Here at The Sporting Lodge, we like to keep up to date with the latest news from our brand representatives, and today we had a visit from our Fjallraven rep, Ross. We’ve worked with Ross for many years, and took the opportunity to ask him some questions and get some tips on choosing your Fjallraven products. Ross has worked in the outdoor retail business for 18 years, and for Fjallraven since 2010.
Q. How do you select the best fit?
A. The best way is to choose from the different ranges we have, if you’re after an active slim fit you’re best going for the Keb or Abisko range. If you want a more forgiving size with better range of movement go for the Ovik, Sarek or Kiruna range and if you want the traditional ‘boxy’ fit stick with the original Greenland range.
Then there’s the trousers where you have pro fits, which are a mid and regular waist, and the non pro fit which are the traditional high waist, very comfortable and a little baggy.
At the end of the day it’s all about what you feel comfortable in!
Q. If my trousers come in raw length, what’s the best way to alter them?
A. People do it different ways, if you’re a dab hand at sewing, this is the main way, cutting off the length with scissors, or if not I suggest using something like wonder web, which you can stick on, it works just the same.
Ross’ Top Tip If you’re using Wonder Web (hemming tape), or similar, don’t cut off the excess material, fold it up and it can act as an extra layer of protection. Like a gaiter! Also, if you do manage to rip or singe your G-1000 material (very difficult, especially with the HeavyDuty), you have emergency material available to cut off the bottom and use as a patch!
Q. Can you tell us about the different materials used?
A. All our fabric is G-1000 which is a cotton blend. It’s so durable due to the way it’s woven, which makes it UV proof up to 40F, mosquito proof and water and wind resistant. This can be improved by using the Greenland Wax, which I’ll tell you more about soon.
We source only the best materials and track them straight from the beginning, some of our range is organic cotton and in the future we will be doing the whole range with it.
Q. Why isn’t the whole range in organic cotton?
A. Because it is so difficult to get hold of the best quality, we’re working really hard on this!
Back to the materials, we have the G-1000 Lite range which is a lot lighter than the original, best used for spring and summer trekking. As it’s lighter, it’s slightly less durable so we’ve added rip stop into the material. This is a true rip stop that is stitched into the material (basically if you rip your clothing the rip stop will only let it rip in vertically or horizontally so it’s really easy to fix!).
Then we have our G-1000 Silent range, as the name suggests this material is best for hunting. It’s made from the original G-1000 but has been brushed to to make the material extremely soft and of course silent.
Next we have our HeavyDuty range. This is by far the strongest material we produce, it’s like having a triple layer of the original! Lots of our bags, including the Kanken No. 2, No. 21 range and the Duffel No. 4 are made from Heavy Duty G-1000 because it’s so durable. It is stiffer than the original, but if it’s clothing like our Greenland Jeans they will soften in time and look better and better!
And lastly in the G-1000 range we have the Eco which is our ecological alternative to the original, just as durable but made from recycled polyester and organic cotton- this will be the future!
All the Kankens are made from a material called Vinylon-F – this is robust lightweight synthetic material with natural properties, ensuring that when it gets wet the fibres swell and absorb the moisture, making it denser, hence more water resistant.
Q. How do you know the G-1000 material is so durable?
A. Every material that is sold must go through the Martindale rub test. It’s a test where the material is put on a round and rubbed against a sand paper like material. 6,000 rounds is the lowest the material needs to pass without any thread breaks. Our G-1000 passes at over 15,000 rounds, and our Heavy Duty G-1000 went twice at 25,000 rounds and still there were no thread breaks- quality!
Q. Can you tell me about the Greenland Wax?
A. Greenland Wax is made from Beeswax and paraffin, we’ve been getting it from the same company since Fjallraven started. The idea of the wax is to improve performance of your item by enhancing its water and wind resistance and also it prolongs the life of your garment by deterring. All our garments come pre-waxed.
Q. How do you apply it, and how long will it last?
A. You apply the wax by putting it on the material and ironing over it (on a cotton setting) to press it into the material. Duration depends on what activity you’re participating in and how long you are in the elements, but usually one layer will come out in one wash, two layers in two, etc.
Ross’ Top Tips:
- Apply the wax in thin layers for best performance, about 2 layers for summer and about 4/5 layers in winter.
- Press harder on the stitches using the edge of the wax to really get it into the material.
- In summer, only wax certain areas – like the knees, shoulders and hoods for protection. This will keep maximum breathability in the other areas when it’s warm.
Q. What’s in store for 2015?
A. We’ve got a lot happening at Fjallraven HQ! We’ve recently employed our new designer, Henry, who really wants to get back to our classic style, that means more leather, fur, down and wool.
We have new colours of Kankens including Campfire Yellow, Orange and Lake Blue, and new ranges of number bags like the Ovik, Vintage and Totepacks. New travel accessories, leather wallets and card holders. We can’t wait, can you?
Q. Why did you want to work for Fjallraven?
A. I am really passionate about outdoor retail and had never seen products like Fjallraven’s. I really wanted to be involved in developing such a unique brand.
Q. Lastly, what’s your favourite item?
A. Without a doubt it has to be the Keb Trousers! They fit me like a dream and are genuinely the best trekking pants I have ever known!