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Crafting the threads of innovation: Toray Opelontex’s vision in textile evolution

Article - April 18, 2024

Toray Opelontex pioneers in the textile industry with its groundbreaking LYCRA® fiber, revolutionizing apparel with invisible yet impactful elasticity, while leveraging partnerships and sustainable practices for a brighter, more resilient future.

Established as a joint venture between the Japanese chemical business, Toray, and the U.S. fiber and technology solutions business, The LYCRA Company, Japanese fiber manufacturer Toray Opelontex is revolutionizing the textile industry with its elastic products.

The company has two core products. The first is Polyurethane LYCRA® fiber, a thin and transparent synthetic fiber that can stretch up to seven times. The material was initially used for apparel industries before expanding to many different fields. The second product, LYCRA® T400® fiber, is a bicomponent fiber in which PET and PTT polymers are joined together within each filament. While it has less elasticity than LYCRA® fiber, it provides the right balance between style and comfort.

In recent years, there has been a strong need to establish a recycling system for textile products. Osamu Yamaji, President of Toray Opelontex, points out: “We are currently developing methods to recover and reuse the components of final fabrics that are collected from customers or shops, having already established the fundamental technology.”

Mr. Yamaji emphasizes: "Our greatest mission is continuing to provide social value to the customers in Japan in order to embody our slogan, ‘Small but Diamond’. LYCRA® fiber is 'invisible' but creates 'visible' value, to the fabric, and then to people, and finally to society.”