Italian protective fabrics producer Argar Technology, a division of Argar S.r.L, will be showcasing its range of innovative products at this year’s leading technical textiles exhibitions – Techtextil 2013, and A+A Safety, Security & Health At Work 2013.
The company manufactures a wide range of single and double knit fabrics and accessories which are aimed at personal protective equipment (PPE) markets. Argar is based in the Varese area of Northern Italy’s industrial heartland and combines intensive research and development activity with rapid response and reliability to approach its chosen markets – protective workwear, sportswear and garments for other technically demanding applications.
“Argar does not restrict its market approach to fielding the constant flow of new fabric development enquiries which arise from the needs of continuously evolving PPE market. Instead the company has the main goal of creating new development opportunities, by reading and anticipating future trends,” say Umberto Negri, Owner / General Manager and Lorenzo Ferrario, Sales and Marketing Manager of Argar.
Ferrario explains that this carefully calculated approach creates new market opportunities for Argar’s partners and that the company’s proactive and visionary outlook creates new proposals – with constant communication being one of its essential marketing strategy tools.
Made in Italy
Ferrario describes the company’s background. “Until a few years ago Argar Srl was like many Italian textile producers, swimming against the tide in a traditional mature market. However, inspired by the latest knitting and ennobling technologies and stimulated by a strong desire to innovate, the company invested both high levels of energy and financial resources in the search for new horizons.”
Argar Technology was founded upon the concept of creating a completely localised manufacturing system embracing efficiency and the highest level of quality control against a competitive backdrop of low tech and low quality imports. In other words the company set out to make high quality innovative products which carried the ‘Made in Italy’ name.
The company’s strategy based on the high quality and technical content of its products soon paid dividends. Thanks to application of the ATEX directive, success arrived with a boom in demand for Argar’s Shield Tes antistatic knitted fabrics which were used in garments worn by retail fuel pump operators. Today, more than 95% of fuel pumps operators in Italy wear protective garments manufactured with knitted fabrics and accessories produced by Argar.
Nowadays Shield Tes antistatic knitted fabrics are finding more and more applications and the range has been enhanced by the introduction of new variants in different knit structures – in jersey, piqué and sweat, which are manufactured with Argar’s double knitting technology in Busto Arsizio.
Traditional single knitted fabrics are composed of conductive fibres with either cotton, polyester-cotton or polyester.
In fabrics manufactured with Argar’s double knitting technology, the external face is in 100% polyester while the internal face is in 100% cotton or cotton with conductive fibres. In this structure the features of durability and endurance of a polyester fabric are combined with comfort that a cotton fabric is able to supply when in contact with the skin.
Flame retardant fabrics
Noflam is a range of knitted fabrics specifically targeted at protection against fire. Protection, wearer comfort and extraordinary wash-fastness are said to give top level performance capabilities. The flame retardant features of Noflam knitted fabrics fully comply with the specifications of EN11612 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class II Certifications rules and according to Argar the flame retardant function is guaranteed by intrinsic properties of the fabrics, assuring the best performance and durability.
Antistatic and flame retardant combination fabrics
Argar’s Tes-firESD range of knitted fabrics is the result of intensive research and development activity where antistatic features combined with flame retardant capabilities give the product what Argar calls an absolutely “irreplaceable protection performance”, even in the most risky conditions. The antistatic and flame retardant features of Tes-firESD knitted fabrics fully comply with EN1149, EN11612 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class II Certifications rules.
Argar has also partnered with Lenzing FR, the leading producer of flame resistant cellulosic fibres, to manufacture high performance protective knitted fabrics with antistatic and flame retardant features. The first Lenzing FR based knitted fabric in regular production is Fleece E910 which is certified EN1149, EN11612, EN14116 (protection of Workers against occasional and brief contact with small igniting flames), EN61482 (specific certification for Protection of Workers exposed to Electric Arc) and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class II Certifications rules.
“Fleece E910 is having remarkable success in the European market – thanks to its advanced production system combined with the performance of Lenzing FR fibre,” says Lorenzo Ferrario.
High visibility fabrics
Double knitting technology was used by Argar Technology for the first time in its range of high visibility HVis-Tes knitted fabrics. The idea was to manufacture new knitted fabrics which are aimed at substituting the 100% polyester fabrics regularly used to achieve the chromatic specification set by EN471 rules.
In Argar’s HVis-Tes range of items, the external face of fabric is in 100% polyester while the internal face is in 100% cotton to combine the durability and endurance of a polyester fabric with the comfort of a cotton fabric next to the skin.
High visibility with antistatic fabrics
Argar’s range of HVis-Tes ESD knitted fabrics combines the advantages of its high visibility fabrics with the antistatic function of conductive fibres.
The Argar ResistComfort double knitted fabrics range is manufactured using double knitting technology, combining the features of the durability and endurance provided by polyester with the comfort properties of cotton.
“They are projected to satisfy the needs of durability in presence of conditions of hard wearing and washing which are prohibitive for a garment in pure cotton, without compromising the comfort of the garment itself, showing a top level performance when garments are washed and processed by commercial laundries,” Lorenzo Ferrario explains.
“The external face of ResistComfort knitted fabrics is in 100% polyester while the internal face is in 100% cotton. The features of ResistComfort double knitted fabrics fully comply with the specifications Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class II Certification rules.”
According to Argar, the manufacturing of textile accessories for garments is its wildcard in the market place.
The company manufactures a wide range of fully certified trims and accessories for protective including: polo collars; short sleeve polo lists; long sleeve polo cuffs; waist bands; cuffs; collars for sweats and jackets and all kinds of custom made accessories.
Argar also has an active partnership running with the Waxman Group and is officially authorized to use the Protal brand for knitted fabrics and accessories.