In the world of flame-resistant clothing, Massif® stands out as a pioneering force, as highlighted in a feature by Popular Science.
Rather than just being an apparel company, Massif® proudly considers itself a technology company that specializes in creating advanced apparel.
What sets Massif® apart is its unique relationship with Antex Knitting Mills in Los Angeles, which allows them to not only develop fabric technology but also manufacture fabrics and designs in-house.
This symbiotic collaboration empowers Massif® to continuously push the boundaries of technological innovation while adhering to the most stringent FR and Military standards.
In-House Expertise: The Key to Technological Advancement
One of the significant advantages of Massif's relationship with Antex Knitting Mills is the direct and constant communication between the two entities.
This close relationship creates direct communication between Antex and Massif® which delivers a sophisticated understanding of technology across departments.
“I was looking at tech sheets the other day to better understand how the fabrics would interact with each other in the garment in ways that a lot of designers don’t. Designers usually don’t get their hands on that sort of raw data,” “If I don’t understand something, I can physically go to the mill, look at it, and say: ‘OK, now I get it,’” said Design Manager, Sam Elm.
This understanding and open line of communication create the type of quick adaptation necessary to remain at the tip of the spear of design and technology in our space.
“If I am asking for something that is not possible, I can physically go to where it is happening and understand the process and understand how I can either adapt what I am doing to make something easier or problem solve,” Elm said. “We talk it through with them so we can have a full, deep, understanding of the process. It is important to know how the ‘sauce’ is made.”
Leveraging The Power of Collective Knowledge
Massif’s Director of Textiles and Technology, Steve Tacy, has more than three decades of experience in the textile world and appreciates having the resource of other deeply knowledgeable textile experts to run ideas by at Antex/Matchmaster.
“At our fingertips is the plethora of knowledge that comes out of Antex/Matchmaster. They have a whole organization of top notch 30-plus year employees working on these problems in other arenas as well as our arena for years,” Tacy said.
“We have direct access to all of that technological information that has built up over the years across a wide variety of performance textiles. We can all sit and say, ‘Here’s the problem; what do we want to tackle first?’”
Massif’s ability to tap into that expertise has a trickle down effect throughout the entire company.
“It educates down through the organization as we gain a better understanding of the complexity of everything we do. At the end of the day, each new development offers new insight into complex issues and a better understanding or ability to predict what performance criteria might or might not be affected with new developments.
You cannot overeducate in this arena. That knowledge passes down and it creates world class associates at the end of the day,” Tacy said.
Meeting the Toughest Demands: Tailored FR Apparel
In the demanding world of apparel, Massif® faces the unique challenge of creating flame-resistant garments for end users working in extreme environments.
The rigorous requirements of their end-users present a formidable design challenge, especially when working with FR materials.
However, Massif® thrives on the difficulty, understanding that manufacturing performance-based flame-resistant apparel requires a level of expertise that only they can provide.
The specific requirements of those end users would be hard to design for in the easiest of circumstances but are particularly difficult with FR materials.
“The requirements of being successful in the space we operate in is more unique than most people realize,” said Massif Director of Business Development and Government Sales, Charles Sexton. “That is the reason why there is so little performance based flame-resistant apparel. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
A Tight Feedback Loop for Innovation
Daniel Tenenblatt, President of Massif® and Vice President of Antex Knitting Mills, explains this extremely close relationship creates a tight feedback loop that allows Massif to quickly use technology to address design challenges specific to making the highest functioning FR gear.
“Sam [Elm] might have a question about a fabric: ‘We are putting it in the sleeves. Can we add a little more stretch or make it heavier?’ That question gets to me right away, and we can move quickly on it,” Tenenblatt said.
The team at the mill utilizes cutting-edge knitting and dyeing equipment, and a certified in-house testing lab to address direct requests from Massif’s design team. This allows us to adapt quickly and stay at the forefront of the FR space. This isn’t just beneficial for our team.
It also helps the end user. “Having the fabric development people in on the meeting where the end users are talking about what they’re trying to accomplish, how they are wearing the garment, what’s working for them, what would be a great addition, or what is on their wish list is one of the things that makes Massif unique,” Tenenblatt said. “It allows us to bring garments to end users with features and performance characteristics that are tailored to their particular needs.”
Massif's exceptional approach to flame-resistant gear, driven by a close relationship with Antex Knitting Mills, positions them as an industry leader.
Their commitment to technological innovation and the unique insights gained through collaboration enable them to meet the exacting demands of their end-users.
By continuously pushing the boundaries of design and technology, Massif® ensures that its flame-resistant apparel is tailored to the specific needs of those who require the highest functioning gear in the most extreme environments.