The Lycra Company will open a new Advanced Textile Innovation Center (ATIC) in Nanhai, China, on Thursday, demonstrating its commitment to continuous innovation and expanding business in the region.
The new 4,500-square-meter Research & Development (R&D) laboratory, the company’s fourth globally, represents a significant increase in the U.S.-based firm’s global R&D capabilities. Scientists at the R&D center will help mills, brands and retailers throughout Asia, as well as Western-based companies with local sourcing offices, create innovative fabrics and garments using Lycra’s branded textile solutions, like the flagship Lycra spandex fiber, and the Lycra HyFit, Coolmax and Thermolite fiber. The research team will also engage with customers in identifying product development and commercial opportunities for new polymer, fiber and textile technologies.
“Developing groundbreaking innovations and creating new garment categories are part of our company’s heritage and critical to our success going forward,” Bob Kirkwood, Lycra’s chief technology officer, said. “Our investment in ATIC not only enhances our global R&D capabilities, but also demonstrates our commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers based in Asia.”
ATIC is fully equipped to simulate real world manufacturing processes, including knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing. This will allow the company to deliver high levels of technical support to its customers, providing consistent product quality and helping to reduce risk. The lab also has garment engineering, fabric certification and analytical testing tools to help customers achieve desired performance attributes for their fabrics or garments.
As part of the company’s Virtual Lab network, ATIC researchers will be able to collaborate efficiently with colleagues in labs located across the globe to develop innovative products and apply best practices.
“Co-locating ATIC and our South China sales office will enable tighter integration between R&D and our commercial team, and help our customers accelerate speed-to-market,” Julien Born, president of apparel at Lycra, said.
The Lycra Company, formerly Invista’s Apparel & Advanced Textiles business, has operated as an independent subsidiary of Shandong Ruyi since Jan. 31. The company has operations in 14 countries, including four R&D labs, eight manufacturing sites and 17 offices to serve its customers around the world. Its assets include more than 1,000 patents and applications, 2,300 registered trademarks and nearly 250 unique logos and brands.