The inside story.
EPIC by Nextec fabric. It's water resistant, windproof, breathable and washable. But how? Nextec's patented Nextec encapsulation process is what makes it possible. The protection is inside the fabric, encapsulating the actual fibers for weatherproof performance. No laminates. No coatings. But more on that later.

  First, the step-by-step encapsulation story:
Fabric is woven and dyed by a Nextec mill partner.
Pre-finishing chemistries are applied to the fabric, prepping it for the encapsulation process.
Nextec equipment places a viscous (gooey) mixture of silicone-based polymers onto the fabric.
Energy is applied to the polymers, working them inside the fabric and wrapping the individual fibers. All but the smallest spaces, or "micro holes", are filled.
A specially designed oven cures the polymers to a solid state, and the fabric is ready to become garments and gear.

That was then...
The most basic form of performance fabric uses a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, applied by dunking the fabric in a chemical bath. The resulting material repels water, but since DWR is a surface treatment it creates no barrier to wind. The DWR treatment also wears off through repeated washing. DWR is often used in conjunction with coatings or laminates.

Some fabrics pursue performance by applying a coating to one or both sides of the material. Water resistance improves, but the coating decreases breathability, drape and packability, especially when the mercury drops.

Laminated fabrics are created by bonding a film onto the back of a material. The result is a waterproof fabric that can be seam taped. The downside is that breathability is compromised and the fabric feels as stiff as a board. If a DWR is also used it will eventually wear off and the fabric face will absorb water. As the water attempts to evaporate it robs your body heat, leaving you cold, damp, and generally miserable.

Nextec's encapsulation process delivers the all-weather protection you need, without sacrificing breathability, packability, or soft to the touch comfort. And it lasts wash-after-wash.

Nextec Jacket

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