Protection begins at fibre level – how Gelvenor’s protective fabrics are designed to withstand severe conditions
When you’re working in the mining, petrochemical, or oil and gas industries, you’re going to be faced with a lot of unexpected dangers. The only way to stay safe is to make sure you’re wearing protective clothing that has been stringently tested and assured to perform in these harsh environments.
While garment design and manufacturing standards play an important role in ensuring the safety of the wearer, it is ultimately the fabric that is responsible for delivering protection. At Gelvenor, protection begins at fibre level.
The first step in the development of a protective fabric is sourcing the yarn by count and composition. Fibres are carefully chosen for their characteristics to ensure that the end product will deliver all the protection required for the environment it’s used in.
The next stage of development is to design the fabric’s weave design, as well as the thread count density, to suit the garment’s end purpose. If the fabric is destined to go into workwear, a twill weave design is generally used, as this improves comfort and assists with the effectiveness of an acid-resistant finish if applied. For fabric intended to be used in a garment protecting the wearer from an electric arc, the fabric mass and tightness of the weave play an important role – the less opportunity for an arc strike to penetrate the fabric, the safer the wearer is.
Once the fabric has been produced, the most suitable finish for the cloth is decided on, based on the intended use of the final product. Acid-resistant finishes are common for flame retardant fabrics to provide extra protection, and other popular finishes include a wickable finish for comfort, or a fluorocarbon finish for liquid repellence.
After finishing, the fabric is checked for faults. Protective fabrics manufactured by Gelvenor Textiles undergo rigorous testing to make certain that they meet both local and international quality and safety standards. All critical parameters of the fabric are analysed, and test methods are chosen based on what conditions the final garment will be exposed to. Test methods selected could include burn tests, elongation and tear tests, high-temperature wash tests, acid resistance tests, chemical tests, aging tests or tests for various other properties.
Gelvenor Textiles submits its protective fabrics for testing at the independent ATS Laboratory, an independent textile testing service. Once the fabric’s protective qualities have been tested to the highest standard, it is sent for any external certification required or, in the case of general production, sent to the customer with the COC.
When deciding on which garments to protect yourself with, choose those made with Gelvenor Textiles fabrics, where protection begins with the fibre itself – backed up by over 50 years of experience in technically engineered fabrics.
Thanks to many years of intensive research, a willingness to innovate and an extensive testing process, Gelvenor Textiles excels in developing and manufacturing fabrics with protective qualities. In our state-of-the-art factory, we are able to engineer practical material options for a large range of textile applications, including a collection of protective fabrics that offer extensive solutions to various environment and industry specific work hazards. These hazards include industrial chemicals, electrical arc, hot metal splashes, fire, ballistics and medical contamination.
If you’d like to discuss how Gelvenor Textiles can help protect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.