NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne’s Carefree clothing line has adopted DuPont’s Teflon technology.

This story first appeared in the June 5, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The built-in fabric protector, featured on items such as white button-down blouses and black pants under the Lizsport label, acts as a repellent against spills — causing them to bead up and slide off, confirmed by informal testing.

Debbie Martin, vice president of product development at Liz Claiborne, said the special stain-protectant coating should last up to 20 washes before starting to lose its effectiveness.

“But it’s not necessarily the kind of clothing that you would wash every time you wear it because the nature of the finish and of repelling stains, it doesn’t get soiled the way a [typical] white cotton garment might,” Martin said.

The company will launch the fabric protector on selected Lizsport clothing this fall, at the same time it launches a new “Non-Iron” feature. As Trish DePette, vice president for Liz Claiborne Apparel said: “How many executive women buy a cup of coffee and spill it on them on the way to work? This is great because you can just wipe it off — whether at home or at the country club.”

The silk shirts with Teflon coating will wholesale for about $30, while the pants will go for about $40.

Liz Claiborne launched the Carefree line in spring 1997 with its first “Wrinkle Free” product. DuPont first started using Teflon in apparel in 1978 in rainwear as a protective finish and it has since grown into a broader stain protection product array, a company spokeswoman said.

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