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Lightening the Load for the U.S. Armed Forces


When soldiers of the U.S. armed forces are trudging through swamps, dealing with high heat or in the midst of intense negotiations, there’s no need to add extra weight to the situation—literally or figuratively.

With the average soldier carrying 87 to 127 pounds (the recommended load is only 50 pounds), the textile industry is looking to help ease the weight without compromising the durability of uniforms and equipment. There are plenty of fabrics available from which to choose, but to maximize strength while minimizing weight, a high-tenacity nylon mesh is the optimal choice.

Combining high-tenacity yarn with a stable construction and a mesh style that allows for airflow, soldiers not only lighten their load, but also gain comfort. The construction of the fabric along with the finishes, i.e. anti-microbial, moisture wicking and fire retardancy, contributes to the performance of the fabric and the effectiveness of its application.

Recently, a military contractor contacted us in need of a high strength, light-weight fabric for a new counter-chemical/biological warfare garment utilizing nanotechnology. After examining the requirements, including thickness limitations, we selected a specialty yarn and modeled it into a fabric using a unique knitting pattern.

For this particular application, the contractor needed this material as part of testing that would take place in Europe within two weeks, and we were able to warp, knit and finish the material in eight days.

We’re proud not only to support the U.S. military but local communities and employees by keeping business “Made in the USA,” and our customers see big benefits from shorter delivery and local sourcing. For more case studies or information about our results in the military industry, click over to our “industries” tab or give us a call at 1-800-989-APEX (2739).