The Lycra Company has opened a new Advanced Textile Innovation Center (ATIC) in China today (16 May) in a move to increase in the US-based firm’s global R&D capabilities.
Located in Nanhai, the new 4,500sq m R&D laboratory, which is the company’s fourth, will help mills, brands, and retailers throughout Asia, as well as Western-based companies with local sourcing offices, create innovative fabrics and garments using The Lycra Company’s branded textile solutions.
Its research team will also work on the development and commercialisation of new polymer, fibre and textile technologies.
“Developing groundbreaking innovations and creating new garment categories are part of our company’s heritage and critical to our success going forward,” says Bob Kirkwood, chief technology officer.
The ATIC is fully equipped with commercial equipment to simulate real-world manufacturing processes including knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing, enabling The Lycra Company to deliver technical support ensuring consistent product quality and helping to reduce risk. In addition, the lab has garment engineering, fabric certification and analytical testing tools to help customers achieve desired performance attributes for their fabrics or garments.
As part of its Virtual Lab network, ATIC researchers will collaborate with labs located across the globe to develop world-class innovations and apply best practices.
“By integrating science with apparel market research, ATIC staff will help guide the development and commercialisation of innovative garment solutions designed to meet global apparel market needs,” adds Julien Born, president of apparel at The Lycra Company. “Co-locating ATIC and our South China sales office will enable tighter integration between R&D and our commercial team and help our customers accelerate speed-to-market.”
The Lycra Company, formerly Invista’s Apparel & Advanced Textiles business, has operated as an independent subsidiary of Shandong Ruyi since 31 January.
The company has operations in 14 countries including four R&D labs, eight manufacturing sites and 17 offices to serve its customers around the world. Its assets include over 1,000 patents and applications, over 2,300 registered trademarks and nearly 250 unique logos and brands.
Reports last month claimed Shandong Ruyi is preparing an IPO for the Lycra business, which could raise around US$500m.