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