After coming across an article on Vice about a Columbian based label, Miguel Romano, looking to fund a line of ballistic and blade resistant clothing through Kickstarter, inspired by the death of a respected local community leader and rapper, we became intrigued as to whether similar types of apparel was being worn anywhere else in the world.
Back in 2008 and 2009, it was rather popular in the UK, London in particular.
Although current statistics show that crime had reduced overall by 15% in 2014, with knife related crime down 4%, up to 1000 people per month were victims of knife crime in 2013. Statistics like these, fuelled by mass media coverage back in 2009 expanded the market from the usual high-risk occupations of policing and security where companies such as Blade Runner produced a range of slash-proof clothing as part of a streetwear range. Some products including hoodies, long johns, jackets and gloves for adults were being requested for a younger customer base.
Generally, slash resistant garments rely on high performance fabrics such as Aramid and Cut Tex-Pro worked into a garment as a protective layer. Aramid, a man-made organic polymer is produced by spinning solid fibre from a liquid chemical. Also known as Kevlar, it offers good resistance to abrasion and chemical and thermal degradation.
Cut-Tex Pro is combination of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene weaved together by high density knitting machines. Although primarily used for security and law enforcement, the fabric is also used as tear-resistant uniform for mental and healthcare professionals as well as rip-proof fabric for public seating and durable travelling backpacks.