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A second surge of cold air from the northern Polar Vortex has begun to make its way down across the Great Lakes region. It will continue to push toward the south and the east. That means, unfortunately, we cannot pack away our winter gear just yet. Layering provides protection from frigid temperatures. Innovations in textile technology have created a wide variety of fabrics and designs that improve heat retention and prevent penetration of the cold air to the skin.

The chart below describes the choices of available fibers, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each. It can serve as a helpful reference when you add new undergarments to your cold-weather gear. Avoid cotton undergarments, especially if you are expecting lots of snow or rain in your neighborhood. Underwear made with synthetic fibers, wool, or silk is moisture-wicking and transports perspiration and moisture away from the skin. These fabrics also dry much faster than cotton, reducing the risk of heat loss and hypothermia.

baselayer table

Benefits of Fabrics in Winter. All Rights Reserved. Women’s Voices for Change

Examples of different base layers:

Synthetic Fibers

UNIQLO Heattech Camisole

UNIQLO Heattech Camisole

UNIQLO Heattch Long Sleeve Shirt

UNIQLO Heattch Long Sleeve Shirt

UNIQLO Heattech Collection

Merino Wool

North Face Merino Baselayer

North Face Merino Baselayer

REI Smartwool Underwear

REI Smartwool Underwear

 Silk/Silk Blend

REI Silk Camisole

REI Silk Camisole

REI Silk V-neck Shirt

REI Silk V-neck Shirt

And if all else fails:

 

Stay tuned for more layers next week!