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With high-tech advantages, Taiwan excels in functional garments

The advantages of the technologies Taiwan possesses in the semiconductor, biomedical and electronic components sectors have contributed to Taiwan being a pioneer in smart apparel, according to Taiwan's Industrial Development Bureau (IDB).

About 80 percent of the functional garments sold by the world's top 5 sportswear brands have used fabrics from Taiwanese companies, IDB data shows.

That pivotal role in the textile supply chain is not widely known among end users, largely because of client confidentiality clauses required by the sportswear brands.

FENC, a world-leading producer of non-woven polyester staple fibers made from recycled plastic bottles and plastic waste in the ocean, was again a primary supplier of the FIFA World Cup uniforms this year after making several improvements.

Among them was coming up with a fabric for the jerseys that was 15 percent lighter than the material used in 2014, said Martin Cheng, a senior manager with FENC.

Another advancement was the use of a weaving technique called jacquard weaving, in which complex patterns are woven into a fabric. This allowed for more openings in areas where players are likely to sweat more, facilitating air movement and cooling the body.

According to the IDB-affiliated Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI), upstream producer Shinkong Synthetic Fibers, midstream suppliers Fu Hsun Fiber and Men-Chuen Fibre and downstream producers Eclat Textile Company and New Wide Enterprise were also involved in manufacturing the 2018 World Cup jerseys.

Source: Focus Taiwan
Kai Chiu (kai@taitra.org.tw)

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