If your denim can stretch that’s great, but it’s going to have to do more than that to attract today’s choosy consumer.

Denim on display in the designated Beyond Denim zone at Intertextile Shanghai last week came in all washes and fabrications, but the greater focus was on features that improve denim’s comfort and wearability.

For Chinese denim manufacturer Hebei Xindadong Textile Co., a cotton-based knit-like woven with Lycra dualFX stretch technology was among the maker’s most popular.

“It has good stretch and better recovery. It feels like sweats,” denim department sales manager Mary Han said. “For this item we sell a lot to both the EU and USA.”

Softness has also been in high demand.

In the last two years, Han said, U.S. buyers in particular have taken in more rayon denim for its soft hand feel.

“This year and last year, many customers request super soft,” Han said.

In men’s, it’s stretch for the win. Men’s denim has been heading to the stretchier side for the last couple years, but it’s in such high demand now—with as much as 40 percent stretch—that Hebei hardly had any non-stretch men’s denim on display, and the same was the case for many of the zone’s exhibitors.

Read more at Sourcing Journal.