Ventile is made from 100% cotton, utilising the finest, long staple fibres, only found in the top 2% of the world's crop. After gently spinning and doubling, the yarn is then woven into a very dense fabric, using up to 30% more yarn than conventional woven fabrics. It is the combination of the density of weave and the swelling properties of the fibres when wet that provides excellent protection against wind, rain, snow and cold. Ventile's use on major Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan expeditions is testament to the confidence placed in this fabric by professionals operating in the world's most extreme and hostile environments.Ventile's breathabililty is also hard to beat. It's moisture vapour transmission rate (MVT) averages at 93-98% thus allowing any heat vapour to pass through it into the outside atmosphere, keeping you comfortable and dry, unlike many synthetic fabrics that can leave you cold and clammy.
Ventile truly is a real all rounder. In addition to its fantastic weatherproof and breathable properties, it has a lovely soft, quiet handle, is extremely comfortable to wear, and is very hardwearing. It will prove to be a very faithful friend for many years to come.
The long pedigree of the fabric goes back as far as the late 1930's. With war looming, the British government thought that there would be a shortage of flax that was used in those days for fire hoses and water buckets. An alternative was required and research was commenced into the use of cottons, woven in such a way as to keep water in ! And it worked.
The requirements for research though changed during World War II. Britain depended upon convoys carrying vital supplies, but our Russian convoys across the Arctic Ocean were particularly susceptible to attack from submarines and long - range bombers. Home based RAF fighter escort cover was impossible because of distance.
So, Winston Churchill promoted the concept of catapulting expendable Hurricane aircraft from the decks of merchant ships to provide local cover. There was no means of landing back on the deck. The pilot had the choice of ditching the aircraft or bailing out into the sea. There was no problem in spotting the pilots who had signals and lights, but the water was so cold that life expectancy was only a few minutes. Most died from exposure.
There was an urgent need for a new, protective clothing fabric that would be comfortable in the cockpit under combat conditions and that would also keep a pilot warm and dry in the sea.
After many trials, the scientists at the Shirley Institute in Manchester U.K. developed the fabric called 'Ventile'. When made into finished garments, life expectancy in the sea was extended from a few minutes to 20 minutes and rescue was now a real possibility. 80% of anti-submarine pilots who fell into the sea now survived.
Ventile® fabrics for RAF clothing went into mass production in 1943 and the military association still remains today. Garment designs have changed over the years but you will still find Ventile® suits in modern Tornado jets with the RAF and other NATO airforces.