Archive: Jul 2014

Fabrics for Outdoor Sporting Products FAQs

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Jason Mills, LLC offers a variety of technical and commodity textiles that can be used across a wide array of applications. The nature of fabrics as technical products usually leads to questions of end use and production processes. So we wanted to take a moment to address some of the frequently asked questions we receive. With summer upon us we thought we’d start with outdoor sporting products.

There are two questions we frequently encounter when it comes to outdoor sporting goods: What is UV resistance and what is fire resistance? Oftentimes when people think of UV or ultraviolet protection they think of protecting the skin, however in the textile industry UV resistance refers to protecting the fabric from fading or weakening.

Once a customer has established that they truly want UV resistance, the level of UV resistance must be decided. Most polyester fabrics can be certified with minimal fade through 20-40 hours without having to add an enhancer to the finishing mix. However, if a customer wants beyond 40 hours we would need to add a UV inhibitor to the finishing or dye mix. For customers who require 200 hours to 2,000 hours of UV resistance we must choose a yarn that is inherently UV resistant. (In the outdoor industry it is very rare to have requests of that nature. Usually a request for that many hours comes from the automotive or aeronautical sectors.)

Similarly, a request simply for fire resistant fabric is too generic. We need to know what the application and end use will be to ensure the correct FR level is chosen. In many cases for the outdoor industry the fire resistance standard is CPAI 84 Original State, (standard spec for tenting and camping equipment) which means we are testing the fire resistance of the fabric as though it is being taken out of the box for the first time.

Bottom line is that customer’s need to know and be willing to share end use information so that we can truly fill the role of supplier-partner; camping, outdoor protection apparel, regional wear (fabric destined for Arizona will fade quicker than Minnesota), bicycle accessories are just a few of the end uses and issues that are popularly considered.

These are just a couple of the questions we encounter, for more information about our fabrics, visit our website or if you have more questions fill out a request for information.