New Scrubs Use Performance Sports Textiles

Keeping Medical Workers Cooler, Drier, Fresher

Wilmington, DE June 3, 2008 - Performance fibers, yarns and textiles originally developed for active and outdoor sports are increasingly showing up in other products. Moisture management (meaning sweat removal and/or quick dry benefits), breathability, odor elimination, microbe control and other features not only provide great comfort they promote cleanliness and good health. Now, Dri-release® with FreshGuard®, a popular technology by Optimer Performance Fibers well known among athletes and outdoor aficionados since 2000, is being used by medical and wellness brands. Dri-release whisks moisture away from the skin and dries four times faster than cotton, while its companion technology, FreshGuard, eliminates odors and controls the growth of bacteria. It is this combination of hygienic and comfort attributes of Dri-release with FreshGuard that got the attention of medical and health care brands.

Comfort in Healthcare Uniforms

A brand new company launched this May is using Dri-release with FreshGuard exclusively in their line of U.S. made scrubs designed by and for women working in the healthcare professions. Based in Southern California, medelita™ is aimed at improving both the comfort and appearance of over eight million women in the U.S. alone who wear scrubs and lab coats on the job. To date, these often unisex products are made of stiff fabrics in boxy, shapeless cuts with little if any fit or scale to the female body. "They feel like sandpaper and no matter how much you fold over the waist or roll up the sleeves, they just don't fit," says Lara Manchik, founder of medelita. "No one has mastered the uniform that must be worn by female clinicians." Manchik, herself an eight-year veteran in medicine, has worked as a physician assistant in ER and traum centers from the New York inner city to Orange County. "No matter where you go, women [in healthcare] relate to the need for better uniforms. All of us want to be comfortable and feel good about how we look. I just knew there must be something better. I want medelita to reinvent the way women present themselves at work by offering the highest quality, best fitting and most comfortable scrubs available."

Better Fabric, Better Fit

Manchik decided to use Dri-release partly because of its comfort, freshness and quick-dry features that won't wash out, but also because it clearly set medelita apart from the stiff cotton and cotton/polyester products on the market. The performance of the fabric is matched by the attention to detail and flattering, yet professional fit. Darts and curved seams on both tops, a shaped waist, a slight boot cut on the pant and a ‘not too loose, not too tight' fit on the clinician and nursing styles, are some of the things that give medelita a distinct look and feel. Also new is regular, ready-to-wear sizing. Pushing aside the usual unisex XXS to XXL, medelita comes in size 0-14 and is sold individually, not in sets, so that customers can order a personalized size combination for the best fit. Herself, a diminutive size 2, Manchik is especially sensitive to the ‘one size fits all' mistake. "Try us on for size," she says, "and you'll never go back to boxy again!" For more information on Dri-release with FreshGuard, go to: For more information and to purchase medelita, go to: For more information, photos, samples:   Ann Stables   (520) 615-7715

How Dri-release Works:

  • Originally patented in 2000 by Optimer Performance Fibers, Dri-release with FreshGuard is an intimate blend of 85-  90% synthetic (hydrophobic or water-hating) and 10-15% natural (hydrophilic or water-loving) fibers. Dri-release  works by grabbing liquid and pushing it to the outside of the fabric where it evaporates quickly.
  • Test show that Dri-release dry four times faster than cotton and faster than any other performance fiber including  100% synthetic products. Yet, unlike 100% polyester or nylon it feels like natural fiber next to the skin.
  • FreshGuard is an odor neutralizer embedded in all Dri-release fabrics. It eliminates odors by blocking odor-causing  sebaceous body oils from attaching to the fabric – in turn, stopping the attraction of odor and often infection causing  bacteria.
Optimer Performance Fibers, a division of Optimer, Inc., a Sterling Capital Partners company, is based in Wilmington, DE. Founded in 2001, OPF conducts textile research, development and marketing and has a scientific staff credited with over 100 patents and developments. Dri-release is a registered trademark of Optimer Performance Fibers. It is a patented, intimate blend of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers that accelerate the water release rate of a fabric when wet. For more information, visit FreshGuard is a registered trademark of Optimer Performance Fibers. It is an environmentally friendly odor neutralizer built directly into all Dri-release fabrics. For more  information, visit