Moisture management fabrics
Issue 20, 1st Quarter 2007
One of the key performance criteria in modern sports and
active outdoor wear is moisture management the ability of a
garment to transport moisture away from the skin to the
garment's outer surface.
The market is dominated by Invista's portfolio of
moisture management fabrics which include CoolMax, Tactel
Aquator, ThermaStat, Thermax, and Thermolite Base. However,
the pace of development has accelerated over the past ten
years, and a growing number of other companies have started
to compete. Such companies include American fibers and yarn,
Comfort Technologies, Hind, Honeywell, Intera, Intex,
Lenzing, Marmot, Milliken, Mitsui, Nano-Tex, Nike,
Patagonia, Pearl Izumi, Polartec, Reebok, Rhovyl, Schoeller,
Tomen, USA-Pro, and Wellman.
For applications in which wicking is essential'such as
base layer garments the most commonly used material is
polyester. This is often chemically modified to create a
fabric in which the fibres encourage moisture to migrate
through it. However, fabrics which are made from modified
wool, cotton and polyamide (nylon) may provide similar or
superior properties to polyester.
The number of moisture management fabrics on the market
has increased dramatically in recent years. This trend is
likely to continue over the next few years as manufactures
strive to boost the comfort of their offerings.
As the number of fabrics and fibres with moisture
management properties increases, so will the number of
applications. In addition to sportswear and active wear,
there is growing interest in the use of moisture management
fabrics in the flame retardant apparel market.
The next generation of textiles is likely to incorporate
nanotechnology, as it has already been proven that extremely
fine fibre surfaces have beneficial properties. In addition,
the near future could see the development of smart fabrics
which are able to respond to changes in the environment by
adjusting their pore size or thickness at a given moment to
facilitate moisture transmission.
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|Four times a year,
Performance Apparel Markets provides subscribers
with business and market analysis of worldwide
trends in high performance activewear and corporate
apparel. Each issue of Performance Apparel Markets
||A report on major developments in the
global performance apparel market, focusing on new
products, new technologies, new fibres and key
||A detailed, independently-researched
report on one of the following topics: moisture
management; temperature regulation; stretch; high
strength; reflective wear; support wear; UV
protection; windproof, waterproof and
water-resistant technologies; flame retardancy; and
||A company profile, outlining the
business, product, market and manufacturing
strategies employed by a key player in the
performance apparel industry
||A summary of business news and
developments affecting global performance apparel
markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and
acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and
Why performance apparel?
Performance apparel represents one of
the fastest growing sectors of the international
textile and clothing industry. 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,
running, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, swimming,
sailing, windsurfing, ballooning, parachuting,
snowboarding, and ski-ing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in
fire retardant materials and those which protect
against extreme temperatures. Added to that is the
growing market for corporatewear which, in some
cases, is becoming increasingly fashion-oriented.
And, increasingly, high-tech fabrics
and apparel designed for high performance wear are
crossing over the boundary into everyday fashion.