The inspirations for construction clothing come from many sources. A customer's body and function are first in mind when manufacturers brainstorm a new item, and athletics and unexpected objects–like a fire hose–also inspire the fabrics and technologies used to make these pieces. ProSales interviewed seven companies on how they take new materials and technologies into account to fulfill the needs and wants of their customers. Here are some of the latest trends on the lumberyard catwalk.
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The Fire Hose line features 100% cotton-canvas, long sleeve, fleece-lined or unlined shirts that are resistant to rips, snags, and tears. They also are treated to repel water, grease, oil, and mud.
Knowing that workers–like athletes–sweat all day, Ironclad Performance Workwear adopted features from moisture-wicking, odor-resisting, temperature-regulating athletic wear. All shirts are machine washable, stain resistant, anti-microbial, and designed for durability, fit, range of motion, and circulation control. All pieces offer a UV protection of 30-plus.
Gerbing's vest does more than retain heat–it creates heat. The Lite heated vest warms the body's core with heating elements–powered by a removable, water-resistant, rechargeable battery–that can be placed where heat is most needed. The vest is washable, water-resistant, and has side zippers that allow for size adjustment (small through extra large).
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Wesco (www.westcoastshoe.com/wesco) and Timberland (www.timberland.com) have taken different approaches to the warmth issue. Wesco customizes boots and offers a choice of several warm linings. Timberland has aerogel nano-technology, which provides a lightweight, space-saving insulation applied to the steel and non-steel toe box; the steel-toe is coated with a ceramic-based coating for additional warmth. Both companies have boots with non-marking and oil-resistant soles with traction to reduce the risk of slipping. Steel toes are also available for those who wish extra protection.
Comfort is a priority for these shoemakers, so they combine needs with unbulky padding. If there are special needs, such as uneven leg length, Wesco can make a shoe to accommodate.
Carhartt (www.carhartt.com) has Double Front pants (and coming soon, Double Front shorts for warm weather) that have an extra layer of canvas to protect legs that rub against projects.
The Fire Hose line by Duluth Trading Co. also has pants and shorts that provide the strength of a hose but with comfort. Pants come fleece-lined, unlined, or with CoolMax. Pants with CoolMax wick away moisture and allow wearers to remain cool and dry in warm temperatures.
Both brands make their bottoms with extra leg room for a greater range of motion when climbing, bending, and moving.