10 June, 2022

What the tech: the WindJersey, born here.

Edited by De Marchi

The year was 1990 when W.L. Gore Italy first approached De Marchi to discuss sublimation printing on Gore-Tex fabric.

At the time the President of Gore Italy was Riccardo Palese, a former cyclist who used to ride in De Marchi back then.

First patented By Wilbert L. Gore, a chemist previously working at DuPont, in 1976, Gore-Tex was used to create the first breathable, waterproof and windproof cycling jacket in 1985.

First-ever cycling jacket made with Gore-Tex

Initially made only in orange, the so-called “Giro” jacket sandwiched a thin membrane of PTFE (Teflon) in between an outer charmeuse fabric and a backing liner.

But the jacket was rather boring and in order to sell at 200 Deutsche Marks De Marchi then suggested to substitute the outer side of the fabric with polyester so it could be sublimated so to obtain more lively graphic options.

Still, the jacket was relatively stiff compared to other cycling apparel that was mostly Lycra-based so De Marchi also suggested to keep only the front made of Gore-Tex and use regular stretch fabrics for the back.

But for Gore’s standards the whole garment should be made with Gore-Tex so not to compromise its waterproofness so the case for the partial use of Gore-Tex created a new concept: Windstopper fabric was introduced in 1992.

The new fabric was basically the same as Gore-Tex but it could be used together with other materials in different part of the garments to compensate for its lack of stretch. Garments made with Windstopper fabrics were declared “only” windproof but they were still breathable, too.

The idea of a windproof front cycling jersey started to make its way in both Gore and De Marchi’s minds and the “Magliavento” (Windjersey) was born the same year.

Henrik Djernis wins the 1992 MTB Worlds on a Windjersey

The first Windjersey appeared on De Marchi’s 1993 Spring-Summer collection after having been worn by Henrik Djernis to win the 1992 UCI World Mountain-biking Championships in Bromont, Canada.

De Marchi 1993 Spring-Summer catalogue

Since then the Windjersey have been perfected at De Marchi, where it was born. The advent of stretch membranes now allows the whole garment to be windproof again.

The new generation of Windjerseys, Cortina, are now available for purchase here.

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