Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 10

BRIEFINGS

SWATCHES

Polar-approved gear

I

Merino wool provides protection
against brutal winter conditions,
enabling polar explorers to stay
warm and dry with the mobility
they need to keep going. Photos:
Dan Pernard Photography.

magine what it takes to survive skiing 1,426 miles across the Arctic in the winter
while battling -58° F temperatures and hurricane force winds. Alex Hibbert,
George Bullard and James Wheeldon are preparing for such a trip. The British polar
explorers will spend six months traversing the earth's northern cap unassisted on an
environmental exploration to learn how microplastics behave in the water, snow and
ice of the dark Arctic depths.
Dubbed Dark Ice Project, the expedition will begin by boat and be followed by
eight- to ten-hour days of skiing for upwards of 70 days. The goal is to reach the
geographical North Pole by March 2021.
For an expedition like this, the right clothing is critical, so the explorers worked
with an expert team in technical performance fabrics that included The Woolmark
Company, adidas® Terrex, BYBORRE and GORE-TEX®.
The Woolmark Company and textile innovation studio BYBORRE developed a
base-layer and mid-layer system using Merino wool. Chosen because it's lightweight,
breathable and comfortable, merino wool also provides water and wind resistance
and warmth. It's also 100 percent natural, renewable and biodegradable.
The outerwear was developed by adidas Terrex in collaboration with BYBORRE,
supported by The Woolmark Company and GORE-TEX. It includes GORE-TEX weather
protection technology, along with a wool fleece lining in the trousers and jackets for
enhanced thermoregulation.
The gear was tested in the lab and in extreme weather situations in northern
Canada. The wool single jersey base layer outperformed a single jersey base layer
previously worn by the explorers while obtaining an 18 percent weight reduction, an
increase in thermal resistance of 26 percent and a 3 percent increase in breathability.
In addition, the dry time and drying rate improved by 28 percent and 61 percent
respectively. For more information, visit www.woolmark.com.

10 REVIEW MAY 2020

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http://www.woolmark.com

Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 1
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