Taffeta is a traditional wool fabric that can be worn as a dress, coat, scarf, or shirt.
It is made of two layers of wool, which are woven into a tube and then rolled into a garment.
The result is an elastic material that can stay soft, long-lasting and breathable.
But what about warmth?
This is where the silk fabric of the future comes in.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, have found that the taffeta fabric of today is more efficient than silk, which is also a high-tech fabric.
The researchers used a combination of computer modelling and real-world testing to find out if there is a difference between the two fabrics.
The scientists found that taffetas are significantly more efficient at heat transfer than silk fabric.
“We’re able to get a temperature difference between two materials that’s about 100 degrees Celsius, which means we can increase the energy that the materials use in the same amount of time,” said senior author Andrea Jovanovic.
“In other words, it’s a lot more energy-efficient.”
The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.
The paper says the new study “provides a way to measure thermal efficiency and energy transfer between different materials without the need for heat transfer equipment.”
Jovanović is an associate professor in the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
He said the technology is not new, and the research is “one of the first to show a significant increase in thermal efficiency from a taffetera.”
“Our goal is to apply this technology to other materials, such as carbon fiber, and make them use the same basic materials and the same process,” Jovanovics said.
“This means that it will be possible to make new kinds of fabrics, and they’ll also be able to be more environmentally friendly.”
The technology could be applied to garments and other high-energy materials, Jovanovanovic said.
The next step is to make the tafeta more versatile.
“There are many applications for the materials that are currently in use, and this could be a perfect application for the tatami,” Jovać said.
With a little imagination, the researchers envision the technology could work for the construction of high-rise buildings.
The team has also made a few prototypes and is working on a large-scale study to evaluate the materials.
“The results are promising and there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Jović said, “but we think we’ve achieved the ultimate goal of building a fabric that’s as good as silk.”
With files from The Canadian Press