New product developments in sportswear not only make garments look and fit better, they also help athletes perform better. Many of these require uses of new or specialist technology within the manufacture of the garments, not just the materials they were made from. The market leaders present these specialist technologies at Texprocess.
Smart textiles are an example. The Adidas miCoach Elite System has been introduced to football to help with coaching and game monitoring. For the Olympics, Speedo introduced its Fastskin Racing System which combines the swimsuit, cap and goggles into a unified system, which Speedo claim enhances both comfort and hydrodynamic efficiency. Three-dimensional CAD software is used to help develop the design for sportswear. It is used to create custom fit models, build life-like digital clothing samples, and adjust these based on virtual fit.
Thus it is not only the design, fit, choice and use of materials which is important in performance sportswear. The entire method of construction can have a significant effect on the effectiveness of the product. This leads to consideration of all the different technologies which can be used throughout the process.
Embroidery, printing, laser cutting
This includes tension free fabric spreading, multi-ply verses single ply cutting, colour matching, needle and thread choices, stitch types, feed types, ultrasonic and high frequency welding, bonding, heat sealing, fusing and much else. Much sportswear is highly branded, maybe incorporating transfer printing, digital printing, screen printing, embroidery, laser cutting or engraving, embossing, embroidery, appliqué. The brand needs to be protected from counterfeit and there are now technologies which can be incorporated into garments enabling immediate confirmation that a product is genuine or an imitation.
All these different technologies will be available to view, examine and compare, at Texprocess 2013, June 10-13, whilst the textile innovations for sportswear will be presented at the concurrent sister show Techtextil 2013, the international tade fair for technical textiles and non-woven from June 11-13, both located within Messe Frankfurt.