Mills promoted denim that plays nicely with sunny summer months. Jack Mathews, director of sales and marketing at Artistic Denim Mills (ADM), said there’s a lot of interest in CoolMax All Season technology, fabric that keeps the wearer cool and has insulation properties for winter. Canatiba is betting on denim with CoolMax certification for men and women, and fabric that eliminates moisture—which Covolan said is ideal for active consumers like Amsterdam’s bicycling commuters.
Orta presented Synthesis, a range of temperature-controlling denim that hugs the body comfortably for S/S 17. Meanwhile, the mill’s Octave range is split into three categories (Black Ice, White Flight and Cool Air) with innovations particular for the spring and summer months. Black Ice reflects the power of the sun, utilizing a permanent UV protection factor over 30. White Flight provides an external guard against liquids and Cool Air keeps the wearer dry on the inside with moisture-wicking qualities.
With no sign of the activewear market slowing, mills are battling back with their own take on denim that moves with and in some cases, enhances, the wearer’s activities.
At Kingpins Amsterdam, Invista, owner of the Lycra brand, bowed Lycra Hybrid, a solution for high-performance knit denim that offers the best of both the knit and woven worlds. Lycra Hybrid fabric uses a specific patent pending construction to achieve the look and feel of traditional denim, but with greater stretch and flexibility. A circular knit structure forms the base fabric while long float effect yarn forms the illusion of a woven surface The inter-mesh points form the twill lines.
Lycra Hybrid can also be engineered for brands to choose the particular level of stretch they wish to achieve in their designs. Invista reported that it has been able to create fabric with over 100 percent stretch in one direction and more than 50 percent in the other with less than five percent growth.
Advanced Denim, Knitdigo and Santanderina have been the first mills to partner with Invista for the project. Lycra Hybrid also marks the first time Lycra will extend its Lycra Sport designation to denim. Jeans that provide the right balance of freedom and support will qualify for the labeling. Jean Hegedus, Invista global denim, said, “Our testing helps identify the right level of stretch, recovery, and force to ensure comfort, freedom of movement, and performance in an active-inspired garment.”