Cone Denim teamed up with DSM Dyneema to develop light weight denim fabric

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-09-23 14:00:00 – USA

Cone Denim, Greensboro, N.C., a leader in the development of new denim technologies and platforms who has been producing denim fabrics since 1891 has partnered with ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene fiber producer DSM Dyneema, Netherland based company to develop a lighter weight performance denim fabric that offers high strength while retaining an authentic look and touch of classic denim.

Cone’s research and development incubator, and The Dyneema Project, DSM Dyneema’s innovations program for premium apparel brands, are leading development efforts for the new denim platform. The denim that offers two- to four-times greater tensile and tear strength than conventional cotton fabric of the same weight.

According to Steve Maggard, vice-president product development and Cone 3D, Cone sees technical denims — in which strength, moisture management, high stretch and other such features are incorporated into the fabrics — as a growth area. Dyneema is a natural fit for them and a really good option in working toward really high-strength technical fabrics.

Dyneema ultra-lightweight fiber is up to 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40-percent stronger than aramid fiber weight for weight. Therefore, it offers the possibility of making a high-strength denim with a lighter weight than denim made with other high-strength fibers.

But one can also use less of it as a percentage of the fiber blend, which enables to keep a more authentic denim look. Even by putting in 8- to 10-percent Dyneema, there’s still enough cotton in the blend to absorb the indigo and other chemicals, so the garment still looks authentic.

The yarns for the new denim are spun by Patrick Yarns, Kings Mountain, N.C., and woven into cloth at Cone’s White Oak Plant, which opened in Greensboro in 1905 and produces the company’s premium and vintage denims.

The first end product featuring the fabric was San Francisco-based Levi Strauss and Co.’s limited-edition men’s Levi’s® 501® Centennial Jean, created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Levi’s and Cone’s partnership. That product — featuring an intimate blend of 10-percent Dyneema and 90-percent cotton, and billed as Levi’s lightest, strongest jean — sold out quickly, according to Neil Bell, who handles business development in North America for DSM Dyneema, and who previously served as Levi Strauss’s global fabric innovation manager.

The two companies are looking at incorporating moisture management and stretch into the fabrics to further enhance comfort levels. Several companies are now sampling Cone’s fabrics.

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