Innovation in Textiles for consumer comfort

It’s a well know fact that men have need for speed and not just when they’re behind the wheel. So a shirt that resists stains and wrinkles and thrives in washing machine is essentially a dream come true. Women, prefer wrinkle-free garments that easily cross the line from business to pleasure from boardroom to cocktail parties in comfort and style.

Easy care clothes, designed for convenience and comfort have come to stay in consumers’ wardrobes.

Such textile innovations, in fact, started as far back as 2002, with Ice Touch (a heat conducting textiles) and Purista (which offers anti-microbial finish) among the early successes. Grasim came out with its Ice Touch range; Van Heusen had its 5 degree Cooler shirts; Peter England and Van Heusen shirts used Purista, as did Graviera for suiting ad shirting and Raymond for its Park Avenue socks.

The idea was to instill comforting freshness to all businesses involved which is in the field of textile auxiliary chemicals.

Even as these trends registered with consumers early on, fresh innovations in functional textiles are now set to make a debut. There are fabrics that generate negative ions, emit infra red shield against electro-magnetic radiation or are vitamin C and Vitamin E-enriched. Some fabrics even promise obesity control, aroma finishes and mosquito repelling qualities.

These fabrics are meant to cater to the ever discerning consumer referring to Cool max and its variants which is a textile innovation from Invista.

Cool Max, a moisture management technology, allows garments to stay cool, dry and odor free all day long. The trend these days is more towards multi-functional fibers and fabrics and lycra, coolmaz, thermolite, tactel are part of the bouquet of innovation to the world of fashion.

Studies have noted how performance finishes offering wrinkle resistance and stain repellent properties are gaining favor with women, never mind the fact that the consumer has to pay more for an outfit treated with any of these benefits.

The beauty of the wrinkle resistant product is that it really doesn’t require much in the way of thought at the time of washing and it always comes out to the dryer in a beautiful condition.. A corporate executive employed with a multinational has just treated herself to what she calls, “a healthy apparel”. A executive bought a Sundia branded viscose fiber which has special deodorizing properties and is wrinkle free. The deodorizing effect is activated simply by exposing the fiber to sunlight for five hours.

Most of these new treated fibers also have anti-bacterial and help protect the wearer from UV radiation.

Moreover, these garments are also perfect for traveling because they come out of the suitcase looking crisp ad fresh. Stain and wrinkle resistant career apparel is more than just trend at JC Penney it’s a lifestyle and convenience issue for customers.

Health, safety and environmental concerns are the diving force behind a number of these innovations, experts maintain. Take the Australian Wool innovation that has come up with a new medical textile to prevent skin tears in the elderly. The elderly are very susceptible to skin tears when they wear woolen garments.

The new wool and lycra textile developed by CSIRO protect limbs from damage and can be worn constantly. As we get older the skin becomes drier, less elastic. Blood flow diminished, the skin becomes less anchored together and fat deposits diminish. It becomes very fragile. The garments use only the finest Australian merino wool and it is currently undergoing clinical trials with most of the Wool mark destinations across the world including India.

Incidentally, demand for performance features and easy care is so strong that several interesting, innovative textile offerings have come into the market.

There is a bi-stretch fabric, which is a two way stretchable fabric for fitted garments and sport wear. Another mill offers a new stretch line that includes the premium voile – Altimate Swiss Voile which is lightweight voile with a higher tear strength and better stability.

Then there is a faux linen fabric constructed with a cotton-cellulosic blend. KG Denim has a bi-directional stretch and multi count fabric with flat finishes, ring slubs and special washes for a blue-black denim look.

Maral Overseas even has a 100% bamboo fabric in offer, made from Chinese bamboo yarn for soft and silky apparel. And then there is the Teflon fabric protector, an advanced Nano-technology from Ciba Speciality Chemicals. The high fashion garment with multinational finish repels water on the outside of a garment, transports body moisture rapidly from the inside to the outside, and accelerates drying time considerably. The textiles finish reduces unsightly perspiration marks and increases the personal feeling of well-being.