A RedWhite chamois is manufactured in 5 distinct processes. These are :
- Layering & Heat Fusing of foam sheets.
- Stamping of 2D Chamois Shape.
- Foam Carving Process.
- Perforated-Backing-Cover (PBC) application.
- Thermic Moulding.
Step 1 : Layering & Heat Fusing of foam sheets
Every RedWhite chamois is constructed from 4 layers :
- A top layer of bacteria-resistant & sanitised premium fabric
- A medium-density foam layer
- An ultra-high density foam layer
- A backing layer made by perforated eleastic fabric & foam
These 4 layers are laid in the order that they are listed above with the top premium fabric being the layer in contact with your body. The layers of foam are then heat-fused together. In this process, the top surface of each foam layer is gently heated up and melted slightly. This helps the foam layers to be “glued” and fused together into 1 structure, ready for the second part of the process : Stamping.
Step 2 : Stamping of 2D Chamois Shape
This process is similar to how cookie shapes are stamped out from a sheet of dough. The fused layers of foam and fabric are placed under a stamping mould and the 2D shape of the final chamois is stamped out.
At this point, the stamped foam shape is rather rough and 2-dimensional. To create a chamois with anatomically shaped contours, it needs to undergo another process – Foam Carving.
Stamping mould placed on top of foam layers
Stamped chamois shape
Step 3 : Foam Carving Process
At this point, the chamois is structurally ready, but is rather raw. The different layers of foam can only truly be effective if they contact the right points of a cyclist’s posterior. This is achieved through a process where the fused foam layers are 3-D shaped using a custom mould and accompanying cutting blades.
This process is similar to a sculptor taking a stone block and carving out the unnecessary bits of stone to unveil a finished beautiful piece. The flat layers of chamois are sculpted into a chamois with appropriate raised points and anatomically shaped valleys to ensure the right region of your posterior is supported by the right foam shape with the correct density.
The chamois carving mould
Step 4 : Perforated Backing Cover (PBC) Application
One of the biggest technical challenges of creating a comfortable bibshort is ensuring that the chamois moved seamlessly with your body, despite being stitched to the bibshort.
Foam Carving Technology is not enough to get a great chamois as it exposes the backing foams to direct contact with the saddle, with no protection. This increases the friction between the chamois and the short’s lycra, creating uncomfortable ridges in the foam layers that affects comfort.
The traditional solution to this problem is to attach the backing foams to just basic polyester fabric, laminated with polyurethane films. However this affects more than 80% the breathability and decreases the flexibility of the chamois. Our final solution was to “decouple” the chamois’ foam layers from the bibshort using a layer of super-elastic lycra.
The lycra fabric is perforated to increase the breathability of the chamois. It also isolates the chamois from the micro-movements of the bibshorts when in contact with a saddle. This means, when your body moves on the bike (shifting forward, backward or sideways), the chamois moves with your body while the bibshort lycra stays put by virtue of friction with your bicycle saddle.
Step 5 : Thermic Moulding
The final process.
The heat-fused and carved foam structure is still raw and unfinished. It still very much feels like layered piece of foam than can fall apart easily. The foam structures too still feel unready to support a cyclist. In order to create a 1-piece construction, the carved foam structure is thermic moulded.
The foam structure is super heated to 190 degC and compressed in a custom mould. The heating and compression process fuses the entire chamois into 1 solid piece of foam that is both dense and supportive. The layers of the chamois after thermic moulding are inseparable, creating an incredibly durable and plush long-distance chamois.
Thermic Moulding also compresses the edges of the foam at the circumference of the chamois and rounds it off, creating a smooth ridge that protects the foam edges of the chamois and increases it’s durability. This smooth ridge also reduces the possibility of the chamois chafing a rider.