We get a lot of clients using branded or marketed names to ask for fabrics. In this case, they wanted to make a jacket with "Storm Cotton."
At the very basis, it is as a cotton material usually made of Upland Cotton. Much like "Dri-Fit" by Nike, "Climalite" by Adidas or "Charged Cotton" by Under Armour, "Storm Cotton" is a branded fabric name.
Back in the 1800's "storm cotton" used to literally mean cotton that was affected by the storm. It had a negative connotation because the bolls often have sand in them. This adds unnecessary weight to the cotton for the unsuspecting customer who is buying the material in pounds. Now, it has been rebranded to imply cotton fabric that can be worn in the storm. Microfiber polyester had long been a staple in sports apparel because the polyester itself is hydrophobic, mildew, and wrinkle resistant. Although DWR had been used on outerwear for a long time, it can be argued that polyester's dominance in lifestyle fabrics pushed the cotton industry to invest heavily on publicizing what is essentially a chemically coating application.
From the site: "After 30 washes, Storm Cotton still has a 70 rating from the AATCC vs 0 from regular DWR finishes." As with any test, it's important to understand how things are tested and the standards of measurement to get a clearer picture. For example there is only 6 ratings on this test so if the rating were in percentages, 70 is actually 50%. Your expectations as well as the consumers' also need to be managed - a rating of 70 may still feel "wet" to the customer. Also if your customers put the product in longer wash cycles or in the dryer, the coating could wear off much earlier than promised. One common fallacy consumers also have about water repellence is that it is "water proof."
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