Katla Cotton is the stunning result of a decade-long search for an elusive quality – an organic material matching the best qualities of petroleum-based synthetic lightweight fabrics.
We’re incredibly proud to be able to present our first pieces of equipment using Katla Cotton – the Ansur family. Katla Cotton represents the philosophy of Klättermusen so perfectly - creating performance fabrics from sustainable materials using new processes - and we invite you to explore the results.
Katla Cotton is an extremely light and breathable fabric that is windproof and water-resistant. The Ansur family made from Katla Cotton is perfect for hiking in tough terrain, or other activities where light and durable garments are needed.
The story behind the fabric
Synthetic materials have been hard to match or surpass when it comes to creating thin, light-weight and tear resistant fabric. Materials like polyester and polyamide string together individual building blocks with flexible fiber lengths that are customizable. Fabrics that are derived from natural fibers are always limited in length. The fibers can be spun and twisted together to form a long thread, but the natural yarns usually result in heavier and thicker fabrics when trying to meet similar functionality as synthetics.
Cotton was chosen as a starting point in the development of our new fabric, as it’s a natural material whose fibers can grow very long. The long-stapled cotton however is often conventionally cultivated using pesticides. A solution was found in a region of Asia called “Sky Mountain” where long-stapled cotton is still grown organically. Using the run-off from the snow-capped mountain for irrigation, this rare cotton is organic, and GOTS certified.
Using Sky Mountain long-stapled organic cotton is not without its challenges. It requires twice as many days as regular cotton to go from fiber to fabric, requiring a firm commitment to the future. First, the fibers are spun to incredibly long threads. Then, using the ancient practice of drawing and twisting the fibers are supplemented by overwinding, in order to create a uniquely thin yarn that forms the first step of the process to create Katla Cotton. The yarn is dyed using organic dyes on the bobbins before the weaving. Less water and less dye are required in addition to providing better color stability by dyeing the bobbins, in contrast to dyeing the finished fabric.
Ripstop is inserted to the fabric during the weaving by spacing stronger threads at 5mm intervals through-out the fabric. Ripstop significantly increases the overall tear strength of the finished fabric while keeping the weight down and the material thin and smooth.
The fabric is then subjected to compaction, a unique treatment derived from the principles of bionics. It involves a combination of heat and pressure like those of geo-thermal processes to seal the fibers. Compaction gives the fabric its characteristic stiffness and the smooth shiny surface is the result of sealing the fibers. In recognition of the geo-thermal inspiration, Katla derives its name from an Icelandic volcano.