Galvin Green is renowned for their waterproofs, but these are just one part of a comprehensive clothing range that is based around the layering concept.
To find out more I met up with Mats Lundqvist, Chief Designer of Galvin Green, who took me through their range and how it all fits together.
Hi Mats. How important is layering to Galvin Green?
Galvin Green is very much about layering, to make it comfortable for golfers on the golf course. Whatever the weather, we want to be able to dress them so they are comfortable. If you are comfortable you will play better golf.
We have a shell layer for outer protection that could be Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex PacLite or Windstopper to keep the wind and the rain away.
Then we have the Insula warm layer to keep you warm if it is cold and we have a cool layer called Ventil8 to keep you cool and dry if it is warm.
Finally is the base layer that comes underneath and works to increase blood flow and give dry comfort next to the skin. The whole idea is to make fabrics that work together.
For example, if you wear a Gore-Tex jacket with very good breathability and you have a cotton sweater underneath and you are sweating, the moisture will not pass through the Gore-Tex because cotton is so absorbent for moisture. Therefore you will not make any use of the good properties of the Gore-Tex fabric that you have on the outside, or other functional fabrics for that matter, because all of the moisture will stay in the cotton sweater.
So what we try to do is develop fabrics that let your body heat, moisture and perspiration move through all the layers of clothing to the outside to keep you cool and dry. That has been Galvin Green's goal for the last decade to develop fabrics that work together.
Let's start on the outside, so what materials do you use in the Outer Shell layer?
We use two different types of Gore-Tex fabrics. The first is a regular Gore-Tex fabric with a mesh lining on the inside. This mesh lining forms a barrier between your second layer and the outer fabric to insulate some air and create a warmer feel from this jacket.
Then we have the Gore-Tex PacLite range, which is a very thin layer of outer fabric with the Gore-Tex membrane. It has the same waterproofness and breathability as the normal Gore-Tex, but the PacLite is much lighter which minimises weight which, for example, is important to golfers who carry their bags.
How much lighter is a PacLite jacket?
A PacLite jacket weighs only 290g which is equal to around 6 golf balls and it is very easy to roll up and store in a small space. The normal Gore-Tex jacket weighs around 12 golf balls or around 0.5 litre of water, so you can see the weight you will save with the Gore-Tex PacLite range.
In the PacLite range you can see that all the seams are sealed to make it waterproof, which is the same as the main jacket, but you cannot see them due to the lining we incorporate into that jacket. So in a jacket like this we use around 14-15 metres of seam tape.
We have a 22mm wide tape which we need where there is a zipper, but on all the other seams we use a 13mm tape to save weight. Five years ago we couldn’t use a 13mm tape as we needed 22mm all over the jacket, but through advances in manufacturing processes we are able to use 13mm tape and that means we use 20g less tape in the jacket and that all adds up to a lighter jacket.
Where we are trying to reduce the weight in the PacLite range we eliminate any unnecessary details. For example we avoid pockets so there is only one pocket on the back that is not in the way of a golfer swinging the club.
It includes chest width adjusters to make it as slim a fit as possible, because the slimmer the jacket is, the easier it is to make a swing.
How do the Windstopper jackets differ from the Gore-Tex ones?
Windstopper is a Gore-Tex material and we use the same type of membrane as in the outer shell. The difference is the pores in this membrane that control how much moisture is let out or how much external water is repelled.
In the Gore-Tex outer shell layers, the micropores are there to stop the water and to be waterproof up to a certain amount of water pressure. In the Windstopper membrane the micropores are designed to stop the wind, but maximise the breathability.
Therefore Windstopper is more breathable than Gore-Tex, whilst still being completely windproof.
How flexible are the fabrics you use?
The fabrics we use are stretch fabrics that are laminated with the Gore-Tex membrane, so that makes them very flexible but it only stretches one way. You can get four way stretching fabrics, but at Galvin Green we don’t like the way those feel to the hand so we prefer these fabrics.
Instead we shift the direction of how we use the stretch. In the upper back the fabric stretches width wise, whereas on the sleeves it is aligned to stretch lengthwise, so you have the stretch where you need it for the function of the jacket.
As a result we see a lot of interest in the PacLite range as it features the same breathability and waterproofness of the heavier jackets, but with the lightweight flexibility that clearly a lot of players prefer. Together with an Insula mid layer or warm layer garment you will feel very warm when wearing a PacLite.
Having experienced the Insula tops I am impressed with how warm they are. How did you create this fabric?
Insula is a fabric we developed with an Italian fabric manufacturer in the early 2000’s. We wanted to do something that does not absorb any moisture like cotton.
This fabric absorbs no moisture at all. It has a polyester base so moisture can pass straight through the fabric to the outside. On the inside it has a waffle structure to maximise the amount of air that can be trapped inside the fabric and this air that is trapped is what heats you. Your body heat heats up the air and it stays inside the fabric if you have something wind proof on top and it will keep you very warm.
The advantage is that it is not a big bulky fabric. It is easy to make something warm by making a thick fabric that holds a lot of air, but then you cannot swing, so our goal has been to reduce the amount of bulk, make it very thin, but still hold a lot of air inside.
For 2015 we have changed the composition of the fabric to give it a softer hand feel whilst maintaining the structure that gives it excellent thermal properties. The idea is to wear it closely fitted so it works at its best.
Base layers have been around for a while, so what is different about your 2015 versions?
If it is really cold you may want to wear a base layer underneath and that has the same idea as the warm layer, but in a much smaller configuration. Still the same goal to hold a lot of air inside and let your body moisture escape easily.
This comes in different styles, with crew necks and roll necks, giving golfers different versions they will feel comfortable in.
We used to have a compression series in our base layers, but we found that consumers prefer a looser style of base layer than the compression type of base layers designed to compress the muscles. These are not loose fit, they are more of a comfortable fit and not as tight as compression base layers.
I also see you have some new trousers for 2015 too?
In the range we also have Ventil8 trousers to keep you dry and this is a fairly new product for us. They are meant to be used in slightly cooler conditions.
They have a double weave with a different structure on the inside surface than on the outside surface and it has been made a little bit thicker to hold the air inside. The outer surface is water repellent so in a light drizzle it will keep off the moisture or dirt to keep you dry whereas the inner surface is wicking, so if you are sweating it will spread out the moisture and keep you dry.
You are renowned for your cold weather clothing, but now you have warm weather clothing too, so how did that come about?
In summer when it is hot you need a cool layer and we love the idea of using fabrics that do not absorb any moisture at all.
Our cool layer shirts are made from polyester with a fibre that has a very big surface area to allow the moisture to spread out over this bigger surface area. This makes it evaporate a lot quicker than a regular polyester fibre which means it dries out 3 times faster.
These are very easy care garments meaning you just wash it at 40 degrees and it is already almost dry. You could put it on a hanger and then wear it 30 minutes later.
Compared to cotton shirts you can wash these a hundred times and they will not change whereas with even the best cottons after 10 washes you will see a line on the darker colours, so these shirts are also a lot more durable as well as having the moisture performance.
All of these layers are designed to work together. If you wore a cool layer with an Insula layer on top and then a Gore-Tex layer on top they will all transport the moisture to the outside keeping the golfer comfortable and dry.
What are you doing to help golfers understand which combination of clothing they should be wearing on any given day?
This year we have gone more digital with a Golf Weather Forecast app for iPhone and Android to teach the consumer how to dress and make the best out of all our layers.
The app gives you 3 choices to either view the men’s collections, the ladies collections or the weather forecast.
If you choose the weather forecast functionality you can search via current location or choose the course you are playing and you will get a five day weather forecast that you can slide across through times of day to get the complete picture.
We then take the forecast wind, temperature and precipitation you can press 'Dress For This Weather' and the app will take products from the multi layer concept and advise you what you need for the forecast conditions.
The app contains details for nearly every course around the world and enables you to share this information with friends, post it on social media etc well as setting up challenges for your friends via SMS.
You can also use the app to remind you of tee times that you have in the future and use it to notify you of the weather that can be expected.
You can download the app from the Galvin Green website.