For a decade, U.S. textile executives have been saying that the best way for them to compete with overseas suppliers is to develop new products their competitors don’t have. That seems like a reasonable strategy, but the problem was that foreign mills seemed to be constantly on their heels.

This year, a pair of new fabric technologies hit store shelves. DuPont’s Teflon Fabric Protector and Burlington’s Nano-Care stain resistance were adopted by Dockers and Lee in new easy-care khakis.

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