Polymer materials specialist Covestro has teamed up with Trans-Textil to develop a new synthetic textile coating suitable for footwear and apparel that is breathable and waterproof.

Building on Covestro's Insqin technology, the new Aquair polyurethane coating can be used for shoe components, leisure, sports and outdoor clothing, bags and accessories, as well as upholstery and furniture.

In combination with Trans-Textil's technologies, the entirely water-based and solvent-free polyurethane dispersions of the Impranil and Impraperm ranges developed by Covestro enable significant breathable properties with a level of comfort and functionality that far exceeds the standard of coated textiles, the firm says.

Water-repellent properties are already integrated into the materials meaning that no additional finishing with harmful substances such as perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) is required.

"The polyurethane coating is particularly abrasion-resistant and breathable, but in combination with membrane systems from Trans-Textil it can also be made both waterproof and windproof," says Thomas Michaelis, expert for coated textiles at Covestro. "It is built on our water-based and sustainable Insqin technology, which also means that the production of coated textiles requires up to 95% less water and 50% less energy than previous processes based on solvents."

Its production as roll material makes it suitable for use in ready-made clothing, while its high degree of elasticity ensures the greatest possible freedom of movement. 

In footwear, its high water vapour permeability also contributes to the active regulation of the microclimate inside shoes. This breathability is retained even in combination with a waterproof functional membrane system, the firms say.