VF Corporation

VF Corporation

Body mapping for Smartwool Intraknit


Often, men’s and women’s clothes differ only in shape, despite other physiological differences between the sexes. Smartwool has expertise in knitting and identified that knitting innovation could enable garments that insulate and ventilate men’s and women’s bodies differently. Smartwool asked Innovia to explore how men’s and women’s bodies respond to exercise.


We used thermal imaging to map the skin temperature response of men and women doing different types of exercise in temperatures ranging from 0 ºC to 40 ºC. We mapped temperature, sweat, and perceived temperature, and processed the data to create generalized maps of men and women in different conditions for different forms of activity. We suggested, therefore, where was important to insulate and not insulate in different types of conditions.


We showed that perception of temperature over the body surface during exercise was not intuitive. As Smartwool knows from socks, the perceived sensation is more important than the physical condition. Smartwool released its Intraknit merino wool base layers with mapped ventilation and mapped insulation within the garment knit structure. This breakthrough technology was featured in an episode of Powder magazine’s Crafted series, featuring Innovia’s body maps.

Video showing how Innovia’s heat maps helped develop the technology