The fabrics of tomorrow will have antibacterial and one-size-fits-all properties. Bio-stretch, dry-ice finishings and silver substrata will be the new musts for f/w 2021-22.
FASHION GETS SOFTER
Many new developments are focusing on soft-touch cuddling materials. Cordura is expanding its Cordura 4Ever Knit fabrics. These naturally strong knits are gentle to skin and highly durable thanks to an intermingling between natural and cellulosic-based fiber technologies with Invista high-tenacity nylon 6.6 fiber. They can be used for hoodies, leggings and other sportswear pieces. Iskur Denim is launching its Soft Breeze special denims that look authentic though are soft touch and comfortable thanks to innovative techniques. Isko Cosy is a new double-face fabric made from fibers that are as fine as silk and three times finer than cashmere. This hybrid fabric has an authentic denim look on the outside while it is wind- and cold-protective on the outside.
Orta has recently started a collaboration with London-based DB Berdan, a young streetwear brand founded by the matriarchal Turkish designers Beg Berdan and Deniz Berdan who recently debuted on the runways of London and New York Fashion Week. The collection features hemp, reclaimed cotton waste, recycled denim, and earth-born clay coated fabrics by Orta. Part of DB Berdan collection is Orta’s Gen H, a hemp fabric that is anti-bacterial, biodegradable and breathable. Hangtags carrying a QR code share the results of Orta fabrics’ environmental impact tests according to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology.
THE FUTURE IS BIO
Naveena Denim Mills offers its Holistic Denim group of 100% biodegradable fabrics made with fibers such as biodegradable polyester in dual-core, Bio Pro and biodegradable Lycra mixed with Bio Pro, among others. By incorporating Biosphere Additive and PET in spinning, it creates new hydrophilic polymers turning the hydrophobic polyester fiber into Bio Pro, a new plastic material that can undergo hydrolysis or oxidation with microorganisms. If a Bio Pro product is placed in anaerobic environment like landfills with an adequate amount of water it can biodegrade to 90% within one year.
BOSSA GETS WISER
Bossa focuses on Saveblue+, a concept that saves 85% water during the dyeing process and 71% water during finishing. The denim specialist is also offering its new Wiser Fabric for Wiser Wash development. The Wiser Wash process, while eliminating pumice stones and toxic chemicals traditionally used for washing, aims to achieve abrasion effects and decolorization contrasts by only using one cup of water.
HEMP GETS COOL
Various companies are offering fabrics made with hemp and other natural fibers. Iskur is launching a series of new fabrics including cotton-hemp blends and stretch cashmere denim fabrics. Naveena Denim Mills offers a selection of fabrics made with hemp and bamboo, and a new hemp ecru line.
HOW ADVANCE STEPS AHEAD
Advance Denim has developed new denims added with thermoregulating and anti-bacterial properties. Its new Big Box Dyeing is a new “eco-friendly” denim dyeing system that consumes less resources. While conventional dyeing techniques use 15 to 17 different steps out of which about ten are dyeing dipping steps, Advance Denim’s system uses four steps for its dyeing process and a single dyeing bath. This way water, electricity and chemicals can be reduced as well as gas and wastewater.
Lycra Lasting Fit technology is now offered with Lycra T400 Eco Made fiber providing garments with enhanced sustainability. Lycra XFit technology, which provides a 360-degree comfort, is now made with Lycra EcoMade fiber and Lycra T400 EcoMade fiber used in both warp and weft allowing a lower impact alternative to traditional bi-stretch fabrics. Also new is the Lycra EcoMade fiber made from pre-consumer waste.
BLUE JEANS ON THE ROCK
Turkish denim production specialist Be-Ma Tekstil and Bavarian start-up DD Garment have started a research cooperation. By September 2020 they will offer Dry Ice Washing, a patented, sustainable system for washing denim trousers using dry ice solutions on an industrial basis. The treatment is chemical-free, uses no water and requires only two minutes for treating a pair of jeans, therefore it’s also energy saving.
PROSPERITY GOES NATURAL
Prosperity Textile has developed Revelation Blue, a new eco-minded denim that does not use aniline dyes or hydrosulphite, while it saves more than 72% water during production. This denim is characterized by a special dark greenish tone, better color fastness and less back staining. It will also be offered in a black version, Revelation Black. Also new are the Bio-Stretch lines of denims made from degradable polyester.
STRAIGHT MENTALITY FOR SQUARE DENIM
Square Denim Mills, a denim manufacturer from Bangladesh, offers eco-friendly denims as part of its Green Karma concept. The company harvests rain and uses 17% rainwater for its fabric production. It also recycles chemicals during production. Additional sustainable practices include Cactus, a special dyeing technique through which it can save up to 70% of water. Its Pet-It practice includes the use of Repreve, a fiber made with recycled PET bottles, together with post consumer waste, Refibra and recycled PES. It also uses an aniline-free synthetic indigo by Archroma.
Tonello has launched two new patent-pending environmentally friendly processes. Obleach is a new ozone process employing a sustainable cool bleach technology aligned with 2020 Greenpeace’s Detox campaign goals which ban potassium permanganate from supply chains. Wake, instead, is a newly developed natural dyeing system that uses only plants and vegetable waste such as flowers, berries and roots that are left to dry and infuse without any chemical synthesis.
Südwolle Group, producer of worsted yarns in pure wool and wool blends, collaborates with Renu recycled polyester fibers by Itochu Corporation. This new project delivers fibers that are durable and abrasion-resistant like synthetic fibers, and as thermo-regulating, moisture-managing and soft-touch as wool.
CARING FOR CLIMATE
Genesis/M&J has developed its new Climate Adaptable capsule collection producing special authentic look jeans that are completely unwashed but simply treated with exclusive touches. The garment-manufacturing specialist has reduced significantly its use of chemicals to 80 ml of substances per garment only, while remaining fully chlorine- and potassium-free.
Rudolf Group has developed technologies that help jeans become dirt-repellent and remain fresh for a long time thereby avoiding frequent washing. One technology is the fluorine-free Bionic-Finish Eco-Hyperbranched that uses hydrophobic polymers that guarantee liquid repellency and much faster drying properties. The second technology, Silverplus, is an innovative coating procedure that transfers silver into microstructured substrates. As many odor-causing bacteria cannot adapt to the effect of silver ions, Silverplus helps keeping garments fresh for longer. Similarly, Calik bets on its new Functionage concept. Thanks to Washpro, a new technology part of this concept, consumers don’t need to wash their jeans frequently. The denim specialist also developed Denethic, new techniques that provide fabrics with washed effects without washing jeans after sewing. They are available in a rinse-washed look, an enzyme rinse and bleached-look variants.
NEW FUNCTIONS FOR DENIM
Sharabati Denim has developed Unisize, new super stretch fabrics with wide width, low shrinkage and growth values. By using them it is possible to produce different sizes with the same pattern bringing advantages to manufacturers in terms of fabric waste and work load. Foison Textile has developed new functional materials including anti-see-through and flocked denims, and denims with anti-bacterial properties. Berto has collaborated with Dryarn by Aquafil and developed new denims with high performances such as breathability, fast-drying, insulation and lightness properties.
Coreva is a plastic-free innovative technology developed and patented by Candiani Denim. It’s made from organic cotton wrapped around a natural rubber core and aims to replace conventional synthetic, petrol-based elastomers and is meant to have the same elasticity, physical qualities and durability as denim using synthetic petrol-based yarns. Collaborations will involve brands such as Kings Of Indigo, Closed and Hiut. Coreva is also used for Selvedge Reserve, a series of capsule collaborations meant to reinterpret selvedge denim for sustainable projects. The first collection in the series was designed by Matias Sandoval, a denim expert.
Naia, Eastman’s fully traceable cellulosic fiber, has launched the first eco-friendly cellulosic staple fiber. After launching its filament fiber a few seasons ago, Naia’s new fiber–which is produced through the same productive system of the filament–has inherent softness, dries quicker and reduces pilling more than other cellulosic fibers. It blends well with other eco-friendly materials for fabrics, knitwear and jersey.
LENZING’S BLUE FUTURE
Lenzing is featuring Hardwear, traditional workwear jeans mixed with Tencel Lyocell and Tencel x Refibra Denim treated with ozone and laser. The project was carried ahead through a collaboration with Mohsin Sajid’s Endrime and Jeanologia. It also launched Blue Lenz, a video channel platform where everyone from the denim community can share information, trends and educational videos on denim.
GREEN STEPS FOR US DENIM
US Denim Mills, part of US Group, is launching its Green Steps denim collection including a 100% recycled cotton denim made from post industrial waste with the same aesthetic and strength as fabrics made with virgin cotton. Also new is a low-impact aniline-free denim with good stretch and recovery properties. It is made with four different recycled fibers: recycled cotton from post-consumer waste, recycled cotton fibers from post industrial waste, recycled elastane and recycled polyester. It also developed dyeing techniques that cut water consumption to 50-60%.
Editor's note: This article runs in our current "Denim Sourcing Issue", #292. Please also check out the e-paper version for more information.