Her boundless optimism rests on a strategic partnership with Garmatex Technologies Inc., which supplies Cool-jams with its new KottinuTM material, a ground breaking microfiber with all the comfort of natural cotton plus astonishing wicking and drying properties.
The partnership has already paid off: the prestigious trade magazine Apparel this May honored Cool-jams as one of the top 40 innovative apparel companies in the U.S. This honor was awarded to Cool-jams for their innovative approach to marketing sleep products, as well as their scientifically advanced fabrics and products.
Darren Berezowski, the Los Angeles-based President of Garmatex, says his company is at the leading edge of technological innovation in the performance apparel industry. “We are in the right place, doing the right things,” he says. “Cool-jams was smart enough to recognize that.”
How Mahaffey tapped into the newly emerging, high technology world of performance fabrics scientifically attuned to the rhythms and patterns of the human body was a case of “synchronicity,” she says. She was looking for the perfect fabric while, at the same time, Garmatex was looking for her. Garmatex had heard Mahaffey had been using a material imported from Turkey, and they asked her to compare it with their KottinuTM.
Mahaffey, a plainspoken woman with a disarming candor and an infectious laugh, was immediately impressed. “The Garmatex KottinuTM material was better,” she says.
“It’s more comfortable because it feels like silky soft, lightweight cotton, rather than the sticky, uncomfortable polyester fabric found in most other wicking products,” she says. Of particular interest to Mahaffey was the groundbreaking wicking performance of the Garmatex material. “It has all the attributes associated with the fastest wicking and drying material in the world,” she says.
The special properties of the Garmatex proprietary microfibers are a closely guarded secret. Mahaffey learned only that it was originally conceived in response to a request from the Canadian Armed Forces for a more effective alternative to cotton.
Engineered in the company’s Taiwan laboratories, the fabrics in the KottinuTM line employ a Moisture System Transference (MST) process involving a unique blend of fine fibers bound into filaments each thinner than a human hair. The filaments, each with different performance capabilities, are formed into threads and knitted together in ways to speed the movement of moisture through the material.
MST technology regulates body heat while minimizing the energy expended to keep the body cool and comfortable. As moisture is pulled away from the body it carries with it the body’s built-up heat, helping to regulate body temperature. This process also minimizes excessive temperature drops during the cool down period after intense physical activity. A proprietary antimicrobial agent, Bact-Out, is added to the fabric to fight odor and bacteria.