New Moisture Management Breakthrough For Cotton Debuts At Outdoor Retailer Show

TransDRY™ engineers stay-dry comfort in performance apparel

Friday August 08, 2008
New York, NY

Cotton Incorporated has unveiled its advanced TransDRY™ moisture management technology, an innovative new system that enables the production of quick-drying, engineered fabrics for performance apparel.

Cotton fabrics made with TransDRY technology offer cotton’s familiar comfort and softness while staying dry, keeping the wearer cooler and more comfortable. That’s because they’re engineered to transfer moisture in one direction, away from the skin to the outside of the fabric, where moisture can evaporate.

The TransDRY™ brand, named for its unique ability to quickly transfer moisture away from the skin and dry faster, raises the bar for cotton performance and will set a new standard of high-performance moisture management.

”Many synthetic fabrics in the market claim to have the ability to move moisture away from the body to the outside of the fabric,” says David Earley, Cotton Incorporated’s Director of Supply Chain Marketing. “But most do nothing more than absorb perspiration into the fabric, staying as wet on the inside of the garment as they are on the outside.”

Earley says because of the lack of standardized test procedures, it’s easy to make exaggerated claims of moisture management in today’s performance fabric market. It has resulted in marketing claims that don’t reflect the actual performance of many of today’s fabrics.

Cotton Incorporated has spent the past year conducting groundbreaking moisture management testing to gauge the performance advantage of TransDRY technology, utilizing testing equipment, called the MMT Tester, from SDL Atlas in the United Kingdom. Originally developed by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the MMT Tester has the ability to measure the differential wetness of both sides of a performance fabric and calculate a one-way moisture transfer index.

“Fabrics engineered to have one-way transfer performance beat any synthetic product we’ve tested in head-to-head comparisons – it’s not even close,” says Earley. “We think this is an incredible breakthrough for cotton in the world of performance apparel that will help us compete head-to-head with synthetics.”

Cotton Incorporated approached the development of this breakthrough technology for cotton with the environment in mind. Instead of applying chemistry to the entire fabric, it’s used selectively in lower amounts on certain areas of fabrics to engineer to right level of performance. The result is responsible and more sustainable production.

Cotton Incorporated has partnered with several firms in the supply chain to bring the TransDRY technology to market. Longworth Industries, Inc., an American manufacturer of high-tech performance apparel and base-layer garments, will be the first to bring a TransDRY product to market under its new PolarMax Naturals brand. Longworth has been field testing prototype garments with branches of the military to gauge performance and acceptability of the TransDRY technology.

Trey Harris, Longworth’s senior director of business development, government and military, comments, “The military has always aspired to have moisture-management and anti-microbial components in its uniforms,” adding that the consumers are the next logical market for the TransDRY technology.

“At the end of the day, people just like wearing cotton, and with the moisture-management factor of TransDRY, there’s a real advantage,” he adds. Initially, Harris was met with skepticism about using cotton in performance apparel. He’s since been personally testing all-cotton TransDRY garments, addressing the factors of cling and chafing. “It’s the best no-cling product out there,” he notes.

The concept of TransDRY and cotton “is phenomenal for Longworth,” Harris says. “The cotton is sustainably grown in the U.S., and it addresses a core consciousness among consumers against petroleum-based products. A lot of companies are embracing this.” He points out that Longworth’s cotton double-knit has advantages over man-made fiber products. “With untreated cotton on the outside of the fabric and treated cotton against the skin, moisture finds its way through better than our synthetics.”

Spectrum Yarns, Inc., and Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. initially will be the providers in the Western hemisphere of cotton yarn treated with the TransDRY technology; Spectrum and Buhler have aligned themselves with several knitting mills and full-package garment makers to provide performance fabrics and yarns.

Mike Carter, director of business development for Spectrum Yarns, Inc., notes,

“TransDRY will forever change the way consumers view cotton. The superior wicking performance of TransDRY will further launch the fiber into fabrics for performance apparel. Spectrum Yarns is pleased be a licensee and to participate in the introduction of TransDRY.”

Cotton Incorporated will be working selectively with strategic partners to bring TransDRY technology to golf, ski, running, tennis and other performance apparel categories. The company will meet with firms interested in TransDRY by appointment at booth 155-211 at the Outdoor Retailer show.

Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.


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