Have you been paying attention to the new fibers used to build action clothes? It is amazing. Cotton, nylon and polyester are old hat. Today it is all about performance fabrics. Plus, these performance fabrics are really hi-tech.
I used to think I was spiffy when I showed up to hunting camp with my red and black plaid Woolrich. I looked just like the old guys and wool was the best…right?
Well, a few things have changed. Performance fabrics have taken over. And they perform at a whole new level. Most of these fabrics are some proprietary blend of nylon or polyester that has special wicking or lofting benefit. The problem is that these specialty fabrics are susceptible to loss of performance after a single washing.
Here is how this works. Washing Performance Fabrics with ordinary laundry detergents destroys the very properties that you are trying to restore. Detergent residue is the chemical scum deposited on the fabric with every washing. In about 10 washings it reaches 2 % of the weight of the fabric.
The residue consists of Perfume, Ultra-Violet Brightening Dyes, Salts, Surfactants, Processing Aids, Washing Machine Lubricants, and a variety of Oils, Fats, and Polymers to glue it all to the fabric. This stiffens the fabric by binding the fibers together. Now Fabric Softener is added to reduce stiffness adding more residue.
Residue stops water repellency, breathability, wicking, and moisture transfer. It attacks fibers, adhesives, elastomers, colors, and coatings. Residue irritates skin especially in warm moist areas where the residue is activated and the skin is more permeable. Detergent residue even attracts insects, spooks game animals, and increases flammability. Dry cleaning deposits similar residue gathered from all the items already cleaned.
The solution to most high-tech cleaning problems is to remove soil, stains, odors, and the oils that fasten them without depositing a residue. Sport-Wash by Atsko restore fabric features by thorough cleaning without residue. No residue means No Problems, fabrics work like new. A manufacturer I’ve worked with has the military contract for the to make the base layers for the special operators. They are called XGO and are America based out of the Carolinas.
I was at their facility when they showed me the performance tests they had to pass to secure the military contract. Their micro fiber is blended with elastic which is brushed to a fine fleece. This fabric is almost magic when you see it wick in moisture. We poured a ¼ cup of water onto a table and caused the corner of the XGO fabric to touch the water.
Like a vacuum, the black fabric drew in the water. This is wicking. It has to do with a fabric property called hydroscopic. If you are in the field and get sweaty this fabric will draw the water off of your body and cool you by evaporation. Something a soldier requires. But this only works if the microfibers are squeaky clean and residue free.
What did they use to wash the fibers clean and residue free…Sport-Wash.