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Hi-tech from sheep to shop


The process for creating weatherproof outerwear hasn’t changed for close to 40 years, according to Voormi co-founder Dustin English. Three separate layers – a base, a face textile and a rubber-glove-like waterproof membrane – are glued together, resulting in a laminated construction referred to as a “sandwich.” Now, Pagosa Springs-based Voormi has changed the game.

In January, the small-batch textile brand introduced Core Construction technology in which fibers are knit directly into and around a central protective membrane. The result? Weather-resistant clothing with comfortable feel and no glue or layering. Along with outdoor apparel, the application could help drive innovation in protective wear for, say, firefighting or race-car driving.

Voormi introduced three of its own Core Construction pieces including the Drift Hydro, an insulating, water-resistant soft-shell jacket made with wool. With the exception of the company’s T-shirts, wool is at the root of every item produced. The team even founded Rocky Mountain Highcountry Merino wool, sheared from Rocky Mountain herds. From sheep to shop, here’s the step-by-step of how Voormi produces its unparalleled apparel:

Wool is shorn from sheep herds in the Rocky Mountain region and put in large burlap sacks, still dirty and stick-filled.

Sacks of wool are shipped to the East Coast where the wool is high-pressure washed, combed and spun: Once clean, only half of the wool’s initial weight remains – but the strongest fibers are left.

The yarn remains in the East where it is manufactured into a textile.

Depending on the garment, fabrics are dispersed throughout the U.S. to be cut and sewn at various factories.

The garment is shipped back to Pagosa Springs for distribution online or to one of Voormi’s 25 partnering retail locations – 13 of which are in Colorado.

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Morgan Tilton

Freelance writer/editor Morgan Tilton covers travel, outdoor adventure, business and lifestyle for a variety of publications including 5280 Magazine, Colorado Health & Wellness Magazine, EnCompass Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, and SNEWS. To browse her latest stories, visit www.morgantilton.com.

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