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High-tech seams with the latest laser technology

The greatest innovations – always shown first at PERFORMANCE DAYS

High-tech seams with the latest laser technology

Swiss engineering is always an indication of absolute precision. Leister Technologies located in Kägiswil is no exception. The specialist is introducing an absolute world’s first in their presentation at PERFORMANCE DAYS: the latest development in joining synthetics. Textiles of the future can be held together in a completely new way using a newly developed laser process – without needles and threads!
Frederike Lehmeier from Leister explains how laser joining of technical textiles works and why it is destined to become the standard practice of the future for seam processing in an interview with PERFORMANCE DAYS.
? PERFORMANCE DAYS: Frau Lehmeier, Leister is known as an expert in welding plastics. What was your most impressive project?
! Frederike Lehmeier: Our equipment is used in a number of different sectors around the world for demanding laser welding projects. As a specific example, we are very proud of the NEAT (German acronym for New Rail Alpine Crossing) basis tunnel – the Gotthard tunnel was sealed with Leister equipment.
? : Now you are introducing a brand new process for laser welded seams in the textile industry, in particular, the sportswear segment – what advantages does that have?
! : Lasered seams are unbelievably soft and flexible. In our process, the fabric is virtually undamaged and is joined in a nearly invisible manner – that is pure innovation at its best. Unlike with ultrasonic joining, there is no mechanical impact on the fabrics that can lead to hardened areas on the surface. And another advantage of laser joining in contrast to adhesives is that no additional material is required for the seams.
? : What kind of clothing is suitable for laser joining?
! : It is best for clothing that is in contact with the skin as you feel no irritations. Underwear, shirts, bustiers, and bras will be much more comfortable. The friction against the skin as the athlete sweats is reduced significantly. The waistband and leg cuffs for example, can be fitted very comfortably.
? : Which fabrics can be joined?
! : The optical characteristics of the textiles are relevant for the use of lasers. I will explain this subject in more detail in my talk. Furthermore, laser seams work when the same sorts of materials are joined, simply put, like is joined with like. In terms of recycling, this also provides an environmental benefit. Thermoplastic materials like PES, PP, and PA are generally good. Blends with elastane are generally no problem; however, we have very little experience with blends that have natural fibers.
? : Your process sounds like a really special, innovative solution. Can the lasering be performed in every factory?
! : Well, in any case, a great deal of know-how is required. The process is in fact very sophisticated and is currently not used in manufacturing. Rethinking is necessary and new rules have to be implemented. This is advantageous in that companies can develop their own know-how, which is a great USP for the brand and a company can position itself as a functional trailblazer!
? : Is this technology ready for production?
! : Some development work is still required for material and machinery. This is why as an equipment manufacturer we have intensive contact with textile manufacturers to move the technology forward and make it easily accessible to the producers and clothing manufacturers. The joining results that have been achieved with suitable textiles thus far convinced us to move this technology into production. What we require now is a definite „green light“ from the clothing industry that the technology should be made available for production. We will then develop serial machinery from our prototypes based on the needs of the manufacturers and ensure the technology is ready for production.
Frau Lehmeier, thank you very much for this exciting overview.

At PERFORMANCE DAYS on November 16 at 2:45 pm, Frau Lehmeier will explain the technology in detail and answer questions in her presentation „The future of textile welding: New seam technologies.“ All lectures, workshops, and Hotspot Tours are free of charge, just like the entry to the trade fair itself!

PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair wurde 2008 als erste und einzige Veranstaltung speziell für funktionelle Textilien für die Sport und Berufsbekleidung gegründet. Ziel der halbjährlichen Messe ist es, hochwertigen und innovativen Textilherstellern, Zulieferern und Dienstleistern die Möglichkeit zu geben funktionelle Stoffe, Membrane plus Beschichtungen, Laminate, Wattierungen, Ausrüstungen und Accessoires wie beispielsweise auch Garne, Tapes, Prints, Knopfe und Reisverschlüsse zu präsentieren.

Die Fachbesucher der Messe – Modedesigner, Produktmanager, Einkäufer und Entscheider nahezu aller europäischen Sportmode und Funktionsbekleidungs-Hersteller (Beispiele online unter: Visitor List) – finden damit genau zum richtigen Zeitpunkt im April und November das gesamte Portfolio hochwertiger Materialien. Dank der Spezialisierung auf Funktionstextilien ist das Timing entsprechend früh und optimal für Sommer- und Winter-Sportkollektionen gewählt. (Alle Messekataloge vorrangegangener Veranstaltungen sind online unter Catalogs sowie die aktuelle Aussteller Liste unter Exhibitor List abrufbar).

Die ruhige und konzentrierte Arbeitsatmosphäre unterscheidet die functional fabric fair von anderen oft unüberschaubaren und stressigen Messen. Auch das macht die Münchener Messe im Herzen der europäischen Sportswear-Industrie zu der Top Adresse für neue Stoffe, Innovationen und dem Branchentreff für Geschäftsbeziehungen.

Im einzigartigen PERFORMANCE FORUM der PERFORMANCE DAYS erhält der Besucher eine inspirierende und fundierte Übersicht über neue Materialien, Trends und Innovationen der Aussteller. Hochwertige Fachvorträge und Kooperationen runden das Informationsangebot zudem ab (siehe online Presentations).
Präsentationen wie Messeeintritt sind für Fachbesucher gratis.

Design & Development GmbH Textile Consult
Lena Weimer
Mayerbacherstr. 32
85737 Ismaning

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