Switzerland-based knitwear manufacturer Christian Eschler AG and Austria-based textile finisher
Grabher Group have partnered to develop new functional sports and workwear fabrics featuring
environmentally friendly Plasma Technology by Eschler.
Plasma is produced by the application of electrical fields to pure gas or gas mixtures in a
vacuum chamber. The gas becomes ionized and causes a chemical reaction to occur on the material’s
surface. Depending on the combination of gas mixture composition, frequencies and gas flow, the
fabric surface is modified to offer durable hydrophilic, hydrophobic, soil-repellent and/or other
According to Eschler, the technology offers advantages over traditional wet-processing
technologies in which additives often are coated onto the fabric and may compromise its
flexibility, strength, touch and other properties, as well as its resistance to abrasion or
washing. Wet processing also may limit the combination of properties in a fabric.
Eschler’s plasma technology uses minimal water and chemicals, is energy-efficient and is free
of fluorocarbon compounds. “The new technology allows a great eco balance that no other treatment
gets even close to,” said Markus Lutz, product manager, Eschler.
Sports apparel applications include cross-country and alpine skiing, cycling, functional
underwear, mountaineering, running, trekking and others. Eschler expects to offer the first apparel
products at retail in summer 2012.
July 13, 2010