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Sport Activewear Fabric News: Which yarn will dominate the market?

HI-TECH COUTURE COLLECTION FABRICS

PONTETORTO At last November’s edition of Performance Days, renowned Italian fleece specialist Pontetorto won the prestigious Eco Performance Award for their new functional knit development ECO HYBRID, a hybrid solution that combines various fibres and zones together to create truly functional garments. Imagine the needs of the human body where different body parts heat up and cool down at various rates, demanding quite contrasting levels of moisture management, thermo regulation and ventilation – which is why most athletes spend a lot of time putting on and removing layers or opening and closing air ventilation zips in order to maintain a constant body temperature and why hybrid solutions are in development by so many sportswear brands right now. But what makes Pontetorto stand apart with ECO HYBRID is the use of a polyamide 6.6 thread yarn (to transport moisture) that is biodegradable within three years, alongside Merino wool (for comfort and thermal function). The fibres can be partitioned in zones of one fabric as well as in a variety of jacquard constructions to optimise heat retention and ventilation as required without the need for seams. The result is a body-mapped functional garment.

FLOCUS
FLOCUS

FLOCUS This Shanghai based company – a kapok specialist – only launched at Performance Days in November 2015, but immediately won the show’s ECO-award, followed by a Sustainable Innovation Award from The Outdoors Show in July 2016 and, most recently, a PETA award for innovation last November. The natural fibre kapok (derived from the fruit of the kapok tree) is not new, having been used in the past for cushioning and insulation, but Flocus have propelled it to a new level through an innovative spinning technique that allows its waxy coated, short fibre to be blended in a higher percentage with many synthetic and natural yarns. Kapok is a natural performance fibre with properties that include: a silky soft but dry touch; a hollow fibre that is said to be eight times lighter than cotton and provides high insulation yet is breathable; and buoyancy, hypoallergenic, water repellent, quick dry, anti-moth, anti-mite and antibacterial properties. Plus, there are many ethical benefits to kapok, too: it comes from a fruit; it is a non-food crop; no additional irrigation is required in the growing, nor wet treatment prior to spinning; it is pesticide free, biodegradable and vegan. Obviously it is early days to find products in the market, however both Grandtek and H-One Tex displayed A/W 18/19 developments at Performance Days and many others including Pontetorto, Bossa Denim and Singtex are starting to work with Flocus yarns, too. This is definitely one to watch developing for the feel good factor – both literally (the handle is great!) and ethically.

PONTETORTO
PONTETORTO

TAS Established in Sept 2015, TAS (Tianhai Athleisure Solutions) is a new division of leading Chinese lace manufacturer, Tianhai Lace. With over 200 different types of lace, rascheltronic and circular knitting machines they offer a fresh approach to fabric development for the athleisure and sports market with their innovative D2G (Design-to-Garment) programme. This design-to-fit jacquard programme is a flexible and versatile body mapping system that allows pattern repetitions to be engineered to any garment’s shape or size, thus enabling brands to develop exclusive patterns for garments’ (including integrated finishing details such as hems, waistbands, necklines etc). This system can also engineer different performance aspects by zoning fabric structure and positioning yarns (with specific technical properties) where they are required on a garment without the need for seams. At Performance Days in November TAS had six samples selected as Jury’s Pick in the forum and won ISPO Textrends “Top 10” and “Selection” Awards at ISPO Shanghai last July.

TAS
TAS

CARVICO & JERSEY LOMELLINA Renowned Italian textile companies, Carvico and Jersey Lomellina’s continued partnership with Aquafil SpA was a real talking point at the fabric shows. Their aim, through a bold stand design and a hands-on sensory journey for visitors inside the production process, was to raise awareness in the sport and fashion swimming worlds about an environmentally sustainable approach using 100% sustainable fabrics – the key ingredient being Aquafil’s ECONYL® yarn. The yarn is produced through an exclusive regeneration process that begins with pre-and-post consumer waste, such as abandoned fishing nets, parts of end-of-life rugs and carpets and other waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. The result is a collection of elegant, sustainable, high-performance fabrics. The integrity of the partnership between Carvico, Jersey Lomellina and Aquafil is compounded by a shared commitment to the Healthy Seas project (an initiative to recover fishing nets that have reached the end of their life or been abandoned on the sea bed and regenerate their materials).

INVISTA
INVISTA

INVISTA INVISTA has begun to roll out its next generation of LYCRA® SPORT technology. Scientifically engineered to deliver exceptional comfort, fit and support to stretch activewear, the new platform combines the proven stretch technology of LYCRA® fibre with demanding testing standards that measure fabric performance descriptors on a simplified 1-10 scale of three indexes: The Power Index which measures the compression delivered by the garment’s fabric; The Comfort Index which relates to the insight that consumers often complain about being uncomfortable in compression or shaping garments; The Energy Index which rates the energy exerted by the body due to fabric construction. The overall index approach to LYCRA® SPORT technology covers the broad spectrum of fabrics from soft control to high compression and can be combined with other LYCRA® brand technologies.

CARVICO & JERSEY LOMELLINA
CARVICO & JERSEY LOMELLINA

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