In order to push the boundaries of smart materials in fashion, fashion brand HotSquash has been using hollow-core fiber technology, originally developed by NASA. The technology enables consumers to keep warm in the cold and remain cool in the hot weather, with the material also drying quicker and not creasing easily.
The technology was originally developed to be used for space suits; however, HotSquash saw its potential and developed it to suit a range of different garments.
“The easiest way to describe it is, it’s like double-glazing,” said HotSquash’s operation manager, Liz Backhouse. “The technology allows you to trap warm air against the body in the cold, but also the material enables your body to cool down quickly in the heat. When you sweat, moisture is absorbed by fabric, but because these fibers are hollow it evaporates quicker, so therefore you cool down faster.”
The fabric works in a similar way to ski-wear, as it insulates the body with its multi-channel and hollow fibres that trap the body’s warm air. It is also capable of cooling the body down quicker due to its larger surface area that enables more evaporation of moisture.
To get the correct material for a particular type of garment can take up to 18 months, as the company wants to integrate the technology in all aspects of clothing, from evening to lounge wear. “ As far as we know, we are the only company in the UK who are producing womenswear in technology fabrics, that is occasion wear, daywear, office wear and more,” said Liz.
HotSquash produces its garments entirely in the UK, including design, pattern-making and manufacture. It started as a small company eight years ago and it now exceeds £10 million in profit annually and has secured deals with retails giants Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, while also planning to launch in Germany at the end of the year.