September 23, 2020

BASF’s innovative solutions help manufacturers meet athleisure trend

  • Innovative solutions “PolyTHFTM Inside” for soft spandex with superior elasticity and FreeflexTM fiber for shoes showcased at Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics
  • Industry event held to promote new possibilities for China’s textile industry
  • BASF at Intertextile Autumn 2020 Edition: Booth no. E48, German Pavilion, Hall 5.1, National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China, September 23 – 25

Shanghai, China – September 23, 2020 – BASF today unveiled innovative solutions for the fashion industry at the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics Autumn 2020 edition. The booth themed “Athleisure” will showcase solutions that help the fashion industry fabricate comfortable body-shaping apparel with improved durability and elasticity from September 23 – 25, 2020. These solutions are designed for a multitude of applications, such as sportswear, streetwear and underwear. This is in line with an increasing trend of consumers looking for clothes they can wear to a workout, as well as fashionably on the streets and in the workplace. At the event, BASF will also reveal its “PolyTHFTM Inside” brand for soft spandex and FreeflexTM fiber for streetwear collections.

PolyTHFTM Inside: expanding the success of elastic fibers

When applied to soft spandex, “PolyTHFTM Inside” offers superior elasticity and enhanced comfort, making apparel, such as sportswear, underwear and ready-to-wear clothing, easy to wear while offering improved body-shaping attributes. It also enables softness of the materials even at extremely low temperatures of -30ºC when compared with generic spandex. At the same time, apparel manufacturers can benefit from the materials’ excellent performance and stable production process while reducing carbon emissions.

“Last year, we debuted the ‘PolyTHFTM Inside’ brand to stretch spandex producers at this international event. This year, we are introducing this application to the producers of soft spandex,” said Dr. Bei Hu, Vice President of Business Management for Intermediates Greater China, BASF. “We are extremely thrilled to be cooperating with our long-term partner – Hangzhou Banglian Spandex (“Banglian”). They will use our PolyTHF® (Polytetrahydrofuran) in the production of their spandex yarn for apparel manufacturers. We strongly believe that the combined capabilities will result in products that enable even more possibilities in design and production for China’s textile industry.”

Freeflex – Bringing together visual aesthetics and functionality in everyday style

The booth will also feature the Freeflex™ fiber made from Elastollan® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The versatile fiber provides a significant breakthrough in the fashion and footwear industry with its eco-conscious manufacturing techniques. It permits intricately crafted and stitched designs that ensure premium quality. Freeflex™’s rigid and thermal moldable fiber, which is perfect for shoe upper applications, will be featured exclusively in this event. This fiber is not only known for its strength and excellent rigidity but also its versatility. Freeflex™ can conform to any shape or style while ensuring sensorial comfort for the wearer. Also, the all-purpose material can change the colors and appearance even for the most complex textile designs.

Enchi Shen’s latest streetwear collection, “Hybrid”, which used Freeflex™’s elastic fiber, will also be showcased in the event. The fiber’s low heat setting temperature has set the standard in energy-efficient manufacturing processes, enabling fabrics to dry quickly and saving energy in its production process. Owing to the textures and patterns that Freeflex™ possesses, such as transparent and opaque effects, geometric embossing, as well as its broad color palette, the “Hybrid” collection is edgy, vibrant and adheres to the latest fashion and color trends. In addition, Freeflex™ is also featured in BASF’s athleisure shoe – X-Swift, where the material conforms to the foot using minimal seams and stitch lines to provide superior comfort and maximum performance.

“We are very excited to showcase our latest Freeflex™  material used for shoe uppers and athleisure apparel at Intertextile,” said Minli Zhao, Vice President of Consumer Industry for Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF. “We will continue to provide offerings that bring tangible value to footwear and garment manufacturers and meet consumers’ active lifestyles and their desire for lasting comfort, fit, and shape.”

BASF is one of the world’s leading producers of PolyTHF®. It is primarily used to make elastic spandex fibers for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear, swimsuits, denim, and socks. The Freeflex™ fiber spun from Elastollan® TPU enables design freedom with its versatility in colors and textures and is also sustainable, fulfilling different applications – from shoe uppers to apparel and even anti-run upholstery.


About BASF in Greater China

BASF has been a committed partner to Greater China since 1885. With larger production sites in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Chongqing, BASF is a major foreign investor in the country’s chemical industry, and operates the Innovation Campus Shanghai, a global and regional research and development hub. BASF posted sales of over €7.3 billion in 2019 to customers in Greater China and employed 9,230 people as of the end of that year. For further information, please visit

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

Clare Zhang
Clare Zhang
Corporate Affairs Greater China
BASF (China) Co. Ltd.
300 Jiang Xin Sha Road
Shanghai, China
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Dr. Bei Hu (left), Vice President, Business Management for Intermediates, Greater China and Mr. Xiang Xingfu, Chairman of Hangzhou Banglian Spandex unveiling the “PolyTHFTM Inside” for soft spandex
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BASF showcases innovative solutions for the fashion industry at the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics Autumn 2020 edition
Last Update September 23, 2020