This article looks at high-technology defence clothing and equipment; the sorts of materials used, the sorts of products on offer and the uses for various groups involved in protection and safety.
UK based defence clothing
There are a range of suppliers based in the UK, along with some British manufacturers who produce high-quality defence clothing and manufacture it to the highest quality standards. Such manufacturers produce extremely high-tech garments using materials from respected brands in the USA and Europe, including suppliers such as DSM Dyneema, DuPont Kevlar and Honeywell. These materials are at the heart of the production process, because of their ability to deal with ballistics and provide advanced protection to the wearer. The clothing manufacturers will work closely with the materials manufacturers to ensure a quality finished product that offers total protection. This is clothing shopping of a very different kind and the purchasers of these clothing items tend to work for the police, military services or private security services contractors. To buy these clothes, a relationship with the supplier is usually established directly, as it's difficult to buy such products widely on the commercial market - let alone a high street!
The sorts of products on sale
Each item of defence clothing, from bullet proof vests to bomb disposal boots, is created to be versatile, effective and highly reliable. Designs are generally created on a constantly changing basis and are regularly refined to accommodate ever-changing requirements and external threats. Protection and performance lie at the heart of these clothing items and branding is key. For example, a piece of body armour bearing a Sarkar logo, will express that it has passed a series of test 100% of the time and has inbuilt redundancies to ensure that it's over-engineered, to take no chances. This is at the heart of good ballistic protection. The type and grade of the material used will depend on the circumstance and requirement of the finished piece - whether it's being used by the police, the military services or private security contractors. The clothing is also discreet and thin - for example, covert tactical ballistic vests can be worn under clothing without being noticed.
High technology fibres and materials
There are a range of interesting fibres and materials used to create ballistics clothing, such as the Kevlar brand from DuPont. It is unusual for being very lightweight and strong at the same time. The fibres are made from a polymer solution, creating a liquid crystalline structure. The resulting finish is flexible and lightweight. Kevlar vests are well known as a brand in their own right, helping to save and safeguard the lives of people all across the world in regions of conflict. The material also helped to land the Mars space missions! There are also a range of gloves, footwear, helmets with night vision goggles and light sensors and a range of full body armour available, all designed to ensure the protection of the wearer in high security situations.
Maria John writes regularly on defence topics such as bullet proof vests and Kevlar clothing for a range of specialist publications and websites. Find out more at: www.sarkardefence.com