Introducing our award-winning Technical Fabrics expert
Our ground-breaking new Valiant structural fire suit has been created by a team of experts. More than a year in the making, we’ve created a range which makes no compromises on protection, but due to its clever design and composition feels lighter and more comfortable to wear.
We wanted to introduce you to the clever people behind the range’s innovations so in this blog you’ll meet Stanley Russell, our award-winning technical fabrics expert.
Stanley’s approach to product development
“Creating new products is all about the future,”
Stanley says about his role in the FlamePro New Product Development team.
“I spend a lot of time talking to suppliers all over the world. I’m not interested in what they are bringing to the market now, I want to know what they are working on for the future.”
It’s this finger on the pulse of fabric development that led Stanley to the innovations which are at the centre of the new fabric system in the FlamePro Valiant suit.
An industry-leading 3D breathable membrane combines with a 3D woven thermal lining to maximise the air flow within the garment. This creates the benefit of a higher radiant heat transfer rating than any like-for-like product on the market, with a garment that accentuates the transfer of moisture away from the body, keeping fire crews cooler for longer, and reducing the chances of steam burns.
Stanley also says he isn’t a fan of compromises.
“I don’t think you should have to make a choice between functionality or the quality of the product assembly.”
“Everyone has a budget to work to. Just because you don’t have vastly deep pockets doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to access the very best innovations. That’s why I was determined to create a membrane and lining system we could use right across the range, with budget then dictating which outer fabrics brigades can choose.”
In the new Valiant structural suit there are five outer fabric options to choose from, but all of the suits contain the same membrane and lining system, and they are all cut from the same ergonomically-advanced block. For more about how we developed that, read our blog about our garment technologist Lorraine Costello.
A lifetime in fabrics
In hindsight, it’s no surprise to Stanley that he’s in the technical fabrics industry. As a lad growing up in Northern Ireland his father was a director of a linen weaving company. After completing his degree in applied science, Stanley stepped in to run the family’s home furnishing business, set up by his parents after the linen firm closed, while his father recovered from an illness.
“Being curious is a key skill of mine,”
“I want to understand about every little detail and how things work together. It’s how you can come up with improvements.”
After stints in retail sales and buying, plus a time selling Encyclopaedia Britannica which Stanley credits with teaching him many hard lessons about sales, he moved to work for a weaving, dyeing, and finishing company.
A move towards technical fabrics
At this company he worked with a supplier to come up with a new way to develop dyed and coated fabrics, ending up leading a new division to develop these products.
Here he worked on creating the first high visibility waterproof fabric on the market. Joining forces with an expert in coated fabrics and breathable coatings, Dr Rob Lomax of Baxenden Chemicals, Stanley put together a challenger product to take on Gore-Tex which was both breathable and fire resistant.
After leading a buyout of C-Teq, the technical fabrics division he’d created, Stanley later ran his own award-winning business specialising in high-performance waterproof laminated fabrics. He created the Tempest product which was used in the waterproof garment that won the national tender for all police force waterproofs in the UK. Stanley also developed the Tornado Medi-teq fabric, which was washable at high temperature to meet the requirements of ambulance services.
Finally, before joining the FlamePro team, Stanley was head of product development at PPE supplier Ballyclare, where he created their new range of protective garments for the fire industry.
The most advanced structural fire suit on the market
FlamePro’s new generation of structural suits has changed the game. To read more about the fabric system Stanley created take a look at the Valiant suit page where you’ll also find links to the technical data sheets.
To discuss your requirements and learn more about the range, give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 1332 341030.