The crossover between athleisure and ready-to-wear has shown consumers that they no longer have to suffer for fashion. They’re no longer called upon to trade a great-looking garment for one that will be comfortable to wear. And the demand for pieces that look and feel great has put even more pressure on textile manufacturers to develop products that perform.
ChiaHer is listening to the market. The Taiwanese textile manufacturer has an active research and development department that’s constantly developing new materials suited for all sectors, including sportswear, formalwear and outerwear for the whole family.
To help the company create the versatility its customers are looking for, ChiaHer often turns to the DuPont™ Sorona® brand team. Sorona® fabrics offer an exceptionally soft hand feel, a fluid drape, UV and chlorine resistance as well as vibrant colors. Moreover, Sorona® fabrics snap back into a smooth, wrinkle-free state that allows garments to pack down and spring back time and again.
“Using different types of Sorona® fabrics—some create memory effects, some give stretch effects—we can create more unique products for each individual buyer,” Chase Wong, executive vice president, ChiaHer, said.
ChiaHer has chosen fibers based on Sorona® polymer over other options because it offers both better shape formation performance as well as crease recovery performance than PET fabrics and nylon alternatives. These characteristics make it ideal for outerwear, in particular. Through a collaboration between Invista’s CORDURA® brand and the DuPont™ Sorona® brand, ChiaHer has created two outerwear fabrics. The first is an easy care, luxurious textile with a rich hand feel that lends itself to a range of applications from outer shells to designer dresses. The other is a soft, durable stretch woven created with everyday adventures in mind.
“CORDURA® fabrics tends to have a tougher hand feel. By adding fibers based on Sorona® polymers, not only does this add a mechanical stretch benefit but it also unifies the hand feel to more perfectly bond with the skin,” Wong said, adding it’s a look that lasts. “As Sorona® fabrics have better recovery, it extends the life of the end user’s product cycle.”
Kiki Chen, Sorona marketing manager, Taiwan & HK for DuPont, said that as a working mom, the Sorona® brand is made for her. She said the fabric’s versatility and ease of care speaks to her on-the-go lifestyle, which includes back and forth to work but also business trips in which luggage space is tight. “Since I already have too much on my plate, the last thing I want to worry about is a wrinkled jacket, which I don’t have the time to iron or send to the dry cleaner,” she said, adding she wants to grab it from her closet or overstuffed suitcase, put it on and look good.
As ChiaHer has found, one big advantage of the Sorona® brand is it speaks to a lot of different applications, whether it’s a busy professional or an outdoorsy adventurer—or someone who is both, depending on the day. Outerwear constructed from Sorona® fabrics can provide a tailored look while offering performance attributes like wicking, comfort stretch and recovery. “Nowadays the trend in outerwear is to design pieces that are multifunctional all in one garment,” Chen said.
Another important trait for today’s consumer is sustainability. The polymer is 37 percent plant-based making it an ideal fit for environmentally minded consumers. “Sorona® polymers are sustainable and partially plant sourced, which aligns with the outdoor consumer’s beliefs,” Chen said.
To satisfy consumer demand, ChiaHer endeavors to create textiles shoppers can feel good about. The company uses as many eco-friendly materials as possible, is bluesign® certified, and carries a certification from Control Union that shows the manufacturer conforms to OCS, GOTS, GRS and RWS standards.