Ventile, the ugly facts they don’t tell you

Four years ago I posted a pretty critical piece about a fabric that at the time was on the brink of enjoying something of a comeback. The main point of the article was that the historical facts that were being bandied about might not actually be as historical as they were made out to be. There was much talk of RAF immersion suits saving the lives of fighter pilots that ended up in the cold sea, but research failed to turn up much in the way of actual evidence for this claim. In fact, Ventile didn’t seem all that big a deal. You can read the original article here.

In this article, I want to make 3 points. These relate to the environment, to marketing and the alternative. Please pay attention.

Since my first article was posted, Ventile has increased massively in popularity, so much so that it’s just about everywhere at the moment.  More and more brands are using it, the same story is still being retold and the legend seemingly lives on. Oh, and the “Made in Britain” movement has embraced it.

The first point that really bugs me is the claims made for the eco-friendliness of the fabric. As the story goes, Ventile works by the cotton fibres swelling up and making it waterproof. This means the fabric gets wet, and when wet no more water will pass through. Now, this sounds well and good, although this is probably not what your average consumer wants. A wet jacket is a wet jacket and a wet jacket is not very pleasant, even though there may be no more water coming through once it’s wet. What works for a fire-hose might not be as suitable for a raincoat, right? And damp cotton surely can’t be much of a problem for the environment. Or can it?

No doubt that Ventile makes the water gather in droplets, but why does this happen?

No doubt that Ventile makes the water gather in droplets, but why does this happen?

The environment

So how does Ventile really work? Well, facts on the table, it’s treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellant). This effectively kills all claims of Ventile being the eco-friendly outdoors fabric and also renders much of the historical facts null and void. Not just any DWR either, but fluorocarbons (PFC’s), which are now becoming known as genuinely nasty chemicals. From the website Greenpeace has set up on this topic:

“Per- and polyfluorinated chemicals are a family of man-made, fluorine-containing chemicals with unique properties to make materials stain resistant and waterproof. PFCs are incredibly resistant to break down; some have the potential to remain in the environment for hundreds of years after being released. They are turning up in unexpected places around the world. These pollutants have been found in secluded mountain lakes and snow, they’ve been discovered in the livers of polar bears in the Arctic and even in human blood.”

These C8 fluorocarbons are also strongly linked to some forms of cancer and have a half-life of between 4 and 8 years, so even if we stopped using them today, they’ll linger on for some time. The industry is hard at work replacing these long chain compounds with an alternative, shorter chain compounds  called C6, which although they don’t work as well and spread even easier than the long chain ones are are still legal to use. Ah, it’s such a familiar game, right? Also, even if the C6 fluorocarbons turn out to be benign, they are apparently so polluted by C8 that there is little actual difference when used.

Side note: Greenpeace is running a Detox Outdoor campaign with regards to PFC’s in outdoor clothing. They are following up a number of manufacturers, wanting them to commit to phasing out PFC’s before 2020. It’s quite a paradox that Patagonia, currently the darling of saving the planet is listed as “Out of the race” in this respect. 

The marketing

Another major selling point of Ventile has been that’s it’s a British fabric. Invented in Britain, made in Britain, sold as British. Only, it’s kind of not really all that British now and hasn’t been for a while. According to Wikipedia it hasn’t been made in Britain since before 2000. You will notice how cagey the Ventile labels are though, using words such as “developed in” or “originally woven in”, where they really really want you to understand it as “made in Britain”. These days it’s actually made by a Swiss company called Stotz as their “etaProof” brand, and then re-branded for the Ventile-hungry market. They don’t make any mention of it being treated with fluorocarbons on their website either.

This is from the UK Ventile website in September 2010 (it’s archived at, if you would like to verify). Notice how it clearly says “Woven in the UK” and “Ventile® is not coated or laminated”.

These days the Ventile website has been taken over by Stotz, but the mention of water repellants is still kind of buried in the specifications. I’m not sure if it’s entirely correct to describe it as entirely natural and not coated? The wording is at the very least intended to convey something that most would argue is untrue. It’s no longer woven in the UK though, so some progress has been made.

Developed by... As used by... Originally woven in...

Developed by… As used by… Originally woven in…

I contacted Stotz and they confirmed that the production of Ventile is three processes, where spinning has taken place since the early 1980s in Switzerland, weaving since 1999 in Switzerland and dyeing/finishing since the 1970s in Switzerland and Austria. No small wonder the Ventile labels have the fuzzy “Developed in England since 1943” text.

In an odd occurrence of cosmic synchronicity, Ventile UK announced last week that Stotz was taking over the supply of Ventile. Hmm.

I have asked many of the companies currently making garments from Ventile what type of Ventile they use and whether it has been treated with fluorocarbons. Every single one has shrugged and pointed to the official line or something along the lines of “Yeah, the cotton swells like, used for fire-hoses and immersion suits, proper lifesaver! Awesome!”. Indeed.

Notice how sneaky this label is? Developed in Britain, but not in any way implying that it is made in Britain...

Notice how sneaky this label is? Developed in Britain, but not in any way implying that it is made in Britain…

The alternative

Ah, but there is a final redeeming point! Stotz also makes an alternative “organic” version of their “Ventile”. This is made using organically grown cotton and is treated with paraffin wax, in effect making it more like traditional waxed cotton. The wax coating is said to be less effective for treating outdoors fabric than DWR-treated traditional “Ventile”, though both variants do require retreatments to uphold their water repellant properties. There is also the point of paraffin wax being a product made of hydrocarbons from petroleum, coal or oil shale, and hence neither environmentally friendly nor sustainable. Granted, paraffin wax is less evil than fluorocarbons, but there are better ways of doing this. A beeswax is an option, but scarcer than the man-made variants.

There is a definite trade-off here though and I would strongly suggest that if you want Ventile, make sure you are getting the more environmentally sound organic variant. If the maker even knows what type they are using, which is far from certain given the amount of subterfuge involved in propping up the Ventile story.

UPDATE 1: I contacted Stotz and they claim they have stopped using C8 and only use C6 now (though as mentioned, this doesn’t change much). They can offer the waxed treatment on both the organic version and the regular variants of the fabric.

UPDATE 2: I recently noticed that the Ventile website has been revised again, this time including a brochure with a timeline of Ventile. This is interesting, and it also confirms the point I have been making, in that Ventile has not actually existed as a real product for a couple of decades now. Instead, it has been Stotz etaProof fabric rebranded and sold as Ventile. It’s good that Stotz has actually cleared this up now, instead of perpetuating the fake story of Ventile.

Further reading:

My first post on Ventile

Grough Magazine has published a masterclass titled “Waterproof clothing and fluorocarbons – What you need to know about your beloved jacket”. Read it.

Gary S. Selwyn, PhD “C6, C8 and See No Evil

NikWax also has a good article about the fluorocarbon issues.




  • Keith Douglas 20/05/2017 at 11:39

    This is genuinely very interesting, as I have been looking to replace my Gore Tex jacket with something more natural looking, and Howies Winston jacket is made from Ventile. The name Winston, combined with Ventile’s Spitfire pilot dunked in the English channel (but still dry)image is an appealing one for an older chap like me. I will think again……….

  • John P 20/05/2017 at 12:59

    Nick, I think Adidas also used the alternative in some of the Spezial range in the last couple of years, can’t remember which piece it was though.
    On a different level the pollution caused by the denim industry is insane and the stories told by makers are full of half truths and hyperbole, China makes some great denim and loads of shit throwaway stuff too but it all adds up.

    • nick 20/05/2017 at 13:34

      Thank’s John! We’ll have to look at one fabric at a time, though I agree denim is a bad case!

  • Holdfast 25/06/2017 at 09:18

    The Ventile WW2 story is a very appealing one, but no account I have read aside from the one here makes any mention of chemicals being used, just the semi magical properties of the cotton. A similar hype and price surrounds Grenfell Cloth which I had a coat made from. Very nice it looked and felt, but waterproof, or windproof? Not really. Barbour wax jackets unless recoated virtually once a month are also similarly hopeless at keeping out the wet. In a strong downpour they go stiff and cold. The nicest looking vintage Barbours with their wonderful patinas have no water resistant properties at all. My most waterproof garment? An old wool and cotton gaberdine rain coat.

    • nick 25/06/2017 at 09:26

      The fact that everyone keeps up the old hype and never mentions the iffy chemicals was what compelled med to write this piece. I did a previous one questioning the historical angle. I’m not out to get Ventile, just asking for some honesty. Grenfell cloth looks nice, but no experience with it.

    • Random Reader 25/10/2019 at 15:32

      I was questioning where Nick got the information regarding the coating but its on Ventile’s official website as well
      “After dyeing, the fabric is finally treated with a durable water repellency finish (DWR) on both sides of the fabric for added performance and water resistance.” After re-reading the article, I see Nick has mentioned the official website as well, “These days the Ventile website has been taken over by Stotz, but the mention of water repellants is still kind of buried in the specifications.”

      • Alex 19/07/2021 at 15:31

        Possibly true about more recent Barbour jackets. Even the classics are getting progressively worse by the year. I have a Bedale from 2013 which is still 100% waterproof and I have it reproofed every 18 months or so. After losing a bunch of weight, I thought about buying a smaller size, but immediately changed my mind upon trying on those new Bedales. Fabric, make and fit – absolutely appalling!

    • Cameron Hills 18/11/2019 at 13:09

      My Barbour Northumbria does go stiff in the cold, and is heavy. But it does keep out the rain. I have re-waxed it maybe twice in 20 years.

      • Joseph 18/11/2019 at 14:43

        Never wax Ventile cotton; it will stop it working as intended. You either do not have a Ventile jacket or you have ruined it; and yes it will be waterproof (and completely non-breathable) if you’ve caked it in wax. I’m always amazed at the amount of people who think they need to wax Ventile cotton as it fundamentally kills the key advantage over any old waxed cotton. Ventile is expensive for a reason; do not destroy it with wax.

        • nick 18/11/2019 at 15:30

          A Barbour Northumbria is a heavyweight waxed cotton, not Ventile.

      • Ollie Batts 09/09/2020 at 14:22

        Mine too!

    • Ian Brewer 25/06/2021 at 15:57

      Hi, I think I remember that gaberdean and aquascutum? Had a rubber layer inside, making the garments heavy, and waterproof

      • Julian 26/06/2021 at 09:33

        This would be the orignal Mackintosh fabric (invented by Charles Mackintosh 1823) that was made and produced into raincoats up in Scotland. They merged with Hancock in the 1830’s and the Hancock factory still makes jackets and coats. I work a little with the factory up there in Scotland.
        A thin layer of plain weave cotton, a layer of rubber and another layer of cotton made a sandwich of material, all hand glued with sealing strips of the same material behind all seams and glued pockets. Sadly after about 15-20 years the glue dries out, stiffens and the whole thing falls apart. Completely unbreathable but brilliant.
        The Gabardine you may be referring to could be the original wool gabardine that Aquascutum first developed in the 1850’s, with wool being aquaphobic and so shedding the water off itself. Suppliers to the military, the trench coat was made for the trenches.

        • nick 26/06/2021 at 10:08

          Partially factual, at least! 🙂 There’s a lot of confusion around this topic (and I’ll not lay claim to being a historian in this regard). Charles Macintosh (note spelling) was a Scottish scientist that discovered in the early 1800s how to dissolve rubber, which allowed it to be bonded between cotton layers to create a totally waterproof fabric. He partnered with Thomas Hancock, another scientist
          to add vulcanizing making the product less sticky and stiff. They then partnered with others in the cotton industry in Manchester to actually produce Mackintosh fabric (note spelling again). Whether today’s Mackintosh company has any direct link back to the inventor of the fabric is not totally clear. Their website certainly hints at it being so, but almost 200 years later I’d like to see a bit more actual evidence of it. What is more certain is that Hancock (Manufacturing, formerly Vulcanised Articles, something is going on here) is a much newer company, set up by ex-Mackintosh employees in Cumbernauld less than 10 years ago. As I’ve heard it due to dissatisfaction with how Mackintosh is run by it’s Japanese owners.

          I’ve not had any long-term experience of bonded cotton delaminating, but it’s a fabric with virtues and shortcomings. Yes, it’s totally waterproof, no breathability or migration of water molecules at all. Which does make it kind of limited in use and hard to live with, unless you enjoy being clammy 🙂 In this regard, I’ve always been dumbfounded by Nigel Cabourns original Cameraman, with the top half in Mackintosh fabric, the lower in Harris Tweed. A jacket which appears half for use in rain, half not so. I’m sure someone has a theory on this.

          • Julian 26/06/2021 at 10:20

            Thank you Nick for filling in the gaps in my knowledge. I’m rusty!
            Its not so much the cotton de-laminating, but the glue used on the seams between the “tape” and the shell that peels away – and the pocket bags which just fall off. And the whole thing becomes completely stiff. But this was on an old Duffer mac made by Mackintosh that I bought in the late 80’s. By 2005 it was starting to come apart.
            But then so is my Arcteryx Beta bought in the late 90’s, which is not really wearable any more. Its falling apart though de-welded seams – which is a shame. Its too frayed to be repairable.
            And the Cabourne cameraman – Nigel probably designed one half at the top of his windmill and the other at the bottom!

  • Gordon 21/07/2017 at 12:52

    I’m with you wanting much improved candor in marketing–not just Ventile and not just clothing, either. The references you gave at bottom were all extremely educational. My search for a good rain jacket is much better informed thanks to your article.

  • Joseph 14/09/2017 at 10:26

    Indeed, the branding has long been very disingenuous. And the demise of the Lancashire mill is still available in news reports online from the 1990s. Some American brands even use the word ‘waterproof’ in their Ventile textile labels – which it isn’t (only weatherproof; not quite achieving a hydrostatic head measurement of 1000). Many apparel manufacturers are also keen to emphasize the rain-proof integrity but fail to mention that their product uses only a single layer (and not double, which is where Ventile achieves most of its reputation). Alternative companies rebranding the etaproof (“Ventile”) cotton have chosen to do so to move away from Ventile’s obsession with waterproofing? The material remains a fantastic functional cotton with many advantages over “ordinary” cotton but it is not a waterproof alternative to the dozens of modern textiles now available. “Duuton3” for example promotes the same material as a wonder cotton; not a wonder waterproof material. The material has long deserved a more sophisticated re-positioning. The Duuton brand attempts to prise the material away from the hunting/fishing and bush craft community (who obese about waterproofing) and promote its use more pragmatically amongst functional clothing, travel wear and even practical fashion. Ventile (aka etaproof) is a great fabric, for doing some things well, but as ever a dodgy USP claim and a slightly hazy misrepresentation has come close to killing its own brand name.

  • Helen 25/09/2017 at 09:19

    Nick, you say “… Danish Dedenroth. They are admirable [for] making their jackets in Denmark.” For many small niche clothing companies it is not economically viable to make their clothes anywhere BUT their home country. Minimum orders and shipping costs from the better (producing superb quality) Chinese manufacturers removes this option for the small “start up”. Nothing to do with being “admirable”. I always smile when I see this narrative turned to their own PR advantage. I’ve lost count of the amount of brands which end up shipping from china once they’re big enough.

    • nick 25/09/2017 at 10:51

      Hi Helen, no one is more cynical when it comes to this than I am, and yet I disagree with you. If you know the situation in Denmark, and really the rest of the Nordics, you’d realise that there is virtually no home textile industry. It’s all been sold to East Europe, and this is mainly where the smaller garment companies have their products made. Supporting a small local textile industry likely is more of a hassle and more expensive than having a factory in Latvia or Portugal produce, hence why I applaud supporting the local effort. And for me the “Made in Denmark” (and likewise “Made in Britain”) is a selling point. And yes, I know it’s not a simple made here or there question, what with companies actively masking the country of origin, finishing products to the exact requirements to achieve a certain country of production and so forth. In my country, Norway, there used to be a strong garment industry, now it’s almost all gone.

      • Helen 25/09/2017 at 13:03

        All very fine points and on this occasion this ‘may’ be the case. I do bulk however at how often companies have their goods made locally simply for tiny production runs, being able to change designs quickly, talk directly to the manufacturer (to compensate for lack of knowledge) and not to have to hold stock is then palmed off as some sort of crusade and loyalty and even promote the notion that the production is automatically better quality (which it very often certainly is not). Listening to Monicle Eutreprenur podcasts is always full of companies having their goods made in local textile houses (e.g in East London) where the UK textile industry has equally been decimated, simply because it is their only option. They then market them at a premium claiming the U.K. manufacture needs paying for (on the complete myth that it shall be better quality). 99% of the time the whole we are proud to manufacture in {insert your country here} is a complete croc. Great, do it if you want to or have to but I resent the typical nonsense narrative that is then adopted. All too often it absolutely has nothing at all to do with being admirable. Thanks for reply – love your site!

  • Kartturi 10/11/2017 at 13:03

    I salute this article in its inquisitiveness! As a side note, you didn’t really touch performance: I’d be keen to get some genuine feedback on that.

    You see, my reference point is a soon to be ten year old GoreTex hard shell that’s been with me through thick and thin and is now on it’s last legs. I’ve been looking for a replacement and after reading people wax all poetic about Fjällrävens G1000, about Paramo’s Analogy and Ventile, I’ve tried all but the last even going so far as to develop my own hot waxing method for G1000 to try and make it cash half the promises the marketing makes. All have failed to stand up to actual use; none other than the old-fashioned GoreTex has stood even close to a full hour in moderate to hard driving rain without leaking miserably. Since it seems I’m reasonably regularly in that position, I would expect a ‘weatherproof’ let alone waterproof garment to stand at least a few hours of constant rain.

    I’d be happy to switch, if there’s a product that is equal or better to GoreTex but it seems reviewers don’t often take their review samples out in the world to produce information that is useful for me or they are willing to compromise on performance much more than I am.

    • nick 10/11/2017 at 13:17

      I have to confess to not owning a full jacket in Ventile, so I have no real world experience of how it handles hard rain. Various reports I’ve read indicate it needs to get sodden before it actually stops further water penetration (which doesn’t sound like a very comfortable prospect). I recently acquired a trekking jacket from Ebbelsen (shown on Instagram a few times now), this is made from Duutton, a close relative of Ventile. I’ve used this in the rain with decent results, though it hasn’t been a case of total immersion. I tend to think that total protection can only be found in materials that totally stop anything penetration, mainly in the form of rubberised cotton (either with the rubber on the outside, as seen on repro rainwear such as Stutterheim, or on the inside, as Mackintosh make it). The disadvantage here is that the while the rain stays out, it also means any damp generated on the inside also stays on the inside… Is there a perfect product? I’m truly not sure.

      • Joseph 10/11/2017 at 15:03

        Kartturi – I read your notes with interest. Some quick points…

        1. Ventile is not waterproof
        2. Ventile garments are not claimed to be waterproof
        3. G1000 is not waterproof
        4. G1000 garments are not claimed to be waterproof
        5. With Goretex and cotton materials you are comparing oranges with apples (or even oranges with chocolate?)
        6. What you “expect” is a self imposed ideal and not related to what manufacturers are telling you
        7. We shouldn’t expect waterproof jackets to last up to 10 years?
        8. Ventile et al are fantastic for doing what they are designed for. If you want a waterproof garment you couldn’t do much better than heading down to JJB sports buying a cheap Karrimor jacket made of EVENT (very waterproof / very breathable) and then replacing it in 3 to 4 years time.

        Ventile is as this article explains another name used to brand etaProof cotton. The Wiki article this article references also points out that Duuton3 is also another name used to brand etaProof cotton. (Although this seems to easily confuse a lot of people)? People who forever “bang on about” or discuss, or puzzle-over how waterproof Ventile/Duuton3/etaProof is, always – and I mean always – fail to grasp the faintest notion that the best Ventile Jackets are made from two layers. Thats two. More than one. More than a single layer of the fabric. Two layers or double layer, is equal to two layers of the textile. As in double. As in twice the protection. Twin skin Ventile is much better at keeping out the wet as the outer layer protects the inner layer. A double layer Ventile jacket is very good at keeping the user inside dry. This is nothing to do with weather the fabric is waterproof?
        This is where Ventile has forged its reputation, but most garments on the market today (waxing lyrical about Ventile) use only a single layer as the material is not cheap. (It takes hours to make, uses extra-long staple fibers and uses a lot of them as the fabric is very dense). But it is extremely hard-wearing and can – as they say – last a lifetime.

        Ventile/Duuton3/etaProof is a fantastic functional and practical cotton used to make functional and practical outdoor garments made of cotton. If you want a waterproof garment, then choose from any of the HUNDREDS now available on the market. Ventile/Duuton3/etaProof feature the added benefit of providing decent weatherproofing on the unexpected occasions you are caught in the rain to a much greater standard than standard cotton. Its as simple as that.


        • nick 10/11/2017 at 15:40

          Good point regarding double layers, I had considered that. The Ebbelsen jacket is double layer.

        • Kartturi 10/11/2017 at 22:58

          Good and fair points Joseph!

          Maybe it’s my own fault for believing the marketing copy in the first place, but from a functional perspective, if I buy something that’s said to be an all-weather general outdoors jacket/smock/parka, you’re (not you personally of course) not doing a good job at delivering that if I get wet and cold on every third outing. And after 20 years of outdoors, hiking, camping and such I’m decent at layering so I’m thinking it’s not just user error. I just might give Ventile another look if I come across an opportunity, but I might just take your advice and get another standard GoreTex or eVent shell and hope for the best.

          I also accept that 10 years is on the outside for the lifetime of such a product, It’s just that I’ve been very lucky with the one I have and I haven’t seen many things that would deliver me better performance for a decent price.

          As a side note, that’s actually a good question how long should we expect things to last? My intuition is that from an engineering or design standpoint, we should expect little less than ten years with good care, and at a minimum five, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Of course professional heavy use is a different matter.

        • Kartturi 10/11/2017 at 23:07

          And a further point I forgot to add, is that what exacerbates the problem is that people who write about garments tend to wax lyrical rather than be explicit how well in what exact conditions a given product performs. I wouldn’t be so disappointed in G1000 for example if I wouldn’t have first read reviews that say it’s the best thing since sliced bread and then go on to experience something wildly different. It’s fine if a fabric or material is sort of mildly weatherproof for that brief shower that happens to pass on an otherwise overcast but maybe breezy day and dries quickly afterwards, but people should then say so directly, and perhaps go on to add that if you’re thinking of buying something that is for all-weather, then look for something else.

          • Joseph 11/11/2017 at 10:56

            A good balanced perspective. Personally I love my ventile jacket as it’s comfortable to wear for a variety of days outdoors. On the occasions when the weather has become much more wet than exepected – such as a long walk around morecombe bay at Christmas – the double layer system kept me dry. The outer layer wetted out completely but the inner stayed dry. It became heavy and stiff and wouldn’t be ideal for serious use and I wouldn’t choose it if I was expecting rain, but it’s nice to know it’ll keep me dry if I needed it. For hill walking I use Dermizax NX (the nx part is important) as it’s waterproof and extremely breathable, but does not rely on pores, has some stretch, and is very tough. But Ventile in the 21st century should drop the whole waterproof thing. It’s much more weatherproof than ordinary cotton and can last decades. Its windproof and quiet and comfortable. It is a great cotton textile but it shouldn’t get involved in discussions about being waterproof. Nicks observations are correct – the Ventile brand has been a bit mischievous over the years.

  • John 20/11/2017 at 13:26

    Thank you for writing these so we can have a different perspective about Ventile. I found that some Ventile fabrics are also made in Japan by a company called Daiwabo. I really wonder how they are different from those made in Europe. Have you ever compared them?

    • nick 20/11/2017 at 16:37

      Daiwabo is a new one to me, but I’m not surprised if there is a Japanese variantion of densely woven long-fiber cotton as well. Maybe we can cast the question out here? Has anyone else compared Daiwabo to Western Ventile variations?

  • Joseph 20/11/2017 at 17:06

    As far as I understand Stotz of Switzerland claim and continue to claim that they are the only producer of this specification of cotton in the world. (And as stated on their website for years). China (and presumably Japan?) have never been able to produce the material and/or any cheaper as the raw materials and their costs are the same globally. (The raw ELS cotton materials are in limited supply; 2% of available cotton globally and grown successfully only in certain parts of the world). Bizarrely, although “ventile” is used for the bushcraft market etc, its really an extremely premium product (and is too expensive for most clothing brands to make a “turn” on and achieve any kind of reasonable retail price point). Most ventile garments are sold directly to consumer from manufacturer, as that’s the only way to make the numbers work (but people will always moan about the price, never realizing quite what they’re getting). It takes hours of skilled labour to make “ventile”. There have always been lots of cotton textiles which claim to have improved weather resistance, from China and elsewhere, but “ventile” is a certain specification with incredible and unrivaled warp/weft count and density. I’m also of the opinion that Stotz themselves regularly teeter on whether to continue its production. And their “off the self” colour options and held stock are tiny. Hope this helps?

    • Joseph 20/11/2017 at 17:13

      Update: daiwabo is not a textile manufacturer? They refer to “Ventile” in clothing products, but they can’t make “Ventile” fabric as it is a registered trademark? They import and distribute, or represent, clothing MADE of Ventile.

      • Joseph 20/11/2017 at 17:21

        Update update! Consulting the global trademark index, it appears that daiwabo do indeed own the trademark “Ventile” for China? Although it isn’t clear whether they make the textile, or to the same specification? I can faintly recall something about this with a case involving Barbour many years ago? If I remember correctly any textile from this company, called Ventile, can not be sold in Europe. (Which would make sense). So in a way I guess we’re back to square one, as you can only purchase garments with a “ventile” label of the variety made in Switzerland?

  • charles OS 05/12/2017 at 22:36

    Very interesting having stumbled in here I have on many occasions in the past and more recently been thinking of going into more natural materials for my out door gear. I am in throes of replacing my Goretex Berghaus Trango Extrem (32Yrs Old) as it is becoming porous due to the PTFE breaking down but that said I’m not complaining as it has been high altitude trekking in the Himalaya, ski-mountaineering in the Arctic, Alaska and various other areas of northern Scandinavia and has been well used for day to day urban life and travel. I have an even older goretex from Berghaus that is now virtually porous but it still works, sort of………..From my perspective one other or both will be replaced by the softer versions of goretex out there now.

  • Graham O 20/12/2017 at 10:41

    This has been a good read as I’ve just found out that Ventile is now Stotz. A lot is being said on here of waterproofness, but that is only one element of an outdoor garment, there is also longevity, comfort, breathability, quietness, windproofness etc. The list goes on. To look at Ventile or equivalents only for waterproofness is not right because it offers so much more. We manufacture in Ventile and our products are used in extreme cold conditions where it is superb and out performs almost everything else. I’ve seen examples which have been dog sledding/snow mobiling/wood chopping in Alaska and Sweden for 15 years, and yes, they look a bit rough around the edges, but they are still in regular use.
    Even in the UK climate, I find that single layer Ventile, with good base layers is a good option. It may not be suitable for the “average consumer” mentioned in the article, but for those who understand it, it is perfect for some environments and conditions. You just have to know it’s limitations and work with them. However, the same can be said of any of today’s “technical” fabrics.

    • JOSEPH 20/12/2017 at 11:18

      You manufacture in Ventile and have just found out it is Stotz? It has “been Stotz” for over 20 years? And over the years, with the exchange rates it’s been cheaper to buy the fabric directly from Stotz – but you couldn’t then use the trademark Ventile: and benefit from their amazing website and amazing marketing budget!, NOT! Or forever be associated with bearded men droning on about how waterproof Ventile might be or the BS and dated awful marketing dross about WW2 fighter pilots? I hope you’ve read the comments in full as these are as informative as the original article. And I agree with your observations about the cotton textile simply being an excellent outdoor fabric. In my humble opinion the marketing genius with the Ventile trademark has really damaged this product’s perception for the modern era. But it looks like they’ve given up now anyway.

      • Graham O 20/12/2017 at 11:48

        What I meant Joseph, is that the link to Stotz is now in the open and it is being “branded” as such. I visited the Ventile weaving plant when it was still being made in Chorley but I knew it was being made in Switzerland in recent years. The previous brand owners were “cagey” about the sourcing.
        Interesting what you say about the exchange rates because everytime I looked at Etaproof, it was more expensive.

        • JOSEPH 20/12/2017 at 13:02

          Ah, that’s clearer; thank you. The company I worked for would buy euros in advance when they were cheap and get good deals on etaproof. Then buy “some” Ventile from the U.K. importer and brand all their garments with the Ventile trademark. “Ventile” never seemed to catch on? (BTW yes it’s now out in the open as you say, but every single clothing manufacturer colluded with “Ventile” in being disingenuous with the public being perfectly happy to not correct everyone’s assumption that it was no longer made in the U.K. which has been really naughty of everyone! Your choice of words confirms this. Amazing what one simple update on Wikipedia can do within 12mths. The game is up).

          • Graham O 20/12/2017 at 18:08

            Sorry to go on about it Joseph, but you made an incorrect assumption about my first post, and now you have made another incorrect assumption about my second. I have never made any claims to it being British made and I don’t think you can assume that from anything I’ve said. To make sweeping claims about “every single clothing manufacturer colluded with Ventile” is wrong. My “choice of words confirms this”? I only said that Ventile were cagey about the sourcing, not I.

          • JOSEPH 20/12/2017 at 18:36

            No incorrect assumptions what so ever Graham. Ironically you have incorrectly read my words (written in plain black text on a white background). 1. I did not say you or any other manufacturer has claimed the fabric was British made. (Read my comment again). But yes every single manufacturer did avoid stating that the fabric was not british made or state that it was in fact made in Switzerland. I challenge you to produce any literature or evidence of any clothing company or your very own company, makining Ventile clothing, to prove me wrong. Every single one of you have been happy to keep your mouth shut about the misleading narrative maintained by the trademark owners. 2. “the link to Stotz is now out in the open” are also your very choice of words. 3. My first alleged incorrect assumption was not incorrect as it was not an assumption. I merely read what you stated which was: “This has been a good read as I’ve just found out that Ventile is now Stotz.” So, no assumptions made. I know the company you represent and you make very fine products Sir, but I am absolutely correct that none of you ever did anything to correct people’s assumptions that the textile was still British made. You know that, and I know that. It wasn’t your responsibility to do so, but it was always very convenient to let the Ventile myth rumble on. Anywhere else shouting about the fabric being made in Switzerland would be a major and obvious marketing strength, but, er, not if people already think it’s made in Britain, eh? 😉

        • Lars 21/01/2018 at 23:20

          Yes and I can say for Germany that nobody knows Ventile here and if rather as Etaproof. Also single layer jackets from etaproof here cost as much as double layer ventile jackets in the UK.

        • David Wilson 21/02/2022 at 11:56

          Ventile was never woven by Talbot Weaving in Chorley
          Their looms were incapable of weaving it.
          Ventile was woven by Thomas Mason in Colne Lancashire until the 1990’s when I took the production to Switzerland but not to Stotz.
          Stotz formed an association with Talbot Weaving from around the Mid 90’s when Courtaulds closed the Thomas Mason mill but retained the Ventile trademark.
          Talbot Mill produced what would be described as ‘industrial’ cotton fabrics whereas Thomas Mason wove fine cotton fabrics including Ventile
          A major part of the production was dyed and finished by Belmont in Lancashire an independent company owned by the Smith family
          David Wilson

          • Andrew Geddes 28/07/2022 at 18:51

            This is not entirely accurate. Talbot weaving in Chorley did indeed weave ventile but you were not part of that success and Thomas Masons were no longer in production. The fabric was woven in Chorley and dyed and finished predominantly in Switzerland, not at Belmont as their quality of their batch dyeing was insufficient to meet the customer requirements. For the entire period of the 90’s Ventile competed against Stotz & Co and their etaproof brand with a healthy respect for each others brand. Only when it was necessary to resource dyeing and finishing did Talbot weaving (Ventile) form a business partnership with Stotz & Co that over time developed to what it is now.

  • Lars 21/01/2018 at 23:41

    Interestingly Stotz now think more on environment issues. In 2016 I wrote them complaining about their PFC DWR. They did answer but seemed not to care much about it. To me the whole concept of DWR on Ventile doesnt make much sense to me. Ventile should get wet to “work” for what its made for, swell up and close the gaps. But the dwr prevent this. Much worse I think is their alternative with wax. This will caulk the fibre and maybe hinder the fibre to swell. This is against the logic of the ventile function.
    Interestingly Stotz just dont sell ventile/etaproof garment without any DWR wax. You cant get clean ventile!!!
    The cotton quality dropped a lot in the last 10-20 years. Main issue is the fibre is getting shorter and shorter but they need long fibre! I a also asked my self how the ventile quality was 20-30 years ago? Maybe it was much better. Maybe Stotz only sell garemnt with dwr to hide that ventile isnt as good as it once was. I dont know, just some thoughts.

    • JOSEPH 22/01/2018 at 10:58

      You are right. The DWR is primarily an aid to garment and textile production. It helps the fabric slide through the production process more easily and cleanly. However, it is applied to the outside of the fabric, not to the fibres (before they were twisted and before they form the fabric). It does stop light showers well, and rolls the water off so that the cotton does not absorb any damp and weight. However once it is over powered by heavier rain the fibres absorb moisture, swell and work. The new wax alternative however already has published results – by stotz – of lower hydrostatic head measurements and is less weatherproof.

      • Lars 25/01/2018 at 16:27

        Hm the DWR is mainly added as what is named for durable WATER repelnt. A producer of ventile clothes show me a mail where Stotz itself wrote that ventile without DWR performs poorly! My experience with wax on regular fabric is that it let the water drip of but get wet almost as quick as without. So if Stotz want to take responsibility for the environment, Why they stick with PFC even C6 isnt better. There are DWR that are even better than C8 but no problem for environment.

        • Joseph 25/01/2018 at 16:39

          The DWR wears off quite quickly (and Ventile carries on working just fine). It’s well known in the textile industry that the silicon aids production of many materials and has been marketed as a performance benefit; which it also very much happens to be. This is very old info and well established. Ventile with DWR works great/better for light showers but the core Ventile logic works irrespective of a DWR treatment in heavier prolonged rain.

          • Lars 25/01/2018 at 17:17

            Do you work for Stotz?
            You totally avoid why they stick with this terrible poison PFC if there are even better solutions than wax.

          • JOSEPH 25/01/2018 at 19:22

            I’m not avoiding anything? I didn’t even know there was anything to avoid? I’ve offered more detailed information on here than anyone? If you have a question, stop rambling and just ask it? If you want to know why Stotz use DWR… they have stopped. If you think you know of a better environmentally safe version and wonder why they don’t use, I don’t know, ask them?

          • Lars 25/01/2018 at 20:45

            I asked you if you are working for Stotz? You didnt answer.
            ” If you want to know why Stotz use DWR… they have stopped”
            They dont have stopped using DWR.
            ” If you think you know of a better environmentally safe version”
            Better? As if PFC is environmentally safe. Its not. Didnt you get that? And its not only the environment. If you wear it directly on your skin like a shirt or a trouser it will go into your body thru the skin and accumulate.

          • JOSEPH 25/01/2018 at 23:53

            Why have you adopted your tone and attitude? This is not social media and this is not a debate about politics? You have no right to ask me personal questions about where I work, but no, I do not work for Stotz (they are based in Switzerland). Yes I got it but it appears that you didn’t. Stotz now only produce a wax version. All other versions are no longer produced. Didn’t you get that? There are potentially alternative synthetic – man made – chemical alternatives which are allegedly environmentally safe, but I do not know why Stotz do not use them. ( If I worked for them I would know). Your Brocken English is not the easiest to understand so your rudeness is very misplaced. Please don’t respond to my message, or contributions. Good luck!

          • Lars 27/01/2018 at 14:26

            Where do you got your knowledge from? Even Stotz itself say on their hp that only the bio cotton is PFC free.
            The update of this article say they use c6 PFC now.
            And if you make up assertions that are against the information of the producer of this fabric, you should have some proof.
            “rudeness” “Brocken English” I dont know what you are talking about!!! And I dont even care because its off-topic

          • Joseph 27/01/2018 at 15:32

            What on God’s earth are you talking about now??? I’m not disagreeing with you? What is your problem? You are arguing with yourself?

          • Lars 27/01/2018 at 18:49

            Are you joking? You wrote:

            “If you want to know why Stotz use DWR… they have stopped.”

            ” Stotz now only produce a wax version. All other versions are no longer produced.”

            I show you their hp where you can see that the other none waxed PFC treated version all still offered and now you say you dont disagree?

          • Joseph 27/01/2018 at 21:12

            Wah wah wah wah. Very very bored. BTW Stotz etaproof is an excellent fabric.

          • GS 17/11/2020 at 01:36

            By ‘core ventile logic’ you mean two layers of it, right?

    • JOSEPH 22/01/2018 at 11:08

      Re: “how the ventile quality was 20-30 years ago?” Its better now than its ever been. Modern computerized looms and higher/faster air jet blowing for threads has improved the product.

  • Lars 22/01/2018 at 00:02

    Here is maybe another copy of ventile from Maloja. I asked them if its ventile or etaproof. They wrote the it is an own development. sure,10,29,293&s=8142
    “Storm Cotton is a functional fabric made from 100% cotton. Tightly twisted cotton yarns are woven into an extremely dense plain weave cloth. The results from the woven process are a dense all weather fabric, which has a natural touch and protects against wind and light rain. Product made from Storm Cotton is the perfect companion on chilly days and in variable weather conditions.”

    “Tightly twisted cotton yarns are woven into an extremely dense plain”
    Sounds familiar ; )

    • JOSEPH 22/01/2018 at 11:05

      There have always been lots and lots of “tightly twisted cotton” weather resistant cottons around, but Ventile/etaProof still has an incredible 15,000 individual strands of yarn, and an unmatched 30 weft threads and 80+ warp threads per CM. That’s whats so impressive about etaProof.

  • Kevin 11/02/2018 at 00:39

    In respect of peoples queries on performance all I can say is that I got a double-layer Ventlie Jacket a Christmas and love it. To me it is light; and water beads on it. Today I’ve been out in heavy rain and remained dry and warm. I guess the outer layer does feel ever slightly damp when you get in doors – but that’s about it. I would buy another at a drop of a hat.

  • Mas 19/02/2018 at 20:04


    Wow I feel I have to answer this- there is a bit too much self righteousness and damning fabrics & companies with a surface glance.

    1. MOD use – plenty of factual evidence to back this up (see below for references. But fact is MOD still were buying this fabric during Falklands war and even today. Its a good fabric but like anything it has situations it is superb at and others not so much. Suits some people and not others. Don’t knock a good fabric just because it doesn’t suit you. I do notice you have never even used it???

    2. CFC6 – Everyone and his band wagon has jumped onto this without knowing the full story and implications – check your facts pollutants by other sources including car tires is a a huge contributory factor to this type of pollution. Patagonia rather than selling substandard products have improved what CF’s they are using and are spending millions trying to solve this problem. A far better approach than saying the emperors fine clothes are beautiful when he really is naked. Too many brands out there are paying lip service rather than actively looking at ways to make this planet greener.
    just as an aside did you know the military are allowed to use C8 & C6 as its the only repellency that works with oil & water. When you see Greenpeace’s boats go whizzing by just check what their sea suits are made of…. I like Greenpeace and I like the campaign but its not actually targeting the real problem. Its going after a very easy target that actually has very little effect on this situation.

    Now if you had said cotton is the worlds dirtiest crop I would have to agree with you. The only upside to this is it will last a lifetime if looked after. Event Goretex – a few years and goretex is toxic when it breaks down in the environemnt – PTFE!!! DANGER!!

    Ventile’s marketing is terrible – they have none! A few nice labels that are actually produced by the manufacturers is hardly Ventile’s fault. Compared to the travesty of the pepsi adverts for example this is very small meal.
    All in all – well written article pity you took a shallow glance and didn’t fact check.

    Waterproof and Water Repellent Textiles and Clothing EPUB
    Edited by John T Williams
    Part of the The Textile Institute Book Series series

    • nick 23/02/2018 at 11:05

      Hi Mas,
      thank you for the passionate comment, and interesting to hear from someone professionally involved in performance fabrics.
      I think you may have missed the actual three points I wanted to make in my article. I’ll respond to your points in order:
      1) There is no question of whether the MOD has used Ventile or not. There is no doubt at all that they have used massive amounts of it, one only has to look at all the Ventile army gear for sale. The question was whether it was ever actually used in survival suits or not, which has been referred to a lot in Ventile lore. I had help from a museum historian in looking at this, and he was unable to find historical proof. A small point maybe, but as it’s such a keen part of the story, it had to be made.
      2) I’m not entirely sure what the point you are making here is, though I think it’s that when it comes to fluorocarbons there are worse things around, there are people allowed to use them as they work, Gore Tex is also toxic and so forth.
      Yes, indeed, we are taking shitty care of the planet and there are a huge amount of bad things of various nature and consequence being used and dumped. I don’t think this means we only need to focus on the absolutely worst pollutants though, and fluorocarbons are in any case way up the list. Making light of the fact that a maker actively lies about using a DWR in their products and masking this by claiming water repellancy entirely due to the swelling of dense cotton fibres seems disingenious.
      3) How can you say Ventile has no marketing? They have had a website up since early 2001 at least, with product information (see the screen dump and link further up). To me this is marketing. You could hardly expect a specialist fabric to use Pepsi style marketing, the comparison seems entirely spurious.

      I’m not sure which facts you would like checked further, but I’m up to the challenge if you would like to elucidate.

      Kind regards,


  • Trackie 11/04/2018 at 07:47

    Wanted to add that I just received the latest Klättermusen Einride and one of the things that sold me was that the DWR treatment they specify is a non-fluorocarbon type. They also don’t overblow the claims regarding water-resistance. They state it as such and claim nowhere it’s “waterproof”. However, I can’t see single Ventile being windproof, either. It appears to be very wind-resistant, allowing a slight amount of air in, which can be beneficial for some. The Einride has no pit zips, though in warmer conditions, I found them unnecessary and the pockets are functional for venting and conceptually so, not be accident or incidentally.

    • nick 11/04/2018 at 09:02

      It’s strange how few makers appear to use the non-fluorocarbon “organic” type of Ventile. Or maybe too few are informed of the issues concerning this fabric?

      • Trackie 11/04/2018 at 16:58

        The problem is the substitute coating doesn’t last long and reviews often complain about them. Nikwax’s coatings are non-FC (and probably what is used here) and they work well. Klättermusen is at least honest and says even in their Einride promo video on YT that reapplication will be necessary with Cotton Proof.

        C8 DWR is falling out of favour with responsible companies. C6 is replacing it but at the cost of durability. Nikwax is much less durable but very easy to use at home.

        • JOSEPH 11/04/2018 at 17:31

          Hi. Yes, ebbelsen (who also make Ventile jackets) but chose to use the alternative Duuton3 branding instead of “Ventile”, do so to get away from the Ventile belief system of, and preoccupation with, waterproofness. They also clearly state that they do not make waterproof garments, but do say that in one of their double layer jackets “you’d be unlucky” to become wet inside in heavy rain. They only see the fabric as an excellent all-round performance fabric which provides much higher degrees of wet weather protection than regular cotton; which is realistic. The Duuton website also provides care advice about replenishing the DWR finish/treatment. I think a lot of confusion, historically, about Ventile being waterproof derives from people confusing whether the fabric is waterproof or whether a well made garment (using that fabric) will keep you dry; which are two different things. As for the non-FC version of the fabric, I believe this is now the only version in production by stotz (but old stocks of the FC version are still running down); so in the near future all manufacturers will be using the FC free version.

  • Matt 12/08/2018 at 17:58

    Hi I just thought I’d throw my ha’porth in – I had a Country Innovation shooting style jacket in ventile which I bought cheap from the old now long gone army surplus shop in Keswick (they sold new products alongside surplus). I had the jacket for about 15 years and wore it daily as a raincoat and knocked around in it. I think it may have beaded water off when brand new but that did not last long. My memory is the jacket was always waterproof and the wetting out of the outer surface did stop water getting through. I never reproofed the jacket because it didn’t depend on dwr for impermeability only breathability. Like any shell jacket when wetted out the breathability is impaired until it dries again. Also when wetted ventile becomes quite stiff and the stuff is not lightweight even when dry but I liked my coat. My brother got a Keela branded jacket at the same time that was identical minus the mid height handwarmer pockets of mine.

  • Dave 02/09/2018 at 15:36

    Similar here Matt I bought a new Westwinds double Ventile parka from an army surplus shop 20 years ago.
    I have totally abused it hardly ever washed it ,the cuffs are frayed ,there are a couple holes in the sleeve near the cuff because the coat arms are to long for me and ruffle up creating folds and stress points,I have a rip from the hand warmer pocket that goes down 6 inches then across 2 or 3 inches ,the lining layer of Ventile in the hood is ripped,and after all that and walking thousands of miles in the rain it has now started to weep in hard rain in the hood.
    Snugpak made westwinds since but don’t seem to make them any more.
    So I just bought a new Country Innovation one.
    In the 20 years I have had this coat I have had several other man made fabric coats all have been useless,some have been water proof for a while until the membrane disintegrates or the seems start leaking absolutely none of them have been any more breathable than your average plastic bag .I have had lightweight so called super modern break through material usually as rugged and breathable as super market cheap throw away plastic bag.
    It is true Double Ventile is on the heavy side but not that heavy I had a gortex coat before my Ventile and it was heavier and I currently have multi layered coat that is 2200 g my old Double Ventile only is 1300 g .
    It is true it gets stiff when the surface is wet it doesn’t bother me in the slightest .My other heavy coat doesn’t get stiff it just gets water logged like most soft shell coats immaterial what fabric .
    Ventile doesn’t need any DWR as long as it is Double Ventile the DWR merely slows down the surface getting wet .It helps but it is not a necessity.
    Just like hard shell membrane coats the membrane stays water proof but the outer layer usually some kind of nylon gets wetted out with no DWR.
    The toxicity of DWR doesn’t bother me it is impossible to mass produce any fabric environmentally cleanly it’s all only a matter of scale.
    No fabric is perfect but Ventile ticks more boxes than any other and that is why I always come back to the old coat.

  • Luke 03/09/2018 at 14:43

    I have the Howies Ventile hooded jacket (in grey) and it does work well in terms of protection from the elements and breathability in warmer weather, lightweight and comfortable and bla bla bla. It was the breathability/protective description, not the RAF story, that worked on me. I was very happy with the jacket ever since I bought it. Now I know it is evil. And once again I have been injured due to my incapacity for negotiating the minefield of purchasing , well, anything. Hmm. Mixed metaphors, sorry. So anyway, your article was incredibly depressing for me. Reason I found it was because I would like something similar in black, searched Ventile, saw your article high up in the search (always avoid Wikipedia, Amazon and the other monopolising search results, so skipped down the search and saw your post). Soooo… since you seem excellent at research… can you point me in the direction of an ecologically sound, natural-fibre-based, ethically produced, well-designed, breathable, waterproof hooded jacket that is similar to the one I have but in black? Any help on that would be appreciated quite possibly with a donation on your Patreon page if I saw correctly that you have one of them?

    • nick 03/09/2018 at 17:36

      It’s not easy to know what is the best to buy now. I feel we’re at a point where manufacturers are, or should be, helping consumers by bringing out improved fabrics. It’s really not at all easy to navigate what is good or bad, true or false. With regards to Ventile (as it is still marketed as) there is the eco option, but there don’t appear to be that many who have adopted it. This could be down to price, I suspect, though I have no data on what the difference is. What would be nice is to see new methods of adding the functionality of chemical DWRs, but without the environmental issues. There was an American variant mentioned in another comment, though visiting the website doesn’t reveal much detail. Others, such as the makers of McNair mountain shirts use an innovative PlasmaDry technique (literally lasering the surface of the fabric) to add water repellancy to moleskin and corduroy.

      You’re right though, it is incredibly depressing, and I wish I had a better answer to provide. If anyone else can point in the direction of what seems like a totally valid request, please chip in! After all, it’s really only the ecologically sound part that’s tricky, the rest of the request is very much more doable.

      • Luke 03/09/2018 at 19:02

        Thanks for replying. Looks like I will have to wait for the alien technology based on offworld super-soldier suits I have been hearing about to phase into garments designed for general human-wear. Though it’s probably not the ecologically caring aliens that are the ones that have been developing combat-wear technology anyway. Seriously though, I share your frustration that we have such advances in technology and communication yet production of so many things still remains outdated, unecological and non-interactive… the old models of production and customer/producer creation are no longer relevant, yet, unfortunately, the possibilities for making use of advanced ecological production processes and bespoke customer communication are not being made use of efficiently. Possibly these potentials are even being blocked by petrochemical and synthetic molecular industrial imperatives.

        • Justin 11/10/2019 at 21:10

          Old thread and Luke the op is unlikely to ever see this answer, but Hilltrek in Aberdeenshire do various jackets in organic double ventile or what they call hybrid ventile which is single ventile with a double layer in strategic locations. I don’t yet own one but I’ve seen them in action and they seem very well made if a bit pricey.

          • Luke 11/10/2019 at 22:02

            Thanks Justin. I did read this answer as I am subscribed to the thread and will look it up.

  • Evan 24/09/2018 at 00:44

    Nick: Great article! I’m glad to learn that Ventile is indeed not made in England and that much of the Ventile fabric now on the market is treated with fluorocarbons or with some other not-quite-green chemicals. So: Since it’s been six months since Luke posted his question about where to find “an ecologically sound, natural-fibre-based, ethically produced, well-designed, breathable, waterproof jacket,” may I post that question again? I’d love to hear some specific recommendations from you or from your readers. If you could name the exact brand and model of the item, plus the retailer that offers it, that would be fantastic. Thank you!

    • nick 25/09/2018 at 13:08

      Thanks, Evan, it’s nice to know it’s useful. It’s a huge market out there, so I’m not sure I can give you a clear pointer on what might be the best option (I’ll have to research that more in full), but I did reach out to the company that makes Ventile now and asked them which companies use the “Organic” type. I was kind of disappointed to be given a list of just three: Dedenroth in Denmark (as mentioned above), Amundsen Sport in Norway and Klättermusen in Sweden (they used organic etaProof, but same same, I guess). That means every other company selling Ventile garments are using the etaProof fabric with fluorocarbon DWR. Kind of depressing to think of.

      • Justin 11/10/2019 at 21:14

        Again see above comment (Hilltreck)?

  • Joseph 25/09/2018 at 13:28

    Depressing, yes, but no more so than just about every waterproof jacket on the market including the last 40 years – it’s not just a ventile issue. Unfortunately it takes time for stocks (of product and fabric) to go down but eventually all will be eco friendly by default. One eco friendly point etaproof scores very highly on is the fact it lasts – almost – “forever”! Outlasting several synthetics, reducing impact on resources. But yes, lets hope the eco (coated version is adopted soon!

  • Neil Work 20/10/2018 at 18:25

    I have a book. “Invisible on Everest”, (by Mike Parsons of Karrimor fame,& Mary B. Rose) , a history of outdoor clothing. They give the same story about Ventile as appeared in the advertising. Shirley Institute 1941, Hurricanes, 20 minutes,etc..which you appear to doubt.They have a source though. They give it as : Public Records Office WO/32/13587 ‘The Development and Use of ‘Ventile’ Cloths’. Directorate of Equipment and Stores, Ministry of Supply 1949.
    I find the single lightweight Ventile is very good as a windproof, mosquitoproof, very showerproof top. Its comfortable over a wide range of temperature. I find it actually dries fairly quickly. Not so stiff when wetted as to be uncomfortable. So nice to wear. I figure its the same weight as having a travel shirt (against sun & arctic mossies) and a pertex windshirt (sweaty when its warm), with the added benefit of a 700 Hydrostatic Head.
    But a luxury item. And not as ‘waterproof’ as Goretex, etc..where youre looking at 10x the Hydrostatic Head.

  • Ian 31/10/2018 at 21:02

    Interesting original article. I read pretty much all the comments and struggled to find any guidance on the most suitable applications for Ventile. In my case I am looking at Ventile for a classic motorcycle jacket. So I want waterproofing to a point, wind resistance, ease of movement, warmth and comfort. There is a small company in Yorkshire that makes jackets with Ventile as an option. I am still struggling to work out if waxed cotton is the best route, eg Belstaff, or to try the Vential variant. AS you say Nick, it is now very difficult to know what is best. My long tested approach to weather still applies – if it starts to rain stair rods, get under cover!

    • JOSEPH 31/10/2018 at 23:12

      Never understand why people struggle? Ventile is cotton? A cotton textile? We’ve all worn cotton? It’s a tight dense weave so it’s highly wind resistant and absorbs moisture but then the fibres swell and this blocks further water from getting through. Using two layers means the inner layer stays dry. It’s that simple. Waxed cotton has a waterproof barrier… the wax! … Ventile does not. For a motorbike experiencing rain at high speeds (with high pressure) Ventile will obviously be less suitable or weatherproof. It’s a strong tight weave cotton – that’s it? It’s a great allround versatile textile but not a specialist material. It’s no more complicated than that.

    • Trackie 01/11/2018 at 11:04

      Hi Ian,

      I’m a huge fan of ETA Proof. I found out about it last year and slowly assembled a nice collection of ETA Proof/Ventile Jackets and anoraks since then. I also contributed to discussions on the comments here while looking for jackets (eventually shooting down getting an Ebbelsen for various reasons).

      I have 4 Klaettermusen Jackets (3 Einride and 1 Midgard), one Amundsen Vidda, one Tilak Odin.

      In my opinion, Ventile/ETAProof is a highly technical fabric, more so than Stotz and others make it out to be. It works well for street and everyday use, no doubt. Perhaps better than most membrane jackets, but comparisons to those are not fair, this is a very different experience. Where Ventile really excels is for people who are physically active and generate lots of heat, such as while hiking in varied conditions. I recently used my Vidda in Iceland in the Westfjords and most all of the trip was done with that over my Mountain Equipment Gore-Tex Pro jacket. The great thing is there’s a small amount of circulation inside the jacket. Not enough to freeze one, but enough to reduce hotspots and prevent turning the inside into a steam bath, like with pretty much all membrane jackets, which all (there are a couple exceptions in the data, but not in my experience) require one to build up a moisture gradient before they actually start working. Not so with Ventile and one feels it immediately. Ventile is not 100% windproof, maybe in the range of 90% up to about 120kmh winds (which I experienced). The material is superb when combined with Merino wool garments underneath. At the end of hours of activity, one is still relatively dry and comfortable. Now remember in cold conditions, when one stops moving and is soaked in sweat, that could be deadly.

      Now for rain, the behavior of Ventile must be respected and there is no discussion of these finer points:
      -if you get stuck in a sudden downpour, the ventile won’t work optimally, as the fibers require some time to react.
      -if at all possible, get the jacket a bit wet, withdraw from the rain, allow a few moments for the fibers to react, then go back out and you’ll be exceptionally dry. I’ve been stuck in multi-hour rain storms with no cover and the jacket, while not 100% waterproof, kept me mostly dry AND kept me from having to work with a steam bath inside.

      The other advantage to ventile is comfort against the skin. A lot has to do with how they are made, naturally and for this, I give top marks to Amundsen Sports and Klaettermusen. Tilak’s construction and design philosophy regarding anatomy and functionality is extremely questionable, but not a surprise since they market to fashion customers in Japan and other countries and not to technical customers that might be discerning. They also tailor their anatomy around Asian frames to a large extent.

      In short, Ventile is a highly versatile fabric with specific technical usages. I won’t say that membrane jackets are better or worse, since there are needs for both. I would use a Gore-Tex Pro jacket in Hornstrandir, Iceland, for example, due to multiple days of rain and the fact that being wet there could mean dying.. In summer months, no question, the Ventile was superb throughout Iceland in rain, winds, rain, winds, and then in changing weather from warm to cold.

      Another usage is while skiing or snowboarding, but I recommend that one uses at least one more layer of wool underneath than what they are used to with membrane jackets. Ventile is also quiet.

      Also to clarify: I have Gore Pro (the air permeable one), I have eVent 3L, and I also have Dermizax membrane jackets, all for different usages. Dermizax is by far the best of them, but expensive and the face fabrics may not stand up to hard abrasions. If that’s not a concern, I would put Bergans Dermizax jackets like the Storen up against Ventile.

      • Trackie 01/11/2018 at 11:19

        BTW- I also have a Fjallraven Anorak no 8, which is completely ridiculous and I wouldn’t trust it at all due to it very questionable build quality. It is fairly renowned for issues, particularly around the unbelievably cheap zippers and other build issues. I bought mine used, but the zippers were already replaced once. I include this because there was talk about waxed cotton, which I also like- I have a Kuhl Kollusion, this Fjallraven, and I tried waxing my Norrona Svalbord Anorak. The biggest problem in waxing is to know where to not wax. I only have the hood, shoulders, and a couple other frontal areas of the Fjall waxed, the rest is coated with Nikwax DWR. The breathability is still largely maintained, but no way would I trust this when wet. Also, the wind-resistance compared to ventile is not there- one feels the chills when the wind blows. I’ve tried these jackets with wax throughout and they are not good at all in breathability.

        The Kuhl Kollusion is a thin street jacket and because of that, it maintains ok breathability, despite wax and some sort of PU-coating.

        The Norrona Svalbord does not work well at all with wax, even though Norrona also says it’s possible and sells a spray for it. The problem is one loses the comfort and breathability, as it turns nearly immediately into a sauna inside, but when it rains, there is practically still no resistance. It’s a good weather anorak and unbelievably comfortable and well-designed. I would actually steal their design for a ventile custom, to be honest, since the Tilak Odin never lived up to that expectation. The Norrona also has solid wind-resistance.

  • Ian 31/10/2018 at 23:25

    The latest Belstaff Trophy has a waterproof membrane. The puff now claims fully waterproof. I entirely understand the ventile fabric technology. I cited ‘struggling’ for guidance.,…on suitable applications for Ventile. It just seems to be more of a general fabric but might actually suit the intended use in my case. Problem is there is a substantial price premium of £130 for the fabric. Anyway I might give it a go. Cheers.

    • Joseph 31/10/2018 at 23:45

      No problem. I love Ventile but honestly would think there are better options for wet weather on a motorbike. For general purpose outdoor and travel garments it’s great, but you can get pretty wet and then cold on a bike in the rain? Not sure straight Ventile is up to that? But good luck! Best.

  • Evan 01/11/2018 at 20:55

    Trackie: Wow! Thanks for your detailed observations. And thanks for mentioning these three jackets: Klaettermusen Einride, Klaettermusen Midgard, and Amundsen Vidda. It’s great to have specific brands and models to consider.

  • Jodi 10/02/2019 at 11:35

    I am, not sure why you have such scrutiny of Ventile. When I found it, I didn’t have any issue with u der standing that it was first developed in the UK and is made in Switzerland…..
    I can understand concerns for chemical usage. I found Ventile whilst looking for a natural alternative to polyester fleece. Now there is a toxic man made product that is cancer causing even prior to treating it with DRW. I Find Ventile a great step in the right direction and it would have been great if it was mass used instead of polyester fleece. Did you k ow washing polyester fleece releases nano particles of plastic that is invading sea life as well as our water?

    It would be great to see and article of the best and most eco friendly waterproof windproof materials. I think you will find that Ventile is the ultimate frontrunner in comparison to any other option.

    • nick 10/02/2019 at 14:38

      Jodi, the point was the lies told in the marketing of Ventile, i.e. that it does not use any DWR and that it was made in England. Both provable as lies. Yes, I am aware of the issues with fleece, and while quite awful, that is a different topic. I may do an article on the best windproof materials, though right now I’m not sure I agree that Ventile is any better than any of the other tightly-woven, cotton-based options! Personally give good odds to a waxed variant, though ultimately it would come down to which parameters would be considered.

  • Joseph 10/02/2019 at 14:23

    I agree. Concerns about Ventile using DWR (which stocks are now being rundown and is no worse than DWR treatment on thousands of other textiles) is overplaying this trivial amount of textile having been produced when compared with the bigger picture and the millions of tons of fleece and synthetic waterproof textiles every year. Ventile is cotton. Cotton is green, biodegradable, does not use fossil fuels, etc etc, but this simple point is bizarrely ignored by people “discovering” issues with DWR (which the industry has known about since 1986). Picking a fight with “Ventile” over its environmental impact is odd considering the real offenders and the scale of offences happening elsewhere. It’s akin to attacking an obscure Gin made in Iceland with tiny sales and ignoring the entire global alcoholic drinks industry. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but essentially Ventile (cotton) is a green option! What is more, silicon used in the production of everyday shirts and trousers is just as bad for the ozone. People love a righteous campaign but there are much bigger offenders to concern ourselves with.

    • nick 10/02/2019 at 14:42

      Missing the point, Joseph. The article concerns the lies used to market Ventile, not whether there are worse fabrics out there. Yes, there are many awful fabrics, start the list with oil-based synthtics, all the viscose/rayon variants, fleece and whatnot. Heck, include cotton as well as a bad guy, unless it’s of a more recent organic variant. Traditional cotton certainly can’t be regarded as green (unless dyed so). But, yes, the article wasn’t about the fabric industry in general, merely a single lie that is still being perpetuated, 20 years after. I disagree on Ventile being green, though the organic variant (that is hardly used) is certainly greener.

      • Joseph 10/02/2019 at 18:39

        Nick, don’t assume my comments relate to you (your article) – I’m not missing the point, because your point isn’t one I’m referring to. But you make excellent observations. However this comments section has become its own body of work in its own right! BTW traditionally cotton most certainly can be considered green (but there have been issues with some countries/suppliers redirecting precious water). But if is the definition of “green”.

  • Evan 11/02/2019 at 01:19

    Polyester fleece is toxic and cancer-causing? Since when? Does Patagonia (the company) know this? At least 20 years ago they pointed out that conventionally grown cotton is far from “green,” so I hope they’ll now make clear that their polyester garments, made from recycled plastic, are a health hazard (if indeed they are). In the meantime, does anyone know anything about DryQ.Core, from Mountain Hardware? It’s another supposedly waterproof-breathable membrane/fabric. But I can’t find much information on it. Would rather know before I buy one of their rain jackets. Thanks!

  • Evan 11/02/2019 at 22:36

    Joseph: Thanks for the info on cotton being “an environmentally-friendly fiber.” The info from “” is copyright 2019 Cotton Incorporated. A neutral source?

    • Joseph 12/02/2019 at 08:06

      Wow. Just google it or pick up any book about the subject, you can’t argue with the facts and that cotton is green or greener, primarily as it is biodegradable. Whatever link I happen to post it’s ptretty straight forward. I know we live in the ‘argue about anything’ twitter generation, but Bush was not behind 9/11, Man did land on the moon, and Elvis is dead. Signing out…. best wishes!

      • nick 12/02/2019 at 14:48

        I’ve no quibble with cotton being biodegradable, but the production of cotton is far from environmentally sound. While the days of using slaves to grow cotton are long gone, the massive use of water and pesticides to grow cotton are sadly still a fact. There is a growing amount of “organic cotton” being produced, so the world is moving forward. Just google “cotton environmental” for a slew of articles that provide full information. Such as this:

  • Joseph 12/02/2019 at 15:23

    Yes, this is well-known and acknowledged, but it is only true of some cotton; not all, is not as bad as it was and is improving. Cotton is grown in different ways all around the globe. It remains greener than synethics and synthetic production. Shall we start a comments section about their endless issues – fossil fuels, global warming, not degrading, water polluting, air polluting, landfill, human rights mining, chemicals, etc, etc – related to alternative manmade textiles. Really? In the larger context, cotton is one of the good guys. Yours, Exacerbated.

  • Kevin 12/02/2019 at 15:37

    Blimey – on the basis that everything we do/produce is harmful in someway – I think Joseph point that Cotton is probably less harmful than man-made fabrics is fair. As for whether Recycled-Polyester has health issues – because of this discussion I just googled it and came across this – Yes, I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet – if you could this thread would never have been started. But overall – I think that a cotton based product is likely to be less harmful then a metro-chemical one – and I think that’s the point Joseph is trying to make.

  • Evan Elliot 13/02/2019 at 05:47

    Of course cotton is green by definition. And I agree that cotton is less ecologically damaging than synthetics are. Speaking of synthetics: Here’s a story, from the Guardian, on a scientist who studies toxic synthetic microfiber waste — and who estimates that when a synthetic garment is washed, “around 1,900 individual fibers can be rinsed off a single synthetic garment — ending up in our oceans.”

  • Sweeney 11/05/2019 at 10:29

    I have had three ventile jackets and they do what they say keep you dry. My first one was way back in 1988, second tour on NI. We had just been issued with gortex, which makes a noise when moving, not good when any noise will give your position away. I spent six months very dry and very warm☺️. I have had gortex and other rain proofing systems and eventually they all lose their ability to keep you dry, even if you keep on reproofing them.
    The only problem I have had is under prolonged heavy rain tall the pockets would leak, but I’ve had that problem with other materials.
    Ventile tends to be heavier than gortex, so not a good jacket to put in a bergan.
    I read all you’ve said and as a user and someone who is actively seeking a new one I personally would highly recommend one, especially if you’re into wildlife photography and need to be quiet?

  • Luke 27/09/2019 at 15:18

    Ventile does rule.

    My most recent one has now started to fray after years of constant use so I bought another type of lightweight waterproof (the logo is a curled up fox), not Ventile, that is supposed to wick.

    But it is nowhere near as good as the Ventile one I have been wearing the last few years. It feels rough, uncomfortable, inflexible and doesn’t adapt to changing temperatures like Ventile does, nor hold off rain as well, and it doesn’t wick properly.

    Also in terms of the overall ecology, Ventile is not that easy to find anyway (I know from months of trying to find a replacement for the old one) – its production seems far less common than other materials so I am not sure Ventile should be held up as a particularly bad contribution to the coming ecological apocalypse.

    • Mathias 04/12/2019 at 14:55

      I ordered an Tilak Anorak few days ago. I was deeply impressed by the high grade water repellancy. Water drops on surface reminded me in the lotus effect. It was amazing. But there also grew litte doubt in me. Until I read this thred obove. It is more than plausible.
      Today I sent jacket back…thanks for information.

      • JOSHEPH 04/12/2019 at 21:53

        You’ve achieved nothing. Stotz/Ventile have stopped making textiles with DWR treatments anyway and yours is already in existence and returning it achieves nothing. Or yours may have been already been organic variety anyway?

        • nick 10/12/2019 at 12:58

          According to Stotz, the maker of Ventile, this is incorrect. While 30% of the Ventile production is now either organic (treated with wax) or ECO (made entirely of fabric waste fibres), 70% is still regular production and will be supplied to customers treated with DWR if so required. This does mean that it’s become almost impossible to know exactly what variant of Ventile might be found in a certain product.

  • Mark 14/02/2020 at 07:37

    Uhh no…..

    Unless your garmets are made of the heaviest 300 gram ventile/etaProof then you are comparing apples and oranges lad. Fact…. cotton is a shite insulator in any form. It doesn’t matter what kind of poison you soak it in. Once wet it gets cold and takes forever to dry. It’s great for the desert. Like built in air conditioning. Zero modern immersion/survival suits are made with a single magical cotton stitch. They are made from insulated neoprene and/or….. wait for it…… insulated Gore Tex. They are basically drysuits with reflective tape. From an material science standpoint there is no completely waterproof material known to man (It’s all about pressure). Water is used to cut through solid steel all day every day. Obviously that doesn’t apply to a rain coat though.

    Ventile or etaProof (not the same) allow moistire to pass through to the shell at a much faster rate than any synthetic laminate I know of. Descent laminates contain several layers and are stiff and crunchy wet or dry.

    You can’t just say Gore Tex anymore because there several different types for specific applications. They are the best choice for sedentary activies because of the slow rate of “breathability”. You know fishing hunting from a blind, etc. DWR coatings on Gore and other synthetic laminates can be refreshed by low heat. Throw it in the dryer, sit by a campfire, hairdryer, etc. Here is a thought, read the instructions on the tag. Cotton shrinks in clothes dryer

    Fabrics made from long fiber cotton (less than 2% of all cotton) that are tightly woven and designed to swell when wet are the better choice for more strenuous activites. Id be willing to bet that nearly all commercially availble etaproof or ventile products are 170 grams or less, and are lined with a synthetic membrane. The references to WWII blah, blah, blah don’t apply to what you are buying.

    Paraffin wax???? Give me a break. It melts at 99° F. Its made from petroleum, is loaded with hydrocarbons and has a massive carbon footprint due to mining. We live in a world of nano ceramic waxes, etc.

    Furthermore, unless you have the proper layers underneath then you are doing it wrong, regardless of shell material. You need at least a wicking base layer, and a insulating layer in cold environments to maximize any breathable shell. Many new laminates have a wicking layer as the innermost layer…. brillant!

    So before we go bashing Ventile or the improved versions, let’s make sure we are using it correctly for the correct situations. Like when hiking, climbing, physical labor, etc. Let’s also be diligent and understand what weight fabric we purchase.

    World’s longest cotton fibers? It’s called Supima. Next inline Pima cotton. Don’t fall for the Egyption cotton marketing garbage either. It just means it was grown in Egypt, and most of it is short fiber. We are talking about 2 different species of cotton when we say long vs. short fiber cotton, regardless of where it was grown. If it doesn’t feel almost like satin when woven into say a bed sheet, then it isn’t ling fiber cotton.

    Ventile/etaProof are aweaome when the proper weight fabic is selected. Ventile/etaProof of 170 or below isnt what you want as a single layer. Gore laminates are awesome too. So are a whole host of other natural and synthetic fabrics that will keep you dry in the rain, or submerged in water near the surface.

  • Frederick F. Fletcher 03/05/2020 at 19:40

    During 1999 I Willis & Geiger sent me a ventile golf jacket. I recall wearing it during a rainstorm. I also remember the “beading” of the raindrops. I had no idea – still do not – of any hazardous coating.
    I find this dialog/information very enlightening.

    I’m not aware of any untoward resultant in wearing this “British Tan” jacket.

    Again, I appreciate all the information presented here.

    Frederick F. Fletcher CDR USNR (ret.)

  • Jerzy 08/05/2020 at 13:56

    Very informative discussion – I learned a lot from it. I have a note regarding the drying time. I was very surprised by the short drying time of the Einride 2 jacket (from Klattermusen) Etaproof 205 g / m2. Being completely wet in the downpour after 3 hours was completely dry. After all, it’s not a rain jacket ,but also Klattermusen honestly reported this. When it comes to packing – the cut can be packed into a own pocket and worn on the hips with sewn straps – Comfortable.
    All in all I like this jacket but it is suitable for walking near the house
    I don’t take her to the mountains – although I was seriously wondering if I would take her to Camino de Santiago

  • JERZY 19/06/2020 at 13:28

    Etaproof is advertised as mosquito-proof . Is anybody able to confirm this ?

  • Dik Cook 02/07/2020 at 13:28

    Having spent the last hour & half reading some of the more knowledgeable & less argumentative comments (some of which belong elsewhere), here is my two bobs worth.
    Many years ago, I bought a new FAA deck smock in a surplus military store. It is made from Ventile, it is double layered, it did & still does what I expect it to, keep me relatively dry & warm (when combined with inner layers).
    Its been used rock climbing, mountaineering, rambling, etc. For a piece of kit made in 1950s & still looking relatively unworn, I cannot fault it.
    I have bought much outdoor gear over the years for many outdoor pursuits from yachting, dinghy sailing, trekking, mountaineering, etc. You have to understand that stuff isn’t indestructible & must be replaced on a regular basis.
    My latest purchase is a relatively cheap waterproof & therefore sweaty outdoor jacket for local hiking. I’ll give it two years before it starts leaking, but I’m at least being realistic in how well or not it will perform.
    Still rate my FAA smock streets ahead of anything else I’ve ever bought, including my NI Goretex outer gear.
    I would like to find a fabric that performs as well as my old Ventile, as I want to replicate some garments I had a few years ago. Cost isn’t the major criteria as I shall be making the garments myself.
    Any recommendations?

    • Neil Work 15/07/2020 at 14:14

      You can get various weights, colours & types of “Etaproof” fabric (=”Ventile”,now made by Swiss) from the excellent online German mail order company “Extremtextil”.
      But since you’ll be spending a lot on it, and the postage, why not check out the range made by “Hilltrek” in Scotland. Good value & quality, and they will customise their designs to suit your needs. E.g. extra wide sleeves.

      • Dik Cook 15/07/2020 at 15:39

        Thanks for the info. The cost of the fabric from Extremtextil is not an issue, as I’m making my own garments, with an expert overseeing me. The range is certainly suitable, just need to see what is applicable.
        As for Hilltrek, they don’t make what I want, so exploring that option is a blind alley.

  • Frederick F. Fletcher CDR USNR (RET.) 15/07/2020 at 15:12

    20 years ago, Willis and Geiger began ceasing operations. A sale began – which included a “Ventile Golf Jacket”

    I sure agree about the waterproof claim.

  • Neil Work 15/07/2020 at 15:26

    Yes, I can confirm that “Ventile” (=”Etaproof”) is certainly proof against arctic mosquitos. Ive been to the Nowegian mountains many times in the summer wearing tops made with a single layer of the lightest weave.
    I ‘ve no experience of wearing it in the tropics. When I went there I thought a windproof would be too sweaty.

  • Neil Work 18/07/2020 at 00:12

    I’m no expert with a sewing machine, but I made myself a hood and a hat from Ventile. I think it was the 200gm or so weight. It was a pleasure to work with compared to the silnylon of other projects . Good luck with yours !
    (Hilltrek made me a nice shirt, so I said I’d reccomend them to everyone )

  • grant petersen 15/10/2020 at 08:16

    All the waterproof/breathable fabrics can prove they’re that with, oh…darn how to describe. OK, I’ve seen at trade shows clear columns with a layer of magicfab halfway up, holding water above and air below. THere’s air pressure, a pump-kinda thing, pushing the air against the fabric, and indeed, air bubbles percolate the water in the upper half. This is a misleading test. In real life, there’s no pressure. Air passes thru GoreTex or any other fabric ONLY by osmosis, a passive process. The air isn’t forced thru. Now, seriously listen…everybody. This will clear it up. Your body vapor passes thru the fabric when there’s either or both a great temperature or humidity difference on the “body” side of the shell, or the “outside air” side. Osmosis “seeks” to equalizie humidity differences, and in real life, this means that when it’s raining outside and the humidity is near 100 percent, there’s no “incentive” for your humid vapor to pass thru that barrier.
    Similarly, if the air is warm outside—like in a warm rain–there’s no temperature differential to encourage the passing.
    It’s even less likely when you wear insulating clothing. As your vapor passes thru the insulation, it gets more dense. I am not smart enough to say why, or to say that better, but it happens, and here’s proof: Sleep outside in well-below freezing temperatures, in a sleeping bag that doesn’t have (as most won’t) a vapor barrier liner, but with a bivvy sack–GoreTex or any other “breatheable” fabric.
    You’ll waik up in the morning with a layer of ice on the inside of the bivvy sack. The moist vapor, warmed by your body and kept relatively warm by the insulation, hits the cold fabric and freezes near instantly.
    The same thing happens in tents.
    The high tech “better” waterproof-breatheable garments have zip-vents. Ironically, when the vents are open, the temperature differential on both sides of the fabric is reduced, making it harder for osmosis to work even in the best conditions. But the vents are, actually, doing all the work that the fabric can’t do.
    There are IDEAL conditions for waterproof-breatheable fabrics: Worn over a thin layer of wood or synthetic underwear…cross-country skiing or some other strenuous exercising…in low temperature, near zero-humidty condtions. Zero degrees in the high mountains, for instance.
    But wearing GoreTex or any of the other waterproof-breatheable fabrics over insulation in the rain…doesn’t work.
    I wear wool. If it’s snowy, a shell on top, but it doesn’t have to be fancy fabric. Wool will insulate in all weather. It aborbes moisture, keeping it off your skin.
    Last thing: If you like the $450 feature-full tech fabic fabrics for their modern cuts and sporty looks, go for them. They’re worth it you’ll enjoy them, and if you spent enough on them, you’ll tend to “swear by them” as you’re hanging out in the mountains or outside your lodge.

  • Mark 31/10/2020 at 14:03

    I bought a second hand single layer, unlined Ventile jacket in mid-2019, as an alternative for my usual Barbour waxed cotton and my Arcteryx (which allegedly also uses DWR), but I haven’t used it much (less than 5 times).

    Reading this article made me wonder: would I be at risk of absorbing PFC ( through skin contact) if I start to use this unlined jacket more regularly? And is there a way to safely remove the DWR treatment from a jacket? I know the jacket was bought in 2015/16, so it’s at least 4 years old, so I was also wondering if DWR would have ‘rolled off’ by now.

    Any thoughts?

  • Joe Margo 18/11/2020 at 22:25

    I feel like such an idiot. I’ve been telling people for years now that my two Ventile coats are made of 100% cotton that naturally repels water because of the weave. We watch rain magically bead up and roll off. I’m like a walking ad for Ventile. What a crock.

    Thank you for your work.

  • Julian 27/11/2020 at 11:13

    Finally someone has brought up the humidity / moisture differential.
    Thank you Nick for a great and thought provoking article.
    I too love denim old and new, Trickers and Alden, outerwear, older Barbours / Belstaffs, motorbikes, skis (free heel) and wool. And old cars
    I’ve been in this clothing business for over 35 years and worked for many companies making performance outerwear and selvedge denim.
    A chap called Mark Held made the point to me when I was doing some work for Berghaus when they still employed 200 people in the UK making Goretex Jackets in the early 90’s. Mark was their technical director and he introduced me to Ventile. He said that if its humid inside and dry outside, the moisture will (slowly) move to the driest place. i.e. outside. If its wet outside like it is in winter in most of Northern Europe then…….and therein lies the fallacy of waterproof and breathable i.e. Goretex. But it keeps you dry, but then so does a plastic bag. The only way you’re ever going to get the wet air out is with adequate zipped venting and air-flow.
    Every piece of outerwear is a compromise. Sadly. Weight, impermeability, breathability, insulation, comfort, capacity to be repaired or recycled, longevity, environmental and sustainable qualities, serviceability, cost…..often or mostly they battle against each other.

    The environmental and historical claims by many brands can be decidedly opaque or downright misleading and I understand completely that this was the point of the article. But its all marketing.

    I always wonder what is best – cotton which uses so much water when produced (11 tonnes per kilo – or 20 tonnes from the WWF website) that it has eradicated the Aral sea; white gold; organic cotton which apparently uses even more water and is picked by religiously persecuted workers in China or comes from India with a bribed certificate or origin; or wool, possibly the oldest fibre on the planet and sometimes a byproduct of the cheese and meat industry, but one that performs well in many circumstances and one that is often thrown away in huge quantities because we have lost our textile industries in Europe, thus becoming a cost to farmers – a product that PETA would have us all give up – but its heavy and even heavier when wet; or nylons and polyesters with all that they entail – byproducts of the oil industry, non-biodegradable and requiring more chemicals to treat and dye them. And others.
    In a lifetime you would probably need 5 or 6 jackets (ok maybe 10) and ensure that they are serviceable and repairable. Longevity is key for me. I dont need to look new. I just need it to work. I have Barbours and Belstaffs from the 70’s and 80’s, Goretex from the 90’s (C8 and they should probably go to be melted down), Tweed from the 90’s and from the 30’s and 50’s and Ventile from the 90’s all still going strong.

    And here’s the thing with Ventile – despite the varied claims from its Swiss makers who have been slowly taking over “our English textile heritage”, it comes quite high up the list for its (mostly) natural and (quite reasonable) performance qualities. Is it the lesser evil? Or the comparatively more sustainable option? And were the Swiss the only ones brave enough to invest in a fabric which costs £30 per meter? Its a long way out of the reach of most mortals – a jacket at £500 to £2000?

    Without the marketing story – or spin- Stotz will sell less, and then put less investment into developing more natural coatings which will be in increasing demand in the future. Nikwax dont use PFC’s and I think are developing greener options of their products; I am looking at a startup using pine resin in SW France but its on a cottage industry scale, there’s beeswax, and I’m sure others but I’m not a chemist. There is a future there and I’m sure Stotz are looking into it. I don’t think anyone is proud of using C6. Most people don’t mention it.

    So to the compromise.
    Only we know what we each need for a given situation, only we know what strap lines of marketing stuff we can put up with on the inside of our jackets and only we can make the choice of whether to insulate ourselves with stuff off a goose’s back or goats underbelly. Most of us don’t go out in a downpour and if we do, we dry off when we get home. If we ski, its not raining hopefully so Ventile and wool would be the natural option, but its a bit heavier if you’re walking up. If its -20 then its not raining and really only down will work in terms of weight to warmth ratio, but then we’re back to PETA and fois-gras. Eider down is perfect and cruelty free, but handpicked from the abandoned nest is quite an undertaking and rather costly.
    In a downpour walking up a mountain, I’m soaked on the inside from sweat, not rain. So does it matter if Ventile lets in a bit of water? It does make it heavier though.

    If something comes for China, and its cheap, someone has paid. It will pollute in China and it will pollute on the water while in transit. Anyone who throws away a jacket after 4 years should reconsider whether they got good value from that jacket. Theres a high lifetime footprint there.

    Buy less but better and let it last a long time – and if you can handle the blurb, Ventile is not a bad choice. By comparison.

    And that’s a great blog – its what I hope to be, but am most certainly not! Dad’s style and Norway one day with my skis.

  • JOHN LECHMERE 10/04/2021 at 23:54

    It’s important to understand that the Lancashire textile industry has disappeared since the 1940’s. The processes of spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing has both changed technically as well as been “offshored”. I saw Ventile being woven on 2 looms at Talbot Mill in Chorley in the 1990’s. Quite limited production. It’s important to understand that any cotton fabric made in the 1940’s simply cannot be reproduced nowadays with modern equipment and current material availability. One factor is the very light twist given to the thread before weaving Ventile. Best achieved with the cotton mule. Available (just) in the 1940’s but since totally disappeared in favour of more rapid ring spinning. My first Ventile jacket bought in 1970 was treated with Velan PF developed by an ICI subsidiary I think. My personal opinion is that 50 years later Ventile may have the same name but is a different product. Still very good, I have modern versions but my old versions used to get “board stiff ” when wetted which us less so with my modern versions.

  • Jerzy Stankiewicz 22/05/2021 at 18:58

    I am big fan of natural materials : wool , hemp . linen .
    Recently I bought Houidini Lana Jacket – made of merino wool and according to producer i natural waterproof due to special weave . I have not possiblity to check – problems with travels . For short rain seems to be OK .Some disadvantages I noticed : cut is not convienient for backpacks – and hood seams are not sealed – all outstanding yes .

    • Fred Fletcher 22/05/2021 at 20:52

      Hola Señor Stankiewicz,

      Your post made several really valuable and interesting points.

      I purchased a Willis & Geiger golf jacket in 1999 (sale priced – prior to Sears/Land’s End era)
      I’ve never worn it in the rain but am aware of the RAF WWII flight suit connection.

      all the best,

      Frederick F. Fletcher CDR USNR (ret.)
      Sun City Roseville (CA)

  • Clark 05/07/2021 at 22:22

    Interesting but many points here in this article are factually incorrect whilst sounding accurate. Also to be totally green – don’t buy anything. However unless you can self sustain with composting toilet you have to take a balanced approach and Ventile is far more eco than many of the so-called green fabrics made in the unregulated far east. You could say due to the price tag – purchasers tend to use their jacket for a great many years. This is not fast fashion and thus more eco.

    1. There is history re the use of ventile during ww2 and the article is still on Ventiles website. It’s a fact that during the Falklands campaigns – the MOD took all production for their pilots.
    This is a fact. However, they don’t want to be associated with ww2 (touchy subject with the germans) and the Falkland war is not something they want to market either. Hence why that line is slowly withering away. But this is its roots – do a bit more digging. Especially in Manchester or leeds

    2. All waterproofs use some sort of DWR. And despite what many claim there are no good guys here. Everything has an impact the environmental issue is a multilayered thorny issue. It’s a fact that the old repellents whilst damaging as they are because they stuck to garments better there was less shedding. The tire industry is far more polluting than your jacket accounting for the majority of these chemicals yet no one is going after the tire companies.

    3. They can track where their cotton is coming from – so not from cotton slave labor camps in China, unlike those jeans you all wear.

    Yes no longer made in Uk and that’s sad we let that industry go. However, it is still made in Europe.

    why do you hate Ventile. when there are worse culprits out there.

    • Andrew Geddes 01/06/2022 at 08:44

      Well said. I actually sold the MOD specified cloth to the UK ministry of defence for the immersion suits so there is no smoke and mirrors regarding whether a cotton fabric was used by pilots as an immersion suit, absolute fact.

  • Ventile Intros Two New Eco Recycled Cotton Fabrics >>FUTUREVVORLD 14/07/2021 at 20:19

    […] material offerings, the manufacturer has received its fair share of criticism over the years. For example, the traditional Ventile fabric is said to be Durable Water Repellant-treated with C6 […]

    • Julian 19/07/2021 at 18:16

      Ventile offer part of their range with a non-florinated C0 DWR coating giving a 450mm hydrostatic head (water repellency) against their traditional range coated with C6 (already environmentally much better than the old and very unpleasant C8 based coating, with its PFOA component, used on everything Goretex and others up until quite recently).
      There is understandably a lot of scandal on the carcinogenic PFOA C8 subject (see the excellent Dark Waters film) – but look in your kitchen cupboard and you will find older non-stick pans covered in the stuff that you use every day to cook with and therefore potentially ingest. Get rid of them NOW! You don’t eat a jacket!

      The traditional range of Ventile uses the C6 fluorinated DWR coating giving 750mm or water repellency.
      C0 will break down more on contact with grease and dirt. C6 will not.
      Every outdoor brand out there uses C6 – Patagonia, North Face, Arcteryx and 10,000 other brands like them. Some are trying to transition to C0.

      There are products (C0) with which you can re-treat an older jacket like the range from Grangers. That in my opinion is the best option and if you can start with a Ventile ECO jacket with a C0 DWR coating then even better.
      Soon (in discussion now) Europe will ban all C6 (and C8) coatings and the industry will be forced to change to more environmentally friendly alternatives. They exist already. Its just that they don’t perform so well and for the consumer we want to see hydrostatic heads of 10,000 or 25,000 mm – ludicrous amounts of waterproofness for the average mortal.
      For me, Ventile is a good place to start. The world is not perfect but a traceable cotton jacket with C0 DWR is one of the, if not the best option out there today.

  • Ray 22/09/2021 at 21:05

    Is it possible to buy untreated Ventile cloth?

    • nick 23/09/2021 at 07:31

      Yes, there is an eco version made now, using a portion of recycled cotton fibres, and no treatment. More conscious brands like English Utopia use this, though while Ventile has seen a surge in popularity recently, most brands don’t specify which type they use.

  • Stewart Lindfield 30/09/2021 at 22:44

    As someone was given a ventilator jacket that had been used for 10 years prior to my gratefully accepting it as a much needed warm hooded smock top for hiking walking and day to day warm wet wear. I never found it becoming a “wet through uncomfortable jacket” as hinted here it truly worked very well for another 15 years until it fell apart. I’ve missed it ever since, now GoreTex is brilliant as are many of its derived copies but not one compares to my missed ventile top for overall breath ability.
    If we’re honest no waterproof stays proof without care and treatment but my Ventile really did breath throughout its life, it was wind proof never made me perspire just through wearing unlike modern synthetics.
    A good female friend of mine had a WW2 ski smock jacket that her ExRAF dad gave her that he had worn training pilots in Russia so it was old before she had it. She has followed the original cleaning guidance meticulously and proofed from the same instructions, now in her 60s she still wears a very clean smart but worn coat when walking and it’s had Ventile elbow and cuff patches but distressed went into London Rail lost property having left it on a train.
    Now I hate to think, in fact know, how many good quality GoreTex jackets I’ve watched separate out in that time all were brilliant but had a definite constant life to them of 5 to 8 years. I’ve now had a new Ventile coat for 5 years, never been wet using it walking or when Coaching on a river bank or slalom course and above all else it’s warm but not causing me to perspire because it truly does breath properly. Above all this I’ve never really understood why a breathable dry suit is thought to work they all seep from new when submerged i.e. the purpose of having one, yes in the air they breath but my current dry stays dry.

  • Mister Freedom® MERCURY Jacket, all-weather cotton Ventile®, mfsc FW2021 “PODIUM” Collection. Made in Japan. « CHRISTOPHELOIRON® 10/10/2021 at 01:44

    […] For the body, we decided to go vintage high-tech performance fabric, and opted for genuine Ventile® all-weather fabric produced by Daiwabo Co in Japan. Much has been written and argued about the British origin of Ventile® (sometimes between the late 1930s and mid 1950s, depending on who you ask), the trademark saga of the brand, its technical evolution through the years, and actual eco-friendliness of the fabric (read Nick’s interesting article AND comment section here)… […]

  • Mark 27/12/2021 at 16:02

    I wear a Klattermusen Etaproof jacket and it is excellent. It is really tough and windproof. Is it waterproof? No, but it will fend off a shower and it is fairly breathable. Best thing about it is it’s toughness especially with thorns etc which are a given virtually anywhere in my experience. Klattermusen use PFOA free DWR which basically means it is useless from my experience and re-proofing with Nikwax cottonproof has had no effect in my experience. However, that’s the way I like it. It is a natural fiber, PFOA free and has already lasted for years. For a waterproof jacket Columbia Outdry is excellent needing no DWR. I am sure it wasn’t made in the most environmentally friendly way but at the end of the day if you want or need a waterproof jacket with a laminate to guarantee no water ingress you have to compromise. The best option? We should all learn the knowledge and skills needed and carry the required gear to navigate the outdoors safely without synthetic clothing.

  • Tavis 08/11/2022 at 07:26

    An alternative may be dry-waxed cotton, though I think Ventile is considered a cut above, which I can only assume is down to the tightness of the weave. I have a Frahm parka made of British Millerian dry-waxed cotton, and after the first cold machine wash it feels and functions as good as new – not waterproof without taped seams but good enough for a chilly wet walk with the dogs, an increasingly rare weather combination in South-East Wales. What I need now is a warm weather showerproof jacket, and I’ve been looking at Hilltrek and their Ventile products. For me, a cotton outer is just more aesthetically pleasing, and wears in a more pleasing way.

  • Andrew Geddes 08/11/2022 at 08:15

    Hilltrek have always manufactured quality garments. A garment from them is normally not only functional but aesthetically pleasing. If it’s a warmer weather garment you’re looking for them a single layer ventile should be more than enough. With just a light thermal underneath you can be comfortably in the outdoors för hours

  • Marc Saint 11/11/2022 at 00:04

    It’s always interesting reading comments and criticisms about Ventile.
    I have an interest in this material as it was my Grandad, Mr John Stanley West, who was one of the original founders of the material, at the Shirley Institute.
    He worked most of his life in the Cotton industry, eventually retiring at 88 years of age, and ultimately passing away at 98.
    I remember him working at Ashton Brothers, Courtaulds, and Thomas Mason in Chorley , I think.
    At least from the 1980s to the early 2000s, he was a consultant for Ventile, and was “King Ventile “ in the industry.
    I often tested Ventile products for him, in my teens. I remember a Ventile Jacket made for “ Survival Aids “ that I had to test. I also remember, and have a copy of, a letter from Sir Chris Bonington, where he praised the Ventile which he used on an Everest Expedition.
    The Antarctic Expedition Team used Ventile for clothing and Tents. Snowy weather is what it is ideal for, by the way, and not torrential rain.
    I did own a Ventile umbrella but I have lost it during the years. I still have a Billingham Camera Bag made from Ventile, which my Grandad gave me one Christmas, about 30 years ago. THAT is still going strong, and is apparently, the only one in existence!!
    I also remember him saying about Surgical gowns, Firefighters Clothing and the Special Forces, all using the Ventile fabric.
    In fact I remember the DPM pattern on the olive green Ventile compared to the Gaberdine fabric. The gaberdine fabric ( forgive my spelling if this isn’t correct ) was slightly white on the reverse with the pattern showing through. The Ventile had nothing showing on the reverse. Resisted the Dye.
    I still have various samples and documents from my Grandads time as THE Ventile Consultant. He also received the B.E.M. Medal for his services to the industry. “ The working man’s MBE “ so he said.
    Anyway, to sum up, Ventile WAS woven in the UK once upon a time and it was Definitely invented here. It’s never claimed to be Waterproof as it is Weatherproof and definitely Windproof.
    It’s silent whilst wearing it, so ideal for hunting/watching wildlife. It also lasts YEARS and YEARS longer than Gore-Tex.
    Gore-Tex is noisy, degrades ( the membrane ) over a few years and is extremely well marketed.

    For me, and yes I am biased, Ventile is THE fabric for a lifetime Weatherproof jacket. It was used for Immersion Suits too, and there is testing documentation available online. I’ve seen it, and seen USA documentation too.

    The only thing I cannot prove is the Edmund Hillary assent of Everest. I remember my grandad telling me about it, as he was alive then, but I was only a child when he told me and didn’t realise the importance of it at the time.

    If you don’t believe me, ask Sir Chris Bonington for information about the fabric, and the man “ John Stanley West “.

    A Double Ventile Jacket will keep you warm and dry in all but the most torrential rains.

    Thanks for reading this, and look forward to all the comments, which will probably follow.

    RIP Grandad xxx

    • Andrew Geddes 11/11/2022 at 10:26

      Everything in this comment is accurate. Stan Weat was my coworker at Talbot Weaving in Chorley and we worked together to put Ventile around the world and into the MOD and other defence industries and medical businesses. I have the utmost respect for your Grandfather, who was the epitome of professionalism and fantastic to work with.

      I have worn many Ventile garments, used the umbrellas, the Billingham bags and worn the caps. Like you I have no doubt regarding the provenance of the manufacture of the material, I ran the division for Courtaulds Textiles until 1997.

      RIP J.S. West

      • Donald 09/01/2023 at 19:10

        Thank you both for contributing your knowledge and experience with Ventile! Were there any differences in quality of the fabric or manufacture between Courtaulds Textiles and Thomas Mason at all?

    • Paul Marsh 22/03/2023 at 22:59

      I still own and use a survival aids double ventilation jacket approximately 40 years old. I reproof it with Nikwax cotton proof and it works brilliantly for dog walking in the rain.If I am out for about an hour I will still be dry but much longer and the inner will start to wet out.
      IfI could by an identical jacket I would.

  • Andrew Geddes 09/01/2023 at 19:32

    No, the weaving spec was the same and so was the yarn spec and supplier. The only thing that changed with time was dyeing and finishing as different dyehouses were assessed in order to get to optimum results on appearance, handle and performance

  • Anon 09/01/2023 at 19:48

    I have a lightweight hooded Ventile jacket and its wicking capacity, its amazing flexibility between temperatures and wind protection is like nothing else I have ever worn. It’s comfortable to the point it feels like it’s a friend. It’s amazing to read the comments of Marc Saint and Andrew Geddes and learn something from people so close to it about the origins of its development in England and about Mr JS West RIP. Thanks.

    • alan 21/08/2023 at 23:42

      Yes! I feel the same- I dont need to carry a rucksack when I wear my ventile, cos the climate control is so good. Goretex is better in a prolonged downpour, but 95% of the time single layer ventile is more comfortable and drier because its so breathable. If its really wet/cold I use a ventile lined with paramo wicking scrim, called cotton analogy. You can crawl thru muddy puddles in a cave, then walk back over the freezing tops in a cutting wind and feel perfectly comfortable. Cotton analogy trousers are something else.

  • Forrestal Fletcher 09/01/2023 at 22:20

    I have a Willis and Geiger ventile jacket from about 1999. Without any chemical application – the garment sheds rain, blocks wind gusts – while all the while appearing unruffled.

  • Algred 23/08/2023 at 19:45

    Ventile is now made in Egypt.

    • nick 24/08/2023 at 08:38

      It’s generally said to be woven in Switzerland of Egyptian long-staple cotton. Do you know otherwise?

  • Nic DP 24/08/2023 at 21:43

    Also needs to be called out in the rainwear field, is the marketing ploy of some very persistent companies, who label coats as “rubber” or “rubberized”, but the small print states 100% polyurethane, or some other plastic.
    Odd, when Th. Burberry advertised his gabardine as being “free from the problems associated with rubber proofing”… Need we ask what’s changed, to make rubber a selling point🤔??!

    • nick 25/08/2023 at 08:08

      The outerwear industry is in trouble now having to stop using the fluorocarbons that have served them so well. There just isn’t anything that works as well, or is as flexible in use. So I’m guessing they are looking back at older technologies and seeing if anything can be repurposed, even if only in using the name for promotional purposes. The old rubberised Mackintosh-type fabric did a great job of keeping rain out, but was utterly impermeable, so very clammy to wear. Gabardine and Grenfell cloth are both along the same lines as Ventile, being densely woven cotton, but if Ventile needs “help” to do the job, I’m guessing they do to. At the end of the day, can we actually trust anyone trying to sell us stuff?

  • The Works 25/08/2023 at 13:20

    The Macintosh also delaminates after a white and rigidifies too. As does the heat-seam-seal gore tape. My (Duffer) mac is in rigid pieces and my Arcteryx circa 2010 is falling apart where it is only stuck together.
    The gaiters fell off my Arcteryx mountain pants after 2 years!
    My Barbours, however, (80’s, 90’s 00’s) do pretty well with a good waxing every few years and keep most stuff out on the motorbike. Too heavy for mountaineering though.
    I’ve always wondered what Nikwax on Ventile would do – or a new combination of Nikwax plus something else not carbon related.

  • John Lewis 31/08/2023 at 10:26

    Having had experience since the 1960s of Ventile and Grenfell cloth in Mountain Rescue, National Park Ranger Service and the RAF, I can affirm that for a garment in these fabrics to be “waterproof” for practical purposes, it needs to be a double layer with no stitching through both layers, (except for around the edges). In those organisations, we would never have considered single layer cloth as an option unless accompanied by a nylon “cagoule” of the non-breathable variety for wet weather. Similar nylon over trousers were carried and heavy cotton duck gaiters worn. As wool layers were worn, condensation never seemed to be a big issue. You stripped layers on or off as required and stowed them in the rucksack. Never got wet- never got cold.

  • Dr Colin Lloyd 09/11/2023 at 16:15

    I still have an orange British Antarctic Survey 1960’s issue Anorak that I acquired while working in Svalbard in 1994. It’s now probably over 50 years old and beginning to look its age, has been patched in many places but had been my go to Anorak while working in northern Sweden and Finland, Siberia and even in northern Mali and Niger where it provided excellent protection from the 50 deg C heat. It’s still used on a daily basis in winter in my retirement when walking the dog – the waterproofing when it swells still works although it does get heavy. Windproofing is still excellent. As John Lewis above notes, under layers are required – but I have always gone with Fritjof Nansen’s multi-wool layer strategy. I have never liked non-breathable outer layers when doing strenuous work as they just trap internal moisture – the only true breathable waterproof fabric is skin.

  • alan beaven 14/05/2024 at 17:50

    I have worn ventile jackets both commercial makes and made by myself in a number of patterns for hill walking for fifty years and nothing else that I have tried is as comfortable. Synthetics may be more reliably waterproof but the manufacturers claims of breathability verge on misrepresentation, a few minutes perspiring in a synthetic jacket and you will be soaked in your own sweat.


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