In keeping up with evolving market demands, textile manufacturers are investing in energy-efficient technologies and sustainable materials as well as developing textiles to support activewear trends. Companies such as Texollini, a vertically integrated textile firm based in Long Beach, Calif., recently invested over $2 million in updated machinery to better align with the climate of the market.
Texollini, established in 1989, completes its entire knitting, dyeing, printing, finishing, quality assurance, research and development and design processes all under one roof. In its commitment to embrace emerging technologies and sustainability, the firm’s investment enables Texollini to adhere to best practices for manufacturing and responsibly react to fast-fashion trends. Its chief executive officer and director of research and development, Daniel Kadisha, told WWD that “Texollini has invested in new knitting machines, dyeing and finishing machines to improve [its] efficiencies and quality, [while] also improving the environmental impact by meeting and exceeding the new regulations.”
“Texollini is known for high-quality, on-time delivery, competitive pricing of creative and technical fabrics, a great customer service department and [our] vertical capabilities,” Kadisha added.
The firm’s 250,000 square-foot facility is one of the largest circular knitting mills in the U.S. and is regarded for its broad spectrum of services offered within fabric development. Its Spandex and Lycra proficiencies, among other stretch fabrics, aim to elevate its position in sportswear, activewear, performancewear, ath-leisurewear, swimwear, intimate apparel, medical/industrial and military, which includes its proprietary textiles Superfino and Vaportex.
“Everything [we make] is a circular knit and we cater to many markets, which makes us very diverse,” said Sherry Wood, director of merchandising at Texollini. “Right now, our biggest market is activewear.”
Activewear is currently the biggest market category of Texollini’s business and the robust growth of the ath-leisure market has contributed to the demand for more novelty jersey Jacquards and ribbed jerseys, according to Wood. “Swimwear is our next biggest market because of our Superfino fabrics, which allow for [a] softer [feel] and are very luxurious. We have the best technology advanced dye house to create bright and neon colors, plus excellent color fastness. Intimate apparel is another big market for Texollini,” she added.
Texollini’s Superfino, or Ultrafine product, is created by high-gauge machines that manufacture luxury fabrics comparable to European quality standards. The machines allow for more stitches per inch, which creates an opaque, more condensed fabric that washes better than similar materials and wears well over time. The end result is to offer the market a lightweight fabric with a beautiful hand. “We have control over our fabrics because when you work with a vertical mill it usually means better consistency and better quality control,” Wood added.
Its investment in new machinery included the acquisition of new knitting machines. New machines are made more efficiently and use less energy, allowing them to work much faster — they also don’t require as much manpower for machine maintenance.
“Constantly reinvesting in new machinery has benefits not only for the environment but also for production schedules to get things done faster and more efficiently [with] that same quality level there that we’re trying to meet,” Wood explained. “We constantly research and shop for new technologies, machineries for better and more responsible production practices and raw materials like dyes, chemicals, organic and recycled yarns [from] around the world to improve our environmental impacts and ultimately [reduce] our carbon footprint.”
Upcoming textile trends for the fall 2018 season includes an array of pinks, nudes, reds and a spectrum of blues and olive greens, the firm said. For printed textiles, the majority of Texollini’s clients buy or create their own artwork and tailor designs for specific markets. Although, Texollini has seen more abstract and floral prints of late, including an increased interest in organic cotton, recycled cotton, nylon and polyester. The firm has also witnessed continued sustainability trends with a shift toward technical nylon and polyesters, Tencel jerseys, fleece and French terries.
The firm is differentiated by its technology that enables the creation of military, medical and industrial fabrics. “We’ll get a customer that’s making a bra for women who just went through vasectomy and they want some kind of special technology that allows for healing or recovery of the skin. So, we cater to many different markets,” Wood said. “When we work on military programs they certify everything and all materials go through testing and a rigorous process.” Texollini’s flame retardant fabrics for the military must be manufactured in the U.S., including every minute detail of the garment down to the thread, buttons and even the fiber.
Wood also noted the laborious demands of fast fashion. “We’re seeing that [big brands are] trying to do a small portion of their business in the U.S. because they want to keep up with market trends and fast retailers,” Wood said. “When some trend is introduced they want to be able to react, or maybe they have an item that sold out and they want to create it right away. Instead of waiting six months to a year, they can find local partners and get it produced much faster.”
Wood added that “a lot of it is trend-driven, and they just want to be able to react to the market or react to something that’s selling and have partners here so they can get everything done much more quickly instead of going overseas.” With all the advantages of your fabrics being made locally you can also promote your fabrics as being made in the U.S., which currently is another important aspect to the end consumer.”
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