“What fabrics best insulate the body against the loss of heat? Tests demonstrate that an open-weave cotton fabric has the smallest insulation value. A dense cotton cloth gives somewhat more protection, and wool still more. But insulation value declines greatly when fabrics are damp; for wet cotton flannelette, the heat loss is greater than when the [skin] has no cover at all. The study suggests research for winter clothing: underclothing that will not readily absorb water, garments that will hold quantities of air in extremely small bubbles, and quilted clothes made of a batting of chicken feathers and cotton.”

Scientific American, March 1951

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