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Lycra and HeiQ Team Up on Cotton Knitwear

The Lycra Company, a developer and manufacturer of innovative and sustainable fiber and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries, announced the launch of Lycra naturalFX technology, a proprietary textile finishing process for 100 percent cotton knit garments designed for mass market applications.

Developed in collaboration with HeiQ, an industry leader in performance finish technologies, the application is the latest example of both companies’ ongoing efforts to bring more innovative and sustainable textile technologies to consumers worldwide. Lycra naturalFX technology, powered by HeiQ, enhances cotton knitwear, addressing critical consumer pain points and improving the consumer’s overall wearing experience, the company said. The technology provides durable comfort stretch, fit and soft hand-feel to cotton knitwear.

Even after repeated washing and wearing, Lycra naturalFX technology helps knitwear retain its shape, which helps extend the garment’s lifespan and potentially reduce its environmental impact, Lycra noted.

“Lycra naturalFX technology enhances the stretch and recovery properties of cotton knit fabrics and does so in a durable way with outstandingly soft hand,” said Nicolas Banyols, chief commercial officer at The Lycra Company. “This breakthrough innovation not only improves the performance of everyday 100 percent cotton knitwear, but is easy for mills to implement as it requires no investment in new equipment. We value HeiQ’s technical expertise and are excited to collaborate on the commercialization of this technology.”

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All knits that use Lycra naturalFX technology can be submitted to The Lycra Company’s labs for quality control testing to ensure all consumer benefits are delivered, including comfort stretch, breathability and durable fit. New logos will feature the Lycra and HeiQ brands and will be supported by customizable co-branded point-of-sale materials featuring the tagline, “In Sync with Nature’s Rhythm,” which are also available to brands and retailers.

While the Lycra Company is leading the commercialization of this technology, HeiQ will collaborate and support the introduction through its brand network, as well as manufacturing and selling the finishing directly to textile mills.

“Combining the Lycra Company’s expertise in stretch fibers with HeiQ’s renowned innovation in textile chemical finishing has resulted in a truly unique, added-value technology that offers enhanced performance to cotton knitwear,” added Mike Mordente, head of the business unit textiles at HeiQ. “I am confident that Lycra naturalFX technology will open up a new generation of enhanced stretch and recovery garments with comfort and durability.”

Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., the Lycra Company owns the consumer and trade brands Lycra and its HyFit and T400 offshoots, Coolmax, Thermolite, Elaspan, Supplex and Tactel.

With its 14 offices, seven manufacturing sites and seven research and development hubs, HeiQ employs 240 professionals. It has a total capacity of 45,000 tons of specialty chemicals per year and serves over 1,000 industrial customers in over 60 countries.