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Texprocess to display innovative sportswear technologies
05
Mar '13
With the Olympics last year, there has been a considerable focus on innovation in sportswear.  New product developments from both small companies and large brands alike, 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, the leading international trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials from June 10 – 13, 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany in co-location with Techtextil, International Trade Fair for technical textiles and non-wovens from June 11 – 13, 2013. . 

Smart textiles are an example. The Adidas miCoach Elite System was included within Adidas’s Olympic Performance Sports Bra. It has also been introduced to football to help with coaching and game monitoring. For this, the miCoach Elite System includes a small data cell that fits in a protective pocket located within the back of a player’s base layer, between the shoulder blades.

Connected by a series of electrodes and sensors woven into the fabric of the base layer, the cell wirelessly transmits more than 200 data records per second from each player to a central computer which is instantaneously displayed in a series of simplified insights and results on the coach’s tablet or iPad enabling the coach to monitor the work load of an individual player by measuring every move, heartbeat and step, compare one athlete with another, or view the whole team, to gain a complete picture of the game both physically and physiologically.

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, with a full body passive drag reduction of up to 16.6%, an 11% improvement in swimmers' oxygen economy enabling them to swim stronger for longer, and a 5.2% reduction in body active drag.

Accurate three dimensional head mapping data is used to ensure the cap and goggles are made to fit head and face contours of each swimmer exactly, delivering optimum comfort, improved hydrodynamic performance and ease of use’. Different fabric construction, surface structures, fibres and finishes on the body suit combine to help reduce skin friction drag, water absorption and create graduated compression across different body zones, whilst the seam framework provides a flatter, more efficient profile and gives greater stability.

3D body scanners are key to this close individual fitting. These not only automatically measure the body in hundreds or even thousands of unique places, some contain automatic 3D digital avatar creation from the scan including face texturing from a photo, together with body shape and body composition analysis tools, enabling a virtual try-on of garments within seconds.

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