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Multiple new launches from Heathcoat

Adrian Wilson

Drytec, NeutraliZr and Terra-Khrome designed for military use.

7th May 2024

Adrian Wilson
 |  Frankfurt, Germany

Protective, Transport/​Aerospace

At the recent Techtextil 2024 in Frankfurt, the UK’s Heathcoat Fabrics introduced a number of new developments for the military, including its new Drytec surface-to-surface moisture-wicking spacer fabric.

Drytec has been designed to actively draw perspiration from the skin, allowing the moisture to be dispersed through the textile to the outer fabric surface, ultimately improving the thermo-physiological comfort of the user.

This surface-to-surface moisture movement ensures personnel remain dry and comfortable when carrying heavy personal equipment.

Crafted from a special composition of polyester, monofilament and cellulosic yarns, Drytec is highly soft, comfortable and breathable while constructed to be durable and resistant to wear and tear. Its compressible air gap structure provides shock absorption and weight distribution, making it ideal for use in backpack straps, lumber supports and ballistic plate carriers.

Dtytec’s compressible air gap structure provides shock absorption. © Heathcoat Fabrics


Another interesting material developed by Heathcoat with Guild Associates for military chemical defence is NeutraliZr, which provides unparalleled capabilities in rapidly adsorbing and detoxifying chemical warfare agents.

NeutraliZr features zirconium hydroxide, known for its swift adsorption and detoxification properties. By immobilising zirconium hydroxide onto the textile with a unique dust-free, non-shedding formulation, Heathcoat has created a material capable of direct contact with contaminated surfaces, including unbroken skin, ensuring rapid adsorption of chemical agents.

One of the flagship applications of NeutraliZr technology is the Universal Decontamination Mitt (UDM), designed to meet immediate decontamination needs for both equipment and unbroken skin. Crafted entirely from NeutraliZr, the UDM has demonstrated exceptional efficacy in decontaminating the surfaces of military items and unbroken skin exposed to chemical warfare agents and their simulants. In rigorous testing, the UDM achieved over 90% decontamination efficacy on porcine skin, representing unbroken human skin, and removed over 99% of chemical agents and simulants from contaminated items.

NeutraliZr rapidly adsorbs and detoxifies chemical warfare agents. © Heathcoat Fabrics

Building on this success, Heathcoat and Guild Associates have now developed a PFAS-free CBRN suit for the US military’s Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble (UIPE) programme. This next-generation suit offers enhanced chemical protection and detoxification functionality, including VX, GB, and HD agents, as well as aerosol protection. With improved comfort, reduced thermal burden, and increased breathability, the PFAS-free CBRN suit sets a new standard for lightweight CBRN protection.

“We are thrilled to introduce NeutraliZr technology, a game-changer in military chemical defence,” said John Stimpson, business manager for woven fabrics at Heathcoat. “Our collaboration with Guild Associates has resulted in solutions that address critical needs for rapid decontamination and enhanced protection. We look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of textile technology to safeguard military and first response personnel.”


 Heathcoat also introduced its Terra-Khrome dyed fabric range, based on a process for achieving new colour depth on recycled polyamide (PA) fibres using natural dyes, in Frankfurt. The approach not only provides vibrant colours but also ensures comparative fastness when compared to standard synthetic dye applications on standard PA.

“Natural dyes present inherent differences from synthetic dyes due to impurities and variations in sourcing and extraction methods,” explained the company’s colour specialist Joanna Kay. “While they may not offer the same vividness as their synthetic counterparts, the appeal lies in their environmental sustainability. As consumers increasingly seek eco-conscious options, we are compelled to explore natural alternatives and while natural dyes are yet to be integrated into our dye house, imminent plans are underway. With preliminary work completed, our warp knitting department is gearing up to introduce upcoming products.”

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