Invista – a US based producer of specialty fibres like Lycra, the fibre which revolutionized the worldwide clothing and innerwear industry, has now launched the Tough Max Lycra Fabric concept in India for the first time.
Tough Max Lycra fabric concept was introduced after a consumer survey of 1400 males, ages 18-49 from India, the U.S., Italy, France, and Germany in January, 2012, which threw up a few surprising trends in the denim jeans category.
For instance, over half of the males surveyed felt that the concept of a durable and comfortable jean was unique and more than 70% felt that jeans made with Tough Max Lycra fabric were for people like them and could even be worn for a evening outing.
Tough Max Lycra fabrics are made with Lycra T400 fibre which imparts both strength and a comfortable fit to the jeans. The “snowman-like” structure of the fiber allows the fabric to return to its original shape, even after repeated wear.
In order to qualify for Tough Max Lycra fabric branding, fabrics must pass a variety of tests including those for strength, abrasion resistance, stretch, growth and shrinkage, and must contain Lycra T400 fibre.
Revealing the reasons for conducting the survey to fibre2fashion, Mr Avinash Chandra, Marketing Head - South Asia at Invista said, “For Invista, consumer needs are the prime drivers of innovation and devising new fabric technologies. Tough Max Lycra fabric concept was born out of a void in the marketplace”.
He added, “In analyzing market offerings, Invista noted that while rugged jeans could last a long time, they were often heavy or stiff. And while traditional stretch jeans were comfortable, they did not always stand up to the demands of an active lifestyle. This is where we saw an unfulfilled gap in the men’s denims market.
“Currently, stretch penetration tends to be either in high-end fashion jeans or lower priced jeans using stretch polyester. The mid-market gap of durable, yet comfortable jeans is a need that is as yet to be met”.
According to Mr Chandra, they shared the research findings and products with mills and denim jeans brands in India and he considers the response from the Indian denim jeans makers positive and very encouraging.
Providing details of the mills which have adopted the concept he reveals, “In India, this fabric has been developed at a number of mills including Arvind Ltd, Raymond UCO Denim, KG Denim, Mafatlal Denim, Bhaskar Denim, etc”.
Indian denim makers too spoke positively about the concept. Mr Rajiv Dayal, MD, Mafatlal Denims, says, “One of the areas of denim innovation is creating jeans for men and young boys, which is comfortable and yet very rugged. Denim fabric range using Tough Max Lycra, offers moderate stretch for comfort in wear and twice the abrasion resistance of comparable 100% cotton fabrics, making them ideal for work or play.”