/ insulating fabric?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
gingerkate - on 12 Oct 2012
Is there a rating system for how insulating an insulating fabric is? Any websites that list most insulating fabrics?

I'm not actually wanting to insulate a human, I want to insulate my windows. I was going to buy regular 'thermal' curtain lining fabric, but when I read the description, and total lack of insulation spec, I started wondering just how insulating it is... I suspect not very at all really. So I started thinking about what's really insulating ... thought of neoprene. Thought neoprene curtains might be rather funky... then I thought of oven gloves... which may or may not have a layer of mylar in them... on the way I've read of whole heap of stuff about reflective sheeting you drape all round your cannabis grow room to keep the plants really well lit... but nowhere have I found a comparative rating system which tells me what's the best insulator.

I don't want any old insulating curtains. I want as high spec as I can make insulating curtains. Neoprene sandwiched with mylar maybe.

Any ideas? Any info?
gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
ps Maybe I should add, in case it's not obvious: insulation is insulation ... doesn't matter if you're wrapping up a room or wrapping up a person. So whatever fabrics insulate a person effectively will do the same job as curtain liners. With just one proviso: don't really want to hang duvets on my windows :o) So if anyone has the info I'm looking for but it's focussed on clothing fabrics, that'll be helpful.
alicia - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

I know insulation is measured by an R-value (the higher the R-value, the more insulating it is), and sometimes things like Thermarests will have an R-value, so maybe you could google for a particular fabric plus "r-value"??
gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to alicia:
That's an idea, thanks.
gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to alicia:
That was indeed a good idea, as whilst not answering my question (yet), it found me this:
http://utwired.engr.utexas.edu/conservationMyths/heatingCooling/drapeDefense.cfm

In reply to gingerkate: Interestingly in Finland curtains are quite rare, more common is blinds inside the windows. Our windows are triple glazed, you have a pane of glass on the outside then about 10 cms of space before another double glazed window pain.

I would imagine the insulation of curtain depends on the window design shape. In my parents' house, where I grew up, the windows have wide window sills. The curtains were basically flush to the wall above/below the window and therefore isolated maybe 15cms of air between them and the window pain. This made a big difference to the warmth of the room but then we always hand condensation problems as well - like in the link you found. But airtightness might be more important in that case than insulation value.
JH74 - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

I think the stuff you're after is called Aerogel. AFAIK weight fo weight it's the most insulative stuff at the moment. Used for space projects etc. It's dear but people do buy it in limited quantites for high-spec building projects so might not be out of reach.

I always had an idea to make blinds out of it for velux windows as they're in the wrong place for any kind of thermal efficiency but have never got round to it; like so many things...

Some kind of brush seal is the key to keeping air flow to a minimum around the blind I reckon, otherwise it might as well be cling film. Think roller shutter self contained in housing, but minimized. Good luck!
Fraser on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

Google 'thermal conductivity' or 'thermal resistivity'. All materials have these properties. You want either low conductivity or high resistivity.
gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to JH74:
That has to be one of the most extraordinary materials I've ever seen. Been watching the chocolate failing to melt on youtube. Unbelievable.

Seems likely to be too pricey, but really glad to have seen that, thanks :o)

gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Yes, the gap must matter a lot I think. Some people put velcro on the wall to stick the curtain edges to. Modern curtain poles stick out a long way from the wall, so aren't going to work as well as something snug to the wall, as you say. I've got bog standard thermal curtains in my bedroom, pretty snug to the wall and get heaps of condensation there. Hmmm. Food for thought.

gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to Fraser:
Thanks Fraser.
gingerkate - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to JH74:
They even have recipes online so (suitably equipped) people can make their own aerogels! Here's one:

http://www.aerogel.org/?p=1027

I've found a site that sells it as a sort of blanket, but as expected it is too expensive.
Turdus torquatus on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

Having a silvery shiny surface as a part of it might help. On the room facing side to reflect the heat (aesthetic challenge), or on the window side as a poor radiator of heat (scare the neighbours). Survival blanket stuff maybe?
gethin_allen on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:
Closed cell foam (the stuff they make roll mats out of) is a very good insulator. you could get some of this:-
http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Camping-Equipment/Camping-Mats/Closed-Cell-Foam-Mats/Tent-Unde...

much cheaper than your other suggestions.
yer maw on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate: Oi you gore-tex muppet call yourself an excuse for a waterproof. You're wetter than 10 pints of shandy and as much use afterwards. Tw*t!

Is that insulting enough??
The Lemming - on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

Do you have single glazed windows?

I only ask as my suggestion would be to get some clear plastic or polythene to create a second barrier which traps air between it and the window. Cheap double glazing which can then be supplemented by fancy curtains.

Or has this furry rodent got it completely wrong?
richyfenn on 13 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to gingerkate)
>
> Do you have single glazed windows?
>
> ...get some clear plastic or polythene to create a second barrier...

Good suggestion as it does work really well, you can also use it on double glazing for the extra insulation.
s4ulw - on 14 Oct 2012
ads.ukclimbing.com
captain paranoia - on 16 Oct 2012
In reply to gingerkate:

> Is there a rating system for how insulating an insulating fabric is?

As Alicia says, there's the R-value (commonly used for building insulation; have a look when you're not under the floorboards...)

For clothing, the clo is commonly used. Then there's TOG.

You might ask the nice people at your local university; the outdoor clothing lot. I think they might be able to help.

I suspect that, for curtains, you'll want to stop radiant heat loss, whereas clothing also needs to consider evaporation, convection and conduction losses.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.