dedicated to the science of comfort


The story of drirelease began with a cohesive group of former DuPont scientists who shared a passion for advancing textile technology. Through sophisticated research and development, this team focused on increasing the performance qualities of yarns and fabrics without sacrificing the time-honored comfort and feel of natural materials like cotton and wool. The result was drirelease, a patented blend of fibers that delivers superior wicking and fast-drying capabilities.

As the performance fabric and activewear industries expanded rapidly in the 1990s, DR was swiftly adopted as a core ingredient by the world’s best-known brands. A drirelease T-shirt was named one of the Top 100 Made in America products by Reader’s Digest, and earned the endorsement of USA Triathlon. Climbers using protective gear featuring DR wool blend summited Mount Everest in 2010. DR had established itself as an essential ingredient brand for the best performance fabrics.

drirelease is now acknowledged as a global solutions provider, thanks to quickly developing a worldwide network of top suppliers and mills. In an early marketing advance, DR teams conducted and published some of the first scientific tests proving how fast-drying and temperature-regulating DR blends actually are.

 

the story of drirelease


1993

Optimer Performance Fibers is established by a group of former DuPont textile scientists and researchers in Wilmington, DE.

1998

drirelease fabric is officially launched. Yarns consisting of 85-90% hydrophobic and 10-15% hydrophilic fibers are made into fabrics exhibiting a combination of properties that make them strongly preferred by wearers. Large-scale consumer testing with marathon runners and athletes confirms DR moisture wicking and comfort benefits.

2001

drirelease expands overseas after two years of commercial availability and growth in the United States.

2002

The FreshGuard odor neutralizer is added to drirelease to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors. This environmentally friendly technology gives dependable freshness for the life of the garment.

2003

New research confirms that drirelease fabrics keep wearers up to 7 degrees (F) cooler than similar fabric technologies.

2004

Advanced research and development begins to create a flame-resistant fabric using drirelease technology. These efforts will result in the DRIFIRE® flame-resistant technology that today protects firefighters and the military in hazardous situations worldwide.

2007

Sterling Brands acquires Optimer Inc. and aligns its products drirelease and DRIFIRE under the holding company as Optimer Brands.

2012

As growth expands to more than 100 of world’s best-known brands — including Nike, Reebok, Under Armour, Outdoor Research and Wigwam — Optimer Brands moves its international headquarters to Chicago.

2016

As growth expands to more than 100 of world’s best-known brands — including Nike, Reebok, Under Armour, Outdoor Research and Wigwam — Optimer Brands moves its international headquarters to Chicago.

Optimer is now part of Optimer Brands, which includes drirelease and DRIFIRE®, a line of comfortable, flame-resistant apparel and fabrics.