Swiss textile technology provider HeiQ has worked with industrial group DuPont to develop a new water-repellent finish for leather. Their first customer for this project is the leather division of footwear group Wolverine World Wide.

In the world of performance textiles, there has long been a trend to move durable water repellency (DWR) technology away from the use of polyfluorocarbons (PFCs) because of concerns about the impact of these chemicals on the environment. To meet consumer and brand demands for more eco-friendly DWR functionality, HeiQ introduced technology in 2017 called Eco Dry.

Its work with DuPont expands on this line and the first product to come out of this is a PFC-free water-repellent finish for leather, HeiQ DuPont ECO-LED. Wolverine World Wide Leathers will be the first supplier to offer treated leather to its major brand partners. “We see many apparel items using PFC-free products,” said Wolverine’s vice-president for sales and marketing, Suzanne Johnson. “Consumers are now looking for this technology in water repellent finishes for leather. Combining our high-performance pig nubuck with HeiQ DuPont ECO-LED gives us an avenue to meet consumer demands. We are eager to offer an eco-friendly water repellency on our leathers to our brand partners.”

HeiQ’s vice-president for brand management in North America, Colin Lantz, said the new solution achieves “industry-leading water repellency performance with a sustainable formulation”.