Neoprene material is popular and has been widely used on braces and supports in this industry for many years. Neoprene material is a synthetic rubber designed for keeping warm, compression and water resist .
It is well- known for wet suits, bags, cushions and braces/supports. Because of the thermal purpose, it is a very popular material for using on cold weather sports/activities. The thermal purpose is proven to relieve/ease pain or strain of joints and muscles, but for some people, neoprene may cause the skin irritation or allergic reaction. Also, the neoprene is a close-cell foam, so it is completely not a breathable material and it will retain the heat and sweat inside the sleeve, this may be okay in the cold weather, but it’s probably that not easy to wear them over 30 mins outside in the summer time. On the contrary, the Dry-Max material is
a breathable and can be an alternative material in the summer time or under the hot weather.
Dry-Max is how we called this kind of material in order to make people understand its purpose in the simply way. The full name of Dry-Max material is 3D spacer fabric, which is also called sandwich (because its special 3-layer knitting). The 3D spacer fabric is produced by double needle bar warp-knitting machines or weft-knitting machines, the thicknesses can be varied from 2mm to 20mm. The machines cross- knit the yarn between two layers. There are stretched and unstretched spacer fabrics and we use the stretched 3D spacer fabric as a compression and a breathable alternative instead of neoprene in the braces/supports industry. As for the unstretched space fabric, it needs to work with stretched fabric or some purposes for its air flow function.
The principal advantages of spacer fabric:
Compression and stretch
Dry-Max is made of Nylon core (mono filament), Polyester and Spandex Fabric. Due to its knitting fabric, so it is much softer, comfortable and better fitting compares with neoprene. But I think the most advantage is still on its quality of breathable and non-allergenic. It’s a great choice for people who require breathable and long lasting wearing sleeves, especially in a warm climate.
We are using several different kinds of Dry-Max material for different purposes and appearances.
The example below is our 4mm Dry-Max which we used for our knee collection, we think the compression and cushion is excellent for this quality.
There are also other companies are providing spacer fabric sleeves currently, such as DJO(Dry Tex) and Breg(Air Mesh). Our Dry-Max content with more elastic fiber and Nylon core(mono filament) compare to Dry Tex and Air mesh, so obviously, the compression level and cushion are better and the fabric is softer and comfortable. Our Dry-Max is a improved version based on those companies and has been developed for a long time. We widely use Dry-Max material for different combination and also use it as a replacement of neoprene because our clients are always looking for new substitutes for neoprene support.
The pictures above are from DJO and Breg.