Allied Feather + Down is skipping the chemical-laden DWR coatings for its brand-new down product, Expedry, permanently bonding gold nanoparticles to down clusters to reduce the down’s drying time.
Part sustainable effort and part technological improvement, Allied partnered with FUZE Biotech to create Expedry. By using gold nanoparticles, the tech increases the evaporation rate of water at a molecular level without the need for heat.
This new solution works differently than common DWR treatments, which act as hydrophobic agents, allowing water to bead. The chemical solution, though, once saturated, has no ability to accelerate drying, whereas Expedry can dry almost twice as fast as chemically treated down and up to 60% faster than untreated down.
The gold also gives the down antifungal properties; it excites water molecules, causing them to evaporate more quickly, which, in turn, makes the down inhospitable to fungus.
The new Expedry technology, the first of its kind for down in the industry, was announced on Jan. 26 and is now available to all Allied partner brands.
Allied: ‘Continuous Dry Environment’
Allied says the improved drying speed means users will use less energy when drying down products in traditional and condenser dryers as well as enjoy better air-drying performance when outside.
During long-term exposure in wet climates, such as extreme thru-hikes and long expeditions, loss of warmth is primarily due to the buildup of fungus and the loss of down loft due to direct exposure to water. Down treated with Expedry can attain an evaporation rate greater than the absorption rate, creating a continually dry environment inhospitable to fungus, even in damp, snowy environments.
“This project has been at the top of our priorities and in development for years,” said Daniel Uretsky, president of Los Angeles-based Allied Feather + Down. “Not because it might help someone summit an 8,000m peak faster, but because it will make down more accessible to more people.”
A Better Solution for Condenser Dryers
Allied says the Expedry makes it easier for the European market, which relies on condenser dryers, to care for and dry down, requiring less energy to dry down products. It’s a sustainable advantage that includes removing chemicals from the equation.
Andrew Peterson, chief technology officer of FUZE, says that working with Allied brought them to the study of gold nanoparticles, and he hopes to see “exciting implications that extend far beyond the apparel industry.”