Textile companies are delving deeper into product development to create fibers and fabrics that help regulate temperature and deal with extreme weather conditions.
Teijin Frontier Co. Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fiber converting company, has unveiled Solotex Thermo, a polytrimethylene terephthalate, or PTT fiber, that offers high levels of thermal retention and insulation.
The new fiber can be used in a wide range of applications, including jeans, pants and other bottoms.
Solotex Thermo offers high comfort thanks to its softness, form-suitability and stretch, according to Teijin. It absorbs near infrared sunlight and efficiently converts it to heat with carbon-based inorganic particles mixed into the fiber’s monocular structure.
Compared to conventional polyester fiber, it raises the wearer’s wind-chill factor by 5 degrees Celsius, as demonstrated in a sunlight heat-storage test conducted by the Boken Quality Evaluation Institute.
Teijin Frontier is now exploring marketing opportunities for Solotex Thermo in outerwear. Annual sales are expected to reach 500 tons by the fiscal year ending in March 2021.
For outdoor enthusiasts who want to participate in activities rain or shine, Gore-Tex Active now has new Shakedry technology in which water beads on the surface, letting the garment dry quickly.
[Read more about outerwear fabrics: Fabric Innovation Helps Outerwear Weather the Retail Storm]
The new Active products feature an outer surface that repels water, while being light and breathable. Meeting the demands of running and cycling athletes, Shakedry products durably protect against wind and rain. The new product is also waterproof, windproof, packable and maintains wearing comfort in a broad range of weather conditions.
The fabric technology is also designed to eliminate the face fabric, preventing absorption of water to maintain comfort in high aerobic activities. The new laminate construction delivers strong moisture vapor transmission from the inside out. The inside of the garment is equipped with a functional backer textile for great next to skin comfort.
Garments engineered with the new product technology can be identified by their special outward look, feel and streamlined design with tight fitting and optimized features that enforce the distinctive benefits. The material is backed by a “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” promise.
Huntsman Textile Effects
Similarly, Huntsman Textile Effects has introduced Phobotex RSY, a non-fluorinated durable water repellent that offers extreme repellency for high-performance synthetic textiles. Phobotex RSY will also help brands and retailers meet global demand for eco-friendly clothing that requires extreme rain and stain protection.
The market for outdoor apparel is growing globally, and consumers expect comfort and high-performance protection. Rain, stain and soil-resistant effects are therefore critical. Huntsman TE noted that the industry is shifting away from traditional formulations based on per-fluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, due to environmental health and safety concerns.
“Phobotex RSY durable water repellent raises the bar for performance on synthetics, allowing brands to offer high-performance weather protection to outdoor enthusiasts with an assurance of eco-friendly sustainability,” said Lee Howarth, global marketing manager for Finishing at Huntsman Textile Effects. “As a trusted partner to the industry, Huntsman Textile Effects continues to lead the transition to non-fluorinated DWR alternatives that meet stringent environment, health and safety standards.”
Phobotex RSY provides effective protection in extreme environments, repulsing rain, sleet and snow, and performs well on synthetics and blends. It is ideal for high-performance outerwear fabrics, offering breathable comfort and durable water repellence. Fabrics treated with Phobotex RSY also repel stains.
Phobotex RSY complies with the latest requirements of Bluesign, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Manufacturing Restricted Substances List and the Restricted Substances Lists of the world’s global brands. Fabrics treated with Phobotex RSY are suitable for Oeko-Tex Standard 100 when applied as recommended.
The Movement BV
Also in the area of environmentally friendly materials, is Polylana yarn, a new cost-effective alternative to acrylic yarn with the same quality and texture, but a significantly lower impact on the environment.
Polylana is a patent pending fiber produced from a modified polyester pellet, mixed with recycled polyester. Its proprietary blend gives the fiber a loft and feel equal to that of acrylic yarn or wool, and allows it to be dyed at low temperatures. In comparison to 100 percent acrylic yarn, the use of Polylana yarn requires less energy and water, while it also reduces waste, carbon dioxide and microfiber release during washing.
“Acrylic yarn has an enormous impact on the environment,” said Feico van der Veen, founder of The Movement BV and the developer of Polylana yarn. “Not only because of the way it is produced, but also because it cannot be recycled. Therefore, we set out to create a new fiber, which has the same characteristics as acrylic yarn but a much smaller environmental footprint. For instance, each sweater made with Polylana yarn will save 25 liters (or 6.6 gallons) of water.”
The Polylana yarn offers brands and retailers two options to lower the impact of their collections. One is to provide Polylana yarn to one of their own manufacturers and the other is to offer a turn-key model, producing Polylana knitted products in a compliant supply chain.
Launched in 2016 by the Dutch entity, The Movement BV, an innovative sustainable solutions provider with global distribution, Polylana yarn is designed to help brands and retailers improve the fast fashion industry. It sets an example as an innovative manufacturing solution to simplify the much-needed shift toward a more sustainable trade.