BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

Accurate    Concise    Timely

Front Page News

Southern Weaving Being Acquired. Andreas Oppermann, President of Oppermann GmbH, a global manufacturer of textile webbing products, has announced his intent to acquire the assets of Southern Weaving Company. In the near term, Oppermann plans to continue operating the Southern Weaving facilities located in Greenville and Anderson, S.C., USA. Oppermann GmbH will continue to service webbing markets from its existing production facility in Piedmont, S.C. while undergoing a plant expansion capable of merging Greenville production within the next year. Southern Weaving’s current Anderson facility is planned to remain in operation in support of existing markets, customers and products. Oppermann is headquartered in Einbeck, Germany, where it also maintains a production facility. The company also operates plants in the UK, China and Slovakia, as well as the Piedmont facility (Oppermann Webbing, Inc.). Its products are used over a wide spectrum of applications in many international market segments, including industrial, transportation, construction and aviation. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the news. Posted August 17, 2017

Indorama Acquires DuraFiber Plants in Mexico and France. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has announced its intention to purchase DuraFiber Technologies México Operations, S. A. DE C. V. (DFT), makers of technical textiles for industrial, tire reinforcement and specialty applications as well as PET High Modulus Low Shrinkage (PET HMLS), PET Heavy Denier Industrial (PET HDI) and Nylon 6 which are used in tire cord, singly-ply roofing, tents, automotive airbags, seat belts, safety harnesses and ropes. IVL is also acquiring DuraFiber Longlaville in France. The acquisitions will significantly increased IVL's participation in the automotive market segment. Click here to read the IVL press release. Posted August 15, 2017

Search Committee Formed to Find New AATCC Executive Director. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) has formally announced an Executive Search Committee has been formed to hire a new AATCC Executive Director. John "Jack" Daniels, the current Executive Director, announced in July his intention to retire in March 2018. Individuals interested in applying should contact Amy Holland, AATCC's Business Services Director, at amy@aatcc.org. Posted August 14, 2017

Toray Industries to Build Technical Textiles Plant in India. According to The Hindu Business Line, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced today that Toray Industries will invest $146.7 million in a new manufacturing facility in the southern Indian state to make technical textiles. The plant will be located in Sri City. The facility will be part of Toray's India Expansion Plan. Click here to read the article. Posted August 11, 2017

US Structure Manufacturer Acquires $24.2 Million in Assets from Large Party Tent Supplier. Mahaffey Fabric Structures, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA, has announced its acquisition of $24.2 million in assets from Classic Party Rentals, once the largest commercial tent renter in the US. The acquisition amounts to 3.1 million square feet of tent and structure inventory. Classic Tent will continue to operate, primarily in the southwest US. With the asset purchase, Mahaffey, already a major fabricator of commercial fabric structures, becomes the largest tent rental (marquee hirer) supplier in North America. Click here to read more on the acquisition. Posted August 6, 2017

June US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end June 30. The overall global export figure showed improved results over the previous month's release, increasing by almost 1.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, has continued it slight month-by-month decline. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, showed a large 17.59% increase. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

6/2016

Year Ending

6/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,087,166

2,076,381

-0.52

Canada

554,539

566,110

2.09

China

160,552

188,795

17.59

Hong Kong

136,557

124,441

-9.87

United Kingdom

91,119

100,874

+10.71

World 4,080,980 4,141,593 +1.49

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 5, 2017

US Army Exercises Contract Option with Spider Silk Developer. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a  developer of spider silk based fibers, announced August 2 that the US Army awarded the optional phase of its contract with the company valued at more than $900,000. Under this exercised option, the Kraig Biocraft will work to design, produce, and deliver additional recombinant spider silk materials tailored for the protective needs of soldiers. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted August 4, 2017

Gehring-Tricot Subsidiary Expands to New Facility. According to an article posted on The Herald News website, Tweave, a manufacturer of stretch high performance sports fabric, is moving from its Norton, Mass., USA location to a larger facilty in Fall River, Mass. Tweave's markets include military and industrial applications. It is a subsidiary of Gehring-Tricot, acquired in 2008. Click here to read the article. Posted August 4, 2017

Photo: Google Maps

Another Awning Saves a Toddler. It's happened again. A toddler falls out the window and bounces on the fabric awning below, being saved from serious injury. This time it was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. A two-year old girl survived a 3-story fall when she landed on a store awning beneath her apartment window. Click here to read the story. Posted August 2, 2017

Photo Credit: MIT

MIT Hosts "Hackathon" to Created Functional Fabric Products to Aid Emergency Response.The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute, and MD5, a partnership between the US Department of Defense and a network of national research universities all came together July 29-31 to host a student hackathon to design novel solutions for the battlefield, disaster sites and other dangerous environments using technical textiles. Held at MIT, near Boston, Mass., USA, more than 20 teams of students participated. Two winning teams earned grand prizes of up to $15,000 for their products -- a sensor-laden clothing that detects potential injury which allows prioritization of care and a double-sided, multipurpose blanket for people displaced from their homes.  Click here to read more at the MIT News website. Posted August 2, 2017

Russia is Developing a Parachute System to Airdrop Armored Vehicles with Personnel Inside. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Russian Airborne Force is getting a new Bakhcha-UPDS multi-cupola parachute system in 2018. The parachute system will make it possible to air-drop the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. What's unique about the plan is that the crew will already be strapped into the vehicle when it is dropped from the transport plane, making it operation-ready as soon as it hits the ground. Click here to read the Russian article at the TASS website. Posted August 1, 2017

Wearable Shirt for Cows Keeps Them Cooler in Summer, Producing More Milk. This was recently posted by Lina Rambausek on the Smart Textiles group page in LinkedIn. A Japanese underwear manufacturer Gunze Ltd., in partnership with the Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, has developed a high-tech garment to keep cows from overheating. If a cow is heat-stressed, it produces less milk. The wearable shirt fits over the cow's neck and shoulders and has sensors that monitors the moisture of the material. If it senses the material is too dry, water is pumped through a tube to douse the animal, cooling the hide. Every day technical textiles is solving a problem. Click here to read more. Posted August 1, 2017

Glen Raven to Buy Sunbury Textiles. In a press release issued today, Glen Raven, Inc. announced it is acquiring Sunbury Textile Mills, headquartered in Sunbury, Penn., USA. Sunbury is a manufacturer of decorative jacquard fabrics. The company has already had a 20-year relationship with Glen Raven, having an exclusive license to produce Glen Raven's Sunbrella® fabrics for the outdoor/indoor furniture markets. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven, Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 1, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Shows Significant Increase for 2nd Quarter of 2017. According to data compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, the order index for textile machinery during the period from April to June rose by 26% compared to the same period in 2016. The significant increase was in the Italian domestic market at +66%; however, even the foreign markets increased 22%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi expressed the satisfaction of the entire sector: “The data confirms that a recovery is currently underway for our domestic market. This is the third consecutive quarter that the order index is on the rise.” Posted August 1, 2017

More Robotics and Need for Trained Sewing Machine Operators Highlighted in Article. There is an interesting article posted on the technology website ZDNet on the growing trend of robotic sewers in the US as some end product manufacturing from companies like Nike and Adidas is coming back to the domestic shores. To be competitive, the US fabricators are turning to more robotics such as Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation's "Sewbots."  There is also a shortage of trained sewing operators.  The Industrial Fabric International Association's sewing training program is mentioned in the article. Click here to read the article. Posted July 29, 2017

Foss Manufacturing Sells Its Nonwovens Technical Textiles Division. Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC announced July 28, 2017 it has sold its Northern Division, which manufacturers needle punch nonwoven materials in Hampton, N.H., USA for automotive, craft and industrial applications, to AstenJohnson Holdings, Ltd. The new name of this division under AstenJohnson will be Foss Performance Materials. At the same time, the remaining independent independent Foss Manufacturing is rebranding to become Foss Floors. It is headquartered in Rome, Ga. USA. Posted July 28, 2017

Inflatable Boat Procurement Problems for Canadian Military. There's an interesting article posted on the CBC News website regarding the problems the Public Services and Procurement Canada has had in procuring 350 new inflatables landing craft for the Canadian military. The first request for competitive bids was issued in May 2016, was revised in July 2016, and then cancelled after questions from the industry regarding the expected performance specifications. The department then issued a second tender in November 2016 and received 4 bidders. In January 2017, the contact went to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. of Delta, B.C, for about $6.4 million. But then came accusations of fair bid evaluation conduct. The department has now decided to cancel the Zodiac deal and start over again. Click here to read the article. Posted July 28, 2017

Newtex Acquires HIgh Temperature Fabic Distributor. US manufacturer Newtex , a producer of high temperature materials, announced yesterday that it has completed its acquisition of Thermostatic Industries, Inc., a Huntington Park, Calif., USA distributor of high temperature textiles and fabricated heat shield products. This acquisition adds a West Coast distribution for Newtex. The purchase of Thermostatic also gains Newtex the distribution rights to 3M's Nextel industrial materials. Click here to read the Newtex press release. Posted July 27, 2017

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet are pictured inside BEAM. Pesquet is also wearing the experimental SkinSuit. Source: NASA

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is Functioning in Space. Do you remember our posts last May about the launch and placement of the fabric Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) for the International Space Station (ISS)? It was only a prototype and expected to be tested for two years, then detached and left to burn up in the atmosphere. However, after being in space a full year, it has performed so well NASA says there is really no reason to throw it away and the new plan is to use BEAM as a storage module for as long as the ISS continues to operate. Meanwhile Bigelow Enterprises, the maker of the BEAM, plans to build a 20 times bigger module called the B330, intending it to be used as a stand-alone space station. Expected launch date is in 2020. Click here to read a post about the success of BEAM on the NPR website. Posted July 27, 2017

Canada's Transportation Safety Board Recommends Mandatory Personal Flotation Devices Be Worn on Commercial Fishing Vessels. Upon releasing its finding of a 2016 commercial fishing tragedy which claimed two lives, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recommends to the government of New Brunswick that it requires crews on fishing vessels to wear suitable personal floatation devices (PFDs) at all times on deck. Currently, New Brunswick is one of only two provinces which does not have a mandatory PFD requirement for fishing crews. Click here to read an article posted on the Markets Insider website. Posted July 27, 2017 

Lest We Forget: Former ITG President Dies. International Textile Group (ITG) former President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga died unexpectedly on July 22, 2017. He was 65 years old. Mr. Gorga was named president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C., USA, company upon its formation 2004. ITG has 5 companies under its management, including Burlington Labs and automotive safety products fabric supplier Safety Components International. During his industry career, Mr. Gorga had also served in voluntary leadership positions including as a director and vice chairman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and chairman of the National Textile Association. Click here to read his obituary in the Triad Business Journal. Posted July 26, 2017  

JEC Returns to Chicago in 2018, Ending Event's Co-Location with Techtextil North America. As we speculated a couple of weeks ago, the JEC Group has announced its "The Future of Composites in Construction" will not be co-locating again in 2018 with Techtextil North America (TTNA) in Atlanta May 22-24. One of the impediments to the co-location is the TTNA already established May dates which overlap the SAMPE composite show set for Long Beach, Calif., USA. The 2017 JEC event in Chicago last month attracted 3,096 visitors, including 550 attendees to the conference segment. The JEC press release also revealed the show will be in Chicago again in 2019. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Chip Fuller

Strata Systems Announces Retirement of Company Co-Founders. Our good friends at geosynthetica.net are reporting global geosynthetics manufacturer Strata Systems, Inc. has announced company co-founders Chip Fuller and Rich Enger are retiring. Also retiring is the company's long-time Project Manager Dave Butchart.  Mr. Fuller and Mr. Enger co-founded the company in 1994. In 2009, the company was acquired by Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. Congratulations to all three for a lifetime of service in growing the applications and acceptance of geosynthetics. Click here to read the short post on the geosynthetica.net website. Posted July 26, 2017

Saint-Gobain Acquires German Scrim Manufacturer. Advance fabric manufacturer Saint-Gobain has announced its acquisition of Kirson, a major European producer of reinforced scrim and combination products of scrim and nonwoven fabrics. In 2016, Kirson revenues reached 27 million euros. The acquisition is pending German government antitrust review. Click here to read the company press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Labor Issue Settled at Trelleborg US Plant. The union representing Trelleborg AB workers at the company's Fair Haven Heights plant in New Haven, Conn., USA, have approved a new contract. Trelleborg, a Swedish-based coated fabrics manufacturer, had recently acquired the plant through its purchase of Uretek. This was the first contract with the workers since the purchase and the employees were concerned about lost benefits and the removal of job protection language from previous contacts. Workers started picketing the plant as the old contract was set to expire (see our June 24 post). While Telleborg remained firm on several key issues in the new offered contract, the company did offer increased wages and improved some minor working conditions. The union passed the new contract on July 1 with a near unanimous vote. Click here to read an article on the issue posted on the New Haven Independent website. Posted July 24, 2017

New FHWA Report Estimates Construction Costs Grew By 68% in Past 13 years. If you supply geosynthetics or other materials to help maintain the US infrastructure, you may be interested in the report the US Federal Highway Administration released on July 19. The report is the National Highway Construction Cost Index, which is a quarterly estimate of the rising cost of domestic highway construction and maintenance over time. It is the first time the Index has been published since the agency made major methodological revisions to improve its accuracy. The new report shows construction costs today are up by 67% from similar costs in 2003. Click here to read the FHWA press release and find out more about the report. Posted July 24, 2017

Daniels to Retire from AATCC. After 21 years of service, Executive Vice President John Y. "Jack" Daniels will retire from AATCC on March 2, 2018. AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The organization provides test method development, quality control materials and professional networking in more than 80 countries. A search committee has been formed to find Mr. Daniels' successor. Click here to read the AATCC press release announcing the retirement plans and Mr. Daniels' accomplishments in his distinguished career. Posted July 17, 2017

Standard to Provide Terminology for Smart-Textile Industry. According to an ASTM press release, a proposed ASTM International standard will support continued growth of the smart-textiles industry by outlining common terms that can be used as the textiles and electronics industries converge and new products are introduced into the market. The standard, created by ASTM International’s Committee on Textiles (D13), will include definitions that help differentiate various products and components. According to members of the committee, the standard will help buyers – both businesses and consumers – better understand what smart-textiles products they are purchasing. Click here to read the organization’s press release. Posted July 17, 2017

Firefighter Protective Clothing Maker to be Acquired. MSA Safety Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, has announced its intention to acquire Globe Holding Company LLC, in an all-cash transaction valued at $215 million. Globe, based in Pittsfield, N.H.,, is the US's largest provider of firefighter protective clothing and boots, with annual revenue of approximately $110 million. Click here to read the MSA press release. Posted July 15, 2017

ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics Honors Y. Grace Hsuan With L. David Suits Award. Congratulations to Dr. Y. Grace Hsuan, professor, at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has received the L. David Suits Award from ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics (D35). The committee recognized Dr. Hsuan for her dedication to the geosynthetics industry. She has been an ASTM International member since 1993. Posted July 15, 2017

US Department of Defense Report Finds More than $453 million in Procurement Contracts Not in Compliance with the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Not a good report: On July 7, the Office of Inspector General (IG) at the US Department of Defense released its audit of the Defense Logistics Agency to determine whether DLA personnel complied with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act. The IG reviewed a non-statistical sample of 88 contracts with an obligated value of $386.9 million, out of 2,382 contracts across DLA with an obligated value of $700.4 million, awarded from October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2016.  DLA contracting personnel complied with the Berry Amendment for 13 of the 32 contracts reviewed. However, DLA personnel at 3 of the 4 contracting offices visited did not comply with the Berry Amendment for the remaining 19 contracts, valued at $453.2 million. Click here to read the IG report. Posted July 15, 2017

 DuraFiber Technologies Announces Next Steps for U.S. Plants. DuraFiber Technologies, a global supplier of high-tenacity polyester fibers, engineered fabrics, sewing threads and advanced materials, announced yesterday that it has taken the next steps to prepare its US production facilities in Salisbury, N.C., Shelby, N.C., and Winnsboro, S.C. to be idled if a buyer is not identified by September 11, 2017. The actions follow a series of initiatives to lower production costs in response to increased competition in the textile industry, as well as a thorough review of strategic alternatives, including potential asset sales. DuraFiber's international operations in France, Germany, and Mexico are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to operate as usual. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 14, 2017

Giant Outdoor Retailer Show Selects Denver as New Location. Emerald  Expositions, LLC, , the producer of the biannual Outdoor Retailer shows, has announced the selection of Denver, Colo., USA, as the location for its shows, beginning January 2018. The shows --  Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market -- are moving from Salt Lake City, Utah, after a dispute with the state on its use of public land. The 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, taking place July 26-29, 2017, will be the last event held in Salt Lake City. Click here to read the press release on the move. Posted July 10, 2017 

Texas Establishes Grant Program to Finance 50,000 Ballistic Vests for Law Enforcement Officers. On the one-year anniversary of 5 Dallas police officers killed even though wearing ballistic vests, the US State of Texas has formally opened a $25 million grant program, allowing law enforcement agencies in the state to purchase rifle-resistant body armor. Texas Governor Greg Abbott had formally signed the funding bill in late May. According to a report on the Dallas Morning News website, "rifle-resistant vests cost about $500 and last approximately five years, meaning the grant program can supply about 50,000 vests to Texas officers." The agencies have until September 6, 2017 to submit their applications. Click here to read the website article. Posted July 10, 2017

Photo Source: Honda

Honda Develops Airbag for Its Scooters. While airbags have been available as an option for motorcycles for the last decade, the smaller compact scooters haven't had the same availability until now. At the Honda Meeting 2017, held June 5-7, 2017, the company showed its new technologies, including the development of an airbag for its motorbikes. Made in collaboration with Autolive Inc., a supplier of automotive airbag safety systems, the scooter airbag can deploy in 0.04-0.05 seconds. Click here to read an article about its development on the Solar Power Plant Business website. Posted July 10, 2017 

Japanese Technical Textile Forum Announces Keynote Speaker. The IFAI Japan Annual Meeting and Forum begins July 13, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. The keynote speaker is Dr. Tohru Nakata, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Dr. Nakata's presentation topic is "Human Error Prevention." IFAI Japan is a country section of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to contact Ms. Kikuko Tagawa, IFAI Japan's executive director, for more information about the Forum. Posted July 10, 2017

Crypton Names New Vice President of Marketing. The Crypton Companies, a provider of performance fabrics in the contract, home furnishings and apparel markets, has announced it has hired Matt Targett as Vice President of Marketing. This is a new position and he will be based in the company’s Bloomfield Hills. Mich., USA, office. The Crypton Companies have patented and branded environmentally responsible textile performance solutions since 1993. The company’s flagship product, CRYPTON ® Fabric, is used in the healthcare, hospitality, government, education and contract segments. Posted July 10, 2017

Ballistic Vest Manufacturer Featured on Business Website. Crain's Detroit Business website has an informative article on the rise of Armor Express Inc. from the ashes of bankrupted Second Chance Body Armor. In 2004, Second Chance Body Armor was the largest supplier of ballistic vests to US law enforcement but was forced to file for bankruptcy that year when it was discovered the fiber being use, Zylon made by Toyobo, degraded faster than had originally been expected and the company was forced to recall 120,000 vests. The material was subsequently decertified by the National Institute of Justice for use in vests. Armor Express, based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, started up a week after Second Chance's sold its assets in 2005 to Armor Holdings, Inc., parent company of Armor Express. The company now employs 157 people with annual revenue close to $30 million. The founder, Matt Davis, son of 2nd Chance's founder Richard Davis, says Armor Express' vests are worn by 800,000 police officers. Click here to read the article. Posted July 10, 2017 

"Educate the Professor" Seminar Being Held On Building Material Fabrics. The Fabric Structures Association (FSA) and the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), both divisions of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), are hosting a two-day "Educate the Professor" seminar on the fundamentals of using technical textiles as building materials. The intent is similar to IFAI's already successful geosynthetics program call "Educate the Educators." Professors who attend these courses can bring their knowledge to students at their respective institutions. The program will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., USA. Click here to read a short article about the program posted on the Specialty Fabrics Review website. Posted July 7, 2017

De Boer Acquired by Losberger. We missed this when it was announced in late May but it is still very much worth noting: Two of the major fabric event structure fabricators in Europe are joining together with the acquisition by Germany's Losberger Holding GmbH of The Netherlands' De Boer Structures Holding DV.  The new combined company will be called Losberger De Boer GroupThe combination of Losberger and De Boer, which will have a joint turnover of approximately $377 million and employing about 1,200, will result in a leading company in the rental and sale of temporary accommodations in the Industrial, Event, and Rapid Deployment Systems (RDS) market segments in Europe, with strong positions in the Middle EastUSAChina and South America. Click here to read the Losberger press release on the acquisition. Posted July 6, 2017

OMNOVA Reports Growth in Second Quarter, Problems with Chinese Coated Fabrics Operations. Despite reporting a net sales14% growth in the 2nd Quarter, OMNOVA Solutions Inc., a chemical and coated fabric producer headquartered in the US, reported a net loss due to its coated fabrics operation in China.  According to its press release announcing 2nd Quarter results, Anne Noonan, OMNOVA's President/CEO said: "We are considering all options as we proactively address our unprofitable China coated fabrics business. We expect resolution before the end of July 2017."  Earlier this year, OMNOVA realigned its businesses into two segments: Specialty Solutions and Performance Materials. Specialty Solutions includes coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, nonwovens, laminates & film, and oil & gas. Performance Materials represents more mature markets including coated fabrics, tire cord and carpet. Click here to read a report on their financial outlook. Posted July 6, 2017

Indian Defence Force to Acquire Advance Surveillance Balloons. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd., a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, announced the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel's Aero-T with the intention to combine their capability for manufacturing and supplying advanced aerostats for the Indian defense force. Aerostats are surveillance balloons equipped with radar and other detection devices that are tethered and capable of reaching altitudes of up to 15,000 feet. Click here to read more on the Indian Defence Aviation Post website. Posted July 6, 2017

Overall US Exports of Technical Textiles Flat but China's Share is Growing. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end May. The overall global export figure showed flat results at -0.19%. China, however, continues its trend these last few months to come on strong with a 14.9% increase from the previous year. Mexico, our largest export country, saw a drop of 1.6%. Click here to see the entire report. 

 

 

Year Ending

5/2016

Year Ending

5/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,099,286

2,066,040

-1.58

Canada

558,190

562,309

+0.74

China

160,817

184,745

+14.88

Hong Kong

137,765

124,263

-9.80

United Kingdom

91,637

97,982

+6.92

World 4,116,122 4,108,374 -0.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 6, 2017

Interview Reveals Key Safety System Wanted Takata's Seat Built Business. Crain's Detroit Business website has just published a really interesting article about Key Safety System's year-long pursuit of Takata Corp, beating out its rival and 10-times bigger airbag maker Autoliv. The interview revealed Key Safety's objective was not the airbag business but rather Takata's seatbelt business which accounted for about $2.6 billion in revenues last year. Click here to read the interview. Posted July 3, 2017

Toray Reported to be Buying 30% of Pacific Textiles. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting Japanese textile maker Toray Industries is acquiring a 30% stake in Pacific Textiles, the world's largest knit fabric supplier. Total price is estimated at $536 million. Pacific Textiles is based in Hong Kong. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

American Flag Manufacturer Featured as US Readies for Celebrating Its Independence Day. As those in the United States get set to celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow, the Miami Herald today featured a nice story about a Freedom Flag and Banner, a Miami, Fla., US company which has been making American flags since 1989. Over the last 28 years, Barbara Dabney, founder and owner, has made flags that represent more than 300 countries and territories. Ms. Dabney says her business is like a barometer of the latest news. After 9/11, she was making up to 400 flags a day. Other world events produce demand for other country flags. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

US Technical Textile Distributor Acquires Pacific Coast Fabrics. Indiana-headquartered Top Value Fabrics (TVF), a distributor of industrial, print media and recreational fabrics, has announced its acquisition of Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF), a distributor of digital and apparel textiles, based in California. Both companies source internationally and also have partner relationships with textile mills in Europe. TVF is primarily a distributor of vinyl coated fabrics and mesh. Its partner mill is Aurich Textiles. PCF's partner mill Georg+Otto Friedrich makes warp-knitted fabrics for a range of end markets. Click here to read the TVF press release. Posted July 3, 2017

Online Applications for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Exhibition Open. Online applications for reserving exhibition space for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 is now available. The event is the largest textile machinery show taking place in Asia. It is being held October 26-30, 2018 in Shanghai, China. ITMA Asia  + CITME 2018 is co-organized by the European machinery coalition CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, China Textile Machinery Association and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation. Click here to visit the CEMATEX website and click here to visit the CITME website. Posted June 29, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Association Elects New Chairman. ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Machinery Manufacturers for the Textile Industry, has elected Alessandro Zucchi as President of the organization. Mr. Zucchi succeeds Rafffaella Carabelli. Mr. Zucchi is currently the Managing Director and a partner at Ferraro, a manufacturer specializing in finishing machinery. Along with the new president, the assembly also elected new Vice Presidents, Messrs. Federico Businaro (Isotex, Santex Rimar Group), Cristian Locatelli (Marzoli, Camozzi Group), Andrea Piattelli (Unitech) and Michele Riva (Reggiani Macchine). Click here to read the ACIMIT press release. Posted June 29, 2017

INDA World of Wipes Conference Attracts Almost 500. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Indusgtry, wrapped up its 11th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference June 12-15. Held in Nashville, Tenn., USA, the event attracted 476 participants from 20 countries. Click here to read INDA's post-event press release which includes names of speakers and award winners. Poste June 29, 2017

US Military Calls for Improving Compliance with Berry Amendment. In a memo dated June 20, Claire Grady, Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, US Secretary of Defense, called on leaders in various branches of the military to improve their compliance with both the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Director Grady cited Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American, issued by President Donald Trump on April 18, 2017. In the memo, Director Grady writes: "The DoDIG identified numerous contracts where the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act clauses should have been, but were not included in contracts, where compliance with the law and regulations were [sic] neither applied nor properly justified, or where potential Anti-Deficiency Act violations may have occurred." Click here to read the entire memo. Posted June 29, 2017

Strong Demand for ITMA 2019 Exhibition Space. Since the ITMA 2019 exhibit reservations opened up last month, 25% of the available space has already been taken for the world's largest trade show for textile equipment. The space demand is more than 150% ahead of the demand for the 2015 show for the same time period. The show contractor, ITMA Services, reports the increase results come as a result the strong show in 2015 and the rapid technology changes occurring in the industry. ITMA 2019 will be held in Barcelona, Spain, June 20-26, 2019. Click here to read the organizer's press release. Posted June 27, 2017

Fabric Swatches Need for Trend + Design Center at Outdoor Retailer Show. Will you be exhibiting fabrics at the huge Outdoor Retailer Summer Market taking place July 26-29, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA? If so, you should make sure to send your fabric swatches for display at the Trend + Design Center in the exhibition center. The center is where designers come to source and shop the component materials that make up the innovative technical and fashion-forward elements of the outdoor market. The sourcing website FabricLink Network is again helping organize the Trend + Design Center. Contact Kathy Swantko at FabricLink for more information. Posted June 27, 2017

Airbag Maker Takata Files for Bankruptcy. The announcement today that Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata Corp has filed for bankruptcy seems almost anti-climatic given that it has been expected for months. The bankruptcy allows a restructuring of Takata into a much smaller company with most of its assets being purchased by rival airbag maker Key Safety Systems, a division of China-based Ningbo Joyson, for about $1.6 billion. In addition to filing in Japan, Takata's US subsidiary TK Holdings, also filed for bankruptcy. Most of the US operations, which includes two manufacturing plants of technical textiles manufacturer HIghland Industries, will now become part of Key Safety. Click here to read more about the bankruptcy from the Reuters News Agency website. Posted June 26, 2017

Photo Source: US DOD

Afghan Army Purchase Wastes $28 Million on Inappropriate Camouflage Uniform Pattern. In a blistering report issued June 20, 2017, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reviewed the over $93 million spent on purchasing Afghan army uniforms between 2008 and this year. The report says the Afghan Defense Ministry decided on woodland pattern in 2007 for the Afghan National Army (ANA), based on patterns supplied by US officials. While the Army has several free camouflage patterns available, the camouflage pattern picked is proprietary, owned by HyperStealth Biotechnology, a Canadian-based company. In addition, the uniforms purchased were patterned after the US Army's Combat Uniform which is more costly to produce and has different component specifications than the US Army Battle Dress Uniform. Thus, the IG report estimates the total costs which came back to the US government were 40-43% higher for an ANA uniform than was needed. The IG estimates that between November 2008 and January 2017, US taxpayers wasted $28 million on these more expensive and inappropriate uniforms and, further, it could cost an additional $68 to $71 million over the next 10 years. Click here to go to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.  Posted June 24, 2017

Joyson Making Giant Leap in Airbag Manufacturer. While a lot of attention has been given these last few days on the pending Takata bankruptcy announcement, China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic is about to become a major player as an automotive Tier One supplier through its second purchase of an airbag maker in the last year. Joyson purchased US-maker Key Safety Systems in 2016 for about $920 million. Now it is set to purchase through Key Safety the Takata airbag manufacturing operations for about $1.6 billion. The Chinese automotive company was only founded in 2004. With the Takata purchase, Joyson will become the second largest airbag manufacturer in the world. Click here to read a short but interesting article posted on the Nikkei Asian Review website. Posted June 24, 2017

New Aviation Fabric Flammability Test Lab Opens in UAE. UAE national carrier Elihad has teamed up with Switzerland textile manufacturing Lantal Textiles to create what is believed to be the Middle East's first laboratory specializing in flammability testing of aircraft cabin fabrics and other materials. Lantel is a 130 year-old textile producer, specializing in transportation fabrics for automotive, trains, marine, and aircraft. Click here to read more about the opening. Posted June 24, 2017

Speakers Announced for Webinar on HIgh Visibility Safety Apparel. AATCC has announced the speakers for its June 29 webinar Understanding High Visibility Safety Apparel -- the ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 HVSA Performance Specification  Adam R. Varley is technical director and COO of Vartest Laboratories. Patrick A. Ayers is Vice President, Operations & Sales at Vartest Laboratories. ANSI/ISEA 107 compliant High Visibility Safety Apparel are required by the US Federal Highway Administration to be worn by all workers on any public access roadway and are widely used by construction workers, first responders and others. Click here for more conference and registration information. Posted June 24, 2017

"Future of Shade" Competition Winners Announced. Glen Raven, the maker of Sunbrella® woven acrylic fabric, and Architizer, an on-line sourcing website for architects, have announced the winners of the 2017 Future of Shade competition. The competition involved submissions which envision pioneering shade designs to meet the needs of the 21st century. 348 entries were submitted from more than 30 countries. There were 3 categories. The Grand Prize Winner in the Humanitarian category was by Felipe Guerrero Castillo from Columbia; in the Well-Being category, it was Rafael Duailibe dos Santos from Brazil; and, in the Building Shade category, it was Arman Hadilou from the USA. Click here to view more information about their projects. Posted June 24, 2017

Labor Problems at US Coated Fabric Company. On June 21, workers staged a protest again the management outside of the Fair Haven Heights manufacturing plant of Trelleborg Uretek in Fair Haven, Conn., USA. The company was previously known as Uretek until 2014 when it was purchased by Trelleborg, a Swedish-headquartered coated fabric producer with operations world-wide. The issue is the work contract set to expire at the end of June. The union is trying to get some wording into the new labor agreement that prevents Trellebord from shifting some of the work to another facility in North Carolina or elsewhere. Click here to read an article on the protest. Posted June 24, 2017

Composite Manufacturer Expands Plant , Opens New Headquarters Building. Vectorply Corporation, a USA.-based manufacturer of high performance composite non-crimp fabrics (NCF), officially opened the doors of their new Advanced Composite Reinforcement Center with a Grand Opening Ceremony on  June 14, 2017 in Phenix City, Ala.. The new facility features 38,000 sq. ft of manufacturing space dedicated to producing the company’s VectorUltra™ line of advanced multiaxial reinforcements.. Currently, Vectorply produces 19 standard carbon products ranging from a 3-oz. biaxial fabric to a 94-oz.  mirror-image quadraxial tooling fabric. Targeted markets for its products include aerospace, defense, and transportation along with infrastructure, marine, and sports and recreation. Click here to read the company press release on the opening. Posted June 24, 2017

New US Government/Private Industry Research Facility Opens Headquarters. The newly created Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is opening its national headquarters today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., USA. The public/private partnership research organization was created with $300 million in committed funding by both the government and the industry. It will be developing US-made technical textiles for end-product markets such as the medical, military and communications industries. A very good article on the AFFOA objectives can be found on the MIT News website by clicking here. Posted June 19, 2017

Tot Falls 5 Stories Saved by Awning. Well, it's happened again: A two-year old toddler  fell out of an open window in the Bronx in New York on June 16. She fell 5 floors. Fortunately, she was saved by landing on a fabric awning (actually an entrance canopy to the apartment building). Click here to read the article posted on The New York Daily News website. Posted June 17, 2017

"Potential Positives" Cannot Be Demonstrated to Outweigh "Potential Harms" to the US Domestic Textile Industry in PFD Manufacturer's Trade Zone Request.  On June 13,2017, the US Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Staff issued a recommendation that Coleman Co. had not demonstrated that potential negative effects to the domestic textile industry would be outweighed by potential positive effects claim in its request to select the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to personal flotation devices and flotation cushions rather than the individual component material being imported to make the PFDs in the US. Therefore, the Board could not recommend approval of the request. The Foreign Trade Zones Board has now submitted an invitation for public comment on this preliminary recommendation. Deadline for submission is July 31, 2017. For further information, contact Diane Finver at diane.finver@trade.gov. Click here to read the recommendation report that we have posted on the BeaverLake6 Report website. Special thanks to David Trumbull, at Agathon Associates for alerting us on this new public comment period. 

US Textile Association Files Public Comments on NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) filed public comments with the Office of the US Trade Representative outlining what it feels should be the domestic textile industry's priorities in the forthcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  NCTO Chairman William V. McCrary Jr., Chairman and CEO of William Barnet & Son, LLC, said "It is in America's national interest to modernize the agreement and NCTO is eager to work with President Trump to make it even better." Click here to read the NCTO press statement. Posted June 15, 2017

Filtration 17 Registration Has Opened. The online registration for INDA's 26th Filtration International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, Ill, ,USA has opened. The conference date is October 10-12, 2017, a little earlier than the past events. The organizer expects to surpass the 2016 event of more than 1300 visitors in Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Click here to go to the INDA website and check out the speakers and conference sessions. Posted June 15, 2017

Photo Source: ZF

ZF First Company to Develop Airbags for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Will self-driving vehicles need a new type of airbags to protect its occupants? ZF, the world's second largest supplier of automotive airbag systems, believes they will and the time is fast approaching. It is estimated we will begin seeing self-driving vehicles on the roads within 1-5 years. With no "driver-forward" requirement, occupants will be able to swivel their seating around to face each other. Primary airbags are now stored in the dashboard, steering column and in the side door supports and designed to work with fairly rigid position seats. But with vehicle seats being so flexible in driverless cars, ZF is designing airbags that are embedded within the sides of the seating itself. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 13, 2017

C. Joel Sprague

ASTM Committee on Geosynthetics Announces Top Annual Award. Congratulations to C. Joel Sprague, the recipient of the Award of Merit by ASTM International's Committee on Geosynthetics (D35). The Award of Merit is the committee's top award and recognizes Mr. Sprague's long dedication to the committee's work in developing testing and auditing standards for the geosynthetics industry. Mr. Sprague is a senior engineer and the southeast region manager for TRI/Environmental, a Texas, USA-based 3rd party test and research company. Click here to read the press release issued by ASTM. Posted June 13, 2017

Milliken Names New Vice President for Its Specialty Interiors Business. Textile manufacturer Milliken & Company has named Jennifer K. Harmon as Vice President, Specialty Interiors of its Performance & Protective Textile Division. Ms. Harmon was previously vice president of design and interim vice president of sales at True Textile, Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer of interior textile materials. Ms. Price will report to Jeff Price, President of Milliken's Performance & Protective Division. Click here to read the company press release on the appointment. Posted June 13, 2017

Composites Organization Publishes Book on Growing Use of Composites in Construction.  On the eve of its "The Future of Composites in Construction" event taking place June 20-22 in Chicago, Ill., USA, the JEC Group has announced its publishing a book on the growing use of composites in architecture: “The Future of Building: The Growing Use of Composites in Construction and Architecture”. According to the organization's press release, the book reviews the advantages of composites: lightweight, durable, resistant to corrosion, inexpensive to maintain, flexible design etc.  "Between 2016 and 20121, we are expecting a sharp growth in the market and a 5-6% annual increase in the use of composites in this section, explained Ms. Frédérique Mutel, JEC Group President & CEO. Posted June 8, 2017

Success for First Ever EurAsian Geotextiles Symposium. The first EurAsian Geotextiles Symposium (EAGS) was held in Beijing, June 7-8. It attracted over 200 participants from 14 countries. Co-organized by the China Industrial Textiles Industry Association (CNITA) and EDANA, an international industry association serving the nonwovens and related industries, the Symposium was also supported by several other key industry organizations including the International Textile Manufacturers Association (ITMF), the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and the International Society for Geosynthetic Materials China Committee (CCIGS). CNITA President Li Lenshen indicated the Symposium will be held again although date and location have not yet been decided. Click here to read the entire press release distributed by EDANA. Posted June 8, 2017

US Company Being Investigated for Possible False Claims of Military Products Being "Berry Compliant."  In an exclusive artlcle published on its website, The Virginian-Pilot newspaper (Norfolk, Va., USA) reports US Federal agents served a search warrant April 27 on London Bridge Trading of Virginia Beach. Va., investigating whether products the company sold to the military were made outside of the US, a violation of the US Berry Amendment which requires most textile-related products to be made in America. According to its website, London Bridge Trade manufactures tactical vests, backpacks, ammo pouches and other products to the US military and law enforcement agencies as well as for militararies of other countries. The website says it is "100% Berry-compliant.". The company denies the allegations. Click here to read The Virginian-Pilot article. Posted June 6, 2017

Fired Worker Fatally Shoots 5 at Awning Factory in Orlando, Florida. Tragedy struck our industry today when 6 people, including the gunman, were killed at Fiamma Inc., a recreational vehicle awning manufacturing company located in Orlando, Fla., USA. The killer was a recently terminated employee. All of those he killed were employees of the company.  Fiamma makes retractable awnings and other types of fabric shelters designed to be attached to motor homes, campers, vans and trailers. The company has a network of North American distributors as well as sells directly to consumers. The company is a 70 year-old family business, headquartered in Cardano al Campo, Italy. It opened the Orlando factory in 1991. Click here to read an article about the shooting on the Orlando Sentinal website. Posted June 5, 2017

UK Study Shows Less Than One-Third of Women Workers Have Proper-Fitting PPE. The National Safety Council's Safety+Health magazine website has posted an article on a UK study of 5,000 female workers that finds only 29% of women who wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job feel they have proper fitting clothing that fits their gender, despite numerous UK standards requiring employers to provide proper PPE. The report also showed 95% of the women respondents in the emergency services industry reported that they felt the PPE hindered their work either "sometimes" or "significantly." Click here to read the entire article. Posted June 5, 2017

Glen Raven's Recycling Efforts Recognized. There is a nice article on the Burlington Times (Burlington, N.C., USA) website regarding the 100% recycling commitment at the Glen Raven Technical Fabrics manufacturing plant in Burlington. Leftover polyester is sold to specialty yarn maker Unifi, which reduces the fabric into pellets and then back into yarns. Dyes are also recycled. Plant waste that cannot be itself recycled is incinerated, generating energy. Click here to read the article. Posted June 5, 2017 

April Technical Textiles Export Numbers Released by US Department of Commerce.  The US Department of Commerce released Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end April. The overall global figure saw a -1.72% decline. While Mexico, the top destination accounting for more than 50% of our exports, saw an almost 3% drop for the 12-months, China has a 15.35% increase. Click here to see the entire report. Posted June 5, 2017

 

 

Year Ending

4/2016

Year Ending

4/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,177,495

2,054,140

-2.99

Canada

561,708

557,667

-0.72

China

158,213

182,500

+15.35

Hong Kong

139,244

126,618

-9.07

United Kingdom

91,723

97,122

+5.89

World 4,155,966 4,084,486 -1.72

 

New US Textile Research Facility. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and officials at the University of Massachusetts Lowell announced June 1 that a "Fabric Discovery Lab" is being built, intended for the development of new materials and applications of technical textiles. The state is awarding an $11.3 million grant to help fund the facility. According to a report in the Boston Globe, "The research facility will invest in developing a wave of sophisticated fabrics that incorporate sensors and technology to help industries, hospitals, the military, and consumers. The Lowell center will concentrate on the development, testing, and manufacturing of consumer and commercial fabrics that are blended with flexible electronics." The fabric center was created in partnership with Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), selected last year by the government to lead the research activities on technical textiles, and NextFlex, an electronics manufacturing company. Click here to read the Boston Globe article. Posted June 2, 2017

Source: TriVantage

Benefits of Fabric Awnings Get Great Promotion in US Consumer Publications. Home awnings recently received two nice positive articles on respected consumer websites -- Consumer Affairs and Realtor®Mag. According to the articles, the fabric awnings can add both improved aesthetics for the house as well as improved function by providing shade and reducing heat gain. Congratulations, too, to the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association, for its tireless efforts promoting the value of awnings to the consumer press. Click here to read the Consumer Affairs article. Click here to read the Realtor®Mag article. Posted June 2, 2017

Nonwovens Association Announces New Officers and Board Members. EDANA, an association serving the nonwovens and related industries, has announced its new Board of Governors for 2017 - 2018. Returning Chairman Martin Rapp (Vice-President and General Manager at Glatfelter) will be supported by re-elected Vice-Chairs Mikael Staal Axelsen (Fibertex) and Pieter Meijer (McAirlaid’s). Paul Eevers (Unilever) position as Treasurer was also renewed for another one-year term. Announced at EDANA’s Annual Strategic Review and AGM on May 31st, the newly elected Board will begin their term on July 1st. Click here to view the press release which includes the names of all board directors elected or re-elected at the AGM. Posted June 2, 2017

INDA Co-Sponsors RISI Asia Pacific Hygiene Symposium 2017. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced it is co-sponsoring the 2017 RISI Asia Pacific Hygiene Products Symposium to be held November 7-8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. The first edition of the Symposium drew more than 130 attendees from 76 countries to hear about the latest advancements and trends in the Asia Pacific hygiene market. The theme this year is “Hygiene Markets in Asia Pacific: From Now to 2020.” For more information, click here.. Posted May 31. 2017 

Specialty Chemical Companies Clariant and Huntsman to Merge. Following the recent mergers of DuPont/Dow and Monsanto/Bayer, specialty chemical and resin giants Clariant and Huntsman Corporation have announced that their Boards of Directors unanimously approved a definitive agreement to combine in a merger of equals through an all-stock transaction. The merged company will be named HuntsmanClariant. The global headquarters will be located in Switzerland while its operational headquarters will be located in The Woodlands, Texas, USA. It is estimated the combined total value of the new company will be approximately $20 billion. According to the New York Times, the combined sales last year was $15.8 billion. Click here to read the Clariant company press release on the agreement. Posted May 30, 2017

Innovation Award Champions Announced. The JEC Group, organizers of the Future of Building and Construction being held June 20-22, 2017 in Chicago, Ill., USA, has announced the following companies have been selected as the 6 "champions" in the JEC Innovation Awards: BUILDING – Owens Corning (France) GFRP for urban renewal challenge; CIVIL ENGINEERING – Biteam (Sweden) Highly integrated ductile reinforced carbon composite I-beam; STRUCTURAL CLADDING – Premier Composite Technologies (United Arab Emirates) Ultra-High Performance Concrete in mould finish for FRP panels; REPAIR – DowAksa Advanced Composites (Turkey) Full-Scale Site Testing of Seismic Retrofit; DESIGN – Optima Projects Ltd (United Kingdom) Free-form Structural FRP Roof without moulds; and, ENERGY – Armageddon Energy (United States) SolarClover Advanced Solar Panels. Representatives of these companies will be honored at a special ceremony, June 20, at the McCormick Center, site of the event. Posted May 30, 2017.

Sioen Acquires James Dewhurst Group. The Belgium coated fabrics producer Sioen Industries NV continues its acquistion mode with the announcement yesterday it had purchased the James Dewhurst Group, a UK-based producer of open construction laid scrims. The scrims provide stablility, strength and reinforcement to coated and laminate materials. The key markets are building and construction, industrial, geotextiles, health and hygiene, packaging and transport. The transaction value was a little more than $49.3 million. Click here to read the Sioen press release. Posted May 24, 2017

Australian and New Zealand Technical Textile Trade Associations Co-Locating Conferences.  The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) and the Specialised Textiles Association (STA) of Australia will be co-locating their annual events in Queenstown, New Zealand. Taking place May 25-27, the theme of the conference is "Reaching New Heights." The scope of the topics discussed range from geosynthetics to awnings and marine applications. Equipment demonstrations included sewing techniques as well as hot air, wedge, RF and ultrasonic welding. Click here to view the program. Posted May 24, 2017

US Approves $75 Million High-Tech Chemical Protective Gear for Indian Armed Forces.  The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) made a notification to the US Congress requesting approval for a $75 million high-tech chemical protective clothing order from the Indian armed forces for biological and chemical warfare protection. The Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) consists of 38,000 sets of suits, trousers, gloves, boots and NBC bags. In addition, the package includes 850 aprons, 850 alternative aprons, 9,000 Quick Doff Hoods, and 114,00 M61 filters. Click here to read more. Posted May 24, 2017

Graduate Student Poster Program Presents Advanced Technologies. Need another reason to attend Techtextil North America (TTNA)? The 2017 Graduate Student Poster Program will be represented by top textile universities from around the United States. Ten students will be presenting their graduate study research on the show floor. Click here to visit our special TTNA page section and view the speakers and topics. Posted May 24, 2017

New Name, More Focus for JEC's North American Event. The international industry composite organization JEC Group has decided to focus on end-use events and is launching the Future of Composites in Construction, a brand-new show dedicated to one of the most promising composites market segments. JEC formerly called its event JEC Americas. The newly focused end-market trade show and conference takes place June 20-22, 2017, co-locating with Techtextil North America. Click here to find out more. Posted May 24, 2017

Toyoda Gosei Building Airbag Plant in India. As the Indian vehicle safety equipment requirements become more stringent, the demand is increasing for airbags. Japanese-based Toyoda Gosei has announced plans to build an airbag manufacturing plant in the western state Gujarat. The operation will be part of Toyoda Gosei Minda India, a subsidiary of Toyoda Gosei. The plant will have an initial capability to supply airbags for about 250,000 vehicles per year and will double that when it becomes fully operational. The expected plant cost is $11.3 million and will be producing by the second half of 2018. Toyoda already has 4 other automotive parts factories in India. Click here to read about the airbag plant. Posted May 23, 2017

The Greatest Show Closes. It's worth noting in our industry the last show of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is taking place tonight. The traveling circus tent is probably the most recognizable icon in describing the canvas tent era for shelters in the 1920s and 30s. Ringling Brothers is live-streaming the last show. Click here to go to its website. Posted May 21, 2017

Call for Papers for Digital Textile Printing Conference. Two industry associations -- AATCC and SGIA -- have issued a Call for Papers for presentation at their joint Digital Textile Printing conference. The event is being held November 29-30, 2017 in Durham, N.C., USA. The Conference Program will focus on topics that incorporate one of the following areas: image workflow and design, technology and markets, sourcing and supply chain, and case studies. AATCC is an association for the textile, apparel and materials professional. SGIA (Specialty Graphics & Imaging Association), is a non -profit for the imaging industry. Click here to go to the event website for more information. Posted May 21, 2017

Photo: NASA

NASA's New Spacesuit for Starliner Spacecraft. Somehow we missed this article when it was published on the NASA website in January but we think it's still worth noting. Boeing has designed a new spacesuit specifically for the new Starliner spacecraft being developed to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. The new suits are about 10 pounds lighter than the current launch and entry suits being worn. The new suit's material allows water vapor to pass out of the suit, away from the astronaut, but keeps air inside. This makes the suit cooler. Various zippers allow the astronaut to adjust the suit for better fit when in different physical positions such as sitting or walking. Click here to read the article. Posted May 20, 2017

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Eric Sharman

Military Transitioning from Fabric Shelters. The US military is now starting to transition from fabric tents to trailers and other "hard-wall" structures. In an article posted on the US Air Force's official website, there is an article about one such transition for the 386th AEW Airmen." “We are transitioning to more of an enduring location rather than an expeditionary one,” said Capt. Godfrey A. Manera, Airmen and transient personnel have been lodged in the tents for about 15 years, traditionally with 8 to 10 other occupants. In an effort to significantly reduce the disruption of Airmen rest cycles, the trailers are being designed to make the rooms double occupancy only. The design of the trailers makes for a more efficient use of space compared to the tents. The new 120-by-30 foot dwellings will allow Airmen to gain 63% more square footage of living quarter space while taking up less overall space at the same time, according to Capt. Manera. Click here to read the article. [Publisher note: I have been reporting on this trend in my market reports for the last few years.] Posted May 19, 2017

USTR Begins First Steps to Renegotiate NAFTA. This didn't take that long: Newly-confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress yesterday that President Donald Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the letter, Ambassador Lighthizer said the Trump administration has already been working with trade advisory committees. Click here to read the official letter to the US Speaker of the House. Posted May 19, 2017

Polyurethane Coated Technical Textiles Factory Being Built in Russia. According to the Russian website russianconstruction.com, a French construction firm, HEFI Development, has been contracted to build a technical textiles factory for Strimtex. The company is a manufacturer of polyurethane coated fabrics for the construction industry. The factory will be located in the Moglino special economic zone in Pskov region of northwestern Russia. Click here to read the article. Posted May 19, 2019

Robert Lighthizer

New USTR Takes Office. After months of delay, Robert Lighthizer was sworn in today as the new United States Trade Representative (USTR). Ambassador Lighthizer's confirmation in the US Senate completes the cabinet formed by President Donald Trump. The ambassador is an experienced trade negotiator, serving as Deputy USTR for President Ronald Reagan. His confirmation gained approval from a number of high-ranking Democrats including Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the Finance Committee's top Democrat. Industry trade associations were also quick to praise his swearing in. “In my estimation, Ambassador Lighthizer is likely the most qualified individual ever to be confirmed to this important post,” said National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Auggie Tantillo as he noted Lighthizer’s previous service as Staff Director of the Senate Finance committee and as Deputy USTR, as well as his distinguished legal career specializing in international trade law. Click here to read the USTR's official release on his swearing in. Posted May 16, 2017

Russian Chemists Develop Fabric Resistant to Chemical and Biological Weapons. According to the TASS Russian News Agency, Chemist from Sartov State University have developed with a membrane solution capable of protecting military personnel from chemical and biological weapons while remaining air and vapor permeable. The membrane fabrics are reported to be impermeable to water, viruses, bacteria, toxins and allergens. The technical fabrics were created within the framework of a larger project of the Fund for Perspective Research, a project intended for creating combat gear of the future. The testing of special suits made of the fabric is to be completed by the end of 2017. Click here to read the article posted on the TASS website. Posted May 16, 2017

Milliken Announces Combining of Technical Textiles Divisions. According to an article posted in GoUpstate.com, the US-based textile giant Milliken & Co has announced it is restructuring, combining its specialty fabrics and performance fabrics divisions. It will be led by Jeff Price, the current manager of the specialty fabrics division. The restructuring also results in 6 end market segment products reporting to Mr. Price -- nonwovens, global airbag, uniform and protective, engineered performance products, and specialty interiors. In other restructuring, the company plans to combine the research division with marketing. As a result of all this, Sim Skinner, the previous president of the performance products division, and Chris DeSoiza, the previous vice president of research, have both left the company. This is one of the first strategic moves made by President/CEO Harold Chandler, who replaced Joseph Salley in October 2016.  Milliken is based in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted May 16, 2017

US Narrow Fabrics Producer Acquired. Brand & Oppenheimer Co., Inc., a textile converter and provider of technical fabrics to multiple industries, has announced that it has acquired the assets of Cutting Edge TexStyles, a 99-year-old manufacturer of bias binding, trims and textiles based in Bedford, Mass., USA. The new business will continue to operate in its existing location with its current staff, including former CEO Joe Goldman, who will now serve as Vice President of the Cutting Edge TexStyles Sales Division of B&O alongside the Company’s Performance Textiles and 1947 Sales divisions. Click here to read the company’s press release on the acquisition. Posted May 16, 2017

US Textile  and Fiber Trade Associations Comment of US Trade Deficit.  In a joint letter to US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr., four US-based textile organizations submitted comments in response to publishing of 82 FR 16721 - Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficit on March 13. The organizations are National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), American Fibers Manufacturers Association (AFMA), United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute NFI). Both NFI and USIFI are divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Their comments outline the impact of unfair foreign trade practices on the US trade deficit in textiles and apparel. While it is difficult to separate technical textiles in the statistical information shared by the organizations, it appears most of the deficit impact in the comments relate to the apparel segment. The top 5 contributors they list that the US has trade deficits in textile and apparel are Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. With the possible exception of China, these countries are not significant exporters to the US of technical textiles. Click here to read the organizations' public comment posted on the NCTO website. Posted May 16, 2017  

Record Breaking Figures for JEC World 2017. The JEC Group, organizer of JEC World 2017 in Paris this past March, has released the attendance and exhibitor participation statistics:

   •  1300 exhibitors

   •  40,607 professional visits

   •  78% were international participants 

The visitor figure was an increase of +10% compared to 2016 and both the attendance and exhibitor figures were records for the annual event. JEC World is the largest gathering of the composites industry. The dates of JEC World 2018 are March 6-8, 2018 in Paris, France. Click here for more information. Posted May 16, 2017

US Fiber Manufacturer Investing $65 Million to Expand Capacity. INVISTA is investing over $65 million for state-of-the-art fiber production equipment at its Camden, S.C., USA facility. This investment will expand INVISTA’s capacity of Nylon 6,6 fiber used in a diverse range of applications. The investment will significantly increase domestic US capacity of high-tenacity, specialty fibers used in CORDURA® fabrics in military applications such as bags, backpacks and ballistic vest carriers as well as a wide variety of commercial end-uses from hiking boots to hunting gear, workwear to motorcycle, and many other outdoor and lifestyle apparel and equipment products.  The new assets will also be capable of manufacturing bulked continuous filament and high-quality fibers for airbags and industrial sewing threads. Click here to read the company press release. Posted May 10, 2017

Unifi Appoints New CEO. Unifi, Inc. has announced the appointment of Kevin D. Hall as Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, effective June 1, 2017. Thomas Caudle will continue to serve as Unifi's President, a position he has held since 2016. According to the press release issued May 4, Mr. Hall has spent more than three decades building global brands and serving private equity partners in the development and execution of growth strategies in marketing-driven organizations, including Procter & Gamble, Hanesbrands and Fidelity Investments. Hall also serves on the Advisory Board for North Carolina-based technology and analytics company, Inmar. Unifi is a manufacturer of multi-filament textured polyester and nylon yarns for applications including the automotive, military and medical products. Click here to read the press release. Posted May 10, 2017

Circus Tent Owner Pleads Guilty in Tent Collapse Which Led to Deaths. A judge on May 3 ordered a Florida-based Walker International Events to pay $15,000 in fines for operating without a permit of the circus tent which collapsed  during a storm in Lancaster, N.H., USA, in 2015. The collpased resulted in two deaths. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had previously found that Walker had failed to properly anchor the tent. The company is now out of business. Click here to read a brief report of the recent verdict posted on the Lancaster Daily Journal website. Posted May 5, 2017  

ITMA Opens for Exhibition Space Reservation. ITMA 2019, the world's largest textile machinery exhibition, has opened today reservations for exhibitors. The show, held every 4 years, features the entire value chain of textile and garment making manufacturing, as well as raw materials. In 2015, the show was held in Milan, Italy, and had more than 122,000 visitors. The 2019 edition will be held in Barcelona, Spain, June 20-26, 2019, and is expected to have more than 1700 exhibitors. The event is owned by CEMATEX -- the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers. Click here for more information about exhibiting. Posted May 4, 2017

US Department of Commerce Releases March Technical Textile Export Figures.  The US Department of Commerce released today the year-end exports for March for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. There has been an interesting small uptick for the last couple of months of exports to China. Overall, US exports to the rest of the world decline 2.58% from the same period last year. Click here to see the entire report. Posted May 4, 2017

 

 

 

Year Ending

3/2016

Year Ending

3/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,121,805

2,062,341

-2.80

Canada

562,702

557,538

-0.92

China

165,581

177,448

+7.17

Hong Kong

142,487

127,637

-10.42

United Kingdom

91,498

95,380

+4.24

World 4,185,854 4,077,777 -2.58

 

INDA Nonwoven Conference Announces Keynote Speakers. The seventh edition of RISE® -- The Research, Innovation & Science of Engineered Fabrics Conference --has announced its keynote speakers. They include: Bernd Kunze, Dr. Ing., CEO, Reifenhauser RECOFIL; Keith Hoover, V.P., Material Process & Color Innovation, Under Armour; Yoel Fink, Ph.D., CEO Advanced Functional Fabrics of America; and, Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., Professor, North Carolina State University, and Director, The Nonwovens Institute. RISE is being held September 12-14, 2017, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Click here for additional information. Posted May 4, 2017

US Department of Commerce Stand at Techtextil Features 4 Companies. The US Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) will be participating in the 2017 Techtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany, next week. OTEXA is featuring four US companies: EEONYX, a California-based manufacturer of conductive textiles; Rebel Inc., another California company and manufacturer of polymer-based textiles; Mogul SC, a manufacturer of nonwovens in South Carolina; and Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, a manufacturer of various technical textiles, headquartered in North Carolina. The OTEXA booth stand is 3.1 D17. Posted May 4, 2017

US Yarn and Technical Textile Manufacturer Sold. Highlander Partners' portfolio company, Twitchell Technical Products, a specialty materials company focused on engineered polymer fabrics and coated films, today announced that its parent company acquired The Quantum Group, a manufacturer and innovator of unique yarns and high-performance woven fabrics to the furniture, construction, recreational, industrial, healthcare, automotive and airline industries. Founded in 1985, Quantum is a vertically integrated yarn and fabric manufacturer of mono- and multi-filament yarns and possessing extensive yarn preparation processes, including warping, texturizing and twisting fibers, producing a wide variety of engineered performance characteristics, patterns and textures. Quantum is located in Colfax, N.C., USA   Click here to read the company's press release on the acquistion. Posted May 4,.2017

Zodiac Aerospace Acquisition Could Be In Trouble. The January 2017 announcement by aircraft engine manufacturer Safran to purchase Zodiac Aerospace for $9bn may now be in trouble after a severely disappointing first half reported loss of more than $13 million. Zodiac is still projecting an operating profit in the range of $240 million for the year end in August. Based on the immediate financial report and projection, Safran's bid is certain to be lowered, according to Reuters News Agency. The deal had already met with uncertainty due to Safran stakeholders questions about the acquisition's complexity and the on-going manufacturing problems at Zodiac. The company is one of only two major manufacturers of commercial aircraft seating. The other company, B/E Aerospace was recently purchased by Rockwell Collins. Click here to read more about the troubled acquisition of Zodiac. Posted May 3, 2017

Former Employee Pleas Guilty to Embezzling almost $400K from Awning Company.  John D. Pilkington III has pled guilty in federal court for embezzling $399,316 from Cain Awning of Birmingham, Ala., USA. Mr. Pilkington worked for the company from 2002 to 2016. The embezzlement occurred between 2010 and 2016, involving writing unauthorized company checks to himself and using company credit cards for personal purchases and benefits. Established in 1946, Cain Awning is a manufacturer of commercial and residential awnings and canopies. Click here to read more about the embezzlement. Posted May 3, 2017

Forced Bankruptcy Looms for Japanese Airbag Company. Honestly, can it get much worse for Takata Corp? Shares of the beleaguered company had to be suspended on April 24 after the price fell 19% in heavy activity amidst looming fears of a forced bankruptcy. Takata is desperately trying to reach an out-of-court restructure to avoid bankruptcy and supply disruption. Carmakers are seeking the court bankruptcy due to several industry estimates of an up to $10 billion replacement cost for the defective Takata-made airbag. Another industry airbag manufacturer, Key Safety Systems, a division of China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic, has emerged as the preferred purchaser of Takata but no deal has yet been achieved. Click here to read an article about all this posted on the Financial Times website. Posted April 28, 2017

Geomembrane Institute Elects New Officers and Board. The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) inducted new Officers and a new Board of Directors during their annual membership meeting in Orlando, Fla., USA, on March 13, 2017 at the Geo-Frontiers Conference. The newly elected FGI Officers are President – Patrick Elliott (Colorado Lining International); Vice President – Laura Storey (Plastatech); Treasurer – Ed Silva (Engineered Polymer Technology); and, Secretary – Jimmie Eloff (Owens Corning). The FGI is a consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. It is based in Urbana, Ill., USA. Click here to read the entire press release which includes the names of other newly elected FGI board members and awards given. Posted April 28, 2017

Porcher Industries Plans to Recruit 400. French-based Porcher Industries Group has announced plans to add more than 400 additional positions over the next 2 years for its facilities in Europe, Asia and North America. Porcher Industries is a manufacturer of technical textiles with 5 business units -- Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Sport & Leisure, and Building & Industrial. The 100-year old company was purchased 5 months ago by Warwick Capital LLP of the UK and since then has announced an ambitious €50 million investment plan. The company plans to use the upcoming Techtextil show in Frankfurt to start its recruitment. Posted April 28, 2017

Belgium Technical Textile Producer Reports 35% Sales Growth Mainly Through Acquisitions. Sioen Industries NV released its 1st Quarter results yesterday, reporting sales growth of 35% (5% organic and 30% acquisitions). The Coating division realized net external consolidated sales of 71.8 million compared to 53.5 million in the 1st Quarter 2016. Acquisitions accounted for 29.1% of the overall 34.2% division growth that included Dimension-Polyant (sailcloth) and Manifattura Fontana (geosynthetics). The Apparel division acquisitions Verseidag Ballistic Protection (ballistic vests) and Ursuit (diving suits) accounted for 45.3% of the overall 50.8% growth in the division. Click here to read the Sioen press release. Posted April 28, 2017

US Army Reserve Officer Convicted of Violating Buy American Act with Chinese Backpacks.  In a follow-up to a notice we originally posted May 25, 2016, US Army Reserves Lt. Col. Frederick Lamar Burnett was found guilty in federal court April 25 on 3 counts of wire fraud. Lt. Col. Burnett conducted a business scheme to defraud the US Department of Defense (DOD) of $6.2 million involving contracts for the purchase of Army recruitment backpacks and baseball caps. The US Army determined he had used his Huntsville-based company -- Lamar International Inc. -- in a scheme that involved three contracts with the DOD from 2005 - 2007. Lt. Col. Burnett certified for all three contracts that he would meet the requirements of the Buy American Act, the Berry Amendment and federal regulations that require the government to buy domestic products and materials. In fact, the products were made in China. The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Click here to read an article on the conviction posted on the al.com website. Posted April 26, 2017

Photo: Portland, Ore., USA Fire Dept.

More Comfortable Hazmat PPE Being Developed. There is a good article on Fire Chief website by Jeffrey and Grace Stull on the trending of new person protective equipment (PPE) being developed for firefighters found in chemical hazard situations. Key takeaways from the article: 1) firefighters want hazmat PPE that are more mobile; 2) past PPE has been developed based on material technology at the expense of design and comfort; 3) First Responders want PPE that is easy to get on and launder; and, 4) the trend towards more comfortable PPE has influenced PPE performance standards. Click here to read the article. Posted April 26, 2017

Custom Nonwoven Assets Acquired by Fibrix. Only 3 years after Custom Nonwovens, Inc. (CNI) invested $12.8 million in a new manufacturing facility in Thomasville, N.C., USA, the facility and its assets have been sold to Fibrix LLC, headquartered in Conover, N.C. Part of the 2013 investment plan included a $128,000 matching grant from the State of North Carolina. It is not clear if Fibrix will be keeping the employees in Thomasville that were hired through the grant. Fibrix is a manufacturer of polyester nonwovens for filtration, furniture and bedding, automotive, and industrial products. CNI is a subsidiary of Korean-based Korea Synthetic Fiber (KSF), a producer of polyester stable. The other Custom Nonwoven plant in Mississippi was not affected by the acquisition and continues to be owned by KSF. Click here to read more about the sale. Posted April 25, 2017

Final Issue Published of Land and Water Magazine. Thanks to our good friend Chris Kelsey of geosynthetica.com, we have learned the publisher of Land and Water is retiring and the family-run business has decided to cease publishing the magazine. The publication, published for more than 43 years, covered natural resource management and restoration including pond lining, waste containment, and erosion control; thus, it was a staple for those involved in the geosysthetics industry. Mr. Kelsey has written a nice farewell column for Land and Water's final issue. Click here for more about his tribute to the magazine's impact on the industry. Posted April 25, 2017

Photo Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Develops Foldable Metallic Fabric. Per a NASA press release, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., USA, have developed 3D-printed metal fabric prototypes for various space applications. Among the uses is on large antennas and other deployable devices on scacecrafts. The newly created fabrics performs 4 basic functions -- reflectivity, passive heat management, foldability and tensile strength. One side of the fabric reflects light and the other side absorbs it, giving the fabric thermal control. Click here to read the entire NASA press release posted on the Aerospace-Technology.com website. Posted April 24, 2017

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Coming Events

  • August 17-18: Educate the Professors, Minneapolis, Minn., USA

  • September 11-14: CAMX 2017, Orlando, Fla., USA

  • September 12 -  14: RISE®  Conference, Raleigh, N.C., USA

  • September 12-15: DSEI 17, London, United Kingdom

  • September 13-15: 56th Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Congress, Dornbirn, Austria

  • September 13-15: Techtextil India 2017, Mumbai, India

  • September 14-16: International Textile Manufacturer Federation Annual Conference 2017, Bali, Indonesia

  • September 18-21: Sustainable Textile School 2017, Chemnitz, Germany

  • September 26-27: Elementary Nonwovens Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA

  • September 26-28: IFAI Expo 2017, New Orleans, La., USA

  • September 27-29: Outlook 2017, Cascais, Portugal

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.

 

The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

June 29. 2017

BeaverLake6 Report at Techtextil North America

Wisconsin Contract Sewer Wins the Amazon Echo at Techtextil North America. Thanks for all who stopped by the BeaverLake6 Report booth at the Techtextil North America show last week in Chicago, Ill., USA. I truly appreciated talking with you about your company and the industry. For those of you who entered the drawing, the winner of the Amazon Echo was Jim Herman, owner of Wisconsew Inc., a contract sewing company located in Shawano, Wis., USA. Special thanks to Eduardo Castañer, publisher and general manager of Davison Publishing, for helping draw the lucky card. Posted June 24, 2017

President of American Fiber Manufacturers Association Passes. The American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) has reported Paul T. O'Day, president and counsel of the organization, passed away June 1. He was 82 and died peacefully at his home.

 

In a statement issued today, the organization said: "Mr. O'Day was appointed President of the Association in 1984. He was fiercely dedicated to the industry he loved for 33 years. A true gentleman and powerful intellect, Paul O'Day led the Association with a sophisticated wit and charm."

Posted June 5, 2017

Mars Prototype Shelter by MDT-tex

Imagination on Display in Frankfurt. It was known going into the Techtextil and Texprocess shows last week that tthere would be a record number of exhibitors and, further, there was so much attendance the last time in 2015 that the organizer decided to expand the length of the shows to 4 days in 2017. Thus so, it was no real surprise that the final report reveals more than 47,500 visitors came (an increase of 14% over 2015) from 114 countries. According to a poll taken of visitors, 42% felt the economic climate could be consider "good" (compared to only 32% in 2015). The next Techtextil and Texprocess shows in Frankfurt will be held May 14-17, 2019. Click here for more insight into the shows as well as the official final report from Messe Frankfurt. Posted May 17, 2017

Secretary Wilbur Ross

US Department of Commerce Leaves Textile Industry Out of Trade Agreement Priorities. Since President Donald Trump took office there has been much talk about the ambitious "America First" trade priorities including pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the planned renegotiating of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and even revisiting the textile industry's disastrous US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

 

So, it would seem logical the US textile industry would be a priority in the changes in all these trade talks. Apparently not.

 

Last week Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, no stranger to the textile industry, named 6 core industries for its trade agenda -- steel, aluminum, vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding and semiconductors. Noticeably missing was the consideration of textiles as a vital core industry for inclusion in these trade talks.  Despite back-patting about the optimism of working with the new Trump Administration when the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) met in Washington recently  for its annual meeting, there seems to be a long road to hoe before textiles is taken seriously by the Federal government for its importance to the US economy. Again, I ask: Who will take the lead in developing a US textile industry vision?

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted April 26, 2017

Trans-Pacific Partnership Withdrawal Impact

Bud Weisbart, MFC, IFM

"The United States is looked upon by those with whom I inter-related as less and less relevant as an economic force, and has become simply the market into which those within and outside of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries would sell their goods and services with little concern for reciprocity.  To me, our immediate withdrawal from TPP after the election only compounds this situation." Click here to read the entire posting by Bud Weisbart, a small business owner and frequent contributor to BeaverLake6 Report. Posted March 29, 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom. 

 

In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference Explores the Roads to a Textile Power

Sun Ruizhe

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016

In My Opinion

Re-Shoring: Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander?

Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Jon Klein's Outlook 

I am pleased to announce BeaverLake6 Report has added a new column called "Jon Klein's Outlook." Jon Klein is the Business Development Leader at PrimaLoft® Aerogel insulation. With over 20 years in the industry, Mr. Klein has extensive experience in the textiles, apparel and footwear industry. Mr. Klein is a frequent contributor of short articles on LinkedIn, the world's largest business network, writing about the various market segments of the technical textiles. This column covers his LinkedIn postings. Please click here to go to his column. 

 

Steve Warner, Publisher

June 27, 2016

US International Trade Administration Publishes New Top Market Report for Technical Textiles

Industry Market Report Available.  What impact has the sale of decline of military products purchases have on government shelter fabricators? What is the outlook on textiles going into the automotive industry? What are three issues that can negatively impact the growth of the protective clothing market segment?

 

You can find the answers to all these questions in the 2016 State of the U.S. Technical Textiles Industry report published in Textile World magazine. Part One of the report is in the March/April issue and Part Two will be in the May/June issue.

Click here to go to the report on the Textile World website.

Media Partners

In My Opinion

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.

 

So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted January 17, 2016

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

Success in our industry is all about knowledge, integrity and developing relationships. BeaverLake6 Group, LLC, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, is a management consulting firm focused on helping businesses understand the complex global technical textiles industry.

 

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