Smart fabrics firm Outlast Technologies has expanded its product range to include a performance filling material that offers a natural solution for climate comfort in apparel products.

'Universe' uses heat and moisture regulating viscose fibres combined with down fibres. The heat managing Outlast PCM (phase change materials) viscose fibres form 30% of the new filling, and the remaining 70% is down fibres. These are 10mm short cut fibres with 7 dtex.

Such a thick fibre with a high diameter was deliberately selected, Martin Bentz, MD of Outlast Europe said, in order to guarantee a high loading of PCMs.

"The performance compared to a standard PCM viscose fibre here is four times higher," he added. "In conjunction with our well-known partner Kelheim Fibres, we are happy to have successfully obtained this new process - a homogeneous blend where both wash and care requirements are ensured."

Outlast has further tested on "filling material" and found that PCM filling materials are ideally suited to provide an optimum heat and moisture management.

"The air transports body heat quickly to the performance fibres," explained Volker Schuster, director of R&D at Outlast Europe. "One important aspect is that all fibres inside a filling altogether build a huge surface. And all fibres are flowed around by air. Therefore every fibre can react very quickly to temperature changes. Since the airflow is increased, this allows the PCMs to be more active in loading and discharging".

As a result, temperature changes are minimised and sweating can be reduced significantly.