The denim industry is learning to talk about technology with the same ease and enthusiasm as it talks about tradition. At Kingpins Amsterdam (Oct. 28-29) and Kingpins New York (Nov. 3-4), mills gathered to present their Spring/Summer 2017 collections—the results of their investments in technology driving better performance fabrics, more sustainable practices and new extremes in stretch. Japan Blue CEO Hisao Manabe described the demand for tradition and innovation in the denim space as a “positive challenge.”

In Amsterdam, Berto was the show’s strong man, rolling out Amstrong, a first-of-its-kind, high-strength, lightweight denim made with Dyneema fiber for the protection market. The innovation was three years in the making. In addition to being UV resistant and providing cooling benefits for the summer months, the fabric has the highest impact abrasion resistance, up to seven times better than standard denim. “It has the performance of leather,” said Berto Marketing Manager Arianna Morimando, but with the comfort and lightness of a fabric less than 14 oz.

Other mills are expanding into denim with beautifying properties. Prosperity Textile merged fit and function in its line, F2 Denim, the mill’s solution to the popular yoga market. Marketing Manager Andy Zhong said Celliant fiber inside the jean transfers body heat into the wearer’s skin increasing circulation and oxygen level. Orta’s Symbiosis concept, created in partnership with Emana technology, uses yarn made with polyamide with bioactive crystals that absorbs heat and converts it into long infrared rays. The rays stimulate and interact with the skin making the wearer feel taller, slimmer and more energized.

Brazil-based Textil Canatiba wants to keep skin healthy and glowing, too. The mill is offering Beauty Denim that moisturizes skin and helps reduce cellulite. It’s one of many tech fabrics in which Canatiba Director of Marketing Fabio Augusto Covolan said the mill is investing.

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