Product Innovations

Bulwark® FR launches first-of-its-kind flame-resistant (FR) product line, breaks down comfort barriers

Bulwark partners with Milliken™ & Company to design the iQ Series™, featuring superior comfort properties and advanced flame resistant-technology

Bulwark, the world's largest brand of flame-resistant (FR) apparel, today announced the launch of the iQ Series, a product line that delivers superior comfort through fabric and design innovation -- without compromising the trust and safety of its wearers.

Designed to meet the needs of workers and linemen in the electric utility, oil and gas, emerging energy and NFPA 70E® (manufacturing) industries, the iQ Series offers wearers increased comfort through superior breathability, mobility, softness, durability and moisture wicking – while providing protection from flames, arc flash fires and similar dangers.

“At Bulwark, ‘No Compromise’ is our unwavering pledge to develop protective FR garments for workers who put their lives on the line every day.  Each year we spend countless hours with workers who wear FR to understand their needs,” said Chris Holcombe, vice president and general manager, Bulwark FR. “For years, workers have had to sacrifice comfort for safety, but no more. TheiQ Series offers workwear garments that combine active wear performance, protection and a new age of FR fabric. It’s better, smarter, more comfortable FR gear that people will want to wear – and not just while they’re working.”

Bulwark, in partnership with Milliken & Company, a global innovation leader across a range of industries including specialty textiles and protective fabrics, developed the innovative science behind the iQ series. As part of the engineering process, Milliken specially created yarns, fabric, and chemistry that will help increase workers’ comfort and productivity while providing protection against flame or heat. 

“Together with Bulwark, we have developed a scientific breakthrough – improved molecular technologythat fuses total comfort with protection for FR wearers,” said Jack Spoon, Milliken & Company, business manager, workwear fabrics. “Our Amplitude G2 fabric, which is exclusively available through the iQ Series, is a brilliant blend of innovation through science and the Bulwark brand’s high-performance design. It delivers a fresh perspective on FR apparel.”

Nine iQ Series products – six knits and three wovens – will be offered in men’s and women’s styles. The Bulwarkbrand has future plans to expand the iQ Series platform.

Holcombe continued, “Bulwark is a part of VF Corporation’s brand portfolio, so innovative apparel design and a commitment to bold new products is in our DNA. Design has helped fuel growth in many of VF’s consumer brands, such as The North Face® and Vans® and we believe it can do the same in the workwear category.  By working with Milliken to develop the iQ Series, we are weaving technological advances deep into our products. Our 43-year history of design capabilities, technical expertise and end-wearer insights, combined with Milliken’s scientific acumen, will write the future of FR.”

The iQ Series will publicly debut at The American Society of Safety Engineers Trade Show in June 2014. For more information, visit the iQ Series website at http://www.bulwark.com/iqseries/.

About Bulwark®
Bulwark®, part of VF Corporation’s portfolio of brands, is the North American market leader in durable flame-resistant protective garments.  The brand was born in the Canadian oilfields 43 years ago, and has been the choice of industry professionals ever since.  We offer the widest assortment of NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E compliant flame-resistant shirts, pants, jeans, coveralls and outerwear in the industry.  Our clothing is made with an obsessive diligence for precision and quality because real lives are on the line.  For more information, please visit www.bulwark.com.

VF Corporation
VF Corporation is a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel and footwear with more than 30 brands. The company’s largest five brands are The North Face®, Vans®, Wrangler®, Timberland®, andLee®. Other brands include 7 For All Mankind®, Bulwark®, Eagle Creek®, Eastpak®, Ella Moss®, JanSport®, Kipling®, lucy®, Majestic®, Napapijri®, Nautica®, Red Kap®, Reef®, Riders®, Splendid® and SmartWool®. For more information, please visit www.vfc.com.

About Milliken
Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. Our community of innovators has developed one of the largest collections of patents held by a private company. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines including specialty chemicals, floor coverings, and performance materials, we work around the world to add value to people’s lives, improve health and safety, and make the world more sustainable. For more information, visit www.milliken.com.

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