A new range of stretch satins, twills and plain weave fabrics for women's and men's apparel has been launched by Celanese Acetate, the world's largest acetate producer, and Kosa, a leader in the polyester industry.

The fabrics, which are branded Cel-Aire, consist of Kosa's StretchAire polyester filling with Celanese's acetate warp. And according to Keith Nagy, director of filament at Celanese Acetate: "The new Cel-Aire series of fabrics are extraordinary because they demonstrate all the positive benefits of the new StretchAire yarn combined with the softness, luster and drape of Celanese acetate."

Introduced by Kosa in 2001, StretchAire is a single polyester yarn, engineered to give comfort stretch with a cotton-like hand and feel. Suzette McHugh, market manager at Kosa, says that in addition to their stretch and recovery properties, StretchAire yarns have more bulk and a softer hand than standard polyester yarns.

"StretchAire yarns are not elastomeric and are therefore easy to handle. Combining them with Celanese acetate in the new Cel-Aire product is a breakthrough for us," she explains.

StretchAire yarns are available as a 115 denier/86 filament semi-dull textured yarn. Celanese acetate used in the warps includes 75/20, 115/50 and 150/40.

The Cel-Aire fabrics demonstrate comfort stretch in the filling direction. In addition to commercial dyeing and finishing, these stretch fabrics have also been heat transfer printed. A major attribute of Cel-Aire fabric is the acceptable union-dye shade achieved under atmospheric dyeing conditions.