Hong Kong-based private label knitwear manufacturer Brilliant Global Ltd is to use the new cotton-like flax-based fibre Crailar in some of the items it produces for global brands.

The new agreement will begin next month and will involve a minimum of 1.5m pounds of the fibre. It's the third deal since March and takes the Crailar client roster to seven global brands, including HanesBrands and Levi Strauss.

"Brilliant works with the most recognisable brands and retailers in North America and we intend to demonstrate the significant capabilities of Crailar Flax to perform seamlessly within its portfolio, while integrating a sustainable, all-natural fibre into its textile mix and its consumer product story." Ken Barker, CEO of Crailar's developer, Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc (NAT).

The fibre is produced using a process that bathes the flax in a proprietary enzyme wash to remove the binding agents that contribute to its stiff texture.

The result is a textile fibre that combines the strength and durability of flax with the softness and comfort of cotton. Crailar flax fibres are also said to shrink less than cotton, wick moisture better, and have increased dye uptake - which means they require fewer chemicals to achieve the same depth of colour.

Yarns made from Crailar fibres can be used in knit, woven or non-woven fabrics alone, or blended with other natural fibres.