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News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

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Special Report: Interview with Auggie Tantillo, President of National Council of Textile Organizations

Photo Credit: Devin Steele

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has just concluded its 11th annual meeting in Washington, DC. After years of decline, the US textile industry is on the rise but there is concern over implications of the ongoing Asia/Pacific and European trade agreements. Internally, NCTO is still in the first year of the merger of three formerly independent textile organizations. Auggie Tantillo has been NCTO president for 8 months. He was recently inteviewed to discuss these trade agreements and the state of the US textile industry. Click here to read this exclusive interview with one of the top leaders in the US textile industry.

Special Report: Interview with Dennis Smith, President of Messe Frankfurt USA, Organizer of Techtextil North America 2014

This is a pivotal year for Techtextil North America. The event is scheduled for May 13-15 in Atlanta. The previous Atlanta show in 2012 drew more than 6,800 visitors and solidly established the event as the number one trade show in North America for the technical textiles industry. Steve Dennis Smith, president of Messe Frankfurt USA, was recently interviewed on what to expect at the show this year. Click here to read the interview.

Front Page News

"Chicks Dig It" May be a Factor in Camouflage Pattern Debacle. We've talked about it before and now the April 12th issue of the news magazine The Economist has picked up on the spectacular waste of US military spending regarding the different branches of services design rivalry of camouflage uniforms. One example: The article talks about the $3.2 million development of its own "universal" camouflage only to discover it proved it's not really good for anyplace. Since its introduction, the US Army has spent more that $5 billion on uniforms and equipment printed in this pattern. Part of the overall problem according to the article: "...officers can be a bit too preoccupied with a uniform's CDI (chicks dig it) factor." Click here to read the article online. Posted April 17, 2014

Source: Jeff Stull

Survey Finds Firefighters Taking Better Care of Protective Clothing. The care of a firefighter's personal protection gear is always a concern. Improper or lack of cleaning and storage can result in a shorter effective life span for the gear and cause harm to the firefighter. Contamination as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals in a fire is another concern. The website Fire Chief has an excellent article by Jeffrey and Grace Stull on the summary of a survey to determine specific industry practices on how fire departments take care of their protective clothing and equipment. Click here to view the article (which also provides a link to the actual survey). Posted April 17, 2014 

New US Textile Product Patents Posted. Jim Carson, principal of RB Consulting, Inc., posted today on David Trumbull's Textiles and Trade blog website information on 25 recent textile-related patents issued by the US Patent Office. The patents include one for a knitted, cut-resistant glove made from three distinct types of yarns; a new structured fabric for use in a papermaking machine; a braided medical vascular tube with an inner and outer layer that folds onto itself; and, a medical balloon with a variable diameter that is reinforced with continuous fibers woven to form a fabric with a varying number of layers and fiber densities. Click here to check out all the patents posted at Textiles and Trade website. Posted April 16, 2014

Book Published by Large Structures Designer. "The Sky is Not the Limit" is the title of a book by Rudi Enos. Mr. Enos, owner of Rudi Special Structures Lab Ltd.,  is a UK-designer of large structures used for gatherings such as rock festivals and awards ceremonies. According to the author, the book describes the history of tents "as magnificent buildings, as symbols of power and as inspiration for spectacular architecture." The book is the first in what Mr. Enos intends to be a series which will also include an insight into the techniques of tent design and construction, and a reference into the use of large tents at events. Click here to read an article about the book on the livedesignonline website. Posted April 16, 2014

Credit: NASA

Public Votes on Space Suit to be Used on Mars. Did you vote? It's too late now. The voting closed yesterday on their preferred design for the spacesuit to be used eventually on Mars. Apparently more than 200,000 people around the world did vote. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held the vote, asking the public to help decide the look of the suit. The three choices were "Trends in Space," "Biomimicry," and "Technology." A unique design feature of the spacesuit is called the "suit port." The spacesuits will be attached to the outside of the spacecraft and the astronauts will step into the suit using a back hatch. Click here to go to the video web site. Posted April 16, 2014 

Textile Coating and Laminating Conference Announcement. International Newsletters, the organizer of the annual International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating (TCL), has announced a call for papers for the 2014 event. The conference will be held November 4-5, 2014, in Cannes France. The theme is "A Vital Industry - Building for the Future." TCL2014 will feature 4 sessions: Section 1, The State of the Industry; Session 2, Techniques and Materials; Session 3, Technology for Growth; and, Session 4, Future Opportunities. Click here to contact Nick Butler at International Newsletters for more information or to submit an abstract. Posted April 14, 2014

EDANA to Organize Nonwovens Conference at ITMA 2015. A press release was issued today annoucing EDANA, the international association for the nonwovens and related industries, will be organizing a nonwovens conference during ITMA 2015. We like this news. We need more cooperative ventures in holding these types of events. ITMA 2015, the world's largest textile and garment technology exhibition, will be held in Milan, Italy, November 12-19. The addition of EDANA is a visionary step in expanding the event's scope. Posted April 14, 2014

Extreme Sports Display at IFAI Event. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has put out a call for submissions for products made for the extreme sports industry (i.e. hang gliders, parachutes, mountain climbing gear, etc.). A special display of these fabric-related extreme sports products will be featured on the trade show floor at the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expor 2014 and Advanced Textiles Expo. The event is taking place in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, October 14-16, 2014. Click here to contact Barbara Connett, Events & Education Manager at IFAI. Posted April 14, 2014

More Details on the DuPont/Kolon Court Battle. Last week we posted the news about the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a $920 million judgment for DuPont as the well 20-year injunction again Kolon Industries to prevent the Korean-based company from manufacturing para-aramid fibers. In its appeal, Kolon successfully argued that the judge in the 2011 case had previously represented DuPont and, therefore, there was a potential conflict of interest in the orginal case. The case is expected to be retried. Click here to read a summary of the case posted on Courthouse News Service, a web-based legal site. Posted April 13, 2014

Sustainability and Performance in Textiles: Can You Have It All? That is the title of a brilliant short article written be Deidre Hoguet on the UK-based website theguardian.com. Ms. Hoguet is the director of sustainability and material exploration at Designtex. The article should serve as a primer for those who are just getting into the industry. Click here to read the article. Posted April 13, 2014

The "Miracle" of the Hagfish Slime. Well, we're not exactly sure it's a miracle but that's what the editors use in a headline for an article posted on the website 109(/). The article reports on the potential applications of the slime of the hagfish, a notoriously ugly ocean fish creature. The hagfish secretes a slime when it is threatened or agitated. Apparently the slime contains tens of thousands of protein threads whichwhen harvested can take on properties similar to the dragline silk of a spider. These superfibers could "one day be used in everything from bullet-proof vests to artificial tendons." Click here if you want more on the slime. Posted April 11, 2014 

More on Mars Spacecraft Technical Textile Products. We no sooner post about the new parachute being tested for the next Mars landing craft when word comes out from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern Calif., USA, about the NASA testing of a saucer-shaped ring that will go around the vehicle and is designed to inflate as the vehicle descends, creating a larger surface and more drag to slow the descent speed. This inflatable ring, an improved parachute and the craft's surface impact inflatable airbag cushions will allow the craft to carry a greater payload to the surface. We're proud to see our industry contributing to the next incredible journey for mankind. Click here to read more about the Mars landing craft. Posted April 11, 2014

Source: Jeff Currey/AK DOT

Geosynthetics Use Promoted in Alaska News Website. The Alaska news website Alaska Dispatch posted an article yesterday on the application of a nylon wicking fabric to prevent what is known as "frost boils" or an upheaval in the surface on the famed Dalton Highway caused by freezing/thawing sequence of moisture underneath the road. The fabric research was done by the University of Alaska Fairbanks with support from the Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities, the US Dept. of Transportation and TenCate Geosynthetics, the supplier of the fabric. The test area used is 110 miles south of Prudhoe Bay and called "Beaver Slide" which is another reason it seems appropriate to cover it in a website called BeaverLake6 Report. Click here to read the article. Posted April 10, 2014 

Source: NASA

NASA Builds Outdoor Wind Tunnel to Test Mars Parachutes. The parachutes for the Curiosity Rover sent to Mars were too large to be tested in a conventional indoor wind tunnel. So, NASA set up an outdoor tunnel. The website Gizmodo has an article and a video link about the challenge. Fun to watch. Click here. Posted April 10, 2014 

Showdown of the Unbeatables. If you're located in the US, you might want to watch on April 11 a television show called "Showdown of the Unbeatables." The premise is that the show features the very best companies competing with their prized products for performace grades.  In the April 11th episode, the show pits Tff-N-Lite®

safety apparel against Cold Jet® ice blasting technology. Sounds like a fun competition. Click here to get more information on what's happening. Posted April 10, 2014

Base Structures South American Team

British Tensile Structure Company Expands into South America. The UK seems to be one of the leading countries for innovation in tensile structure architecture. Big applications, though, are limited no matter where you are located and so structure manufacturers search out projects all over the world. We came across a release today saying that a Bristol, UK company, Base Structures, is partnering with Brazilian subcontractor Remaster BR and its Columbian counterpart to sell its complex architectural structures in South America. Click here to read more about the Base Structures market expansion. Posted April 9, 2013

INDEX14 Award Winners Are Announced. EDANA, the Brussels-based international organization for the nonwovens industry, announced today at the opening ceremony of INDEX14 the winners of the INDEX14 Award. INDEX14, being held in Geneva, Switzerland, is the world's largest gathering of the nonwovens industry with more than 12,500 visitors and 550 exhibitors. Click here to go to the Filtration+Separation.com website. Posted April 8, 2014

Beauty in the Machinery. The decline of Made in the USA is the theme of a textile article that appeared yesterday on the UK's Daily Mail website. We think the author, Sadie Whitelocks, is a little naïve in her assessment of the state of the industry as the article seems only to focus on old textile mills in the northeast US; however, you cannot find fault in the beautiful pictures shown of textile machinery and processing operations that accompany the article. Well worth the look. Click here to see the article and pictures.  Posted April 8, 2014

New High-Tech Life Jacket Can Call for Help. An interesting article was posted on the website independent.ie about an innovative Irish firm, Mullin Survival Technology, which has developed a life jacket called the Mullion Jacket. The lifejacket self-inflates and also activates a built Global Postion System beacon and a lighting system when the jacket hits the water. The firm reently won a contract ot supply 8,500 life jsackets to the British fishing industry. Click here to read the entire article. Posted April 6, 2014

Automotive Textile Supplier Expands in the US. The booming automotive manufacturing in the southeast United States continues to help the US textile manufacturing industry. Suminoe Textile of America Corporation has announced it is expanding its Cherokee County, S.C., USA, plant with a $5 million investment. Suminoe, a subsidiary of Suminoe Textile Ltd. of Japan, is a manufacturer of needle-punched automotive carpeting. Click here to read more about the expansion. Posted April 4, 2014

US Releases February Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) today released the February export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A 12-month ending February 28 comparison for 2013/2014 showed the top five countries receiving exports are Mexico at 46.1%, Canada at 14.95%, China at 4.8%, Hong Kong at 3.6% and the United Kingdom at 2.3%. Both Canada and Hong Kong, however, are showing declines in export over the previous 12-month period.. Click here for the full report. Posted April 3, 2014

US Court Voids $920 Million DuPont Award Against Kolon Industries. According to Reuters, "A federal appeals court today threw out a $919.9 million jury verdict that had favored DuPont Co. in a case over the alleged theft of trade secrets for a fiber used to make Kevlar bulletproof vests." The verdict had been against South Korea's Kolon Industries. The original verdict had also prohibited Kolon for a period up to 20 years from manufacturing or distributing para-aramid products. Click here to read the article. Posted April 3, 2014

TRW Starts Production of Roof Airbag Technology. TRW Automotive announced today that it has recently started production of its roof airbag technology on the Citroen C4 Cactus. The new "bag in roof" replaces passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel. Click here to read the release. Posted April 3, 2014

Run, Porton Man, Run. According to the This Is Wiltshire website, "A new robot mannequin that will help test the next generation of chemical and biological protective suits for the UK's armed forces has been unveiled. The Porton Man can walk, march, run, sit, kneel and even mimic the movement of a soldier sighting a weapon..." The mannequin has been made for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The developer's task in creating the robot was based on input data collected from 2,500 soldiers. Click here to read the interesting article. Posted April 4, 2014

Coleman Company Files for FTZ in US. News from David Trumbull's excellent blog Textiles and Trade Consulting on The Coleman Company, Inc., filing for Free Trade Zone (FTZ) for production activity at its facility located in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. It's the location of the former Stearns Manufacturing Co. The facility is used for production of personal flotation devices and cushions constructed with textile fabrics.  Click here to go to the website. Posted April 2, 2014

Cyclist Airbag Demonstration on Video. This is very cool video showing how an airbag collar works for cyclists. A volunteer deliberately rides his bike into a concrete column at a good speed. Hövding, a Swedish manufacturer of cyclist helmets, designed and makes the collar. It takes less than 0.1 seconds to inflate and protect your head. The Hövding airbag collar was first shown in 2010 but only recently went on sale to consumers. Click here to watch the video. Posted April 2, 2014

Source: Miller Weldmaster

History of Tents Infographic Created. Congratulations to the creative minds at Miller Weldmaster for coming up with a neat timeline graphics chart which shows the story of tents and tent making. The infographic takes readers from 40,000 BC to present day. "Researching the history of tents showed us that tents have not only been around for centuries but have gone through many changes in design and use, " said Jeff Sponseller, Executive Vice President of Miller Weldmaster, a fabric welding machine company located in Navarre, Oh., USA. Visit the Miller Weldmaster website by clicking here to download the infographic. Posted April 2, 2014

NCTO Elects Jay Self III Chairman. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) last week met in Washington, DC, USA, and during the gathering elected James C. "Jay" Self III as chairman of the organization. Mr. Self is the president of Greenwood Mills, Inc., Greenwood, S.C., USA, and takes over for William Jasper, chairman and CEO of Unifi, Inc. Greensboro, N.C., USA. You can find excellent coverage of the meeting posted on the new web newsletter eTextileCommunications.com. And, while we're talking about it, congratulations to our good friend Devin Steele, the website's publisher and former editor of Southern Textiles News. It's good to have you back in the industry! Click here to read the coverage.  Posted April 1, 2014

Italian Textile Machinery at Techtextil North America. According to a press release issued by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, 13 Italian makers of machines for technical textiles will be exhibiting at Techtextil North America, May 13-15, 2014 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Posted March 31, 2014

BMW to Expand Production in US. German-based automaker BMW announced yesterday it will expand its manufacturing in South Carolina, USA with another $1 billion investment. The expansion will allow an increase in production to 450,000 cars per year. Toray, a carbon fiber manufacturer, had announced in February its plan to build a new manufacturing plant also in South Carolina. Toray provides parts for BMW in addition to being a major composite supplier to Boeing. Special thanks to our reader Lowell Duncan for alerting us to this news. Click here to read the BMW press release. Posted March 29, 2014 

Source: Plastics Today

INVISTA Building New China Polyamide Plant. The website PlasticsToday.com posted an article March 28 on the start of a 150,000 tons/year polyamide (PA) 66 plant at the Changai Chemical Industry Park in China. The company is also constructing a hexamethylene diamine (HMD) monomer plant at the same location. Overall investment is expected to exceed $1 billion. One of PA 66's market appications is technical textiles. Overall, the PA 66 market is forecasted to grow in China to about 450,000 tons. Read the article by clicking here. Posted March 28, 2014

Shorter Business Trips Create More Opportunities for Backpacks. We found an interesting soft-sided luggage insight in The Hindu Business Times. The Indian news site interviewed an executive from Mumbai-based VIP Industries, the country's largest manufacturer of hard-shell luggage. The company is now shifting its focus to carry-on luggage and backpacks as the business trips for travelers are getting shorter. VIP is targeting a 15% growth from this shift. Click here to read the article. Posted March 28, 2014 

Kim Glas

Kim Glas Featured on Government Website. There's a nice "spotlight" posting about Kim Glas on the US Department of Commerce's commerce.gov website. Ms. Glas is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce. Click here to go to the website. Congratulations on the acknowledgement of her work to a very good person who tries to help our industry every day. Posted March 27, 2014

Techtextil 2015 Expands. There is just too much to see in only 3 days. Responding to industry demand, Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the organizer of Techtextil 2015 in Frankfurt, has expanded the biennial event to 4 days. The show is taking place May 4-7, 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany. It will be running in parallel with Texprocess, the trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials. In 2013 Techtextil had over 27,400 visitors and 1,330 exhibitors. Registration is now open. Click here for more information. Posted March 27, 2014 

EDANA and ITTA Enter Mutual Membership Agreement. The Indian Technical Textile Association and EDANA, the international nonwovens association, have signed a letter of agreement for mutual membership. The agreement allows the other party's membership within their organization at no cost. There are other benefits, too, such as a pledging of common support for the promotion of the nonwovens industry. The world is shrinking and we like this idea of strategic partnerships. Posted March 25, 2014

25 Ridiculously Cool Backpacks. A couple of days ago we posted Yahoo's pick of the top 10 backpacks out there. It must be the time of year because now we found a website called StyleCaster which names the 25 most chic backpacks being made. We're not so sure if the claim lives up to the designs but they are fun to look at if you're looking for inspiration. Click here to check them out. Posted March 24, 2014

India's Technical Textile Show Attracts Taiwan Companies. The just-completed Technotex 2014 in Mumbai, India, brought out an interesting press release that talked about the participation of Taiwan's technical textile industry. There were 10 Taiwan companies exhibiting. What attracts the Taiwanese companies is that while India has the second largest textile economy in the world after China, its contribution in the global technical textile industry is only 9% of the total consumption. World over, the share of technical textile in all forms of textiles is 65%, whereas its share is only 10-15% in India. Taiwan companies are keen to penetrate the Indian marketplace and forge partnerships. Click here to read the release. Posted March 24, 2014

Ducati is First Motorcycle Maker to Introduce Airbags. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati and the leading riding gear maker Dainese have teamed up to produce the first production bike ever made to include a wireless integrated airbag jacket system. The system can detect a crash and deplay the rider jacket in only 45 milliseconds. Click here to read the article that was on the InAutoNews website. Posted March 24, 2014

Lattie to Receive Chapin Award for Service to AATCC. What a great honor for a great guy. In recognition of his outstanding service to the association, AATCC has named Robert Keith Lattie as the 2013 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award. Mr. Lattie is the Director of Product Management at SDL Atlas LLC, Chicago, Ill., USA. He has been a member of AATCC since 1984 and served as the President of the organization from 2005 to 2006. He also serves on the AATCC Foundation and the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). The Chapin Award, presented each year to a senior member with at least 20 years experience and who has contributed outstanding service to AATCC, will be presented at the AATCC International Conference, being held April 1-3, in Asheville, N.C., USA. Click here to read the entire AATCC news release. Posted March 23, 2014

Fabrics Resistant to Growth of Microbes Produced in Iran. The website NanotechnologyNow has posted an abstract from Iranian researchers at the Yazd Branch of Islamic Azad University on the work they are doing in nanotechnology to produce cotton clothes with high antibacterial properties. According to researcher Dr. Ali Nazari, his team has created the fabric where the antibacterial properties are stable and created due to the production mechanism of species activated by titanium dioxide nanoparticles when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. Click here to read more. Posted March 22, 2014

Base Diving While on Fire. Devold Protection, a Norwegian manufacturer of protective clothing, has produced an incredible 3 minute video for what is called The Devold Protection Challenge. In the video, a stuntman wearing Devold clothing is set on fire before he races to the edge of a mountain and then falls from a great height before a parachute opens and he lands safely. Click here to watch the video. Posted March 22, 2014

Caravan Awnings Causing Fires. New Zealand's The Timaru Herald is reporting that setting up caravan awnings too close to portable gas refrigerators appear to have caused "a spate of caravan fires" in the Waitaki region in New Zealand. Attention our Beaverlake6 Report Kiwi readers: Let's make sure the customers are being warned about the danger of having the awnings placed too close at campsites. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014

Photo: RIA Novosti

New Russian Tactical Soldier "Ratnik" Gear Includes Improved Body Armor. The website The Voice of Russia has an article posted about the soon start of the next generation soldier gear called "Ratnik." The gear is comprised of more than 40 components, including body armor.  According to the article, "The framework which holds all the gear is a 'breathing' synthetic overall that one can wear for two days without taking it off. The fabric of polymeric compounds protects the soldier again open fire and minor splinters, and makes them invisible to infrared cameras." The soldier bulletproof vests used to consist of two fabric protective panels (30 layers of aramid fabrics) and 25 protective plates made of titanium. The new plates will use ceramic plates and Kevlar. The modification for a seaman using the Ratnik is that it also has a function as a life jacket.  Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014

Mobile Air Monitoring Makes Use of Backpacks. If knowing the top ten chic backpacks isn't important to you (see posting below), we found another backpack article on the web today. Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have outfitted volunteers in Edinburgh, Scotland with backpacks that contain air quality measuring equipment plus a GPS tracking device.  The volunteers go about their everyday lives in the city but the air quality is constantly being monitored wherever they visit. This idea reminds us of Michael
 Ravnitzky's proposal a few years ago for installing US Postal Service trucks with air and road quality equipment to allow a new and relatively inexpensive data collection system, creating a dual purpose for the vehicles. Mr. Ravnitzky is the former Director of Technical Services for the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and now serves as the Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the US Postal Regulatory Commission. The idea must have made a lot of sense because it was never implemented by the government. Click here to read the article posted about the Edinburgh backpack project. Posted March 22, 2014

Yahoo Selects the Top Ten Backpacks. We're not sure of the selection criteria but the UK/Ireland Lifestyle section on the Yahoo website has boldly issued its view of the top ten urban backbacks currently out in the public. Click here to go to the website and view the entries. Posted March 22, 2014

India's Technical Textiles Market May Grow 20% Annually. The Indian website The Economic Times is reporting that Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Textiles and Technical Textiles, has said the technical textiles sector, which is currently at US13 billion, is expected to grow at 20% per annun in the next two years. Mr. Jaipuria was speaking at Technotex 2014, an event that took place March 20-22 in Mumbai. Zohra Chatterjee, Secretary for the Indian Ministry of Textiles, also speaking at Technotex, said the technical textiles section in India is looking at a five-fold increase in fund outlay. Click here to read The Economic Times news report. Posted March 22, 2014

Military Parachute Manufacturer Facing Difficult Time With Budget Cut. The website wdam.com reported on a plant visit by US Congressman Steven Palazzo to a Columbia, Miss., USA parachute manufacturer.  The company, Pioneer Aerospace, has been making parachutes since 1938 but has recently had to reduce its workforce by 50% due to military spending cuts. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014 

Weight of Tactical Vest Still a Concern of Military. An interesting article appeared on the website StrategyPage.com regarding the latest changes to the U.S. Army's Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). The current IOTV came out in 2008 and the Army recently ordered the IOTV supplier to complete the task of upgrading these existing vests by 2015. A different mesh is being used on the inside of the vest to prevent chafing. However, the Army is still concerned about the weight of the vest at 30-35 pounds (13.6 to 15.9 kg), depending on the size and gender of the user. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014

Specialty Textiles Company Closes Plant. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc. announced March 20 that the company was closing its plant at Travelers Rest, S.C., USA and consolidating that operation with its plant in Aurora, Ill., USA. The company manufactures fabrics used in tape, graphics, industrial, medical and other applications. Click here to read the company release. Posted March 22, 2014

Money Wasted on Geotextile Groynes. At least that's the opinion of a reader of the Stabroek News about the six geotextile tubes being installed to function as groynes along a beachfront in Guyana. Groynes are a type of fence or barrier going into the sea, designed to trap sand and prevent erosion. Interesting opinion expressed by the writer. Click here to read the letter to the editor. Posted March 17, 2014

Foreign Textile Firms Invest in Vietnam in Anticipation of TPP Agreement. According to the website Thanhnien News, a site devoted to the latest news about Vietnam, many large foreign firms have entered Vietnam's garment and textile sector with an eye on export opportunities the Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to bring. Jiangsu Yulan Textile Group of China recently got a license for a $68 million textile, dyeing, and yarn plant. Although most foreign Vietnam plant investments at the moment appear intended for the apparel end market, it is not unreasonable to assume this will also happen in the technical textiles section. Click here to read the article. Posted March 17, 2014

ITMA 2015 Provides Grant to Research and Educational Institutes. The organizer of ITMA 2015 is providing a Research & Education (R&E) Pavilion to allow research and higher education institutes with a platform to promote collaboration among companies, research centers and universities; highlight education and training opportunities; and, showcase the latest projects. Click here if you are interested in participating in the R&E pavilion. Posted March 15, 2014

 

Why We Like the Synthetic Yarn & Fiber Association Conference. We like the format of the upcoming USA Textiles & Technology Conference: Moving Forward. Time is precious for most of us at this time of year. Too many events are stretched out over many days. This very focused conference is organized by the Synthetic Yarn & Fiber Association (SYFA). It takes place at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., USA, a convenient airport location which allows quick same-day travel for most participants. The event starts at 1:00 pm on April 3 and finishes up by Noon the next day, allowing everyone to get home the same day. In between is a conference packed with knowledgeable industry speakers. Click here for registration and speaker information. Posted March 15, 2014

Asia Textile Machinery Show Sold Out. Good news for the industry. The organizers of the ITMA Asia + CITME2014 reported March 14 in a press release that the event's exhibition is sold out of space. The mega textile machinery event is taking place June 16-20, 2014 in Shanghai, China. The 152,200 gross square meters show floor, about 15% larger than the previous event, will feature 1,350 exhibitors from 27 countries. Chinese exhibitors have booked slightly over 66% of the space and European manufacturers have taken 22%. Click here for more information. Posted March 15, 2014

New Chairman Selected for INDA. During the Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference of INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, Robert Lovegrove, P.E. was named to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Lovegrove is Senior Director, Strategic Marketing & Innovation, Milliken & Co. He succeeds Todd Bassett of Fi-Tech, Inc. Karen Castle of Suominen Nonwovens was named INDA's Vice-Chairman, Panning, and Renta Anderson of IMERYS Performance Minerals as Vice Chairman, Finance. Click here to go to the INDA website and find out more about the Annual Meeting. Posted March 15, 2014

USA Sample Pavilion Available for Exporters. Are you looking for a low-cost testing of the potential export market for your products? US domestic producers seeking to export military and security products should consider participating in the US Department of Commerce's sample booth at Eurosatory 2014, the largest biennial land and land-air defense trade show serving the global defense market. The show takes place in Paris, France, June 16-20, 2014. The Office of Textiles and Apparel, US Department of Commerce, is featuring a catalog/sample booth at the show. Participants provide their product literature whcih will be displayed at the booth and, in turn, the participants receive the leads generated from the show. Click here to find more information. Posted March 15, 2014 

FabricLink Network Announces the Year's Top 10 Innovations. Are you seeking what was new in 2013? The website FabricLink Network(FLN) released today its top 10 best textile innovations for 2013-14. It is a list of fascinating products, including Geckskin™, developed by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and marketed by Felsuma LLC. Geckskin is an attach-and-release material that replicates the feet of the gecko. The material peels away easily on any surface, leaving no residue, and can hold up to 700 lbs. Click here to see the entire list of innovations recognized this year. Posted March 14, 2014

Project Takes Functional Textiles into Outer Space. Thanks to the website Innovation in Textiles for alerting us to a news release issued by the Hohenstein Institute about a very interesting project being undertaken in space in a couple of months. On May 28 2014, the six-month "Blue Dot" space mission lifts off. Included is the "Spacetex" project, the first clothing physiology experiements to be carried out in a weighless environmment. It is a joint project being carried out by the Hohenstein Institute, Schoeller Textil AG, the Charité medical school and ESA. Click here to read more about the project at the Innovations in Textile website. Posted March 14, 2014

Formax Will Open Dedicated Carbon Fiber Automotive Center. According to the website Engineering Materials, carbon fiber composite manufacturer Formax will open a facility dedicated to the production of multi-axial carbon fabric for the automotive industry. The new facility will be located at its Leicestershire (UK) headquarters. Click here for more information. Posted March 14, 2014

Aspland to Receive AATCC's Highest Award. AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, has announced John Richard "Dick" Aspland is the 2013 recipient of the Olney Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of textile chemistry. Mr. Aspland has been active in the field of textile chemistry for more than 50 years. The Olney Medal is AATCC's highest award and will be presented to Mr. Aspland at the AATCC International Conference being held April 1-3, 2014, in Asheville, N.C., USA. It's quite an achievement. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted March 14, 2014

INDA Honors Nonwoven Industry Professionals. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has recognized two expert nonwoven industry advocates with its most prestigious awards in 2014. Joseph D. Wahlquist of Rockline Industries, Sheboygan, Wis., USA, was honored for Lifetime Technical Achievement and Thomas A. Justice of Zine, LLC, Goldsboro, N.C., USA, for Lifetime Service. Click here to go to the INDA website for more information. Congratulations to both of these men! Posted March 14, 2014

Wearable Defibrillator Featured in Article. We came across a small article posted on a local television website in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, about a woman saved after suffering a potentially deadly heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation while sleeping. Fortunately, she was aware of the possible problem and was wearing a smart jacket called LifeVest which is a wearable defibrillator. The vest sensed the heart stress and shocked her heart back into a normal rhythm. Click here to read the article. Posted March 13, 2014

Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers Association to Host Networking Event. The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) will host the third biennial edition of its SPESA VIP Networking Event on May 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Held in conjunction with the co-located Texprocess Americas, Techtextil North America and JEC Show Americas tradeshow events, the SPESA gathering will provide show exhibitors and attendees with an opportunity to dine and network with fashion, sewn products, and technical textile industry leaders and peers. Click here to find more information. Posted March 13, 2013

ExpoProducción 2014 Show Report Released. The organizer of the second edition of the Mexican textile show ExpoProducción has issued a report on the event that was held February 5-7 in Mexico City. The trade show and conference for the apparel, home and technical textiles industry attracted more than 2,700 visitors from 15 countries. There were 120 exhibiting companies from 11 countries. Click here to read the complete press release. The dates of ExpoProducción 2015 February 4-6, 2015, again in Mexico City. Posted March 11, 2014

 

March 8-14 Issue

Conducting Fibers Featured in The Economist Article. In the latest issue of The Economist, a UK-based weekly news magazine, there is a terrific two-page article about the development and potential applications of conducting fibers. The article seems to be well-researched and talks of how conductive fibers now allows fabric itself to become an electric device, made into body-sensing  "smart shirts' and other wearable products as well as items used in the aerospace industry, and potentially any product where there is an application using flexible electrical wiring. Click here to read the article. Posted March 11, 2014 

New York Awning Firm Plans Expansion. According to the Islip Area Development website, M&M Canvas & Awning plans a $2 million investment in a new facility in Islip, N.Y., USA. The company is being assisted by the Islip Industrial Development Agency in acquiring a 20,000 square foot building. A portion of the financial assistance will be used to acquire welding and heat sealing equipment for the manufacture of commercial and residential awnings and canvas equipment.  Good news to hear! Posted March 10, 2014

Engineer Named AATCC's Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Congratulations to Christina Kay Beauvais, President and founder of EmBraced in Comfort LLC. Ms. Beauvais is the recipient of the AATCC Young Entrepreneur Award.  The award recognizes young entrepreneurs operating in the broader textile industry. The award will be presented at the AATCC International Conference, being held April 1-3, 2014 in Ashville, N.C., USA. Click here to go to the AATCC website. Posted March 10, 2014

Bullet-Resistant Vest Contract Raises Questions. The Trinidad Express newspaper is questioning the awarding of a $14 million contract by the Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Justice for 3,000 bullet-resistant vests and 500 stab-resistant vests for protecting its prison officials. Who received the huge government contract? A company named Complete Wiring and Maintenance, a company registered as specializing in electrical installation. Click here to read the article. Posted March 9, 2014

US Releases January Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. On March 7 the US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) released the January export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A 12-month ending January 31 comparison for 2013/2014 showed Mexico continues to be the dominant recipient of US specialty fabrics, amounting to almost 46% of all exports in this category. Canada is second with 15%, followed by China with 5%, Hong Kong with 4% and the UK with 3%. Click here for the full report. Posted March 9, 2014

ASIS Inflatable

Inflatable Boats Made in Dubai Supplied to US Military. We just read a news release published on the U.A.E. website Zawya about a new Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) made by ASIS Boats. At the end of the release, it says that all boats are 100% manufactured in Dubai but it also says the company supplies the US military with RHIBs. How is this possible? Didn't the French-based company Zodiac, which also supplies RHIBs, have to set up a production operation in the US in order to comply with the US Berry Amendment? Click here to read the ASIS release. And let us know if you can figure out how a non-US company is supplying the US military. There's probably a good explanation but we don't have it yet. Posted March 7, 2014

Super Strong Spider Silk Being Developed. We've reported on this fascinating new product Spider Silk. The silk is reported to be 5 times stronger than steel and could be used in anti-ballistic vests and medical implants. An article about it just appeared on the Indian-based The Economic Times website. The synthetic silk is being developed through genetically engineered bacteria inserted through natural silk producers such as spider and silkworm. Interesting. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2014

UK Leading Tent Maker Sells Out to Management. Vango is a tent brand you are probably familiar with if you sell outdoor gear in the UK. According to the website Out & About Live, the Scottish-based AMG Group, manaufacturer of the Vango tent brand, has been acquired by its senior management team. Vango tents feature an innovative AirBeam range in its inflatable tents. AMG Group also has the tent brands Force Ten and Lichfield. The website reports AMG Services Division, which is included in the deal, services and repairs all brands of tent and is the only business of its kind still left in the UK. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2014 

Titanic Life Jacket

Life Jacket Associated with the Titanic Sold. An interesting bit of news that has a connection to our industry happened yesterday. The UK website Shropshire Star reported that a life jacket used on the SS Nomadic  was sold at auction yesterday for $1,561. The history angle is that the SS Nomadic was the ship that transported all the passengers onto the Titanic for the doomed ship's voyage. On another site, we found that the Titanic's life jackets, like the one in the accompanying picture, actually caused a lot of deaths because jumping from a height of 10 feet or more caused the stiff jacket to rise up suddenly when hitting the water, breaking the wearer's neck. Click here to read about the auction yesterday. Posted March 7, 2014

Intelligent Textiles Start-Ups Featured. The Uk news website The Telegraph has a nicely done article today on a number of small British companies developing wearable technology. According to the website, the global market for wearable technology was worth $2.7 bn in revenue in 2012 and is expected to reach $8.3 bn in 2018. One company featured in the article, Intelligent Textiles, specializes in developing electrically-active woven fabrics, making a range of high-tech fabrics and components for commercial products as well as for the US Department of Defense. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2014

New Patents Awarded. If you haven't visited David Trumbull's blog Textiles & Trade, we urge you to take a look.  Recently, Jim Carson, a principal of RB Consulting, Inc., and a patent attorney, has been adding information to the site on new US patents for products made from textiles, including technical textiles. We noticed this week he had added information on patents given for "Rolling Textile Protective System for Textile Structural Members" and another for "Foldable Tent with Integrated Ventilation System." Click here to go to the Textiles & Trade blog. Posted March 6, 2014

India Has Highest Number of Traffic Deaths, Yet No Required Mandatory Airbags in Cars. We're just saying there could be a "cause and affect" relationship in India about safety. The website IndiaRealTime reports Nissan has decided not to include airbags in its newly launched Datsun brand in India. India's roads are the world's deadliest according to the website. The South Asian country overtook China in 2006 as the single largest contributor to road deaths in the world. Listen to this: The number of people killed on India's roads climbed to 138,258 in 2012, from 84,674 10 years earlier. So the car makers choose making the cars affordable over the expense of putting in minimal safety technology. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2014

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Coming Events

 

  • Smart Fabrics & Wearable Technology 2014, San Francisco, Calif., USA, April 23-25
  • International Sign Expo 2014, Orlando, Fla., USA, April 24-26
  • Outlook Conference, Asheville, N.C., USA, May 506
  • CAB - Converting & Bonding, Greenville, S.C., USA, Mary 6-8
  • TechTextil North America 2014, Atlanta, Ga., USA, May 13-15
  • Texprocess Americas 2014, Atlanta, Ga., USA, May 13-15
  • JEC Americas 2014, Atlanta, Ga., USA, May 13-15
  • Soldier Technology, London, UK, May 13-16
  • Specialised Textiles Association Conference and Trade Show, Hunter Valley, N.S.W., Australia

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

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In My Opinion...

Bill Smith

The Industry Needs Better Trained Workers. We are pleased to present a new contribution from Bill Smith, the veteran industry consultant, in his column In My Opinion...

 

In this latest column, Mr. Smith talks about the industry's changing needs for training. Click here to go to the article. 

Brand Outcomes -- A Whole Lot More Than a Visual Facelift

Rose McKinney

We are pleased to announce the third and final segment in Rose McKinney's column on building your company's brand is now posted. In this segment, Ms. McKinney, founder of the award-winning reputation management firm PineappleRM, discusses how brand outcomes are not just the visual image of the logo but a refresh in the thinking of how people see your company and the image you project. Click here to read the new column. 

Textile World Interviews

Dear Readers,

 

In addition to publishing BeaverLake6 Report, I am also a contributing editor forTextile World magazine. My TW assignment is to interview industry leaders. I am pleased to now make these interviews available via links to the TW website. Click here to go to the special Textile World interview links page. 

 

Steve Warner

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Special Report: Coverage of the Second EURATEX Convention

David Trumbull

November 21, 2013

 

We are pleased to present an exclusive report prepared by David Trumbull on the recent Second EURATEX Convention. Mr. Trumbull is the principal at Agethon Associates and a regular contributor to BeaverLake6 Report. Event speakers included Li Lingshen, president of the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association, who spoke on "General Situation and Future Prospect of China Textile and Nonwoven and Industrial Textiles Industry" and Professor Chang Whan Jeo, Chungname National University, presented "The Roadmap of Korean Technical Textiles for Future Transition of Global Textile Markets."

 

Click here to read his full report and find out how to obtain the papers presented at the conference.

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