What A Difference A Year Makes!
PGA Show 2023 - Textiles
by Kathlyn Swantko
Attendance at the PGA Show was double that in 2022.
The golf industry is alive and doing well, as indicated by the recent success of the 2023 PGA Show held in Orlando, FL, in January. The show’s attendance was reported as 30,000, which is double the attendance over last year, and a total of 800 exhibitors from 86 countries filled the convention center, an increase of 33% over 2022.
In the US after a steady decline from 29.6 million participants in 2006, and a low of 23.8 million reached in 2016, the number of golfers rebounded to 25.6 million in 2022. This is a clear sign of a strong year ahead and continued growth for the $84 billion global golf market.
The PGA Show provided an opportunity for a number of textile exhibitors to introduce a variety of new technical fabrics and eco-fabrics for a broad array of end-use applications, ranging from apparel, golf gear, and accessories.
Important fabric technologies for the golfers’ apparel include weatherproof technologies for both mid-layer and outerwear for multi-seasonal wear, that provide a soft feel and coolness. Insulated/down jackets designed to wick away moisture keep the golfer warm while minimizing sweat.
Eco-friendly fabrics are also making their way into the golfer’s wardrobe as both functional textile manufacturers and the major golf brands respond to the importance of recyclability and the circular economy.
Collection of Everest Textile Co. golf apparel, made from Everest Textile fabrics.
Everest Textile Company, Ltd. This vertically-integrated textile manufacturer, headquartered in Taiwan, specializes in yarn spinning, twisting, weaving, dyeing/finishing, printing, coating, laminating and specialty finishing, as well as garment manufacturing. Combining function and fashion, Everest introduced a series of fabrics for a comfortable golfing experience, as well as new sustainable fabrics for golf.
Everest upcycles the discarded food waste of oyster shells/water chestnut shells, and combines/mixes the powdered shells with recycled PET bottles to create its Seawool yarn. Seawool has the benefit of natural odor control and a soft fine hand. The fiber’s engineered hollow construction generates excellent breathability. The Seawool yarn has low thermal conductivity with excellent body temperature regulating functions.
Everest’s “Ever Function Active Sports” group is perfectly suited to active sports like golf. The fabric is water-repellent and provides protection from heavy rain, making this fabric suitable for functional waterproof and wind resistant jackets. The fabric is also bluesign® approved. “Ever Golf” is Everest’s fabric designed specifically for golf. In addition to being flexible, comfortable, and breathable with a quick-dry function, special attention is also paid to the external appearance of the material. Ever Golf has a distinctive imitation high-end wool-like feel with a quality appearance, providing the wearer with clothing that is extremely comfortable. The fabric is also bluesign® approved.
FORTUNE Textile Company’s engineered stripe knit.
Fortune Textile Company is a manufacturer of circular knit fabric in Taiwan, which specializes in the production of functional fabric. Fortune is a vertically integrated company, and includes knitting, dyeing, and printing facilities. The company’s major textile knitted products include: velour, interlock, jersey, jacquards, boucle fleece, micro fleece, ribs, piques, mesh, and terries. Fortune Textile’s functional fabrics include functional yarns, soft/lightweight knits, coated/laminated fabrics, quick dry/water-repellent fabrics, and anti-UV/anti-bacterial/anti-mosquito fabrics.At the PGA Show, Fortune showcased an innovative fabric made from recycled plastic bottles that is infused with cinnamon extract for natural antimicrobial qualities to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Cinnamon has a natural compound (cinnamaldehyde) that inhibits the growth of sweat-eating bacteria, keeping the body fresh. The cinnamon smell evaporates during the yarn-making process. In addition to being odor blocking, the fabric is lightweight and quick-drying.
Jason Mills Style 501, 3-Layer Polyester fabric.
Jason Mills, LLC - For Jason Mills impact screens for golf simulators represent a growing market, with unique requirements. They produce different impact materials for various levels of golf screen systems.
Their popular Style 501 product is it's three-layer polyester fabric that has a super tight knit construction to ensure ultra HD clarity, and is extra thick to absorb sound and minimize impact noise. It is heavy duty (13 oz. per square yard); 120 inches wide: and, is heat set fire-resistant.
Screen fabrics need to be smooth and light, and allow for a clear projected image, while remaining durable in order to stand up to thousands of ball impacts at speeds of up to 170 + mph.
A golf impact screen is only as good as the fabric it is made from. The fabric should allow the ball to hit the screen with minimal bounce back or puckering; should be durable and absorb the sound of the ball’s impact; and should display a bright, high-contrasting image. Wide width fabrics are also important.
Recently, Jason Mills composite fabrics were tested by an industry-leading manufacturer of impact screens used in commercial golf simulators. The company’s Premium and Preferred knitted composite textile models were both analyzed. After absorbing about 34,000 golf shots, both screens showed hardly any stretching, and maintained a clear image during the testing phase.
M.I.T.I. S.p.A. produces warp knit stretch fabrics with high abrasion resistance for indoor and outdoor sports and all seasonal weather conditions. Based in Italy, M.I.T.I.’s technical fabrics are well suited for outdoor activities like golf. The key benefits of its warp knit fabrics include 4-way stretch, abrasion resistance, moisture management, breathability, fast absorption, and UV protection.
M.I.T.I.’s NATURALMATCH wool technology combines the natural characteristics of 100% fine merino virgin wool for a soft touch, breathability and excellent wicking properties, with the benefits of synthetic fibers for high elasticity and durability. NATURALMATCH technology is available in a poly-virgin wool printable blend, or in a soft mid-weight nylon blended with elastane and merino virgin wool creating comfortable golf apparel. Merino/poly blends are also available for sublimation printing.
M.I.T.I.’s latest line of HIGH RESOLUTION technical 4-way stretch fabrics are engineered for sublimation print. This technology eliminates issues that are traditionally associated with sublimation printing, like a deeper penetration of the inks into the fabrics and the reduction of grin-through when the fabric is stretched.
The company’s THERMAL technology is one of M.I.T.I. most well-known technologies. THERMAL has been engineered for winter sports, and is available in four-way stretch, brushed fabric with abrasion resistance, outstanding recovery, and easy care.
M.I.T.I.’s GREENSOUL technology combines the use of 100% sustainable recycled fibers with the most environmentally-friendly dyeing and finishing. Recycled fibers for its GREENSOUL Technology include 100% post-consumer polyester yarns, 100% pre-consumer sustainable nylon (recycled from industrial waste), and up to 65% pre-consumer sustainable premium elastane (recycled from industrial waste).