Image Number 13 for United States Patent #7926124.
Three dimensional fabric matrices are provided for insertion into compartments of or attachment to wearable items and padded items, referred to as contact articles. The matrix includes a core that maintains an air space between inner and outer layers to facilitate heat transfer by convection and evaporation, when the enclosure is breathable. When the enclosure restricts air permeation, the air space provides insulation. Embodiments reconfigurable from insulating to breathable include adjustable impermeable sections that releasably cover permeable sections. The matrix also absorbs shocks and distributes stresses to provide padding and cushioning, including reduction of backface signature in ballistic applications. Wearable items containing one or more matrices offer enhanced thermal regulation and shock absorption.