Japan’s Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation, the only producer of CUPRO in the world, is finally returning to the Première Vision (PV) stage. CUPRO has a long history, one that spans more than 80 years, and yet its products continue to evolve. Now spandex brand ROICA has announced the launch of the world’s first recycled spandex with Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certification, which it will exhibit alongside CUPRO.


The Asahi Kasei Group is one of the oldest chemical fibre manufacturers in Japan. Today it is a comprehensive manufacturer covering a wide range of sectors beyond fibres, from chemicals to housing, electronics and medical care.

Asahi Kasei Fibers began production of CUPRO in 1931, with competitors who were also producing the material gradually ceasing production one by one. Today Asahi Kasei Fibers is the only company in the world that produces this valuable material.



Matte Cupro Fabric


This is because Asahi Kasei tirelessly sought to improve CUPRO’s quality through technological reform and to cultivate new uses for it. Last year, facilities at the world’s only CUPRO factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, were expanded for the first time in around 20 years, and investment increased. This was a groundbreaking moment for the textile-manufacturing industry in the developed world.

Although CUPRO was originally in high demand as a lining material, it is now used across a large variety of items, including men’s and ladies’ outerwear, legwear and innerwear. It is also increasingly used among textile manufacturers and converters in Europe, and there are plans to introduce some of the materials developed in collaboration with these partners in a simple format at PV.

The new concept is threefold: “micro fine”, “dull” and “new short fibres”. The strengths of CUPRO, where the finest class of threads can be made with cellulosic fibres, will be generously utilised; allowing its numerous benefits to be realised.



Spun Cupro Fabric


ROICA is a high-end spandex that is being globally rolled out by Asahi Kasei Fibers. Japanese companies’ scrupulous attention to quality has led to the assembly of a high-functionality spandex that is very flexible, chlorine-resistant and heat-set.

The focus at PV will be on ROICA as the first recycled spandex in the world. By making possible the previously technologically challenging process of recycling spandex, a new thread that uses at least 50% recycled, pre-production industrial waste was developed. ROICA is the world’s first ecological material to earn the full GRS certification, which should drastically increase the possibilities of spandex.

The second innovation is the development of dyeable-to-match stretch-yarn spandex. The same acid dyes used to dye nylon are utilised, allowing a variety of colours to be used across a broad range of applications such as inner and outerwear, and leggings. This will contribute to the creation of higher-quality products.



Eco Stretch Denim


Asahi Kesei’s high-strength A-CUBIC has been created through continual investment and the accumulation of technology throughout the company’s long history, an enhanced developmental structure involving more than 100 researchers, and a system of development that takes advantage of the comprehensive strength of the entire group.

One example of where this led to the development of a specific product is in the case of a sports bra developed jointly with Marks & Spencer. Using Asahi Kasei’s state-of-the-art technology, the company produced a bra that keeps the chest from swaying during exercise.

The Asahi Kasei Group also manufactures automobile resins, which it develops using a computer simulation system. The company applied this system to human exercise and conducted simulations to help it understand the effects that bra design and materials have on the user.