Blurring The Lines
TenCate Protective Fabrics’ Tecasafe® 360+ workwear fabric aims to blur the lines between workwear and leisurewear.
By Rachael S. Davis, Executive Editor
Workwear fabric serves a purpose — to protect and in some cases make workers highly visible. To that end, the focus tends to fall heavily on the protective properties and not as much the comfort or style of a finished garment.
Union City, Ga.-based TenCate Protective Fabrics (TCPF) is looking to change that narrative with the introduction of its Tecasafe® 360+ flame-resistant (FR) fabric. The fabric was developed with the idea of comfortable, but stylish clothing every day that can be worn on and off the job in mind.
According to Michael Laton, vice president of Global Strategy and Innovation, the TenCate Protective Fabrics name is synonymous with comfort and many of company’s comfort innovations come from trends it sees in consumer markets. “The inspiration for Tecasafe 360+ was rooted in that same idea,” Laton said.
“We asked ourselves questions like, ‘What do people like to wear when they aren’t at work?’ and ‘What comfort technologies from the consumer market haven’t made their way into FR apparel yet?’”
TCPF discovered a common theme was a desire for a stretch FR fabric. “However, for a long time, no fabric makers had been able to engineer a stretch solution for flame-resistant fabric that could withstand the extreme environments and laundering conditions that industrial FR workwear undergoes on a daily basis,” Laton said.
Tecasafe 360+ features XLANCE® stretch fiber from Italy-based fiber producer XLANCE S.r.l. This polyolefin-based elastic yarn features crystallizable ethylene and non-crystallizable 1-octene monomers. In the solid state, the copolymers build an elastomeric network. Crystallites reinforce the structure acting as physical crosslinks to connect the flexible amorphous polymer chains. The fiber can withstand temperatures of up to 220°C without compromising its integrity and stretch performance, which makes it suitable for high-temperature textile processes.
The woven Tecasafe 360+ fabric comprises a blend of XLANCE with aramid, modacrylic and lyocell; and has a nominal weight of 8.5 ounces per square yard. Navy blue is the standard color available, and the inherent FR protection is maintained even in industrial laundering conditions, according to TCPF.
The fabric also has been certified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to standard NFPA 1975 for station uniforms for fire and emergency services as well as NFPA 2112 for protection from flash fire; and ASTM International standard ASTM 1506 for protection from flame resistance and electrical arc.
The fabric was recently launched in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific making it TCPF’s first global product launch. To tie in with the launch, the company even organized the “Make It [Work] Wear Fashion Challenge,” where students from around the globe were tasked with designing a new type of FR garment that redefines workwear.
“The introduction of Tecasafe 360+ is a watershed moment for the FR industry, and we’re incredibly excited to offer this new level of comfort to the hardworking people we serve,” Laton added.
For more information, please visit the Tecasafe® 360+ Virtual Experience at us.tencatefabrics.com/tecasafe-360-plus.
July/August 2023TenCate Protective Fabrics’ Tecasafe® 360+ workwear fabric aims to blur the lines between workwear and leisurewear.