Ralph Lauren has designed a bomber jacket and parka that use heat-conducting ink to generate warmth. The U.S. Winter Olympics team will be sporting these new jackets, which give a nod to textile innovations of the past, denim and leather, and include today’s technological innovations, says a recent article in Wired.
Winter temperatures in South Korea can dip to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, so Lauren’s first priority was to provide warmth in the team’s uniform. But designers know the fickle nature of weather and didn’t want to design for one specific range on the thermometer. After searching through available fabric options, the team turned to technology.
The heated jacket works much like an electric blanket. Replacing the wires sewn into blankets is a carbon and silver ink bonded to the lining of the jacket. The ink is connected to a battery pack sewn into the jacket. When fully charged, the garments can store up to 11 hours of heating time. And the temperature can be adjusted via a smartphone app.
The Ralph Lauren Company hopes to create a limited edition jacket inclusive of the heat-conducting ink for fall 2018.