What’s in a name? Understanding the technology that goes into making your outdoor gear

What’s in a name? Understanding the technology that goes into making your outdoor gear

An A-Z guide of the fabrics, materials, treatments and technologies used in the manufacture of your favourite outdoor clothing and equipment

Every clothing company uses different terms to describe their ranges and the fabrics and materials from which they are made. Some of the terms used are quite straightforward and pretty much universally know, such as nylon, cotton or polyester.

However, others can leave you a little in the dark, such as Polartech, Primaloft or Cordura. These are probably not as well known as the former terms, but you will find these fabrics and technologies in much of the clothing made by your favourite brands.

Clothing brands such as Musto, Helly Hansen, Deerhunter or Harkila spend a great deal of time and resources on finding the perfect waterproof fabric, silent membrane or insulating filling – either working on its own materials or collaborating with world leaders such as Gore-Tex.

But it’s not just clothing that leads the way in the technology stakes – much of the equipment and tools available on ArdMoor.co.uk are created using premium materials and techniques, too.

Here is a quick A-Z guide to some of the fabrics, materials, technologies and terminologies used to produce many of the items available at ArdMoor, including our extensive range of shooting, stalking and outdoor wear and equipment.

Clothing

Actiwool

Insulating and moisture-transporting woollen material that helps keep you warm and dry.

Airtech by F.O.V.

Unique textile, combining extreme durability with great comfort. Soft, breathable, wind resistant, water and dirt repellent.

Armortex Kevlar

Durable and frost-proof material that stays flexible and comfortable down to -25°C.

Base layer

A base layer sits next to your skin and provides a layer of warmth while absorbing and evaporating sweat and moisture away from your body. Essential for long days spent in multiple layers while being fairly active.

Bionic Finish Eco

An eco-friendly fluorine-free (PFC free) water and dirt repellent that’s impregnated into clothing to help repel water and dirt to keep the fabric drier and therefore lighter.

Boa Closure System

Easy one-hand tightening system for boots that replaces laces. Found on the Hakila Reidmar GTX Boot

Breathability – MVTR

The Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate (MVTR) is the amount of water vapour that can pass through a square meter of fabric over 24 hours. Click here for more information on waterproof and breathable ratings

Breathability – RET

Resistance to Evaporative Heat Loss (RET) – the lower the number, the more breathable the material will be. Click here for more information on waterproof and breathable ratings

Closed Cell Technology

Closed Cell Technology within the molecular structure of a compound of footwear provides anti-microbial protection, odour resistance and an easy-clean surface

Coolmax

This is a moisture wicking and breathable polyester fabric that absorbs little moisture and dries quickly.

Cordura

Built to be durable, Cordura fabrics offer superior abrasion, tear and scuff resistance. Because of its durability you will find Cordura fabrics in luggage, workwear and military applications, as well as by many outdoor clothing manufacturers.

CTX

A class-leading waterproof and breathable membrane developed by Laksen especially for use while hunting and shooting. Completely watertight and highly breathable, the CTX membrane is 30% lighter than its closest competitor

CTX-AIR

Is a near silent windproof membrane by Laksen to help keep the body’s core warm and comfortable while out in the wilds. Up to 50% lighter than other similar membranes and highly flexible.

DRI-LEX

Excellent moisture movement properties and outstanding abrasion resistance.

Duotex

A strong, double-sided coated polyester fabric favoured by Jack Pyke for many of its bags and back packs.

DWR

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) is a polymer coating for the surface of your garment that repels water by causing the water to bead and then run off rather than soaking in.

Deer-tex Membrane

This is Deerhunter’s own high-quality waterproof loose membrane that comes with a five-year warranty. It sits between outer and inner layers and provides 100% waterproofing. The loose membrane is suited to clothing for activities such as stalking, where there is an emphasis on noiseless movement.

Deerhunter Stormliner

The Deerhunter Stormliner membrane is usually laminated to the garment’s outer fabric or between two layers and used mainly on clothing without taped seams. High levels of breathability.

Gore Optifade

The first camouflage pattern designed with a focus on what hoofed animals see.

Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is probably the most well-known waterproof fabric. It offers the wearer incredible weather protection while being breathable and lightweight. Its microscopic pores are 20,000 times smaller than a raindrop, but 700 times larger than a water vapour molecule – the water can’t get in, but the moisture from your skin can escape. This means you stay warmer when it’s cold and drier when you are active.

Gore-Tex Surround

A waterproof membrane for footwear with 360° breathability. Ideal for high activity in a warm climate.

Grip Deck

Sticky rubber sole compound designed by Musto for greater on-deck traction, even in wet conditions

Grip Flex

Musto’s technology for providing 360 degree grip on deck

HEAT Control

Harkila’s innovative range of heated jackets and waistcoats powered by a powerbank in the pocket and controlled by an app on your smartphone.

Helly Tech

As the name implies, this is something developed by Helly Hansen, a company synonymous with world-leading waterproof clothing. Helly Tech is a waterproof and breathable outer layer that keeps the elements out while keeping you warm, dry and comfortable.

HI-DROSTRETCH

This is a lightweight, waterproof and breathable fabric that allows movement without restriction made by New Zealand company Ridgeline.

Hollow Fibre

Technical fibre with insulating properties.

HSP

Harkila’s StormPro membrane system designed for hunting. Windproof, lightweight, breathable and low-noise membrane.

HWS

Harkila’s Weather System membrane specially designed for hunting. Waterproof, windproof, lightweight, breathable and low-noise.

ILS (Interchangeable Lining System

Baleno’s innovative system that enables you to create your own micro-climate by zipping a fleece into a jacket

Insect Shield

Long-lasting odourless way of repelling mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas. Approved for humans and pets.

Moisture Wicking

A wicking fabric draws moisture away from the skin, keeping you more comfortable. The moisture wicking fabric also dries quickly to avoid saturating the material and other materials close to it.

Musto BR1

A waterproof fabric by Musto with a minimum hydrostatic waterhead of 5,000mm-10,000mm. Its breathability rating is 5,000g/24hrs.

Musto BR2

A waterproof fabric by Musto with a fully seam taped construction. BR2 has a minimum hydrostatic waterhead of 10,000mm-15,000mm. It also has great breathability with a rating of 7,000g/24hrs.

Nano Glide

NanoGlide fibres help to reduce the friction between sock and skin eliminating blisters and irritations.

Neoprene

This is part of the synthetic rubbers family and maintains flexibility over a wide range of temperatures. The foamed neoprene is a great insulator and is commonly used in fishing waders, wellington boots and wetsuits.

Nilit Bodyfresh

A performance fibre that inhibits the growth of bacteria to keep you feeling fresher in your clothes for longer, even during periods of extreme activity.

Ortholite

Quality insoles that are moisture wicking, breathable and antibacterial.

Pinewood TC-1200, TC-Lite and TC-Stretch

A range of hard-wearing fabrics from Swedish shooting clothing manufacturer Pinewood that posses different characteristics suitable for many different outdoor activities.

Polartec

Delivering warmth without the weight, Polartec is a soft, breathable fabric that has a high loft of fibres which trap warm air and provide highly effective insulation. Hydrophobic Polartec fibres repel water for quicker drying times and increased comfort.

Polygiene Finish

Odour control technology that stops bacterial growth in sweaty clothes.

Polymide

A type of synthetic fabric that contains moisture-wicking and water-repelling properties which makes it ideal for jackets and outerwear.

Primaloft

One of the best synthetic insulation available, Primaloft provides the wearer with water-resistant warmth and breathability and used by some of the world’s most respected outdoor brands.

Resistex Copper

A hi-tech yarn combining artificial or natural fibres with pure copper. Has anti-static characteristics, excellent thermal conduction and anti-bacterial properties.

Ripstop

Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics, often of nylon, and are created using special manufacturing techniques to make them resistant to extensive tears and rip.

Soft Shell

Soft shell products are made from woven fabric, usually with a fleece backing, making them warm and comfortable. Although not 100% waterproof like a ‘hard shell’ Gore-Tex-based jacket, a soft shell garment will keep you fairly dry in light rain and will provide fantastic breathability and comfort if you are active. Soft shells are a great all-rounder, so perfect for day-to-day wear.

Teflon

Fabrics such as pure new wool Scottish Tweed will often be treated with Teflon to help repel excess water and dirt while keeping the material light.

Tricot

Jackets made from tricot fabric are usually warm and good at wicking away moisture from the body, but less wind and water resistant than typical polyester or nylon jackets.

Thinsulate

A brand of synthetic fibre insulation used in footwear, gloves, hats and gloves. Its fibres are thinner in diameter than polyester fibres which makes Thinsulate a great waterproof substitute to down insulation.

ThermoCool

ThermoCool fibres keep you warm when it’s cold and keep you cool when it’s warm.

Thermolite

Insulating material for clothing, which is low weight and allows good freedom of movement.

Vibram

Soles used by footwear manufacturers worldwide, which provide excellent traction and abrasion resistance on a wide range of surfaces.

Vibram Icetrek

Rubber boot and shoe compound for optimal grip on cold, icy and snowy surfaces.

Vibram Fire&Ice

Rubber designed for footwear that experience extreme temperatures at both ends of the scale (-20°C to +250°C.)

Vital Protection

A treatment for fabrics to repel biting insects, including mosquitoes, bed bugs, sand flies and fleas. Can be applied to shirts , T-shirts and trousers to repel troublesome insects.

Wasa

Robust, technical press studs and zips.

XPL

Water drainage technology developed by Musto that prevents pooling in the shoe for better comfort, hygiene and odour control

YKK

High-quality, robust zips.

Equipment

154CM

A tough stainless steel used in a variety of applications including knife blades.

420HC

A versatile high carbon stainless steel used in many popular knife blades.

440C

A high-carbon content stainless steel that is hard and durable. Used to produce ball bearings and quality knife blades.

S30V

A premium grade knife steel. Hardened stainless steel designed to be hard-wearing and corrosion resistant.

S35VN

An upgraded version of S30V stainless steel. Easily sharpened without the need to remove the edge of the blade, ideal for long-term outdoor activity.

D3O

This is the latest in impact protection, with intelligent molecules that flex freely with your movement but upon impact lock together to absorb the impact energy, protecting you from the blow. D3O technology is available in Musto’s D3O Kneepads.

MOLLE

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment used by a number of NATO armed forces, especially the British Army and the United States Army. These types of MOLLE sheaths are used by many hunting knife manufactures and Leatherman for some of its multi-tools.