I’m a little late on this one, but it seems like a pretty interesting addition to the world of premium denim. I still have to get my hands onto some of the Cone S-Gene Selvedge though (selvedge with stretch is pretty much the most amazing invention. Ever.).
Polymers and fibres producer Invista has unveiled Lycra lastingFIT for the denim market. The fabric enables garments to hold their shape after repeated wear by reducing bagging, sagging and shrinkage. Its clients range from high street retailers such as Next to denim brand Lee.
What is Lycra lastingFIT? It’s a new standard in denim technology that uses the T400 fibre. The elasticity is not so high, so the fabric stretches less and has enough recovery power to return
to its normal shape, without compromising on comfort. The idea is that it offers a fit that lasts for the lifetime of the garment. It can shrink only by a maximum of 2% and only grow by a maximum of 3%.
What effects will it have on the denim industry? This innovation was driven by consumer demand. Three years ago customers were just looking for stretch fabrics; now they want the fit to last for the entire lifespan of the product. We expect at least 75% of global denim brands which already have the T400 fibre to have at least one Lycra lastingFIT style in their collections by next February. We’re targeting the mid to premium end of the market.
Are you working on projects for other sectors of the industry? We have innovations in the pipeline focusing on womenswear with a new product that will be revolutionary, but I can’t say more than that at the moment.
Which sector are you seeing most demand from? Denim. As with all sectors, it’s struggling in the economic downturn. But our research shows that consumers are spending more on denim than other products because it’s becoming more of a lifestyle, rather than niche product. We are also seeing good demand from shirting and corporate clothing, such as providing uniforms for the likes of airline EasyJet. Protective clothing, like uniforms for firemen, is also doing well.
How is the business coping during the recession? Retail sales fell back in the first quarter of 2009 in Europe, but garment makers have suffered more because retailers are cutting back on their number of SKUs. Invista has suffered less than its competitors because it continues to innovate.
Are brands continuing to invest in technology? The premium end of the market is, because the brands have more money and better cash flow, but the price-conscious market isn’t.
I have some of the Lycra Four-Way stretch denim (the XFit, if I remember correctly) that are in the DL1961s, and to be honest, I’m not overwhelmingly impressed. They hold their shape though, so that part is great.
What do you think… does this sound like something you’d like to see in a pair of jeans?