UK outdoor brand Vollebak has launched the ‘Full Metal Jacket’-and the name will not surprise you when you hear that every piece is made with over 11 kilometers of copper.
‘Why copper?’, you might ask. Because, as the Vollebak team explains, “its [copper’s] ability to conduct heat and power while killing bacteria and viruses make it a potential first building block for the future of clothing“.
But the ambitions of the Brits reach even further: “One of the challenges we were already exploring when Covid-19 hit was the role clothing can play in protecting against disease in remote environments on Earth as well as up in space where astronauts’ immune systems are already compromised. While we want the first people on Mars to be wearing our clothes, making sure we survive on Earth first, and understand how to avoid taking diseases from one planet to the next, is a good starting point,” the Vollebak team states.
Detail of Vollebak’s Full Metal Jacket
Built with a material mix of 65% copper, 23% polyamide and 12% polyurethane the jacket aims to be soft, malleable, highly waterproof, windproof and breathable, and comes with a fleece lined neck and pockets.
The first of the jacket’s three layers is made from a lacquered copper yarn which is woven on rapier weaving looms before being scoured, heat-set, dyed and dried. The lacquer is completely clear and acts as protection, so the colour of each jacket is the colour of the dyed copper beneath it.
The surface of the jacket looks computer generated when you’re standing in front of it because the hundreds of thousands of moving copper parts warp and ripple like water.
Structure of the jacket’s copper layer
Needless to say that innovation comes with a higher price tag: the Full Metal Jacket retails for €995.
Vollebak has been experimenting with uncommon fabrics before: In their first four years they have built jackets from graphene and T-shirts created entirely from plants and algae.
Copper has a long history for human kind: It was used to create the earliest recorded medical tools in ancient Egypt, and the latest medical tools are being developed by NASA–all with copper.