Breakthrough military leather19 December 2005
Somerset tannery Pittards, who specialise in technologically advanced leathers, have just announced an order worth several hundred thousand pounds from the British Ministry of Defence for their new military leather. Pittards have developed the specialist leather in conjunction with experts from both the MOD and NATO. The leather is unique in its ability to protect hands from heat, cold, water, oil and knocks while maintaining total dexterity and comfort under the most demanding conditions. The leather has 'daylight' and 'infra-red' camouflage capability to complement camouflage battledress and give soldiers even more protection. It is the latest development from the stable of 'smart' leathers now being developed by Pittards. Key to the MOD order was the new facility to permanently apply a desert camouflage pattern to the technical leather for servicemen in Iraq and other locations. Using a new Custom Image Generating process, the camouflage pattern is permanently applied into the structure of the leather and won't deteriorate in water or hot sun. The development of a glove for Iraq grew out of a need identified by the DCIPT (Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team) to assist soldiers in handling metal and other objects in the extreme desert heat - under such conditions a glove must be lightweight, flexible and comfortable to assist with dexterity. Mike Dodd, Pittards' marketing director, said: 'Of course we are all delighted that after so many years of research and development, this new technical leather will now be available to assist our servicemen overseas. We are also very pleased with the instant recognition of the outstanding qualities of the new leather and interest is now coming in from other military organisations across the world. Without doubt, this new camouflage leather will prove to be a very important new growth area for our business.'