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Israeli fashion patents keep America dressed for success
Posted By Allison Kaplan Sommer On February 6, 2005 @ 7:00 pm In | No Comments
Bagir’s new elegant suit, made from a special blend of fabric with a unique stitching technique is the first suit that can be washed in a regular home washing machine with no need for dry cleaning or ironing. While Israel might have its limitations in terms of territory and water supply, there is one natural resource in which Israel is unlikely to experience a shortage – new ideas.
Israel is the country with the third highest rate of registering U.S. patents per capita in the world – trailing only behind Japan and Thailand.
While Israel is known as being particularly strong when it comes to innovation in high tech and the sciences – there are plenty of Israelis getting creative about new inventions in areas one might not expect as well. For example, some of the products resulting from the worldwide patents filed by Israeli companies can be found in your closet.
Today, according to the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, Israel has more than 40 fashion and textile exporters, which account for annual exports estimated at approximately $ 1.1 billion with $ 370 million from textile and $ 670 million from apparel.
Faced with the stiff competition brought by globalization, the ability to innovate has kept the textile industry alive in Israel. Companies have shown consistent international growth by constantly inventing ways to improve clothing, and identifying and targeting specific niche markets.
For well-dressed men, the patent registered by the Israeli clothing company Bagir could be changing lives already by cutting down on visits to the dry cleaners.
The company has spent years developing an innovation that they believe will revolutionize the way men dress. Their new elegant suit, made from a special blend of fabric with a unique stitching technique is the first suit that can be washed in a regular home washing machine with no need for dry cleaning or ironing.
The machine-washable suit is designed specifically for businessmen and men whose appearance is important who may not always have access to dry cleaners. The blend of wool and polyester can be worn in all seasons. The suit is being welcomed in an atmosphere where the casually rumpled look has gone out of style, and men are once more “dressing for success” to heart with more tailored attire.
“Heads of large department store chains in the world have seen our suit as one of the major breakthroughs in menswear of the last decade,” Ofer Gilboa, president of Bagir told ISRAEL21c.
Indeed, in the United States, the retail giant J.C. Penney began carrying the suit under the ‘Stafford’ label this year, and in Great Britain, the Marks and Spencer carries the suit, which won the chain the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
A new Bagir patent is for a men’s suit that is forgiving of extra pounds. The company has invented a light weight suit called Aeriflex that have special ‘give’ in the thighs for unexpected weight gain – it can fit a man at a range of weights without looking baggy when he is at a lower weight, or tight at a higher weight.
Both of the suits are part of the company’s B-TEC line of innovative clothing, which the company describes as “a full range of technology innovations assimilated in garments and fabric” using a “novel R&D approach with the goal of creating a product that enhances the wearer’s overall experience.”
According to Gilboa, Bagir has had to defend its patents aggressively – specifically, the washable suit. “We have identified fake products in the market,” Gilboa said. “Usually they don’t meet the standards and after a few washings you would not put it on the back of a horse.”
Bagir, founded in 1961, specializes in the development, manufacture and marketing of high quality men and women’s tailored fashions that aspires to offer consumers “the ultimate wearing experience.”
The company has strategic partnerships with retail customers and tries to stay attuned to customer needs. Besides Penney and Marks and Spencer, it markets suits, jackets and trousers under well-know private labels such as Brooks Brothers in the United States and Balmain Innovations in France.
But it isn’t only suits that are being retooled – new Israeli thinking comes down to the level of socks. The successful footwear company Teva Naot patented and has already begun marketing special socks aimed at athletes and extreme sportsmen called ‘Feel Free Drynamic.’
The socks use a newly patented Israeli technology that draws sweat and wetness to away from the foot, and adds an antibacterial substance that prevents odor and fungus. The high tech socks suit the anatomy perfectly, even distinguishing between the right and left foot and special weaving provides extra padding between the foot and the shoe, helping to absorb shocks and prevent blisters.
The company says that the socks have an ergonomic design that combines innovative materials and a special technology that makes them flexible while providing arch support. The combination of materials is derived from the world of challenge sports and creates a quality product with special features that grant the foot complete comfort – the perfect accompaniment to Naot’s comfort shoes with their anatomic insole.
Smooth fibers located in areas of increased friction prevent chafing, which causes blisters, while flat stitching leaves the toe area irritation free. The socks also undergo anti-bacterial treatment for the prevention of odor and athlete’s foot.
“Feel Free Drynamic socks are an innovative and revolutionary product.,” Michael Illouz, Naot’s CEO, told ISRAEL21c.
The manufacturing socks are just the latest chapter in the success story that is Teva-Naot. When the members of Kibbutz Naot Mordechai founded the kibbutz shoe factory in 1942, no one imagined than in fifty years’ time their shoes would be worn all over the world. Their slogan in the late 1980s – “It’s fashionable to walk in comfort” – quickly conquered the world.
Naot manufactures a large variety of footwear with a unique anatomical footpad. The footpad is a ‘negative’ print of the foot, just like the footprint we leave when walking in the sand. It is flexible, soft, shock absorbent, supports the heel and alleviates tiredness and pain. The footpad is made of natural substances of the highest quality, from Europe’s finest manufacturers – cork, latex (natural rubber) and superior Italian leathers.
Naot has gained a loyal customer following in Israel, which each year enjoys a new and varied collection of comfortable shoes, clogs and sandals.
In the international market, Naot is highly successful and competes with leading international comfort footwear brands in the US, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, France, and in many other countries.
So, no matter the fashion needs, Israeli patents are enabling people in the workplace and at leisure to move around in style and comfort.
Article printed from ISRAEL21c: http://www.israel21c.org
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