The CES 2019 is not exactly the place where a revolutionary material designed for use in outdoor clothing and equipment could be expected to debut. Nevertheless, among all the new high tech gadgets, TVs and Bluetooth speakers, The North Face has revealed what promises to be a revolutionary fabric that could really change the game. The outdoor equipment manufacturer says the new material, dubbed Futurelight, is not only the most waterproof and breathable fabric ever created, it is also the most environmentally friendly.
Waterproof fabrics have been a staple in the outdoor industry for years. Many options are available to help hikers, mountaineers and hikers stay dry, even in heavy rain. Where these clothes tend to fail, however, is in the field of breathability. This is because waterproof fabrics, such as Gore-Tex or Pertex, are excellent for preventing moisture penetration, but they do not always allow it to escape. As a result, when an outdoor enthusiast begins to sweat, condensation tends to form inside his jacket simply because it can not be ventilated properly. This can often lead to becoming just as wet and uncomfortable as if they had not worn their waterproof jacket at all. Futurelight would have eliminated this problem by allowing condensation to escape, which would completely eliminate it.
To achieve this little miracle, The North Face had to return completely to the drawing board to design and create the new fabric. The company used a technique called nanofilage to weave the fibers that make up Futurelight at a sub-microscopic level. This technique allowed TNF designers to attach thinner membranes to a variety of existing fabrics, allowing them to adjust their weight, elasticity and durability to meet their needs. The process also allowed them to incorporate nanometer-sized holes into the material itself, thus creating a high level of porosity. In short, they have succeeded in creating a fabric that lets the air circulate freely in the fibers while remaining waterproof.
As impressive as Futurelight's performance may be, it's not the only story here. The North Face claims that this fabric was created from 100% recycled materials and also uses a PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) coating, making it the most environmentally friendly material the company has made. This also extends to the manufacturing process, which uses sustainable practices to reduce waste and the amount of water used during production. In other words, Futurelight will not only put outdoor athletes more at ease during their active activities, the fabric is designed to have minimal impact on the planet.
North Face's adventure team has been testing Futurelight on the ground for over a year and their feedback has been instrumental in helping the company achieve the right level of performance. In fact, mountaineer Jim Morrison used clothing made from this material on three 8,000-meter highs last year, including Mount Everest. He and his climbing partner Hilaree Nelson also used the fabric during their first historic descent from Lhotse Couilor last summer.
In a press release announcing Futurelight, TNF team captain Nelson said: "In the last two years, our world-renowned team of mountaineers, skiers, mountaineers, snowboarders and runners has rigorously tested Futurelight. She added: "In all my years in the mountains, I have never experienced a product as powerful and powerful as Futurelight. This creates a new paradigm for what I expect from an impermeable material. "
Futurelight will begin to enter North Face products by the end of 2019, appearing for the first time in its premium outdoor equipment Summit Series, Steep Series and Flight Series. However, since the material is easily refined for use in a wide variety of applications, the fabric should eventually be integrated into several product lines, including footwear and tents.
For more information, visit The North Face's official Futurelight website.