The fabric of success
30 April 2019
New innovations in workwear fabric technology can deliver greater comfort and mobility on site in the summer, explains Peter Dumigan.
MOST TRADESMEN and women wouldn’t think twice about buying the best-designed tools to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. But many will be surprised what a modest investment in the new stretch-comfort working clothes with 37.5® fabric technology can achieve in improving their summer workdays.
It’s not often that you see a tradesman or woman who isn’t wearing a pair of work trousers nowadays. They seem to be generally accepted as being thego-to garment for working on site – perceived to be practical and functional, they generally have a selection of pockets to keep small tools and fixings close at hand and can cost anything from fifteen quid to over a hundred.
There’s a host of different types and brands of trousers to choose from – some are really smart, others look nothing more than a bag of rags after a few days wear and tear.
But as many professional tradesmen and women throughout the UK have found over the last few months, it’s well worth taking the time and effort to invest in the latest innovatively designed workwear – properly designed and fully accredited.
The new street-smart, stretch-comfort work trousers and 37.5® fabric technology Topwear have been designed, developed and tailored to provide more than just functionality – they incorporate 4-way stretch fabric and breathability that delivers comfort, flexibility and maximum mobility on site.
Over the last 40 years, workwear has undergone a sea change in design, development, manufacture and supply. It has certainly come a long way from the old Bib ‘n’ Brace and Boilersuit you could get in a plastic bag from your local merchant.
When choosing the right clothes for working on site, it’s important to find a ‘workwear system’ of garments and accessories which is designed for the specific personal requirements of tradesmen and women – more importantly, for how you want to look and feel.
Many professionals now go about choosing their workwear in the same way as they do clothing for outdoor leisure activities – walking, hiking, jogging and climbing for instance. They choose clothes that deliver comfort, good looks, functionality and performance.
They also want to ensure that the clothes and particularly kneepads are tested and accredited against appropriate Protective Standards for differing working environments and weather conditions and risks on site.
You’ll find that some of the newest types of working clothes – jackets, topwear, undergarments and trousers - are now made from the same fabrics you’ll find in performance sportswear and leisurewear – like the lightweight ‘37.5®Technology’ and 4-way stretch fabrics.
Snickers Workwear has been producing working clothes with these types of fabrics for well over a couple of years – leading the market as ever. They’ve been developed from research carried out among tradesmen, talking to them about what they need, by understanding those needs and translating that into working clothes that suit the way that people need to work, look and feel on site.
Worth the investment
Unlike the most basic workwear brands, market-leading garments are available in a range of different fabrics to suit the wear and tear of working on site. Fabrics that are hard-wearing and durable, washable and colourfast, comfortable, flexible and breathable, windproof and waterproof.
Function and comfort are more important than anything else in choosing the right work clothes. That's why the newest and best workwear is made with 4-way stretch fabrics to be comfortable, to fit properly and to give freedom of movement, so that whatever people are doing on site, they can bend and stretch, kneel and sit, crouch and reach without feeling as though they're in a straightjacket.
Snickers Workwear, for instance, has a wide selection of garments and accessories to suit differing work requirements as well as personal taste. Among the newest 2019 styles you'll find a unique blend of stretch-comfort and optimum functionality – 4-way stretch combined with pockets where you need them and functionality for tools and work materials.
So when you’re thinking about what to wear on site, remember the old saying – If you buy cheap, you pay twice. Consider your working clothes as an investment in yourself and your wellbeing and check that the clothes you’re buying have the kind of PPE accreditation you find in Snickers Workwear products.
Top tips and essentials
The best summer workwear is one that creates a Climate Control System for your body. It will help you stay cool to make getting the job done as easy and comfortable as possible.
There are many factors that affect how comfortable your work clothes and safety shoes are, particularly the materials they're made of and whether they're right for the type of work you’re doing.
If you’re on the move a lot or want to keep your feet cool, why not try out some of the newer-style safety trainers that combine lightweight, breathable uppers and composite midsoles for comfort and protection. You can even get socks that will keep your feet cool, dry and ventilated.
Shorts are fine in really warm weather and some working environments, but they wont provide protection for your knees and lower legs. Work Trousers made from heavy fabrics will get really uncomfortable and impractical, so think about getting yourself a pair of lightweight work trousers made from a hi-tech fabric that combines comfort with durability.
Your upper body
Keeping comfortable and dry will keep you working efficiently, so get yourself topwear like shirts and lightweight jackets – including Hi-Vis vests - that work for you bypulling sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and your body temperature on an even keel. The last thing you need is for your clothes to get really wet through sweat, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and getting cold when the temperature drops.
Get the right fit
To make sure that your working clothes fit your body and the jobs you’ve got in hand, here’s some basic advice:-
Choose clothes that not tight, but lightweight and comfortable but durable to protect important parts of your body, like your knees.
Choose ‘Climate Control’ fabrics that wick away sweat away from your skin.
In general, keep in mind that you don't want any clothing that gets in the way of the work you’re doing.
Don’t wear clothes that become uncomfortable and therefore affect your concentration. For your own comfort and wellbeing, it’s important to stay alert and to pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re working hard on a hot day.
Turning down the heat
When the going gets really hot and humid, ventilation is the key. Look for hot weather garments that feature advanced designs and ‘intelligent’ materials – such as the ‘37.5®’ fabric found in high-tech sportswear, or A.V.S and Coolmax®, which is a soft fabric designed to transport moisture away from your body, helping you to stay cool and dry.
The high-tech A.V.S. fabric features an innovative blend of polyester and bamboo carbon. The bamboo is ground down to nano-size - one millionth of a millimeter - and blended with the polyester fibre. The result is a highly breathable material, giving you exceptional moisture (sweat) transport, UV protection and anti-odour comfort.
Peter Dumigan is managing director of the Hultafors Group UK Ltd, which owns Snickers Workwear. For more information, visit www.snickersworkwear.co.uk
FACTS ABOUT SWEAT
Sweat is the cooling mechanism of the body. It protects us from overheating by turning moisture into vapour. This vapour needs to be released and ventilated away from your body or you will end up soaking wet. Which probably is your experience if you have worked in non-breathable materials during hot days.