Patagonia Pushes Non-PFC DWR Research

Patagonia and HeiQ

For the past couple of years, Swiss textile technology company HeiQ has worked with many European brands to deliver fluorocarbon-free DWR treatments to outdoor apparel. To date, however, there remains a lot to be proven in the actual performance of these first-generation non-fluorinated DWR technologies. To find new ways to achieve the breathability and performance we have come to expect from our outdoor apparel but in more sustainable, non-fluorinated technologies, Patagonia entered into an exclusive research partnership with HeiQ.

HeiQ’s current non-PFC DWR treatment — Eco Dry — imitates the natural repellency of duck feathers. Using a combination of interface chemistry and surface structure, fabrics treated with Eco Dry are kept dry and clean, with water droplets carrying away dirt by simply rolling off the fabric. It is one of the most effective non-pfc water-repellent textile technologies on the market, capable of achieving water repellency similar to PFC C6 levels.

But both Patagonia and HeiQ believe they can do better, however. This joint project aims to realize an improved non-pfc DWR technology and achieve a new level of performance in this field.

“A central component to Patagonia’s Material Innovation Strategy is to minimize the proliferation of toxic chemistries.  However, we will not be successful unless we also achieve the quality and performance that our customers demand.  Shattering this status quo for DWR is of paramount importance to Patagonia, and calculated partnership is a key means of doing so.” said Matt Dwyer, Director of Material Innovation and Development at Patagonia. “After Patagonia conducted an exhaustive DWR exploration, HeiQ emerged as a natural partner in its ability to conduct world-class research while commercializing high performing, sustainable textile finishes. We believe that HeiQ will augment and amplify our capability portfolio.”

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