As Stanbury Uniforms CEO Gary Roberts finished up a round of golf in the stifling August heat in Missouri, he had a revelation. That day Roberts had decided to wear a moisture-wicking polo shirt and found himself mostly dry while his unfortunate friend who wore a standard cotton T-shirt was drenched in sweat.
The long-time uniform manufacturer thought to himself: “Why don’t we have this material for marching bands?”
From that experience, Roberts initiated a research and development project that led to the September unveiling of Stanbury’s XtremeDri fabric. In addition to being lightweight and comfortable in high temperatures, the material is washable and comes in more vibrant colors— even custom colors—than standard fabrics.
“This is kind of a dinosaur industry that hasn’t changed in a long time, and this could be the kind of breakthrough that we’re looking for,” Roberts says. “For drum corps, marching bands in the South and competitive marching bands, it’s perfect.”
To take advantage of the new material, the company announced a line of uniforms called Fusion. The uniforms are about 20 percent less expensive than wool blend uniforms and entirely washable, which presents an added savings for bands.
“We decided to make an original fully constructed uniform with all of the components being lighter weight and washable,” Roberts says. “The lining is called AeroCool. It’s a very porous lining and a washable lining. We added the coat canvas—we call it the internal suspension of the uniform. Typically those have always been hot, heavy dry cleanable materials. We introduced a washable, breathable inner construction again.”
According to Roberts, the material has been extremely popular since its debut in September, and more than 70 percent of sample requests are now for XtremeDri. For more information, visit www.stanbury.com.