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Performance Days Munich: presenting even more sustainable functional fabrics

By Regina Henkel

Nov 27, 2019

For two days, Hall C1 at the exhibition grounds in Munich, Germany, was dedicated to functional textiles. At the start of the fall winter 2021/22 season, exhibitors presented their innovations, which are taking major steps ahead, especially in the field of sustainability.

Focusing on sustainability

For years now, the Performance Days have not only been positioning themselves as a trade fair for functional materials, they also actively promote the development of sustainable materials. For example by giving them an effective public forum, with an extensive conference programme and a clear focus. This time, the fair even decided to exhibit only sustainable fabrics in its Forum area, where curated trends are presented. "We do not see our decision as an obstacle for our exhibitors, but as motivation and more than anything, we have the leverage to change something in the entire value chain," says Lena Weimer, head of marketing.

A 3-layer material made completely from polyester

This restriction has had no negative effect on the selection, which ranged from a wool fabric made of ecological wool and alpaca without chemical treatment to a 3-layer fabric completely made of recycled polyester. The Eco Performance Award went to the Schoeller Spinning Group for an alpaca/merino fabric, which has neither been dyed nor chemically treated or otherwise uses any chemicals. The fibres’ natural properties alone provide the required functionality. The Performance Award went to Japanese fiber specialist Teijin for a 3-layer material made from recycled polyester that can be recycled again. What is special about the mono material: Not only the outer fabric and the backing is made of polyester, but also the membrane.

New plant-based fibres

The fair also presented new types of fibres, such as fibres from nettles, soya, ginger or abaca (banana hemp). Plants also play an important role for Japanese fabric manufacturer Toyoshima. Titled "Food Textiles", the company presented a cotton series in pastel colours that has been dyed with colours made from food waste. Converse is one of the first cooperation partners in Japan.

New production technology

Fiber specialist Primaloft presented the new P.u.r.e. Series, produced with only half the usual CO2 emissions. This was possible by using wadding for the insulation that could be made without heating the fibres. This technique will be used for the Primaloft Gold series and will be available in the coming years for other product groups as well. Water-saving dyeing processes such as spin dye and dope dye continue to establish themselves, and are shown in innovative products such as zippers that do not need to be dyed because their colour pigments are already added during the spinning process.

With its "EcoHeather," fibre specialist Tintex presented a yarn made from the spinning waste of natural fibres such as cotton, wool, cashmere, linen, silk or modal and viscose. Denim manufacturer Isko also showcased its innovations in terms of functional fabrics, for example Arquas, an innovative, highly elastic fabric with excellent and completely new looks such as serrated edges or hole patterns thanks to laser technology.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE. Edited and translated by Simone Preuss.

Photos: FashionUnited