DuPont has brought Alba-Waldensian, Inc, a division of Tefron Ltd, on board as the first licensed knitter in North America to develop and produce seamless garments made with DuPont CoolMax and CoolMax Alta performance fabrics.

Alba-Waldensian has made a significant investment in the future of seamless by purchasing new high-tech Santoni machinery as well as machines for dyeing and finishing textiles. Alba will take the control and shaping elements from intimate apparel and combine them with CoolMax and CoolMax Alta performance fabrics to produce technologically superior and well fitting fitness, activewear, and intimate apparel garments that feature minimal seams, limited buttons, hooks, zippers or clasps and important moisture management properties.

"We have a great deal of confidence in the future of seamless and appreciation of performance fabrics," said Dixon Johnston, president of Alba-Waldensian. "There used to be a trade-off for consumers over whether to choose a fashionable garment that didn't fit well or a garment that fit but wasn't fashionable. Now style doesn't have to be sacrificed for comfort or vice versa as the combination of the seamless technology using performance fabrics will result in very comfortable, high-performing and multi-functional garments that can be worn from work to a work out."

While already producing lines of women's knitwear for Victoria's Secret, The Gap, Target, Sears and others, Alba is currently involved in the development of new seamless lines featuring CoolMax and CoolMax Alta that are slated to appear at retail in spring or summer 2001.

The Santoni machines allow for special features like moisture management and stretch needed in fitness, activewear, and intimate apparel garments, to be knitted directly into strategic areas of the garments. Garments like swimsuits, leggings, fitnesswear, cycling shorts and T-shirts for example, will soon become available in seamless forms with built-in performance benefits. And because this new process is able to produce a complete garment straight from yarn, several steps are saved in the manufacturing process. In the past, it was necessary to knit the yarn into fabric and then manufacture the garment.

About Alba-Waldensian
Based in Valdese, North Carolina, Alba-Waldensian was founded in 1901 and has grown over the last 96 years into a multi-facility company manufacturing a variety of very innovative products for domestic as well as international markets. The company introduced its first low-tech, consumable medical specialty products in 1974 using its considerable knitting expertise and today the Alba Health Products Division is a leading manufacturer and marketer of products used in hospitals, nursing homes, physicians' offices, and extended care facilities throughout the world. The recent acquisition of Alba by Israel-based Tefron makes the combined company the largest seamless knitter in the world.

About DuPont
DuPont virtually created the performance fabrics category with the introduction of CoolMax in 1986. Used initially by elite athletes in cycling and running, CoolMax set the benchmark for moisture management performance fabrics. In 1999, the CoolMax brand expanded with the introduction of CoolMax Alta, which combines patented low-pill DuPont technology with the fast drying properties of CoolMax. CoolMax Alta is available in a variety of applications including activewear, casual and travel clothing, intimate apparel and socks.