News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry
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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.
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
Albany International Featured in Composites Magazine. There are a couple of nice articles about Albany International and Albany Engineered Composites on the website of Composites World magazine. The Albany Engineered Composites article reviews the development of 3-D fabrics. The second article, Albany International; Multilayer to Multidimensional, gives a great history of this innovative, ever-changing company. Click here to read the articles. Posted March 5, 2014
Yarn-Forward Rule Spurs Investment in US Textile Industry. As we have been reporting in BeaverLake6 Report, the recent announcements about foreign-based companies investing in the US textile industry is a sign of positive industry resurgence. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) issued a press release today saying the catalyst of this new $700 million foreign facility investment surge is the Yarn-Forward Rule of Origin in trade agreements. Yarn-Forward requires that yarn, fabric, and assembly production steps be completed in the Free Trade Agreement region in order to qualify for duty-free preference into the US. This NCTO release seems to be a gentle reminder to the negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that Yarn-Forward needs to be included in the agreement. Click here to go to the NCTO website. Posted March 5, 2014
Chinese Textile Producers Turn to ASEAN Region. The newsletter Textiles South East Asia has an interesting front page report on how the rise of the textile industry in South East Asia is bringing challenges to Chinese producers. Textile production is still a labor-intense industry in this region and the increase in labor costs in China has "largely impaired the competitiveness of the country's textile sector over the past decade." Challenged by South East Asia, China's share of the textile market in developed countries has been decling since 2011. The report's observations are focused on apparel manufacturing but are easily applicable to the technical textiles industry. You do have to subscribe to the Textiles South East Asia in order to read the monthly newsletter. Click here to obtain information. Posted March 3, 2014
Engineers Push Parachute to Its Limits. We continue to be enthralled with the contribution of the technical textiles industry in the development of the new Orion spacecraft. The parachutes passed another hurdle on February 26 in a test that put extra stress on its drogue parachutes and simulated a failure of one of its three main parachutes. The test was conducted with the dropping of a test vehicle from 35,000 feet. The two drogue parachutes are the ones which precede the main parachutes and begin the job of slowing Orion down before it lands. The test was successful and verified that the drogue parachutes will perform successfully during the most extreme speed, altitude and pressure loads. Click here to read more at the NASA website. Posted March 3, 2014
Future Materials Awards to Co-Locate with Textile Conference. The creator of the Future Materials (FM) Awards has announced the award program will co-locate with the 8th Aachen-Dresden International Textile Conference in Dresden, Germany, in November 2014. World Textile Information Network, publisher of the magazine Future Materials, launched the FM Awards this past year to recognize success in textile innovation. The awards are open to all the end-use sectors for technical textiles as well as materials experts, product developers and designers. The Aachen-Dresden conference is focused in the fields of textile chemistry, finishing and functionalization, and textile machinery, manufacturing and composites. Click here to find out more information about the award, the sponsor and the conference. Posted March 3, 2014
Compendium on Technical Textiles Standard Published. The second National Seminar on Standards in Technical Textiles was held February 25 in Mumbai, India. The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). After the opening presentation by Zhra Chatterji, the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Textiles, a Standards for Technical Textiles compendium was released. Click here to read more. Posted March 1, 2014
Which Personal Protective Outer Shell Fabric is the Most Durable? That's the question being looked at on the Firehouse website about fireman turnout gear. There are three primary categories of performance that all outer shells share: protection, comfort, and durability. This is an interesting informative article that concisely examines the requirements in each of these categories. Click here to read the article. Posted March 1, 2014
Tents Needed for Flood Victims in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe government is appealing for an additional 20,000 tents to provide temporary shelters for the victims of the Tokwe-Mukusi
floords who have been relocated to Chingwizi in Nuanetsi Ranch. The refugee camp is swelling as more and more flood victims arrive. Click here to read an article that first appeared in the Zimbabwe newspaper The
Herald and reposted on the Wall Africa website. Posted February 28, 2014
US Textile Supplier Prepares for Down-Sized Military. The Herald News (Fall River, Mass., USA) website posted an article yesterday on how Duro Textiles, one of the largest suppliers of US military uniform fabrics, is preparing for the coming budget cuts and force-reduction. The company has sought out business in other countries such as Saudi Arabia. The rip-stop camouflage nylon fabric is shipped to the southern US where it is cut and then shipped to Saudi Arabia where it is sewn into uniforms. Some other countries where they are doing military business include Australia, Columbia and the United Arab Emirates. Click here to read the article. Posted February 28, 2014
TenCate Records $29.5 Million Net Profit for 2013. Koninklijke Ten Cate NV released today the 2013 financial report for TenCate. Some takeaways: The important US defense market faced with automatic budget cuts at the start of the year, and, further, the uncertainty about the size of the US Army withdrawal from Afghanistan had an adverse effect on defense markets. Europe defense expenditure reached its lowest point in 10 years. Thus, defense-related revenues of TenCate declined by 40%. The proportion of defense markets in the overall revenues of TenCate decreased from 13% in 2012 to 8% in 2013. TenCate's geosynthetics revenues were on the whole lower than in 2012 due to decline of government infrastructure projects. On the other hand, products for private markets developed positively. The protective fabrics in the industrial markets grew by 12%. The rise in revenues generated by personal ballistic protection end market offset in part the decline in revenues in vehicle armor. Acquisitions such as Amber Composites also helped to improve revenues. Click here to read the entire press release as posted in the Wall Street Journal today. Posted February 27, 2014
China Developing a Standard for Anti-Smog Masks. The South China Morning Gazette reports the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) has finished the first draft of a proposal which will help regulate the booming anti-smog market. The standard is for what is called the PM2.5 mask, the PM number measures air particles' diameter in micrometers. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers can be easily inhaled in the lungs. Unlike the US and Europe, China currently has no national standard for civilian masks. Demand for MP2.5 masks have soared since 2012, with 2.53 billion units sold last year. Sales are expected to reach 3.92 billion units next year. The rapidly growing market is filled with an equally growing market of counterfeit masks. Click here to read the article. Posted February 28, 2014
Body Armor Company Receives Large Military Contract. The U.S. Defense Logics Agency announced yesterday that Protective Products Enterprises Inc., Sunrise, Fla., USA, has been awarded a maximum $76,661,994 modification exercising the second option year on a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods for improved outer tactical vests and components. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Posted February 26, 2014.
Walmart's New Trucks Made of Carbon Fiber. There's a fascinating video on the new trucks which are going to be used by the retail giant Walmart. Thanks to our good friend Don Williams for alerting me to this one. Click here to watch the video. Posted February 26, 2014
Another Airbag Plant in China. Autoliv continues to build new airbag manufacturing facilities around the world. Automotive New Europe ran an article today that Autoliv Inc. will start building an airbag plant in the north China city of Baoding where Great Wall Motor Co., an automotive manufacturer, is headquartered. Autoliv's plant will be supplying airbags for Great Wall's three nearby vehicle assembly facilities. Autolivnow has 10 production facilities in China. Click here to read the article. Posted February 25, 2014
U.S. Commercial Service Offers Catalog Shows in India. The U.S. Commercial Service is offering US manufacturers to display your product catalog at its American Business Corners (ABCs) in the technical textiles manufacturing hubs in India. The ABCs are joint ventures between the U.S. Commercial Service and regional chambers of commerce in India's second and third tier cities. Click here to contact Uma Katoch at U.S. Commercial Service to find out more how to participate. Posted February 14, 2014
SAERTEX Takes Over Devold. The SAERTEX Group, headquartered in Germany, continues to expand, and on February 12 announced that it had taken over all shares in Devlod from Hexagon Composites of Alesund, Norway. Devold, like SAERTEX, produces non crimp fabrics of glass, carbon and aramid fibers. They are used for reinforcing textiles in the wind energy industry aa well as in ship- and boat-building, in the transport industry, and in the automobile and aviation industries to make plastic reinforced components. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 25, 2014
Graduate Student Engineer Recognized for Testing Tent Designs. Congratulations to Ms. Petia Tzokova, a Cambridge (UK) student civil engineer. Ms. Tzokova was the team leader in a project which won the university's annual Graduate and Student Papers Competition. Their project involved researching and determining the best tent designs for disaster relief shelters. Click here to learn more. Posted February 25, 2014
Leadership Forum Has High-Powered Schedule of Speakers. The Outlook 2014 Conference is shaping up to be quite an event for the US technical textiles industry. The annual conference is organized by the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, both divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International. This year speakers include former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen; Allen Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen Raven,; and, Kim Glas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel, Office of the US Trade Representative. The event is being held May 5-6 in Asheville, N.C., USA. Click here for more information. Posted February 25, 2014
Lydall Acquires Industrial Filtration Business. Lydall, a US-based company manufacturing specialty engineered products for the thermal/acoustical filtration/separation, and bio/medical markets, has announced its acquisition of the industrial filtration businesses of UK-based Andrew Industries Limited. The filtration segments, collectively called Andrew Filtration, is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of non-woven felt filtration media and filter bags used primarily in industrial air filtration applications. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 24, 2014
Toray to Invest $1 Billion in New US Carbon Plant. South Carolina (USA) Governor Nikki Haley announced last week that Tokyo-based Toray Industries Inc. will invest $1 billion in a new carbon fiber manufacturing facility to be located near Spartanburg in her state. The investment is expected to create more than 500 jobs. Thanks to our colleague Lowell Duncan for alerting us to the story. Click here to read the GoUpstate.com website article. Posted February 24, 2014
Finns Rebelling Against New Awning Ordinance. Time to rally to support the hospitality industry in Helsinki, Finland! Over 150 bars and restaurants are protesting new instructions introduced by the city which requires restaurants with outdoor terraces to have awnings that are only in monochrome and contain no advertising. Restaurant owners say the new law prevents them from differentiating themselves from the competition. Click here to read the Helsinki Times article. Posted February 24, 2014
Iran Manufacturing Bullet-Resistant Vests. Short basic article appeared on the FARS News Agency website about Iran manufactuing hi-tech "bullet proof" vests. Click here to read the article. Posted February 24, 2014
Sweden Reinvents Textile Cluster. An interesting article appeared today on the website euronews regarding how Boras, Sweden, a traditional "textile town," developed into an effective cluster focused on helping small businesses making smart textile products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 21, 2014
Techtextil North America and Texprocess Receive International Buyer Program Selection. The upcoming Techtextil North America 2014 and Texprocess Americas shows, being held together May 13-15 in Atlanta, have been selected by the US Department of Commerce for designation as an International Buyer Program (IBP) event. The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings international buyers to the US for business-to-business matchmaking with US firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. The IBP team has selected six countries to be targeted to bring buyers to the Techtextil /Texprocess shows: Mexico, Columbia, India, Chile, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 21, 2014
Foreign-Made American Flags Ok to Fly Over US Government Offices. While a new bill signed as part of the US government's 2014 omnibus appropriations bill specifically says American flags purchased by the US Defense Department are to be 100% made in America, another bill that called on a blanket rule for all government agencies to use flags only made in the US did not pass. The current requirement which remains in effect is that the flag has to have at least 50% of its materials made in the US. The US government imports an estimated $3.3 million worth of flags made in China every year. Click here to read the article posted on the Fox News website. Posted February 21, 2014
Government Developing Smart Suits to Protect US Troops from Bio Attacks. An interesting article was posted today on the computerworld.com website on how scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a research facility in Livermore, Calif., USA, are using nanotechnology to create clothing designed to protect US soldiers from chemical and biological attacks. Click here to read the article. Posted February 20, 2014
Flame Retardants in Tents May Rub Off in Hands. According to the website Environmental Health News, a small study was conducted at a North Carolina (USA) campground were researchers indentified flame retardands used in manufacture of tents found that they are likely rubbing off on camper's hands and possibly then ingested by contact from hand to mouth. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Techology. Click here to read the posting. Posted February 20, 2014
Hungiville and Clark Honored by Marine Fabricators Association. The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) held their 2014 MFA National Convention in Charleston, S.C., USA, January 17-19. At the event, Charlene Clark, owner of Signature Canvas Maskers, Hampton, Va., USA, was awarded the Industrial Fabrics Manager (IFM) certification, achieved for demonstrating superior knowledge of principles and practices of management in the specialty fabrics industry. Beth Hungiville, staff manager of the MFA from 2000-2013, was awarded the MFA Chairman's Award for her service to the association. Congratulations to both of them. Posted February 20, 2014
The Top Five Trends in Fabric Structures. According to the website S.P.I.C.E., (Special Event, Product Launches, Incentive, Conference, Exhibitions), the top five trends in fabric structures are: 1) Not just a tent; 2) Beyond basic white; 3) Massive impact; 4) Easy does it; and, 5) Accessories. To read more about each of these specific trends, click here for the posting. Posted February 20, 2014
Airbags for Ski Racers. The current Olympics have focused the attention of safety for the skiers after a number of frightening injuries so far. An article posted on Yahoo Sports today talks about the progress of developing airbags for racers. While airbags haven't been tested yet in serious competition, Gunter Hujara, chief race director for the International Ski Federation (FIS) has said the airbag system is close to competition ready. This is the best article we've seen to date to discuss ski racer airbags. Click here to read the article. Posted February 20, 2014
China to Deploy New Inflatable Boat. A short article appeared in China's People's Daily On-Line website that the Chinese Navy Equipment Department has announce their navy will set up a multi-platform landing equipment system this year that includes a new type of inflatable landing boat. Posted February 19, 2014
Carbon Fibers to Replace Copper? An interesting article appeared on the website Space Daily and several other websites regarding research done at Rice University (Houston, Tex., USA) that shows on a pound-per-pound basis, carbon nanotube-based fibers have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass. Click here to read the article. Posted February 19, 2014
The Backpack is Back. Looking for a new product line? Get yourself some rich-looking designer fabrics and start turning out backpacks for the business professional. Backpacks are becoming more and more acceptable because they allow you to multi-task with your smart phone as you walk about. Click here for an article posted today in the UK's Daily Mail website. Posted February 19. 2014
Boots Made From Tents. Nice short article in the Portland Business Journal (Portland, Ore., USA) about bootmaker Danner making boots quarter panels from canvas tents. The material is supplied from Portland tent maker Beckel Canvas Products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 19, 2014
Textile World Magazine Will Create Textile World Innovation Forum. Today Billian Publishing Inc.'s Textile World magazine and Exposition Development Company, Inc. have announced they signed a collaboration agreement to jointly produce a new annual conference called Textile World Innovation Forum. The event will include the Textile World Innovation Award. Textile World Innovation Forum 2014 will be held September 15-16, 2014 at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Click here to read the entire announcement. Posted February 18, 2014
Controversy Over U.S. Speedskaters' Racing Suits. Under Armour is the developer of the new suit that was worn for the first part of the Olympics by US speedskaters. The Baltimore, Md., USA, company collaborated with aerospace technology company Lockheed Martin over a two-year period to develop a racing suit which could cut tenths of seconds off a racer's time. The suit is called the Mach 39. If you've been watching the games, you probably noticed the lone patch of gray material on the inner thighs of an otherwise all-black suit. This patch has indented polyurethane dimples designed to reduce friction by 65%. However, the US speedskaters' results are disappointing and blame, whether justified or not, their performances are being compromised by the suits. Click here to read the USA Today article about the issue. Posted February 18, 2014
Cutting Edge Workshop Taking Place in Australia. If you're located close to the Sidney area and want to spend an afternoon learning from your peers about welding and sewing, you should think about attending a special fabricator workshop that is taking place at ABC Products in Glendenning, NSW. The event will be held February 25 and is organized by the Specialised Textiles Association. Click here for registration information. Posted February 18, 2014
Kodak and PurThread to Colaborate on Antimicrobial Surface Solutions for Healthcare and Military. Normally, we don't promote specific company news releases but this time the release is about an interesting partnership between Kodak, which has a proprietatary silver-based antimicrobial technology, and PurThread, which has a long-established antimicrobial technical expertise in the textile healthcare marketplace. It's a good fit. Some of the new applications may be applications used by first-responders and the military. Click here to read the news release. Posted February 18, 2014
Geosynthetics Association Announces Staff Change. Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced Lucie Passus has been named the new staff supervisor of the Geosynthetic Materials Association, a division of IFAI. Ms. Passus has been with IFAI since 2012. Posted February 16, 2014
AATCC Conference to Include Papers on Technical Textile End-Product Applications. The AATCC International Conference 2014 is being held April 1-3 in Asheville, N.C., USA, and will include a Materials track which will feature papers on protective textiles, medical textiles and innovative technologies. Click here to find out more from AATCC. Posted February 16, 2014
Geosynthetics Conference Organizer Announces Call for Abstracts. The Industrial Fabrics Association International has announced a "Call for Abstracts" for Geosynthetics '15. The biennial event, being held February 15-18, 2015, in Portland, Ore., USA, will be co-locating with International Erosion Control Association's Environment Connection 2015 conference. Geosynthetics '15 abstracts are being accepted on any topic relevant to the event. Deadline for submission is April 15, 2014. Click here to contact Ms. Barbara Connet, Secretary General of Geosynthetics '15. Posted February 16, 2014
Albany International Reports on 4th Quarter. Albany International Corp, a global advanced textiles and materials processing company with core businesses in machine clothing and engineered composites, reported Q4 2013 net sales were $189.6 million, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to Q4 2012. The Machine Clothing section (MC), the larger of the two company sections, showed a 4.2% decline in net sales. The Engineered Composites section (AEC) showed a 13.3% increase in net sales. Click here to read the press release from Albany. Posted February 16, 2014
An Emerging Sport with Webbing Applications. Have you ever heard of the sport called "slacklining?" We hadn't until we read an article today about it. The participants use a 1-2 inch nylon webbing that is stretched taunt between two trees or other sturdy anchors. It's a balancing workout and provides opportunities for doing tricks. Click here to read more about it. Posted February 16, 2014
More Expansion in the US. We seen lately a growing number of plant expansions in the US, indicating the manufacturing climate in the country is competitive with other parts of the world. The latest is the recent announcement by Vectorply, a manufacturer of reinforcement fabrics for composites. The company has installed new LIBA Max machines to expand its capacity for multiaxial, spread tow carbon fiber reinforcement. Vectorly is headquarted in Phenix City, Ala, USA. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 13, 2014
Freundenberg Stengthens Sites in Brazil. The Freudenberg Group has announced it is investing in nonwoven and seal production Brazil. Both investments are part of a $54 million budget the company has earmarked for the region for innovations, capacity expansion and general process optimization. In part, the budget allows for new technology and production plants in Jacari and Diadema in the Federal State of Sao Paulo. Other investments are geared for producing products for the automotive industry. Brazil is the 4th largest automotive market in the world with 2013 vehicle production increasing by around 10%. Click here to read their press release. Posted February 13, 2014
Giglio Awning Wins Award. Congratulations to Giglio Awning Co., of Harvey Cedars, N.J., USA, for earning the prestigious 2013 Sunesta Bulls Eye Cup by its status as the number one dealer of Sunesta retractable awnings, screens and shelters in North America. Giglio covers the southern New Jersey area. [Note to suppliers: We always like to promote accomplishments of your customers.] Click here to read more about Giglio's award. Posted February 13, 2014
4-D Knitting Creates New Opportunities. The website Knitting Industries has posted an extremely interesting article on the development of 4-D knitting. The article focuses on Fabdesigns Inc. and the possiblities of 4-D knitted material uses in markets such as medical compression and aerospace products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 13, 2014
Technical Fibers Used in Space. Technical Fibre Products Ltd (TFP) announced F ebruary 10 that their nonwovens are present on the recently launched European Space Agency (ESA) satellite GAIA. TFP supplied material through RUAG Space GmbH, a manufacturer of thermal insultation to the space industry. TFP's nonwoven can be found in the satellite's solar shield. Click here to read the news release. Posted February 11, 2014
Backpack Avalanche Airbags. A nice article appeared today on the Capitol Public Radio (Reno, Nev., USA) website on how airbags used by snowmobilers, snowboarders and skiers are saving lives. The interesting concept the author talks about is the difference between an automotive airbag and the backpack airbag. The automotive airbag is designed to stop you from crashing into the other parts of the car; the backpack airbag is designed to turn you into a larger object that will rise and roll on top of the avalanche debris. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2014
DLA Awards Helmet Contract. The US Defense Logistics Agency announced on February 7 that Gentex Corporation, Carbondale, Pa., has been awarded a maximum $14,580,000 firm-fixed-price contract for procurement of advanced combat helmets. This contract is a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Using US military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Posted February 11, 2014
"State of the Industry, Part II" Published. The Specialty Fabrics Review's February issue has published the second part of the magazine's 2014 state-of-the-industry look at the technical textiles markets. The report's author is Jeff Rassmussen, market research director for the Industrial Fabrics Association International. This concluding part covers five specific end markets: Narrow Fabrics, Safety & Technical Products, Geosynthetics, Truck Covers and Tarps, and Fabric Graphics. Click here to read the website version of the article. Posted February 10, 2014
Used Parachutes for Sale. Are you looking to purchase a slightly used parachute? The Norwegian Defence Force has recently replaced all their parachute systems, selling the old rigs to Alpha Nordic AS. The 120 main canopies and 120 reserves are said to be in good condition and selling well. As of yet, there have been no returns from those purchasing the used parachutes. Click here to find out more. Posted February 10, 2014
German Airbag Yarn Manufacturer Acquired. Toyobo, a manufacturer of airbag fabrics and Indorama, a manufacturer of polyester and PET resins, have jointly acquired PHP Fibers GmbH of Germany. PHP Fibers is a leading manufacturer of nylon 66 yarn for airbags as well as PA 66 industrial yarn for tire and MRG applications and of PET industrial yarn. Click here to read more. Posted February 10, 2014
Featured Speakers Announced for International Geosynthetics Conference. The organizers of the 10th International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG10) have announced the names of those giving special lectures and keynote addresses:
• Giroud Lecture -- Dr.Richard Bathurst • Keynote: History And Actual State of Geosynthetics Applications In Germany --Georg Heerten • Keynote: National Disasters Mitagation By Using Construction Methods With Geosynthetics --Dennes Bergada,Michael HeibaumandFumio Taksuoka • Keynote: Environmental Benefits By Using Construction Methods With Geosynthetics --Holger Walbaum • Keynote: Cost Savings By Using Construction Methods With Geosynthetics --Barry Christopher
The 10ICG is being held September 21-25, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Click here to read more about the special lectures. Posted February 10, 2014
US Releases December Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) yesterday released the December export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A calendar year comparison between 2012/2013 shows the group's export dollar value increased by $192 million. The five largest destinations of US exports are Mexico, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and the UK. Together, they receive 71% of US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Click here for the full report. Posted February 9, 2014
Italian Umbrellas as Awning Alternatives. There's a nice short article in the Nanaimo (British Columbia, Canada) Daily News about a local company called West Coast Shutters which has begun to display large umbrellas created by Italy's FIM Marketing Inc. Posted February 6, 2014
US Textile Industry Comes Back to Life. USA Today, a national newspaper, has published a very positive article today on the resurgence of the textile industry in the US. Some of the statistics and facts: In 2013, companies from 11 countries have invested in opening or expanding manufacturing operations in the US. The industry in 2012 employed 233,000 people and generated $54 billion in shipments. Click here to read the article. Posted February 5, 2014
Impact Clothing Being Developed for the Elderly. Based upon the same premise as the development of energy-impact soft material in new motorcycle crash suits, research is also going into how to incorporate this idea into protecting the elderly from devastating harm if they were to fall. Interesting study being done at Imperial College London. Click here to read the article. Posted February 1, 2014
Tent Maker Wins Wedding Industry Award. Congratulations to World Inspired Tents of Ilfracombe in Devon (UK) has been awarded the National Winner in the Best Wedding Marquee Provider category in the Wedding Industry Awards. The award program is a national competition that recognizes and reqards excellence in the wedding industry in 22 different categories. Four marquee manufacturers of the six finalists, by the way, were members of MUTA, the trade association representing the temporary structures and technical textiles industry in the UK. Click here to read more on the award. Posted January 31, 2014
INDA Visionary Award Given. Congratulations to Kelly Lewis Brezoczky and her team at Butterfly Health, Inc., for being the recipient yesterday of the 2014 INDA Visionary Award. The award, given by INDA, Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, highlights new consumer products that expand the use of nonwovens. Butterfly was recognized for the creation of an innovated personal hygiene product called Butterfly Body Liners. Click here to read an online report of the given award.Posted January 31, 2014
Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in Trouble? It was suppose to be concluded in 2012. Then it was supposed to be concluded in 2013. Then they talked about early 2014. But now it appears there are serious concerns with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement which could actually kill the agreement. The Wall Street Journal blog today reported that US government officials are saying any agreement may be delayed until after the US mid-term elections in November. The problem seems to not be with the textile section but in the agricultural section; more specifically, Japan and the elimination of a tariff on rice. Click here to read the blog. Posted January 30, 2014
Toyota Stops Selling Major Brands Because of Fabric Flammability Issues. Toyota has issued a stop-sale order on six of its core models due to concerns about the flammability of certain fabrics used in heated seats. The models were all assembled in the US. The actual seat covers do not appear to be the issue rather, the concern is with a fabric that is used between the seat and a heater in models that have heated seats. The material used fails to meet US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flammability. The problem was discovered by a South Korean laboratory that was testing component parts in the cars. Click here to read an article about the issue. Posted January 30, 2014
American Textile History Meusem Receives $1 Million Gift. David Trumbull, Principal of Agathon Associates, has reported on his Textiles and Trade blog today that the American Textile History Museum, located in Lowell, Mass., USA, has received a $1 million gift from the estate of G. Gordon and Marjorie Osborn, longtime friends and supporters of the Museum. Click here to go to Mr. Trumbull's blog to find out more about this generous gift. Posted January 29, 2014
US Supreme Court Rules on Protective Clothing Compensation. The US Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. Steel Corp. does not have to compensate workers for the time spent putting on and taking off flame-retardant suits and other protective gear. Had the lawsuit been successful, it could have had far-reaching implications for industries which require workers to wear protective gear. The decision, though, seems murky to us. Judge Antonin Scalia wrote in the decision: "If an employee devotes the vast majority of the time in question to putting on and off equipment or other non-clothing items (perhaps a diver's suit and tank), the entire period would not qualify as 'time spent in changing clothes' under [the Fair Labor Standards Act], even if some clothes items were donned and doffed as well. But if the vast majority of the time is spent in donning and doffing 'clothes' as we have defined that term, the entire period qualifies, and the time spent putting on and off other items need not be subtracted." Click here to read more at the EHS Today website. Posted January 29, 2014
Textile Exchange Given Ownership of New Responsible Down Standard. Apparel and outdoor sports clothing manufacturer The North Face has given ownership of the newly developed Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to Textile Exchange. The North Face had initiated and funded the standard's development. The RDS sets detailed animal welfare requirements and can be used for both down and feathers. Posted January 29, 2014
Engineered Solutions Purchases Assets of Rocan Inc. Congratulations to our good friend Hardy Poole. His company, Engineered Solutions, PLLC, of Charlottesville, Vir., USA, has announced the purchase of the intellectual and technical assets of Rocan, Inc., a company founded in 1989 by Clyde T. Canter. Canter, a long term authority in flammability of textile products and a leading independent expert in product liability litigations, has retired but will continue his role as an advisor to assist Engineered Solutions. The purchase includes a laboratory facility in Burlington, N.C., USA. Contact Mr. Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Posted January 29, 2014
EDANA and INDA Launch New Shared Mission and Vision. Good news for those in the manufacturing and distribution of nonwovens. EDANA™and INDA® -- the two international trade associations for the nonwovens industry based in Europe and North America respectively -- have announced that they will harmonize their mission and vision to advance the success of their member companies. While each organization will continue to operate separately, there is a new joint vision for them which focuses on providing cohesion and consistency on a global basis to their memberships. Click here to read the joint press release. Posted January 29, 2014
PGI Group of Charlotte Purchases Porvidencia. Alasdair Carmichael, writing in the Synthetic Yarn and Fiber Association newsletter issued today, reports PGI Group of Charlotte has reached an agreement to buy a controlling interest in the Brazilian nonwovens company Providencia. Click here to see the report. Posted January 28, 2014
Tent Maker Featured in Article. Armbruster Manufacturing Company was nicely featured on The State Journal Register (Springfield, Ill., U.S.) website. The article briefly relates the history of what could be the U.S.'s oldest continuous tent manufacturer. Armbruster is now run by Hellar Armbruster, a member the 4th generation of the family involved in the business. Click here to read the article. Posted January 27, 2014
Natick Tests Olympic Snowboarding Team Uniforms. An interesting article appeared on the www.army.mil website about how researchers at the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center tested the fabrics used for Burton Snowboards, a Vermont (U.S.) company which made the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team. Click here to read the article. Posted January 27, 2014
University of Minnesota Researcher on Wearable Technology Featured. We can't resist feeling a little home-town pride for University of Minnesota's Associate Professor Lucy Dunne. Dr. Dunne is director of the Apparel Design Program and Wearable Technology Lab in the College of Design. The University has produced a very neat video of her research entitled "How We're Making Smart Clothing a Reality." This April, Dr. Dunne will be recognized for her ongoing work on wearable technology prototypes for use in space by receiving NASA's prestigious Silver Achievement Medal. Much of her work in smart textiles is funded through grants provided by the National Science Foundation. Click here to view the video. Posted January 25, 2014
SpaceX Tests Parachutes. The commercial spaceflight company SpaceX has an interesting video on its website depicting its most recent testing of the Dragon capsule's parachutes. The video shows a Dragon capsule being cut loose from a helicopter flying 8,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The test, which took place in late December, tested how Dragon's parachute system would function in case of an emergency during launch or ascent with a human crew on board. Click here to visit the site and view the video. Posted January 25, 2014
Geosynthetics Conference Session Proposal Reminder. Session proposals for the Geosynthetics 2015 conference and trade show are due January 31, 2014. Contact Barbara Connett at Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the event organizer, for more information. Ms. Connett is the Secretary General for the event. Her email address is email@example.com. Posted January 25, 2014
Airbags Not Ready for Olympic Ski Racers. The Alpine skiing's governing body, the FIS, had hoped to introduce airbags for the ski racers at the Olympics next week; however, the system being developed a company called Dainese and is not ready. Testing of the airbag will continue and it is hoped to add the airbag system for later races this year. Click here to read the article appearing on the The Australian website. Posted January 24, 2014
Automotive Seating and Airbag Manufacturers to Open Plants in Romania.The website Independent Balkan News Agency is reporting US-based TRW Automotive and Lear Corp will each open new factories in eastern Romania. The TRW plant will initially employ about 400 people by the end of 2014, growing to 1,000 in three years. TRW already operates five other plants in the country. According to Frank Mueller, vice-president of TRW, "By 2018, we expect a supplementary demand for 12 million airbags." The new Lear Corp. plant will employ about 1,500 workers, producing automotive seats. Lear has three other plants in the country. Click here to read the entire release. Posted January 23, 2014
European Consortium to Work on Ecofriendly Carbon Fiber. A group of 13 organizations in Europe have been funded by European Seventh Framework Program to develop sustainable carbon
fibers. The project is known as NEWSPEC and involves industries, R&D institutes, and universities from Italy, UK, Germany, Ukraine,
Greece, Belgium and France. Click here to read the entire release. Posted January 23, 2014
Performance Textiles Acquired. Brand & Oppenheimer, a textile converter based in New Jersey. USA, announced yesterday it had acquired the assets of Performance Textiles, Inc, a supplier of high-performance fabrics engineered for products such as hot air balloons, parachutes and industrial protective vests used in commercial and military markets. Click here to read the news release. Posted January 23, 2014
"Glamping" Opens New Market for Tent Industry. We didn't know about "glamping" until this past year when we came across a number of stories about this new style of camping. Glamping stands for "glamor camping." Now, according to an article appearing on the dezeen magazine website, "glamping" has been taken to another level with the introduction of new tent designs from Seoul-based studio ArchiWorkshop. "Glamping for Glampers" is a line of luxurious high-tech tents. The tent pictured is only one of many they have designed. It is constructed from a steel frame and covered with two layers of fabric. Certainly a step up from the Yurt. Click here to read the article and look at a number of other tents developed. Posted January 23, 2014
IGS Seeking Council Candidates. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) is seeking candidates for its governing council. Candidates must be members of the professional society. Thirteen positions are available in 2014. The deadline to submit your name is March 1, 2014. For further information, contact Elizabeth Peggs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted January 23, 2014
UK Marquee Manufacturer Expands from Military Contracts. A nice article appeared on The Western Morning News (Plymouth, UK) website on a Wellington-based tent manufacturer. The company, Boldscan, was established in 1990 to fulfill a military contract for canvas vehicle covers to be used in Kuwait. Using this experience, the company has expanded into manufacturing marquee tents for the event industry and covers for products ranging from trailers to aircraft engines. Small businesses like this are what our industry is all about. Click here to read the article. Posted January 23, 2014
Health Site Talks About Smart Textile Applications. An interesting article was posted on HealthLine.com entitled "What 'Smart Fabrics' Means for the Future of Health." The author discusses new wearable technology found at the recent Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Nev., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted January 17, 2014
European Nonwoven Filtration Conference Announced. EDANA, the Brussels-based European nonwovens association, has announced the organization of FILTREX® Europe 2014. The event will be held in Berlin, Germany, October 1-2, 2014. Papers will be delivered on four subject areas: Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality, Pollution and Emission Control, Clean Water, and Energy Efficiency. Click here for more information. Posted January 17, 2014
Sympatex Expanding in Technical Textile Applications. In a January 16 press release, German-based Sympatex Technologies GmbH says it will substantially expand its latest division "Tection" (Technical Applications). Sympatex develops, produces and distributes membranes, laminates and functional textiles as well as finished products. Tection is already involved in the fields of medicine, automotive engineering and industrial applications. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 16, 2014
INDA Appoints New Director of Marketing. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced the appointment of Joan Izzo as its new Director of Marketing. Ms. Rizzon has held leadership and consulting roles developing global communications for many international nonwoven companies, including DuPont, Tredegar Film Products and Performance Fibers. Most recently, Ms. Izzo has been the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 16, 2014
Power of the Airbag. If you have ever wondered how powerful those airbags are in the car, you should watch this amazing video posted on www.testtube.com. Very cool. Click here to view the video. Posted January 14, 2014
Calendar of Geosynthetic Events. The website geosynthetica.net has a great slide show presentation on a dozen or so 2014 events which matter to the geosynthetic industry, from conferences to webinars to workshops. Click here to go to the website. Posted January 14, 2014
"Why Use a Tent Shaped Like a Pringle?" This was the headline of a January 9 human interest article in The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn., USA) about entrepreneur Stephen McKay. McKay is owner of Euphoria Events, a small tent rental company. Nice positive article that's good for the rental tent industry. Click here to read it. Posted january 13, 2014
TenCate Signs Agreement with Shanghai Leadgo-Tech Co. Ltd. TenCate Advanced Composites issued a press release January 10, announcing the company had signed a marketing and development agreement with Leadgo Advanced Materials of Shanghai. The purpose of the agreement is to further support the advanced composites market for the growing Chinese aerospace industry. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 13, 2014
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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."
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