Lycra blends with heat-sensitive fibres and soft metallic Tactel yarns are just two of the innovations that will share the spotlight on the DuPont Apparel and Textile Sciences stand at the June edition of Expofil.

New variations of both fibres will make their debut in apparel applications. Easy Set Lycra has been developed for blends with heat-sensitive fibres such as cotton, rayon, nylon, wool and Tencel; and Tactel metallics combines a new modified cross-section with a rich metallic sheen and boasts exceptional softness and comfort.

According to DuPont, Easy Set Lycra is a new family of Lycra yarns that can be heatset at temperatures significantly below those used for standard elastanes. "This results in fabrics with improved dimensional stability, minimal shrinkage and growth, better initial whiteness, more vivid colouring, a softer hand, and less yellowing during moulding."

Robert Kirkwood, global ready-to-wear development director, explains that the initial Easy Set Lycra product, available in a variety of decitexes from 22 to 156, is being targeted at staple blends. Another version, which has been optimised for use with filament fibres, will be introduced this summer.

"In addition to ready-to-wear and men's wear, we expect the Easy Set Lycra products will offer significant advantages in intimate apparel, particularly in moulded garments where loss of whiteness has been a real issue," Kirkwood says. "Because fabrics can be processed with less heat exposure it helps preserve the characteristics of the prime fibre."

Tactel metallics addresses the problems frequently associated with metallic yarns - such as harsh handling and their unsuitability in large pattern areas or all-over fabric applications. It has an engineered cross-section and utilises a new cationic dye polymer to give a metallic appearance with the ability to overdye when blended with other Tactel yarns or cotton. Tactel metallics is initially available in 56 and 100 decitex gold and silver products, and target end-uses include intimate apparel, aerobic and active sportswear, outdoor apparel, and the full spectrum of casual and fashion apparel.