An upsurge in demand for high performance fabric from the CBI region is being reported by Hilos & Telas SA, also known as Texzibe, located in Guatemala, Central America.

The firm, which designs and engineers performance fabrics for technical sportswear, performance outerwear, active sportswear, swimwear and fitness wear, says this is partly due to the fact that locally-produced materials now offer the same performance levels as those sourced from the USA and Europe.

"In the past, leading active wear brands and retailers sourcing from the CBI region had to bring high performance fabrics in from the USA to be cut and sewn within the Caribbean," explains Robin Wicker, a textile wet processing technician and native North Carolinian who works closely with Hilos & Telas.

"This caused problems for turnaround times, hence making problems for deliveries and cost," he adds.

Some of the most recent programs that Hilos & Telas have put into production include the breathable and thermoregulatory Hydrodry fabric; Decrease, a finishing technology that imparts soil-release, stain resistance and wrinkle-free properties; the Deblot fabric protector that guards fibres from oil- and water-based stains; the Tek Flex treatment that gives 100 per cent cotton the fit and feel of spandex; and Defense insect repellent fabrics.

Also included in its line-up are P.A.X. Wear (Performance Athletic Xtreme), a high performance water repellent fabric, and ComfortSport, a breathable fabric system for golf and travel attire, mountain climbing, running and biking.