Softer nylon wins fashion credibility

NYLON, a fibre which has been shunned by fashion designers since the Sixties, is enjoying a new lease of life.

Designers are queuing up to use Tactel, a new-generation nylon fibre renamed by its manufacturer, ICI Fibres, to make it more palatable to the fashion world. Among the designers using Tactel are Paul Smith, Helen Storey, Katharine Hamnett, Ally Capellino, and Joseph.

Tactel, say designers, could be as influential as Lycra, the stretch fibre that was the success story of the Eighties. It gives softness and strength to fabrics when blended with natural fibres and other man-made fibres. Also, Tactel garments have all the easy-care qualities of nylon.

In the Sixties, people sweated through the day in a variety of nylon fashion garments, including 'drip-dry' shirts. The fabrics were shiny, non-absorbent and uncomfortable. Tactel fabrics allow the skin to breathe.

John Crummay, one of a new group of designers inspired by new fibre technology, has used a Tactel-Lycra fabric in every garment in his spring collection of stretch casual clothing for men.

He said: 'Tactel has an incredibly soft, luxurious feel rather like silk but it's cheaper. You can tell people it's nylon, but they won't believe you.'

Mr Crummay, 26, predicted that sales of Tactel-blend fabrics would boom. 'I'm already seeing more and more of it at every fabric fair I attend.'

To date, Tactel has sold most strongly to the hosiery industry. The fibre is used in 15 to 25 per cent of all tights and stockings in the European hosiery market. Brand names favouring Tactel include Aristoc, Pretty Polly, Charnos and Berkshire. The new fibre is mixed with Lycra: Tactel provides lustre and a soft handle, Lycra guarantees a good fit.

The version of Tactel favoured by hosiery manufacturers is Tactel Micro, produced from gossamer filaments as fine as 1/60th of a human hair.

The boom in demand for Tactel coincides with a growing interest in man-made fibres among leading fashion designers. Helen Storey, who is using Tactel lace in her autumn/winter 93/94 collection, said: 'The future is in fibres. The cutting edge of fashion is now in fibre technology.'

Another fibre interesting designers is Tencel, developed by Courtaulds. It is similar to viscose rayon: it softens fabrics, but is stronger than cotton.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: C# Developer - Kent - £43,000

£35000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: C# and .Net Developer - n...

Guru Careers: Digital Marketing Exec / Online Marketing Executive

£35 - 40k: Guru Careers: Our client has a new role for a Digital Marketing Exe...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'