DownTek Introduces Water-Repellent Down

U.S. Company Redefines Outdoor Comfort and Weather Protection
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Down is universally regarded as nature's perfect insulation, and has been used for decades to provide superior warmth in apparel and sleeping bags. The central flaw of down, however, is that once it is wet, it loses its loft and insulation factor, making it difficult to dry and compromising the comfort and safety of outdoor athletes.

Down Decor, a Cincinnati-based wholesale supplier of down to the outdoor and home industries, is proud to introduce DownTekâ„¢, a revolutionary technology that reduces the absorption of water by 300% and dries five times faster than conventional down.

Though Down Decor will restrict its use to only 700 and 800-fill down, it will be made available immediately to its customers, including Marmot, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, REI, Brooks Range and LL Bean and is expected to be featured in their collections as early as Fall/Winter 2012.

“The treatment is a very, very difficult manufacturing challenge,” notes Andy Payne, a principal at Down Decor. “That's why it has never been done before this year. Our clients are pretty excited about this development and what it means for the safety and comfort of their consumers.”

The proprietary manufacturing process comes about through an exclusive contract with a Belgian lab, NanoGroup Europe, and involves treating the down with an ultra-fine polymerization that is long-lasting, verifiably safe, and remarkably effective.

The company contracted with the International Down & Feather Testing Lab (IDFL) for independent analysis of the treated down, which yielded the current data. Daniel Guigui, Down Decor principal, noted that even the testing of DownTek provided challenges, “DownTek isn't a fabric, so IDFL had to come up with new testing protocols and definitions. We are very happy with the data so far, and look forward to further testing to outline not only it's hydrophobic properties, but translating that data into measuring its increased insulating capacities.”

Significantly, the treatment does not add any weight to a down garment or sleep system. “You'd have to weigh many kilos of the DownTek to notice even a marginal difference in weight,” notes Payne.

The best way to see DownTek in action is to visit this simple demonstration online http://vimeo.com/34761492. For those wishing to interview Down Décor, please contact Gordon Wright at 415.887.9325 or at Gordon@OutsidePR.com

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