What would our life be like if, to withstand excessive heating or cooling, we had only one type of textile available? For sure, our closets would be more empty! And this is no science fiction.
A special textile has been tested by a team of Stanford University scientists: it is called dual-mode textile and can perform both heating and cooling without any energy input from the outside. In practice, it consists of two layers of copper and carbon inserted between two polyethylene layers that can manage human thermal comfort: if it is worn with the carbon layer facing outside, the textile refreshes the skin because the material releases heat; if the layer facing outside is, instead, the one in copper, trapping heat, it warms up the body.
Scientists are now working to make it more comfortable and to understand how to make it washable without compromising its nature.