Waterproofing without toxic perfluorinated compounds

Edit Hook

Nikwax Analogy® is a unique waterproof fabric construction that mimics the way a mammal’s fur manages moisture. Analogy® is a Directional® textile made of two fabric layers; the outer layer is a dense microfibre windproof fabric, which deflects wind and rain to keep prevailing foul weather conditions from penetrating. The inner layer is called the “Pump Liner” and is composed of Directional®, asymmetric filaments that use capillary action to actively move perspiration and any other moisture ingress away from the body. The two layers together create a waterproof system that maintains functionality even in cold, wet, hot, and/or humid conditions. Nikwax®’s sister company, Páramo®, is the main manufacturer to utilize Directional® fabrics.

Key Differentiators

The Paramo jacket and trousers has a strong sustainability story, because their nature-inspired technology obviates the use of toxic perfluorinated compounds for water repellency.All the Analogy® waterproof garments are produced in an ethical production facility in Bogotá, Colombia. This facility is part of the “Miquelina Foundation,” which provides valuable skills and income to “at risk” women who seek improvement in their lives. Nikwax® and Páramo® are committed to maintaining socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing choices and are interested in expanding the successful Miquelina model elsewhere in the world.

Biomimicry Story

The directional fabric works like mammal fur, mammals like seals, otters, and polar bears that live in cold, wet climates. Their fur repels water and actively pushes both liquid water and water vapour away from the body.

Challenges Solved

The Nikwax® Directional Fabrics solve the problem of needing both windproofing and breathability. According to the Páramo® website, an adult human “working hard can produce up to 1 litre of sweat per hour – no ‘breathable’ waterproof can transfer that amount of water as moisture vapour, even when the outside air is dry. In fact, most breathable waterproofs stop transferring moisture altogether in cold, wet and windy conditions, leading to an uncomfortable and dangerous build-up of water in your clothing.” The directional fabric performs wicking, warmth/ insulation, windproofing, and waterproofing.

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