WADERS WITH NO HOLES
To continue at the forefront of wader development in the world and to secure our leading role in Europe, year 2012 will see some big changes in our wader strategy. Although Ikon is selling steadily well and Opas is just about to be launched properly, we have worked already for many years to introduce a totally new generation of waders. The main driving force behind this development has been the overall feeling that at some point the whole industry has taken a wrong turn.
The fantastic feeling that we had when we moved from neoprene and PVC waders into delightfully light breathable waders has been gradually evaporating, as the modern waders have become increasingly technical (a bunch of pockets, zingers, and other gadgets) and the durability against abrasion has been picked as the primary objective (by increasing the number of layers in the lower part) at the expense of breathability and usability. As a result, modern highend waders are heavy, stiff and their breathability capabilities are not what they used to be. We wanted to change this trend and feel again that initial Do I have waders on or not? feeling when we wade into the cold mountain river.
Ultrasonic welding technology
Every now and then a disruptive change takes place in every field of industry. Sometimes these changes are new inventions, which create possibilities to create something totally revolutionary. More often these changes are, however, based on a novel usage of an existing technology. That is the case also with the new ultrasonic based weld technology for making waterproof seams for waders. Ultrasonic welding has been used since early 1960:s in several industries including for example computer and electrical, aerospace and automotive, me dical and packaging. The ultrasonic process is versatile you can seam, cut, slit, trim, tack, emboss, or cut and seal simultaneously. The process is efficient, with no needles, threads, or other consumables. The ability to ultrasonically weld textiles and films depends on their thermoplastic content and the desired end result. It has been applied extensively to outdoor garments including especially top of the line jackets and trousers in skiing and mountain climbing. Ultrasonic welding has produced strong, waterproof, well abrasion lasting no bulky seams without any stitch holes. All features highly valued among active outdoor experts. Based on the success in these relevant fields, it should not be any wonder that fly fishing tackle industry also picked up the method and applied it to sportÆs garments, like jackets and later to waders.
Secure and flat seams
The main differences between traditional and ultrasonic seamed waders, from the usability point of view, are the flat seams. There is actually no noticeable difference between the plain fabrics and the seam. Only the additional waterproof inside tape will create a small increase to the thickness. This is quite the contrary to normal seams in waders, where you have a bulky seam with three (3) layers of fabrics plus the additional inside tape(s). In numbers, we can state that an ultrasonic welded seam is always at least 67% percent thinner when compared to normal seams. The bulkiness of a traditional seam causes also a serious non usability related problem; the big difference in thickness between the plain fabrics and the seam creates a sort of a hinge (joint), which increases considerably the level of abrasion.
//Vision & Fly Dressing