"Denim being the preferred apparel for all age groups and genders, companies are going all out to innovate to lure customers. They are coming up with innovative product line ups to expand denim’s capabilities and appeal. As Jean Hegedus, Global Director-denim, Invista, points out one of the hottest things right now in stretch is bi-stretch. Invista has been working with a number of mill partners to develop new ways of executing bi-stretch that makes a better product for the consumer and a lot easier for the mill to handle."
Denim being the preferred apparel for all age groups and genders, companies are going all out to innovate to lure customers. They are coming up with innovative product line ups to expand denim’s capabilities and appeal. As Jean Hegedus, Global Director-denim, Invista, points out one of the hottest things right now in stretch is bi-stretch. Invista has been working with a number of mill partners to develop new ways of executing bi-stretch that makes a better product for the consumer and a lot easier for the mill to handle.
Traditionally mills have used bi-stretch as a replacement for Lycra by putting it in the warp and the weft. Now with Dual FX technology, several mills are replacing Lycra with Dual FX in warp and weft. The advantage is it gives better stability, it’s easier to work with and had less warp shrinkage, she added.
Unique line ups
Turkish mill Calik has introduced a denim line called Circular 100 that uses Dual FX in both directions, giving a softer hand and lighter weight. High waist denim is very much in vogue right now, but one of the difficulties is when people sit down, it isn’t always comfortable. Having the extra stretch in the warp direction helps make it a more comfortable proposition, Hegedus remarked. Pakistan-based mill US Denim has also developed a collection using bi-stretch Dual FX selvedge denim, which leads to a “modern take on vintage.
Invista has also launched a new fabric weaving technology to make bi-stretch ‘double beam’ fabric. It uses two parallel warps—one of cotton indigo yarn and other Lycra-covered yarn that gets buried on the inside of the product. The result is low growth, easy to control warp shrinkage and can be used with a variety of fibers to create specialised fabrics. It requires a double-beam weaving setup and Invista is working with China’s Advance Denim on the first offerings. Additionally, Invista’s Coolmax is gaining popularity as a summer jean, while Tough Max continues to grow, especially in children’s wear.
Imagination without limitation
Invista has been working towards developing ‘Cordura Authentic Alchemie 2.0’. In order to develop this, the company has been partnering Cordura’s global mill partners, Arvind, Artistic Milliner, Cone Denim, Advance Denim and Kipas, which helped Cordura put together a three-part trend pack called, ‘Imagination Without Limitation.’
The first group, ‘Make it for Me’, is built around the notion self-expression, authenticity and customised looks. Styles include garment wash denim or fabric with a special finish, lightweight but with strength. ‘Show Me You Care’ reflects ecological consumers’ concerns and awareness of natural resources. It involves a partnership with Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fibre and some testing being done with Lenzing’s recycled Refibra fiber. ‘Faster and Farther’ is all about innovation and people being able to do more with their denim. Tricia Carey, Director Business Development for denim at Lenzing Fibers, said she is taking a multifaceted approach to expanding the fibre company’s reach in the sector. It primarily involves going deeper into the Tencel brand’s reach into denim, while also making inroads with Lenzing’s modal fiber.
Tencel is teaming up with Santoni Knits for a collection of seamless knits. Carey highlighted that denim is a versatile partner to pair with anything and is a must-have in every season. In an age where new innovations and interpretations drive the denim category, there is always something that emerges as a new way forward and Denim 2.0 is presenting itself as that new evolution.
Each knitted garment in the collection incorporates fiber combinations and knitted structures to create a cross-over concept. Traditional sportswear, made with the cut-and-sew concept from one material and one fabric structure, has a limited ability to provide sufficient local wear comfort. But the seamless functional features can incorporate superior moisture wicking by incorporating Tencel in a two-layer construction, while inclusion of high performance yarns provide superior temperature regulation, Carey noted.
Trends in wool
Another trend shaping up in this stream is Creora in a dry, textured feel through the use of yarn structures that includes blends of wool and linen. A sustainability aspect is brought out with Creora Eco-soft blended with recycled nylon or recycled polyester or recycled cotton denim yarns. Denim is among the markets that nylon manufacture and marketer Nilit is targeting with its new Sensil premium nylon 6.6 brand for apparel.
Sensil performance products give fabric designers many options to infuse denim with valuable attributes that consumers require in contemporary jeans wear. The company’s performance yarns are enhanced to provide additional attributes that consumers desire in today’s advanced denim products. Sensil Breeze imbues denim with a cooling effect for enhanced comfort. Sensil Body Fresh protects against the odors microbes can cause, which means busy consumers don’t have to take time to wash their jeans as often. Sensil Heat warms on cool days, while Sensil Aquarius stays dry on warm days, and Sensil Innergy helps energize cells and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Pierluigi Berardi, Nilit’s global marketing director, remarked consumers are raising their expectations for denim just as they are for everything else that they buy. Cutting edge jeans wear requires cutting edge fiber technology like Sensil premium Nylon 6.6 performance yarns. Together with its supply chain partners, Sensil creates fabrics that are the smart choice for denim brands that want to effectively respond to these shifting consumer attitudes about clothing and shopping.