Our Materials and Their Characteristics
Parents need jackets that work. This begins with a zip that moves freely and prevents water seeping through, and ends with a coating which makes the jacket weatherproof without using any harmful substances, just in case baby is using it as a teething ring!
mamalila therefore places great importance on materials which meet these various requirements, remaining skin and environmentally friendly while being wind and weather resistant. Over the years we have become experts in this field, and because it is impossible to impart this knowledge on any one label, we have put together a small, but ever growing glossary of the most important materials and their characteristics.
Organic cottonOrganic cotton is a wonderfully soft, antiallergenic and naturally robust fabric, cultivated under fair conditions and for the most part only “rain fed”. The environment is much less polluted than by conventionally grown cotton where crop spraying with pesticides or herbicides occurs and the soil is leached through over farming. In addidion, as it is further processed in an environmentally friendly manner, people do not come into contact with dangerous chemicals, whether during harvesting, processing, or later when babywearing.
Bionic-Finish®EcoTo minimize the spread of fluorocarbons (FC) that are harmful to the environment and humans, mamalila uses Bionic-Finish®Eco for a FC-free impregnation of products. Bionic-Finish®Eco takes nature as its example – like millions of microscopically small, highly branched tree crowns, which sit on the surface of the fabric; special polymers keep the water from the “soil”, away from the fabric thus making it waterproof.
bluesign®The bluesign® standard is considered to be one of the most stringent in the field of textiles and is designed to minimize the environmental impact during the entire production process. The bluesign® system therefore considers the entire production chain, starting with the chemical industry, and checks all plants for resource productivity, consumer protection, pollution control and work safety. Only those who meet the highest requirements become bluesign® certified.
Elastan/Spandex®Elastan is a highly elastic chemical fiber which can stretch up to eight times its original size and then return to its original shape. On top of that it is not sensitive to sweat or deodorant and is therefore often used to provide flexibility in textiles that are close to the body. The Spandex® in mamalila babywearing jackets is a registered trademark and a very specific composition of theseelastic chemical fibers.
FC-freeA woven fabric is not naturally waterproof. Natural fibers soak water, synthetic fibers store water in small cavities. In order for a fabric to become waterproof either a special coating must be applied or a membrane, a type of breathable film, must be laminated (heat-bonded) to the outer fabric. The fabric is additionally impregnated.
During impregnation, in the membranes and when coating, so called fluorocarbons (FC), which belong to the group of poly-/perfluorinated chemicals (PFC), are frequently used. These artificially created compounds of carbon and fluorine are not originally found in nature, but are chemically and thermally very stable and therefore deposit in nature. Passed through water and food into the blood of humans and animals where they accumulate. Individual compounds such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) or PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) have been shown in some studies to be toxic, and as harmful to health, they can cause cancer, damage the liver or even impair fertility.
mamalila has therefore opted for FC-free alternatives. Our jackets have PU- or SympaTex® membranes and we use Bionic-Finish®Eco. to impregnate.
HardshellHardshell, like softshell, usually consists of polyester or polyamide, and depending on the jacket it can also be offset with elastane. The decisive factor is the processing of the material: hardshell is produced as a thin layer which is in itself water repellent, it is then laminated with an additional water and windproof breathable membrane. The primary purpose of the jacket is to protect against heavy rain and strong winds, warmth is not the focus. Specially taped seams as well as water repellent zips ensure that even the weakest points of the jacket can withstand the hardest weather.
NylonExtremely light and soft, yet robust: nylonis a very versatile material. It is especially suitable for padded jackets, as the fibers are very close together, resulting in a particularly robust and smooth surface which feels very pleasant on the skin. In addition, nylon is not prone to wrinkling, which is why a nylon jacket like the mamalila quilted jacket can be stowed away perfectly in the handy sack and taken along.
PFOA-free (FC-free)Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is suspected of being carcinogenic and liver damaging. It is actually an aid required for the production of polymers such as PTFE membranes. PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, also referred to as Teflon. An example of a PTFE membrane is Gore-Tex. In the production of such membranes, PFOA residues can pass onto the textiles and from there into the body. Therefore, mamalila does not use PTFE membranes, but relies on environmentally friendly alternatives such as PU- or SympaTex® membranes.
PFOS-free (FC-free)Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) was used frequently in the impregnation of textiles (including carpets and paper) against fat, oil and water. However, it has been shown that PFOS can accumulate in nature and the human body and are toxic to mammals, so much so that in 2002, all German chemical companies ceased production of PFOS. mamalila jackets are impregnated using the environmentally friendly version Bionic-Finish®Eco.
PolyesterThis easy to care for synthetic fiber is extremely skin friendly, wrinkle resistant, shape holding and non-shrinking, so that it can be washed with great ease. Due to its chemical structure, polyester is harmless and highly durable, as well as elastic, abrasion and light resistant, thus not losing its colour. Additionally, it does not retain moisture, even when the impregnation begins to lose its efficacy. Above all, polyester can be recycled excellently, making it ideal for a sustainable babywearing jacket. (Thermore® Aria).
PU membraneAs an alternative to the PTFE membranes (PFOA-frei), mamalila uses membranes which are made from polyurethane (PU). They are hydrophilic, so they are highly water absorbent and therefore adapt well to different activity levels. If more sweat is caused by a lot of movement, the air humidity increases and with it the water vapor permeability of the membrane. Conversely, by less activity and lower humidity, only a small amount of water vapor reaches the outside, so that the relatively thin PU membrane functions well as an insulator. In spite of its breathability, it nevertheless guarantees water and wind protection, and unlike PTFE membranes such as Gore-Tex, it won’t clog because it has no pores but consists instead of hydrophilic molecular blocks.
SoftshellWhile the primary purpose of a hardshell jacket is to protect against wind and rain, for the softshell jacket the primary function is to keep warm and only in case of inclement weather to protect. The softshell jacket from mamalila is made from a triple layered membrane; the top layer is stretchy, a mix of easy to care for Polyester and flexible Elastan/Spandex®, allowing the jacket to move with every movement. The special material structure and larger material thickness than in the case of the hardshell, lead to small air pockets inside the fabric, which serve as an insulation layer. Together with the light inner lining made of fleece (3rd layer), this provides cuddly warmth, while the intermediate PU membrane (2nd layer) makes the jacket water and wind resistant as well as breathable.
SympaTex® membraneThe patented SympaTex® membrane consists entirely of a harmless polytherester, keeps the Öko-Tex® standard 100, is bluesign®certified and 100% recyclable. It is wind and water proof as well as highly breathable. Like a PU membrane it has hydrophilic molecular blocks that absorb moisture from the body and release it in the form of evaporation to the outside, with the capacity to increase functionality to meet rising temperatures or humidity levels. Dirt particles or particles in detergents will not restrict the breathability function of the jacket, since the membrane (in contrast to GoreTex®) does not have pores that can become clogged or damaged.
Thermore® AriaThe padding of the mamalila quilted jacket consists of Thermore® Aria, a high-tech padding that is the vegan alternative to down. As with small feathers, there are countless pockets of air cushions, which keep you wonderfully warm,albeit anti-allergenic and without dangerous chemicals (PFOS- and PFOA-free). Thermore® Aria is a bluesign® certified polyester filling with 50 percent recycled material which is super light, soft and comfortable to wear. It has an additional advantage when compared to the animal variant – where there is no down, no spikes can occur, neither during washing nor after years of wearing.
Boiled woolWater repellent, climate regulating, timelessly elegant and dirt repellent – as a natural product boiled wool has amazing abilities. And the mamalila hooded coat, which is 100% boiled wool, makes the most of it.
Wool fibers are hygroscopic; they can bind moisture in the form of water vapor and direct it away from the body. Notably, while the moisture is absorbed, the fiber surface remains dry. Wool can absorb up to one third of its own dry weight in water vapor without ever feeling clammy. At the same time wool can be used as a material which is naturally breathable with a weather resistant coating. Water vapor is absorbed, but water drops are repelled because the fiber surface is water-repellent. Dirt-repellent too, thanks to the lanolin in the wool, which should not be washed out by too much unnecessary cleaning of the coat. Last but not least, the crimped loop structure of the wool creates a unique shell climate, the fibers are very loose, creating air chambers that trap and retain the heat of the body, a perfect insulating layer that also warms up quickly and thus more moisture can be accommodated.