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fabric Technologies glossary of terms

Fabric Technologies

Sherpa Adventure Gear uses a select group of fabrics, insulations and coatings in its garments to enhance performance, durability and comfort.
Some are well-known brands, others are less well-known, but our selection is always based on giving our customers the best performance and value.


Sherpa’s Sukatec® fabric features a synthetic coating that is waterproof and wind-resistant, while remaining very durable and lightweight. It is also breathable and very comfortable in damp, outdoor environments.
eVent® Direct Venting™ Technology utilizes a proprietary and patented membrane that allows millions of tiny pores to vent sweat directly to the outside of the fabric in one step. eVent lets the sweat out twice as fast as most waterproof membranes. eVent laminate fabrics are lightweight, highly breathable and waterproof. Ideal for use in unlined, lightweight garments for outdoor, aerobic activities.
Sherpa’s Himaltec® is a laminated fabric featuring a hydrophyllic membrane that’s lightweight, breathable and wind-resistant. This affordable fabric, similar to many much more expensive waterproof/breathable fabrics, offers outstanding comfort and protection against rain and snow, but is still breathable so you can use it in active outdoor pursuits
INVISTA’s SUPPLEX® fabric offers consumers the feel of cotton with the benefits of advanced fiber technology. Cotton’s natural texture and aesthetics make it the fabric of choice in many garment categories. Garments made with cotton tend to crease and shrink easily, and they often fade in color. INVISTA scientists wanted to give consumers the benefits of cotton, without the pitfalls. They did so by developing SUPPLEX® fabrics—a family that combines the traditional appeal of cotton with the performance benefits of modern fiber technology. SUPPLEX® fabrics are breathable, hold their shape, dry faster than cotton and retain their color.


Sherpa’s innovative 3D Dry fabric uses a unique dimensional flocking technology to enhance the air circulation inside a garment, which results in 3 distinct performance advantages: 1) circulates heat so you stay cooler and drier: 2) wicks moisture away from the body and baselayer; and 3) super lightweight and compressible, without sacrificing performance. Stay drier and more comfortable with 3D Dry.
Dri Release® with Fresh Guard® gives you amplified moisture management and odor control in one fabric. It moves moisture directly away from the body and into the air for more efficient evaporation. The Fresh Guard technology neutralizes odors at the source by thwarting the growth of bacteria.
Dry-Zone® is a bi-component, double weave fabric that is 82% nylon, 18% polyester. The polyester on the inside offers superior wicking, the strong nylon on the outside disperses moisture and is very durable. The fabric is woven with anti-bacterial silver ions to minimize odor. It has a UPF of 50+ and blocks 99% of UV rays.
Polygiene® utilizes natural silver salt, a natural antimicrobial agent, to safely neutralize and inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, so the clothing stays fresher for a longer periods of time. It is applied permanently and will not wash out during normal cleaning.
A natural fiber that regulates body temperature better than synthetic fibers. It utilizes nanofibrils for natural wicking without additives. The canals set between the nanofibrils move the absorbed moisture, pushed by the bodies heat, to the surface to dry quickly leaving the fabric feeling dry against the skin. Naturally antibacterial.
A natural fiber extracted from beechwood trees, a sustainable raw material. The fiber structure, and low fiber rigidity gives Modal yarns and fabrics unparalleled softness. Easy-to-care-for fiber for travel applications.
Dri Release® with Fresh Guard® gives you amplified moisture management and odor control in one fabric. It moves moisture directly away from the body and into the air for more efficient evaporation. The Fresh Guard technology neutralizes odors at the source by thwarting the growth of bacteria.
PrimaLoft® Silver combines fine lambswool with PrimaLoft® fibers to create a fabric that is softer than pure wool and has the enhanced ability to keep you feeling dry and warm even while it’s moving moisture. The wool naturally pulls moisture from the skin while the PrimaLoft® content pushes it out through the surface. PrimaLoft® Silver dries 20% faster than 100% wool, resulting in increased comfort and warmth over a broader range of conditions. The PrimaLoft® fibers are super fine –about half the diameter of cashmere fibers –so mixing them with wool results in a fabric that feels softer against the skin than 100% wool.
Dyneema® is the strongest and most durable fiber in the world. 15x stronger than steel yet floats on water and is soft as silk. The unmatched strength-to-weight ratio and outstanding abrasion resistance and durability are helping eliminate the need for traditional, heavy layers in all kinds of activities. Dyneema® increases the abrasion resistance by 10-20% compared with cotton and nylon blends, and matches them for tear-resistance.
REPREVE® is a brand of recycled fiber that is made from recycled materials, including used plastic bottles. Because it offsets the need to use new resources, such as petroleum, and emits fewer greenhouse gases, REPREVE® helps provide a reprieve for the planet. As a leader in transforming recycled bottles into a quality textile fiber,REPREVE® is the ingredient that makes your favorite products sustainable.
CORDURA® fabrics provide best-in class nylon performance. This durable fabric is resistant to tears, scuffs and abrasion.


Polartec Power Stretch® fabrics combine breathability with 4-way stretch for enhanced freedom of movement. They keep you dry when you sweat and provide warmth with minimal weight. Dries at least two times faster than cotton: sweat is wicked from the interior to the exterior of the fabric, where it spreads out for evaporation. Machine washable.
Thermal Pro® is Polartec®’s most technically advanced insulation fabric. The 100% polyester velour, with pebbled and shearling surfaces, works by creating air pockets that trap air and retain body heat, providing outstanding warmth with minimal weight. Thermal Pro is quick-drying and very breathable. Machine washable.
Polartec® NeoShell® is the first fabric to combine the superior breathability, ventilation and stretch of a soft shell with the waterproof performance of a hard shell, delivering the best of both worlds. It is pliable and resilient to allow durable stretch, recovery and abrasion resistance. These enduring characteristics provide greater performance versatility in the field, but also enhance overall design efficiency and application.
LYCRA® T400® technology adds performance, style and lasting fit to versatile products. Engineered for daily activities, this innovation offers gentle stretch and support to deliver total comfort all day long. Its unique structure also provides moisture management to help you feel cool and dry.


PrimaLoft® Gold is available in several weights for use in outdoor apparel:

  • 40 gram –for the active user who’s moving quickly.
  • 60 gram –for colder temperatures when the user is not moving as quickly and some insulated warmth is needed.
  • 100 gram –for low temperatures and for users who aren’t moving fast enough to stay warm on their own (for example: “on belay”).

PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation utilizes a proprietary water repellent finish to keep you warm when wet and is engineered for a full spectrum of benefits – millions of air pockets trap body heat in extreme conditions and lack of bulk means great freedom of movement for the activity. A comfortable loft and feel provides warmth, while super-lightweight properties allow for excellent freedom of movemant and packability.

PrimaLoft Black® is the ultimate alternative to down, featuring warmth, softness and lightweight comfort using post-consumer recycled materials. It has a high warmth-to-weight ratio so you don’t need bulk to stay warm, yet PrimaLoft® Black is breathable so air circulates to keep the user dry. It is highly compressible and lightweight for packing, traveling and layering. PrimaLoft Black is manufactured from 60% post-consumer recycled content.


STeP (Sustainable Textile Production) is an independent certification system by OEKO-TEX® for sustainable textile productions. The STeP certification process monitors the use of environmentally friendly technologies and products, sustainable use of resources, and social working conditions.


YKK® has been leading the way in production, innovation, and quality of fasteners since 1934. Utilizing quality materials with the most modern manufacturing systems and equipment, Ykk is able to control the quality of their goods at all levels. YKK also has set the highest sustainability standards starting with all of their suppliers of raw materials, continuing into manufacturing of their products, and following through to the delivery of their products. For these reasons, we are proud to partner with YKK in all of our products.

glossary of terms


Laminate is a shortened, and often confused word for laminated – layers that are bonded together.


A coating is a material which when applied to a surface, then cured or dried, yields a thin film. For example, a Microporous Poly Urethane coating is applied to an outer face fabric to make it both waterproof and breathable. (think paint).


A membrane is a selective barrier; It allows some things to pass through but stops others. For example, a microporous membrane will allow water vapour to pass through but not water droplets. Membranes are bonded to other materials to produce a laminate. (think wallpaper).

DWR - Durable Water Repellent

A treatment applied to the outer face of fabrics to make them water repellent. (Hydrophobic).


Poly-Urethane used as a layer of coating on the face fabric of a garment. It is a versatile and abrasion resistant layer that is used to provide waterproofing qualities.


Laminate or coating which has millions of tiny pores too small for liquid moisture to get through, but considerably larger than molecules of water vapour, which pass easily through the material via gas phase diffusion.


A single layer. A monolithic waterproof membrane transports water molecules through diffusion (diffusion is a process by which a substance at a high concentration is transported to a region of lower concentration).


Water loving


Water hating


A smooth, crisp plain woven fabric.


A strong plain woven fabric with a corded surface.

Plain weave

The warp and weft are aligned so they produce a simple criss-cross pattern (1 over 1)


Made of two different components/materials. Dir-Release is a bi-component yarn, Dri-zone is a bi-component fabric.


A two-layered cloth.


Absorb or draw off by capillary action. The test for wicking is to place a droplet of water on a fabric and time how it takes for the drop to disappear.


Is a knit fabric, named after Jersey, Channel Islands where the fabric was first produced in medieval times. Usually light-weight, stretchy with one side flat and one piled.


A weave that contains slight lumps and imperfections to add visual interest and a textured hand.


An apparatus with perforated cards, fitted to a loom to facilitate the weaving of intricate patterns.


A process of lightly abrading the face of a fabric. The teased broken fibre ends create a soft hand.


A type of warp knitting (a family of knotting methods in which the yarn zig-zags along the length of the fabric). It gives it a very soft and “drapey” texture.

Cationic Polyester

A polyester that is suitable for using cationic dyes. These dyes are deep and vibrant, can achieve cross-dying effects.

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