“You’ve been able to buy spandex (lycra) silks since the early 1990s, but Speed Silks are far beyond that,” said Speed Silks developer Matt Darby. “Jockeys can’t stand the spandex (lycra).
It’s hot and doesn’t breathe. And the different coloured patterns have to be cut out and pieced and sewn back together. That process and the resulting seams create drag and add weight.”
Matt decided on a patented fabric called Aero Dimplex, which, as its name suggests, is dimpled like a golf ball for minimum wind resistance. “It’s more aerodynamically efficient than even a perfectly smooth surface,” Matt said.
He added that one of the best but toughest parts in marketing his new product is communicating the benefits and features to potential customers.
“It’s a simple concept,” he said, “but it’s a complex product.”
- Speed Silks’ patented fabric, Aero Dimplex, reduces aerodynamic drag, or the “kite-tail effect.”
- Aero Dimplex is dimpled like a golf ball to reduce “skin friction,” creating tiny vortices (ball-bearing-type wind patterns) of turbulent air.
- Also used by competitive cyclists, runners and other speed competitors, Aero Dimplex is rated the world’s fastest fabric between 14 mph and 47 mph (22 kph and 75 kph).
- Speed Silks are designed with as few seams as possible to reduce weight and eliminate wind-catching gaps.
- In addition to being extremely lightweight, Speed Silks are breathable and moisture wicking with SPF 40 UV protection built right into the fabric to keep competitors cool and comfortable.
- Products are customized using the dye sublimation process, which prints the pattern directly onto a sheet of white fabric to avoid using stitched-on patches of colour that add weight and wind resistance.
- Speed Silks reduce “form drag” by reducing the size of the low-pressure pocket of air that pulls backward on the jockey in a race.