Rapha has launched a new reflective sweater, aptly called The Reflective Crew Neck.
The new garment utilizes a special reflective non-scratch cylindrical yarn blended in connection with merino wool, which offers natural breathability as well as odor-free properties, making it ideal for commuting and smart casual wear.
In addition, the yarn is the same featured in the ‘signal cuff’ – a double layer cuff used in Rapha’s range of City products that can be turned back to reveal both hi-vis and reflective yarns for high visibility when riding in low light.
Rapha says, “The Reflective Crew Neck is testament to the creative, progressive work of Rapha’s design team, and it will catch eyes – and the light – wherever it’s worn.”
Better get one while you can, because according to Rapha, production numbers are extremely limited, with just 75 individually numbered pieces.
Overseeing the project from start to finish was Rapha’s Alistair Smith, who said, “reflectivity in cycling clothing has, up until now, largely been about safety. The idea that you can use reflective fabrics to create functional, yet stylish, pieces is an entirely different proposition.”
“Reflective materials are used throughout Rapha’s performance collections, particularly in Brevet but also in footwear and accessories, such as the Reflective Climber’s Shoes and Small Reflective Backpack. To create these products Rapha works with a small French partner that specialises in developing and using specialist retroreflective materials. (Retroreflection is when light rays are returned in the direction from which they came. Cheaper reflective materials return less light to the source and scatter light as it hits a surface, rather than bouncing it back.)”
“The technology that underpins the jumper is very new and, as such, comes at a high price” says Alistair. “In the past when you wanted to create reflective yarn you had to take a sheet of reflective fabric and cut it into thin, flat strips. But this left you with something like a tape, which had a sharp edge,” he continues. “To create something with a softer edge our partner uses a unique process whereby a cylindrical yarn is heated and then embedded with millions of glass microbeads. It’s the beads in combination with the color of the yarn underneath that make it reflective.”
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