Will you be working outside this winter? You probably already know that the best protection is dressing with perfect wear. But do you know what materials work best to keep you warm? System design of cold weather protective clothing is a critical process, as it involves consideration of the effects of a number of external and internal parameters like environmental factors and physical, physico-mechanical and psychological parameters. The bulk and weight of the textile materials used in cold protective clothing plays very important role in deciding the performance of the garments, it should be as low as possible, so that the clothing does not create physical stress and discomfort to humans and does not affect their daily duties adversely. The primary function of cold weather protective clothing is to protect the individual from the natural environment. For civilians, the designing of protective clothing is simple, as the only requirement is protection against cold, whereas for military personnel, hill climbers, and other paramilitary forces, besides thermal insulation, a number of other requirements are also important.

Requirements of cold protection:

Ease of handling combat and operational hazards, accomplishing their mission with the clothing on their body, protection against rain, snow ingress, and extreme conditions of cold and wind. All the above requirements have to be met by the protective clothing, and at the same time the wearer should not feel any discomfort.

1.       To repel water and snow.

2.      To prevent heat from dissipating to the environment.

3.      To give comfort to the wearer by preventing the body heat from escaping out more rapidly than it is produced or to enter the cold to the body because the lower the rates of heat flow, the greater is the heat resistance of the material.

4.      Moisture repellent because the moisture increases the rate of conduction, because water fills the fabric voids and conducts heat more rapidly than air.

5.      Clothing must permit the moisture vapour to flow out of the clothing to avoid condensation of sweat inside the clothing at low temperature.

This review discusses the essential factors involved in designing and developing of cold weather protective clothing and different insulating materials available for the weather protection.


Wool is a truly unique natural fibre with excellent warm properties. Wool is generally obtained from animals such as sheep, cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, etc. To protect oneself from extreme cold weather, wool is the perfect material to keep warm compared to acrylic and cotton.