Elastic Fiber in Innovative New Yarns
New yam offerings with “T-400” elastic fiber, extending the horizons of comfort stretch to a wider range of apparel applications including knitwear, figure prominently among DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) innovations featured at Expofil.
Introduced in 2001, “T-400” offers a level of stretch and recovery so distinctly different from other stretch yams that the International Bureau of Man-Made Fibers (BISFA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission are considering granting the fiber a new generic status. Fabrics made with “T-400” that meet the global certification standards for “Lycra” spandex will be able to carry the “Lycra” brand.
Benefits Superior to Textured Yarns
“The benefits of ‘T-400’, compared to textured yams, are similar to those of naturally curly hair versus set hair,” says Jean Hegedus, DTI global marketing manager for knitwear. “Due to its multi-component structure, ‘T-400’ has a natural, lasting crimp that enables it to maintain its resilience throughout the wear-life of a garment, whereas textured yams eventually lose their power.” In addition to its subtle stretch properties, “T-400” offers the added performance benefits of dimensional stability, excellent body and resilience, wrinkle resistance and easy care.
“T-400” was initially used in woven fabrics, notably denim in both warp and weft, where its low shrinkage and growth rate, powers of stretch and recovery superior to textured yams and ability to withstand heaving bleaching used to achieve the latest aesthetic effects are strong advantages. More recent applications, including shirtings and flat knits, benefit from these same performance characteristics, including wash-fastness and dimensional stability.
Optimum Comfort Stretch
Core-spun yarns blending “T– 400” with viscose or cotton were among the stars at the Spanish spinner Drescafil’s stand at Expofil. General Manager Adria Serra says that yams for 8- to 12-gauge knitting machines made with 83-dtx “T-400” represent ‘a real revolution’ in women’s sportswear as they supply an optimum level of comfort stretch impossible to obtain with other yams. “‘T-400’ also provides better performance in the core-spinning process than textured yams on the market, plus superior dyeability and color fastness,” he goes on. Drescafil is currently developing finer yams with 55-dtex “T-400” for women’s lingerie.
Responding to a market need for yams that offered the benefits of “T– 400”, together with higher percentages of natural fibers, the Italian spinner Filartex, in partnership with DTI, developed a core-spun yarn, combining the advantages of both. “The trials were extremely successful and today Filartex offers a range of core-spun yams with “T-400″, not only for weaving but also for knitwear,” says Filartex owner, Mauro Bonadei.
New Yarns Widen Fabric Range
For fall 2003, seven European yam producers are launching a wide and varied selection of core-spun, core-twist and fancy yams with “T– 400” for wovens and flat knits.
Among the innovative yams shown at Expofil, in addition to those from Descafil and Filartex, are the following:
* “T-400” and wool core-twist yarn from Raumer (Italy);
* “T 400” / “Supplex”, “T-400” / polyester, “T-400” / “Tactel” soft black and air-jet textured “T-400” / “Tactel” metallics from Ductel (Spain);
* “T-400” blended with polyester or “Tactel” in a range from 180 to 370 dtex by Moulinage du Garel (France). These contribute excellent comfort stretch properties to manmade yams with the natural appearance and soft handle of cotton, according to Managing Director Jean-Pierre Ladreyt.
Copyright Osaka Senken Ltd. Oct 2002
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