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Quality Fabric Of The Month

Cool Advantage

Thermo°Cool™ Duoregulation™ staple fiber yarns, offered in the Americas market by FilSpec and its subsidiary Richmond Specialty Yarns, also are available in a recycled-content variety.

Janet Bealer Rodie, Managing Editor

Polyester fiber producer Advansa BV, the Netherlands, introduced Thermo°Cool™ staple and filament fibers featuring Duoregulation™ evaporative cooling and thermo buffering technology in 2008. Since then, it has expanded its offerings for the technology and has given Canadian spinner FilSpec Inc. and its U.S. subsidiary, Richmond Specialty Yarns LLC, Ellerbe, N.C., an exclusive license to spin Thermo°Cool staple fiber yarns in the Americas. The latter development enables U.S. sock and apparel makers that offer the technology and are working with North America Free Trade Agreement and Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement supply chains to take advantage of the duty-free provisions in those agreements, reports Peter Hegarty, brand and retail marketing consultant, Advansa.

The fiber's Duoregulation technology comprises a blend of multi-channeled fibers to provide moisture wicking and evaporative cooling, and hollow core fibers to provide thermo buffering performance. This inherent adaptive performance combination in a sock or garment allows the wearer to remain comfortable through periods of high and low activity in a range of outside temperatures.

QFOM
The Farnese Vini cycling team wore DeFeet Cyclismo™ socks during Giro d'Italia 2012. Team member Andrea Guardini won Stage 18 of the race.

Advansa produces Thermo°Cool fiber at its manufacturing facility in Germany and provides it to yarn makers, who may spin 100-percent Thermo°Cool yarns or blend the fiber with Tencel®, wool, cotton, recycled or other fibers. The relatively new Thermo°Cool eco2 fiber is a blend of 70-percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) and 30-percent virgin polyester staple fiber.

"The PCR content is from plastic bottles collected under a very strict protocol," said Jean-Christophe Rouyer, Advansa's head of global business development, adding that virgin content is needed to provide an acceptable level of whiteness for use in apparel applications. "The carbon footprint for eco2 production is reduced by 80 percent compared to 100-percent virgin fiber production."

QFOMfiber

"There's a tremendous amount of interest in Thermo°Cool from the hosiery sector," Hegarty said. "Brands are looking at all kinds of blends including wool, Tencel®, REPREVE® and EcoSure®."

FilSpec supplies Thermo°Cool yarn to several U.S. sock makers. Hildebran, N.C.-based DeFeet International's Cyclismo™ cycling socks feature eco2 in the foot; and nylon, LYCRA® and elastic from the ankle up. The company soon will also offer a day sock containing Thermo°Cool and Merino wool.

Saucony LLC, Lexington, Mass.; and Timberland LLC, Stratham, N.H., offer crew socks featuring Thermo°Cool in the foot. A Köppen ski sock sold at Dick's Sporting Goods also features Thermo°Cool.

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Rouyer said Thermo°Cool blends with wool are becoming popular for technical knit apparel. "By blending wool with Thermo°Cool, we can improve wicking and drying performance, and the blend is more competitive price-wise than 100-percent wool," he said.

Devold of Norway's Active label offers doubleknit performance underwear containing Thermo°Cool in the under layer and Merino wool in the outer layer.

QFOMshirt
Devold of Norway's Active doubleknit performance underwear features Thermo°Cool™ in the under layer and Merino wool in the outer layer.


For more information about Thermo°Cool™, contact Peter Hegarty +704-533-4603; phegarty@filspec.com; or Jean-Christophe Rouyer +33-1-48-93-35-55; jean.c.rouyer@advansa.com.

March/April 2013