What You’re Wearing, Part 1: Synthetic Fibers (Ep.57)


  • Synthetic vs. Natural fibers (2:15)
  • Where do synthetic fibers come from? (8:08)
  • Which synthetics are the most durable? (9:17)
  • Polyester vs. Nylon (12:18)
  • What are the environmental issues associated with synthetics? (14:38)
  • The story behind Gore’s new ePTFE baselayer with Underarmour (24:05)
  • Gore’s current (and upcoming) waterproof / breathable lineup (36:54)
  • What’s the biggest misconception about synthetics? (52:12)

How much do you actually know about the clothes in your closet, and the stuff you wear to go play in the mountains? Today we’re introducing our “What You’re Wearing” miniseries, where we’ll be shining a light on the most foundational part of apparel: the fibers.

Companies use a ton of different types of fibers, and those fibers determine a lot of the garment’s most important properties, like weight, breathability, durability, skin feel, and much more. This series is designed to give you a better understanding of why different clothes feel and perform the way they do.

In part one, we dive into the world synthetic fibers with Sara Ellis from Gore (the makers of GORE-TEX) to discuss everything from the performance and environmental impact of synthetics compared to natural fibers; the crazy new material that Gore developed with Underarmour; what’s on the horizon in terms of waterproof / breathables; and more.

Sam Shaheen talks with Gore's Sara Ellis about synthetic fibers, their pros and cons, how they compare to natural fibers, Gore's new fabric with Under Armour, and more on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast
Gore's Testing Lab (photo courtesy of Gore)

3 comments on “What You’re Wearing, Part 1: Synthetic Fibers (Ep.57)”

  1. The miracle fabric Gore developed with UA – I am interested in their running shirts. Do you have a name/model number for these?

    • Hey Mark,

      Here’s a link to the women’s version. I believe the men’s version is sold out: https://www.underarmour.com/

      Also, I certainly wouldn’t call it a miracle fabric. It is novel, unique, and fascinating, but it certainly isn’t perfect and I need more time testing before delivering a final verdict.

      Hope that helps,

Leave a Comment