BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Front Page News

IFAI Graphics Event Cancelled. We received late word the IFAI Fabric Graphics Day conference scheduled for January 29, 2015 has been cancelled. The notice was posted on the IFAI website. The conference was being organized by the Fabric Graphics Association, a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), at the Glen Raven Sunbrella manufacturing plant in Anderson, S.C., USA. Posted January 28, 2015

Final Program for Outlook Plus Latin America 2015 is Announced. The first nonwoven event organized in South America by the two global nonwoven trade associations -- EDANA and INDA -- is now set with the program established. Outlook Plus Latin America 2015 will take place March 3-5, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first two days, will examine market, product and technology intelligence for hygiene and personal care. The third day will feature a unique focus on durable nonwoven applications and future opportunities. The keynote presentation will be delivered by Roberto Macedo, Ph.D..  His presentation will be  on global and regional economic prospects for the Mercosul Region (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela). Click here to read the press release issued by the two organizations. Posted January 28, 2015

Geosynthetics Video on Sustainability Released. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has produced a video called "Geosynthetics for Sustainable Development." As the title implies, the video shows the many applications of geosynthetics which go towards protecting the earth and its limited resources. I would recommend viewing it for those wanting a 5-minute overview of geosynthetics applications. Click here to view the video. Posted January 28, 2015

Canadian Military Seeks New Protective Suits. According to an article posted on the Ottawa Citizen website, the Canadian Department of National Defence "wants a contractor to design and develop a hybrid protective suit that would shield wearers against chemical or biological hazards while allowing them to effectivel engage an enemy." The DND is allocating $700,000 for the development of the suit. It would be an all-hazard protective suit system. The RFP  notes the construction of the prototype must be done by June 2016. Click here to read the article. Posted January 27, 2015

US Military Tent Maker Thrives Despite Defense Cutbacks. There's a nice article posted on The Dispatch (Columbus, Miss. USA) website about the success of two brothers, Iraqi war veterans, and their father in establishing a startup tent manufacturing company. LiteFighter makes one- and two-man tents, and currently markets them exclusively for the military. LiteFighters teamed up with American Power Sources, a military apparel company which had fallen on hard times because of the US military budget cutback. Now they are making 3,000 LiteFighter tents per month. Click here to read the article. Posted January 27, 2015

US Military Textile Supplier Appoints New Management Team. Brand & Oppenheimer Co., Inc., a US textile converter and supplier to the US military, has been given a new management team by controlling shareholder Praesidian Capital. Edward Ricci has been appointed CEO. Ben Galben and Bryan Boulis, have also been appointed to the Office of the CEO, although their positions within Brand & Oppenheimer are not noted in the company press release. Mr. Ricci and Mr. Galpen were founders of 1947 LLC, a company which owns the exclusive international distributor rights to MultiCam®, a licensed camouflage pattern used by the US Army. Prasidian also owns US textiles supplier Performance Textiles, so this appears to be a good fit for all parties involved. Click here to read the company press release. Posted January 27, 2015

Honda is Dropping Takata as Airbag Supplier for New Accord. It was bound to happen with the problems involving the massive recall of vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag systems. Several websites are reporting today that Honda will be switching its supplier of airbags from Takata to Toyoda Gosei for the next Honda Accord model intended for the North American market. Click here to read an article posted on the Financial Times website. Posted January 25, 2015

Indian and US Officials Meet on Technical Textiles Issues During President Obama's Trip. According to the Indian website, Nirmala Sitharaman India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, is meeting US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker this week during US President Barack Obama's visit and one of the issues being discussed is making US technology in manufacturing technical textiles more available to India. Technical textiles is called a "sunrise" industry in India. Click here to read the article. Posted January 25, 2015

Amazing Mountain Parachute Skiing Video. We came across a post on the web blog that talked about a sports documentary that premiered on January 21 called "The Unrideables: Alaska Range." Simply put, as the article's author Lisa Ianucci says: "It's breathtaking." The documentary features the exploits of Jan DeVore's touch-and-go skiing down Alaskan mountain peaks using a parachute to jump from cliff to cliff. It's inspiring to know how our industry's products are used in such challenging situations. Click here to see the video. Posted January 25, 2015

Takata Executive Indicted in US for Price Fixing. According to a post today on the website, there's more bad press for Takata, the Japanese manufacturer of technical textiles and automotive safety systems. A US grand jury in Detroit, Mich., USA, has indicted an executive of Takata with price-fixing in the automotive seatbelt market. The federal grand jury indicted Hiromu Usuda, former Takata group and department manager in customer relations, with one count of conspiring to fix seatbelt prices the company sold to Japanese auto companies marketing in the US. The company has already paid a $71.3 million criminal fine in the case. Click here to read the article. Posted January 23, 2015

Costs of Those Corporate Tents at Golf Tournaments: A Lot. Every wonder what those coroporate tents that you see at professional golf tournaments cost to rent? The 2016 Ryder Cup is being held in Chaska, Minn., USA. According to an article posted on the website of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the cost to rent the most expensive tents that hold up to 150 people are going for $600,000. Smaller tents are going for $275,000 to $425,000. Click here to read the article. Posted January 21, 2015

German Financial Institution Issues Report on Technical Textiles. Commerzbank, a German-based financial institution, has developed a report on the global technical textiles industry. A summary of the report issued January 16 forecasts a 2% increase in global production for 2015. Other key takeaways from the summary include there are 600 companies in Germany making technical textiles; 62% of the 2013 technical textiles made in Germany were exported; and, nearly 50% of the German textile industry is devoted to the manufacture of technical textiles. The summary is a little frustrating to read because it goes back and forth between nonwovens and technical textiles statistics. Commerzbank is offering the full report for free. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 21, 2015

China Filtration Society Leader to Speak at Nonwoven Conference. The keynote speaker for FILTREX Asia 2015 will be Wang Yanxi, Chairman of the Chinese Filtration Society. The conference, organized by EDANA, an international nonwoven association based in Belgium, will be held March 17-18, 2015, in Hong Kong. Mr. Wang's presentation is entitled "Present & Future of the Chinese Filtration and Separation Business." Click here to go to the EDANA website to find out more about the event. Posted January 21, 2015

Photo credit: IDF

Israel Defense Force Receives New Parachutes. According to The Times of Israel website, the Israeli army is replacing the current Tzabar parachute with a new US-made parachute called T-11. Unlike the Tzabar parachute, the T-11 is non-steerable but will be able to carry a heavier load and be deployed at a greater speed. It's a good article to read because it gives a brief history of the paratroopers in war and then questions the need and expense of the parachute in this modern era. Click here to read the article. Posted January 20, 2015

Geosynthetics Expert Recognized by Spanish Government for His Work. It's nice to see people get the recognition they deserve. Dr. Manuel Blanco has been honored with the Command of the Order of the Civil Merit by the King Felip VI of Span. Dr. Blanco, head of the Central Laboratory of Structures and Materials at Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas (CEDEX) located in Madrid, Spain, has been involved in the field of geosynthetics since the 1970s, particularly in hydraulics applications and durability studies. Dr. Blanco was recognized for his more than 25 years of work on geomembranes in reservoirs. Click here to read an article about his award at the website of the International Geosynthetics Society. Post January 20, 2015 

Call for Entries Issued for Tectextil Innovation Award 2015. Messe Frankfurt, the organizer of Techtextil 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany, has issued a call for entries for its Techtextil Innovation Award. The deadline for receipt of entries is February 20, 2015. The competition is open to all Techtextil 2015 exhibitors as well as other companies, institutes, universities and individuals. All award-winning projects will be featured at a special exhibition held during the Techtextil event which runs May 4-7, 2015. Click here for more information. Posted January 20, 2015

Redesign Expected for Orion Airbag Flotation System. Today seems to be the day to post information about the use of technical textiles in spacecraft applications. According to the website Spaceflight Now, "engineers plan to redesign part of the Orion capsule's self-righting flotation system that only partially engaged as the spacecraft splashed down" following its test flight in December. Only 3 of the 5 bags inflated and 2 of the 3 failed to maintain pressure. Click here to read the article. Posted January 19, 2015

Ray Haries (L), president of Bally Ribbon, and Charles Bolden (R), NASA Administrator

NASA Official Visits Bally Ribbon Mills. National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden led an agency delegation during a January 9 tour of Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), a key supplier of a 3D woven composite quartz and carbon fiber material that will be used in the thermal compression pad protection system for the Orion spacecraft which will eventually carry astronauts to Mars. The high-temperature material must withstand heat of 4,000 degrees encountered as the craft re-enters the atmosphere upon its return. BRM, established in 1923 as a manufacturer of hat bands, now employs 270 workers and is a producer of many types of narrow fabrics and technical textiles. Nice to see Ray Harries and his company recognized for their contribution to the space program. Click here to read an article about the NASA visit. Posted January 19, 2015

Per Lindstrand

Parachutes Deployed Successfully on Lost Mars Landing Craft. There are long-overdue congratulations owed to Per Lindstrand and his team at Lindstrand Technologies, Shropshire, UK. The company made the highly advanced parachutes used for the European-funded Mars spacecraft that disappeared ten years ago as it began its descent to the surface and had presumed to have crashed. New pictures, however, show the craft, Beagle 2, had successfully deployed its parachutes and the failure is now assumed to be the inability of the craft to deploy its solar panels needed for power and communication. According to the website, this new discovery means the Beagle 2 is the first British and European spacecraft to successfully land on Mars. Click here to read the article. Posted January 19, 2015

J. W. Hulme: American Success Story. Being based near St. Paul, Minn., we were pleased to see a very nicely done article and video about the amazing transformation of the J.W. Hulme Company. Founded in St. Paul in 1905, the company was for most of its life a custom awning shop and maker of fishing/hunting accessories. On the brink of bankruptcy in 2009, it has reinvented itself as a cult brand manufacturer of handcrafted luxury leather handbags and luggage. We highly recommend you read the article and view the video. Click here. Posted January 17, 2015

Patent Awarded for Direct Yarn Spinning Process.  Lorica International, a developer of materials and manufacturing methods in technical textiles and yarns based in San Diego, Calif., USA, has been granted U.S. patent for its Direct Yarn Spinning Process (DYSP), a disruptive technology that enables the production of 100% Oxidized Polyacrylonitrile Fiber (OPF) yarn. This new patent complements other issued patents surrounding the company's DYSP technology and OPF yarn, covering input products for yarn machines to draft and spin the yarn, processes used in factories for manufacturing the yarn and the final yarn product. Click here to read more about the patent. Posted January 16, 2015

Wang Tiankai

China Textile Industry Enters Deep Transition. There is an interesting article published today on the website China Economic Net addressing the slowing volume growth of China's textile industry. Year-on-year growth for the first 8 months of 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 were respectively 10.7%, 10.8%, 8.3% and 7.4%. In most parts of the world, we'd settle for a 7.4% growth rate but in China it is troubling. According to Wang Tiankai, chair of China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), the cost advantage of China's textile industry in international competition no longer exists. Thus, this is the time to seize the opportunity of technological revolution and industrial upgrading. We'd recommend this as a "must read" if you're trying to get a grasp on what's going on in China. Click here to read the article. Posted January 16, 2015

Thailand Appeals for Public Donations to Equip Army with Bulletproof Vests. While New York City is planning to spend millions on equiping its law enforement officers (see posting below), the Thai government admitted only about 1/3 or 100,000 of its soldiers have protective vests and is appealing to the public for donations. Click here to read the article posted on the Bangkok Post website. Posted January 15, 2015

New York City Budget May Include Millions of Dollars for Bulletproof Vests. The New York Daily News posted an article on its online website reporting the NewYork City Council is trying to include spending of $7.3 million into next year's budget to purchase new anti-ballistic vests for its law enforcement departments. The proposal would be to fund approximately 10,000 vests. Click here to read the online article. Posted January 15, 2015

Autoliv Will Make 25 Million Replacement Airbag Inflators. The website for Automotive News posted an article this morning saying that Autoliv Inc., has signed an agreement "with several automakers to deliver up to 25 million inflators to fix potentially defective airbags produced by Takata Inc." The inflators will be made at the Autoliv facility in Utah, USA. Takata is in the process of putting into place two new production lines at its Mexico facility which are expected to go into operation later this month that will boost its production capacity to 450,00 inflators a month. It is not clear, from the article, however, if the inflators are being assembled into new fabric bags or if they are using the current bag. Click here to read the Automotive News article. Posted January 15, 2015

Southern Textile Research Council Meeting to Focus on Advanced Automotive Materials. We saw posted on the website Textiles and Trade that the Southern Textile Research Council's 2015 event will be held May 17-19, 2015, in Greenville, S.C., USA. The theme of the 2015 STRC will be Advanced Automotive Materials, Textiles and Fibers. The conference dates are same as the IFAI Outlook 2015 conference being held in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., USA. It's too bad these conference organizers cannot do a better job of avoiding conflicts. They both sound like good events. Click here to read the post on Textiles and Trade website. Posted January 15, 2015

TenCate Supplying Digitally Printed Tent Cloth to Camping Tour Operators. Interesting news coming out of the 2015 Vakantiebeurs (Holiday Trade Fair) being held this week in Utrecht in The Netherlands: TenCate Outdoor Fabrics is to supply Rent-a-Tent digitally printed tent cloth for bungalow tents that will be rented to camping enthusiaists across Europe. Patterns and designs can now be tailored towards the target audience sought by a particular tent renter. Click here to read the TenCate press release. Posted January 15, 2015

Dr. Heribert Decher (CEO, Heytex) and Ted Anderson, CEO, BondCote

Heytex Acquires BondCote Corporation. BeaverLake6 Report has learned Heytex Brasche GmbH, Lower Saxony, Germany, is acquiring US coated and laminated fabrics manufacturer BondCote Corporation. Heytex is a manufacturer of textile print media and technical textiles with manufacturing facilities in Germany and China. In the US, its sales have primarily been in the print media market such as banners and translucent advertising media. BondCote is a diverse manufacturer of coated and laminated technical textiles for a variety of end markets, including military, shelters, marine, tarpaulin and pool covers applications. Click here  to read the entire commentary by BeaverLake6 Report and official press release. Posted January 14, 2014

Bob Evans

New Freudenberg North America President Named. In a press release issued today, Bob Evans has been appointed the Freudenberg North America LP president and the Group's regional representative, effective January 1, 2015. Mr. Evans will report directly to the Freudenberg Board of Management. Prior to this new appointment, he was the Group's General Counsel for the region, a position he will keep as well. Mr. Evans joined the Freudenberg Group in August 2003. Click here to read the company release. Posted January 13, 2015

Geo-Americas 2016 Issues Call for Abstracts. The North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS), the organizer of Geosynthetics 2016, the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics, has issued a Call for Abstract for those interested in submitting a presentation. The topic areas include a wide variety of geosynthetic applications such as mining, water and wastewater containment, sustainability and materials used in tunnels. The event will be held at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla., US, April 11-14, 2016. Deadline for abstract submissions is March 30, 2015. Click here to go to the Geosynthetics 2016 website to gain more information on abstract submissions. Posted January 13, 2015

November US Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the November export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Comparing 2013 and 2014 12-month periods ending November, total US exports increased by $247 million or 6.4%. Mexico was up more than 14% during the 12-month comparison period and remained the leading country to receive US specialty fabrics exports, followed by Canada, China, Hong Kong and Japan. Export value to China over this time period has decreased by almost 8%. Click here to go to the OTEXA webpage to view export figures. Posted January 12, 2015

US Senators Push Federal Legislation for More Bulletproof Vest Funding. A number of US trade associations have lobbying efforts coming up in the next few months when members have a coordinated day to visit with their government representatives to seek support on issues that are of benefit to the textile industry. If you're going on one of these lobbying efforts, make sure your organizastion has on its agenda the seeking of support for the bi-partisan effort led by US Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) for the reintroduction of federal legislation to reauthorize the expired Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. The legislation provides federal dollars to match spending by local police departments to purchase body armor. The original program helped local law enforcement departments to purchase more than a million bulletproof vests before expiring in 2012. The average effective life of a ballastic vest is about 5 years, so there is a constant need for refreshing the supply. Click here to read an article posted about this Senate effort on the VTDigger website. Posted January 12, 2015

New and Revised AATCC Test Methods for Textile Testing. Word from AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professions, is that the 2015 AATCC Technical Manual is now available and includes 2 new test methods, 10 significantly revised methods, and 9 editorially revised methods. The technical manual is published annually and the 2015 version includes nearly 150 test methods and evaluation procedures used worldwide to evaluate and characterize fiber and textile materials. The two new test methods are TM148-2014, Light Blocking Effect of Textiles and Related Materials: Photodetector Method and TM203-2014, Lifht Blocking Effect of Textiles: Spectrophotometric Method.  This later method measure the light pasing through window covering textiles. Click here to go to the AATCC website for more information. Posted January 11, 2015

Serge Piolat

New EURATEX President Begins Term. The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) has a new President. Serge Piolat took office this month for a two-year term. He succeeds Alberto Paccanelli, who headed EURATEX during the last four years. Mr. Piolat has an extensive international experience in the textile industry, including as a Director of Porcher Industries Group's textile division. He is currently co-owner of SCHAPPE, a French Group of companies specialized in the production of technical spun yarns. He has been a member of EURATEX's Board of Directors since 2009 and acted as Vice President since 2011. A critical issue during his term will be the ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement between the US and Europe. Click here to read the EURATEX press release on Mr. Piolat. Posted January 11, 2015

Nonwovens Industry Report with Forecast to 2018 Published. Almost every week BeaverLake6 Report receives word of a new report on a technical textile market segment. The ones we like are done by the industry trade associations. They have professionals on staff dedicated to the industry and have a wide access to industry expertise. Thus, we are pleased to see that INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced the availability of a new industry report entitled North American Nonwovens Industry Outlook 2013-2018. This is INDA's 9th analysis of the nonwoven markets. It contains detailed demand and supply data (capacity, production and trade flows) for the North American industry for 2008, 2013 and a forecast for 2018. According to the report, the North American market in 2013 consumed 1.9 million tons of nonwoven material and the market is forecasted to reach 2.3 million tons in 2018, a 4.2% annual growth rate. Click here to find out how to obtain the report. Posted January 11, 2015

ISEA Seeks Consensus Panel Participants for Revision of High-Visibility Worker Apparel Standard. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is revising its ANSI/ISEA 107-2010, American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear. The standard, first established in 2009, is recognized as the standard mandated by US federal, state and local authorities as well as private industry entities. The US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration requires nearly all workers in or near a high right-of-way to wear garments that comply with the standard. ISEA is looking for industry volunteers interested in serving as a panel member for the standard revision work. Click here for more information. Posted January 11, 2015

China Sends 1,600 Tents to Malaysia. According to the website The Rakyat Post, the Chinese government will supply 1,600 tents for victims in Malaysia of the most devastating flooding in a decade that occurred in the state of Kelantan at the end of December. The donated tents will be in 12 square meters and 36 square meters sizes. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2015

Photo Source: Inquisitr

Technical Textiles "Shark Proof" Underwater Internet Cables. Apparently we missed this item last August was it was first news but thanks to the website The Inquisitr we found a posting yesterday that sharks apparently find underwater Internet cables kind of tasty. The biting problem has caused major Internet outages in the submerged Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable system. The sharks are drawn by the electromagnetic waves emited by the cable. The solution? Technical textiles, of course. The cables are now being wrapped with an additional layer of Kevlar fabric. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2015

Last Days for Geosynthetics Conference Discount Registration Fee. Planning to attend the IFAI's Geosynthetics 2015 Conference in Portland, Ore., USA? The advance registration discount fee ends January 10. The conference is held February 9-12 under the auspices of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and supported by the North American Geosynthetics Society (NAGS). More than 140 papers will be delivered on various applications of geosynthetics and product development. The event is being co-located with Environmental Connection 2015, a trade show and conference organized by the International Erosion Control Association. Click here to go to the Geosynthetics 2015 registration page. Posted January 7, 2015

Awning Industry Leader Passes.  It is sad to pass along the news that Eugene "Pete" McConnell died a few days ago. Mr. McConnell was the past owner of Capital City Awning, located in Columbus, Oh., USA. He was national an industry leader, serving on the Board of Directors of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) from 1983 to 1989, as well as being very active in the IFAI's Professional Awning Manufacturers Association and the regional Canvas Products Association Zone 7. Posted January 6, 2015

AstenJohnson Acquires US Needlepunch Nonwovens Producer. AstenJohnson, a supplier of specialty and filtration fabrics and equipment for the paper industry, has announced it has completed its acquisition of Eagle Nonwovens, Inc. Eagle Nonwovens, Inc., located in St. Louis, Mo., USA, is a manufacturer of needlepunch nonwovens for uses in the aerospace, healthcare, filtration and automotive industries. Click here to read the AstenJohnson press release. Posted January 6, 2015

Carbon Fiber Manufacturer Acquires Branch of European Composite Material Company. Toray Industries, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, has announced December 10 it has reached a basic agreement with Saati S.p.A, Lombardy Region, Italy, to acquire its European carbon fiber fabric and prepreg business. The former Saati's plant in Milan, Italy will start operations in January as Composite Materials (Italy) S.r.l., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toray. Through this acquisition, Torary establishes its own integrated supply chain, and will further strengthen the structure of Toray Group's carbon fiber composite materials business in Europe. Click here to read Toray's press release. Posted December 30, 2014

Textile Universities to Partner to Create a Faster Process to Commercialize Specialty Fibers. Speed to market is essential in this fast-paced world. Sometimes it takes years for a developed new product to reach the consumer. According to the Triangle Business Journal (Raleigh, N.C., USA),  Georgia Southern University Herty Advanced Material Development Center will be working with North Carolina State University's College of Textiles and Nonwovens Institute to streamline the commercialization of specialty fibers. The partnership is called the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. Click here to read the article written by reporter Dawn Wallace. Posted December 30, 2014

Ebola Crisis Creates Need for Updated NFPA Protective Clothing Standard. In response to the Ebola outbreak as well as seeking protection from other liquid borne pathogens, a tentative amendment interim amendment (TIA) is being proposed to the National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1999: Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations. The amendment is intended to help provide better protection in the PPE-approved gear worn by first-responders. The amendment would change the name of the standard to Standard on Protective Clothing and Ensembles for Emergency Medical Operations. New sections would be added including other referenced NFPA standards. NFPA has posted the TIA for public review with a comment deadline of January 14, 2015. Click here to read more at the Occupational Health & Safety website. Posted December 30, 2014

Takata Company President Resigns. Embattled technical textiles manufacturer Takata Corporation announced today Chief Operating Officer and President Stefan Stocker is stepping down as the recall of the company's airbags continues to grow. Shigehisa Takada, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, will take over Mr. Stocker's positionsr. Mr. Stocker, who will remain on the company's board, is taking a 30% pay reduction. Mr. Takata will be taking a 50% pay reduction and other executives a 20% pay reduction for at least the next 4 months. To date, more than 24 million vehicles have been recalled during the past 6 years. Click here for more details. Posted December 24, 2014

Bullet-Proof Baseball Cap Being Developed. We're not sure about this idea: According to the website Metro Detroit, a company called BulletSafe of Birmingham, Mich., USA, is developing a bulletproof baseball cap. Company founder Tom Nardone has patented the cap's design. They are expected to retail for $129.  He is currently testing prototypes of the hat. The final version is expected to stop .40-caliber, 9-millimeter and .38-caliber rounds of bullets. His company already makes bulletproof vests. Click here to read the article. Posted December 22, 2014

Glen Raven to Sponsor USA Olympic Sailing. According to the website Scuttlebutt Sailing News, the USA Sail team Sperry Top-Sider announced a major partnership with Glen Raven Mills for Sunbrella fabrics to become a Gold-level sponsor of the US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider, the nation's Olympic and Paralympic sailing team, and also as the presenting sponsor of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, North America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. Click here to read the article. Posted December 22, 2014

Preiss-Daimler to Acquire Glass Textiles Business in Sweden. Johns Manville and Preiss-Daimler announced on December 19 that a Preiss-Daimler group company will acquire Johns Manville's Glass Textiles business in Sweden. The business is a leading supplier of glass wallcoverings in the European markets, including woven as well as nonwoven products. Click here to read more. about the acquisition. Posted December 22, 2014

Advanced Composites Company Acquires 50% Interest in Formax. According to a press release posted on the website Business Wire, Hexcel Corporation announced today that it has acquired 50% of Formax UK Limited. Formax, located in Leicester, UK, is a manufacturer of composite reinforcements, specializing in the production of lightweight mult-axial fabrics. Hexcel is also an advanced composites company, developing and manufacturing high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers, reinforcements, prepregs, and compositie structures used in commercial aerospace, space and defense, and industrial applications. The two companies had already been cooperating for the development and manufacture of non-crimp fabrics for Hexcel and its aerospace customers. Click here to read the press release. Posted December 15, 2014

Czech Soldiers in Afghanistan Complain About Bullet-Proof Vests. Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky visited his country's soldiers in Afghanistan on December 13-14.  There are 285 Czech soldiers serving in the country. According to an article posted on the Prague Post website, one complaint he listened to while there is the trouble the soldiers are having with the "bullet-proof" vest because the hook-and-loop fastener keeps unfastening. Deputy Defense Minister Jiri Borovec told the Czech News Agency that a contract with a supplier should be signed by February and new vests supplied by next autumn. Further, Defense Stropnicky said "the price should be lower by dozens of percent" compared to the past supplies. Click here to read the article. Posed December 15, 2014             

Fabric Canopies for the Grand Mosque in Makkah. According to an article posted on the Saudi Gazette website, the courtyards around the Grand Mosque in Makkah (Mecca) will have canopies similar to those already in place in the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah (Madina). The retractable canopies will be made of PTFE coated fabric and cover more than 275,000 square meters. Click here to read more about the project. Posted December 15, 2014

How Much Does China Soldier's Equipment Cost. There's a great article posted on China Military Online regarding the cost of outfitting a Chinese soldier. While overall spending by China for the military increased 88 billion Yuan (US$14.3 billion) in 2014, the soldiers' individual equipment costs remained the same as what it was five years ago. The Kevlar helmet costs $285, camouflage tactical vest $45, backpack $30, camouflage gloves $15, woven belt for equipment $15, and a fabric satchel $15. Body armor is not readily outfitted which is interesting because China body armor can be made very inexpensively; however, there appears to be a fundamental difference in philosophy between Western and Chinese military thinking. The Chinese military leadership feels "the plethora of protective equipment will consume soldiers' strength and also weaken the soldiers' fighting spirits." Click here to read the article. Posted December 15, 2014

Glen Raven Fabric Collection Named "Best of the Year." Congratulations to acrylic fabric manufacturer Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, Glen Raven, N.C., USA, for having its Sunbrella Icon Collection named Best of Year 2014 winner by Interior Design magazine. The Sunbrella Icon Collection won in the Textiles: Outdoor category. The Interior Design 9th Annual Best of the Year Awards ceremony took place December 4. The competition received more that 2,000 submissions. Click here to read the article posted on the Furniture World magazine website. Posted December 15, 2014

Russian Technical Textiles Industry in Trouble. There is a very good article posted on the Innovation In Textiles website on the problems of the Russian nonwovens and technical textiles industry. According to the article, amongst the causes are the decline of the Russian economy, illegal re-exports of technicalt textiles to Russia, and currency fluctuation. The article, written by Eugene Gerden, says the Russian production has declined by about 15% compared to the same period last year. Click here to go to the website and read the article. Posted December 11, 2014

New Technology Provides Real-Time Monitoring of Human Lungs. This is an interesting press release from Freudenberg on their development with Swisstom AG of a system that combines electrical impedance tomography (EIT) with an electrode belt for the real-time monitoring of the human lungs. It's called the SensorBelt and is positioned around the patient's chest. providing what the developers call "a window into the lungs." Freudenberg's contibution is the development of a flexible circuit board and the skin-friendly nonwovens to ensure contact between the electronic systems and the patient's skin at all times. Click here to read the press release. Posted December 11, 2014

India Technical Textiles Sector Looking at 20% Annual Growth. According to a report published on the Indian Business Standard website, the country's technical textile sector is poised for a 20% annual rate growth in both 2015 and 2016. The prediction was made by the country's Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar during the launching of the 4th TECHNOTX-2015 event that is scheduled to by held in April 2015. Click here to read the article on the Business Standard website. Posted December 9, 2014

Geosynthetics Society Holds International Conference, Elects New Leadership. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has just published its latest IGS News newsletter. The newsletter reviews the accomplishments and milestones which happened during the 10th International Conference on Geosynthetics (10ICG), held in Berlin, Germany, September 21-25, 2014. The international conference takes place only once every 4 years. The 10ICG attracted 1200 visitors at both the conference and exhibition. The exhibition featured 140 exhibitors of geosynthetics and related products and services. At the IGS General Assembly, Dr. Jorge Zomberg stepped down as the society's president. He was succeeded by Dr. Russell Jones.  The 11ICG will take place in Soul, South Korea, September 16-20, 2018. Click here to read the complete coverage of the 10ICG in the newsletter, plus reports on many other activities sponsored by the IGS. Posted December 9, 2014 

Performance Fibers Signs Agreement to Sell Asia Operations. According to a press release issued by Indorama Ventures PLC, the company has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the Asia operations of Performance Fibers, a leading producer of polyester fibers and fabrics for the technical textiles industry. Performance Fibers is based in Huntersville, N.C., USA. Thailand-registered Indorama Ventures is one of the world's foremost petrochemical producers. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to this news. Click here to read the Indorama press release. Posted December 8, 2014

Local Community Provides Funds to Help Grow a Composites Manufacturing Company. While we often report on the activities of companies with a network of global operations, we are reminded not to forget the industry is also made up of thousands of smaller manufacturers that are important to their communities. Composite Envisions, a manufacturer and distributor of lightweight carbon fabrics, recently received a $100,000 forgivable loan by the Wausau Economic Development Committee of Wausau, Wis., USA. Besides manufacturing composites, the company distriubtes other specialty fabrics made of carbon and aramid fibers. Click here to find out more about Composites Envisions and the financing. Posted December 8, 2014

Source: DuPont

Stretchable Electronic Ink Materials Introduced. Normally we don't like to promote a particular product but one of the issues which often comes up when a conversation gets going about the market potential for "smart fabrics" and "e-textiles" is the material's durability after repeated washings. DuPont Microcircuit Materials has introduced a suite of stretchable electronic ink materials for use in smart clothing applications and other wearable electronics. According to a product release from DuPont, their new stretchable form-fitting materials can be a viable alternative to traditional ways to embed electronics in fabric products. Click here to read the press release posted on the Printed Electronics World website. Posted December 8, 2014 

China Supplying Equipment to Pakistan to Fight Terrorism. The Pakistan Paliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammed Afzal Khan addressed the country's National Assembly and revealed during questioning that a number of countries were providing assistance to fight terrorism. He said China has provided equipment of 2050 items worth RS 120 million (US$1.185 million) during 2013-2014, including 600 soft quality bullet proof vests, 600 bullet proof helmets, 600 bullet proof masks, and 20 bomb suppression blankets. Click here to read the report posted on the Pakistan Business Recorder website. Posted December 8, 2014

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23 Years Later, Customs Reverses Itself, Zeros out Duty on "Abrasive-Coated" "Non-Scratch" Non-Woven


Recently U.S. Customs proposed to revoke a Binding Ruling Letter (NY 875045) going back to June 16, 1992, concerning the tariff classification of a cellulose sponge that has a non-scratch non-woven cloth on one surface which contains talc. Click here to continue. Posted January 11, 2015

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