Beyond Conventional Function” is the exciting special topic at the PERFORMANCE FORUM of the next PERFORMANCE DAYS. Besides the obvious beauty, which is the main topic at the upcoming trade fair, often it is the fabrics that also hide some special added benefit that are of particular interest. THE BEAUTY OF FUNCTION is the main theme at the next PERFORMANCE DAYS trade fair for functional fabrics and accessories on May 8-9th, 2019 in Munich. Around 300 exhibitors present various interpretations of beauty across all categories in their functional fabrics. Although obviously designed for beauty, these innovative fabrics also promise many hidden benefits at the same time. At the PERFORMANCE FORUM, a special area on the PERFORMANCE WALL is devoted to the most important of these special fabrics, rather than highlighting just one of the fabrics in the context of an award. The PERFORMANCE JURY selected fabrics from well over 1.100 manufacturer submissions; not only fabrics with an interesting look and feel with essential functions like climate regulation and weather protection for sports, but also fabrics that provide the wearer of the garment with additional benefits and special comfort. These special fabrics represent the motto: “Beyond Conventional Function.”
Consumers are changing: Clothing has to respond to many demands
Whether in Smart Homes or mobile devices: Consumers are already accustomed to having comfortable control over many of the required functions and applications in their daily lives from one source. This change is accompanied by an increasing list of demands in the areas of nutrition or transportation — keyword “superfoods” or “driverless.” In the future, clothing too must provide more and more advantages in one single style. The exhibitors at PERFORMANCE DAYS are meeting these demands with very special fabrics and functions. The keywords at this trade show for these additional functions: odor control, care, protection, and self-repair.
Many ways to eliminate bad odors in textiles
Several mills have created fabrics in cooperation with suppliers that provide the added benefit of neutralizing odors — an essential property in making sport clothing more comfortable and suitable for everyday wear. Who wants to walk around after training with nasty smelling clothes? Now, anti-odor treatments make styles that can be worn in a wide range of situations — nothing stands in the way of having that post-workout drink.
Odors can be neutralized using two different operating principles. The first uses microscopically small particles like carbon or other minerals with many tiny pores that give an extremely large surface area in comparison to the diameter. Sweat an odors are trappedin such surfaces. As a result, the sweat can no longer be further broken down into ill-smelling molecules. This is a so called passive technology. Suppliers like 37.5°/Cocona or Odegon Technologies use such systems. The other method involves active technologies that break odor molecules into even smaller, odor-free molecules. For example, the catalysts used in Odor Crunch from Polygiene are simply quartz sand and water. Supplier HeiQ also offers an active technology. A similar effect is achieved by the silver-based X-Static from Noble Biomaterials. All of these technologies involve the use of natural particles that are applied in or on the fibres. They do not wash out and they pose no risk to humans or the environment.
Specially treated fabrics for extra comfort and easy care
The new sport styles even promise cosmetic effects or a special feeling of comfort as added benefits. At PERFORMANCE DAYS, you will find new fabrics that incorporate nourishing substances like aloe vera and vitamin E into the yarn for soft and hydrated skin, as supplied by M.i.t.i. Umorfil’s so called “Beauty Fiber” provides protection for sensitive skin. Also on exhibit at PERFORMANCE DAYS under the name Grandtek are natural collagen-peptides from the sea that protect and care for sensitive skin. Devan Chemicals caters to relaxation and recovery with its additive “R-Vital Hemp.” The non-hallucinogenic ingredient CBD in hemp is processed into microcapsules in the fibres to produce a calming effect.
At PERFORMANCE DAYS, you will find new fabrics that incorporate nourishing substances like aloe vera and vitamin E into the yarn for soft and hydrated skin, as supplied by M.i.t.i. Umorfil’s so called “Beauty Fiber” provides protection for sensitive skin.
Special protection for special situations
Two very special innovations come from the workwear segment and are of interest to all functional ranges that require special protection. These include sports like mountain biking or motorcycling or skate boarding as well as rock climbing. The Swiss manufacturer Schoeller Textil is well-known for functional innovation and has created an extraordinarily soft fabric called “Flamestop,” which is made from wool and viscose and has the properties of a flame retardant in compliance with ISO Norm EN 11612. This knit is also suitable for making attractive sportswear. Another Schoeller innovation is “Abrasion Buffer,” which incorporates several benefits by body mapping. Zones with Nomex, for example, can be integrated into the elbows or shoulders to provide high abrasion resistance. Merino, on the other hand, provides a pleasant body climate, while Polycolon offers excellent moisture management and is 35% lighter than polyester.
The future of smart textiles
Intelligent technical products are displayed on the PERFORMANCE WALL. U-Long introduces a “self-mending” fabric that, owing to its construction, is able to repair damage such as holes in the material. Meanwhile, intelligent warming and the individually controlled “iwarm 3.0 Apparel Solution” from Flying Textile have been processed in an outerwear jacket. A high performance sensor continuously measures the body temperature and individually regulates the heat supply, keeping the garment at a constant temperature. Similarly, the “Rokoko Smart Suit Pro” from LTP is equipped with many wireless sensors that record every movement of the wearer. This data enables 3-D motion patterns to be developed that are just asinteresting for medical purposes as for film production. A further contribution to the athlete’s safety is the visibility provided by “EquiRay,” a luminous vest from Scilif. LED tubes with a textile coating are very bright and are visible up to 5 kilometers and, in bad weather, up to 2 kilometers. These elements are washable and can be processed into a wide variety of textiles and accessories. The rechargeable battery lasts for 32 hours. The best thing about these functional innovations is that they are not necessarily suitable only for sports; they are so attractive that they spice up fashionable clothing with an added “plus.” These fabrics deliver benefits almost everywhere, outdoors as well as in urban environments, in business as well as sports clothing. Granted, the original DNA and the expertise for function come from the field of sports. However, it can now benefit an ever expanding clothing market — even in the fashion segment. The perfect platform that combines functional knowledge with a feeling for the latest trends, is PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair.
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