GORE-TEX Stretch Rain Suit for Defence: New Generation of Protective Fabrics for Soldiers

W. L. Gore & Associates has launched the first GORE-TEX stretch fabric technology for application in defence rain suits.
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Innovative fabric technology reduces thermal burden and offers soldiers more freedom of movement

W. L. Gore & Associates has launched the first GORE-TEX stretch fabric technology for application in defence rain suits. The new product technology is a successful combination of a durable hardshell fabric with highly breathable stretch components. This technological breakthrough reduces thermal burden for the soldier and gives at the same time, maximum freedom of movement.

Military missions can be rough. Soldiers must run, climb, crawl, or operate weapons in any weather and often with limited space. They must be able to rely on their equipment, including their clothing. Gore research found that lower thermal burden and greater freedom of movement are two of the top user requirements. So far, however, these where barely compatible with other key demands, such as maximum protection and durability.

Traditionally, a three-layer GORE-TEX product technology has delivered reliable protection from any weather and has provided resistance to contamination. Conventional stretch textiles, on the other hand, do give a lot of mobility and comfort, but they are too heavy and not as durable as they could be. They also tend to have high water pick-up.

Opposite to conventional stretch fabrics, where elastic components are placed in the face fabric, the new GORE-TEX stretch product technology, uses a completely different approach: elastic components are placed between a stretch PTFE membrane and robust polyamide face fabrics. The result is that the stretchability of up to 20% allows garment designs with a more tailored fit. Tighter fitting leads to reduced air gaps between the body and the outer shell and thus increased breathability by up to 25% as compared to current GORE-TEX rain suits.

“Our new stretch rain suit for use in defence is the first on the market to successfully deliver a unique and high-performance laminate combining the best of both textiles. Durable waterproofness and high breathability paired with more freedom of movement and a reduced thermal burden” says Oliver Opitz, Product Specialist for Defence at Gore. “Members of defence forces benefit from soft, elastic and noise-reduced clothing, while the new close fit of the fabric offers less restrictions in movement, and the high flexibility of the stretch material leads to reduced air gaps, which is why it allows a close fit for the combat clothing”.

Temperature compensation

No matter how long or intense the mission, the GORE-TEX stretch rain adapts quickly to all movements of the soldier. Besides the significant improvement in temperature compensation, the design allows for great comfort and easy combination with other ballistic protection without limiting mobility. Gore’s unique combination of innovative material technologies, modern, adaptive design, and focus on end-user needs has produced a new generation of clothing for defence forces that offers durable protection and comfort in extreme weather situations.

“With GORE-TEX Stretch rain suit, we are proud to offer soldiers a great wearing-experience,” says Oliver Opitz.

Gore revolutionised the outerwear industry with waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX fabric 40 years ago and remains a leading innovator of performance apparel. Gore fabrics products provide comfort and protection in challenging environments and in everyday life, enabling wearers to safely and confidently achieve and experience more. From hiking in downpours to military operations and fighting fires, Gore’s deep understanding of consumer and industry needs drives development of products with meaningful performance advantages. 

Source & Image credit: Gore