Reflections by award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett, author of many books about the sea
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Sunday, May 30, 2010
JUNK COVERED WITH GUNK
Every now and then the day is enlivened by the addition of a catchy new word or phrase. A letter in this week's New Zealand Listener provided this, as part of a discussion of heating and insulating houses, and ways of keeping them warm and dry. (Timely reminder: it is winter down here.)
Well, says Terry Broadbridge of Te Awamutu, heat pumps are fine, but thermal drapes don't deserve their reputation. The term "thermal drape" was coined by marketers to describe a curtain product "that coated cheap fabric to give it more body." Rather wonderfully, it is known in the trade as "junk covered with gunk." It was merely meant as a built-in lining, but the name caught on, with connotations of insulating qualities.
Coated fabrics, he said, are fine in their way. They have developed and improved since the first ones came out, and perhaps don't really merit that word "junk," but insulate from the cold (or heat), they do not.
To achieve good insultation, he reommends adding a separate lining, which effectively provides a pocket of air between the cold (or heat) and the room inside.
Good advice, interesting information, and a great new phrase. What more could one want?