KORI began as a groundbreaking innovation for motorcyclists, a vision of perfect freedom and uncompromised safety.
Today, we are growing into a brand with genuinely developed products with high Swedish made quality and we have
taken our vision of freedom and safety to meet sports enthusiasts with different specializations that and likeminded needs.

For us it is the feeling and experience of the sport or activity that sets focus on which needs to be solved and how
the products should be designed.

Our first product, KORI-D3O which is a new concept of back protectors that can be transformed into a back pack.
In this blog you will follow our journey and our inspirations.

KORI Encouraging Freedom. Encouraging Safety.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Choosing materials

kori product developement choosing textile material

There are so many materials out there on the market today and it is almost impossible to consider all of them. Also, all material specifications sound very good and many times often very alike. But it is important to dig deeper than those specifics.

Product development
The material choices are considered throughout the whole product development process. Especially when you, as we at KORI, work with products that both need to adapt to usage requirements; product aim, product function, product usability etc. and adapt to the users requirements; body climate, body movements and also body skin sensibility.

Above this we need to consider the strength of the materials, which together with other steps in the production process will reflect the quality of the outcome. To find the best suitable material for our products we dig deeper than the material specifics. Below is a short summary of three of the largest textile material categories:

Natural textiles
First there are natural textile materials such as wool, merino and silk that is has its origin to adapt to a body climate. Though, the big though these fibres are not composed to last long. The wool on sheep (or other wool producing animals) is constantly exchanged for new growing fur. And the delicate silk is just as delicate when it comes to handling the material; it is sensitive to for example washing and sunlight.

Synthetic textiles
Then we have the synthetic textile materials, that is polymer textiles. Synthetic textiles are first of all very strong and durable and as plastics can “go into any shape” this category is receptive to new technologies and innovations, which makes this category the largest and widest category with most possibilities. In this category we have materials as Coolmax, Nylon, Lycra, Cordura, Kevlar, Tactel, Spandex etc.

Semi-natural textiles
At last (in this summary) we have the semi-natural textile materials, that is textiles which, in a quite complicated way, is extracted from natural materials such as wood. These semi-natural materials is just as it says, something in between the other two categories, but it does not really reach either one of them. It is not as good as the naturals and can not compete with them, and neither as good as the synthetics and can not compete with them, yet… at least not for the qualities we search for in our products. It is a growing category and it is very interesting, I hope that we can await many promising production-technologies and of course great end results textile materials in this category. Today we can find textiles as Lyocell, Modal and Tencel..

One textile material that I do not even mention in this summary is cotton, which is a natural fibre with the main qualities of being cheep and not that good in any of its characteristics, apart from “commonly used” and soft. The environmental debate about cotton is also important to consider...

Product-next-to-body material choices
When we chose the materials to the back protector the aim was to make a safe and durable product, but as it is used and mounted on the human body we needed to pay attention to what is happening in the meetings where product meets body. The back protector backpack, which is not directly a product-next-to-body but very close, usually only a t-shist in between. We chose a polyester mesh where the protector is close to the body. Polyester, a synthetic fiber which is very strong and durable and also is extremely good at transporting moisture. The mesh also gives an extra ventilation to keep humid air away from the back. This was a material decision to keep the back dry and ventilated and the product long lasting. The challenge for the user (to be able to take advantage of this material) is to use a suitable material in between. If the material inbetween does not transport moisture, the risk of the dirty-sweaty-feeling is still very high…  

So, the material choices for the products that is directly next to the skin is very important. And now, at KORI, we are up for this new challenge, because we are developing product-next-to-skin products (hint of what is to come)… very exciting!

kori product develpement choosing textile material