A year after the launch of its Lycra beauty fabric programme, fibre producer Invista is extending the certification scheme from intimate apparel to swimwear, and adding new mills and qualifying fabrics to its line-up.

Since the introduction of the 'Science of Shaping' platform in September 2010, more than a thousand high-performance and specialty intimate apparel fabrics have been certified as Lycra beauty fabrics.

And in line with increasing consumer demand for shaping garments, a wider selection of materials, ranging from delicate lace or ultra-lightweight fabrics to seamless garment construction technology, is now being added to the scheme.

More than 40 intimate apparel brands, including Bali, La Perla, Spanx and Wacoal, are using Lycra beauty fabric in their designs - and around 3m hangtags have been issued.

Invista hopes this growth will accelerate with the extension of the certification programme to other types of shaping garments such as swimwear, after research carried out earlier this year showed that 96% of women rate 'fit' as the most important swimwear feature.

Lycra beauty fabrics for this end-use combine shaping performance with the benefits of the Xtra Life Lycra fibre, which resists suntan lotion, body oils, UV exposure and chlorine.

Leading swimwear fabric mills have already embraced the platform, including Brugnoli Giovanni SpA, Carvico SpA, Darlington Fabrics, Eurojersey SpA (Sensitive Fit), Guangdong Charming Co Ltd, Guangdong Derun Textile Co Ltd, Gwo Jyh Warp Knitting Industry Co Ltd, Jersey Lomellina SpA, Liebaert, Maglificio Ripa Srl, Piave Maitex SpA, Wegal & Tricotel SpA and Rosset Group.