Sports shoes and apparel giant Nike has launched a new sports bra Fe/Nom bra that uses Nike’s Flyknit shoe tech. Nike is repurposing the Flyknit material it uses for sneakers into a sports bra — and it’s using a very technical process involving heat maps and digital body scans to do it. “It’s incredibly supportive and impossibly light,” Nike posted this message along with a picture of the bra on Instagram.
Nike engineers and designers have put in more than 600 hours of biometric testing to determine how best to knit together materials for use in its Flyknit products. That has involved capturing athlete motion and creating atlas maps, or digital body scans, to evaluate areas of high temperature, sweat, cooling and movement to maximize cooling, breathability and support.
This is the first time, however, that the rigorous Flyknit testing has been applied to a sports bra.
“The goal of the Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra was maximum support and comfort that would allow women to feel and look amazing while doing anything they choose,” explains Nicole Rendone, Senior Bra Innovation Designer. “We prioritized support, breathability and cooling in essential zones.”
Nike Flyknit, which debuted at the 2012 London Olympic games, is formed with a “digitally engineered knitting process,” according to NIke. The fabric is pieced together to create a featherweight upper for sneakers, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years.
The Flyknit Bra is similarly constructed with a ultra-soft nylon-spandex yarn that form fits to the body using two single-layer panels. It’s far simpler than other Nike bras that can have up to 40 different parts and more than 20 seams.
The new FE/NOM Flyknit bra is made of just two, and it is 30% lighter than any other bra Nike offers. Nike also made sure the nylon-spandex yarn it used was breathable to keep the wearer cool and dry.
The bra is an important release for Nike, not just because of its use of Flyknit. By 2020, Nike intends to reach $50 billion in annual sales, up substantially from the $34.4 billion it sold last year. Its women’s business will play a key role. Sports bras & tights are two core women’s items it wants to build on.