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Knitting / Apparel

Natureworks Provides Superior Performance In Sporting Applications

Tests carried out by Hohenstein Research Institute, Germany, have shown that fabric made using Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill Dows Natureworks is a superior alternative to polyester blends when used in sporting applications. Plaited Natureworks/cotton fabric outperformed plaited polyester/cotton fabric in tests that demonstrated the fibers inherent benefits including increased breathability, water vapor absorbency and overall comfort.Cargill Dow developed Nature-Works fiber by processing natural plant sugars to create a proprietary polylactide polymer (PLA).Cargill Dow has developed a natural fabric alternative that competes with traditional fibers in feel, comfort, cost and performance, said Jim Lunt, director, fibers product development. The testing reaffirms NatureWorks fiber is a valuable addition to the evolving fibers market, notably in activewear.NatureWorks fiber also has applications in a number of fiber and nonwoven products, but the Hohenstein testing concentrated on its performance in sporting and activewear applications. Tests included measurements of water vapor resistance and absorbency, buffering capacity, thermal insulation and sensorial wear comfort. NatureWorks/cotton was found to be superior to polyester/cotton in the majority of the tests and to perform equally well in the remainder.Cargill Dow is working with industry leaders to develop and introduce products containing NatureWorks fibers, including apparel fabrics made using 100-percent NatureWorks fiber, as well as blends with silk, wool and cotton. Non-apparel applications include carpet tiles, fiberfill, industrial fabrics and home furnishings.

November 2000