Are Wool and Down Outfits Warm Enough for Winter?

Wool and down are regarded as the most popular winter fabrics, but are they really warm enough in bitter temperatures? Today I will dive into this topic from 5 aspects to give you the detailed answers.

1. How these two fabrics keep you warm 

They both effectively slow down the exchange speed between the body heat and cold air— forming an air layer on the clothes that is not easily convected, which can naturally keep you warm.

2. Advantages of Wool and Down 

A. Wool can retain its shape well after washing and it also repels moisture away from your body. In addition, wool fiber is quite adsorbent since it can absorb up to 30% moisture from perspiration. It’s fire-resistant, dirt-resistant and odor-resistant as well, providing an excellent safety precaution and making it easy to keep clean.

B. Down is a sustainable, eco-friendly, and allergy-friendly material, which can also provide continuous warmth and comfort because of its natural ability.

3. Disadvantages of Wool and Down 

A. The low-quality wool outfits composed of other synthetic fibers, like polyester, spandex, acrylic may be itchy to our skin. Plus, it will cost more money and time to clean the woolens as they need dry cleaning.

B. Down is expensive and almost 95% down coats need to be hand washed. It may probably lose its insulating power if it gets wet and take much time to be fully dried and get back to its original shape.

 4. The Clo/Oz of These Two Fabrics 

What is the clo value? According to Wikipedia, the CLO Value is a term used in evaluating and comparing the thermal insulation of clothing. CLO value is the amount of insulation that allows a person at rest to maintain thermal equilibrium in an environment at 2at 21°C (70°F) in a normally ventilated room (0.1 m/s air movement).

The definition od clo value on Wiki

Simply speaking, it’s the metric to which clothing keeps people warm. And the clo value of different common fabrics is shown below:

( The thinner the fiber, the slower the air velocity, and the higher the clo-value)

5. How to Maximize the Warmth 

Although wool / down has been used to make winter clothes for a thousand years, you still need more than a single layer of wool/ down to add more warmth. For the freezing days, you can try on the turtleneck sweater with heavy wool or cashmere and layer a thick wool coat to keep you toasty warm.

Or opt for a warmer coat that filled with down to give you sufficiently warm, either.

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