June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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38 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 6 chief value cotton (CVC) fabric con- tents. This resulted in 100 percent cotton constructions that would not pass tear and tensile requirements once they were treated with these topical treatments. In other words, the wrinkle-free pro- cesses would weaken the yarns and fabric strength. Flash-forward to today's wrinkle-free and "non-iron" woven dress and sport shirts, and we will see a vast assortment of 100 percent cotton yarns and fabrics, with a luxurious, supple hand-feel, and great, last- ing performance. It is important to note here that these non-iron styles tend to be of lighter weight fabrics with finer yarns, and often feature taped and fused seams that help to reduce puckering and buckling in the finished gar- ment. The 100 percent cotton non-iron styles that are new for this season are in both solid and yarn-dyed patterned vehicles, in both dress and sport shirt styling. This phenomenon has its roots in the better retail brands, and was developed through proprietary ammonia-based for- mulas that treat yarns and finished fabric to prevent and resist wrinkling and puck- ering. This ammonia process, coupled with the taped and fused seams, will bring to the end user a garment that will need little or no touchup with an iron through the home laundry ritual. In addition to the non-iron and wrinkle- free/wrinkle-resistant performance gar- ments that are growing in importance in our marketplace, the stain and soil story is becoming more prevalent. This category's story is being told in re- sistant, release, and repellent finishes. Tar- geting the service and uniform industries, the "performance" of stain and soil finishes is found in both better fabrics and also in opening price point apparel. The basic tenant of the stain and soil re- lease formulas are garments that are topi- cally treated, usually in the yarn state or sometimes as finished fabric. The staining or soil exposure on the fabric/garment is "released" through the normal home laun- dry process. The stain will remain on the garment until the garment is put through a laundry cycle. With repellent formulas, we find that the staining and soil that is exposed to the fabric will not penetrate the surface yarns of the fabric. Instead, soil and liquid stains are "repelled" from penetrating the surface yarns of the garment. Both the "release" and the "repellent" stain and soil performance treatments are appearing more frequently in both fashion and basic styling in the cor- porate market. Finally, the mechanical stretch feature is being told in cotton/polyester/spandex blended fabrics. Typically, we see 3–4 per- cent Spandex introduced to these CVC blended fabrics. This "stretch" story is all about comfort and enhanced movement, Performance features are important for uniforms as they help keep wearers comfortable and professional looking. CORPORATE WOVENS

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