Quality Fabric Of The Month: OmniBloq™: Keeping Flylow Gear Dry As A Bone

Flylow Gear’s men’s Quantum Pro Jacket and Chemical Pant are treated with Bolger and O’Hearn’s OmniBloq™ DWR for high performance in demanding conditions.

Bolger & O’Hearn’s OmniBloq™ was engineered to keep apparel dry and consumers comfortable even in pounding rain and squall conditions.

By Rachael S. Davis, Executive Editor

Fall River, Mass.-based Bolger & O’Hearn recently introduced a new type of durable water repellent (DWR) to the market called Stormproof/ Breathable™ OmniBloq™. The company reports OmniBloq is an “ideal DWR in even the harshest snow storms, rain and squalls,” and has been engineered to deflect heavy, wind-driven rain and provide laminate-like rain resistance when applied to a single-ply, woven man-made fabric. OmniBloq also maintains a fabric’s breathability without compromising fabric hand or wearer comfort.

“Single-ply fabrics having specific woven constructions can be finished with OmniBloq and will retain the original fabric’s air permeability and moisture vapor transmission rate, while providing excellent water holdout in addition to the outstanding resistance to soaking in extreme rain exposure,” said Shawn Honeycutt, sales manager.

According to Bolger & O’Hearn, typical DWR finishes deposit a semi-organized layer of coating onto the textile fiber, which provides enough of a barrier to resist gentle water spray and other contaminants. However, this disorganized finish arrangement reduces long-term durability and makes the fabric vulnerable to high-impact rain and snow.

What sets OmniBloq apart from typical DWRs is that the chemistry forms a highly ordered layer on the textile fiber that is strongly repellent. This near-perfect organization of the OmniBloq coating also ensures it remains adhered to the fiber over time, so the fabric maintains its ultra-repellency in adverse environmental conditions even after repeated laundering. “Fabrics based on man-made fibers such as polyester, nylon and blends with spandex can be home laundered more than 30 times and still retain outstanding storm-resistant properties,” Honeycutt said.

The chemistry is a bluesign-approved, non-perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) technology that also provides protection against oils and stains. OmniBloq is suitable for application on single-ply fabric constructions, but can “super charge” laminated waterproof/breathable fabric constructions as well,” Honeycutt said.

Fabrics treated with OmniBloq pass the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ (AATCC’s) Rain Test 35-2013; resist wetting out anywhere from three to 20 times longer than the same fabric treated with a traditional DWR; and also maintain the highest rating on the Bundesmann water repellency test after more than 30 minutes of exposure to impact equivalent to full force rain, according to the company.

OmniBloq is suitable for all types of performance apparel and gear, as well as boat and car covers, military uniforms and soft goods, footwear, and awnings.

Denver-based outerwear and apparel company Flylow Gear recently adopted OmniBloq DWR introducing four of its best-selling winter designs treated with the finish at the recent Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show — the Quantum Pro Jacket and Chemical Pant for men; and the Billie Coat and Nina Pant for women.

“We’re stoked to be the first winter sport brand to use OmniBloq DWR, and we specifically chose to use it on pieces that are favorites of some of the hardest skiing men and women on the mountain” said Dan Abrams, president, Flylow Gear.

For more information about Stormproof/Breathable™ OmniBloq™ DWR, contact Shawn Honeycutt shoneycutt@bolgerohearn.com; omnibloq.com

March/April 2019