Woven elastics have long been the choice for waistbands in men's and boys' briefs and many other products because of their hand, thickness and "traditional usage." But what if, wondered Keith Crisco, president of Asheboro, NC-based Asheboro Elastics, you could re-create these properties in a knitted elastic, which costs substantially less to produce. The savings for a purchaser would be tremendous.
After many years of research, collaboration and testing, Asheboro Elastics' eureka idea is now a reality. The company will debut its new innovation, called RavlockT, at Apparel's Tech Conference 2003. Crisco calls Ravlok the "most significant breakthrough in knitted elastic in the past 25 years" for the men's/boys' brief market in particular. Plus, it has applications for any product in which elastic is used. Already, knitted elastics made from the Ravlok process are in use.
In short, Ravlok is a patented process that addresses the major vulnerability of knitted elastic: the fact that knitted elastic is basically a chainstitch, which results in the tendency for the top and bottom leading edge of the waistband to ravel. (In the case where the elastic is covered, such as in a ladies' pair of slacks, or in garments sewn such as a men's boxer short, this is not an issue.)
Explains Crisco: "Knitted elastic has always had significant savings potential, but because of these concerns, people have not, at least in these applications, been willing to accept knitted product. But with Ravlok and the use of 20 guage knitted construction and the "Intertexture" concept developed originally by Beech Island Knitting, knitted elastic gets very close to a woven in hand and body, creating more comfort for the consumer, and there is no raveling on the critical top portion of the waistband."
Morever, because the Ravlok process is for knitted elastic, the end product offers knitted elastic's characteristic benefits, such as drying times similar to the body fabric of the garment (which results in longer wear life), plus better retention of the "newness look." Additionally, knitted elastics can be turned out significantly faster than woven elastics (which are produced on looms), allowing for faster response and turn times. Finally, because sewing channels can be created in knitted elastic by removing one or more needles during the knitting process, the elastic can then be sewn onto garments at higher speeds.
Asheboro developed the Ravlok process. This combined with twenty-cut manufacturing (20 needles per inch for a 1-inch-band construction) is used, along with Beech Island's patented "Intertexture" process, whereby additional layers of yarn are placed in between the filler yarns in the band to create additional bulk and coverage.
SUSAN S. BLACK is publisher of Apparel and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Crisco . 336-629-2626 . www.asheboroelastics.com