Our Story | GlideWear


GlideWear is a two-layer, low-friction fabric that’s used in medical and sports applications to protect skin from harmful friction and shear. GlideWear works by gliding smoothly against itself, absorbing friction and shear and protecting skin. Shear happens when the top layer of skin is pulled one way and lower layers are pulled the opposite direction. Friction happens when the skin meets resistance as it moves across a surface.

When integrated in strategic locations within medical and sports products, GlideWear technology reduces the harmful friction and shear forces that cause painful rubbing, chafing, blisters, wounds, and sores. GlideWear keeps stability and control where it is needed, while reducing pain-causing friction in strategic areas.

The GlideWear Story

GlideWear, a low-friction fabric technology, was created by Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, a Minnesota-based med tech company. Tamarack is dedicated to finding innovative ways to improve people’s lives.

Our Mission

  • To research, develop, and manufacture products of excellent function and value that improve and maximize human performance and comfort.
  • To work in a manner which respects fellow employees, our customers, and the Earth.
  • To be authentic with regard to product design, manufacturing, and promotions.
  • To deliver more than we promise.

Our Commitment to Giving Back

Tamarack strives to be a green company and a good place to work, and we are committed to giving back to the community and the world.

Tamarack contributes funds, materials, and employee time to help educate and assist O&P schools in across the nation and around the world.

Our History

Tamarack was founded in 1990 by Marty and Peg Carlson with the help of six very experienced and highly capable employees. The new company designed and fabricated custom orthoses, prostheses and adaptive equipment. Serving the needs of people with very severe and/or multiple conditions quickly became our specialty.

We took the time to listen to our clients’ stories: their difficulties, pain, frustrations and their hopes for a more functional, independent life. We applied our background knowledge of biomechanics, material science and handicapping disease seeking innovative solutions. We liked direct and simple solutions whenever possible.

As we became involved with a few elite athletes, we understood that all of us function, each at our own pace, along a continuous spectrum from the professional to the very challenged.  As our company of collaborating people developed, our mission became:

  • To research, develop and manufacture products of excellent function and value that improve and maximize human physical performance
  • To work in a manner which respects fellow employees, our customers and the earth
  • To be authentic, congruent and simple in product design, material utilization and promotional messages
  • To deliver more than we promise

During the mid 90’s, Medicare and Medicaid funding policy changes made it very difficult to sustain the provision of innovative custom equipment for the people who needed it. Tamarack developed a unique, inexpensive, highly durable orthotic joint, the Tamarack Flexure Joint, in 1995 that became profitable and helped sustain the company. A health crisis in 1999 precipitated a company split at the end of the year. Tamarack continued as a developer and manufacturer of innovative new products.

Today, we continue our growth in the orthotic/prosthetic industry with design developments extending our Tamarack Flexure Joint and strategic friction reduction (ShearBan and ENGO) product lines. In recent years, we have focused our development on fabric technologies (GlideWear) and wearable products that protect skin and soft tissue from the friction and shear that cause blisters, pressure injuries, and wounds.