Tactical Tailor

Softshell Tech – Tweave

This is the first of four articles sponsored by Arc’teryx LEAF to educate readers on softshell fabrics used in their garments. In this article we will cover Tweave, a product of Gehring Textiles.

Specifically, Arc’teryx LEAF currently uses two types of Tweave in their clothing and equipment; Tweave Durastretch (520E) and its lighter weight counterpart Durastretch LT (536N). The Sphinx Halfshell you see here actually incorporates both fabrics. Both weights of Tweave boast Durable Water Repellant coating as well as a material content of 91% nylon and 9% Spandex. Arc’teryx offers products manufactured from Tweave in Crocodile, Black, Coyote, and Multicam as well as the new Wolf color.

Arc’teryx actually worked with Tweave to develop the Durastretch fabric in the early 2000s for outdoor alpine climbing, trekking and backcountry ski apparel. But, after a few seasons it became too pricey for those markets. With the advent of LEAF, Arc’teryx revived use of the fabric for their new customer base whose main emphasis is on performance. Tweave is recognized worldwide as the most durable stretch woven available.

Tweave combines several properties to protect you from the elements. It is a plain weave four-way stretch that has superior durability and abrasion resistance. The fabric is very tightly woven and you will notice this on windy days. Additionally, its smooth face sheds snow and DWR finish repels moisture. The construction of the Durastretch fabrics, using covered yarn technology, keeps the more vulnerable spandex yarns protected from the elements by wrapping them inside the nylon, unlike many other fabric which feature exposed spandex without a sheath. Tweave chose nylon over polyester because of its superior abrasion properties and the yarns are extremely compacted and tight, yielding a very abrasion-resistant surface. All of this is topped off with special finishing techniques that still allow ample stretch for comfort and freedom of movement.

Look for Tweave Durastretch and Durastretch LT in these LEAF products –
Chimera Shirt LS
Sphinx Halfshell
Sphinx Pant
Combat Jacket
Gryphon Halfshell
Gryphon Pant
H150 Rigger’s Belt
X350a harness

Keep your eyes peeled for information on an upcoming application of Durastretch 520P which features superior tear resistance and slightly more bulk and stretch.


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5 Responses to “Softshell Tech – Tweave

  1. FormerSFMedic says:

    The Tweave Durastretch on the Sphinx pant is awesome. I bought some a few months back (not the approx. $750 MC) and they’ve held up better than anything else in the same weight or the same performance. The Sphinx pant has become my “go to” for the range, training courses, and outdoor activities. Really nice stuff!

  2. Jon says:

    They do make some nice stuff…too bad the average person can’t afford it. I’m a college student who enjoys shooting, outdoor stuff, etc. But between the cost of ammo, firearms, classes, etc I can’t afford to throw $500 at a jacket or pair of pants. Not knocking the company, they’ve justified the price in their own eyes and more power to those with the financial ability to put that type of coin down on Arcteryx products. Myself, I’ll stick to less expensive, but just as good lines. Maybe someday haha.

  3. Dan says:

    Ive been using Arcteryx clothing and packs since the mid nineties. Always liked the way they cut their products to fit athletically, not baggy. They hold up extremely well for years.

    Just received LEAF items Minotaur shell and Alpha pants. Looking forward to putting them to the test. Expensive-yes

  4. ODG says:

    Used my sphinx system for a Mountain Mobility Course Great kit, durability form, fit and function second to none Keep up the great work LEAF Team!

  5. Jeff says:

    Wore the Sphinx pants for 2 months on a Mountain Warfare course in Nepal, the best technical pant ever. They still look brand new, well done Arctertyx