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Consumers Want Comfortable Innerwear. Is Seamless Garment Technology the Answer?

Although most intimate wear incorporates relatively small amounts of fabric, it is not always easy to shop for innerwear that meets all our criteria perfectly. Consumers may often encounter poor-fitting, problems with pilling and items that stretch out without recovering, all of which drive higher expectations around quality and comfort. This creates greater opportunities for the market for seamless underwear, as consumers are attracted by unique softness and close-fit design of this intimate apparel.

Seamless knitting technology is nothing new. First unveiled at the 1995 International Textile Machinery Association as an entire garment with minimal cutting or sewing, in recent years, seamless garments have received more attention in the textile industry for their smooth hand and sustainable production.

Beyond comfort, a seamless garment can also be sustainable

Underwear tends to go neglected as a low-purchase-consideration apparel category. Although it can go unnoticed, its production process can be deceivingly complicated. Depending on the materials used and the outerwear worn over it, underwear can easily bunch up or feel increasingly restrictive throughout the day. Nowadays, as consumers become more conscious of what they are wearing, their mindsets start to change, hence they are keener to find high-quality and more comfortable underwear when they shop.

Seamless underwear is one of the solutions. Without bulky stitches at the thighs, shoulders and back, plus the close-fit design of seamless undergarments, awkward fabric lines can disappear as the body moves. This allows for greater comfort, one of the main reasons why people favor seamless underwear.

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Besides “feeling good,” consumers may not be aware that buying seamless underwear can also “do good” for the environment as its production process tends to be more sustainable than conventional garment-making processes. In general, seamless knitting technology is more eco-friendly as it skips the sewing and cutting stages where fabric waste tends to occur, saving large quantities of yarn. It is also can be described as more ethical than the alternative as it minimizes the need for manual labor.

Seamless knitting technology has been evolving since it first launched 25 years ago. For example, Santoni, the pioneer of seamless textile manufacturing, has been finding ways to launch more eco-friendly measures with its innovative machines and technologies. The company’s new Top2 Fast and Top2 V machines are designed to produce high-quality seamless garments while reducing their CO2 footprint from previous models by 40 percent.

Enjoy everlasting comfort with modal fibers

With its ideal production method, the textile industry is now widely adopting seamless knitting technology in the manufacturing of innerwear, allowing for unique softness. To elevate the wearer’s experience, manufacturers are also careful in selecting the raw materials.

Modal fibers—often referred to as “the underwear fabric”—are revolutionizing the fashion industry with their lightweight, stretchy, soft and breathable properties. For that reason, modal fibers are primarily used in the making of underwear.

With this seamless knitting technology, consumers can enjoy a more natural feeling when wearing underwear made from modal fibers. Fabric produced from renewable beech wood and Tencel branded modal fibers is not only twice as soft as cotton thanks to Eco Soft technology, but saves energy for an environmentally friendly footprint. Delta Galil, a leading world supplier of intimates and activewear, is now collaborating with Lenzing to make breakthroughs in garment wear experience while improving the sustainability of the textile industry. By using Tencel modal fibers, Delta Galil can offer garments with everlasting softness and smoothness with its Real Lasting Softness technology.

Looking back when the seamless knitting technology was first launched, it was mainly used on synthetic materials. With the continuous upgrades to the technology, it can now be applied to an even wider range of fibers such as Tencel modal fibers, offering a whole new level of comfort.

“Seamless knitting technology is not only limited to underwear, it is also suitable for sportswear, loungewear and performance garments etc.,” leading textile designer Studio Eva x Carola said. “In a society where personalization is an important trend, this technology allows designers to create more unique garments in a combination of aesthetics and function.”

Seamless garments are an emerging trend where we foresee broader adoption in the coming years. Because more brands are producing products without seams, there is a likelihood that consumers will be willing to pay more for greater comfort and softness. Simultaneously, people are more appreciative of the sustainability movement behind the technology. All in all, in the pursuit of a more ethical and eco-friendly lifestyle without compromising quality or design, seamless garments are definitely a contender for consumers.

Based in Lenzing’s Taiwan office, Judy Chen has been with Lenzing for 19 years. She spent the first 10 years as marketing manager until moving into her role as head of the Innerwear segment, developing key relationships between the supply chain and brands.