Engineers at Stanford University have announced the development of a plastic-derived textile, which is said to cool the skin more efficiently than is possible with the natural or synthetic fabrics in clothes that we wear today. Describing their work in Science, the researchers of the Californian university said the new material cools the wearer by allowing perspiration to evaporate, similarly to regular fabrics, but it also allows the heat generated by the body to pass through it as infrared radiation. According to the tests carried out by the researchers, the cotton fabric makes the skin surface 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the new cooling textile. To develop the new material, the scientists blended nanotechnology, photonics and chemistry to give polyethylene - the clingy plastic we use as kitchen wrap – a number of features that would be desirable in clothing material. This polyethylene allows thermal infrared radiation, air and water vapor to pass right through, and is opaque to visible light. The new three-ply version of the fabric consists of two sheets of treated polyethylene with a cotton mesh in between.