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Unifi Partners With ITG, United Knitting In Repreve® Nylon Launch

Textured yarn producer Unifi Inc., Greensboro, N.C., has partnered with Greensboro-based International Textile Group Inc. (ITG) and Cleveland, Tenn.-based United Knitting to introduce woven and knitted fabrics made with its new Repreve® recycled nylon 6,6 yarns.  The companies will launch their new products at the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Summer Market, to take place August 8–1 1 in Salt Lake City.
Unifi first debuted its Repreve brand in 2006 with a line of 90-percent post-industrial/10-percent post-consumer polyester yarns, later increasing the post-consumer content to 20 percent. In introducing Repreve nylon, made from 100-percent post-industrial fiber waste, the company has built on the success of the first yarns and fine-tuned the production process, said Bett Anderson, marketing manager, Unifi.

“We saw a market need for recycled nylon yarns for nonindustrial denier type applications,” Anderson said. “The Repreve nylon launch will be focused on apparel, and we are looking to expand it to other applications.

“In choosing ITG and United Knitting as development partners, we were looking for leaders in innovation that also could diversify in their product offerings,” she added.

ITG’s Burlington WorldWide (BWW) apparel fabrics business will include woven fabrics made with Repreve nylon in its eco-friendly Generations collection to debut at OR, said Nelson Bebo, vice president of sales, Burlington Labs, BWW’s research and development division. “We’re targeting technical sportswear and activewear markets,” he said.

Bebo also noted that the two companies’ global manufacturing platforms provide mutual advantages in terms of global markets.

United Knitting will show about eight Repreve nylon fabrics, most containing Lycra® and representing a range of weights and constructions geared to tops and bottoms for performance outdoor, athletic and other niche markets.

“We sell a lot of nylon into the market, and Repreve nylon allows us to round out our offerings of sustainable products,” said Walter Tkach, United Knitting’s director of sales.

July/August 2008