Textile Multitasking: Cross-Functional Fabrics Required for the Ultimate Work Wardrobe



By Cindy McNaull

As the next generation of young workers is rising, the demand for workwear is shifting away from apparel designed only for the specific task at hand. Workplace trousers, jackets, coveralls and uniforms can be highly functional as well as something an employee feels comfortable wearing after work or on the weekends.

Cross-functional products are becoming king, and the fabrics behind these products are a key ingredient to their success. The following is an exploration of the latest trends in the modern workwear landscape: fabrics designed for “di-versitility,” the next generation denims for the workforce, and fabric reinforcements designed to help employees push further. These trends are helping drive the latest workwear fabric innovations to create garments that do more while still remaining durable.

“Di-Versitility”: A Custom Combination of Fabric Capabilities for the Task at Hand

Garment designers often have a wish list for fabric performance, look and feel, which drives textile manufacturers to develop more multi-functional fabrics. Using a combination of innovative fiber, construction and finishing technologies, textile suppliers can now deliver fabrics with special features and benefits that are in demand for today’s modern workwear.

For example, super durable Cordura fabrics now integrate a range of enhancements such as stretch capabilities to allow for added freedom of movement, flame-retardant protection to help keep employees safe on the job, and moisture-wicking capabilities to help keep employees cool on hot workdays or in humid work environments. Features like high visibility can also be combined with water resistance for outdoor work. Multi-functional fabrics like these are being developed to help designers to create wearable, performance-driven workwear solutions that are comfortable, protective, long-lasting and stylish.

The Next Generation of Durable Denims Designed to Do More

fabric-iStock_69380867_XLARGEIn the realm of workplace apparel, durable denims have always been a key player. Whether it is a day on the jobsite or a day in the office, the industry is seeing a variety of denim fabrics incorporated into the workwear wardrobe. But now, these denims are designed to do more.

For example, hardwearing and durable doesn’t have to mean bulky. The latest denims for workwear are designed to be lightweight without compromising on performance. With enhanced abrasion resistance and tear strength, these fabrics help create garments that are up for any task.

And, with the latest denim fabrics for workwear, functionality doesn’t have to be sacrificed for style. Featuring hidden fabric benefits like moisture wicking, temperature regulation and quick dry, these fabrics help create garments tailored to each specific industry’s needs.

With the latest performance denims, designers and manufacturers can truly offer some hardworking workwear that can take on seriously demanding work environments, but without sacrificing comfort or style.

Bring in the Reinforcements

For garments that need an extra touch of durability, fabrics for reinforcement are critical. These are rugged, built-to-last fabrics designed to help provide extra protection where it is needed most – in garment areas such as the knees, hems, pockets, elbows and shoulders. These fabrics have excellent resistance to abrasion, as well as high tensile and tear strength too.

From classic protective solutions, to solution-dyed “colorfast” nylons, to lightweight intricate weaves and specialist coating technologies, there are many fabric options available to create a garment reinforced specifically for the task at hand. Now available in bold, vibrant, on-trend colors and offering enhanced benefits such as UV fade resistance, cooling or moisture-wicking capabilities and stretch functionality for ease of movement, these reinforcement fabrics can be incorporated into most cutting-edge designs for a stylish solution that is built to last.

The Future of Workwear

If workwear isn’t helping employees get the job done, their workwear isn’t doing its job. And with the broad range of multi-functional fabrics now available, the possibilities for creating stylish work apparel solutions that help get the job done is almost unlimited.

The combination of available, functional, performance textiles and inspired design solutions is helping take workwear beyond just the jobsite – delivering garments that can be taken from the morning commute to a day on the job to after work activities, too. These are dynamic garments that help keep up with people’s ever-moving, ever-changing lifestyles. Fashion and function do go together, and today’s fabrics are designed to help do just that.

Cindy McNaull is the Global Brand and Marketing Director for Invista’s Cordura brand, a registered trademark for durable fabrics. With more than 25 years of experience in the specialty chemical, textile and non-woven industries, she has served in both sales and marketing management positions and acquired multiple technical patents. To learn more about Invista’s Cordura brand fabrics for workwear, military and endurance sport apparel, please visit www.cordura.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.