In an interesting turn-up for the books, British brand Nikwax – the aftermarket waterproofing specialists – has started selling treated fabrics and fills to clothing brands. At launch, they had tied up with Rab to supply a hydrophobic down solution which doesn’t use any PFCs, and absorbs 13x less water than untreated down.
What that means in layman’s terms is that if you’re wearing a down jacket with the Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, it will keep on insulating you for longer when it suddenly starts drizzling. Down which has become soaked won’t insulate you at all, and rarely fluffs back up to its pre-soaked state when it dries off.
And for a while now, Nikwax Analogy materials and treatments have been used on Paramo’s waterproof clothing. We’re big fans of the system and have reviewed several Analogy garments, all of which actively pull water away from you to their surface.
The main selling-point for Nikwax’s new fabric tie-in is that it’s PFC-free. PFCs (perflourinated compounds) are icky substances that are known to be greenhouse gasses, and some can be absorbed and collect in the bodies of humans and animals. Great for waterproofing your jackets, but pretty crap if they’re affecting the environment that you’re wearing the thing in.
You can read more about Nikwax’s technologies at www.nikwax.co.uk