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New Stretch Fiber From Dow Withstands Heat And Chemicals

New Stretch Fiber From DowWithstands Heat And ChemicalsDow Fiber Solutions (DFS), a new business within the global polyolefins and elastomers portfolio of The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., has introduced Dow XLA, an elastic polyolefin fiber. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has rendered a preliminary decision to grant Dow a new generic classification, lastol, for this new fiber.Romeo Kreinberg, business group president, polyolefins and elastomers, stated, We are calling Dow XLA The Freedom Fiber [W]e are introducing it at this difficult time because we think we can make a difference. He said development and marketing of this new product are being conducted on a global basis.Antonio Torres, global business director, DFS, noted the global fibers market is estimated to be in excess of 125 billion pounds. Elastic fibers, about 250 million pounds, is the fastest-growing segment, with an annual growth rate of 8 percent.Advantages noted include processability, design and durability. Dow XLA can be woven like a hard fiber and processed the same way as cotton or polyester. It does not stretch during weaving. Elasticity comes in how the fabric is woven and finished. Dow XLA withstands temperatures of more than 220°C. Having the inherent properties of olefins, it requires no special care. It can be bleached, mercerized, stone-washed, cone-dyed or thermosol-dyed using standard processes.The first fabrics containing Dow XLA are selling to shirt and sportswear markets. Denim is a special focus area. Yarns are available through Drescafil of Spain and Belmont, N.C.-based R.L. Stowe Mills. Arco Texteis, Portugal, is selling color wovens. Sportswear fabrics are available through Decouvelaere and shirtings through Emanuel Lang, both based in France. Tejidos Royo, Portugal, will have a line of indigo-dyed fabrics.Dow XLA was developed using the expertise of technicians from outside sources. Organizations that contributed to its validation and commercialization are North Carolina State University College of Textiles, Raleigh, N.C.; Industrial Technology Research Institute (ItrI) and Hualon Corp., both in Taiwan; and Toyobo, Japan.Initial production is coming from Hualon, with an increase in production expected in about six months, said Torres.Elongation figures for Dow XLA are not available. The fiber is described as providing soft stretch comfort to apparel fabrics. Torres said it is priced competitively with spandex fibers. November 2002