Polartec has launched a new bio-based fabric technology that aims to set a new standard for sustainable weather protection. The name of this new technology is an old acquaintance: Polartec Power Shield, a material already known for its softshell-like comfort with hardshell-like wind and waterproofness, especially in the advanced Pro version introduced over 10 years ago. What’s entirely new is that the advanced monolithic membrane of the new Power Shield is made from a combination of plant-based and petroleum-free materials. According to Polartec, it offers an industry-leading combination of being waterproof, windproof, long-lasting breathable, highly durable and comfortably stretchy. The new Polartec Power Shield is the highest-performing and most versatile waterproof and breathable technology in the company’s previous fabric portfolio and the latest addition as part of a complete transition of the company’s entire fabric line to pFAS-free alternatives.
“With the launch of Power Shield, we’re reinforcing Polartec’s expanded capabilities of breathable and waterproof solutions – from expedition-grade durability to fashion-forward hand and drape – while also pioneering the use of bio content to achieve these remarkable functionalities,” commented Polartec president Steve Layton. ”We are proud to launch a proprietary solution constructed from all non-PFAS polymers and plant-based building blocks that do not compete with human food sources. It is our commitment to reduce reliance on petroleum while producing a membrane that offers greater water-resistance performance than we’ve ever brought to market.”
“At the center of Polartec Power Shield’s revolutionary functionality is a major advancement in membrane technology. The highly durable monolithic membrane is a barrier specifically engineered to be impermeable to outside weather while transporting moisture vapor from skin to surface via molecular diffusion,” said Ramesh Kesh, SVP research, sustainability and textile development at Polartec’s parent, Milliken & Company.
The result is Polartec’s first waterproof fabric to exceed 20,000 mm waterproofness and 20,000 g/m2/24h breathability in the hydrostatic pressure test, according to the company. The advancement and versatility can be combined with a wide range of fabrics: from supple stretch to bombproof woven fabrics to low-noise, high-stretch knits.
Polartec Power Shield is available now to manufacturers and fabricators around the world in six variations of face and base materials – both knit and woven – and will be introduced in market-ready products from fall 2023, offering a wide range of uses from city to summit.