We live in an exciting time of material developments. Previously if you wanted to build something durable, the go-to materials were rigid substances like metal and concrete; now materials scientists are smart enough to create brilliantly tough fibers that can be woven into flexible fabrics. Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber, better known by its trade name of Dyneema, will enable the current generation of designers to create flexible but tough objects and gear that our ancestors could never have envisioned.
DSM, the company behind Dyneema, has created a series of mini-docs called “Trailblazers” that follows the design pioneers who are exploting Dyneema’s properties–it’s stronger than steel and can be woven into fabric–to create a new class of objects. Here’s Canadian designer Conroy Nachtigall developing a super lightweight performance jacket for the frigid outdoors:
Across the world in sunny Marseilles, pro skateboarders and pro jeans-rippers Tim Zom, Samuel Geoni and Michael Kaba are testing denim that has been interwoven with Dyneema:
And over in Japan, outdoor gear designer Jotaro Yoshida creates a lightweight, breathable tent to weather Mount Tanigawa:
Looking to create something practical of your own? Check out Tim Prestero’s Tutorial: How to Create Tough, Lightweight and Waterproof Gear Bags From Dyneema and Tyvek.