Gear Video: Patagonia Materials Lab

November 23, 2012 By: timromano

Patagonia materials analyst Craig Simile explains how he “beats the living crap” out of potential new fabrics that might be used for water-proof breathable clothing at the company—like fishing waders and jackets. Some of his tests in the Patagonia fabric labs include puncture resistance tests, abrasion tests with sandpaper, rain tests, and the dreaded “killer wash” which, “tests durability by subjecting fabrics to a modified washing machine that gives fabric a severe and continuous thrashing for 24 hours to simulate years of use and abuse.”

If you’re curious about how rigorous the standards are for new fabrics are at the lab, consider this… When MidCurrent visited last week we were told that Patagonia “rejects 93% of the fabrics we evaluate because they don’t perform to our standards. The remaining 7% we subject to further rigorous testing and analysis during product development – and from each production lot – to make sure those standards are continuously met.