We were always fascinated by the beauty of different textiles. When you see such a detailed picture of a structure of some amazing fabric, you can definitely understand the whole world of exploration and development behind its creation. And you are just mesmerized by the beauty of it.
So we started our THM MACROSHOTS editorial series, where we explore the complexity, depth, and beauty of different fabrics, textiles, materials, and hardware through the macro lens.
Winter running is one of the areas where brands test their most technically advanced innovations and designs – harsh conditions require world-class functionality and comfort.
UK-based running enthusiasts from SOAR, champions of experimentation with innovative fabrics and cuts, present their new All-Weather Jacket for such conditions.
The All-Weather Jacket, now in its third iteration, is their take on what a highly technical, wholly functional, winter running jacket can – and should – be.
Its unique Italian STORM2 fabric features a double-applied C0 water-repellent (DWR) finish – first to the yarn and then to the finished fabric – offering unrivaled protection for your rainy morning runs. The outer face of the fabric has a highly abrasion-resistant, tightly woven windproof structure. The result is a weatherproof stretch fabric that does not need an internal membrane, bringing an end to the clingy feeling, synonymous with many waterproof running shells.
We’ll let Tim Soar, the founder and designer behind the brand, share with us more details on this magnificent piece.
“When we were developing this new All-Weather Jacket, we went back to first principles on what we wanted to do with the garment. So there are a couple of things I think have emerged in our kind of design philosophy and thinking over the last few years. One of those is about a high degree of durability.
This is a key plank of our sustainability philosophy now: garments really have to be as durable as you can possibly make them. You can't create very durable garments if they're very light, but for winter garments we're trying to build in as much durability as possible.
We went back to the basics of the fabric and looked at what we wanted to achieve: very good water repellency and warmth, but with a very high degree of durability.
We found this fabric that was prototyped for gravel racing in cycling. They figured you're going to be falling off a lot onto a hard surface.
So the outer face of this fabric is very abrasion resistant, while on the inside, unlike the original leather jacket fabric, it has a thin wool fleece facing.
That makes it very nice against the skin, you have the great thermal, sweat-absorbing properties and the odor resistance of wool.
Those things mean that you can wear your jacket for longer, without needing to wash it or it becoming smelly. Overwashing garments is one of the ways that garments start to lose their durability. So we combat that, by building a really comfortable, odor-resistant garment.
The jacket has an abrasion-resistant face, wool fleece, and the third component is the outstanding patented DWR, which is only one millimeter thin and applied to the yarn of the fabric.
The finished fabric then has another application of DWR, and by applying DWR twice you get this outstanding water repellency, best in class. In prolonged heavy rain water will get through, but in most short to medium-level of rain it'll stay waterproof.
Without the membrane, it makes it highly breathable, so that gives you a high degree of poor weather functionality.
The cut has evolved from the first All-Weather Jacket: it's a slightly more relaxed fit, but we wanted to keep a real performance cut to it. The limiting thing in most sportswear garments, especially running, is arms and upper chest mobility.
Our way of cutting it gives you a really good shoulder fit: you have three seams around the top of the shoulder and the gusseted underarm, meaning the fabric from the side body panel extends under the sleeve, and that allows you to get a high, but relaxed armhole, and that equals good arm mobility.
It also has a velcro adjustment on the cuff so you can dial in the fit on your wrist, and like many other winter garments, we have this built-in reflectivity into the bonded seams, around the top of the sleeve, on the side body, across the back, plus these bigger reflective elements on the front. That allows you to build a high degree of reflectivity without it becoming garish.
Finally, we have the drawcord system at the waist, so you can dial in the fit on the waist: if it's cold and windy – you can cinch it in. If you want to dump a bit of heat – you loosen off the waist.
It's a very functional, really hard-wearing jacket with a comfortable, easy fit that will take a real pounding in bad weather.
It's just a great choice for deep winter running” – Tim Soar.
The highly technical approach to durable garments – All Weather Jacket by SOAR is now available via the brand’s official website alongside their new FW23 collection.
To know more about SOAR and other running-related materials, check our other articles and releases via the links below.
Made by TECHUNTER Magazine.
Production: TECHUNTER Media. Words, prod, edit, layout: Alex Zabelin [THM]. Commentary: Tim Soar [SOAR, founder & designer]. Ph, edit: Ivan Dzhatiev [THM].