GE Eyes Apparel Applications


GE may not be a household name in the apparel marketplace at this time, but after a successful showing at the Techtextil show earlier this year, the firm's GE Plastics division is keeping an eye on the opportunities. The firm is encouraged by the successful use of its Valox PBT resin in stretch yarns developed by Brazil-based Polyenka. The 37-year-old yarn company, which supplies 700 customers in Brazil and abroad, has developed what it describes as the only yarn in the world that is both flexible and dull (not shiny). Polyenka partnered with GE Plastics to create its PK-FLEX "brand of yarn, which is made of elastic filaments from polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). Polyenka says PK-FLEX yarns can be used in fabrics for sports shirts, such as soccer jerseys, stretch denim jeans, gym clothes and upholstery. Swimwear is another end use because PK-FLEX yarns are resistant to chlorine. GE is talking with other firms in the apparel supply chain, including a major player in the intimate apparel space, about ways to leverage the Valox PBT resin, which can offer fabric properties similar to those of standard spandex but without a glossy sheen. Beyond a low-gloss look, fabrics incorporating Valox PBT offer other advantages over textiles made with traditional spandex fibers. For instance, they have greater stain resistance and offer more flexible processing options, such as lower dyeing temperatures, GE reported.

Youssef Fakhreddine, fibers and textile industry manager, GE Plastics global marketing, said GE has been investing in R&D for textile applications for approximately the past three years. During that time, he has been studying the textile sector, and found that apparel and textile firms are eager for more "tools for their toolbox"in terms of raw materials. They want more innovative options to work with beyond the traditional ingredients and fibers at their disposal, he said. While industrial applications have been a higher priority than apparel for GE Plastics when it comes to textile developments, the firm is watching for strategic opportunities in apparel, he said. In particular, the company is interested in "intelligent textiles,"including those for sports medicine and other health care applications. '" Kathleen DesMarteau

Lily of France Employs NASA Technology in Brassieres

VF Intimates' new True Match collection by Lily of France "is using memory foam technology to create a more perfect fitting brassiere by naturally conforming to a woman's curves, eliminating any gapping or bulging that commonly occurs with other padded bras. The technology, originally developed by NASA to be used by astronauts during take-off and later made famous by the mattress industry, has the unique ability to mold itself to its surroundings, changing its shape under pressure. Memory foam dramatically minimizes pressure points, thus providing a perfect and comfortable fit, the company reports. "Research has told us that women continually struggle to find a padded bra that provides a snug fit and doesn't gap across the top of the cups,"said Erin Walsh, brand marketing manager, Lily of France Õ. "We wanted to offer women a bra that eliminates this problem but still offers the everyday sexy styling that our consumer loves."The True Match Collection is available at J.C. Penney, Macy's, Mervyns and Kohl's.

Companies Team Up to Develop New High-Performance Denim

American Fibers and Yarns Co. (AF&Y) and Avondale Mills have joined forces to develop a new high-performance denim targeted to active lifestyles. The denim features a 24 percent blend of AF&Y's Innova "yarns, making it lightweight, durable and moisture-wicking. Mike Brown, director of denim product development, Avondale Mills, said the denim is much more comfortable than traditional cotton denim. "During warm weather or vigorous activity, traditional cotton denim can feel heavy and uncomfortable under the weight of absorbed perspiration. The Innova yarns eliminate the problem by wicking moisture away from the body."

Purista "Freshness Treatment Now Available in U.S.

Arch Chemicals Inc., producer of Purista textile freshness-enhancing treatment, has made the product commercially available in the United States. Purista is applied to textiles at the manufacturing level, and protects clothing and other fabrics from odor-causing bacteria, allowing them to stay fresh longer.

New SDL Atlas Accessory Speeds Specimen Mounting

SDL Atlas has developed a new and compact specimen-mounting jig that dramatically decreases the time and tension of mounting pilling and snagging test samples on polyurethane tubes. The accessory accommodates all makes of pilling and snagging testers, and is portable and easy to install on a table or wall. Its new lever-operated jig positions any fabric specimen over the mechanically collapsed tube, which reduces operator effort and makes pilling and snagging tests easier and faster. The mounting tool enhances the use of the company's M227A/B line of ICI/M&S pilling and snagging test units.

Sun Capital Acquires Consoltex

Specialty textile manufacturer Consoltex Inc. has been purchased by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts of market-leading companies. "We are enthusiastic about our affiliate's investment in Consoltex, which we believe is a niche North American technical fibers business. The management team has done an excellent job in transitioning the business so that it can compete with overall textile outsourcing trends, and our plan is to grow sales and margins,"said Steven Liff, managing director, Sun Capital.

New Technology, Supply Chain Division from Cotton Incorporated

Also, EFS "Cotton Management System Introduced to China

Cotton Incorporated has introduced STORM DENIM technology, which provides water-repellency, protection from cold and dampness and breathability, and endure technology, a finish that significantly increases the wear-life of sheets. As a garment-form application, STORM DENIM can be applied to almost any denim finish, offering more end-use options. Denim accounts for nearly one-third of the U.S. apparel market, the company reports. In tests, the finish compared well to synthetics in terms of water repellency, and improved upon their breathability. It also adds durability to a garment. In tests against unfinished denim of the same weight, the STORM DENIM finish offered better fill and warp tear resistance, and improved warp flex abrasion. endure-- developed in response to a Lifestyle Monitor- -- survey that showed durability as the primary concern among consumers shopping for sheets, also provides improved wrinkle resistance, colorfastness and shrink resistance, without sacrificing softness or comfort, the company reports. In other news, Cotton Incorporated has created a new division, Global Product Supply Chain, which will integrate the company's textile research, global product marketing, fashion marketing and strategic planning division. The division will be led by Mark Messura, who has been promoted to executive vice president. Previously, Messura was vice president, strategic planning. Also, Cotton Incorporated presented its innovative Engineered Fiber Selection Õ(EFSÃÆ'‚¬å¡Ã•) System software at the first EFS Conference held in China in April. Introduced to U.S. manufacturers in 1982, the EFS system is a group of programs that provides authoritative cotton management and analysis information, as well as electronic communication between and among mills, ginners, producers and merchants.
Almost 50 percent of China's cotton imports over the past decade have been of U.S. origin. "China is clearly a good customer of U.S cotton, and sharing our EFS technology with them benefits the entire supply chain,"said J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO.

Thermal Underwear Controls Moisture, Odor

Indera Mills has introduced a new generation of performance thermal underwear, combining odor control with moisture management.
The new line is the first thermal underwear to incorporate HydroPur "fiber technology from DAK Americas. Dual-function HydroPur polyester staple fiber combines the moisture management of DAK Americas' Delcron "Hydrotec fiber with the antimicrobial properties of DAK's SterPur "AM, which contains antimicrobial AlphaSan "from Milliken and Co. AlphaSan silver technology also allows for superior dyeing characteristics, the company reports. The new line will be marketed under the Indera Mills brand as well as private labels, and is available in men's, women's and children's sizes in a variety of constructions and colors.

Thermopatch Adds Smith to Management Team

Donna Smith has joined Thermopatch as regional sales manager for the upper Midwest territory.
Smith has a strong background in the garment manufacturing industry.

Avery Dennison: Heat Transfers Are Salt-, Chlorine-Resistant New Bonder Applies Tagless Product ID and Care Info to Apparel, Footwear

In independent testing conducted by Philadelphia University, Avery Dennison ComfortTag heat transfers have met salt and chlorine durability requirements established by the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC). The heat transfers offer the comfort of soft heat transfers with the durability of more conventional labeling on products that need to withstand the rigors of the pool and the ocean, the company reports.  ComfortTag heat transfers can be supplied fully preprinted with logos, graphics and variable data for application with most heat transfer bonders, including the Avery Dennison TH 2000 and Avery Dennison CTB-5 . They also can be supplied partially preprinted for onsite printing of variable data and subsequent bonding.

Also, the company has introduced the CTB-5 Heat-Transfer Bonder, which applies tagless product identification and care instructions to apparel and footwear components. The bonder, which is driven by pressurized air and features an industrial-grade air cylinder for reliable performance, applies preprinted heat transfers to apparel in a range of fabrics that includes cotton, polyester, nylon and silk. The system also applies heat transfers to footwear components, such as athletic shoe innersoles.

Polymer Group Inc. Canada Partners with Fabric Dyer and Finisher

Polymer Group Inc. Canada's Difco business is partnering with Ontario-based fabric dyer and finisher Colorama to provide customers with new technology, expanded capacity and new protective fabrics. The strategic agreement with Colorama enables PGI Difco to expand its product portfolio of flame-resistant (FR) and woven cotton and polyester/cotton products with a responsive, cost-competitive dyeing and finishing partner, PGI reports. PGI Difco provides high-performance woven products for industrial, automotive and filtration applications, and FR apparel and turnout gear used by firefighters, military personnel, utility workers and petrochemical and other industries.

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