Thomas, can you tell us about LeMur and its history?
LeMur began twenty years ago as Alafil S.p.A. in Ala (Trento), Italy. Shortly afterwards, Fein-Elast, an established operator in the covered yarns sector based in Austria, took control of the company to establish its presence in the Italian market. LeMur S.p.A. launched when the Fein-Elast group surrendered its majority holding in 2011. The change of shareholders acted like a catalyst, as we invested resources and energy into renewing our offerings and creating solutions to meet the requirements of current markets. Our streamlined corporate structure means that we are very flexible, and we are able to make rapid modifications to production lines in order to meet the requirements of our most demanding clients. Finally, thanks to our close collaboration with INVISTA, owner of the LYCRA® brand, LeMur is known today as a reliable, innovative partner in the Italian market and beyond.
What’s LeMur’s core business and product positioning?
We specialise in the commercial production of single and double covered and interlaced air-jet stretch yarns for the legwear, seamless, medical hosiery, knitwear, circular knit and weaving sectors. Thanks to our years of experience in the industry, today we can focus our efforts on creating premium products. Our refined yarns are specially designed to produce extremely high-quality articles with unique characteristics.
Can you tell us about LeMur’s quality control process?
Our in-house research laboratory is staffed by technicians with the relevant academic skills and training to carry out a qualitative analysis of the individual yarns produced. This allows us to offer our clients products with outstanding reliability, as well as a range of solutions designed to meet increasingly varied and specific performance requirements. As a result, we not only offer excellent products, but also the know-how and skills to make the most of every product’s potential.
What strategies has LeMur adopted to compete globally?
We are focused on expanding into foreign markets where there is an appreciation for the creativity and innovative drive that is typical of “Made in Italy” production. As a result, we can now boast a line of specialities that embody typical Italian know-how and creativity, while fulfilling the specific demands of the individual markets served. To help differentiate our products in the global marketplace, we have focused on producing high-quality articles featuring the latest technical innovations. This has resulted in a range of articles featuring LYCRA® fibre that offer unrivalled tactile, aesthetic and stretch characteristics.
Why have you decided to work with INVISTA to create your products?
By collaborating with INVISTA, we are able to maintain uniform quality levels, achieve excellent production results, and have access to the best targeted solutions for stretch products, including: LYCRA® STEAM SETTABLE technology (T-178C), LYCRA® SOFT COMFORT technology (T902C), LYCRA® FUSION™ technology (T777F/772F). INVISTA has proved to be an ideal partner in our global adventure, thanks to the more than 200 differentiated fibres available in the LYCRA® fibre range, and the brand's high recognisability throughout the world.
How important is innovation to your business?
We believe that enduring commercial success requires creating cutting-edge, technical products, so we have always had a strong innovative drive. Our commitment led us to invest heavily in building our own in-house R&D team. Right from the start, the work carried out by our R&D department has been based on our strong desire to discover innovative solutions to our clients’ problems. This solution-based approach to business has led to important collaborations with universities and research centres in Italy and abroad. While these innovations are important for commercial, organisational and production reasons, they are often of great scientific interest as well. One of our most important and fruitful collaborations is between our R&D team and INVISTA, which has led to the ongoing development of innovative, high-performance articles. LeMur carefully selects cover yarns to develop technical materials that will give our products increasingly refined and unique properties.
LeMur’s investment in R&D led to the development of muriel®. Can you tell us about this revolutionary product?
muriel® is our most exciting product and the pride of our product portfolio. As the world's first and only silicone elastic yarn, muriel® represents our ongoing commitment to innovation. Inspired by the idea of using a stretch thread in plastic surgery, muriel® exploits the natural chemical and physical properties of silicone stretch material. In doing so, it provides an almost endless range of technological solutions for applications previously inconceivable for traditional elastomers. muriel® is not intended to be a replacement for LYCRA® fibre, but is in fact, a complementary product. muriel® exploits its exceptional adherence properties to replace silicone applications. It’s inserted directly during production and enables the creation of grip zones. Typically, basic stretch performance is provided by LYCRA® fibre, usually LYCRA® SOFT COMFORT technology, while muriel® provides the anti-slip effect without creating excess pressure or irritating the skin. It also offers perfect moisture management.
How do INVISTA innovations support LeMur’s business strategies?
LeMur's core business involves the creation of stretch yarns for applications in apparel, hosiery and medicine, so INVISTA is our company's ideal and most reliable partner. Our unyielding drive to achieve excellence in our products would not be sustainable without the constant support of a partner like INVISTA. It provides innovative elastomer solutions that can meet every specific client need. The quality of LYCRA® fibre, combined with our refined, unique covering fibres, enable us to diversify and strengthen our position in the European covered yarns market as the benchmark company for innovation.
*muriel® won the ITMA future materials award for “Best Innovation for Protective Textiles” in 2015 – more on www.itma.com.
LYCRA® is a trademark of INVISTA.