Whether it's for comfort, aesthetic purposes, or protection from the elements, consumers are discovering the advantages that performance garments provide. As consumer demands for innovative technologies continues to grow, the Outdoor Retailer show remains the showcase for new developments, and ORSM'16, held August 3-6, 2016, was no exception.
Many of these innovations also find their way into mainstream apparel and other categories, as more fiber and fabric technologies from the performance market cross over into other mainstream apparel categories. Below is a compilation of several innovative fibers, fabrics, and finishes that generated interest at Summer Market, and which are also moving into mainstream fashion, or will be very soon.
As the outdoor market continues to move forward in the development of innovative materials for outdoor garments, several exhibiting companies at ORSM'16, which was held August 3-6, 2016, showcased a variety of technical products made from fabrics that provide an elevated level of protection for use in outdoor environments.
37.5 Technology powers many of the world's leading brands in the sports apparel and bedding markets, including: Adidas, First Lite, Mission, Bauer, Carhartt, and Under Armour. This patented technology increases comfort and performance by managing the body's ideal core temperature (37.5° Celsius) and humidity by capturing and releasing moisture vapor next to the skin. 37.5 technology has been scientifically proven to extend an athlete's peak performance by 26%.
By actively responding to body heat, the energy generated from the body accelerates the vapor movement and speeds up the conversion of liquid to vapor, significantly increasing drying rates up to five times faster than similar fabrics. At ORSM'16, 37.5 Technology announced its expansion into other markets. Three new manufactures using 37.5 Technology include: Crux, a UK tent manufacturer; Flying Cross for Police uniforms; and Kenneth Cole's first men's tailored shirts and suits, which will be launched in October '16 for use in the lining, interfacing, and wool outer fabric.
Toray's, Ultrasuede® luxury is well-known. This microfiber fabric has been providing a beauty and elegance that the wearer can have for decades. At ORSM'16, Toray introduced Ultrasuede® LX, the plushest and most elegant Ultrasuede® fabric. Besides having unparalleled softness and plushness, the new Ultrasuede® LX is strong and resilient, and possesses excellent color-fastness and resistance to crocking. In addition, it maintains superior resistance to discoloration at perspiration points, thanks to advanced dyeing techniques. Other recent Ultrasuede® developments include: Ultrasuede® Stretch, Printed Ultrasuede®, and Ultrasuede® yarns for knitting.
Microban® Microban® International Ltd., the global leader in textile odor control and prevention, announced the relaunch of its textiles division globally at ORSM'16. This relaunch builds upon Microban's debut of its recent odor capture and antimicrobial products, including Excalibur® and Scentry®, now being used by top apparel and footwear brands and manufacturers. Coinciding with this, Microban® recently received bluesign® approval for its ZPTech® product, which is a wide-spectrum antimicrobial technology for textiles, used by more than 60 leading sports, athleisure, apparel and footwear brands. As consumers continue to demand more from their apparel and accessories, either for performance during strenuous activities or for extended wear, there is a constant need for odor control in all apparel categories.
Bemis® has reinvented the performance waistband with its new minimalist stretch bonding for comfort at the waistline. At ORSM'16, Bemis Associates launched its fully bonded Sewfree® waistbands, developed with Flowfreeâ„¢ technology for ultimate breathability in high performance garments. The new Flowfreeâ„¢ technology doesn't retain moisture like traditional elastics and meshes, but rather facilitates the circulation of hot air and moisture away from the body, allowing the cool air in. The new bonded waistbands have proven to be up to 21 percent lighter in weight, and dry up to 28 percent faster than traditional sewn-in versions.
Unifi®, showcased its wide array of specialty performance yarns targeted toward outdoor protection. These yarns include: Mynx™, a sun shield technology with up to +50 UPF that offers a high level of dependable sun screen protection against both UVA and UVB rays; Resist20™, an inherent water resistant technology that minimizes water absorption when the fabric is saturated with water; and Inhibit®, a flame retardant technology that contains a special phosphorus FR chemistry that promotes quick formation of char that reduces the flammable gases emitted and the propensity to burn.
Eclat Textile Company promoted its vast array of knit and woven sportswear fabrics at ORSM'16. Showcased were several circular knit fabrics currently trending for activewear/athleisure markets, including: Lycra® stretch denim looks, 4-way stretch interlocks, sculpted jacquards/transfer-loop jacquards for a 3D look, and printed stretch knits for the important legging story. Eclat also promoted its in-stock fabric program, which involves 60+ fabrics for the yoga/athleisure market, with 500 yard minimums for custom colors. Eclat's new performance DWR 4-way stretch, printable woven fabrics, made using super 5-gauge yarns, generated interest for the sportswear, streetwear, running, board short markets. Also featured were a group of fabrics using heather mossing/peaching as a finishing treatment, along with eco-knit fabrics made from poly/Tencel®/spandex yarns for dresses and men's and women's knit tops.
Dri-release®/ Optimer Brands reported that ORSM'16 attendees were looking for new fabric constructions and textured/surface interest fabrics. Attention was generated by such fabrics as drirelease® fleece, French terry, interlock, soft shell and other layering constructions. Since comfort remains a key quality for all drirelease® fabrics, Optimer also showcased Sombrio® Mountain Bike, the winner of its 2016 Innovation Award, and promoted its new Cone denim fabric featuring drirelease®. The denim fabric is a layered fabric made of 63% cotton/35% dri-release/2% spandex next to skin and 30.8% poly/63% cotton/4.2% Tencel®/2% spandex on the face. Two new dri-release® sweater fleece yarns (i.e. dri-release/wool and dri-release/Tencel®) also drew interest.
CORDURA® unveiled innovative CORDURA® denim protection garments from its leading brand partners, 'made tough and built to last' for the rugged and demanding outdoor market. The new Levi Commuter™ Collection features jeans made stronger, through the use of durable CORDURA® Denim fabric that resists tears, scuffs, and abrasion. The collection contains â€˜endurance' fabric technology, a blend of premium cotton with CORDURA® fiber for enhanced strength and durability. Fox Racing's contribution in endurance protection is for the motocross enthusiast. This head-to-toe Legion Series line is designed with CORDURA® fabrics that are entirely adaptable, completely dependable, and durable to the core.