1st Quarter 2008
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Waterproof breathable fabrics: new technologies for greater comfort
published in Issue 24, 1st Quarter 2008
Garments which are waterproof and breathable help to provide wearers with greater comfort. For consumers, comfort is an increasingly important consideration when buying performance apparel. For manufacturers, a garment which is both waterproof and breathable can often command a significant price premium. However, price differences have narrowed over the years as waterproof breathable garments have become more affordable than in the past.
Waterproofness and moisture permeability are mutually contradictory. It has therefore proved to be a major challenge for manufacturers to produce a material which has both these properties. In the past, fabrics which offered protection from wind and rain did not breathe, and this made them uncomfortable to wear. But great strides have been made in waterproof breathable technology over the past 30 years.
USA-based W L Gore & Associates (Gore) has been given credit for giving birth to the performance outerwear segment and to the 3-layer approach to dressing for the outdoors. In 1976 it introduced Gore-Tex, a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane, which revolutionised the waterproof apparel market. Since then, a myriad of functional alternatives to Gore-Tex have been introduced including Conduit from Mountain Hardwear, Entrant from Toray Industries, EPIC (Encapsulated Protection Inside Clothing) from Nextec, eVent from BHA Group, H2No Storm from Patagonia, Helly Tech from Helly Hansen, HyVent from The North Face, MemBrain and PreCip from Marmot, Omni-Tech from Columbia Sportswear, Pertex from Mitsui, Reflex from MacPac, Storm-FIT from Nike, Sympatex from Sympatex Technologies, and Triplepoint from Lowe Alpine.
The introduction of new waterproof breathable fabrics has greatly increased the range of choice for consumers. It has also led to greater segmentation in the market, as technologies have been developed for specific end uses and weather conditions. Also, competition has intensified as new players have entered the marketplace and have challenged Gore-Tex’s domination. Such competition seems set to intensify in the future, leading to an increase in the tempo of innovation as companies scramble to raise comfort levels for those who pursue outdoor activities.
- Waterproof breathable fabrics: new technologies for greater comfort
- Waterproof breathability in performance apparel
- Testing standards for waterproofness, water repellency and breathability
- Ways of achieving waterproof breathability
- Applications of waterproof breathable materials
- Key producers of waterproof breathable materials and their products
|Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides intelligence, expert analysis and insight on the performance apparel industry. |
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing markets in the global textile and clothing industry--and market growth is being fuelled by an emergence of new fibres, fabrics and innovative materials. The market's growth prospects are also being spurred by increasing demand for performance properties in mainstream fashion.
|What's in Performance Apparel Markets?
Each issue provides an authoritative source of information on key industry topics, including: antimicrobial textiles; biomaterials; biomimicry; chemical protective clothing; circularity; compression and shapewear; cosmetotextiles; environmental sustainability; finishes; flame resistant clothing; footwear; graphene; insect repellent apparel; insulation materials; medical protective clothing; military clothing and equipment; moisture management; mono materials; outdoor apparel; personal protective equipment (PPE); smart textiles; sportswear; thermoregulation; waterproof breathable textiles; wearable technology; and workwear.
A single issue of Performance Apparel Markets includes:
an editorial think-piece on a topical issue from an industry expert a round-up of the latest product innovations a main feature on a new or established market insight and analysis of a key market leader or fast-growing start-up a round-up of the latest business developments
An annual subscription to Performance Apparel Markets is a cost-effective way to keep informed about trends and developments in the global performance apparel industry. Subscriptions are available in printed and/or digital formats. Printed and digital subscribers receive each issue in printed format in addition to a digital PDF file, which is available immediately on publication. Subscribers also receive a complementary digital subscription to Performance Apparel Update, delivered directly by email once a month. This free supplement contains essential information on business news and the latest product developments.
Like all Textiles Intelligence publications, Performance Apparel Markets is a reliable source of independently sourced business information, and it does not carry advertising.
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