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Quality Fabric Of The Month

High-tenacity Mesh = Breathable Abrasion Resistance

CORDURA®AFT (Air Flow Technology) is now available in knitted mesh constructions targeted mainly to footwear markets, but also to certain apparel and pack applications.

Janet Bealer Rodie, Managing Editor

CORDURA® has been a well-known and respected brand for high-tenacity nylon and polyester yarns and fabrics since the introduction more than 30 years ago of Cordura 1000-denier air-jet textured nylon 6,6 yarns that found early applications in daypacks and other such gear. Marketed since 2004 by Wichita, Kan.-based Invista — originally the Textiles & Interiors business unit of Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont, which launched Cordura in 1977 — the brand has over the years broadened its reach by adding new fabric constructions, textures and weights including ultra-lightweight nylon and polyester fabrics, nylon/cotton workwear and denim blends, bottomweights, various nylon and polyester packcloths and heavyweight nylon ballistic fabrics, among other fabrics.

CORDURA®AFT fabrics are available in a range of warp-knit and mesh nylon 6,6 and polyester constructions including those shown in the artist's concept of an athletic shoe, above.

Cordura AFT (Air Flow Technology) is a particular fabric technology that offers high-tenacity nylon and polyester yarns in open mesh constructions. Woven versions of the technology were introduced several years ago for use in footwear and motorcycle apparel, in which breathability takes its place alongside abrasion resistance as an important performance parameter. This winter, the technology has been introduced in various knit constructions produced by Tiong Liong Corp. — a Taiwan-based textile manufacturer that has knitting, dyeing, printing, laminating and coating capabilities at manufacturing plants in Taiwan, China and Vietnam; and marketing offices in the United States, Korea and Southeast Asia. The company incorporates various performance technologies into its fabrics, which find end-uses in outdoor, sports, lifestyle, and safety and healthcare markets. Tiong Liong presented a collection of 3-D spacer fabrics and other knit constructions featuring Cordura AFT fabric technology at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (ORWM) in Salt Lake City and ISPO Munich, Germany; and also will show the collection at ISPO Beijing later this month.

According to Cynthia McNaull, global Cordura brand and marketing director, Invista, Cordura AFT technology was expanded into knit versions in order to gain access to the footwear market that uses knit constructions. She also noted that Tiong Liong is a leader in that category.

"Targeted applications for the Cordura AFT knit fabrics include athletic and outdoor active shoes that require a high degree of durability," McNaull said. "There are different constructions for all components within the shoe. Also, because of different designs in apparel these days, there are requests for more durable meshes — for example, a running shirt with mesh on the side. And, because some of our customers make bags and packs, there's interest in more durable meshes that can go on the outside of a technical or daypack. Another application is motorcycle apparel."

Available Cordura AFT knit fabric constructions include: laminated 3-D mesh spacer fabric for athletic sport shoes; 3-D spacer fabrics used in athletic sport shoes and breathable back and harness panels for bags and packs; foam-laminated outer shell fabrics for hiking and safety boots; waterproof laminated outer shell fabrics for hiking, trail running and safety boots; soft, durable footwear lining fabrics; and mesh fabrics for performance apparel. In addition, water-repellent outer shell fabrics can be spot-laminated to polyurethane breathable, waterproof membrane inner shell fabrics for hiking boots.

McNaull said that following the introductions at ORWM and ISPO Munich, customers are now sampling the Cordura AFT knit fabrics.

For more information about Invista's CORDURA®AFT fabric technology, contact Cynthia McNaull, cindy.d.mcnaull@invista.com.

February 19, 2013