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As a brand leader for workwear solutions, YKK makes it a priority to collaborate with our customers to ensure we are meeting all of their needs and expectations. Our top of the line technology helps create innovative products that are instrumental to the success of this ever-growing industry. As the industry of workwear evolves to improve employee safety and comfort, keeping up with new trends can be a bit difficult. With this in mind, we thought we’d provide you with a quick refresher of all things related to workwear.

Workwear is referred to as heavy-duty clothing for work, specifically work that involves physical or manual labor. Due to the fact that these garments are exposed to high temperatures, industrial washing and bleaching processes, safety and durability are key elements to their creation.

The development and improvement of workwear is closely related to technological advances that have taken place throughout the course of history. An example of this was the creation of the “riveted waist overalls” by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis during the California Gold Rush (1848 to 1955). Denim was the fabric of choice for manual laborers, since it was strong enough to withstand long days at the mines and built to last. Fast forward to the last 10 to 15 years, and you will notice a correlation between the modern day gold rush and the creation of “frackwear”. A new line of Fire retardant workwear using fire resistant materials such as Aramids and FR cottons made to fit the needs of workers in the oil and gas industry, who are constantly exposed to extreme temperatures and harsh environments. Since mid-2007, this protective line of clothing has grown in the U.S. at an exponential pace as more gas and oil rigs are constructed to sustain the domestic energy demand. The ASTM and NFPA organizations have created more stringent regulations that are driving the need to create more protective clothing for these high risk industries including Electrical Utility. The creation of “Arcwear” to protect linemen and high voltage electricians from electrical arc events has skyrocketed. With the demand for protective workwear comes new interest in fashion functional clothing for the industry. FR garments used to come in only a few colors with limited trim options to comply with safety standards. Today’s employees, working in high risk environments want clothing that can be used on or off the job and not look like a uniform. Variations of color, size and style are making it more challenging to garment manufacturers to get the right look and fit without compromising functionality to attract this ever growing customer base.

From general workwear, worn by those working in the manufacturing field, to corporate workwear/ imagewear used for office based jobs, to rental uniforms worn by employees in different industries, there is no doubt that the workwear industry is a clear example of how manufacturing adapts to new technology. Not only does the workwear industry satisfy the needs of its customers, it makes the safety of their employees a top priority.

YKK® brand products used in the workwear industry

NYD zipper tape:

The NYD Zipper comes with a cord package that is reinforced with nylon as opposed to polyester, helping the cord package maintain integrity when going through industrial laundering process.

Nomex® zippers:

Our NOMEX® Brass and NOMEX® VISLON® zippers are considered flame and heat resistant, because of the NOMEX® tape and high temperature VISLON® elements.


Snaps and Buckles
Low profile WB-FR Suspender Buckle, Nylon Buttons, Metal & Plastic Snaps, etc.





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