Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo is hoping it can replicate the winter success of its Heattech line of heat-retaining thermal underwear with new products that are being lined up for summer.

Its Silky Dry and Sarafine lines of summer quick-dry innerwear make "the hot, sticky weather of summer comfortable" the retailer says, by wicking away moisture to keep wearers cool and comfortable under their clothes.

For men, the Silky Dry innerwear feels like "wearing nothing," with superfine fibres jointly developed with Toray giving a second-skin fit that rapidly wicks away moisture. The fibres are anti-odour and anti-bacterial too.

Sarafine is described as "air-conditioned" women's innerwear, with a high-tech fabric that combines Asahi Kasei's 'Cupra' breathable fibres with 'tripot' cross-section nylon from Toray Industries. 

Cool clothing is big business in Japan after the environment ministry launched a country-wide 'Cool Biz' campaign to cut carbon dioxide output by banning ties and jackets from the office so air conditioning can be switched off.

The campaign is attributed to higher sales of casual, light summer wear for men in Japan's cities.