprises a nylon base, an outer coating on the outside surface, a membrane layer, and an inner covering.

14. The method of claim 13; wherein the outer coating comprises one or more of Teflon,™ or

Nanosphere;™ or, the membrane layer comprises one or more of GoreTex,™ Dermizax,™ or neoprene; or, the inner covering comprises a tricot mesh.

15. The method of claim 12; wherein the base layer comprises one or more of a 3D warp knit mesh; Tytex AirX™; Heathcoat Spacetec™; Baltex XD-Spacer™; Muller- Textil 3 mesh™; composite silicon foam or aerogel; perforated neoprene; woven, knitted, or nonwoven hollow core fiber textiles treated for moisture wicking; or a double-knit fabric.

16. The method of claim 12; wherein the metallic infrared reflective material comprises one or more of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, tin, lead, copper, AgGe, CuZn, CuSn, CuAg, CuAgSn, or any alloy, oxide, or combination of these materials.

17. The method of claim 12; further comprising the steps of: depositing an antioxidation substance on both surfaces of any layer having deposited thereon a metallic infrared material, wherein the antioxidation substance comprises an acrylic binder.

18. The method of claim 12; wherein the coating comprises one or more of zinc oxide nano-particles; FOSSHIELD™; X-STATIC™; antimicrobial agents, self-cleaning agents, or anti-hooking materials.

19. The method of claim 12; further comprising the step of: adhering, sewing, interweaving, combining, fusing, or connecting one or more of the layers with one or more other layers.

20. The method of claim 12; further comprising the step of: providing an air gap between the protective shell layer and the outer base layer; or, providing an air gap between the outer base layer and the inner base layer.

21. A method of creating a heat reflective layered garment system

comprising the steps of: providing a protective shell layer; providing a base layer; wherein each layer has an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer; depositing a metallic infrared reflective material on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; depositing a coating which comprises a functional material on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

Description:
HEAT REFLECTIVE LAYERED GARMENT SYSTEM

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a material or composite materials for the construction of apparel (garments) which are particularly suited for applications where an individual needs to retain heat within a body or reflect heat from a body. Particularly, the present invention relates to composite materials for the construction of apparel constructed having either one or a series of layers. One or more layers of the composite are designed to reduce heat loss by radiation. Coatings on and/or layers of the fabric may provide properties that include water repellency, water resistance,

breathability, antimicrobial function, antihooking, high insulation from outside temperature, body heat reflection, body heat conduction, body heat retention and moisture wicking while also being lightweight, comfortable and

aesthetically pleasing in appearance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The term "functionalization" and related terminology are used in the art and herein to refer to the process of treating a material to alter its surface properties to meet specific requirements for a particular application. For example, the surface energy of a material may be treated to render it particularly hydrophobic or hydrophilic as may be desirable for a given use. Thus, surface functionalization has become common practice in the manufacture of many materials because it adds value to the end product. In order to achieve such different ultimate results, functionalization may be carried out in a variety of ways ranging from wet chemistry to various forms of vapor deposition, vacuum metallization and sputtering.

[0003] Some examples of functional materials include hydrophilic materials, including monomers containing one or more of hydroxyl, carboxyl, sulphonic, amino, or amido functional groups; hydrophobic materials, including monomers or sol-gels containing a fluorinated functional group, or monomers or sol-gels comprising a hydrophobic nanostructure; antimicrobial materials, including monomers or sol-gels comprising an antimicrobial functional group, an encapsulated antimicrobial agent, a chlorinated aromatic compound, or a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent; fire-retardant materials, including monomers or sol-gels comprising a brominated functional group; self-cleaning materials, including photo-catalytically active chemicals, a metal oxide; zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or tungsten dioxide; ultraviolet protective materials, including titanium dioxide; highly conjugated organic compounds or metal oxide compounds, and, acrylic polymers.

[0004] The term "superhydrophobic" is known in the art, and includes a material property whereby the contact angle of a water droplet is extremely high, for example, exceeding 150°.

[0005] The term "superhydrophilic" is known in the art, and includes a material property whereby the contact angle of a water droplet is extremely low, for example, approximately 0°.

[0006] The term "wicking" is known in the art, and includes a material property whereby moisture is transported into a fabric or other material by capillary or other action.

[0007] Various types of apparel material are known in the prior art. These materials have a number of deficiencies including composite structures that make them rigid/stiff in drape, harsh to handle, with low or no stretch, not permeable to air and/or moisture, heavy, overly thick and bulky, hard to manufacture and low in functionality.

[0008] In particular, the types of apparel known in the prior art do not combine the specific new advances in materials detailed in this present invention in order to provide improved thermal properties.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a heat reflective garment system which addresses these deficiencies.

[0010] These and other objectives are achieved by providing a heat reflective layered garment system having a protective shell layer; an outer base layer; and an inner base layer; each layer having an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer. A metallic infrared reflective material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; and a coating comprising a functional material is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

[0011] Other objects of the present invention are achieved by providing a method of creating a heat reflective layered garment system comprising the steps of providing a protective shell layer; providing an outer base layer; and providing an inner base layer; where each layer has an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer. A metallic infrared reflective material is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; and a coating is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers. [0012] Further objects of the present invention are achieved by providing a heat reflective layered garment system comprising a protective shell layer and a base layer; where each layer has an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer. A metallic infrared reflective material is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer, and a coating comprising a functional material deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

[0013] Still further objects of the present invention are achieved by providing a method of creating a heat reflective layered garment system comprising the steps of providing a protective shell layer and providing a base layer; where each layer has an inside surface facing toward the skin of a wearer and an outside surface facing away from the skin of a wearer. A metallic infrared reflective material is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more layers to form a heat reflective layer; and a coating which comprises a functional material is deposited on one or both surfaces of one or more of the layers.

[0014] In accordance with other aspects of the present invention, there is provided a very thin coating of heat reflective material, or "reflective layer", applied to one or both sides of a supporting fabric via a plasma or vacuum deposition method. The coating is ultra thin and applied in such a way that it adheres to the fibers of the supporting fabric and does not significantly impede the original properties of the supporting fabric, including handle, drape, stretch, air and moisture transportation and permeability. The chosen heat reflective material typically has a very high thermal conductivity, such as a metallic material. [0015] In accordance with further aspects of the present invention, there is provided apparel for clothing an individual incorporating a reflective coating used in a high stretch inner garment and within a low stretch outer shell. These types of garments may be used together to provide a thermal system where the outer layer acts as a water repellent insulating shell made of a fabric composite.

[0016] In accordance with further aspects of the present invention, the reflective coating is optionally applied to the inner side of an outer garment or protective shell that is preferably waterproof and designed to be worn outside an inner garment acting as heat retentive material against the skin. These two garments work together to provide a thermal system where the outer layer acts as a water repellent insulating shell made of a fabric composite and the inner high stretch garment is a heat retentive material. The air gap between the garments provides excellent additional thermal insulation between the outside air temperature and the inside body temperature.

[0017] Optionally, the heat reflective material in the reflective layer is metallic, such as aluminum. Other materials and compounds can also be chosen, and with additional functional coatings applied or incorporated into the layer.

[0018] Optionally, the heat reflective layer is applied to a single material that may form the layer in its entirety or is used as part of a group of fabrics joined together to form the desired layer. The heat reflective layer is not limited to one place within the composite structure.

[0019] Optionally, the reflective layer may also have functional properties due to the selection of seed materials within the layer, for example silver used in combination with aluminum would provide

antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. [0020] Optionally, the heat reflective layer is combined with a thermal heat retention layer of fabric that helps to insulate the structure from conductive heat transfer. This heat retention layer may be constructed from natural or synthetic fibers that include wool, cotton, polyester, polypropylene, nylon and blends of these fibers. These fibers can also optionally be hollow core to improve heat retention further. The heat retention layer is designed to provide the level of stretch desired in the end use garment, from high to no stretch, and can be made by knitting, weaving and non-woven construction methods.

[0021] The fabric may include other functional treatments obtained from fiber selection, fiber and fabric treatment or fabric coating. These functional finishes can include antimicrobial treatment, high wicking moisture

management, and heat conduction. For example, an inner heat conduction layer could be constructed using a natural or synthetic fiber having heat conducting properties, or using other fibers with the addition of heat conducting thread.

[0022] In accordance with other aspects of the present invention, there is provided a composite material that includes a metallic (preferably aluminum or aluminum combined with silver) coating as a heat reflection layer combined with a thermal heat retention layer of synthetic hollow core fleece or wool. At least one of the layers preferably can include an antimicrobial treatment. Preferably the composite also includes an inner layer with high wicking moisture management. The metallic coating layer provides a conductive layer that will also help to equalize the heat across the body.

[0023] In accordance with further aspects of the present invention, there is provided apparel for clothing an individual, comprising, on at least a portion of the apparel, a combination of layers constructed in accordance with the preceding paragraphs. [0024] Other objects of the invention and its particular features and advantages will become more apparent from consideration of the following drawings and accompanying detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] FIG. 1 illustrates a cross section view of a reflective layer 202 and its supporting textile fibers, as an example of a infrared heat-reflective coating according to the invention.

[0026] FIGS. 2a and 2b illustrate two clothing layers according to the invention.

[0027] FIGS. 3a and 3b illustrate three clothing layers according to the invention.

[0028] FIG. 4 illustrates three clothing layers according to the invention.

[0029] FIG. 5 illustrates three clothing layers according to the invention, wherein two of the clothing layers are fused.

[0030] FIG. 6 illustrates a clothing layer comprising an optional waterproof membrane with an outer protective layer.

[0031] FIGS. 7a, 7b, and 7c illustrate an example system incorporating a dual base layer high stretch thermal wear garment.

[0032] FIGS. 8a and 8b illustrate an example system of two garments with an outer weather layer shell and inner base layer.

[0033] FIGS. 9a and 9b illustrate example methods according to the invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0034] Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the present invention, aspects of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0035] Aspects of the present invention recognize the deficiencies in the apparel of the known prior art and include new apparel that is capable of overcoming those deficiencies. More specifically, aspects of the present invention include a carefully selected combination of specific fibers, fabrics and material layers with thermal insulation and moisture transfer properties that provide improved heat retention or reflection characteristics, while at the same time providing comfort to the individual wearing the apparel.

[0036] Aspects of the present invention provide a number of material options with reflective thermal coatings for improved body heat retention. The fabrics may be used as an external protective shell, a next to skin layer, or a middle thermal system between an external protective shell and next to skin heat retention layer. Apparel according to the present invention provides a combination of improved thermal systems while retaining good breathability and transportation of body moisture, and antimicrobial function. The apparel according to aspects of the invention provide a combination of improved thermal systems while optionally incorporating stretch for improved body heat retention though form fitting garments.

[0037] Apparel according to the present invention provides individuals involved in sport activities such as winter sports (such as skiing,

snowboarding, skating, or the like ), water sports (such as sailing, kayaking, surfing, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, kite surfing, sail boarding, or the like), outdoor sports (such as hiking, mountain climbing, bush walking, camping, or the like) and other sports with increased performance and function to deal with cold or hot weather conditions in such activities. Such apparel can also be applied to standard casual wear and main street fashion. The addition of a reflective layer provides thinner fabrics with higher heat retention properties than currently available, making it practical to wear a reduced amount of clothing in winter. It should be understood that these aspects are set forth for purposes of explanation only and are not to be interpreted as the only application of the present invention.

[0038] FIG 1. Illustrates an example of a heat reflection layer 202 according to aspects of the present invention. Heat reflection layer 202 comprises coating 01 , shown in cross section as applied to the fibers 02 of the supporting fabric. This reflective coating 01 is applied to one side of the textile fibers 02. Optionally, the heat reflection layer 202 is comprised of a metallic material, optionally aluminum, applied to the fibers of a supporting fabric via a plasma vacuum deposition method. In this case, the coating 01 is very thin, typically 50nm to 80nm, and can be coated to one side of the fabric without significantly impeding the fabrics handle, drape, air and moisture transport properties.

[0039] Figs 2a and 2b illustrate aspects of the invention featuring two clothing layers. Inner base layer 100, which optionally incorporates stretch, is disposed next to skin 10. Outer protective shell 300 covers inner base layer 100. Figures 2a and 2b illustrate that the outer protective shell 300 can comprise heat reflection layer 202 on the inside of a supporting fabric 201.

[0040] Fig. 2a is an exploded view 250 of a system of clothing layers according to the invention wherein the heat reflection layer 202 is disposed inside of the outer protective shell 300. Fig. 2b is an exploded view 260 of a system of clothing layers according to the invention wherein a waterproof breathable membrane 203, with protective coating or fabric layer 204 is included in the supporting fabric 201 with heat reflection layer 202 on the inside. Between the layers 100 and 300 there will be an air gap 500, of varying width depending on the stretch and drape of each clothing layer. Such air gaps provide pockets of thermal insulation that can be effective in providing further heat retention when surrounded by clothing layers, particularly if one side of the air gap borders heat reflection layer 202.

[0041] Optionally, clothing layer 100 incorporates stretch so as to make the garment fit close to the skin 10. Optionally, clothing layer 300 has low stretch. This can afford higher durability and promote the formation of air gaps between 100 and 300 for improved insulation and heat retention.

[0042] Inner base layer 100 can be optional in the example shown in figures 2a and 2b. Apparel according to aspects of the current invention can be worn in various combinations depending on user requirements, weather conditions, and activity.

[0043] Figs 3a and 3b illustrate aspects of the invention featuring three clothing layers; inner base layer 100, which optionally incorporates stretch, is disposed next to skin 10. Outer base layer 200 also optionally incorporates stretch, and covers inner base layer 100. Outer protective shell 300 covers layers 100 and 200. Figures 3a and 3b illustrate that the outer base layer 200 can be composed of a reflective layer 202 optionally on the inside or outside of supporting fabric 201.

[0044] Fig. 3a is an exploded view 350 of a system of clothing layers according to the invention wherein the reflective layer 202 is disposed on the inside of the outer base layer 200. Fib. 3b is an exploded view 360 of a system of clothing layers according to the invention wherein the reflective layer 202 is disposed on the outside of the outer base layer 200. Between layers 100, 200 and 300 there will be air gaps 600, 700, having varying widths depending on the stretch and drape of each clothing layer. There may also be air gaps 800 between the clothing and the skin 10. These air gaps can provide pockets of thermal insulation that can be effective in providing further heat retention when surrounded by clothing layers, particularly if one side of the air gap is a reflective layer 202.

[0045] Optionally, clothing layers 100 and 200 incorporate stretch so as to make garments that can fit close to the skin 10. The combination of layers 100 and 200 are optionally both tight fitting garments working together with reflective layer 202.

[0046] Layers 300 and 100 can be optional in figures 3a and 3b, as the system can be worn in various combinations depending on user requirements, weather conditions, and activity.

[0047] Fig 4 illustrates an exploded view 450 of an example

arrangement of a system of clothing layers according to the invention similar to 360 (Fig. 3b) except wherein a reflective layer 102 is applied to supporting fabric 101. In this way, inner base layer 100 provides the heat reflection function in the system of clothing layers 100, 200 and 300. Layers 300 and 200 can be optional in figure 3a.

[0048] Fig 5 illustrates an exploded view 550 of an example

arrangement of a system of clothing layers according to the invention similar to 450 (Fig. 4a) except wherein inner base layer 100 and outer base layer 200 are combined to create an improved single layer 1000. Reflective layer 102 is disposed in the middle of clothing layer 1000. Outer protective shell 300 is optional in figure 5.

[0049] FIG. 6 illustrates an improved single layer 2000 comprising the outer base layer 200 with optional waterproofing. Outer base layer 200 can be improved to be waterproof with the addition of waterproof and breathable membrane 203 and protective coating or fabric layer 204.

[0050] In the description of various clothing layers and their

composition according to the invention, including those described in further detail with respect to Figs. 1-6, one or more layers can be eliminated.

Composite layers of material within any given clothing layer can be attached to each other either by an adhesive (breathable adhesive if necessary), mechanical bonding (or stitch bonding), lamination (flame or adhesive lamination, for example), welding or a combination of these applications or coated using either atmospheric or vacuum plasma deposition.

[0051] A detailed discussion of the typical features of materials and composite structures optionally used in these clothing layers follows, as well as specific examples with certain layers eliminated.

[0052] Outer protective shell 300 typically comprises a nylon supporting fabric 201 with a durable water repellent coating or treatment. Examples of typical exterior shell performance fabrics and materials include those manufactured by Schoeller, Amaterrace, Polartec, Gore Enterprises, Nam Liong, Toray, Teijin Shojin and the like. The supporting fabric 201 can be treated for durable water repellency using a Teflon™ treatment or the like or encapsulation or nano-technology such as that described in US patent application 10/002,513 or NANOSPHERE™ technology by Schoeller textile or the like. Optionally, a water repellent treatment to supporting fabric 201 can be coated to be more durable using a plasma vacuum deposition method. Outer protective shell 300 can also be optionally treated for UV absorption to help protect the garment from UV degradation, and also optionally treated with self cleaning agents. Optionally, these treatments can be combined together and applied during a single plasma vacuum deposition. Optionally, outer protective shell 300 comprises a waterproof membrane layer 203 in its composite structure, such as are produced by Gore Laboratories, Toray (for example Dermizax™), Schoeller, 3M, and others. Optionally, outer protective shell 300 can comprise a non-breathable foam layer such as a thin neoprene. This waterproof membrane protects the other inner layers from water under pressure, and can be eliminated if other layers already provide water resistance.

[0053] Optionally, outer protective shell 300 can have an inner protective coating or fabric 204, such as a tricot mesh layer, to protect a waterproof membrane. Protective coating or fabric 204 can also optionally comprise a protective fleece or other thermal layer, preferably hollow core fleece, providing additional heat retention to the outer shell 300.

[0054] Heat reflection layer 102, 202 is designed to reflect heat back to the body or reflect heat away from the body. Heat reflection layer 102, 202 is preferably metalized with aluminum and/or silver, to make it infrared reflective. Heat reflection layer 102, 202 is preferably applied to a supporting fabric via a vacuum plasma coating deposition method, and is typically aluminum with silver particles inter-dispersed providing a very thin, breathable reflective coating that does not alter the handle of the fabric, and also provides antibacterial properties due to the silver component. Such aluminum coating can be made 50nm to 80nm thick using the vacuum plasma deposition method, and can be applied to only one side of the fabric. An acrylate, acrylic binder can then be used to coat the metal layer in order to protect it from oxidization. This binder can also be applied to both sides of the fabric. A color pigment can also be optionally applied with the binder. The result is a fabric with a metalized coating adhered to the fibers on one side of the fabric, so that it will have high heat reflection properties while maintaining breathability and stretch. [0055] A heat reflection layer 102, 202 may be applied to one or two sides of a supporting fabric 201 , 101 or 100. Heat reflection layers 102 and 202 can comprise but are not limited to reflective metals including aluminum, zinc, silver, gold, copper and titanium.

[0056] A heat reflection layer 102, 202 can also be alternatively applied as a coating by pad/cure/dry, screen printing, dip coating, spray coating, foam coating, blade coating, chemical vapor deposition or other vacuum deposition. The reflective material can also be applied as a powder added to a breathable adhesive that connects adjacent layers in the total composite material. The layer can be made be either breathable or non-breathable.

[0057] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can be chosen to have insulation characteristics dependant on the performance required. If the performance of the material is designed to have good isolation between the outside temperature and the inside body heat, then these supporting fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 should have a very low thermal conductivity. Air has a relatively low conductivity (0.025 W/mK at 20 degrees C sea level atmospheric pressure), so materials with high air content may be desired, for example.

[0058] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can comprise, for example, a 3D warp knit mesh, providing high component of air as a good insulator of heat conduction, and hence good thermal isolation between outer and inner layers. A 3D textile of this kind is usually constructed in three layers and includes a top layer and a bottom layer with "spacer fibers" between them which determine the thickness of the 3D textile. The thickness of such standard commercial 3D textiles can range from 1 mm to over 20 mm. Polyester or polyamide fibers are typically used for the 3D textiles. Special sweat- absorbing materials may also be incorporated in the 3D textiles. Known examples of such 3D textiles include "AirX 3D Spacer Fabric™" from the company Tytex, "Spacetec™" from Heathcoat, "XD-Spacer Fabrics™" from Baltex, and "3 mesh™" from Muller-Textil.

[0059] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can also optionally be a composite of a silicon foam or aerogel, like those provided by Aspen Aerogels, or an

Aerogel/PTFE composite insulating material like that described by Gore Enterprises in US patent 7,1 18,801. Aerogel is the solid with the lowest thermal conductivity, and can provide higher performance of insulation with a thinner material. It is brittle in standard silicon foam form, and can also release toxic dust. Forms by Aspen Aerogel and Gore Enterprises, however, are new forms that can be used embedded in apparel, and it is expected that further improvements will develop. It is important to only utilize an aerogel that has low dusting or is protected from the skin for toxicity.

[0060] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can also optionally comprise a perforated neoprene of various thicknesses, from 0.5mm to 7mm or higher. The perforations can be of various diameters and also be spaced at various spacing densities. More perforations and/or larger perforations per area of neoprene, or similar foam, will increase the proportion of air in the layer and hence decrease the thermal conductivity and increase the insulation effect.

[0061] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 may also comprise a thick coating of a foam or a foam blended with highly insulating material particles. Such particles can be in the form of a powder, short fiber, sphere, platelet or other suitable particle form. Particles can be organic or inorganic and can include phase change materials. The coating can be a single layer or multiple layers of similar or different composition. The layer may be printed on in a pattern so as to provide improved fabric properties including increased stretch or breathability or flexibility. [0062] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 may also comprise a knit, woven, or nonwoven textile structure and is optionally comprised of fibers with a hollow core or high air retention structure. These fibers can be either synthetic or natural and may include fibers such as 3DG and camel hair.

[0063] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can also optionally be designed as a layer that is comfortable for next to skin wear. The supporting fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 may also optionally be designed to assist in moisture transfer from the skin to the outer layers to promote evaporation. The supporting fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 may also optionally be designed to retain heat and act as a thermal layer. An example construction may comprise a synthetic hollow core fleece, such that heat can interface to a maximum surface area to internally trapped air in each fiber, similar to the way natural fibers work in the fur of animals such as possums. The supporting fabric 201 , 101 or 100 may also be treated to have an antimicrobial function, using either natural (for example bamboo fibers) or synthetic (for example silver) agents. Another example heat retention material option is wool, which naturally absorbs water that can help keep the skin dry and promote heat retention.

[0064] Fabrics 201 , 101 or 100 can optionally be coated with agents to promote moisture transport, with a high wicking function from the skin and transport function to outer layers, in combination with other agents for antimicrobial function.

[0065] The following examples of composite fabrics according to aspects of the invention are not shown in FIGS 1-6, but incorporate many of the same elements, and may be constructed in a similar manner.

[0066] Example 1 : An example outer base layer 200 can be comprised of supporting fabric 201 and heat reflection layer 202 with the following respective materials in each layer: heat reflection layer 202 is an ultrathin coating of aluminum mixed with silver coated to supporting fabric 201 via vacuum deposition after plasma treatment to provide optimum uniformity and adhesion. The coating is protected from oxidation by an acrylic coating with a super-hydrophobic finish. Supporting fabric 201 is a high stretch

polypropylene hollow core fabric or fleece with antimicrobial treatment and hydrophobic properties. The supporting fabric 201 may be a low stretch durable nylon with UV absorption, antimicrobial and hydrophobic coatings. The reflective layer 202 inner coating, and the antimicrobial, UV absorption coatings, and the hydrophobic outer coating are all applied in the same vacuum plasma coating deposition method, that allows for coating single sides of the supporting fabric, applied thinly, and adhered to be very durable.

[0067] Example 2: An example outer base layer 200 can be comprised of supporting fabric 201 and heat reflection layer 202 with the following respective materials in each later, heat reflection layer 202 is an ultrathin coating of aluminum mixed with silver coated to supporting fabric 201 via vacuum deposition after plasma treatment to provide optimum uniformity and adhesion. Supporting fabric 201 is a double knit fabric with polypropylene hollow core yarn on the next to skin side with antimicrobial treatment and hydrophobic surface finish and the outside of the fabric is a wool yarn with hydrophilic properties.

[0068] Example 3: An example outer base layer 200 can be comprised of supporting fabric 201 and heat reflection layer 202 with the following respective materials in each layer. Heat reflection layer 202 is an ultrathin coating of aluminum mixed with silver coated to supporting fabric 201 via vacuum deposition after plasma treatment to provide optimum uniformity and adhesion. Supporting fabric 201 is a high stretch nylon fabric, optionally mixed with spandex (or other elastine material), optionally treated and protected for extra UV absorption, antimicrobial, and optionally treated for very high water repellency, with all treatments optionally applied using the plasma vacuum deposition coating methods.

[0069] Example 4: An outer base layer 200 can be relatively thin and have very high stretch when worn over an additional inner base layer 100. Inner base layer 100 can optionally comprise a double knit fabric with polypropylene hollow core yarn optionally mixed with spandex (or other elastine material) on the next to skin side with antimicrobial treatment and hydrophobic surface finish and the outside of the fabric is a wool yarn with hydrophilic properties.

[0070] Example 5: An example fabric 2000 may be constructed with a high stretch nylon and spandex protective fabric 204, with a waterproof breathable membrane 203 that is monolithic with high waterproof

specification, and using solid state diffusion for moisture vapor transport and breathability, chosen from those manufactured by either Toray, Amaterrace, 3M or the like. Protective fabric 204 and waterproof breathable membrane 203 are then laminated to outer base layer 200.

[0071] Example 6: An example improved single layer 1000 comprises heat reflection layer 102 according to aspects of the present invention coated to a supporting fabric 101 which is a polypropylene layer with antimicrobial treatment and hydrophobic properties bound to a outer base layer 200 that is in this example a wool fabric coated with a high wicking treatment. All treatments can be optionally applied in a coating via vacuum deposition after plasma treatment to provide optimum uniformity and adhesion.

[0072] It should be noted that all materials, in all aspects and particularly those disposed next to skin, may include anti-microbial

FOSSHIELD™ silver fibers and grooved 4-8 DG fibers by Foss Manufacturing or the like or X-STATIC™ products or the like. [0073] Example 7: An example outer base layer 200 may be

constructed consistently with example 5, with the addition of a waterproof membrane 203. Waterproof membrane 203 is preferably monolithic with high waterproof specification, using solid state diffusion for moisture vapor transport and breathability, may be chosen from those manufactured by either Toray, Amaterrace, 3M or the like, and is protected by a tricot mesh protective fabric 204. The heat reflection layer 202 is an ultrathin coating of aluminum mixed with silver coated via vacuum deposition coated to protective fabric 204 after plasma treatment to provide optimum uniformity and adhesion.

[0074] Example 8: An example outer base layer 200 may be

constructed consistently with example 2, except that a protective coating or fabric 204 is substituted for the fleece fabric.

[0075] Example 9: An example outer base layer 200 may be

constructed consistently with example 2 except that a protective coating or fabric 204 is substituted for the double knit fabric.

[0076] The examples presented above are various composite combinations presented according to aspects of the invention. The technical composites can be realized on different parts in different types of apparel or as the entire garment. Other variations are also possible given the range of combinations that can be constructed. It should be noted in the examples herein that there are no stated specified rates of breathability or moisture transfer.

[0077] Any layers described herein may incorporate microfiber technology. These materials are rapidly developing and changing, creating the potential for improved performance of products as newer materials are properly utilized. These new products are part of rapidly developing technical textile technology. The present invention employs a combination of fabrics, foam layers, nonwovens, spacer fabrics, breathable membranes,

encapsulated technology, structurally woven water repellent fabrics, or waterproof film coatings in such combinations that increase the performance of the products in which they are used as well as increase the breathability. There are many new membranes on the market to select from with excellent breathable and moisture transfer properties.

[0078] Garments manufactured in accordance with aspects of the invention will typically employ a stitching method that is chosen depending on the waterproofing and stretch of the fabric. Many of the stitching methods commonly used for wet weather apparel can be used, with taped seams if necessary for water resistance. The seams can also be sonically bonded. If a garment also requires high stretch, a combination of flatlock and liquid glue can be used, or in the case of a fabric made with foam of sufficient thickness, the seams could be glued and blind stitched. Otherwise if the garments manufactured in accordance with aspects of the invention are to be worn as first layer next to the skin or second layer tight to the skin like thermal wear apparel, without high water resistance as it is a base layer worn under other garments that are already waterproof, then the stitching can be flatlock stitching, or other standard stitching to allow for the correct stretch in the fabric.

[0079] FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c illustrate an example composition of apparel made according to aspects of the invention. Fig. a illustrates an example first base layer garment 100 worn next to the skin and a second base layer garment 200 is worn directly over it. An air gap (not shown) between the garments helps to provide extra insulation. The garments 100 and 200 have breathable and moisture wicking properties. This dual base layer system is practical for the user, layer 200 can be removed or worn separately (Fig. 7b, 7c) depending on how cold or hot the user feels. Both garments can have high stretch and be tight fitting, which is practical for efficient thermal wear

[0080] Figs 8a and 8b illustrate an example set of garments, made using two technical tops, one worn under the other. The inner garment constructed using improved single layer 1000 is stretchy and is chosen as a base layer having a close fit to maximize the effect of the heat retention fabric. The outer garment constructed using outer protective shell 300, shown in Fig. 8b, is a looser fitting jacket featuring less stretch, that is durable and weather proof, providing insulation and shields the user and inner garment from the outside climate.

[0081] FIGS. 9a and 9b illustrate example methods according to aspects of the invention.

[0082] Fig. 9a illustrates a method 900 of creating a heat reflective layered garment system comprising two base layers.

[0083] In a first step 905, a protective shell layer is provided. The protective shell layer may be constructed in any of the ways further described herein or illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0084] In a second step 910, an outer base layer is provided. The outer base layer may similarly be constructed in any of the ways further described herein or illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0085] In a third step 915, an inner base layer is provided. The outer base layer may similarly be constructed in any of the ways further described herein or illustrated in the accompanying drawings. [0086] In a fourth step 920, an infrared-reflective material is deposited on one or more surfaces of one or more layers. The infrared reflective material may be comprised in any of the ways further described herein.

[0087] In a fifth step 925, a coating is deposited on one or more surfaces of one or more layers. The coating may be comprised of organic or inorganic materials and may incorporate functional elements, in any of the ways further described herein. Optionally, coatings may be deposited prior to the deposition of infrared reflective materials, or both before and after the deposition of infrared reflective materials in order to surround them, for example. Still further, multiple layers of infrared reflective materials may be deposited one atop the other, or interleaved with the coating materials in any desired series. Additionally, coatings of organic or inorganic materials further described herein may be additionally applied simultaneously to surfaces of the various layers or other coatings. The various possible combinations of deposition are numerous and will be evident to those having skill in the art. The layering of depositions can be chosen to provide desired effects, such as heat reflection and protection of the heat reflective layer from oxidation and contact with other materials that would result in heat conduction, for example. Many other combinations can be incorporated in accordance with the invention as further described herein.

[0088] Fig. 9b illustrates a method 950 of creating a heat reflective layered garment system comprising one base layer. Method 950 is substantially similar to method 900, except wherein only one base layer is provided. This base layer may optionally be a unified layer comprised of two or more elements that have been combined, such as by interweaving or otherwise physically combining two or more base layers, such as in improved single layer 1000 (Fig. 5). [0089] In a first step 955, a protective shell layer is provided. The protective shell layer may be constructed in any of the ways further described herein or illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0090] In a second step 960, a base layer is provided. The outer base layer may similarly be constructed in any of the ways further described herein or illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0091] In a third step 970, an infrared-reflective material is deposited on one or more surfaces of one or more layers. The infrared reflective material may be comprised in any of the ways further described herein.

[0092] In a fourth step 975, a coating is deposited on one or more surfaces of one or more layers. The coating may be comprised of organic or inorganic materials and may incorporate functional elements, in any of the ways further described herein. Optionally, coatings may be deposited prior to the deposition of infrared reflective materials, or both before and after the deposition of infrared reflective materials in order to surround them, for example. Still further, multiple layers of infrared reflective materials may be deposited one atop the other, or interleaved with the coating materials in any desired series. Additionally, coatings of organic or inorganic materials further described herein may be additionally applied simultaneously to surfaces of the various layers or other coatings. The various possible combinations of deposition are numerous and will be evident to those having skill in the art. The layering of depositions can be chosen to provide desired effects, such as heat reflection and protection of the heat reflective layer from oxidation and contact with other materials that would result in heat conduction, for example. Many other combinations can be incorporated in accordance with the invention as further described herein. [0093] The example apparel illustrated in FIGS 7 or 8 are not intended to limit the invention to a specific style, and although not specifically illustrated, all types of apparel can be manufactured according to the present invention, for example, footwear. The application of this invention to other types of apparel could easily be accomplished by one with ordinary skill in the art.

[0094] It should be appreciated that in the above description of examples according to aspects of the invention, various features of the invention are sometimes grouped together in a single example, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of one or more of the various inventive aspects. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed example. Thus, the claims following the Detailed Description are hereby expressly incorporated into this Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate example of this invention.

[0095] Furthermore, while some examples described herein include some but not other features included in other examples, combinations of features of different examples are meant to be within the scope of the invention, and form different examples, as would be understood by those in the art. For example, in the following claims, any of the claimed examples can be used in any combination.

[0096] In the description provided herein, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that aspects of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure an understanding of this description.

[0097] Although the present invention has been described with particular reference to certain examples thereof, variations and modifications of the present invention can be effected within the spirit and scope of the following claims.