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Under Armour and Celanese launch Neolast

Alternative to elastane promises to unlock the potential to recycle performance stretch fabrics.

24th January 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Irving, TX, USA

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear

A new fibre for performance stretch fabrics called Neolast has been developed by Celanese Corporation in a collaboration with performance wear brand Under Armour

As an alternative to elastane, the new fibre promises to unlock the potential for end users to recycle performance stretch fabrics – a problem that has yet to be solved in the pursuit of circular manufacturing.

Neolast fibres are characterised by powerful stretch, durability, comfort and improved wicking and produced using a proprietary solvent-free melt-extrusion process, eliminating potentially hazardous chemicals typically used to create stretch fabrics made with elastane.

The fibres are based on recyclable elastoester polymers which address the challenge of recycling blended fabrics containing elastane. As end users transition to a more circular economy, Celanese and Under Armour are exploring the potential of the fibres to improve the compatibility of stretch fabrics with future recycling systems and infrastructure.

“Working with a leading global brand like Under Armour to elevate the performance and sustainability benefits of their products is just the first of many great things we hope to accomplish with this  Neolast technology,” said Tom Kelly, senior vice president of engineered materials at Celanese. “We are just beginning to unlock its potential and look forward to what’s ahead as we explore other opportunities with end users.”

“This new Neolast fibre represents a transformative innovation for Under Armour and the textile industry,” added Kyle Blakely, senior vice president of innovation at Under Armour. “Through performance-driven sustainability and innovation, we look forward to helping athletes play at the top of their game as we work with Celanese to realise the new fibre’s potential to forge a path toward circularity.” 

In addition to sustainability benefits, Neolast fibres are said to deliver increased precision in production, allowing spinners to dial power-stretch levels up or down and engineer fibres to meet a broader array of fabric specifications.


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