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View Full Discussion Hi everyone!
I wanted to jump in and give some more details on the technical aspects of the Veil fabric.
My name is Kim Suarez, and I am the Soft Goods Product Development Manager at Massdrop. I came to Massdrop 6 months ago after working for over 6 years in Product Development for major brands in the outdoor and denim space.
This fabric was developed in partnership with the mill OneChang in South Korea. They are experts when it comes to lightweight nylon fabrics in both downproof and highly breathable applications. Some of the companies they work with include The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, and now Massdrop!
Our initial brief to OneChang was to find a lightweight nylon fabric that was windproof, durable, breathable, and had a DWR finish. This didn't exist within their off-shelf fabric library, so we began the 6-month process of developing a custom fabric together that would have all of these attributes.
This included hundreds of emails, phone calls, and back-and-forth discussions with their amazing team to land where we did for the Veil. They answered all of our questions and performed multiple tests to make sure we were on the right track.
Along with formal lab testing of this fabric, we passed samples out to key influencers in the trail running and ultralight space, and also did some informal testing ourselves. This included many miles of running in this jacket in heat, cold, and rain—Bay Area weather can be finicky, but great for testing products! A run on a particularly hot day led us to add an antibacterial finish to ensure odor is controlled during your high-output endeavors.
What we landed on in terms of basic fabric specs is below:
• 100% nylon
• 31 gsm
• 11.2 CFM
• 5.5 lb average tear strength in warp/weft
• Antibacterial finish for odor control
We did formal lab testing at 10 home launders of the DWR finish, and it still remained at 95% of its original repellency. To answer @MasterRo question in addition to what Danny has added, the DWR will diminish over time. This can be avoided to some extent with minimal washing and placing the jacket in low dryer settings for 15 minutes after washing. And, of course, you can apply a new coating yourself, with a product like Nikwax TX Direct spray-on water-repellent treatment, found at most outdoor stores.
If you really want to geek out on this fabric, see further details below:
• This fabric is silicone coated, which is better than PU coating for this type of product, as it permeates into the fabric and is lighter weight
• Semi-dull yarns were used to reduce the shine of the fabric and make it more relevant to everyday wear
• Nylon texture yarns were twisted with nylon filament yarns to ensure there was the right amount of texture to the fabric, while avoiding irritation and rubbing when next to the skin
• Very fine nylon filaments were used to create a durable fabric with a soft hand (for context, the denier of each filament is 1.176d versus silk at 1d)
Thanks for checking out the Veil! If you have any additional questions, please ask away!
Check into Silicone encapsulation instead of Silicone coating as it is more durable.
@kim.suarez @DannyMilks Any testing with bicycles? Curious about sleeve pull-up when in a road bike position. I presume the back side is straight across rather than with a ‘tail?’ (Danny, thanks for the packed pic!—will fit in a back jersey pocket A-OK.)
Also, I‘d really really love to have it on-hand in time for an end of July hiking trip to Glacier NP. Please!??! :)
This is great information. Thank you so much.
If it’s siicone coated how can it be breathable? Aren’t “silnylon“ stuff and dry sacks waterproof ( if the seams are taped) ?. So to be clear, it has a DWR first bush AND it’s silicone coated? The comment is made that it’s better than a PU coating( which is typically waterproof, is it not?). Sooo, I’m a bit confused on breathability
Thanks for the suggestion! I’m not as familiar with the encapsulation process, so we’ve been checking with the mill, and will get back to you with their comments. If there are clear benefits, it’s worth exploring for bulk production. Thanks!
Thanks for the question and understand your confusion. It is true that adding coating takes away from breathability, which is why these styles of wind shirts aren’t very breathable, as they need a coating to repel wind and water. It seems to really just be about finding the right coating light enough to still repel wind/water and yet offer some breathability. The mill we are working with has a lot of experience in this area, and have spent a lot of time finding that right coating balance to achieve our desired specs. Hope this helps! I can get more information from the mill if desired.
There used to be an encapsulated silicone nylon (essentially permanent DWR) that Patagonia developed with a 35 cfm. Not sure of the specifics of why it went away around 2014 but I am guessing it had to do with patent issue relating to EPIC by Nextec. I hope this helps.
This is very helpful, thanks! Are you referring to the old Houdini fabric?
Thanks for your reply on the coating. Personally I prefer “breathable” in this type of shirt. I think the super tight weave gives these shirts their ability to take the edge off wind, no? I’ve tried wearing my Rab in light drizzles and it wets out in no time. So I carry an OR Helium rain jacket as well for that purpose . To me it’s one of those things that neither does both things perfectly ( the Helium is a typical sweat bag) so I find it’s best to have a piece that does what it’s supposed too well. I appreciate if you are a runner and want to carry a Wind shirt for “just in case rain”, you’ll be home in a short time and it’s DWR is probably more important. If I’m on trail and it rains, I pull my Helium out.
There was the Houdini by Patagonia and another sil encapsulated nylon although the make eludes at this time. As an aside: Wild Things makes a couple of wind shirts although, contrary to their web site, only one of them uses sil encapsulation which is the Coyote brown (according to the the VP of marketing over there). The camo is around 28-29 CFM but not does not use the silicone encapsulation any more. This is all per the VP of marketing. How they run things over there does not elicit confidence in what I was told as it does not jive with their web page so take these details with a grain of salt. I hope this is helpful but using EPIC, may be only choice these days.
Totally agree! It does seem at this time close to impossible to have one piece which satisfies all of these criteria. But I really appreciate your opinions on what this pice should be, and I think it's worth exploring for a future project or iteration on this specific piece. Would love to chat more with you about it.
Good to know, thanks for sharing! I'll look into the Wild Things wind shirts and I'm still waiting from the mill regarding their feedback on encapsulated silicone. Would love to chat with you more about your background and additional ways we can make this product better for future iterations or additional product categories.
Man were the 2012-2014 era Houdini's great! Over 35cfm, comfy, and mint colours. Though I seem to remember reading on either BPL or local forums that the old coatings didn't meet BlueSign criteria?
Indeed I can't find Epic on the approved list of [manufacturers](https://www.bluesign.com/industry/manufacturers/references.html), unless they trade under a different name?
I sold my 2012 Houdini and it was one of the most comfortable windshells I've had, my current MontBell one is insanely light and has nice features like mesh armpits, but is useless once running as the material clings and wets out very quickly.
This material for the Massdrop veil looks to have a very similar breathability to current Houdini's (10-12cfm).
The Arcteryx Squamish 2014/5 had around 53 cfm breathability but I don't know if that was silicon encapsulated.
I heard a lot of good things about the Houdini of old, and not knowing that Patagonia would pull a hit and switch, I purchased one in 2015, it ended up not being what I thought I was ordering even though the name was the same. It was a much tighter weave at 3.5 cfm with an impermanent DWR, that wet out in just a few minutes. My way of thinking, is that, when a product is no longer the same product, they should change the name rather than using its good name to sell future products, and in this case, in my opinion, the 2015 Houdini is likely inferior to the original from what I read. A friend of mine was recently on course with his FKT attempt when his Houdini DWR failed. I suspect it was not the original Houdini. I called Patagonia and they noted that the 2015 Houdini DWR has to replenished. I remember reading some details about patent infringements but I did not get into it, the bottom line was, the Patagonia Houdini is not what it used to be.
To my knowledge, the military uses EPIC by Nextec. It stands to reason that silicone encapsulated nylon would last longer than coated nylons which is likely why the military specifies it in some of their apparel.
Hey Kim before you start selling another product can we get an update on the one we’ve already been charged for? Or get the update you said we should be getting?
Hi, do you know when Midnight Blue XXL will be back in stock? Thanks
I'm confused. You stated that "This fabric is silicone coated". That would imply 0 CFM air permeability, not 11 CFM. Did you mean that the fibers are silicone-coated?
Any chance you would consider changing the coil zipper to a Vislon Zipper?
Silicone encapsulated nylon can have various weaves because it is not "silicone coated" per se. The desity of the weave will dictate the degree of water repellency.