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Buyer Alert: Denim Stretch & Resiliency

As mentioned in last week’s Buyer Alert, demand for active-performance materials is on the rise. Value-added treatments and technologies–initially developed for activewear–are becoming standard for runway, ready-to-wear and mass-market lines; and denim is no exception.

Topping the list, four-way fabric stretch and garment-shape resiliency are key for mills and labels looking to address increasingly active consumer lifestyles. No longer just for contour-hugging silhouettes, stretch is moving into casual, less body-con jean shapes.

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Introducing modern elasticity and recovery to vintage workwear themes, premium stretch selvedges are emerging at mills like Cone Denim and Arvind, and at heritage brands like Lee. In most cases, elastane provides the stretch while polyester maintains the shape. Cone uses a blend of 93/6/1 cotton/poly/elastane for its SGeneâ„¢ line in light to medium weights. Slightly heavier stretch denims work for men’s rugged “deadstock” ranges, as well as women’s “boyfriend jean” styles. When washed down or abraded, these new blends look authentically aged.

At the January edition of Kingpins New York, Invista and Lenzing addressed market demand for combination stretch and recovery, providing joint solutions that incorporate LYCRA dualFX® or T400® with TENCEL®. At Kaltex, weft-exposing holes look retro despite the cotton-wrapped, core-spun polyester/elastane yarns. Along this vintage vein, Loomtech by Orta Anadolu bridges age-old surface appeal with advanced stretch; fabrics feature slub and nep textures. Stretch is also moving into jacquard denims, coated denims and chambray.

Cone Denim White Oak SGeneâ„¢, 93/6/1 cotton/polyester/elastane
G-STAR Slander Super Stretch Denim, 35/35/28/2 cotton/lyocell/poly/elastane
Kaltex, cotton-wrapped polyester/Lycra stretch wefts