TechPrepare for heatwave: Scientists reveal top clothing colors

Prepare for heatwave: Scientists reveal top clothing colors

What colours are best for hot weather?
What colours are best for hot weather?
Images source: © Pixabay | Matthias_Groeneveld
Karolina Modzelewska

24 June 2024 18:46

In the coming days, the temperature will reach over 30 degrees Celsius in many places. The heat can be intense, so it’s worth taking care of your well-being and comfort. One of the simplest ways to do this is by choosing the proper clothing. Research by scientists from Japan has proven that the right colour is meaningful in this situation. The choice of the best colours for hot weather may surprise many.

In 2019, a team of Japanese scientists led by Toshiaki Ichinose from the National Institute of Environmental Studies researched the clothing colours most suitable for hot days. Although some time has passed since the research was published, its results remain relevant.

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Japanese scientists decided to conduct an experiment to find out which clothing colours work best on warm days. For this purpose, they used mannequins and multicoloured clothing, specifically polo shirts in nine different colours. Each mannequin was dressed in a shirt of a different colour—red, yellow, black, white, blue, green, grey, etc. Then, the mannequins were placed outside in the Sun when the temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius.

After about five minutes, the researchers checked the surface temperature of the fabrics using a thermographic camera. They noticed an eleven-degree difference between the coolest and warmest shirt. The study showed that the surface temperature of the white polo shirt was about 30 degrees Celsius, corresponding to the air temperature during the study. On the other hand, the highest temperature was recorded in the case of the black shirt. Its surface temperature exceeded 50 degrees Celsius.

Which colours of clothing for hot weather?

About 45 – 55 per cent of the radiation that reaches the Earth is infrared (IR), which is invisible to the eye. The experiment showed that not black but dark green absorbs the most, as much as 87 per cent. Black absorbed 86 per cent of the incoming infrared, while white was the least absorbent and absorbed about 63 per cent of infrared radiation.

According to experts, the best colours for hot weather are white, yellow, grey, and red (which may surprise some, as red is considered a "warm" colour). They also recommend avoiding black, dark green, purple, and blue clothing. However, scientists note that the results may vary slightly depending on the dye used to produce the clothes.

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