Fit + Form

ashmei focuses on improving all areas
to benefit the athlete

The industry is awash with sportswear that is sold on gimmicks, untruths and pointless features that help marketers promote rubbish product. It’s why we created ashmei in the quest to develop performance apparel that delivers what athletes really need.

Recently a giant running brand launched a waterproof jacket made from reflective fabric. It had a full storm hood and hand pockets and retailed for £280. The cut was generous and the fabric was heavy and thick due to the glass beads that are glued to the face of the material to make it reflect light. All sounds good, until you realise you struggle to run in it. Here’s why-:
  • Hoods are not used by runners who prefer to wear a hat in cold or wet conditions, allowing them to still hear and see when they turn their head.
  • When do you ever see a runner, running with their hands in their pockets!
  • The reflective material isn’t breathable (glass beads don’t breathe) so the brand cut laser holes into the fabric to allow the excessive heat to escape, however rendering the garment non waterproof!
When we develop product we start with a list of requirements from the athlete. How breathable should it be. Is it waterproof/windproof, what is the athlete going to carry with them and how do we cater for this. What is the cut? Should it have stretch and how much, how heavy should the piece be etc., etc. We then evaluate the industries best products and work out how we can improve every element. A fine example is our cycle bib shorts that had every element re-engineered to provide our customers with a completely new and unique product.
Most bibs are produced from lycra with 16-20% stretch. This stretches very well but doesn’t have enough stretch so that it fits the thigh perfectly and stays in place. We therefore use a woven fabric with 40% stretch to compress the thigh muscle and keeps the hem in place without the need of the elastic gripper band that if too tight restricts blood flow and therefore fatigues the thigh muscle.

Our woven fabric uses microfibers to increase breathability but also creates a windproof barrier to keep muscles warm so they perform better. It’s also water resistant which can be pretty useful if you get caught in a shower.

We then started to look at the chamois and found that all of the chamois on the market followed a similar route of layering contoured sponge and covering them in a soft touch material. While these can be comfy on the bike, they are all pretty big and absorb moisture that makes them feel like you are wearing cold nappy after your ride.
We started to look at alternatives to sponge and found that foam provided fantastic padding without absorbing moisture. Our chamois is bonded to the shorts and we only place the laser cut foam where it is needed, providing you with supreme comfort when you are on the bike but eliminating the cold nappy when you finish your ride, allowing you to enjoy your cappuccino in complete comfort.

By evaluating every component from fibre upwards and looking for better solutions to increase comfort and performance, we end up with product that benefits the wearer rather than gimmicks, untruths and pointless features.