Softshell is one of the most successful new products to be launched into the industrial and corporate market in recent years, comparable to the introduction of the fleece in the 1990's, and has found a home in a variety of end uses because of its versatility, functionality and smart appearance.
Softshells are the latest revolution in workwear and offer various advantages over traditional ‘hard shell' jackets in most weather conditions, except the most extreme. They offer high performance in lightweight, comfortable garments that are soft and flexible, and provide a degree of protection from wind and rain. The main focus of the softshell, however, is breathability. Whereas traditional outerwear is focused on weather protection - keeping the elements out - the softshell is concerned with air circulation.
A softshell is defined as similar to a fleece in when it is worn - essentially a mid-layer technology, or an outer layer depending on the weather. To be a softshell a jacket needs to have two distinct sides, a durable woven outer face and a thermal inner, bonded together into one fabric that is soft and manoeuvrable. They can be of two or three layer constructions, laminated or unlaminated, but the key thing is the passage of air.
The technical ability of the softshell means that it can repel water, act as a wind proofing layer and is breathable.
- Comfort - lightweight, warm and breathable.
- A smart alternative to fleece with increased weather protection.
- Bonded construction means they are soft and flexible to wear.
- Great for decoration - transfers have good depth of colour, they print well and embroidery looks clean and neat.
- Easy care - softshells are machine washable, and some can also be tumble dried.