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26th February 2018, Milan

UV protection and innovative design for sailing caps

The UV Protection and Innovative Cap Design workshop recently took place at the scientific-technological university Politecnico di Milano for students enrolled in the Fashion Design Master’s programme, creating a mini capsule collection of caps for both professional and amateur yachters and regatta sailors.

As in the Sportswear Design workshop held in the autumn of 2017, the participating students from countries around the globe were split into four workgroups with the goal of developing collection proposals and presenting prototypes.

The workgroups also dealt with the safety aspects of sailing. © RadiciGroup

Besides RadiciGroup, which introduced the students to various yarns that could be used for the specific application, two other companies collaborated on the workshop: Master Italia, a cap and hat specialist, and Slam, a manufacturer of sailing sportswear.

Selection of material

“After the positive experience of our collaboration with Polimi on the design of garments for the Alpine Rescue Corps of Lombardy, in the second workshop we continued our young designer training programme starting from the knowledge of raw material characteristics,” said Marco De Silvestri, marketing director of the RadiciGroup Comfort Fibres Business Area.

“The students chose their materials from the range of synthetic fibres proposed by RadiciGroup. They matched the functions of the different parts of the cap with fibres not only ensuring high UVA, UVB, and UVC protection, but also capable of retaining their high-performance characteristics over time.” The RadiciGroup yarn portfolio includes a wide range of products incorporating additives to provide protection up to UPF 50+. The yarns are also available in solution-dyed and r-PET versions, so as to protect the body and reduce the environmental impact of the garments at the same time.

UV protection and UV resistance

The RadiciGroup brand lines featuring UV absorber properties are the Radyarn and Starlight polyester lines (including the Radyarn and Starlight products obtained from recycled polymer) and the Radilon polyamide line.

The UV Protection and Innovative Cap Design workshop recently took place in Milan, creating a mini capsule collection of caps for both professional and amateur yachters and regatta sailors. © RadiciGroup

The products with UV absorber properties are broken down into two groups: UV Protection and UV Resistant. UV Protection reduces the penetration of UV radiation and is provided by special additives, while UV Resistance protects the yarn from photodegradation and is obtained by the addition of special UV stabilisers.

The products offering UV protection include Starlight and Radyarn Full Dull; Starlight and Radyarn Ceramic; Starlight and Radyarn BiCo Sunshield; and Radilon Super Micro XD. The UV resistant products include Starlight and Radyarn UV stabilised yarn.

Designing new garments

Firstly, the student workgroups analysed the sailing wear market and evaluated the performance of the main garments already available. They also identified the real needs of sailors, by interviewing people directly involved in the sport. Then they studied the potential damage caused by excessive unprotected solar exposure.

At this point, all the workgroups made their choice of materials: the highest possible UV shielding effect, together with the best wind and salt water resistance. All of that was done taking into account the aesthetic and functional features, such as detachable cap parts to allow for washing, a way to combine sunglasses with the cap and a mechanism to secure the cap to a polo shirt. The workgroups also dealt with the safety aspects of sailing, considering even the use of electronic devices to monitor the sailors’ health and to automatically signal emergency situations, if needed.

“All the projects boast innovative and technologically advanced aspects. The academic world always encourages students to design new garments that are beautiful, useful and high-performance in the shortest possible time. That is because the apparel industry is constantly evolving, and it is important for young people to learn sooner, rather than later, how to quickly take on the challenges thrown their way by the market,” commented Professor Maurizia Botti, workshop coordinator.

www.radicigroup.com

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