IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

Sector Pulse
Cindy McNaull
Cindy McNaull
Global Brand & Marketing Director

We have broad range of options in durable fabrics


What are the brand new applications for CORDURA® fabrics? Which industries are considered tough fabrics as an alternative to conventional materials?

Traditional boundaries are changing - our customers are taking inspiration from a wide variety of markets such as outdoor, cycling, yoga and so on. We have used this cross-over theme to introduce multi-functional Cordura fabrics, which were originally developed for a specific market such as workwear into other markets including extreme and endurance sports where long lasting, fabric performance is also valued. 

Our latest Cordura Combat Wool Fabric collection is a prime example of a multi-tasking fabric that can stylishly take on whatever life throws at it, combining long-lasting durability and everyday wool comfort to seamlessly adapt. Fit for the versatile lifestyle with fashion-forward endurance, Cordura Combat Wool is key for meeting the needs of today's fast-paced consumer.

Our latest generation multi-functional performance Codura denims are another great example. Durable, long-lasting and versatile, they can be specifically engineered for enhanced moisture management, thermal regulation, soft-comfort, mobility, and more. Performance denims give consumers the perfect freedom they need day in and day out.

Overall, we want to make sure that the brands and end consumers have the broadest range of options when it comes to durable fabrics. It can help if a designer or an end consumer understands the heritage of the fabric and the value it brings to the garment or product. For example, our Codura denim fabrics are based on the NYCO fabric technology we developed for military applications. Jeans brands like this rugged, tough denim solution and have used this crossover to successfully incorporate this technology into their urban collections, including lightweight comfort driven collections.

What are the latest innovations taking place in this industry? Is there any new research happening at Cordura that you would like to share?

A recent development has been the introduction of the Invista T420HT fibre. More than two years of intensive research and design has resulted in our newest, state-of-the-art, patent-pending Invista T420HT nylon 6,6 staple fibre designed to enhance the core strength of Cordura fabrics. This cutting-edge breakthrough is the strongest nylon 6,6 staple fibre we've ever produced. Cordura NYCO (Nylon/Cotton) fabric blends based on this new high tenacity staple fibre have already been adopted by a major international military, and continue to undergo extensive wear trials for next generation combat uniforms.

What are the major events planned for Cordura this year? Are there any specific regions or markets where you will be promoting the Cordura fabrics aggressively?

As 2017 is our fiftieth year, we are taking the brand on a global road show (who doesn't like an all year long birthday celebration, right?) - and aim to announce 50 epic initiatives this year. These initiatives include new fibre and fabric technologies, collaborations, anniversary capsule collections and more. They all will be featured on our microsite as they roll out, and on social media via #Cordura50.  
Our roadshow kicked off at the Winter Outdoor Retailer 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah in the US - and so far has had additional stops at Munich Fabric Start Keyhouse, ISPO Munich in Germany, IDEX in Abu Dhabi, Struktur conference in Portland, and most recently the Techtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany. And of course more to come as we celebrate five durable decades with our value supply chain, brand, and media partners around the world. 
At ISPO, we were honoured with 50 ISPO Textrends innovation awards - which includes receiving best product award for our Cordura 4EVER fabric in the Fall/Winter 2018/19 base layer category, which probably came as a surprise to many who up until recent years have thought Cordura fabric as a rough and tough bag and pack material.  Overall, eleven of our authorised mills won across six different ISPO Textrends categories, featuring a wide variety of materials ranging from ultra lightweight Cordura Naturalle fabric to our latest Cordura Combat Wools including the exciting new line of Cordura Combat Wool Denim from Artistic Milliners. 

While at ISPO, we were also honoured to be a part of the award winning Blackyak apparel collection. Blackyak clothing is crafted to withstand even the harshest alpine conditions. Prototypes are exposed to the extreme situations by the Blackyak athletes during trainings and on expeditions. Week-long treks, waiting at base camp, the ascent of 8,000-metre-high peaks, climbing ice walls: people and materials have to work together optimally. With the Cordura brand ethos of 'Durable Fabrics for Durable People', the collaboration with Blackyak has been a natural fit. When two companies with such similar brand promises align, it's amazing the magic that can happen.

Cordura completed 50 years in this industry. How has it evolved with time? Any new investments or expansion plans for the future?

Fifty years ago, the origin of the Cordura was durability. (Cor= Core, Dura = Durability or simply stated, the COR of DURA bilty)

Our heritage fabrics are based around the original core of durability that Invista nylon 6, 6 fibre brings. Since then, Cordura fabrics have found their way into virtually every type of gear and apparel, from messenger bags to denim jeans to military boots to ultra-lightweight outerwear, helping create products that are strong yet lightweight, comfortable and functional, delicate yet durable. These durable, adaptive performance fabrics are built-to-last for nearly any need… military, tactical, outdoor enthusiast, worker, urban adventurer and many more. And we're always looking for next generation durable solutions.  A natural fit being our recent foray into childrenswear.  (Nothing like some seriously durable kids to put Cordura fabrics to the test!)

At last week's Techtextil show in Frankfurt, our parent company, Invista announced an investment of over $65mm in new state-of-the-art fibre production equipment at our US based Camden, SC facility.  This investment will expand capacity of nylon 6,6 fibre used in a diverse range of applications including high-tenacity, specialty fibres used in Cordura fabric production used in a variety of end-use applications including military gear such as bags, backpacks and ballistic vest carriers as well as a wide array of commercial end-uses from hiking boots to hunting gear, workwear to motorcycle, and many other outdoor, lifestyle apparel and equipment products.  

Since 1967, we have been defining (and refining) what durability stands for and are dedicated to forging new frontiers in long-lasting fabric performance. Consumers today know Cordura fabrics as the durable fabric solution that helps them go further, faster, and push boundaries near and far. Our fabrics help defend, protect, and endure life's tough battles, whether that is at work, play, or in true combat situations Cordura fabrics have had your back for over 50 years, and we are looking forward for the future, alongside our valuable supply chain partners and develop durable solutions of tomorrow.

Published on: 06/06/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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