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The warmest things in the world

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To survive in the Arctic, people had to repel the main enemy of man in these latitudes - the terrible cold penetrating to the bones. But human ingenuity and resourcefulness allowed to tame the cold and cruel North. Animal skins were used to make clothes, and snow and ice produced reliable shelters from the cold and wind.
Still, it was clothes that were crucial for the preservation of life in such merciless natural conditions. In the Arctic, clothing should not only keep warm, but also protect it from the wind, preventing it from penetrating under clothing. And today we will tell how the equipment of polar explorers changed over the years.
The warmest things in the world

The traditional dress of the Eskimos of Canada consists of two fur suits, worn over one another. The skins of the top suit are turned fur outward, and the bottom - fur inside. Each costume consists of a parka with a hood, pants, gloves and boots.Thus, the double layer of fur perfectly protects the whole body from the cold. Eskimos do not wear belts, so both parks hang freely, which provides ventilation. For the manufacture of boots there is a deerskin, which is stitched with fur to the outside, so that the foot does not slide on the ice.
Clothing made of deer skins not only provides excellent thermal insulation. It can also become the only means of salvation in the case when a hunter accidentally falls through the ice. Since the hair of a deer is hollow, it allows a person to stay on the surface for a long time, sometimes up to several hours, which significantly increases the chances of salvation.
The warmest things in the world

It was for all these qualities that the first polar researchers fell in love with the traditional clothing of the peoples of the North and took it as a basis for making polar suits up to the 40s of the last century. This is how Nikolai Urvantsev, a researcher of the Arctic, describes a typical polar suit of the 1930s: “I dressed quite warmly and at the same time lightly. I was wearing a simple knitted and woolen underwear, a woolen sweater, a fawn fur shirt with fur inside; fur pants with a corsage, where the shirt was tucked; on the legs are simple and woolen socks, long to the waist, fur inside the stockings and, finally, fur, also to the waist, bakari boots.In boots lay a thick felt insole. To protect against the wind, a “wind” shirt with a hood and trousers made of thick parachute silk was put on top of everything. I wore a kukhlyanku only with a particularly strong snowstorm. "
The warmest things in the world

But since the type of activity and life of the participants in high-latitude expeditions were often very different from the traditional Eskimo way of life, the clothes of local residents did not always meet their needs. The problem was to maintain a balance between the two seemingly mutually exclusive qualities - high thermal insulation and good ventilation.
Therefore, until the mid-60s, polar explorers experimented with costumes, for tailoring of which the fur of various animals was used. In the course was also quilted clothing on eiderdown or cotton wool. A set of polar clothes of those times included silk and woolen underwear, trousers on eiderdown or camel wool, woolen diving sweater and quilted short jacket. The head was protected from frost by a woolen balaclava, a cap with a leather upper and a fur hood on top. This vestment was completed by a woolen scarf and woolen gloves and shoes, whose assortment has not changed so far: high fur boots, felt boots and rubber boots. Outerwear was sewn of thick windproof fabric.
The warmest things in the world

With the start of work in the more severe physiographic conditions of the Antarctic Highlands and with the change of activity in the Arctic from expeditionary to predominantly production, the polar explorer needed serious improvements. So began the search for new materials and work on the study of the thermal state of a person in various conditions. Thus, in the USSR, the best-known model of polar workwear, the AEC suit, appeared. The suit consisted of a jacket with a hood and a windproof flap covering the lower part of the face, and overalls. Camel wool, laid between two layers of gauze, and nylon wind-proof film served as insulant. Cotton fabric was used for a long time as the material of the top, while it was not abandoned due to numerous shortcomings.
The warmest things in the world

In the 1980s, instead of a cotton fabric, polyester textured yarns, which retain their elasticity at low temperatures, became soft and wear-resistant, began to be used as materials for the top. In Europe and the United States, attempts were made to create polar workwear made of synthetic materials: nitron, polyvinyl chloride, polyester, and others.However, the clothes of these materials did not give a satisfactory heat-shielding effect.
The warmest things in the world

A new impetus in the production of equipment for polar expeditions gave the invention of membrane fabrics and materials. Due to its structure (their pores allow moist warm air from the inside and prevent the penetration of moisture from the outside) membrane or "breathing" materials combine excellent wind and moisture protection properties with good ventilation and thermal insulation.
The warmest things in the world

Modern polar clothing set has three layers: thermal underwear, wool or fleece, down overalls or jacket. The main function of each layer is to preserve heat and transport moisture to the overlying layer and subsequently bring it outside. To achieve these goals and uses the latest membrane materials.
Not only down (duck or goose), but also synthetic materials, such as Thinsulate, Thermolite, Daune and Quallofil, are used as a filler in a down jumpsuit or jacket. They make a worthy competition to natural heaters and provide reliable thermal protection combined with good ventilation.

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