Industry giant DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) on Wednesday unveiled a new hi-tech scanner that reveals whether garments and fabrics labelled as containing Lycra actually do.

The company said the sophisticated scanning system will help in the fight against fake goods and enable it to crackdown on counterfeiters who peddle inferior products.

Called Lycra BrandScan, the state-of-the-art units will be installed in DTI certification laboratories and customer service centres around the world by the end of this year with a hand-held machine following in 2003.

Describing the system as "foolproof", DTI said the technology works by detecting unique characteristics built into all branded fibre production and forms part of its $200 million brand development programme.

DTI Europe vice president, Greg Van Nunes, commented: "Lyrca BrandScan represents a significant step to make the sourcing of our products as efficient and secure as possible.

"One element of buyer risk that, until now, has been difficult to counter is brand fraud - the passing off of inferior quality materials and garments as the real thing."

He added: "This is a competitive threat to our business partners who use genuine Lycra and obviously impacts the integrity of our brand. With cycle times and product quality becoming increasingly critical, I'm certain our partners will look on Lycra BrandScan as a valuable new resource."