Our
History

A lasting legacy


Ventile® was created to save the lives of Air Force personnel flying over the Atlantic in wartime England. Pilots needed a garment that was cool and comfortable in the cockpit, but warm and impenetrable if it came into contact with water. With nothing that offered this functionality on the market, a team of dedicated scientists pioneered a radical solution at the Shirley Institute in Manchester and, after several months of testing, Ventile® was born.

Ventile® extended life expectancy in the sea tenfold, which made rescue a real possibility. 80% of pilots who fell into the sea would now survive. Our fabric went into mass production in 1943 and was worn by RAF pilots around the world.

The unique weatherproof qualities of the fabric ensured that it was also widely championed by outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Ventile® was used in the first summit of Everest in 1953 and by Sir Ranulph Fiennes when he crossed the Arctic from 1979 – 1982.

After years of commitment to innovation, performance and protection from the elements, we continue to work with various air forces, as well as some of the most prestigious lifestyle and outdoor brands in history.

A story of collaboration

Late 1930’s

Late 1930’s

Ventile® was developed by a dedicated team of scientists from the Shirley Institute in Manchester with the original intention of being a substitute material for the construction of fire-hoses.

1939 to 1943

1939 to 1943

Wartime England was in full swing, with pilots flying over the Atlantic in need of a garment that was both comfortable in the cockpit, but also protective should they hit the water. That’s where Ventile® fabric was born.

1943

1943

Ventile® went into mass production and was woven on huge wooden looms by Talbot Weaving in Chorley on the outskirts of Manchester, England.

1953

1953

Sir Edmund Hillary reached the world’s highest point on the first summit of Everest in a garment made of Ventile® fabric.

1979 to 1982

1979 to 1982

Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes crossed the Arctic clothed in Ventile®.

1980 and 90s

1980 and 90s

As dyeing houses go out of business, Talbot Weaving, the owners of Ventile, are no longer able to dye and finish Ventile® Fabrics in the UK. Eastern Switzerland has a reputation for quality finishing and Talbot Weaving sends the loom state fabric to Switzerland for final treatment. This arrangement works well but when the dye house closes, severe quality problems begin. Talbot Weaving tries two further Swiss dye mills but neither of them can achieve effective dyeing and finishing of Ventile®’s dense weave.

1994

1994

Stotz & Co. attempt to dye and finish Ventile® fabric, whilst also manufacturing their own equivalent. Stotz & Co. partners with Switzerland’s leading textile finishing expert and, after considerable research, acquires the dyeing and finishing know how.

1995

1995

The first dyeing and finishing trials show promising results. During this period of trial and error, Stotz & Co. receive huge support from the Birkenhead based manufacturer of immersion suits for the Royal Airforce. Their buyer places trial orders and visits Stotz & Co. regularly.

1996

1996

The British MoD confirms that the immersion suits made from Stotz & Co. fabric which are of an outstanding quality never seen before. Stotz & Co. decides to extend its supply of fabric to non-military garment manufacturers. With the support of Karol Marketing, a UK based marketing consultancy, the brand EtaProof is created and launched.

1998

1998

Talbot Weaving start buying Ventile® from Stotz & Co.

1998

1998

Talbot Weaving has now lost most of its MoD business to Stotz & Co. They still have lifestyle and outdoor sports business but are struggling more and more with quality control.

2017

2017

The owners of Talbot Weaving retire and Stotz & Co. acquires the Ventile® brand.

Today

Today

Through using the latest in cutting edge manufacturing techniques, we are continually, innovating, developing and pushing the boundaries of fabric design to enable the pursuit of outdoor adventures.