Why Do We Wear Heavy Clothes in Winter?


As Winter starts and temperature falls, people seek warmth in different ways; mainly through wearing Winter clothing. Why do we need to wear heavy clothes during Winter?

Creatures of the Animalia Kingdom can be classified into two types according to their thermoregulation nature. The first are "cold-blooded" creatures; they cannot keep their body temperature stable. As such, their body temperature changes in response to the changing temperature of the surrounding environment. The second type includes more sophisticated creatures, including humans; namely, "warm-blooded" creatures. They can keep their body temperature stable despite the changing temperature of the surrounding environment. As such, warm-blooded creatures need to keep their bodies warm during Winter. Whereas wild animals' bodies are covered with hair, fur, wool, or feathers, human beings resort to wearing heavy clothes so as not to lose their bodies' warmth.

First of all, let us investigate the notion of heat transfer. When there is a discrepancy between the temperatures of two bodies, heat transfers from the body with higher temperature to the other. Heat transfer takes place in three methods: thermal radiation, convection, and conduction. Thermal radiation is the only method that does not necessitate a direct contact between bodies. For example, the warmth of sunrays makes its way to Earth despite the vast distance between them. Thermal convection is manifested in boiling water, where hot water moves up and cooler water flows down. Finally, thermal conduction depends on direct contact between bodies. For example, when you touch a glass cup containing hot liquid, you instantly feel the heat; yet, if the cup is metal, the experienced heat will be stronger. In conclusion, different substances are either good or bad conductors of heat.

Clothes are bad conductors of heat. As such, they keep the air surrounding the body warm and prevent the loss of body heat. Consequently, we do not feel cold. It is worth mentioning that the number of pieces we wear is more significant than their thickness. Putting on more than one thin layer of clothes makes us warmer than wearing a single thick one, since the former method keeps more layers of warm air around our bodies. Some body parts—such as arms, legs, and feet—require more heating than others because they are distant from heat centers in our bodies.

The fabric of the clothes are also important; whereas cotton and linen absorb extra humidity, wool can retain extra heat. As such, it is advised to wear wool clothes with a layer of cotton clothes under it to keep your skin protected from extra humidity.



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