Performance apparel brands and textile firms are developing fabrics with specialized characteristics, either on their own or in collaboration, to advance their products’ capabilities.
Swiss textile innovation company Schoeller put its electrostatic-spun membrane technology Aerobrane into the launch of Strafe’s Cham jacket and pants for Fall. Now available on StrafeOuterwear.com, the Cham Fall kit offers consumers Aerobrane’s optimum protection against wind and weather, along with high levels of breathability needed for high-intensity activities.
“We found the Schoeller Aerobrane technology to be the perfect 3L fabric replacement for our new ski touring kit, which is intended to be used during high-intensity mountain activities,” Pia Halloran, head of design and development for Strafe, said. “The material needed to be able to hold up to varying weather conditions while still being highly air-permeable, super light and packable, durable, and stretchy. Working with a world renowned, innovative, and respected partner like Schoeller has been a great experience, and we look forward to more collaborations in the future.”
To produce an electrostatic spun membrane, ultra-light, microscopic fibers are placed closely on top of each other, forming a clustered but firmly connected structure that can only be detected with the highest-level microscope technology. The membrane’s fibrous structure is designed to provide exceptional breathability while also allowing for ventilation. Aerobrane features water-resistant qualities, as water droplets on the exterior are larger than the spaces between the fibrous structures. However, the fiber structures also create an exceptional wind barrier, the company claims.
“Having admired Strafe over the years, we couldn’t be prouder to work with this authentic and passionate team that is beyond committed to what they’re doing,” Stephen Kerns, president of Schoeller North America, said. “Because they are living the same experiences as the outdoor enthusiasts and athletes they’re serving each day, they fully understand the importance of utilizing only the best materials, which also sets them apart.”
Designed for touring and backcountry adventures, the new and improved Cham Pant with Aerobrane features a minimalist design that includes a lower cuff snap adjustment system to accommodate all boot types and allows for fabric retention to avoid damage while ascending with crampons which help wearers safely traverse snow and ice.
Meanwhile, Finnish fiber company Spinnova and Danish multi-brand retailer Bestseller have partnered in a long-term mission that’s part of Bestseller’s ambitious sustainability strategy, Fashion FWD.
This means the companies will jointly develop product to see which commercial products in Bestseller’s wide range of brands, such as Vero Moda, Vila and Selected, would be best suited for Spinnova’s sustainable fiber. Having proof of concept from its pilot production line, Spinnova is starting to build its commercial scaleup. Spinnova has a number of brand owners onboard, committed to long-term collaboration.
“Having great brand partners like Bestseller, with the expertise and resources to collaborate with an innovator like us, has been crucial to our material development,” Spinnova CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen said.
The ultimate ambition is to create the world’s most sustainable fabric and turn it into commercial products.
“We’re extremely proud to announce this collaboration with Spinnova, which is a highly promising material innovator,” said Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, sustainable materials and innovation manager at Bestseller. “As always, our aim is to change the fashion industry for the better. Bestseller is an early adopter of Spinnova’s revolutionary material and we genuinely believe in their ambition of making a truly sustainable material, which can be turned into commercial products.”
Bestseller has also introduced its innovation lab, Fashion FWD Lab, which focuses on new, low-impact and circular materials, better production, new business models and smarter ways of manufacturing. Fashion FWD Lab acts as a catalyst for collaborations consisting of pilot projects, workshops, case studies and more, to accelerate sustainable change.
But there’s still more innovation happening on the fabric front. Men’s wear label Bugatchi has introduced an exclusive performance fabric with the launch of its Fall/Winter 2020 collection. Bugatchi’s OoohCotton Tech fabric is a blend of soft long-staple mercerized cotton with quick-dry technology to promote the evaporation of moisture, keeping the skin dry and at a constant body temperature.
OoohCotton Tech shirts, T-shirts, polos and pullovers in checks, stripes and print patterns bridge the gap between work and leisurewear, the company said, and are machine washable and need no ironing. The special eight-way stretch also allows for optimal movement and flexibility, it added.
“Our objective was primarily to take performance wear to the next level by creating a high quality, unique and distinctive cotton product that fuses functionality with fashion and allows today’s men to reflect their own individuality and style,” Bugatchi CEO Cecile Revah said. “We are aware of the global lifestyle changes and how they are affecting dress codes. Bugatchi’s goal is to offer modern, everyday luxury and the response from our customers has been outstanding, as our OoohCotton Tech fabric is much more than a traditional performance fabric. It is the next generation of performance clothing.”
Headquartered in South Florida with brand creative, marketing and direct-to-consumer operations located in New York City, Bugatchi is sold in major department stores and specialty stores across North America. Bugatchi sources from European mills and produces in Italy and Asia.
The Lycra Company took the opportunity of last week’s Intertextile Shanghai show to focus on its new Lycra Anti-Slip fiber technology.
“We have been pleased to see that, despite market uncertainties, there is still a strong appetite for innovation, as brands look to keep an edge and offer better value to consumers,” Julien Born, president of apparel at Lycra, said. “Innovation has always been in The Lycra Company’s DNA, which we believe is key to address the increasing demands for functional and sustainable apparels globally.”
Lycra Anti-Slip fiber is a denim seam slippage solution for applications in single core spandex fabrics that require durable stretch and good recovery power. Designed to help prevent seam slippage and improve garment quality and yield, this patent-pending fiber helps maintain garment appearance wash after wash and wear after wear. Lycra says it is a versatile fiber that makes possible for a multitude of fabric developments and constructions, including open structures and use of polyester, viscose and cotton blends, achieving a soft touch and authentic appearance.
Using Anti-Slip fiber in the core of Lycra dualFX technology yarn enhances anti-slippage performance. By combining it with Lycra T400 fiber together in one fabric, the key benefit is the high stretch of Lycra fiber with exceptional slippage solution plus the recovery power of T400 fiber. This means that consumers can have super-stretch jeans that last longer and retain their fit and shape, Lycra claims.