The North Face Unveils New Breathable Waterproof Fabric

Textiles

As of Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Fabric technology keeps getting more incredible. Who thought you could have lightweight waterproof fabric that is also sustainable?

Recently, The North Face unveiled its newest product called FutureLight, a breathable waterproof material using nanospinning technology and sustainable practices. It was introduced on Jan. 8 at the CES 2019 technology show in Las Vegas.

"Right now, the expectation from a waterproof product is something loud, crunchy, muggy and unpackable. With FutureLight, we can theoretically use the technology to make anything breathable, waterproof and, for the first time, comfortable," said Scott Mellin, The North Face's global general manager of mountain sports. "Imagine a waterproof T-shirt, sweater or even denim that you actually want to wear. Today, we start with jackets, tents and gloves, but the possibilities could be endless."

This technology has allowed The North Face to create three-layer garments through the use of recycled fabrics and production that cuts chemical consumption while being produced in a cleaner, solar-powered factory.

Nanospinning has allowed designers to add air permeability into the membrane of a fabric, creating nano-level holes with porosity while maintaining total waterproofness. Air can move through the material and provide more venting than before.

Nanospinning also gives designers the ability to adjust weight, stretch, breathability, durability, construction and texture to match athletes' and consumers' activities or environment. The breathability of a garment can be adjusted for aerobic pursuits or to protect for harsh, wet climates.

The material has been tested by The North Face's global team of athletes. While testing FutureLight, alpinist Jim Morrison climbed and skied three peaks higher than 26,000 feet, including Mount Everest and Cho Oyu and made the world's first descent of Lhotse Couloir in Nepal.