Monday, April 27, 2009

a little education

most of the time information allows you to make wiser decisions. i decided to inform anyone that reads this blog about the details of wetsuit construction. those who are not interested in the info, please skip this section. those who are interested, we will start with the neoprene itself. neoprene is rubber comprised of petrochemicals and all kinds of different chemicals. yamamoto is a limestone based rubber that does not have these petrochemicals. yamamoto is just the material in between two pieces of fabric.

smooth skin(on left)
mesh skin (on right)

with the two materials above, there is only fabric on one side of the neoprene. these two types of neoprene are commonly used for wind protection or for aesthetic reasons. escential uses mesh skin on the chest of our suits. the mesh skin is simply rubber pressed with mesh to enclose all the cells of the rubber. if you dont enlcose the cells, the rubber unfinised is very brittle and crumbly. there has to be some kind of binding agent on one side of the neoprene. the smooth skin is pressed with a flat based and finished with a coat to give it a shinny appearance. both have the same stretch if the fabric on the back are the same stretch fabric.

neoprene is classified stretch or non-stretch from the fabric used on the rubber. it is common sense, if you use not stretch material, it won't stretch. this issue has nothing to do with yamamoto or regular chinese rubber. The neoprene is only as stretchy as the fabric you bind to the rubber. escential uses the strethest nylon on the market. stretch is an essential part of a surfing wetsuit, but don't be fooled companies using the word "stretch" or "super stretch." it is most likely that the same stretch material is being used with all companies, they just give it any name they feel would sell the product. xstretch, ostretch, xstend, it is very easy to come up with ways to call something stretch.
the stitch is pretty interesting, if you're not asleep yet. with our suits and most of the industry's, there are two stitches, flat lock and blind stitch. the best way to describe it is with a little image.

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