If you want reliable waterproof, breathable outdoor wear, your first thought is probably to look for something that utilises Gore-Tex. This tried-and-tested fabric keeps wind and rain out, yet lets sweat vapour escape, keeping you comfortable in cold, wet conditions.
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Now, at CES 2019, The North Face has unveiled its answer to Gore-Tex in the form of Futurelight, its new breathable, waterproof material which it says will revolutionise the future of technical fabrics. The North Face claims that this is the most advanced breathable-waterproof outerwear material available.
Futurelight has been developed using a technology called 'nanospinning', which has allowed the company to add what it says is unprecedented air permeability into the membrane of a fabric. The process creates tiny ("nano-sized") holes which allow for improved porosity while still maintaining total waterproofness.
The North Face designers are then able to attach this thinner membrane to various fabrics giving designers the ability to adjust weight, stretch, breathability, durability, construction, and texture to match a user's activity or environment. Designers can customize the fabric for specific usage, for example, by increasing breathability in garments for aerobic pursuits or increasing protection for harsh, wet climates.
"With Futurelight we can theoretically use the technology to make anything breathable, waterproof and for the first time, comfortable," Global General Manager of Mountain Sports at The North Face Scott Mellin said. "Imagine a waterproof T-shirt, sweater or even denim that you actually want to wear. Today we start with jackets, tents and gloves, but the possibilities could be endless."
Futurelight fabric will first become available in The North Face’s Fall 2019 product line and will be featured across the brand’s pinnacle performance collections. To find out more, visit the official website (opens in new tab).