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Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

NEXCOM Participates in Virtual Textile and Clothing Technology Workshop

Monday, September 6th, 2021

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), its business line Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility (NCTRF) and its parent command, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) executed its first virtual webinar from Aug. 25-26, highlighting textile and uniform technology area. The workshop encompassed over 100 participants within industry and academia.

A number of NEXCOM leaders participated in a variety of information sessions and a panel discussion titled, ‘Demystify doing Business with Clothing and Textiles for NAVSUP, NEXCOM and NCTRF.’ NEXCOM leadership who participated in the two-day webinar included Laurra Winters, Director, NCTRF; Navy Cdr. Terri Gabriel, Deputy Commander Uniform Programs; Rich Honiball, Executive Vice President, Global Merchandising and Marketing Officer; and serving as keynote speaker, retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, CEO, NEXCOM.

Serving for nearly 30 years in uniform as a Navy Supply Corps Officer, Bianchi shared with the group his sentiment and the importance of a safe, comfortable and functional uniform. “One can say that the readiness of our Navy warfighters intrinsically starts with the uniform that’s on their back and the gear they carry,” stated Bianchi. “There is plenty of ongoing research and development being accomplished in the areas of seamless knitting, cold weather gear experimentation and NWU Type III design refinement—just to name a few. But make no mistake, all of the advancements in uniforms and protective gear has at its foundation a strong partnership with industry, in particular the clothing and textile industrial base.”

The two-day webinar featured discussions on new and emerging technologies, as well as concepts and the importance of the textile industrial base to military uniforms and gear. The workshop was hosted by the Naval-X Northeast Tech Bridge, 401 Tech Bridge, the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network and the North Carolina Military Business Center. The group discussed opportunities for small business development, to address current capability gaps in textiles for uniform and protective clothing, and collaboration areas with industry and academia. NEXCOM’s participating leadership emphasized their commitment to establishing and maintaining close relationships with industry leaders and explained that such forums can help accelerate the connection.

Bianchi described two recent examples of successes where industry and NCTRF partnered to improve the safety and function of uniform and organizational components for the Navy fleet— the steam suit for submariners resulting in a new design and materials currently transitioning and the I Boot-5 for Navy warfighters which will meet the requirements to be worn in a variety of Navy environments.

“Events like this collaborative workshop serve an important role in highlighting the importance of building military/industry partnerships,” explained Bianchi. “I am optimistic about the future of clothing and textiles…whether research, design, testing, commercial manufacturing, or academia, all play a very important role to ensure our Navy warfighters never enter a fair fight—we always want the advantage, and are truly the world’s best Naval fighting force because of everyone’s contributions!”

Quick Facts

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), its business line Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility (NCTRF) and its parent command, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) executed its first virtual webinar from Aug. 25-26, highlighting textile and uniform technology area. The workshop encompassed over 100 participants within industry and academia.

Navy Updates Hairstyles and Policies in Extensive Uniform Update

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

The Navy has authorized new hairstyles for men and women in a just-released uniform policy and grooming standards update.  Also announced are changes to wear rules for watches, prescription glasses and sunglasses while in uniform, medically prescribed head coverings and earrings for men in civvies and changes to name tape policies, just to name a few.  

The Navy has authorized new hairstyles for men and women in a just-released uniform policy and grooming standards update.  Also announced are changes to wear rules for watches, prescription glasses and sunglasses while in uniform, medically prescribed head coverings and earrings for men in civvies and changes to name tape policies, just to name a few.  

The complete list of what’s new in uniform policy comes in NAVADMIN 183/21 released on Aug. 31. Effective date of changes vary pending the policy change, so please read NAVADMIN 183/21.

“Navy uniform policy updates are the result of Fleet feedback, uniform working group discussions, command sponsored requests and direction from Navy leadership,” wrote Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., chief of naval personnel, in the message.

“Navy uniform policy updates directly support Sailor 2025 objectives to attract and retain the very best Sailors by finding greater flexibility in our policies and practices, including uniforms.”

What all Sailors need to know is that if something isn’t spelled out in the uniform regulations, it’s not authorized, said Rob Carroll, head of uniform matters on the staff of the chief of naval personnel. This applies to everything from uniforms and grooming standards to rules on appropriate civilian attire.

“These changes are aligned with the efforts to eliminate inconsistency in the application of policy standards and provide clearer guidance that will facilitate compliance and enforcement,” Carroll added.

“Also, they will expand options for our Sailors in grooming standards while eliminating policies considered by most as outdated.”

Many of the changes came from Sailor feedback during uniform and grooming standards focus and working groups held in the fleet. According to Carroll, some came up during Task Force One Navy listening sessions held in 2020 and 21.

“We review commonly asked questions submitted by Sailors from around the fleet, we look at trends, and discuss policy considerations,” Carroll said.  “TF1N did not drive the policy changes, but it can be noted that some of the changes align with the Navy’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.”

Here are some highlights of what’s new; consult the NAVADMIN for even more changes.

Hairstyles

Navy Uniform Regulations spell out how all Sailors can and cannot wear their hair, but periodically the Navy updates these rules as practices become mainstream.

“These changes recognize hairstyles that are now pretty standard in society and is also aligned with presenting a professional military appearance while in uniform,” Carroll said. 

For men, this means officially sanctioned styles now include bald, flat tops, faded and high and tight hairstyles.  All styles include allowing squared or rounded gradual tapers in the back of the head.  Sideburns are authorized but cannot exceed the hair length of the haircut where the sideburns and side of the head intersect.  Sideburns with bald hairstyles are not allowed.

For women, the rules now allow very short hair styles to include showing the scalp. This includes tapered back and sides of the head. Razor-cut bald styles are not authorized except when prescribed for treating medical conditions.

When wearing very short hairstyles, female Sailors are allowed one hard part that may be cut, shaved, clipped or naturally placed into the scalp.  The hard part must be above the temple and no higher than the crown, where the side and top of the head meet. One hard part can be on either the right or left side of the head and must run straight “fore and aft,” the rules say. They can be no longer than four inches nor broader than one-eighth of an inch.

“This gives women more options for greater ease on hair care, especially while on deployment when longer styles can be tougher to maintain,” Carroll said. “Female Sailors have been asking for this flexibility.”

Earrings for Men

Earrings still can’t be worn by male Sailors in uniform but now are authorized while wearing civilian clothes in a leave or liberty status both on and off military installations or while using government transportation. Earrings are not allowed when performing official duties in civilian attire, the rules say.

Accented Names

For Sailors whose legal names contain accents, punctuation marks can now be used in name tags, name patches, or name tapes on Navy uniforms. 

Higher Heels for Women

For female Sailors wanting a bit more lift in their high-heels, uniform pumps up to 3-inches in height are now authorized, up from the previously approved height of two and 5/8 inches. Carroll said this is now considered the standard heel height for females in civilian business attire. Sailors can wear commercially procured shoes if they also comply with all other rules for uniform shoes (color, design and fabric).         

Sun and Prescription Eyeglass Options and rules

Prescription glasses and sunglasses frames worn in uniform must now conform to new rules. 

Frame colors can only be silver, gray, black, navy blue, brown or gold. They can, however, be transparent or translucent.  Sunglasses can also be green and sport small logos.

“There are just so many options available today for glasses and we needed to get some standardization of appearance in uniform,” Carroll said. “This change allows for a wide variety of options, ease of compliance and enforcement as well as maintaining a professional military appearance.”

Retainer straps can be worn only for foreign object debris prevention and safety. Only black straps are authorized and must be worn snugly against the head.  When not in use, eyeglasses cannot be worn on top of the head or hanging around the neck.  

More details and the rest of the uniform changes are available in NAVADMIN 183/21. More uniform information is available on the Navy Uniform Matters Website at www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/References/US-Navy-Uniforms.

From MC1 Mark D. Faram, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

ANETIK – Remix Raglan Tech S/S

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Turns out, there’s a short sleeve version of the Remix Raglan Tech shirt I wrote about last year.

The moisture wicking fabric is quite comfortable and offers 30+ UPF. Offered with a Grey body and darker or lighter lizard pattern camouflage sleeves. Sizes XS-3XL.

To order, visit anetik.com/collections/2019-mens-shortsleeve-performance/products/mens-raglan-tech-s-s-master-style.

PDW Delta Cargo Pant TRS

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

Expedition Grade, Field Pant with Low Profile Cargo Pockets in Technical Ripstop Nylon

Prometheus Design Werx introduces their new Delta Cargo Pant TRS for Fall 2021. An expedition grade field pant with low profile cargo pockets designed for rigorous and protracted adventures and exploration. Constructed in their new, 6.13oz, technical, 4-way stretch Technical Ripstop nylon with a quick-dry and DWR finish for durable wear in all terrains. A total of 13 pockets to stash and organize as little or as many EDC items as the user needs. Pocket Clip Docks™, quad no-twist custom made Delta-Rings for keychain-carabiner clip points, double reinforced seat, double knees, and a Hide-Away waistband pocket round out these shorts’ features. Produced with industrial grade triple needle stitching on all major seams and expertly made in California, USA.

The Delta Cargo Pant TRS by Prometheus Design Werx will be available in Transitional Field Green, Universal Field Gray and All Terrain Brown.

The Design and R&D Team at PDW states:

“Naturally, we planned on following up our Delta Shorts with the pant version. This style picks off from where the shorts leave off and offers full, reinforced leg coverage for cooler weather and equally rugged terrains. We trialed numerous technical fabrics, to finally arrive at our TRS (Technical Ripstop) fabric, which would dry quickly, withstand frequent abrasion, allow plenty of movement with the stretch yarn component, at the same time not be so heavy, it would be a chore to wear, and a comfortable regular fit. We chose to add the low-profile cargo pockets to this design to cover the additional storage needs while on the go. The Delta Cargo Pant TRS is an expedition grade style and engineered to tackle a wide array of adventurous pursuits on land or in and around water. From trekking in cooler, damp weather, packrafting, overlanding, international adventure travel, or a 30 day backpack, these pants are built in the USA for the global adventurer and to withstand the most challenging adventures.”

The Delta Cargo Pant TRS will be available for $136.00 on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 at 12:00 noon Pacific via their website, prometheusdesignwerx.com.

Yuba, the New Ultralight, Ultrapackable Waterproof Anorak from Beyond Clothing

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

We previewed Beyond’s new Yuba Anorak during Warrior West and it’s now available for order.

A component of the ever expanding Beyond Layering System, this TAA compliant shell features three-layer Pertex construction for wind and weather protection.

Weighing less than 8 ounces, the Yuba Ultralight K6 Rain Anorak is packed with features.

• Articulated sleeves
• Waterproof seams and zippers
• Half-zip front enables easy donning and doffing
• Droptail hem with drawcord for adjustable coverage
• Self-finished cuffs with partial elastic undersides
• 3M black reflective treatment for zippers and piping at back yoke and hem increase your visibility

Offered in Black, Rustic Green and Coyote, along with Rescue Red (with reflective accents) and very limited branding, they pack right into their own pillow-sized bag. Look for sizes Small – XXLarge.

beyondclothing.com/products/yuba-ultralight-k6-rain-anorak

Arctic Environment : Why the Insulation in Your Clothing System is Critical to Mission Success

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

Cold and Wet

It’s early March 1988 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle, a small team of special operations guys are loading into the torpedo tubes of a diesel submarine to lock out and conduct a mission sinking a small craft. Climbing into the tube taking care not to hit our dive rigs and gear on the lip or rails, we work our way deep into the dark tunnel. Situated in the tube, cold steel closing in all around us the loading door is sealed shut just before the tube fills with arctic water. Pitch black, water fills the tube and pressure equalizes with the outside depth. The exit door opens, and we escape to the open water. The water is cold like an ice cream headache, we can feel it thru our dry suits but there is something else… wetness slowly expanding around my right knee. As the dive continues, I get wetter and wetter…. soon my whole clothing system is soaked with seawater.

This may not be your normal occurrence for the hiker or climber but getting wet and needing to maintain body heat is. This is where a little discussed thermal value comes to play called “Wet CLO”. Let’s segment that a little, starting with CLO. The CLO Value is a measurement of warmth and can be used to characterize apparel items including garments, gloves, headwear and footwear.  1 CLO is the amount of insulation that allows a person at rest to maintain thermal equilibrium in an environment at 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is said to be equivalent wearing a three-piece business suit with undergarments at that temperature.   When we discuss Wet CLO, we talk about the insulation value degrading because of the water content. That water can come from sweat, rain, condensation, etc.

Let’s look at the insulation spectrum starting with Down which can have a super high Dry CLO value of 1.68, but a super low Wet CLO value, near zero! Please note, that the Dry CLO value is dependent on garment design, and grade and thickness of the Down.  The high differential in thermal capability is problematic to the novice adventurer and most military folks, as they do not get to pick a blue bird day to execute a mission.

Air is one of the best insulators for apparel systems. Most insulated apparel systems work by trapping air next to the wearers’ body. When an insulation becomes wet, the trapped air within the insulation is replaced by liquid water. This can lead to huge decreases in in warmth or CLO value, as air is 24x more insulative than water.  As you can see from the graph below, even a little bit of water pick-up can lead to a huge decrease in CLO value.

If the water in the insulation later freezes, the impact is even worse, as air is 90x more insulative than ice.   On top of decreasing the CLO value of the insulation, water inside insulation can evaporate, causing cooling. This is similar to how our bodies cool ourselves by sweating on a hot day. But in a cold environment, this can be dangerous. In some wet situations, having wet insulation can be worse than having no insulation at all!

Wool has been a baseline measure for years; we have all heard the ‘warm when wet’ moniker. Today’s insulation world has been inundated with synthetics from Primaloft to Thinsulate, Climashield to Gore Thermium. These insulations have been developed to deliver the highest CLO value per gram, be hydrophobic and feel comfortable inside the garment.  Ultimately, the easiest way to reduce the impact of water on the CLO value is to minimize the amount of water that the insulation can pick up in the first place!  This can either be done by changing the properties of the insulation itself (ex., making it hydrophobic), or by protecting the insulation from water exposure (ex. by utilizing a GORE-TEX barrier to prevent rain ingress).  Some insulations, like Gore Thermium, do not pick up any moisture, therefore the CLO value does not change when exposed to water. Thus, minimizing the water content within the insulation is key to effectively closing the gap between wet CLO and dry CLO.

Today, there is no standardized test method for measuring Wet CLO across the outdoor industry, but engineers and scientists are working to characterize this phenomenon as it an important issue in protective apparel. Primaloft has worked on this issue since the early days of PCU and developed Primaloft Gold, their best performing insulation is 97-98% clo value when wet.

Our goal in the military and those that ‘GO’ when duty calls is to build clothing and sleep systems with the narrowest CLO differential dry or wet possible. With a narrow CLO differential, the user can select an insulation for the appropriate temperature range and the moisture content of the clothing system has little to no effect on warmth. USSOCOM made a deliberate decision to build their clothing and sleep systems to complement each other, remain unaffected by moisture and be ‘continuously drying’.

Back to my story, upon exiting the water in soaking wet clothing we had to make every attempt to walk for the next twelve hours to dry the clothing system out as it had little insulation value wet, was hard to dry and made for a challenging night above the Arctic Circle.  No teammates were injured during this event.

How do you know you’re getting wet after 2-3 days in the field? Your sleeping bag just doesn’t fit the same as when you left the house, your jacket is a little heavier, all signs that moisture is in the system, you just don’t feel it next to skin. That moisture degrades your comfort and warmth. So the next time you’re out for a trip weigh your kit before and as soon as you return… check your water weight!

Scott Williams, NSW (ret), Former OIC Naval Special Warfare Center, Det Kodiak, USSOCOM Cold Weather Equipment Project Director. Currently at the Wing Group leading Defense efforts.

KUIU Adds Fairbanks Jacket to Expanding Base Camp Collection

Friday, August 20th, 2021

Performance Hunting Brand Debuts Latest Offering Combining Everyday Comfort & Style With High Performance Technology For Everyday Wear

Dixon, CA (August. 18th 2021) – KUIU, the leading manufacturer of ultralight performance hunting gear, is excited to announce the addition of the Fairbanks Jacket. Released on August 10th as the fifteenth edition of their expanding Base Camp line, the Fairbanks Jacket offers ample breathability for all day comfort in cooler temperatures.

The Base Camp collection includes pieces built for everyday wear and provides stylish, adaptable apparel for hunters whenever they leave the backcountry. This jacket was one of the late founder Jason Hairston’s last projects and was developed as a comfortable and effective layer for the hunter coming out of the Alaskan bush and reaching Fairbanks.

“KUIU customers always want to wear the KUIU brand, whether it be hunting, training, or everyday wear. The performance and comfort are undeniable, which drives us to bring more products in all three categories,” says Kevin Wilkerson, Senior Director of Brand Marketing for KUIU. “The Base Camp Fairbanks Jacket has a sleek fit and profile and provides great warmth thanks to siliconized insulation.”

The Fairbanks Jacket features 3M Thinsulate Water Resistant insulation that provides advanced breathability even during strenuous activities. It utilizes siliconized synthetic fibers for added water resistance, the jacket keeps the user drier and more comfortable without the unnecessary weight typically used in other water-resistant methods. Complete with ample storage from an interior zippered pocket and two large open drop pockets, a snap closure chest pocket, and two zippered hand pockets the Fairbanks Jacket also features a premium, weather-resistant CF full zipper. With an ultra-comfortable feel, the Fairbanks Jacket is perfect for everyday wear or to protect against cooler temperatures when traveling to and from the hunt.

Fairbanks Jacket | $179.00

The Fairbanks Jacket is now available online at KUIU.com. To learn more about KUIU and its products, visit kuiu.com or visit them on Instagram @kuiu_official, or Facebook at @KUIUultralight.

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Deuce And A Half Shorts

Friday, August 20th, 2021

Regardless if you are smashing personal bests’ on leg day, or chips from the comfort of your couch, the FirstSpear Deuce and A Half shorts have you covered (mostly). Like their namesake, they are a classic that always gets the job done. Nothing screams freedom like a super soft, comfortable silkies. These daisy dukes of freedom will serve you well.

• These shorts feature an elastic waistband and no drawstring for a comfortable, high-performance fit and feel
• Brief style liner in these shorts provide additional support and helps prevent chafing
• PT shorts feature a short inseam for optimal athletic capability
• Made of durable, moisture-wicking 100% nylon material that will help keep you cool and dry while you sweat
• Feature an inner waistband pocket for storing a key or money while exercising
• Available in Black with the FirstSpear Logo in S, M, L, XL, 2XL


Embrace the short shorts life. Featuring a 2.25” to 2.5’” inseam on all sizes.

Snag a pair before they’re gone www.first-spear.com/2.5-shorts.