For the last 6 years, Stencil has lead the Australian corporate wear market with their production of high quality, high-tech clothing. In 2005, Stencil brought two new fabrics to the market, further enhancing their reputation for making comfortable, high-performance, hard-wearing shirts.
If there was one thing that set Stencil apart from their competitors just a few short years ago, it was the introduction of Stencil Cool Dry®, an innovative mositure-wicking fabric from which many of Stencil's casual, work and business shirts are made. Still a relatively new fabric, Stencil Cool Dry® breathes like a cotton, is quick drying and has antibacterial properties, making it cool and comfortable to wear all year 'round.
While most moisture-wicking fabrics are produced by applying chemical wicking treatments to whole cloth, Stencil Cool Dry® is woven from a mix of pre-treated Stencil Cool Dry® yarn and ordinary, untreated yarn. As a result, while coated fabrics can have trouble retaining their moisture-wicking characteristics past the first few washes, Stencil Cool Dry® is a permanent treatment, meaning the fabric retains most of its high-tech qualities for the life of the shirt.
However, as moisture-wicking fabrics became more common in the market - many using the less resilient chemical coatings, but some employing methods similar to Stencil Cool Dry® - the obvious choice for Stencil was to keep looking ahead, exploring and developing innovative new fabrics suited to their product lines.
The fruit of Stencil's investment in new technology was brought to market last year in 2 forms - Clime-Dri®, a stain resistant, UPF 50+ rated fabric with the same wear characteristics as Cool Dry®; and Nano-Gear®, a natural-feel, 100% cotton or poly/cotton fabric that minimises stains, repelling even red wine and other traditional 'disaster' substances.
Stencil Clime-Dri® was developed by Stencil in partnership with DuPont, using DuPont's new Sorona technology. Clime-Dri® mixes the excellent wear characteristics of Cool Dry® with the innovative spring-like structure of Sorona, giving Clime-Dri® a feel quite unlike any other and an impressive set of attributes. While exceptionally breathable, Clime-Dri® boasts a smooth and silky finish as well as colourfastness similar to that of nylon. It has the fleeciness of an acrylic, without the pilling, and stain resistance similar to polyester, without any of the discomfort. Yet perhaps even more appealing is that Clime-Dri® has plenty of 'give' - it stretches easily, but springs right back into its original shape to combine fantastic fit with a relaxed, comfortable feel.
With that said, one could argue that Nano-Gear®, Stencil's second revolutionary new fabric range, is even more impressive. Produced in both 100% cotton and poly/cotton blends, Stencil Nano-Gear® uses
nano-scale polymers engineered to attach to the individual fibres - making them literally part of the fabric - to leave the finished clothing astoundingly stain resistant and wrinkle-free. Although Stencil Nano Gear® was first put to work in business shirts ideal for long days and messy jobs, a second version of the fabric is now being used in a range of men's and women's polo shirts as well. Because Stencil Nano-Gear® makes use of such incredibly small-scale treatment, fabrics stay as soft and pleasant to wear as their untreated equivalents. Cottons stay cool and crisp but gain truly remarkable stain and liquid resistance, while the poly/cotton Stencil Nano-Gear® dries faster and has even better wear characteristics than its untreated equivalent.
One way Stencil demonstrates Nano-Gear®'s stain resistance is to take a fresh, crisply ironed white business shirt and pour red wine straight onto it. To the amazement of most, the wine rolls straight off the fabric, even after being in contact for quite some time. Demonstration over, the shirt is as crisp and clean as it started. This stain resistance is what makes Nano-Gear® ideal for a wide range of corporate, work wear and uniform applications - whether you're out on the road or working hard in a messy environment you can finish the day feeling almost as fresh as when you left for work that morning.
As well as the Cool Dry®, Clime-Dri® and Nano-Gear® ranges, Stencil still offers a range of other high-tech fabrics, including their advanced Weather-Tech® and Sun-Tech® ranges.
Stencil Weather-Tech® is the ideal light weight wet-weather gear for Australian conditions, keeping out water, wind and cold while remaining comfortable thanks to one-way breathable fabrics and intelligent layering of fabrics.
Where Weather-Tech® keeps out the wet, Stencil Sun-Tech® keeps in the warm, trapping heat in its specially designed hollow-core fibres. These hollow fibres have other benefits, too - Sun-Tech® is 20% lighter than equivalent fabrics, making it extra-comfortable to wear.
Of course, Stencil still use the classic fabrics too - Poly/Cotton blends, 100% combed cottons, drills, cotton piques, micro fleeces and any number of fabric blends designed for optimum comfort and wear. However, it is Stencil's relentless pursuit of new fabric technologies, and a refusal to compromise on their standards of quality, comfort and
wear, that make Stencil's garments the success story they are. While there's no telling what Stencil will be making five years from now, there's one thing you can be sure of - they'll be working hard to stay a step ahead of the market.
(Courtesy of JEM Promotional Products ©2007)
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