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LOS ANGELES — If Vernon, Calif.-based Alsa Corp. has its way, fashion-forward shoppers may soon have a chance to look like those morphing, liquid metal cyborgs in the 1991 sci-fi thriller, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
This story first appeared in the April 22, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The minds behind the finished product supplier, a first-time attendee at the Los Angeles International Textile Show, hope to bring the look of chrome to clothing.
Known for its unusual finishes, from water transfer printing to “soft touch” product coating, 18-year-old Alsa has had marked success with its three-year-old ChromeFX spray-on system that creates a mirror-like chrome finish on products ranging from plastics to metal to wood. Top customers include motorcycle companies, such as Team Suzuki Racing.
But, recently, Alsa hit upon a new chrome formulation that can stretch, an ideal and novel application for clothing. The reflective look is a result of laminating and bonding a thin sheet of liquid metal onto a range of fabrics, including denim, cotton and fabrics containing Lycra spandex. Based on solid reaction from sneaker and clothing companies at the MAGIC International show in February, Alsa vice president Jeffrey Weinstein said he envisions immediate applications for the mirrored surface on shoes, bathing suits, jeans and athleticwear.
“Metallics have played in fabrics for years, but no one has replicated chrome on clothing,” he said. “Customers can think of it as wearing a Harley-Davidson.”
He said pricing is still being determined. Depending on the fabric, prices can range from $10 to $30 per yard, he said.