2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #32
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Garden Chaps Have Built-In Knee Pads

Thanks to Dan Vorhis’ farm and garden chaps, I no longer have to bash my knees on rocks, concrete, and hard wood floors. They’re light, comfortable and made of amazing material that looks like it’ll last forever.
  “With standard knee pads, you have to cinch them tight to the leg above and below the knee,” says Vorhis, Muscle and Arm Farm, a fruit and vegetable farm. “When you bend the knee, they cut off circulation in the back of the leg. My GreenJeans chaps have restraining straps, but they are worn loosely.”
  Vorhis got the idea for his chaps while on his knees in his garlic plot. Frustrated with standard knee pads, he first thought about hanging knee pads from his belt. From there he went to attaching them to fabric hanging from his belt.
  “I realized I was reinventing chaps with knee pads,” says Vorhis.
  Vorhis has invented and markets multiple products, not always to the market he expected. “We designed the chaps for gardeners and landscapers, but they’ve been adopted by builders, electricians, drywall installers, painters and more, anyone who works on their knees,” says Vorhis.
  Formerly a product developer with outdoor retailer REI, Vorhis had worked with many different types of fabric. He selected 1,000-denier textured nylon as being most abrasion resistant with superior wear properties. He says it is 50 to 90 times more abrasion resistant than heavy denim. Edges are double stitched and reinforced at stretch points.
  “We could have made them into pants, but with this material, they would have been too hot,” says Vorhis. “The chaps allow plenty of airflow. They are quick on and off over pants and boots and let you leave collected dirt at the door, not on the floor.”
  The pads are 1-in. thick, closed cell polyethylene (PE) foam. PE foam is impervious to mildew, mold and bacteria and is chemical and grease resistant.
  The chaps do have restraints above and below the knee. However, they are not tight and do not restrict blood flow in any way. In fact, until you kneel in the garden chaps, the pads hang slightly below the kneecap. It is only when you kneel that they rise up and into place to protect the knee.
  The tough material should come in handy when working in woodlots and brambles as well. This coming summer, I expect to give them a real trial.
  Vorhis has clear instructions on his website for how to match legs and waist to the 4 sizes of chaps offered. He sized mine over the phone with a measurement from waist to knee.
  “We have sizes that fit about 90 percent of our customers,” says Vorhis. “However, if we don’t, I’ll modify one that will fit.”
  Vorhis sells his GreenJeans chaps for $59.95 with free shipping in the continental U.S.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Muscle and Arm Farm, 21910 State Route 525, Freeland, Wash. 98249 (ph 360 331-5242 or toll free 800 443-2607; dvorhis@whidbey.com; www.MuscleAndArmFarm.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1