RadiciGroup, a producer of chemical intermediates, polyamide polymers, engineering plastics, synthetic fibres, and nonwovens, along with the university Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), conducted an UV protection and innovation cap design workshop, creating a mini capsule collection of caps for both professional and amateur yachters and regatta sailors.
The participating students from countries around the globe were split into four workgroups with the goal of developing collection proposals and presenting prototypes. Besides RadiciGroup, which introduced the students to various yarns that could be used for the specific application, two other companies collaborated on the workshop: Master Italia S.p.A., a cap and hat specialist, and Slam S.p.A., a manufacturer of sailing sportswear.
Marco De Silvestri, marketing director of the RadiciGroup comfort fibres business area said, “The students chose their materials from the range of synthetic fibres proposed by RadiciGroup. They matched the functions of the different parts of the cap with fibres not only ensuring high UVA, UVB, and UVC protection but also capable of retaining their high performance characteristics over time.”
Firstly, the student workgroups analysed the sailing wear market and evaluated the performance of the main garments already available. They also identified the real needs of sailors, by interviewing people directly involved in the sport. Then they studied the potential damage caused by excessive unprotected solar exposure. At this point, all the workgroups made their choice of materials: the highest possible UV shielding effect, together with the best wind and salt water resistance. All of that was done taking into account the aesthetic and functional features, such as detachable cap parts to allow for washing, a way to combine sunglasses with the cap and a mechanism to secure the cap to a polo shirt.
The workgroups also dealt with the safety aspects of sailing, considering even the use of electronic devices to monitor the sailors’ health and to automatically signal emergency situations, if needed.