The first patented viscose fibre with temperature regulating properties has been jointly developed by Outlast Technologies Inc and Kelheim Fibres GmbH.

The new fibre is said to retain the benefits of regular viscose such as soft handle, moisture absorption and improved hygiene, but by incorporating Outlast microcapsules - which are added during the manufacturing process - it also has a temperature-buffering capability for extreme comfort.

Until now, the use of phase change material (PCM) fibres to absorb excess heat and regulate the wearer's temperature has been restricted to acrylic fibres.

Pat Gruber, CEO of Outlast Technologies, says: "Our new Outlast viscose fibre allows us to apply the benefits of our technology to intimate apparel, knitwear, women's wear such as dresses and even more mainstream products like shirts/blouses and pants."

The new viscose fibre can be blended with other fibres including cotton, polyester and polyamide as well as technical fibres such as aramid.

Originally developed for NASA, Outlast fibres, fabrics and coatings contain patented microencapsulated phase-change materials called Thermocules, which store, absorb and release heat, providing increased comfort for consumers.