There has long been a tendency towards black in Compression Wear. But in summer, black is often perceived as inappropriate. Black absorbs heat, white reflects it. Right? Not anymore. SKINS, founded in Australia, has released a new range of Compression Wear with coldblack® technology. coldblack reduces the absorption of the sun’s solar radiation (or’heat’) by dark coloured fabrics. At the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (EMPA), testing suggests coldblack keeps your body up to 5°C (9°F) cooler than plain black fabrics. If your body heats up less, you use less energy to cool yourself down, allowing you to spend that extra energy on your outdoor activities.
Wearing white in summer as the best way of staying cool was something of a myth to start with. It’s true that dark coloured fabrics more readily absorb both visible and invisible rays of sunlight, meaning higher heat absorption than light coloured fabrics. The human body, however, also gives off heat, primarily infrared radiation, that lighter coloured fabrics reflect back onto your body. As you exercise, your body heats up. White clothing traps that heat. The reason white is usually recommended for summer has more to do with tradition and fashion trends. In reality, summer temperatures allow for looser fitting, more porous clothing, such as linen, regardless of the colour, meaning more airflow to offset the heat and sweat created by your body.
coldblack® technology was originally created by Clariant, a specialty chemicals company, in collaboration with Schoeller, the Swiss textile innovators. coldblack is a textile finish, not a fabric itself. The idea is to coat the fabric to reduce the absorption of heat rays, especially in the case of darker colours. coldblack has been designed to reflect approximately 80% of the sun’s rays (a perfect white reflects 100%), resulting in better heat management. As an added benefit, coldblack also provides protection from UVA and UVB rays, equivalent to a minimum of UPF 30+, though the actual protection is dependent on the type of fabric used.
SKINS coldblack Compression Wear is readily available at retail outlets in Australia, such as Rebel Sport. In New Zealand, lower summer temperatures mean coldblack is not promoted as heavily. Try retail stores where SKINS is sold, such as R&R, Stirling Sports and Rebel Sport.