The Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is the companys first Flyknit apparel innovation

The Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is the company's first Flyknit apparel innovation

US sporting goods giant Nike has unveiled the first apparel innovation utilising its Flyknit technology in what it says is a "new generation" of sports bras.

Constructed with an ultra-soft form-fitting nylon-spandex yarn, the Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is made from two single-layer panels that are assembled for a seamless feel, offering the best of shape, support and comfort without the addition of components like wires, pads, stabilisers and elastics.

The result is a significant reduction in materials and seams. The bra has two panels and a binding - other high-support Nike bras can have up to 41 pieces and 22 seams - and is 30% lighter than any other bra in the company's line.

Nike Flyknit, which debuted at the 2012 London games with the Nike Flyknit Racer, is a digitally engineered knitting process best known for its role in lightweight, formfitting and virtually seamless shoe uppers. Today, the technology is used in Nike footwear across sport, from the Nike Zoom Fearless Flyknit women's training shoe to Kevin Durant's signature Nike KD10.

Considering what Flyknit technology does best — holds shape while facilitating precise zones of greater or less support and breathability— Nike says it had "no doubt" this method of construction would change the game for sports bras.

To determine how to best use the technology on high-performance apparel, engineers and designers invested more than 600 hours of rigorous biometric testing, including motion capture and creating atlas maps — a process that involves taking a digital body scan to evaluate areas of high heat, sweat, cooling and movement. Designers reference these maps when deciding what patterns to knit and materials to use.

While atlas maps are not new to Nike, this was the first time the team used them to inform how they should build a sports bra. Rather than using just one map (which is typical to the way most product is created), designers combined three atlas maps ­—cooling, breathability and support — to determine how to devise the Nike Flyknit pattern.

The goal of the Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra was maximum support and comfort, with a priority on support, breathability and cooling in essential zones, explains Nicole Rendone, senior bra innovation designer.

"The Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is a new generation of bra," she explains. "It offers all of the support, strength and comfort of traditional high-support bras even without all of the components typical to those styles, and it's full-coverage for total confidence during any activity, from running to high-intensity training, boxing to spin, Pilates and yoga."

For Rendone says the sports bra opens a "massive door" for innovation across apparel. "This is bigger than a bra, really. It's about breaking down the barriers women face in sports and life."

Meanwhile, as part of its so-called 'bra philosophy' to deliver a wide range of options – for fit, support, feel and style –  Nike is also launching three other new bras this season for 30 total styles, its most expansive bra collection to date. Sizing will span from 32 to 38E, and will offer light, medium and high-support options.

Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra is the lightest high-support bra in the line and is best for C-DD cup sizes and high-impact activities such as running, HIIT, dance.

It launched exclusively on Nike+ yesterday (12 July) for 48 hours, and will then be available online priced at US$80.