Based in Ontario, Canada, Fine Cotton Factory is struggling with one of the textile industry’s biggest problems: fabric shrinkage.
The technical knitwear and apparel maker has introduced a proprietary solution called 333 Jersey that reduces shrinkage to 3 percent or less after a product has been washed by the end user. The exclusive technology uses high levels of twisting power to give the yarns their strength by winding them compactly to create a pre-shrunk effect and reduce fabric contraction.
According to Fine Cotton Factory, the innovation could significantly improve return rates for brands and retailers. “When consumers buy clothing from a brand, one of the most disappointing things that can happen – and it often happens – is that the once perfectly fitting garment has shrunk after washing,” said Skip Kann, Director of Special Projects. “Clothing brands don’t want to give away credit or accept returns that they then have to dispose of.”
Instead, to avoid such losses, companies typically wash and dry garments to pre-shrink them before selling them in stores — an intensive process that, while effective, eats up water and electricity. To streamline the process, Fine Cotton Factory began washing rolls of fabric before the garments were finished and sewn, according to Kann, in 2018, tumble drying more than 1,000 rolls of fabric per day. The pre-washed fabrics were engineered to shrink by a maximum of 2 percent after consumer washing – a feature that has helped the company’s customers significantly reduce return rates.
However, to further reduce resource consumption, Fine Cotton Factory wanted to change the inherent construction of the fabric. “We ended up washing way too much jersey to get the shrinkage down to two or three percent, and it took an incredible amount of energy to do that,” Kann said. 333 Jersey is made on new machines capable of knitting fabrics that shrink three widths and three lengths with three percent torque without prewashing of any kind.
According to Kann, the company is working to develop a similar “pre-shrunk” nonwoven line compared to the typical nonwovens, which shrink up to 10 percent after washing. The company introduces new fashion collections twice a year and showcases them in its showroom and factory space in Toronto. The company also plans to expand the 333 concept to meet future branding needs.
https://sourcingjournal.com/topics/raw-materials/fine-cotton-factory-333-jersey-fabric-textile-shrinkage-apparel-return-rates-453481/ Fine Cotton Factory’s 333 jersey reduces fabric shrinkage – Sourcing Journal