Surviving Frigid Temperatures with Heat Technology

HEATTECHBY AMANDA MOSES

The New Year started with a cold reception. The dramatic drop in temperature has many, myself included, donning layers of thick apparel and quilted, puffy coats. It’s almost impossible to move when wearing so many thick layers without feeling like you are moving underwater.

The days of multi-layering with bulky sweaters and fleeces may soon be over with the introduction of trendy lightweight, high-tech apparel. Several years ago UNIQLO’s manufacturer, Toray] Industries Inc., developed a cutting-edge fabric to store body heat, it’s called HEATTECH. Made in Japan, the technology keeps the body warm, similar to thick thermal wear; however, the material is made of light fabric (polyester, acrylic, rayon and spandex).

The notion of fabric generating heat sounded unfathomable to me. Nevertheless, I decided to test HEATTECH against the delightful blasts of arctic air invading New York City last week. I purchased a pair of black leggings, a purple long-sleeved T-shirt and purple gloves. The total cost of these items was $32, which isn’t too bad if you are on a tight budget. My only complaint is that you cannot try on the various HEATTECH garments in the store because they are sealed in aluminum packaging. So, it is important to know your size before you buy.

The material is form fitting, yet it stretches for maximum comfort. It’s also extremely soft because camellia oil, made from compressed tea seeds, is woven into the fabric. In addition to its smooth feel, the packaging assures the customer that “HEATTECH maintains its shape even after repeated washing.”

To my surprise, I was able to walk around SoHo (where UNIQLO’s flagship store is located on 546 Broadway) in 20 degree weather for about an hour without turning into an icicle. I layered my HEATTECH apparel with one pair of leggings, two shirts, a thick sweater, wool coat and hat. The HEATTECH fibers absorb body moisture, the tiny droplets from perspiration, by creating small air pockets to generate heat.

The common connotation of warmth is that clothing must be thick, but HEATTECH manages to both generate heat and maintain warm body temperature with garments as thin as 0.55mm While the thin materials keep you warm without having to wear bulky clothes, it’s important to keep in mind the temperature because you might have to wear it with thick layers depending on the weather.

If you would like to find out more visit www.uniqlo.com or stop by UNIQLO at the Atlantic Terminal Mall on 139 Flatbush Avenue.