Invista, owners of the Lycra brand, unveiled its newest patent-pending technology for knit denim fabrics, Lycra Hybrid, at Kingpins Amsterdam on Wednesday. The fabric combines the comfort and flexibility of a knit with the authentic appearance and performance of a woven.
Lycra Hybrid fabric employs a specific construction to achieve the look and feel of traditional denim, but with greater stretch and flexibility. The fabric can also be engineered for brands to choose the particular level of stretch they wish to achieve in their designs. Invista has been able to create fabric with over 100 percent stretch in one direction and more than 50 percent in the other with less than five percent growth.
Advanced Denim, Knitdigo, Santanderina and Willy Hermann have been the first mills to partner with Invista for the project.
“What distinguishes this technology from existing knit denim is that the Lycra Hybrid fabrics integrate a true denim look and feel with low growth, low shrinkage and multi directional stretch,” said Jean Hegedus, Invista global director for denim. “Additionally, the fabrics can be engineered for use in a range of different garment types, each serving different consumer needs.”
Lycra Hybrid fabrics are segmented into three categories based on Invista’s proprietary wear force testing protocols: Level 1 includes everyday denim fabrics that meet Invista’s standards and can carry the Lycra brand; Level 2 fabrics meet Invista’s shaping technology standards and can qualify for the Lycra Beauty brand; and Level 3 fabrics meet Invista’s athleisure standards, making it qualified for Lycra Sport branding.
The introduction of Lycra Sport in denim is a sign of the times. The company began to develop new technology several years ago as demand for athleisure and performance fabrics in the denim space grew. Last year, Invista made a splash by extending Lycra Beauty to jeans to help shape and sculpt the body comfortably.
“We’re very excited about the integration of Lycra Sport fabrics into the denim market space,” Hegedus added. “Our testing helps identify the right level of stretch, recovery, and force to ensure comfort, freedom of movement, and performance in an active inspired garment.”