The term “military grade” is a broad term that can be used in reference to the quality of a product or even the materials used to develop said product. A basic definition is “environmental worthiness and overall durability of material system design”, based on a set of tests established by the US Department of Defense that test military standards of durability and performance. A military grade product will be made from top-quality and high durability parts that will maintain their forms during high environmental stress situations. “Mil-spec” is a term that refers to a set of military specifications that are followed by manufacturers to produce military grade goods. These specifications also help standardize production quality and provide a set of rules for Contract Manufacturing Partners such as Fieldtex.
Military grade textiles are, therefore, textiles that are modified and designed to be high-durability, tough, and steadfast, and can be applied to numerous military uses. Some examples of the durability features considered in the development and production of military grade fabrics include staying strong through “extreme weather conditions (heat, cold, wind, and rain), against ballistic impact, and against nuclear, biological and chemical threats”, among other common threats to the fabric and wearer in the military field (Source). Another feature that has to be considered in the development of military grade fabrics is functionality. While durability is an important feature, the fabric should be lightweight, comfortable, and maybe even have moisture wicking or temperature controlling capabilities depending on fabric application.
Military grade textiles can be applied beyond military uniforms; these textiles can be used from anything from carrying cases for tools and electronics, to wearable vests to carry technology or weaponry, or even to holsters to carry both medical and military supplies, and so much more. The textile is constantly progressing, and the most recent developments concern the integration of nanotechnology into these textiles, making them not only high function, but also intelligent textiles that can aid in anything from camouflage to specified muscle stimulation to enhance wearers strength. In the future, military grade textiles and smart textiles could very well be synonymous, including self-healing fabric technology, graphene applications, and more. Military grade fabrics are, in a way, the ultimate performance textile in terms of protection, intelligence, and function.
While working on military projects, we source* and use these textiles for manufacturing goods such as tactical backpacks or MOLLE compatible pouches. To learn about our full Military Manufacturing capabilities, click here. Using these textiles is crucial to durability in the field, as well as compatibility with other the military gear. We use mil-spec standards to ensure consistent and high production quality in order to produce goods. There are constantly new developments occurring in the field of military grade textiles, which aim to not only continue to uphold the Mil-spec standard, but integrate new technology into these already advanced textiles.
*Products that have been developed for the US military all must share one feature: the product must be Berry Compliant. Berry compliance means that all materials – raw and produced – must be made or grown in the US. This limits where the material can be sourced from and where products can be made during the manufacturing of military grade goods.