Fabrics suitable for sportswear, swimwear and lingerie will all be showcased at the Functional Lab during September 25 – 27 at the 25th Autumn Edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics. The Functional Lab has seen rapid growth in the recent editions of the exhibition and has become a key platform for competitive products in the industry.

Consumers with a highly active outdoor lifestyle want products with maximum functionality and minimal environmental impact. According to the EU Commission’s Science Hub, over 80 per cent of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. As such, even the accessories on a garment should be responsibly produced. Solutions can be found at Functional Lab with suppliers such as Vetex, who create highly durable transfer tape coatings. Their eco-friendly production process is compliant with REACH and Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex; Vetex are solar-powered, do not produce water waste, and convert any fumes into energy that heats up their factory, ensuring circularity in their process. Another Functional Lab exhibitor, Giftstart, offer reflective yarns and fabrics, and are committed to developing eco-friendly compositions.

Many Functional Lab exhibitors will feature their latest textile developments made from unique raw materials. This includes Yalta, who have developed a decomposable stretch fibre from polylactic acid, extracted from genetically altered corn. New Wide Group are the first to master the application of aerogel – typically used as insulation by NASA – to yarn, which creates a lightweight knitted fabric with thermal conductivity. They will also bring their Tempsense thermostat fibre, a functional regenerated cellulose coated in PCM, which regulates body temperature and deodorises.

There will be many recycled fabrics at Functional Lab. Unifi will feature their Repreve brand, which recycles plastic bottles into fabric that offers wicking, warming, cooling and water repellent functions. What’s more, buyers supporting Unifi’s Repreve will help them to meet their goal of recycling 20 bn plastic bottles by 2020.

Lee Ven will bring performance wear fabrics made with recycled fibre. They have also developed a new knitting method using a modified knitted jacquard machine, which avoids white stretch marks that accompanies digital printing. Klinger Asia will return with their PureCool fabric, made with recycled jade stones, which offers a cooling function, as well as odour control, quick-dry effects and UV protection. Shanghai Tiqiao Textile Yarn Dyeing will feature a wide variety of fabrics with functional properties, including recycled options, organic cotton and fabrics made with soybeans.

The Hyosung Pavilion will showcase functional fibres suitable for sportswear, athleisure, swimwear and intimate apparel. They will bring their creora brand, a range of functional fabrics with functions such as excellent dyeability, heat resistance and degradation prevention.

The Lycra Company produces innovative apparel fibre and technology solutions, as well as speciality chemicals used in the spandex and polyurethane value chains. It will return to Functional Lab with its pavilion, focusing on comfort and lasting performance.

Zhen Wang, Product Engineering Manager of Textile Dyeing (Suzhou), who sourced from Functional Lab at last year’s Autumn Edition, said, “We are looking for high-quality raw material suppliers, and the quality of the exhibitors this edition is very good. Our customers are brands such as Nike, adidas, New Balance, Columbia Sportswear, Decathlon, Li-Ning and Anta, so this is an important platform for us to find quality products which can meet the needs of our clients.”

The fair will be held concurrently with Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value in Shanghai. Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition 2019 is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK); the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre.