Casual fashion fans who happen to find their way to techwear are often shocked at the high price points for majority of the apparel that exists within the techwear space. There are reasons in which these high functioning products are not for the faint of heart when it comes to pricing.
Majority of the techwear brands and designers that make them usually spare no expense when it comes to the fabric that is used in creating these articles of clothing. Most, if not all, pieces of techwear often contain some of the most powerful waterproof fabric in the current market. Why? Well fabric can often be destroyed by excessive moisture from washing, sweating, and weather. Especially the weather.
That concern for stains and damaging moisture is mostly done away with by using mind blowing waterproof fabric that repels water, which glides right off in beads.
Image credit: grailed.com
One of the biggest functions used in techwear is often GORE-TEX, which certainly doesn’t come cheap. But that is certainly not shocking considering that must GORE-TEX is waterproof, windproof, and very breathable. Traditional 3-layer GORE-TEX fabric allows for moisture to escape the material but doesn’t allow the clothing to soak in harmful liquids due to its patented design.
This is achieved by essentially weaving layers of fabric together, including the GORE-TEX membrane that allows for the process of liquid repellency. The membrane was thought of on accident by creator Robert Gore when he was working with PTFE which stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. Its ok, catch your breath after that one.
Image Credit: The New York Times
PTFE is essentially the fancy name given to material that is commonly known as Teflon. Yeah, that same Teflon that is used in non-sticking cookware. So, PTFE was being experimented on by Gore and he discovered by giving a rod of PTFE a quick jerk, it expanded around 1000% creating a porous layer that had the capability to dispel water, thus becoming ePTFE or expanded PTFE. That, in turn, became the GORE-TEX membrane that is used in a ton of waterproof clothing.
Image credit: ACRONYM
The water repellent capabilities of GORE-TEX are also achieved by incorporating a form of DWR treatment to the fabric that houses GORE-TEX. DWR stands for Durable Water Repellency, and essentially operates as another line of defense in the form of an applied layer. The 3M Scotchgard and Teflon Repellency sprays are forms of DWR that allow for strong water repellent capabilities that activate when moisture accrues on the material, effectively rolling it off in the form of a bead.
In the case of 096 Tech Blazer jacket from Uniden, the jacket incorporates 3M Scotchgard Water Repellent technology that allows for moisture to bead off instead of soaking directly into the fabric, which in turns protects the wearer from harmful liquids or severe weather. Although these layers sound to be thick or heavy, the fabric is made to be as breathable as possible. Anyone wearing the product will not fall victim to excessive sweating that might soak the person wearing said item.
Another aspect for majority of techwear is the high functionality in the form of invisible zippers, removable hoods or sleeves, magnetic pockets, and so much more. If you have ever struggled with pocket buttons, simply attaching the top flap to the bottom of said magnetic pocket will click it into place, securing your goods.
Featured above is the 042 2.0 Cargo's magnetic cargo pocket closure.
Think of some techwear items like Batman’s utility belt. There are a ton of uses and gadgets that allow for maximum function, though you never quite see them all. Simply put, you can customize your look in the way you see fit, while still maintaining that high functionality.
A great deal of technology, function, and care is placed in majority of the techwear out there. So, there is naturally going to be a higher price point for the clothing that incorporates all this wonderful science. The higher the quality the more it costs. That is just the way of the world. However, things have begun to change in the form of companies that want to include those whose pockets might not be as deep.
Even though the price points for majority of the bigger name techwear companies are high, there are those who have begun to take the techwear technology and incorporate them into more affordable clothing. These affordable pieces can serve as a jumping off point for those interested in the urban and futuristic style that techwear brings.
Through proper knowledge and channels, the newest fans can discover techwear brands that won’t necessarily break the bank, but still contain the highest level of functionality.