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Smart Textiles

Shapeshifting Jackets: The magic is in the yarn

Skyscrape has developed a temperature responsive fabric with the power to disrupt the apparel industry’s approach to clothing

18th February 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Portland, OR

Clothing/​Footwear, Protective, Sports/​Outdoor

Skyscrape Inc., a Portland-based textile start-up, has developed a temperature responsive fabric with the power to disrupt the apparel industry’s approach to clothing insulation as we know it.

© Skyscrape.Skyscrape’s fabric physically expands in thickness when exposed to cooler temperatures, creating additional insulation between the wearer’s body and the outside environment. The fabric thickness decreases when exposed to warmer temperatures, eliminating the need to wear additional layers, only to have to remove them when entering temperature-controlled environments such as buildings and vehicles.

The temperature-responsive fabric at the heart of Skyscrape’s apparel was developed under two grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Skyscrape Founder and CEO Brent Ridley, PhD, who studied chemistry and materials science at MIT, saw a path to develop clothing that would be so thermally comfortable that it could impact how people heat and cool buildings. Key to the invention is a new type of yarn that can animate a fabric without any wires, batteries, or sensors.

Having proven the science and manufacturability, the next logical step was to turn the invention into a business. Now, five years after the project began, Skyscrape has developed temperature-responsive garments that maintain comfort wherever they’re worn — whether cities or suburbs, indoor or outdoor, day or night, and during the transitions people go through every day.

© Skyscrape.© Skyscrape.

Skyscrape’s first garments deploy the first-of-its-kind fabric as insulation to create paradigm-shifting outerwear. The company’s product design team is finalizing designs for Skyscrape’s 2020 collection and is in discussions with leading apparel brands regarding collaborations using the technology in product offerings by other companies.

Watch a short video to see Skyscrape’s fabric come to life…

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