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Winter Scarves: Why Wearing Scarves And Shawls In Cold Weather Is A Good Idea
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No question we've been having a serious deep freeze across the country this winter. In some locations record low temperatures came earlier than first frosts last year. It's a chilly season and staying warm is serious business when the temperature dips below freezing.
Scarves, shawls, mufflers and wraps that can be layered under and over coats, sweaters and jackets can make a difference between feeling a serious chill and warm comfort. Natural fiber layers creating breathability allow our bodies to store and maintain our natural body heat without losing it all into the winter air. It is also a good idea to remove multiple layers when we go indoors and then add layers back as we go outdoors. This prevents perspiration while indoors and then loss of body heat due to moisture when we return to the outdoor chill. Moisture can increase the loss of body heat by twenty five times - so just peel and re-layer if you are going in and out of shops, cars, etc.
While we normally do not encounter temperatures which could cause frostbite, when temperatures dip below 0 °F it is a good idea to cover the face and ears, particularly the nose, to avoid it.
Long-held fears of frozen lungs are unwarranted - if you are a living person your lungs cannot freeze. But breathing through a scarf can prevent a severe cough or symptoms of asthma which are caused by the dryness of cold winter air. This dryness induces a narrowing of the airways which can lead to coughing and difficulty breathing for asthma sufferers. The scarf or wrap will trap the moisture of the breath as you exhale and allow some of it to be recaptured as you inhale providing a self-made moisture barrier to the dry cold air.
So, no need to worry about frozen lungs. But if you want a more comfortable winter experience, especially in severely cold weather, layer on the wraps and keep your face, ears and neck protected and cozy.
Among the most common and most breathable scarf fabrics for winter wear are such fibers as cashmere, alpaca wool and angora. Angora is also known as Mohair. Angora is a fiber of the angora rabbit, which is also extremely hypoallergenic - an added bonus. Mohair is the wool of an angora goat. But if you are after the extreme warm solutions for these items, get musk ox (the soft undercoat is purported to be the warmest fiber on earth, but it will cost you dearly). Or another choice is the undercoat from Great Pyrenees mountain dogs. If you don’t like either of those, the other top warming fiber is, surprisingly enough, possum. Apparently, New Zealand experiences some over-population issues with possums, so that's the place to find them.
Whatever fiber you choose to wear, just remember that in extremely cold weather conditions breathing through the fabric of the scarf can help you avoid a winter cough or triggering latent asthma.
Learn more about scarf fibers, scarf styles, scarf storage and even how to tie your scarves at EZ Scarf.
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