Sports Insight

July / August 2019

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12 • Sports Insight July/August 2019 T he latest textile innovations reflect what consumers want in their clothes these days: functionality that en- hances comfort, eco-friendly features that align with personal values and some pops of fashion. Today's textiles can offer all that and more in everything from technical t-shirts and trendy yoga pants to top-of-the line waterproof/breathable jackets. Technology, sustainability and fashion- able looks emerged as key talking points in textile discussions at the Functional Fabric Fair held recently in New York City. e trade-exclusive event showcases the latest trends in fabric development for the func- tional textile industry. At the Trend Forum, a main attraction at the event, more than 100 fabrications were on display that bought these three elements into focus. While the underlying science of performance tech- nology remains a serious driver in textile development, new fabrications are alive with color, shine, and texture that bring a fun factor into play without sacrificing performance tech. And across the board execs in the textile community agree: plan- et-saving eco textile solutions are the future for the industry. Today's Tech & Eco Matters Temperature regulating textile technology continues to advance. For example, cooling through yarn construction in next-to-skin fabrics takes humidity away from the body to increase comfort. "Cooling is comfort," states Molly Kremidas, of Brrr, a firm specializing in cooling technology for textiles. Dirk Kuenan of Outlast Technologies, provider of phase change materials that adapt to temperature fluctuation, adds that in the age of climate change, "cooling comfort" is a priority. Cooling tech is tops in tops for next season with classic shirt fabrics such as seersucker, stripes and tartans updated with contempo- rary material functionality with additional comfort gained through strech blends. For pants, lightweight durability is important for trekking as well as travel. Growing consumer interest in wellness brings to market yarns infused with healthy benefits such as collagen and Cupro — a natural skin-enhancing copper ingredient. And smart engineering with elevated knit- ting techniques ushers in fresh takes on midlayer fabrics that are super-lightweight and comfortable yet warm. Regardless of specific end-use, eco ele- ments abound. Innovation takes shape in recycled synthetics such as recycled polyester, including Repreve brand recycled polyester, and newcomer Seaqual, a recycled polyester yarn made from post consumer plastic bottles and plastic captured from the sea. Emphasis on sustainability is evident in the waterproof/breathable category with notable advances in the use of bio-based membranes on recycled synthetics as well as using bio-based membrane on cotton for high-level of water resistance. A good example is the introduction of the Scafe Airmen membrane described as the first bio-based coffee membrane using spent coffee grounds; the product is also said to reduce energy usage in production. "Sustainability should be housekeeping, in IN THE MARKET / TEXTILES B Y E M I L Y WA L Z E R Function meets fashion with a strong sustainability story. 3 Top Technical Apparel Trends Everyday styles are elevated with cooling tex- tile technology by Brrr. New looks in wool activewear on display from Designer Textiles.

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