Once upon a while, people used to order clothes from tailors. Rituals were central to the sartorial process. Clients stood in front of the mirrors whilst dressmakers took measurements and cut robes. Then, fashion got faster. Clothes stopped being ordered, and people started grabbing garments from shelves in big malls. When Mauro Compagnoni, Director of R&D at Level, started thinking about how to make gloves more comfortable, he wanted to mould them in the shape of the hands of the clients. This is how Level Custom Fit technology went from an idea to reality.
“I started thinking about ski boot liners”, Mauro Compagnoni said in an interview, “companies have been using for years thermo-formable foam that takes the shape of the feet”. So, Level R&D team worked on finding materials that are easy to mould and could be used by skiers. The starting point of this process was the collaboration with Intuition, a Canadian company that has been researching heat-moldable foam since the early nineties. This technology needed to be adapted in order to keep gloves warm and breathable. “After getting in touch with Intuition”, Mauro Compagnoni added, “I perforated the foam to make sure that breathability of our products stayed at top of the game, then the next step was to add this material on the upper part of the gloves”. The work done by Compagnoni and his team made sure that “the fit of garments is close to perfection and introduced something that has never been done before in the gloves industry”.
After testing the first prototypes, Level introduced the Custom Fit technology to the products used by athletes and ski champions. “It was central for us to understand how this material behaves in harsh conditions”, Mauro Compagnoni said, “and to collect feedback from people who use our gloves on a daily basis”. Since the very first, athletes enjoyed a lot this new technology. “Before gloves used to be worn during training for ten days”, Compagnoni added, “now the product gets shaped on individuals hands”.
Heat the outside of the glove with a hairdryer at a maximum temperature of 80 degrees at a distance of 30 cm or where available, use the LEVEL oven –
Put the glove on, close the strap and let it cool for about 5 minutes –
This customization process can be repeated as often as wanted –
As of today, Level applies the Custom Fit technology to the Racing Line models. The process has been tested and clients can mould their own gloves in a few easy steps. The product must be heated to 80°C with a Level Hoven or with a hairdryer. Once this has been done, the gloves have to be worn and clients have to clench their fists. In five minutes the foam gets the shape of the hand while cooling down. This process can be repeated as many times as needed without damaging the material. Level managed to recreate the old sartorial process with creativity and the help of technology.
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