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Five of Taiwan’s Top Textile Firms Shine Light on Apparel’s Functional Future

As COVID-19 has ravaged the global economy, Taiwan’s functional textile industry is staying on course by actively responding to technology and fashion trends. Top manufacturers are producing a variety of functional and anti-bacterial fabrics, ready-to-wear and eco-friendly textiles, and developing brands to create greater business opportunities with partners in the global textile industry.

To showcase some of these new functional fibers and eco-friendly solutions, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the foremost non-profit, semi-governmental trade promotion organization in the country, hosted the Taiwan Excellence Functional Fabric Online Press Conference on Aug. 25, featuring five of the industry’s functional fabrics leaders.

The presenters included Singtex Industrial Co., Ltd.; Sun Own Industrial Co., Ltd. (ATUNAS); Asiatic Fiber Corporation; Toung Loong Textile MFG. Co., Ltd.; and BenQ Materials Corporation.

Singtex, one of Taiwan’s most prominent fabric manufacturers, introduced its AIRMEM™ COLORSHELL coffee bio-jacket to the audience, made from recycled coffee grounds and bottles. The jacket uses microporous membrane technology that is not only windproof, waterproof and oil repellent but is also designed to provide excellent moisture vapor permeability to keep the wearer dry and warm.

“Customers always want to have more lightweight, they want to have more function,” said Tony Wang, vice president of sales at Singtex during the conference. “Inside the COLORSHELL, 26 percent of the material is made from coffee oil. It’s still a bio-compound-based, eco-friendly base, but it can provide color on the outside, so this fabric is reversible. One fabric has two uses.”

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Sun Own, a sporting goods manufacturer that sells products under the ATUNAS brand name, presented two collections, including its Supercooling and Pretty Skin Light shirt collections, which are UPF 50+ resistant and can block 70 percent of infrared and harmful UV Rays, as well as its iRoller foam roller.

“We have used nanofibers to help us filter the UV rays, and absorb beneficial rays,” said Peter Liu, manager of international market development at Sun Own Industrial. “The two-layer shirts are very functional in making people feel comfortable.”

Textiles firm Asiatic Fiber Corporation is using conductive fiber to create a smarter lifestyle, showcasing its iQmax Wearable Smart Textiles, which combine textiles and wearable devices to give massages for pain and discomfort and activate and stimulate muscles during workouts.

“The beauty of our product is making health care and fitness much smarter and easier than ever without changing users’ lifestyle,” said Crystal Lee, marketing manager of Asiatic Fiber Corporation. “It is highly recommended for self-health care and home workouts.”

Richard Yu, marketing manager of professional athleisure yarn supplier Toung Loong Textile, showcased three of the company’s most innovative yarn products, including the Yarn Dye, Alpha Yarn and Cotton Hand.

Yarn Dye, the flagship product of Toung Loong, obtains color before any fabrics are made and can be applied on stripes, checks, plaids and special pattern fabrics. Alpha Yarn maintains the property of draw-textured yarn, which is fully drawn, polyester multifilament yarn with soft crimp, while still offering better coverage, better bulkiness and is more long-lasting.

“When I don’t have to rely on using spandex for stretchability and movability, I can make my fabric lighter, better and more comfortable,” Yu said, referring to the Alpha Yarn. “Our yarns can recover for as long as possible, so it’s very hard to actually change the original state of the yarns, and it’s less likely to have creases or wrinkles.”

The third yarn, Springfil®, is a comfort stretch yarn made from a special texturizing process that doesn’t stick to skin when you sweat.

The last presenter at the event, BenQ Materials Corp., a manufacturer specializing in material science, introduced Xpore, an eco-sustainable, waterproof and breathable textile technology that can be used for raincoats and jackets.

Rex Lee, director of the performance textile business unit at BenQ Materials, and Irene Chao, the company’s sales manager, explained that Xpore’s “true breathability” comes from the hydrophobic porous membrane that lies within a textile’s inner and outer fabric.

“When we exercise, the moisture passes through the non-porous membrane by diffusion process,” said Lee. “At the same time, our body heat is kept under the membrane and we feel uncomfortable. With hydrophobic porous membrane, the body heat can penetrate through the membrane directly and keep it dry and comfortable.”

At the core of Xpore is a layer of ultra-thin membrane with 10 billion nanopores in every square inch. The pores are 20,000 times smaller than water droplets, so they can block rain.

The successes of the five companies gives a peek into the future of the textile industry, and shows how apparel can benefit from new, functional, eco-friendly fabric in the years to come.

Taiwan Excellence Awards winners are selected based on four categories, including R&D, quality, design and marketing. Products that have been selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards serve as exemplars of domestic industries and are promoted by the government in the international market to shape the creative image of Taiwanese businesses.

This year marks the 28th award selection, making the Taiwan Excellence symbol a prestigious distinction for enterprises in Taiwan to strive for and be recognized by. The symbol of Taiwan Excellence was established in 1992 by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Taiwan Excellence Selection was launched the following year.

In honoring the latest award winners, Taiwan Excellence wants to convey this message to the globe: “Taiwan can help. Taiwan is helping.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted worldwide demand for high quality products, and Taiwanese enterprises have answered the call with excellent and reliable solutions as well as innovations that feature top IoT technologies,” said TAITRA president and CEO, Walter Yeh during the event.

Click through to learn more about The Online Press Conference,  The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan Excellence.