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UK Fabric Technology


Originally designed in the UK, Ventile® is densely woven from 100% cotton using the world’s finest long staple fibre.

Ventile® is not coated or laminated yet the combination of the dense weave and the swelling properties of the fibres when wet provide excellent weatherproofing.
It is an entirely natural product that offers a unique level of comfort, look and feel as well as being windproof, highly breathable, very durable and quiet.

Ventile® fabrics are used in some of the world’s finest outerwear performance garments and have military, medical and workwear applications. What’s more, they look great!

A Long Pedigree


The long pedigree of the fabric goes back as far as the late 1930’s.
With war looming, the British government thought that there would be a shortage of flax that was used in those days for fire hoses and water buckets. An alternative was required and research was commenced into the use of cottons, woven in such a way as to keep water in ! And it worked.

The requirements for research though changed during World War II. Britain depended upon convoys carrying vital supplies, but our Russian convoys across the Arctic Ocean were particularly susceptible to attack from submarines and long – range bombers. Home based RAF fighter escort cover was impossible because of distance.

So, Winston Churchill promoted the concept of catapulting expendable Hurricane aircraft from the decks of merchant ships to provide local cover. There was no means of landing back on the deck. The pilot had the choice of ditching the aircraft or bailing out into the sea. There was no problem in spotting the pilots who had signals and lights, but the water was so cold that life expectancy was only a few minutes. Most died from exposure.

There was an urgent need for a new, protective clothing fabric that would be comfortable in the cockpit under combat conditions and that would also keep a pilot warm and dry in the sea. After many trials, the scientists at the Shirley Institute in Manchester U.K. developed the fabric called ‘Ventile’. When made into finished garments, life expectancy in the sea was extended from a few minutes to 20 minutes and rescue was now a real possibility. 80% of anti-submarine pilots who fell into the sea now survived.
Ventile® fabrics for RAF clothing went into mass production in 1943 and the military association still remains today. Garment designs have changed over the years but you will still find Ventile® suits in modern Tornado jets with the RAF and other NATO airforces.

100% Cotton


Ventile® was the first truly effective all weather fabric whose breathability performance remains unsurpassed. Its secret lies in the uncoated and unlaminated construction. The fabrics are 100% cotton, utilising the finest, long staple fibres, only found in the top 2% of the world’s crop. After gentle spinning and doubling, the yarn is woven into a very dense Oxford weave, using up to 30% more yarn than conventional woven fabrics.

The performance of Ventile® fabrics results from the properties of cotton fibres which expand when they come into contact with water. The combination of fibres, yarns and weave causes expansion in a uniform manner. This allows the interstices within the fabric to close up, preventing the further passage of water. In addition to this, Ventile is impregnated with a high quality DWR system which enhances the fabrics water resistant properties and increases performance.

The fabric therefore provides excellent protection against the wind, rain, snow and cold.

Why Ventile

The Benefits

Weatherproof – Ventile® protects you from wind, rain, sleet and snow.

Windproof – The fabric keeps out the wind and hence helps protect from wind chill.

Breathable – Ventile’s very high moisture vapour transmission rate helps keep you dry when active.

Natural 100% Cotton – The benefit of cotton with environmental peace of mind.

Comfortable – Enjoy the great outdoors and strolling down the high street in equal comfort.

Durable – The fabric is very long lasting. You can expect years of use from garments in Ventile®.

Quiet – Ventile® has no “rustle” and is ideal for camera work, hunting or bird watching where noise would be a problem.

Reliable – The fabric’s proven performance over many years means that garments won’t suddenly breakdown unexpectedly.

Superior Protection

Knowing Your Ventile

With care, Ventile® fabrics offer long life, superior breathability and excellent protection against wind, rain and snow, with the added advantage of being quiet and comfortable.

As the fabric allows ventilation better than synthetic performance fabrics, eyelets or vents are unnecessary. However, in extremely vigorous conditions, condensation may be produced under a jacket. Ventile® does not pretend to change physiological responses.

Water Protection
In extremely wet conditions a slight darkening and stiffening of fabric demonstrates the ‘Ventile® Action’ . The change in the physical appearance of the fabric indicates that a small amount of water has been absorbed to allow fibres to swell and thus stop the passage of water through the garment. Drying in normal conditions is fast.
A single layer Ventile® jacket provides excellent protection for everyday use, while a double layer Ventile® gives a first rate performance garment for use in the most testing environments.

Wind Protection
The close weave of Ventile® stops wind passing through the garment, preventing the wind chill factor from having a detrimental effect. Ventile’s use on major Arctic , Antarctic and Himalayan expeditions is testament to the confidence placed in this fabric by professionals operating in the world’s most extreme and hostile environments.

As a natural fabric, Ventile® is relatively ‘rustle free’; useful for many sporting needs and those who want to be at one with nature. The ‘noise free’ characteristic also adds greatly to the comfort of the wearer in everyday use.