Our Fabrics

Durable Cotton®

it’s hard for us to express how much we love this fabric, everything about it is so great, we don’t know where to start! we love cotton for its soft hand and natural feel, but the fiber is just not an ideal material for active wear: it soaks up sweat and takes forever to dry, and it’s a weak fiber that wears quickly with continued rubbing. since the very inception of swrve, we’ve been looking for a cotton fabric that will be durable, will dry more quickly than pure cotton, and will have 4-way stretch for the best cotton garments possible. in our innocence, we thought there was surely something like this out in the world, but after years of looking (we started in 2005) and not being able to find anything, we were finally able to work with a mill to make it happen. we made sure it would be burly to take any abuse, wanted a good amount of nylon to make it durable, quick to dry and wicking (nylon is hydrophobic), insisted on 4-way stretch (it’s apparently really hard to weave with 4-way stretch), and added DWR for good measure. we think our Durable Cotton® fabric is the best fabric for cotton activewear, and hope you think so as well!

lightweight water + wind resistant

our lightweight wwr fabric is made of a double-weave 90% Nylon and 10% Spandex. double-weave means that the face of the fabric is different than the interior; the face is a twill, but the interior is a soft French terry that feels soft next to skin and acts to wick moisture away from it. the fabric is treated with durable water resistance (DWR) agent fixed to the fabric’s surface that imparts water resistance and allows for breatheability to the fabric. this fabric has a ton of 4-way stretch, and is perfect for hot summer days.

CORDURA® denim

you know CORDURA® from its extensive use in tough luggage, backpacks and motorcycle apparel. we’ve taken those rugged CORDURA® fibers and wove them into the denim to make it super durable. but because the jeans still have a high cotton content, you don’t lose the soft feel and look of 100% cotton denim. add to that a ton of stretch for ease of movement, and you have the perfect confluence of durability, performance, comfort, and style in one pair of jeans. how durable is the fabric? *in a rub test conducted by CORDURA® (Martindale Abrasion BS EN ISO 12947-2:1999 Standard Woolen Abrasion with 12KPa weight), regular 100% cotton denim held up to between 75’000 to 25’000 rubs (depending on number of times the denim was washed) compared to the same weight CORDURA® denim where they stopped the tests at 250’000 rubs on all samples because the denim was just not wearing through.

mid-weight water + wind resistant

like our lightweight wwr fabric, the mid-weight version is made of a double-weave 90% Nylon and 10% Spandex. double-weave means that the face of the fabric is different than the interior; the face is a twill, but the interior is a soft French terry that feels soft next to skin and acts to wick moisture away from it. the fabric is treated with durable water resistance (DWR) agent fixed to the fabric’s surface that imparts water resistance and allows for breatheability to the fabric. this fabric has a ton of 4-way stretch, and is perfect for cooler fall / winter days.

winter softshell fabric

our winter softshell fabrics are composed of a 3-layer sandwich; the exterior is the face of the fabric that you see, the interior is a cozy and insulating fleece, and sandwiched between is the real magic: a water- and windproof breatheable membrane rated 10k / 10k. (for a good discussion on waterproof / breatheable ratings see http://backcountrybeacon.com/2010/04/waterproof-ratings-demystified/). we should note that we do NOT seam seal our garments, however, we do lap-seam critical seams, and this type of seam imparts superior water-resistance compared to regular seams. we have been informed by customers from Copenhagen, London, New York, Milwaukee, and a few other wet climes that our garments hold up great even in downpours. this fabric is best for cold, wet, wintry conditions.

cotton / Modal® jersey

our cotton / Modal® fabric is pretty amazing. Modal® is 100% natural and derived from beechwood trees grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. it’s super soft yet stands up to years of use. it wicks sweat away from the skin to keep you dry, and if you do get wet, it is quick to dry. it is highly breathable and naturally resists odor and, as a superior insulator, it will keep you cool in  summer and in the winter it’s best next-to-skin to keep you cozy warm and stink-free. because the structure of the fibers is smooth, clothing with Modal® is very soft and non-irritating, even on sensitive skin. we make all efforts to source our fabric from a responsible vendor that in the process to convert wood to fiber does it in a way that uses all aspects of the tree, recaptures almost all chemicals used and recycles them, and utilizes energy in the best way possible for a minimum of environmental impact. the process is so efficient that it is CO2 neutral. and, because the contents of the fabric are all natural, it is biodegradable, so there is no need to recycle it when you are done!

merino wool jersey

our wool jersey is a 5.4 oz, 18.9µ 100% New Zealand merino wool jersey knit. merino wool is the perfect technical fabric: it’s soft to the touch, it’s an amazing insulator that keeps you warm even when wet and helps keep you cool in the summer, it’s breatheable and it pulls moisture away from the skin, and it resists odors. those sheep have it made!

merino wool ponti

our wool ponti is a 8.25 oz, 18.9µ 100% New Zealand merino wool ponti knit. merino wool is the perfect technical fabric: it’s soft to the touch, it’s an amazing insulator that keeps you warm even when wet, it’s breatheable and it pulls moisture away from the skin, and it resists odors. ponti is a double-kit interlock weave, that means that it is essentially two layers woven into one. this is better than just making a single thicker layer because, as we all remember from physics, the best insulation is air. the two layers make tiny pockets of air inside the fabric thus making the amazing wool insulating properties even better!

waxed cotton

waxed cotton fabric is the original water + wind repellant fabric. first used by British seamen to keep dry in the harshest North Sea conditions, wax cotton is a simple idea that works beautifully: impregnate cotton fabric with a wax dressing and not only will it bead water right off and protect you from the wind, but it is also breatheable to keep you comfortable.