Bulwark, Milliken Revamp FR Apparel Design With iQ Series

Bulwark and Milliken & Company have partnered to take a fresh approach to solving a decades-old challenge in the flame-resistant apparel industry – that comfort has to be sacrificed in order to provide the right level of safety.

With the development of the Bulwark iQ Series, and its exclusive Amplitude G2 fabric, FR wearers will enjoy a new age of protective garments that are light, breathable, fashionable and superior in comfort.

In looking for an innovative partner that could help the company design a truly breakthrough solution, Bulwark, the world's largest brand of flame-resistant apparel, quickly realized that Milliken & Company was uniquely qualified to solve the complex science and fabric challenges of today's FR clothing. Bulwark's customer knowledge, job-related insights and garment design expertise produced a deeper understanding of the real problem to be addressed.

These capabilities, combined with Milliken's voracious appetite for FR and fabric innovation, led to the creation of Bulwark iQ series, a completely new experience to meet the needs of workers and linemen in the electric utility, oil and gas, emerging energy and NFPA 70E® (manufacturing) industries.

"Bulwark and Milliken & Company are driving the biggest innovation in flame-resistant apparel in 50 years," said Chris Holcombe, Bulwark, vice president and general manager. "There is no other product like the Bulwark iQ series that meets the performance and comfort needs of FR wearers in the marketplace today.

"Typical FR apparel is heavy, hot and scratchy – tempting workers to shed their protective gear on the job in naturally unforgiving climates," Holcombe continued. "Bulwark iQ series is FR apparel that workers will want to wear; not just need to wear."

"Never in my 30 years at Milliken & Company have I been part of a more expansive effort to solve such a glaring problem - comfort - with such an impressive combination of deep research and insight-driven design," said Jack Spoon, business manager, Milliken & Company. "The Amplitude G2 fabric in the Bulwark iQ series garments is the perfect blend of comfort and safety that enhances durability and allows workers to be more productive day in and day out. Together with Bulwark, we are inspiring innovation in performance materials and FR garments."

Breaking the comfort barrier in FR fabrics required the inclusion of fibers typically found in performance garments, including polyester (video).  Milliken scientists found a way to protect the polyester yarn from melting with Amplitude G2 chemistry. 

Proprietary to Bulwark, Amplitude G2 allows for more comfort and productivity while providing protection from electric arc and flash fires. Finished with a sustainable, patent-pending process, the polyester blended fabric provides increased benefits normally found in performance garments including: breathability, moisture wicking, light weight and superior comfort.

The polyester blended fabrics have also enabled us to achieve improved strength and abrasion resistance for greater durability; enhanced moisture management; less wash and thermal shrinkage for a more consistent fit; and better color consistency for overall uniform appearance.

The Bulwark iQ Series marks the latest chapter in a 25-year partnership between Milliken & Company, a global innovation leader across a range of industries including specialty textiles and protective fabrics, and Bulwark's parent company, VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel.
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