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26th April 2012, Muttenz

Under Armour launches coldblack sportswear collection

Specialty chemicals supplier Clariant and Swiss textiles innovator Schoeller have worked with USA based sports performance brand Under Armour to develop its latest coldblack sportswear collection which offers advanced UV protection and reflection. The new collection was launched in March 2012 and is said to be creating a sensation in the US sports market.

Light coloured textiles reflect both visible and invisible rays of sunlight, while dark ones absorb both. Award-winning coldblack finishing technology however is said to significantly reduce the absorption of heat rays, particularly by darker coloured clothing. The result claimed is greatly improved heat management, reliable protection from UV rays and a much wider design colour palette for athletes who participate in outdoor competition. In addition, coldblack contains only bluesign 1 approved components.

Under Armour website screenshot showing new coldblack range

The US-based sports performance brand Under Armour aims make all athletes better through science, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation and has adopted coldblack technology in its sports apparel ranges for men's and women's running, golf, and training apparel categories.

The approach has seen the company go from strength to strength since its formation in 1996 by former University of Maryland footballer Kevin Plank, whose initial ambition was to bring to the market a superior t-shirt which would provide both compression and moisture management.

Since then, a range of performance wear innovations has been rolled out, drawing on the latest developments from textile chemical and fabric innovators like Clariant and Schoeller.

Clariant and Schoeller say they mobilized their experts worldwide in order to deploy the intensive lab research, development and testing that was required for the coldblack technology, along with close co-ordination with selected mill partners on four continents.

In total, around 144 separate coldblack formulations have been developed to date and will be supplied for ranges that include 100% knitted and woven polyester fabrics, as well as blends with elastane and polyamide, in an extensive range of colours.

In addition, the Sanitized hygiene function, an antimicrobial finish manufactured by Sanitized AG and distributed worldwide by Clariant, will provide freshness, performance and wearing comfort within the ranges.

"We are very excited to team up with Under Armour and work closely with Schoeller on this project, which once again demonstrates the value-adding power of Clariant as a technology provider when our experts are involved from the early stages of development," said Brad McClanahan, Global Head, Apparel & Interior at Clariant.

"Under Armour underlines the positive benefits coldblack can bring in all kinds of activity," says Hans Kohn, COO of Schoeller Technologies. "The winning combination of reflecting direct sunlight and providing UV protection brings new levels of functionality to the sports apparel market."    

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