Membrane ‘Embedded’ In Merino Wool

Imagine a waterproof t-shirt or base layer with an embedded membrane that allows the finished product to feel just like a typical cloth shirt in the hand. This premise is well on the way to being a reality with a just-announced manufacturing process by Voormi.

Voormi, a small Colorado manufacturer of domestically sourced and produced wool, has now figured out a way to build a single-layer fabric that integrates a waterproof membrane right into a wool garment.

The company calls the process of co-constructing knit textiles around “functional cores” — often a waterproof membrane — “Core Construction Technology.”

We’ve tested Voormi’s High-E Hoodie extensively and have been amazed by its durability and functionality.

But as much as we prodded and pried, they wouldn’t talk about the new “weather resistant” apparel until now and still won’t reveal much about how it’s made. The advantages, according to the company, are thin, soft, water-resistant wool garments.

We checked out one of its to-be-released products, the Drift Hydro jacket (see details below) at the SIA Show in Denver this week. The membrane material can be seen woven right into the wool fabric. But even with the improved weather resistance, the fabric feels just like regular, soft merino wool. You can see the membrane, the light material visible through the vertical and horizontal stripes, in the photo below.

The company stops short of calling its current releases “waterproof,” as they are not seam-taped, but the implications of the new manufacturing technique are pretty cool.

“Imagine your favorite mid-layer, or even your favorite base layer, made windproof or significantly more water resistant without losing any of the thinness or softness you love about the fabric,” said Marketing Director Timm Smith.

Voormi announced three new products, two with Core Construction Technology at the SIA trade show:

Access Hydro ($299) — A lightweight hooded merino wool pullover with a wind and water resistant membrane. It’s DWR treated.

Drift Hydro ($399) — A soft-shell with integrated water resistant, breathable membrane and thermal insulation layer inside a DWR-treated wool fabric.

AN/FO 3.0 Concept Jacket ($600) — A performance ski ensemble built with an interior liner, laminated to Voormi’s surface Woven Wool face fabric. DWR treated.

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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