Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘FR’ Category

FirstSpear Friday Focus – Brawler FR Shirt

Friday, November 9th, 2018

All new from FS, meet the Brawler FR Shirt.


Typically most FR garments are stiff and uncomfortable with a blocky fit due to the nature of the fabrics used. The Brawler on the other hand uses 6.5oz Tencate Twill that is durable yet extremely light and comfortable . Material make up is a 65% FR Lenzing / 25% Para-Aramid / 10% Nylon blend that offers excellent Flame Retardant characteristics and assists in defeating or mitigating heat transfer to your skin.


The Brawler features a zipper front opening, reinforced with webbing sewn buttons. The protective collar can be fastened up around your Neckie or left open, multi positional cuffs, and a security strap to keep the sleeves rolled up. To make the most of hot weather versatility, the Brawler has breathable mesh in the bottom and back of the front pockets, arm pits, and across the entire back yoke.

As with all FS products, there’s a very interesting story behind the name:

In late 1966 through early 1967 US Marines in I Corps Tactical Zone South Vietnam began aggressive patrolling to enforce and establish the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Vietnam’s. Commanders at the strategic level during that time believed that the war would devolve into a static scenario just as the Korean Conflict had previously. Unit Commanders were encouraged to “patrol aggressively” and “define the DMZ” in favor of South Vietnam. To maintain communications security, radio brevity pro words were assigned to articulate specific combat contacts without divulging great detail. For the Marines of I Corps at that time a “Scrap” was a Small Unit Contact generally Unit on Unit and confined to Small Arms, a “Brawl” was a full engagement involving Combined Arms and Support. The patrolling actions and border battles at that time increasingly contributed to large scale operations that became known collectively as the Battle of Con Thien.

First Spear has elected to the name our heavier weight FR Garment the “Brawler” and our light weigh FR Garment the “Scrap”, initial editions of these will be released in FS Sand which is a close to USMC Coyote as we could get in this base material.

Made in the USA with USA Materials. Available now.


New Coveralls to Make Life More Comfortable for Fuel Handlers

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Fuel handler coveralls are worn by some 17,000 petroleum supply specialists in the Army who fuel trucks, aircraft and boats, and who operate pipelines and storage tanks around the globe.

Soldiers from the 92F petroleum supply specialist military occupational specialty at Fort Hood, Texas, are test wearing four variants of new coveralls during limited user evaluation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

It’s a dirty and often thankless job, but without them, nothing would move, said Captain WaiWah Ellison, assistant product manager with Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, or PM SCIE, part of Program Executive Office Soldier, known as PEO Soldier. The coveralls are primarily designed to protect Soldiers from spills, which can be hazardous when they make contact with skin.

Last year, the Army was presented with a problem and an opportunity, according to Debbie Williams, a systems acquisition expert with SCIE. The manufacturer of fabric that previously made their coveralls discontinued production, so the Army needed to find a new supplier.

Williams explained that while searching for a new vendor, the Combined Arms Support Command decided to consult with Soldiers to see how they liked the current coveralls and mine their ideas on ways to improve them, noting that CASCOM provides fire support and operational assistance to combat elements.

It was apparent from previous Soldier feedback that an update to the design could assist with making the garment a better fit. And for a long time, this material was the only one known to meet the stringent requirement of being able to resist fuel penetration for at least 12 hours. This was an opportunity to solicit industry and understand what new technologies exist in the fabric industry as well as updates in design.

Soldiers overwhelmingly said fit and comfort would be paramount in the requirements for selection of a new fabric and design.

Williams said that the Soldiers who provided their opinions of the current design were instructors at Fort Lee, Virginia, who teach the 92F petroleum supply specialist military occupational specialty. In an effort to possibly make this a joint service uniform, they also conducted a limited user evaluation of the current design with the Marine Corps fuelers at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and received feedback on improvements on the comfort and style.

Multiple companies answered the request for proposals, she said, noting that it takes two vendors to produce the coveralls: a manufacturer who produces the fabric, and another who cuts and sews them.

Two of the designs being evaluated are two-piece and the other two are single-piece coveralls.

Laboratory testing of the four designs took place over the spring and summer at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, Williams said. Those tests included flame resistance and tear evaluation.

A four-week, limited user evaluation of the materials and design began on Sept. 17, 2018. Fort Carson, Colorado, was selected for the fabric testing while design tests are located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Hood, Texas.

A selection will be made following user testing and Army Test and Evaluation Command certification. A supply request package will then be turned in to Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support Office, and once that is completed, production for long-term sustainment can start. Williams said it’s too early to give a production start date.

By David Vergun, Army News Service

Introducing Rock Face, A Clothing Brand Specializing In Performance FR Under Layers

Monday, August 6th, 2018

In order to tell you about clothing brand Rock Face, I’ve got to first tell you about their parent company, Coville.

Founded in the heart of the Carolinas, Coville is an amalgamation of three companies. Up until the 1980s, the region was known as textile country and even today, it’s home to much of what little we have left of the industry. Coville remains an instrumental component in the Berry compliant supply chain.


Founded in 1976 by Henry Jordan, much of Coville’s company’s assets, now owned by a private, family interest, come from its later purchase of Alandale Knitting, which itself was founded by Alan Gutschmit in 1966. Gutschmit was a veritable genius in the knitting game, amassing 13 patents for machinery which remain the standard, even today. Founded in 1975, Carolina Apparel Group rounds out Coville’s capability as their cut and sew facility. Together, they work on each other’s strengths.


All together, these three companies bring over 125 years of experience in the textile industry. What’s more, they are all located with 30 miles of one another, offering a vertically integrated company with expertise in material and product development, fabric knitting, and garment construction.


But Coville is not an island. It works closely with as many as 20 other vendors and suppliers in the area to provide Made in USA materials, value added services, and finished goods.


Don Trexler, CEO of Coville, related that their suppliers are critical to their success. In particular, he mentioned yarn producers Pharr Yarns, Shuford Mills, Parkdake Mills, Beal Manufacturing and Frontier Yarns as well as fabric finishers Gentry Mills and Southfork Industries, as key affiliates. With these suppliers so close by, issues can be fixed very quickly and wait times and transportation costs are cut.


Rock Face was founded in 2003 as a long underwear brand for sale in such outlets as JC Penney and Tractor Supply Co. At around the same time, Coville started manufacturing performance FR garments for the US military in response to the threat of IEDs to our deployed troops. Not long ago, they decided to expand Rock Face’s offerings by leveraging the lifesaving technologies they’d developed over the past 15 years. Additionally, these new products result in brand focus on the tactical market’s military and law enforcement end user.


While Coville provides various services to other companies in the textile industry, including the production of finished goods, the concentration of Rock Face on the tactical customer was an instrumental part of Trexler’s strategy to maintain a more consistent demand on Coville’s various capabilities, keeping machines running and employees on the job. Scott Wilson expanded on this, “We are a manufacturer that has a brand.”


Rock Face offers both FR and Performance garments, bringing design and materials to the equation. They have control over the comfort and properties of their garments. For instance, they integrate moisture wicking and odor control into the fabric and can tweak the level of air permeability and how quickly it will dry. All of that adds up to sustained comfort. Trexler said, “It’s a superior product from a hand and construction standpoint. On top of that, Rock Face offers a lower price point.”

Don Trexler related that he also wanted to recognize key players at Coville who have made Rock Face happen, Scott Willis, Nicole Vineyard, Morgan Richardson, and Tyler Henson.

Now that I’ve explained what makes Rock Face tick, on to the product. They offer two distinct lines which share garment design and an emphasis on performance characteristics. The difference is that the Flame Resistant line adds FR properties to the mix.

Layer 1 – Hot Weather



• 4.5-ounce climaGuardTM fabric blend
• Innovative Spinning Technology
• New fiber blend creates an athletic fit with high stretch & recovery

Layer 2 – All Season


• 5.5-ounce climaGuard fabric blend
• Innovative Spinning Technology

Layer 3 – Insulative


• 8.5-ounce climaGuardTM fabric
• Innovative Spinning Technology

Layer 4 – Fleece


• 10-ounce climaGuardTM fabric blend
• Innovative Spinning Technology

All Season



• 5-ounce climaGuard fabric blend
• New fiber blend creates an athletic fit with stretch & recovery

Cold Weather


• 6.5 ounce fabric blend
• French Terry construction offers ultimate insulation values
• Pick Resistant due to nylon facing
• 4-Way High Stretch & Recovery

All of the garments are constructed with true flat seams to ensure comfort. These high-density seams also last longer. Additionally, everything is available in sizes XS-3X meaning it will support a full uniform program. Across the board, everything from the fiber to the packaging is Made in the USA!


Both lines share a color palette consisting of Sand, Tan 499, Coyote, Black, Navy, Foliage Green and Marine Olive Drab. Additionally, they will provide custom colors upon request. Naturally, minimums apply. Don’t take this color card as gospel. I’ve seen the garments in person and Coville works diligently with dye houses to match industry standards.


Since soft launching the line at SHOT Show, several military and LE Agencies have adopted Rock Face products. Even now, Rock Face is expanding their availability to military customers, with placement in LCI stores on 40 military bases.

Feel free to contact Nvineyard@rockfaceusa.com or learn more at rockfaceusa.com

XGO Defense Base Layer – Performance and FR Now Available

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

During SOFIC we told you XGO would have two new Combat shirts coming soon and the are available now. Both feature 100% knitted construction printed with sleeves printed in MultiCam, sizes XS-2XL.

XGO Performance Defense Base Layer Combat Shirt


-UPF 35 UV protection body, 50 sleeves
-AG47 Silver Protection for anti-bacteria and odor
-Acclimate Dry Moisture management
-Flat seam construction
-Zippered upper arm pockets
-Elastic thumb loops
-Stretch woven elbow patches

XGO FR Defense Base Layer Combat Shirt


-Made from combination of Modacrylic and FR Rayon
-UPF 35 UV protection body, 50 sleeves
-AG47 Silver Protection for anti-bacteria and odor
-Acclimate Dry Moisture management
-FR Zippers
-Zippered upper arm pockets
-1? extra length
-Stretch woven elbow patches

Additionally, SSD readers will receive 20% off by using special promo code DBLSSD from 8/1 – 8/6.

ADS Federal Range Day 18 – Drifire Foretrex Combat Ensemble in Black

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Drifire displayed their Combat Ensemble in Black for LE use. It’s made from their Foretrex fabric, a comfortable FR blend which also features odor control and moisture wicking properties.

Seen here is the Combat Shirt. Also available are Combat Pants.


FirstSpear Friday Focus – Asset Technical Field Shirt – Gen III

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Introducing the latest evolution to the Asset Technical Field Shirt. Now in its 3rd generation, boasting all new cutting edge materials built right here in the USA. The first thing you will notice between the 2nd and 3rd generation is the dramatic weight reduction thanks to advanced materials helping the shirt to dry even faster and keep you cool longer underneath a plate carrier or load carriage platform.

The torso is constructed from FirstSpear’s ACM-BASE 100 their ultra light Merino Wool package. The Armpits feature a NanoGlide mesh that has exceptional anti-friction and stay cool properties. The sleeves are especially impressive with a 3oz plain weave of FR Rayon, P-Aramid, and Nylon. Inherently resistant to heat and flame, anti-microbial, and advanced moisture wicking properties the Asset Technical Field Shirt offers incredible tactical features in a sharp package all 100% Berry Compliant.

In-stock and Shipping now in two colors options and sizes Small – 2XLarge.


US Navy Testing 2-Piece FR Uniforms

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Referred to as the Maritime Heritage Maritime Utility, the US Navy is currently testing 2-piece Flame Resistant garments for wear underway, in lieu of the current Coverall, which is also undergoing an FR makeover.

Testing began 14 May but the concept has been on the drawing board since last year. The Heritage variants replicate traditional sea service uniforms, with a Khaki shirt and pant for Officers and Chiefs and a Blue version for lower enlisted and noncommissioned Sailors.

Interestingly, the Blue version is similar in appearance to the old Dungarees, but one style harkens all the way back to the Dark Blue on Dark Blue of enlisted deck wear, worn up until WWII. Another option, replaces the Dark Blue shirt with a Light Blue, similar to the Chambray shirts worn until the advent of the current Navy Working Uniform.

Below, you can see all three options currently being evaluated.

Design Features in the Test


• Untucked shirt that can be tucked in during general quarters (GQ)
• Covered button placket, six buttons — no top button
• Exposed six buttons — no top button
• External patch pockets with flap stitched on three sides
• Pen pocket with two channels on left sleeve
• Rolled 1/4″ hem, curved front and back that rises up at the side seam (men)
• Adjustable two button cuff
• Sleeves can be rolled to the forearm or to the bicep
• Back yoke with box pleat
• Side panel for female fit (women)
• Internal signle welt pocket with hidden zipper closure, pen pocket inside
• Drifire Fabric


• Internal thigh pocket flap with velcro
• 1/4 top side pockets
• External patch pockets with flap stitched on three sides
• Wider waistband for rigger belt
• Wider belt loops for rigger belt
• Button closure at waist
• Waistband with concealed elastic for adjustability
• Reinforced cuff to prevent fraying
• Cell phone pocket, single welt with zipper closure (only on Test Code D)
• Internal single welt back pocket with zipper closure
• Drifire Fabric

Flame Resistant Undershirts

• Drifire Fabric

Molder Boots

Most Sailors currently serving won’t be familiar with these, low cut, slip-on boots.

Participating Commands

West Coast
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9 (CSG-9)
Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC)
Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific Fleet
• Commander, US 3rd Fleet
• USS Nimitz
• USS Montgomery
• USS Maine
• USS Jefferson City
• USS Bunker Hill
• VFA 97
• VFA 151

East Coast
• US Fleet Forces Command
• USS McFaul
• USS Nitze
• HSC-2
• VFA 83
• VFA 105
• VR 56

Outside Continential US (OCONUS)
• USS Devestator
• USS Monsoon
• USS Squall
• USS Tempest
• USS Thunderbolt
• USS Carney

Meanwhile, the Canadian Navy is considering this working uniform, displayed at the recent CANSEC by developer Logistik Unicorp. Initially it was baggier and based on a prototype ground Combat Uniform. After slimming the garment slightly, they are now working on zipper and button options.

This Canadian uniform is much closer to the Modern 2-Piece garment also being considered by the US Navy which adapts the cut of the Digital Woodland camouflage Navy Working Uniform Type III, to a similar Tan and Dark Blue color scheme of the Heritages Uniform being tested here. It also introduces FR fabrics to protect Sailors from shipboard hazards.

No matter which uniform the Navy eventually adopts, it will be Organizational Clothing, like the currently issued Coverall. Sailors will wear the Black Fleece Jacket or an upcoming FR Fleece Jacket with this uniform.

All photos from US Navy except Canadian Navy prototype uniform.

SOFIC 18 – Kitanica American Hoody Features TenCate FR Fleece

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018


Kitanica’s American Hoody is made from TenCate 8 oz Single Sided FR fleece. Turns out, it’s a comfortable fabric. The hoody itself is made in USA and features a left sleeve pocket as well as zippered kangaroo pocket.