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Performance Plus at Winter Market

Insulation garments made with HeiQ XReflex fabrics need only half the insulation material for the same warmth.

Lightweight warmth, advances in thermo-regulation, and excitement around knit technology are textile highlights expected at next week’s Outdoor Retailer. Coming on the heels of the inaugural November OR, where textiles had a strong show, particularly in the area of sustainability, fabric suppliers exhibiting in Denver will continue to preview product that goes beyond incremental change.  

Swiss textile company HeiQ will launch its first visible textile technology, called HeiQ XReflex. The radiant barrier technology on high performance fabrics works to create warmth without bulk. With an ultra-thin reflective surface applied through a high-tech vapor deposition process, HeiQ XReflex reflects the body’s radiant heat, increasing the thermal resistance and allowing maximum breathability. Matched with a specific insulation, this combination creates the optimal heat retention required for the product, according to the company, adding that by using one layer of HeiQ XReflex, a savings of 25 percent in bulk can be expected; and with two layers, the bulk can be reduced by up to 50 percent while maintaining the same level of thermal resistance. The supplier also notes environmental footprint savings, stating that one insulated jacket will save 6L water, 280g CO2 and 10MJ of energy.

Says Christian von Uthmann, chief sales officer at HeiQ Materials AG, “This technology reduces insulation bulk to create thin, lightweight, breathable products, which in turn consumes fewer raw materials for more sustainable products.”

HeiQ XReflex results from the collaboration between HeiQ and Xefco, an Australian textile technology company that is a partner of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Deakin University.

CoolVisions by Indorama Ventures comes to OR Winter Market with an expanded collection of fabrics from mill partners DaFon, Grandtek Asia Corp., Singtex, Wide Plus, and others. These include weft knits of CoolVisions dyeable filament with recycled polyester in innovative constructions that maximize moisture management and thermal performance attributes, as well as colorful wovens from Chia Her and Her Min. Also from CoolVisions are new fabrics featuring IVL’s IP intelligent performance range of specialty polyesters, including Ecorama rPET, and heavy-metal free. “Today there is a demand for more sophisticated functional fibers with appealing aesthetics, ease of handling, and a sustainable profile,” points out Susan Lynn, global sales and marketing manager, CoolVisions dyeable polypropylene, and global brand manager for IVL. “CoolVisions dyeable filament brings these desirable qualities to the table, along with polypropylene’s inherent properties such as moisture management and low moisture regain, thermal regulation, durability, bleach and stain resistance, and improved coverage at a lower weight,” she adds.

Knits look to gain momentum at ORWM19. “Knit technology is definitely evolving,” comments Jay Hertwig, VP global branding, Unifi. The company’s new, engineered stretch product is a knit fabric with spandex-like performance — minus the spandex. Better moisture management, longer garment life, and an eco advantage are key benefits associated with the product.

Hertwig also reports progress on other performance fronts, mentioning opportunities and trend relevance within its platform of Tru-technologies. He points out Unifi’s TruTemp365 with thermo-regulation benefits, saying, “Thermo-regulation remains on trend, but now we’re seeing demand in pants and denim market. And working to transition into knit applications.”

Growth is also on the radar for applications that feature Unifi’s TruCover technology.  Ideal for knit applications, such as yoga pants, TruCover provides more opacity even when stretched. Lightweight fibers with a broader surface area offer flexible stretch and coverage without show-through.