Imagine if a jacket could be designed with only one layer of material. Now imagine that jacket operated like a dog’s fur to keep you warm.
Most insulated clothing requires at least three layers to function properly: insulation sandwiched between a shell material and a liner fabric. Depending on the insulation type, quilting or baffling then needs to be employed to keep the insulation distributed throughout the garment. Using only a single material would allow for a flexible, breathable jacket, something much lighter and freer than anything else on the market today.
Primaloft, Inc. is claiming to change the standard with the release of a new material: Primaloft NEXT. This textile combines insulation and fabric into a single material, which allows for thermal regulation in addition to flexible comfort and breathability. It can still be paired with shells and liners or it can be worn as a standalone, next-to-skin fabric. The company states that Primaloft NEXT is durable enough to be dyed the full spectrum of colors, and its hybrid nature eliminates fabric pairing and quilting requirements, meaning apparel designers are free to innovate garments with fresh feeling colors, silhouettes, textures, and designs.
The first product family in the Primaloft NEXT line is the Primaloft Evolve series. This textile is inspired by the efficiency of nature and mimics the insulating properties of animal fur through the use of fibers of different lengths and deniers. Like fur, this design allows for airflow when moving and heat capture when at rest. Also like an animal, this efficient design eliminates the need to wear layers. Instead, Primaloft states that the wearer can get away with a single, lightweight, insulating garment.
With some consideration towards environmental impact, Primaloft NEXT is composed of 100 percent polyester. This make-up allows it to be chemically recycled without a reduction in performance. The material will be made available in options containing between 51 and 78 percent post-consumer recycled content, reducing the need for fresh raw materials in the production of this product. Though this product is still a new item that requires energy and new materials to produce, this is at least a step towards a circular economy that reduces the use of new resources.
Primaloft NEXT will be available beginning summer 2020, and the first apparel line featuring the furry, animal-like Primaloft Evolve Series will be available for purchase at that time from Schöffel, a European brand.