This season we introduce a new face fabric to our GORE-TEX® Hardshells, including our the iconic Alpha SV and Sidewinder SV jackets, plus other Hardshell favorites like the Rush Jacket and Theta SV Bib. This new textile offers superior performance characteristics for use in extreme mountain conditions.
What is a face fabric and what does it do?
GORE-TEX® textiles are comprised of an outermost face fabric, a GORE-TEX® waterproof/breathable membrane and an interior protective backer.
The face fabric, as the outermost layer of a Hardshell garment, plays a fundamental role in its overall performance, specifically in its durability, breathability and water shedding.
What is the new face fabric?
The new face fabric is an engineered fabric woven from high quality 80 denier nylon 6,6 yarn with a false twist texture and super tough "plain weave" construction.
Download Arc'teryx GORE-TEX® Fabric Naming Guide
(Adobe PDF Document 516Kb)
Why did we make it?
Our goal was to optimize the performance of the GORE-TEX® ePTFE waterproof/breathable membrane in the garment by creating an extremely durable face fabric that would withstand abrasion and wear. All GORE-TEX® textiles come with a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) finish to help bead moisture and prevent it from becoming trapped in the face fabric structure (known as "wetting out"). The DWR is effective but does wear out and needs to be re-applied over time. A better, longer-lasting solution involves diligent engineering and construction of the face fabric to augment the moisture-beading capabilities of DWR.
Surface "wet out" is also accelerated by frayed or broken fibers. These broken fibers break the surface tension of water droplets - causing them to be absorbed into the fabric. Snow and ice can also attach to these fibers. Moisture accumulated on the surface of the jacket decreases breathability and amplifies the effects of evaporative and conductive heat loss, robbing heat from the user. With reduced breathability of the garments, more moisture accumulates in the clothing system, depleting the warmth of other layers and leading to further heat loss. It’s a cycle that ultimately leads to the user being cold and uncomfortable and in extreme situations can very dangerous.
How did we make it better?
In conjunction with W.L. Gore, we developed an exceptionally durable face fabric that resists fibre fraying as a further step in preventing performance-sapping "wetting out" of the face fabric. Keeping the face fabric from "wetting out" which reduces the effects of conductive and evaporative heat loss and maintains optimum breathability.
Each component of our new fabric was chosen for its contribution to the whole. This particular combination offers the greatest benefits in terms of durability and water repellence.
False twist yarns prevent frayed fibres
- Adds bulk and an elastic quality while keeping yarns smooth
- More water-repellent than conventional flat filament nylon face fabrics
- More abrasion-resistant than conventional flat filament nylon face fabrics
Nylon 6,6 is extremely resilient
- Withstands heavy wear and tear
- Resistant to heat and friction
- Holds color well and doesn't fade easily
Plain weave construction (one-by-one pattern) is irrefutably tough
- Weave is tight in both warp and weft
- Equal tension and spacing prevents fiber weakness/breakage
80-denier yarn weight
- Our specific blend balances durability and packability with wearable comfort