Outdoor dictionary

What does it mean?

The 2-layer consists of two layers: The PTFE membrane (6) is bonded to a highly functional outer material – shell (5). The 2 layer is highly breathable (2) and has prefect protection from rain (1) and wind (3). An additional DWR treatment on the outside of the shell fabric makes the water drops bead up and repel (4). On the inside it is combined with a free flowing lining and/or fleece on most sensitive areas.

The 3-layer consists of three layers: The PTFE membrane (6) is bonded to a highly functional outer material – shell (5) and a softer inner protection layer. The 3 layer is highly breathable (2) and has prefect protection from rain (1) and wind (3). An additional DWR treatment of the outers side of the shell fabric makes the water drops bead up and repel (4). An inner protection layer (7) is bonded to the membrane as well. Therefore, an additional free-flowing lining is not needed.

2-layer jackets and pants have a free-flowing lining on the inside, which is not needed in 3-layer garments. The later have another protective layer bonded to the membrane, making it thinner, lighter, but less warm than 2-layer garments.

Graphical representation of difference between 2-layer and 3-layer

2-way stretch fabrics are stretchable into 2 directions. They are used on garments that are usually not worn during extensive and fast movement. To differ from that, 4-way stretch fabrics are stretchable in all directions. They are used on garments that require the best freedom of movement possible.

Graphical representation of difference between 2-way and 4-way stretch materials

Durable fabrics are best defined by the abrasion or pilling resistance. Testing method of abrasion resistance is made by Martindale method, i.e. a machine runs back and forth over fabric with a specific force until the fabric is worn out. The higher the rub count the better is the abrasion resistance.

Graphical representation of abrasion resistance

The main source of odours in garments are bacteria, developing on the fabric. Antimicrobial treated garments are treated specifically to kill and stop the growth of bacteria. To do this, two main methods are employed: treating with chemicals which weaken and destroy the membrane of bacteria, and silver, which is lethal to bacteria. Silver is added to the fibers and woven into a fabric.

At Maya Maya we want to avoid using chemicals and methods that are potentially harmful, instead opting to ensure our products are odour-free with the use of high quality, smooth fibres and moisture wicking.

Graphical representation of antimicrobial treatment

The property that allows perspiration vapor (1) exiting the skin to pass through our fabrics (2) to the outside air. Sweat on long term makes us wet and cools our body. That makes us freeze at low outside temperatures. High level of humidity feels much colder than at low temperatures than dry air. Highly functional PTFE membrane (3), The Bear Group (4) and all other functional layers used, have the highest possible breathability for dryness and comfort.

Breathability is measured with moisture vapour transfer, more specifically, how much moisture can be transferred from the garment over a 24-hour period. In tests this is displayed for example as 10’000 g/m2/24h. If a jacket has on average a surface of 2 m2, it would mean 20 litres of water can penetrate through the garment in a period of 24h.

Graphical representation of breathability

The Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment is the first line of defense against wet weather conditions and prevents the face fabric from becoming saturated. When you see water beading up and rolling off your jacket, that’s actually the DWR technology at work. DWR is a polymer applied to the face fabric that creates microscopic pegs, or hairs, that protrude from the fabric. These pegs encourage the water droplets to band together and roll off, instead of spreading out along the face of the fabric and soaking through. The saturated fabric (wetting out fabric) can reduce the garment’s breathability. The DWR treatments over time wears off, and it is important that you re-treat the garment with the wash- in or spray-on products in order to make them water repellent.

Ergonomy – knowing our body’s performance and needs implemented in an advanced clothing concept. Respecting:

  • where do we sweat more,

  • where do we freeze more,

  • where do we move more,

  • where is the abrasion resistance important,

  • and many more equally important details. All that is the base to design the perfect garment with a certain purpose.

Graphical representation of ergonomic concept

Fast drying fabrics are fabrics, made of hydrophobic synthetic materials. Usually microfibers made of polyesters or polyamides. Combined with moisture wicking technology, which draws the moisture from the inside to the surface of the garment, the fabric can dry exceptionally fast.

Graphical representation of FastDrying fabric

Hardshell garments often have no thermal layer themselves. They are mostly designed for protection as shells due to their PTFE membrane. Their abrasion resistance is high and they can be challenged in the most extreme weather conditions. They are light and low in volume. Standard characteristics are high breathability, waterproofness and windproofness due to the highly functional PTFE membrane, bonded seams, waterproof zippers, and proper construction.

Graphical representation of hardshell fabric

On one hand, hardshell jackets and pants are developed for extreme weather conditions, have bonded seams, are lighter, lower in volume and more abrasion-resistant. On the other hand, softshells are warmer, bigger in volume than hardshells and suitable more for daily sporting activities or chill out.

Graphical representation of difference between hardshell and softshell

Hybrid jackets (or midlayers) are constructed to be more stretchy on the parts where most exposed to aerobic movements. On the contrary, thinner filling padded parts of PrimaLoft are used where it is most essential to keep protect you from getting cold.

The jackets are primarily designed for active population, therefore a slimmer fit is used.

Image of a jacket with hybrid construction

Laminated fabrics are two or three layered shell fabrics that have a PTFE membrane. Coated fabrics have a PU – Polyurethane (polymer) coating. Both are on the inner surface of the main fabric. 

Lamination/Membrane: The construction of lamination/membrane is 3D structured, adding specific size of pores so the water doesn’t go through the garment. The fabric pores are 10.000-times smaller than human skin pores, but still big enough for the moisture to pass from skin, through the fabric and to the outer surface.

Laminated fabrics are more breathable and have a higher waterproofness than coated fabrics. The lamination process is performed by adding (bonding) a PTFE  membrane to the main fabric by heat and pressure. This process enables better strength and abrasion resistance which gives a longer lifespan to the garment.

Coating: is process where  melt polymers are  applied to the lower surface of the main fabric. It is normally a PU polyurethane coating.  This way the coating provides additional property to fabrics achieving waterproofness and  durability.

Graphical representation of difference between membrane and coating

The practice of wearing more layers of outdoor clothing, each dedicated for one specific function, is called layering. Number of layers depends on outdoor temperature, wind and rainfall (rain or snow). Basic clothing segmentation can be done into three groups, i.e. base layers, midlayers and shells.

Base layer – Transfers body vapor & fluid to it’s outer surface.

Midlayer – Prevents warm air from escaping.

Shell layer – Protects from wind, rain and snow and is highly breathable.

Garments marked odour-free are more resistant to developing odours. This is the result of higher quality, smooth yarn and fast drying properties. The short time required for drying prevents bacterial formations in the moist areas, while the smooth yarn eliminates suitable spots, where bacteria could congregate and develop.

Graphical representation of odour-free fabric

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane is a microporous membrane that is bonded to the face fabric and is available in 2- and 3-layer fabrics, as well as many of the softshell versions. The membrane protects the garment from water penetration but at the same time its breathability allows the sweat to penetrate to the outside. In this way we stay dry from the inside (from the sweat) and protected from the outside (rain and snow).

A fabric that is more comfortable, stretchy, and warm than any other shell fabric. They are mainly thermal insulated through fleece fabric on the inner side. Are perfect for daily sports activities in cold and harsh conditions as well as on sunny days. They are not constructed for extreme rain or snow storms.

Softshell materials

Sublimation printing is a process of transferring designs onto fabric using heat. In this process, the design is printed on a sublimation paper, which holds the ink until it is placed on top of a fabric. Once heat and pressure are applied, the ink turns to gas and is absorbed into the fibres.

This method allows for quality, full-size printing, the whole of your garment covered in beautiful designs, without sacrificing stretchability and breathability! The downside is, that since only the outer surface of the garment is printed, the inside remains untouched. When the fabric stretches, the original colour of the material may shine through.

Image of sublimation printing on fabrics

Seam tape is a thermoplastic adhesive film applied to hardshell jackets and pants, in order to prevent water from penetrating through the garment’s seams. Seam tape is applied using specialty machines, which use hot air to melt the adhesive, then sandwich the tape and fabric between roller wheels which cool and bond the adhesive layer and fabric together. Seam sealing and covering of needle holes is one of the conditions for a garment to be considered waterproof.

All seams used on MAYA MAYA hardshell jackets and pants are taped / welded and therefore 100% waterproof and windproof. Take great care at which temperature you wash your hardshell jacket, because too high water temperature might cause the tapes to come off. Take care – don’t put welded garments into the dryer.

Image of taped or welded seams

“My microclimate – what is it? Why is it so important?”

First of all it is a personal safety issue. Our body performs well at 37°C (98° Fahrenheit). Below 36°C and above 38°C we are entering an danger zone. Overheating or Hypothermia – both are life-threatening and they happen and have dare consequences. High breathability, proper layering and best protection from cold, wind, snow or rainstorm help to prevent the worst. The proper clothing concept ad state of the art products are essential. Having that all depends on you! Only having a perfect microclimate inside my Clothing concept I can feel and perform well. Moisture/sweat has to penetrate to the outside as fast as possible. My microclimate has to remain undisturbed.

Image of two polar bears sleeping

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed through a fabric. UPF ratings range from 15 to 50, with higher ratings indicating more effective blocking and therefore better protection.

UPF Ratings:

  • UPF 15-24 good protection

  • UPF 25-39 very good protection

  • UPF 40-50 excellent protection

  • UPF 50+ maximum achievable protection 

The outer layer of a shell fabric has a DWR (Durable Water Repellency) treatment making water drops bead up and repel off the fabric. The DWR treatmet has to be renewed after several washings or high abrasion. The process of renewal is simple. The best way is you just put the DWR concentrate or tablet into the washing cycle according to the instructions of its producer. 

Water repellent garments have DWR treatment and/or a low level PU coating as protection against water penetration. To some extent, water drops slide off the surface as long as there is no heavy rain and/or pressure. The DWR treatment has to be renewed after several washings or high abrasion.

Waterproof clothing gives complete protection from water penetration through a garment. This is due to waterproof PTFE membrane, welded seams, waterproof zippers and DWR treatment. The functionality of a high-quality PTFE membrane remains all time save through the lifetime of an item.

Graphical representation of difference between waterproof and water resistant clothing

It means the whole garment to be resistant to water penetration. Important are the quality of the membrane or coating as well as the construction details of the garment itself. For a garment to be considered waterproof, it needs to have a  water column of at least 7’000 mm/H20, waterproof zippers, welded seams and a dedicated cut/construction.

The highest quality of waterproofness is delivered by a high quality PTFE Membrane. If a garment is not designed for extreme weather use a PU coating with a water column of at least 7’000 mm/H20 might be sufficient.

Waterproofness is measured by the pressure of water column which is placed on top of a shell fabric and the level at which the water begins to leak through is recorded. The results are measured in millimetres. A 5’000mm rating means that the water has permeated through the fabric at the 5’000mm level, so it is not as waterproof as a membrane with 10’000mm resistance. 

Waterproof rating (mm)Waterproofness providedWhat it can withstand
0 – 5,000 mmNo resistance to water, some resistance to moistureLight rain, dry snow, no pressure
5,000 – 10,000 mmRainproof and waterproof under light pressureRain, average snow, light pressure
10,000 – 15,000 mmRain and waterproof under high pressureHeavy rain, wet snow, moderate pressure
15,000+ mmRain, storm and waterproof under very high pressureHeavy rain, wet snow, high pressure

YKK zippers that feature a polyurethane laminated tape. This kind of zippers might be less flexible but deliver a complete water protection.

Windchill factor is a temperature a person feels outside. By increasing the speed of wind this effects the feeling of feeling colder. The wind increases heat loss from your skin/body.

For example, if outside temperature is 0ºC and wind speed 30km/h, the conditions are the same as those to which our body would be exposed in an environment without wind and temperature of -6ºC. International criteria is set out as follows.

>-13 = conditions comfortable when dressed for skiing.

-14 to -21 = no longer pleasant for outdoor activities on cloudy weather.

-22 to -29 = No longer pleasant for outdoor activities in sunny weather.

-30 to -55 = Exposed skin begins to freeze fast.

-56 to -72 = Walking outdoors becomes dangerous. Exposed skin freezes on average within 60 seconds.

<-73 = Exposed skin freezes within 30 seconds. 

Property of a fabric that serves as a barrier against air penetration through the material. It is suitable for light to medium wind strength. Compared to windproof fabrics, wind resistant does not fully protect my microclimate.

Graphical representation of wind resistant materials

Wind resistant clothing offer basic protection in low to medium wind strength. Complete protection in extreme wind is assured by windproof garments.

Detail image of hardshell extreme weather jacket by MAYA MAYA

Complete protection against the wind (1) and its windchill factor (the temperature experienced in a blowing wind which is below the actual temperature). Cold air does not penetrate the functional garments – outerlayer (2) often protected by PTFE membrane (3). This way The Bear Group (4) keeps the microclimate warm. Windproofness helps us to preserve our microclimate.

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