Invista develops new technology for knit denim fabrics

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-11-06 17:00:00 – Wichita

Invista is one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. Also the owner of the Lycra brand unveiled the patent pending technology at the recent Kingpins Denim shows in Amsterdam and New York under the banner ‘Hybrid technology by Lycra brand’ for knitted denim.

The new developed technology for knit denim fabrics provides the comfort and flexibility of a knit with the authentic aesthetics and performance of a woven.

Jean Hegedus, Invista’s Global Director for Denim said that the major difference in new developed technology from existing knit denim is that the hybrid fabrics integrate a true denim look and feel with low growth, low shrinkage, and multi directional stretch. Additionally, the fabrics can be engineered for use in a range of different garment types, each serving different consumer needs.

Based on extensive trials with fit models and Invista’s proprietary wear force testing, the hybrid fabrics have been segmented into three different categories, each with unique performance levels: everyday denim fabrics that meet Invista’s standards can carry the Lycra brand, fabrics that meet Invista's shaping technology standards can qualify for the Lycra Beauty brand, and fabrics that meet Invista's athleisure standards can qualify for Lycra Sport branding.

Introduced in woven denim last year, Lycra Beauty branded fabrics help shape and sculpt a women’s body comfortably. Now that same concept is being extended into the knit arena with the company once again using wear force testing and body scanning to quantify the high level of comfort and shaping potential these fabrics can offer.

Previously only used in the activewear segment, the Lycra Sport brand is now being extended into denim for use in athleisure apparel. They are very excited about the integration of Lycra Sport branded fabrics into the denim market space, Hegedus said. Their testing helps identify the right level of compression to ensure comfort, freedom of movement, and performance in an active inspired garment.

Invista began working on the new technology several years ago as they saw performance fabrics taking an increasingly important role in the denim space. The fabrics employ a specific patent pending construction to achieve the look and feel of traditional denim, but with much greater stretch and flexibility. Another unique function of the technology is that one can engineer the fabric to have the particular level of stretch as desired. They have been able to achieve fabrics with over 100% stretch in one direction and more than 50% in the other, with less than 4% growth, said Tianyi Liao, Research Fellow at Invista and inventor of the technology.

Invista worked under a confidentiality agreement with several mills on this project, including Advance Denim of China, Knitdigo of Taiwan, Santanderina of Spain, and Willy Hermann of Switzerland. Garments from each of these mills were on display at the Kingpins Shows.

Invista also hosted a seminar on the technology at the fairs, as they thought is was only appropriate to have the next generation of denim designers and entrepreneurs try out what they believe will be the next generation of denim fabrics.

The seminar included a panel discussion by representatives of some of the mills, as well as a video featuring students who have personally tried jeans made with the new technology.

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