Technical Sports Fabric Review
By Kathlyn Swantko
3D Body scanning, cloud-connected smart production systems, advances in sustainable recycling processes, cooling fabrics, and smart light technology were some of the exciting highlights at the fifteenth edition of Techtextil North America and the forth Texprocess Americas, held in Atlanta, GA, May 22-24, 2018 The co-located events featured the latest innovations in technical textiles, nonwovens, sewn products, equipment and technology
“Both visitors and exhibitors could feel the energy and excitement on the show floor,” stated Dennis Smith, president and CEO, Messe Frankfurt Inc. “There is an immense amount of talent and innovation coming from the U.S., and Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas have become premier events where professionals from all industries come to see the trends and technologies that are coming their way!”
The technical textile apparel market is experiencing a surge in high performance cross-over apparel, with multi-functional fabrics that focus on efficiency. Recycled bio-synthetic fabrics with inherent performance qualities, and enhancements in natural fibers including cotton, merino wool and Modal® also continue in importance.
Advancements in sustainability include clean technologies, such as single-dye-bath processing, reduction of water consumption, and layering technology that eliminates the application of harsh finishes in the production process.
There is interest in hybrid fabrics that reduce the garment processing stage, through the seamless application of body mapping/zoning in fabric production, rather than being inserted by machine. Interest in lightweight fabrics continues, along with an emphasis on softness in all sectors of the market.The FabricLink Network reviews several new innovations presented at the Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas show that are targeted towards the technical sports textile market.
Heavy rains are no match for Bolger & O'Hearn's new Omni-Bloq™ fabric
finish, which also provides exceptional breathability and a negative impact
on the environment.
Bolger & O'Hearn introduced its new OmniBloq™ stormproof/breathable fabric finish. This new fabric protection solution uses non-PFOA technology, is recyclable, and provides rain resistance (passes AATCC 35-2013) without inhibiting breathability. In comparison, while most water repellent fabrics can keep your garments dry in light rain, heavy rains can push water through the fabric. And while waterproof laminates keep the heavy rains out, these fabrics don’t protect the wearer from becoming “sweat wet,” due to reduced breathability, and can also have a negative environmental impact.
Bolger & O’Hearn's OmniBloq™ provides wearable comfort, and prevents moisture from getting trapped within the wearer’s garment. As the company explains, “OmniBloq keeps the rain off and gets the sweat out!”
A woman's hoodie showing the possibilities for LUNATIVE
Labs' LUNAlight trim/edging for after dark sports activities.
LUNATIVE Laboratories GmbH featured its innovative LUNAlight technology, Ready-to-Wear” Smart Light Wear Technology, for easy trim-like integration into apparel products. Engineered in Germany, the LUNAlight technology is Smart active light that provides an even illumination for safety & protective apparel applications, which leverages any garments or textile products into the eTextile arena, and provides “after-dark” garment illumination.
This Smart active light can be seamlessly incorporated into any garment or textile product as trim or edging. It is highly visible, and provides a unique lighting effect with high luminous efficiency. LUNAlight’s ambient light effect, with its 360° glow, uses extremely low power provided from a small battery and is highly durable (machine washable at 30°C) without losing light intensity. The product components are ultra-flexible, lightweight, durable, and sustainable, and compatible into smart and wireless ecosystems. Special LUNAlight and LUNAsmart kits are available for apparel and textiles.Applications include: fashion, outdoor apparel, functional “after dark” wear, sportswear, work wear, bags/backpacks, and interior design.
REPEL is a new, enhanced, PFC-FREE water-repellent sewing thread from
A&E. The thread is ideal for sewing backpacks, footwear, athletic wear,
uniforms, and workwear.
American & Efird featured a new thread, REPEL, into its family of performance threads. This advanced PFC-FREE water-repellency enhancement was developed in response to customer demands for use in water-repellent products. “As a trusted partner, we work closely with our customers to understand and anticipate current and future needs,” said Chris Alt, Senior VP Sales for A&E. “REPEL is an example of smart innovation, as A&E continues to expand the boundaries of what performance sewing thread can do through the development of advanced and thoughtful products.“ REPEL will carry A&E's PFCZERO™ designation, meaning it contains no perfluorocarbons (PFC-free), which have been linked to global warming. REPEL has been 3rd party tested on seam and meets rain test method:Â ISO 22958-2005 (or AATCC 61). A&E's popular Perma Core®, D-Core®, Wildcat Plus®, Perma Spun® and Excell® product lines, as well as all other A&E apparel and non-apparel thread and specialty yarn products are compatible with this new water repellent enhancement. And, REPEL will not affect the product color of any of the yarns.