INTERVIEW: Global elastane producer ‘creora’ on how its revolutionised the intimate apparel sector

creora develops fibres for the lingerie and swimwear industries.creora develops fibres for the lingerie and swimwear industries.

Hyosung Corporation, a multinational conglomerate with annual worldwide sales of more than $12.6 billion (£9.5bn), is celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of its most important subsidiaries this year – creora, a global supplier of spandex and elastane to the lingerie and swimwear industries.

In an exclusive interview with Lingerie Insight, Hyosung global director for textiles Mike Simko discusses the evolution of creora, highlights some of its most innovative solutions and predicts future fabric trends set to influence the intimate apparel sector in AW18.

Hyosung global marketing director for Textiles Mike Simko.

Hyosung global marketing director for Textiles Mike Simko.

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Hyosung celebrates the 25th anniversary of creora this year. How has the company evolved since the launch?

Hyosung has a long history in the textiles business and started in nylon in the late 60’s and polyester in the 70’s. Elastane was the next evolution of this investment in the textiles industry. The business started in 1992 with a plant in Korea and continued to invest as they saw demand in elastane increasing globally. We invested in factories China in 2001, then Turkey and Vietnam in 2007 and Brazil in 2011. Last year we invested in a new MIPAN nylon in Vietnam and at the beginning of this year we opened our 4th plant in China. This confirms our long-term commitment to the textile industry. Actually, we are the global leader in spandex production.

cerora Capacity by 2018 (3)

What are some of the most exciting textile innovations to launch in the intimate apparel market during this 25-year period?

Elastane itself has revolutionised the intimate apparel industry. The inherent stretch and recovery properties of creora elastane has led the innovative potential of every type of underwear. Some of the most exciting textile innovations from Hyosung include:

    • creora Fresh – odour neutralising elastane to keep wearers fresh
    • MIPAN aqua x nylon for moisture management and cooling
    • creora color+ – dyeable elastane to help meet demand for colourful intimates
    • MIPAN pastel – super micro denier nylon for super soft powder touch
    • Cotna polyester – for cotton like aesthetics
    • creora powefit – high power elastane for shapewear and bras

You recently launched a new collection of creora Fresh fabrics in collaboration with Sofileta. How does creora Fresh technology work?

In response to the continued growth of sports underwear, Hyosung developed creora Fresh using its proprietary ingredient technology to chemically bond to substances that cause body odour and to neutralise them. Creora Fresh has been demonstrated with nylon and polyester fibres to last longer than traditional antimicrobial finishes. This technology will also enhance sportswear garment and fabric versatility by giving consumers added confidence.

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What other new projects is creora working on at the moment?

Hyosung values the partnerships with its global brands and retailers and its focus continues to be in supplying market relevant products. We are showing at ISPO in Munich next January with a collection of ASW products reflecting the importance of the sportswear market.

How is creora currently performing in the UK market? Do you have plans for growth here?

The UK is an important market and our share of this market is steadily growing. We are working with most of the major retail groups and multiples.

Fresh model 1

creora Fresh, designed to neutralise odour and keep the wearer fresh, is put to the test.

Where do you see creora heading in the future?

We are the largest producer of elastane in the world and we take this position in the market very seriously. It’s our intention to continue provide or customers with excellent service and a continuous programme of product innovation including in nylon and polyester.

Where do you see the textile sector heading over the next five years?

We anticipate new technologies in development for new knitting for innovation as well as productivity enhancements. We also expect garment manufacturing technologies to evolve to enhance consumer benefits such as better fit and to increase customisation.

What are some of the biggest fabric trends set to influence the lingerie, swimwear and hosiery sectors heading into AW18?

Our trend predictions include:

  • Knits that feel like wovens and four-way stretch wovens that behave like knits with creora
  • Lighter weight, higher power fabrics that are super soft with creora Power Fit, plus super micro denier MIPAN nylon pastel
  • Surface interest from jacquards with contrasting matt/bright MIPAN nylon to offer 3D effects
  • New age optical prints fabrics or hosiery with creora color+ to eliminate grin through
  • Open work lace, jaquatronic knits, or laser punched fabric panels for zoned compression with creora elastane and ventilation

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