Ventile, a registered trademark, is a high-quality woven cotton fabric first developed by scientists at the Shirley Institute in Manchester, England, originally to replace a shortage of flax that was used for fire hoses and water buckets. Its properties also found use in pilots' immersion suits.1
It is densely woven from 100% cotton using a long staple fibre. Although weatherproof, it is not coated or laminated; the combination of a dense weave and the swelling of the fibres when wet provide excellent weatherproofing.1 The natural product offers a high level of comfort, look and feelbetter source needed and is waterproof and windproof, but breathable, durable and quiet in use. It also has good resistance to tearing and burning.12 It is not as light in weight as synthetic fabrics, particularly when wet.2
Fabrics made from the material are used in outerwear performance garments and have military, medical and workwear applications.
Ventile is not often used in the United States, but in Europe, especially in the UK, it has had a revival with the bushcraft movement. It is popular with birdwatchers and naturalists because, unlike synthetic fabrics such as Gore-Tex, it is quiet in use.2 It is used by survivalists and bushcrafters in the European forests because of its good resistance to tearing and burning. It is also widely used in polar expeditions. Lighter-weight artificial fibers are the preference among mountaineers. A Swiss implementation of the same technology is sold under the name EtaProof.3 Among companies producing Ventile clothing are the Scottish clothing company HillTrek,4 Snowsled of Gloucestershire5 and Snugpak of West Yorkshire in England,6 and Wiggy's of Grand Junction, Colorado, USA.17
Ventile is still used in military uniforms, especially with R.A.F and NATO air forces, who use Ventile suits for their Tornado jet pilots8 The Private White V.C. 9 luxury British clothing brand based in Manchester, UK creates garments with a distinct military influence and uses Ventile cloth for many of their waterproof jackets. The brand have also pioneered 'seam sealing' in Ventile clothing - the internal taping of a jacket's seams to further protect the wearer from wind and rain.
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