An outerwear line that uses cork and a waste-free computerized knitting system are among the innovations the company hopes to show off this year.
You’ve tried waterproof-breathable membranes and DWR treatments. Now, if Holden Outerwear has its way, you’ll wear cork. At January’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, the company debuted the latest installments in its Corkshell series, originally launched in 2018 as a partnership with textile manufacturer Scholler. The line, which includes the Corkshell Summit Jacket, Corkshell Summit Pants, and new this fall, a men’s bib, feature Schoeller’s c_change ® membrane, which uses mulched recycled wine corks to create a spray-on laminate that maintains many of the original material’s qualities.
According to the designers at Holden Outerwear, the benefits of cork are the same for wine and apparel: It protects against the elements while maintaining a high level of breathability. The c_change membrane acts much like a pinecone, reacting to temperature fluctuations by automatically dilating in warm temps and tightening in cold. The result is a dynamic insulating layer ideal for backcountry skiing or winter treks.
Also new from Holden Outerwear: WholeGarment knitwear, produced by Japanese Shima Seiki technology, which Holden describes as like 3-D printing for apparel. The result is seamless construction that requires no cutting or sewing. Designers enter into the Shima Seiki machine as code and the garment is constructed in a single weave, eliminating the potential for human error in the manufacturing process. Another perk: WholeGarment construction is waste-free and eradicates pesky seams that might chafe.
The technology can be applied to a range of materials, but the current line focuses on merino wool base and midlayers. The three-garment line includes a hooded men’s wool top, a women’s turtleneck, and men’s joggers.