Toray International America, the US arm of Japanese fibre and textile specialist Toray Industries, has added a new microfibre polyester to its Primeflex portfolio of stretch materials.

The original version of Primeflex, launched nine years ago, was a stretchable polyester with a bimetal structure. The latest addition utilises Toray's Nanodesign spinning technology to control the cross-sectional shape of the composite fibre and develop a fine composite yarn with a single filament count of 0.8 denier or less.

Its single filament fineness provides a flat surface appearance, a smooth touch and a soft hand feel, all with the four-way stretchability that Primeflex is known for.

The spiral yarn provides the flex, which allows the resulting fabric to stretch and recover without using heavier water-absorbing elastics like spandex or Lycra. Benefits include breathability, abrasion resistance and a softer feel against the skin, all in a "much lighter package."

The result, Toray says, hits the sweet spot it calls the 'Soft-fit Zone', ideal for the athleisure category, between the 'Hard-fit Zone' of a fibre like spandex and the 'Loose-fit Zone' of regular textured yarn.

Utilising a biomaterial derived from corn that uses less water during processing, the new fabric targets the athleisure market.