Toyota Motorsport GmbH wins Le Mans 2018
Saint is a brand new Australian motorcycle inspired clothing label, conceived by avid motor rider Mike Lelliot. Lelliot blends fibers such as Dyneema® with naturals like cotton, wool and silk, to design motorcycle denim that outperforms your typical jeans and jacket combo.
Please introduce yourself and share why you do what you do.
ML: I’m Mike Lelliott, brand creator and lead of the moto-inspired clothing label Saint. We are all about designing unique fabrics that blend ballistic fibers like Dyneema® with naturals like cotton, wool and silk. The purpose is to create all day wearable, fashion forward men's and women's wardrobes that are built to last and can also save your butt if things go random.
As a designer I’m all about disrupting the status quo and making a tangible difference. This is everything Saint is about. This new category of apparel wakes us up in the morning, and keeps us smiling at night. It is an exciting uncharted map – and we are the explorers. Big tick!
What led you to seek out Dyneema® to use in your denim?
ML: At Saint we see a need for new fabrics: fabrics that combine ballistic fibers that offer significant impact, abrasion and burst performance while having a great hand-feel. This significant technical challenge has been solved with the incorporation of Dyneema®. Being light, versatile and five times stronger than traditional fibers such as Kevlar, Dyneema® allows us to create world first new technical denims that are all day wearable, single layer, breathable and unbreakable. Denims that are light, feel amazing and will protect you when needed.
How have you incorporated it into your denim?
ML: In some of our denims we are spinning Dyneema® into the cotton thread and creating more traditional warp and weft denims. With our highest performing denim we are using a triple beam weaving process. This effectively gives us two warp beams and one weft beam allowing us to use denim on the face and Dyneema® on the weft and inside. This gives Saint Denim a uniquely high content of Dyneema® (66%) and three-dimensional strength.
Could you tell us a bit about the results?
ML: The first development year has been great. Many motorcycle gear manufacturers adhere to European standards for things like wear, abrasion and impact protection. Essentially to see how it holds up in the case you do end up falling off your bike.
Our Saint Denim remains intact on impact and after sliding a fair bit. To compare, a regular pair of jeans has a tendency to already burst on impact. We have achieved our initial aim of making apparel that significantly outperforms your typical jeans and jacket combo. Up next: a fully certified Saint Denim Race suit.
Please give us an insight into the process when working with a material as strong as Dyneema®. Did you face any challenges in production due to its high strength?
ML: There are a number of technical challenges when working with Dyneema®. Yarn spinning, fabric treatment and setting require new processes. With our cut and sew, we needed to invest in special German knives. Our denims are still woven, so once they’re cut, the production process is straightforward.
How are you planning to follow up this program? Any new executions of Saints apparel with Dyneema® in the making?
ML: Our next challenge is single-layer denim that is CE EN 13595 Level 1 and Level 2 certified. To achieve this we have set ourselves the challenge of designing the world’s first track ready denim racing suit. We are in the middle of pushing Dyneema® and denim to the next level of road testing and experimenting – and the results are looking great!!
Would you share with us one innovation outside of the field of Dyneema® and denim you're most excited about at this moment?
ML: I’m excited about what is emerging in the cross over space between fashion, function and design. And how the power of an idea changes everything. Our buddies at Bellroy have done just that on a micro level and with a simple premise: better ways to carry. Oh, and the designer Rick Owens' men’s catwalks. All Gold Everything!
Toyota Motorsport GmbH wins Le Mans 2018
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