Hsu et al. / American Chemical Society, 2014

Are you always cold? Here’s good news!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and a new synthetic fabric that’s hot hot hot!

It’s the creation of overheated materials scientists from Stanford University. They say almost fifty percent of global energy is used for indoor heating. So instead of wasting energy heating buildings, why not heat people?

They took cotton cloth and dipped it in a solution of silver chloride and silver nitrate. A little chemistry experiment later—voila: Fine silver wires, or “nanowires,” coat the cotton in a metallic mesh. But since each nanowire is one-thousand times finer than a human hair, it’s not scratchy.

It’s this metallic mesh that gives the fabric its warmth. Instead of letting your body heat escape, it reflects about eighty percent back at you. But it’s still breathable, so you don’t get sweaty.

The scientists say the cloth also holds up well to both dye and washing. So let’s heat people, not the planet!

And they say conservation isn’t sexy. But—do these nanowire pants make me look fat?