Fiber firm Lycra has officially opened its new Advanced Textile Innovation Center in Nanhai, China, today. Described as a research and development laboratory, the 4,500-square-meter space is the company’s fourth center of its kind, representing “a significant increase” in Lycra’s R&D capabilities, the company said, as well as demonstrates a long-term commitment to material innovation.

Bob Kirkwood, chief technology officer at Lycra, said, “Developing groundbreaking innovations and creating new garment categories are part of our company’s heritage and critical to our success going forward. Our investment in ATIC not only enhances our global R&D capabilities, but also demonstrates our commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers based in Asia.” The company said scientists at ATIC will work with mills, brands and retailers throughout Asia, in addition to servicing Western-based companies with local sourcing offices, as well as support continuous creation of fabrics and garments using Lycra’s branded textile solutions, inclusive of Lycra fiber, Lycra HyFit fiber, Coolmax fiber and Thermolite fiber. Lycra added that its research team will “engage with customers in opportunity identification, as well as the development and commercialization of new polymer, fiber and textile technologies.”

Calik Denim’s Circular Elastech with Lycra DualFX.  Alberto Polo

Its ATIC arm is equipped to “simulate real-world manufacturing processes,” such as knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing, which allows Lycra to provide technical support directly to its customers. Lycra also noted that its lab has garment engineering, fabric certification and analytical testing tools to help customers achieve desired results for their fabrics and garments, especially in regard to the development of performance attributes. And, through its “Virtual Lab” network, ATIC’s researchers will collaborate with colleagues in labs located worldwide to develop material technologies, Lycra said.

Julien Born, president of apparel at Lycra, said, “By integrating science with apparel market research, ATIC staff will help guide the development and commercialization of innovative garment solutions designed to meet global apparel market needs. Co-locating ATIC and our South China sales office will enable tighter integration between R&D and our commercial team and help our customers accelerate speed-to-market.”

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