Innovative New Fiber for Performance Stretch Fabrics

NEOLAST™ fibers made using Celanese NEOLAST™ elastoester polymers enable the creation of more sustainable power-stretch performance fabrics.
NEOLAST™ fibers made using Celanese NEOLAST™ elastoester polymers enable the creation of more sustainable power-stretch performance fabrics. Courtesy of Celanese

High-Performance Alternative to Elastane

Celanese Corporation and Under Armour, Inc. have joined forces to introduce NEOLAST™, a groundbreaking fiber for performance stretch fabrics. NEOLAST™ provides elite-level performance attributes—stretch, durability, and comfort—while addressing sustainability challenges linked to traditional elastane (spandex) fibers.

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NEOLAST™ fibers are crafted through a proprietary solvent-free melt-extrusion process, eliminating hazardous chemicals commonly used in elastane-based stretch fabrics. This innovation aligns with circular manufacturing goals, as it promotes the recyclability of performance stretch fabrics, a challenge previously unmet.

Recyclable Elastoester Polymers

These fibers will be produced using recyclable elastoester polymers, marking a crucial step in solving the recycling dilemma posed by elastane-containing blended fabrics. This approach aims to enhance the compatibility of stretch fabrics with future recycling systems and infrastructure as industries transition toward circular economies.

Celanese and Under Armour’s collaboration goes beyond creating a sustainable alternative; it’s a strategic move to revolutionize the textile industry. NEOLAST™ fibers not only meet the high standards of performance expected by athletes but also align with a commitment to building better products for consumers and the environment.

Tom Kelly, Celanese’s Senior Vice President of Engineered Materials, expressed optimism about unlocking NEOLAST™ technology’s potential.

“Celanese is proud to bring its polymer expertise and technical know-how to help manufacture NEOLAST™ fibers for textiles and fabrics to meet the specific needs of our customers and other value chain partners. We are just beginning to unlock its potential and look forward to what’s ahead as we explore other opportunities with end users.”

The collaboration with Under Armour is just the beginning, and Celanese looks forward to exploring additional opportunities with end users.

Performance Precision and Versatility

Apart from sustainability advantages, NEOLAST™ fibers offer increased production precision. Spinners can precisely adjust power-stretch levels, enabling the engineering of fibers to meet a broader range of fabric specifications.

Celanese and Under Armour’s NEOLAST™ fiber represents a transformative innovation, embodying their commitment to delivering top-tier performance while driving sustainability and circularity in the textile industry. This collaboration stands as a testament to the potential of merging technical expertise with environmental responsibility.

By Plastics Engineering | February 8, 2024

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