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March 23 2023

3D membranes, the future of high-performance clothing?

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of functional membranes, also known as waterproof breathable membranes. But for those of you who don’t, let’s quickly define them.

A membrane is a thing layer, made out of polymer, that is glued in between the outer fabric and the inner fabric of your outdoor garment. Like a sandwich.

There are different technologies to produce membranes: we can start from different raw materials (polymers) and there is a range of processes to shape the membrane. But the main and foremost duty of a membrane is to keep us dry from different weather conditions and outdoor activities. To be something no one really sees is rather important.

As simple and basic as this explanation is, the technology behind functional membranes is something else. Yet, all of them must be glued between two layers of fabric to accomplish their job. Similarly, the final garments (i.e. ski jackets) also need seam taping to keep the seams sealed and impede water from passing through them ruining the performance (waterproofness and breathability).

However, what if a membrane could be sprayed directly onto the textile? The options are great and the leftovers very few. This is what we call a 3D membrane.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Before becoming a thin layer, the membrane is a viscous mix. This state allows the mix to be sprayed, coated, or even printed directly into the fabric. Allowing to have membranes made in just one piece or applied on tailored garments. On top of that and even cooler, is that a 3D membrane can also be free-standing, creating socks, gloves, or other accessories.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS APPLICATION?
  • Get rid of the glue.
  • Little to no waste.
  • No seams. No weak spots.
  • No seam taping.
  • Performance is intact all over the garment.
  • It is PFAS-free and highly functional.

Our R&D team is actively working on developing this technology. With our technological expertise and brand partnerships, we are excited to keep bringing new opportunities to the textile market.