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