Cheynet, a subsidiary of the Cheynet Group, has been manufacturing elastic and rigid narrows at Saint-Juste-Malmont in the Haute-Loire district of France since 1948. A vertically integrated company, it controls production phases, from preparation of threads to the make-up of components. It produces 60 million metres of narrow tape every year.
How did you earn the Interfilière Creator of the Year award?
I believe it reflects market recognition of our capacity to combine technology and fashion. We have re-worked our ranges, adding modernity and grading them according to target markets. We offer products precisely calibrated to the needs of customers in each sector.
Which apparel segments do you work with?
Intimate apparel remains by far the most important, accounting for 60% of sales, but we’re also active in the ready-to-wear, sport and swimwear segments, and offer a range of products in non-apparel sectors such as automotive.
What distinguishes you from competitors?
In addition to our narrow tape collections, we produce components such as prototypes of ready-made straps which enable customers to better understand our offer and how it can be used to enhance their own collections. We also pay particular attention to quality at every stage of the manufacturing process and take pride in our 99% client satisfaction level.
Do you offer custom products?
Yes – this is an important part of our business. Most customers have precise specifications, and their needs can change from one article to another. Elastane has an essential part to play in the quality and functionality of stretch tape, so we’ve always worked closely with the LYCRA® brand. Nothing matches the quality of LYCRA® fibers, especially for more technical products, such as those used in sport and the orthopedics segment.
You favor local production, why?
It matches market needs. For practical reasons, customers sourcing narrow tape tend to look for suppliers who are geographically close. We’ve been producing at the same site in France for 70 years, and it remains our center of expertise. But we also have factory in Tunisia to serve customers in the Euro-Med area, and the one in Asia that enables us to support brands and retailers who make up collections there.
What about current market trends for narrows?
Customers are looking for tapes that are increasingly soft and light. By combining different threads and constructions, we can offer products that are more transparent than before but retain functionality. There is also renewed demand for rigid narrows which now account for 20% of our output – double the level of previous years. In the intimate apparel segment, there’s a trend towards higher waist bands influenced by the wide elastic bands used in sport applications. We can respond to this and other new requirements because we produce tapes anywhere between 2mm to 60mm wide.
What themes are reflected your current lingerie collections?
We’ve developed three different themes. With ‘Peau’ (Skin), we offer products that are sensual that appeal to elegant women who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for aesthetics. ‘Ailleurs’ (Elsewhere) reflects a mix of cultural influences and primarily addresses freedom-loving consumers. ‘Choc’ (Shock) dares to seduce with sharper fashion themes targeting the most demanding consumers.
What are your business development ambitions?
To continue to listen to the markets in order to better respond to their wishes. Swimwear and ready to wear are focus areas where we want to increase our presence, and we have interesting product ranges to do so. But top of the list is maintaining volume in intimate apparel where it all started for Cheynet so many years ago!