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Heated clothing to lead performance apparel sector growth
Nov '12
The markets for heated garments and clothing which offers protection against insects are set to grow, according to Issue No 42 of Performance Apparel Markets from the business information company Textiles Intelligence.

Heated garments are increasingly in demand for winter sports activities. In response to such demand, several new developments have been launched recently by producers of garment heating technology and by manufacturers of the garments themselves.

The German company W.Zimmermann has developed a unique textile heating system called Novonic Heat which can be integrated into all types of clothing to provide active heat. The US brand Columbia Sportswear has recently introduced no less than 16 separate heating products as part of its Omni-Heat range.

Admittedly, there continue to be limitations. In particular, it is not easy to integrate many of the new technologies in established textile or garment manufacturing lines. As a result, the yarns have to be manually inserted and integrated. Another issue is the washability of the garments being produced.

Nonetheless, there have been significant improvements in the yarns and constructions being employed to create effective textile heating panels and, in the future, further improvements are likely as the market expands and as more investment in research and development is made by sportswear companies and manufacturers of the garments themselves.

The need for protection against mosquitoes and other predatory insects can be a matter of life and death in many developing countries. In developed countries, by contrast, insect-repellent apparel has been considered something of a luxury.

However, mosquitoes from more southerly latitudes have increasingly been migrating north, and this is presenting a market opportunity for sportswear brands, outdoor clothing companies, and producers of mosquito nets.

Burlington has launched No Fly Zone insect repellent fabric technology, while Columbia Sportswear has a range of insect repellent products called Insect Blocker and Craghoppers has a range called Nosilife. Meanwhile, Bayer CropScience LifeNet mosquito nets are being used by public health authorities and aid organisations around the world for the prevention and control of malaria, following a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Textiles Intelligence

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