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 the a long staple fibre. It is not coated or laminated - the combination of a dense weave and the swelling properties of the fibres when wet provide excellent weatherproofing.1 The natural product offers a high level of comfort, look and feel and is waterproof windproof, but breathable, durable and quiet in use. It also has strong resistance to tearing and burning.1
Fabrics made from the material are used in outerwear performance garments and have military, medical and workwear applications.
It is rare 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 when in use. It is very popular among survivalists and bushcrafters in the European forests because of its strong resistance to tearing and fire. It is also widely used in polar expeditions. Artificial fibers are the preference among mountaineers. The fabrics are also known under the name EtaProof. An American company, Wiggy's, produces high quality sleeping bags and cold weather clothing, using imported British Ventile fabrics in the manufacture of some of its garments, as does the British company West Winds, which is a sister company of Snugpak, and the Scottish clothing company HillTrek.1
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