Country Innovation specializes in a whole range of Ventile Clothing, including Ventile Jackets, Ventile Trousers and Ventile Smocks. There really isn't any such thing as the 'perfect outdoor fabric', but in our opinion, Ventile comes the closest and is the ideal fabric for producing outdoor jackets, trousers and smocks due to it's unique combination of waterproofness, windproofness and breathability, whilst also being durable, comfortable and quiet.
The cloth is 100% cotton, made from long staple fibers, which are then spun into an extremely fine yarn and woven into a densely woven fabric (around 3 times as dense as normal shirting fabric). When the fabric is subjected to rain, the fibers ultimately swell and thus tighten up the weave even further creating a natural waterproof barrier. From a windproof point of view, there really isn't anything to beat it as the tightly woven fabric can block any wind getting through. In addition Ventile is highly breathable, with a moisture transmission rate of 93-98%, which allows heat vapour to pass through into the outside atmosphere, thus keeping you dry and comfortable.
The History of Ventile
Ventile has a long heritage as it was developed in the late 1930's by the Shirley Institute in Manchester and was used during World War II for fighter pilot suits. The fabric was comfortable enough to sit in the cockpit, but would keep the cold and wet out if the pilot had to ditch into the sea, improving survival rates amongst aircrew. This military association still remains today, with Ventile still being used by the RAF and other NATO airforces.
After the war, Ventile was the widely used by outdoor industry to produce garments that were highly protective and it was the fabric of choice for mountaineers in the 1950’s and 60’s. It is recorded to be part of the kit used by the first British mountaineering expedition to conquer Mount Everest in 1953.
Ventile has a variety of other applications, including tents for the British Antarctic Survey team, surgical gowns within hospitals where the density of weave acts as a bacteria block and firemen suits whereby the lack of oxygen around the fibres makes it relatively fire retardant.