What goes into creating a range of protective equipment?

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What goes into creating a range of protective equipment?

Almost every year, a brand comes out with an updated range. Usually their colour schemes change, the bigger brands usually a new named line which will be endorsed by their super star player.

So what goes into creating those pads and gloves?

At Mongoose, we have produced around 20 different models of pads and gloves over the 6 seasons we’ve been operating. Usually we start off doing some competitor research, looking at the latest and greatest materials being used in cricket, hockey or other contact sports. A few years ago D3o was all the rage, something we looked at and considered. Now brands seem to have reverted back to the more traditional materials with cane, foam and the outer made from PU seemingly the choice of most brands.

Our suppliers who we work very closely in India with, also play a key role in developing the protective aspects. The majority of the industry deals with only a handful of manufacturers in Meerut and Jalandhar, these generally have a few stock moulds or stencils, that they will like to follow. This is something we try to steer away from in our quest to be unique.

Outside of the protective aspects, the design also plays a key role in the production. The range of soft goods (as pads and gloves are known in the industry) needs to tie in closely with the bats. We start our process for designing the branding on paper.

A few sketches of the gloves which formed our 2011 range

Paper is a great place to begin sketching, with such little effort it makes designs easy to throw away and move on from. Once something more concrete, such as a model or prototype has been created; you become more attached to the piece.

From the paper,  we select a few we like and begin to work with our professional designers to create an image mockup.

Computer mockups of our 2011 range

From the computer designs. We’ll begin to brief the designs into India and our manufacturing partners there. Suffice to say things never are right first time round, and often we’ll visit the factory ourself to work together to produce a protective, stylish product.

 

Some early prototypes of our gloves

After a few visits to the factory, and close inspection; we come close to the finished article and produce something which is visually beautiful and incredibly protective.

Our final 2011 range

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