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Fast track: what China can learn from the Lycra story
published in Issue 30, 3rd Quarter 2009
Few brands have had as much impact on performance apparel as Lycra—which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
Initially, Lycra made its mark by providing new levels of comfort and freedom of movement in hosiery, legwear, intimate apparel and swimwear.
But more recently its qualities have been successfully exploited in casual wear and outerwear, and the fibre is now very prominent in the performance sportswear field.
Lycra was invented by a DuPont scientist, Joseph C Shivers, as long ago as 1959. It took the inventor a decade of development work to come up with the formulation which goes under the generic name of spandex or elastane.
In general, elastane, a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer, has better stretch than natural rubber. Indeed, it can be extended by up to 600% and recover to its original size—which means that only a small percentage of it (normally 5%-30%) is needed in a blend to provide good stretch properties.
Also, elastane has better resistance to dry heat and oil, and, unlike rubber, it does not need to be covered or coated.
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
Reports in Performance Apparel Markets include:
reports on major developments in the global performance apparel market, focusing on new products and technologies, innovative fibres and key players;
detailed, independently-researched reports on one of the following topics: antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, anti-static technology, flame resistant fibres and fabrics, high strength fibres and fabrics, high visibility apparel, microencapsulation, moisture management fabrics, performance swimwear, seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming technologies, smart and interactive textiles, stain protective apparel, stretch fibres and fabrics, surfwear and surf-inspired clothing, temperature regulation, UV protective fibres and fabrics, and waterproof breathable fabrics;
company profiles, outlining the business, product, market and manufacturing strategies employed by key players in the performance apparel industry; and
business news and developments affecting global performance apparel markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and financial performances.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in smart textiles and nanotechnology – and the sector’s growth prospects are helped by the trend in increasing demand for performance features in mainstream fashion.
Performance Apparel Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five reports (as above).
Electronic supplement If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.
In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive "Performance Apparel Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge, every month. This free supplement contains an update of business news as well as the latest product developments and innovations.
A subscription to Performance Apparel Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.