BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


Accurate    Concise    Timely

In My Opinion

Baffled by the AFFOA's Decision

Seriously? Today the University of Georgia (UGA) and Clemson University organized with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) – the new public-private innovation institute partnership -- an AFFOA Industry Day event in Athens, Ga. It was held almost 200 miles away from Charlotte, N.C. and the IFAI Expo. According to the website promotion, the event targeted an audience of academics, military and industry partners "for a day of learning, sharing and connecting – all focused on identifying AFFOA projects that target the greatest market needs and deliver the highest impact."


"We're joining with companies large and small, universities and startup incubators from around the U.S. to drive a manufacturing-based revolution by transforming traditional fibers, yarns and fabrics into highly sophisticated systems and devices for both consumer and defense applications," said Gajanan Bhat, the UGA Athletic Association Professor of Fibers and Textiles within the FACS textiles, merchandising and interiors department.


AFFOA, Clemson and the University of Georgia don't seem to have a clue what is going on with our industry. The IFAI Expo has thousands of technical textile participants, more than 400 exhibits of our industry's products, and more than a dozen terrific educational tracks that include advanced textiles and geosynthetics.


I'm just baffled by this lack of awareness by the AFFOA and the universities in their decision-making process to hold the event while one of the largest trade shows for the technical textiles industry in the US is taking place. Posted October 20, 2016


Steve Warner


On-Site at the IFAI Expo

[See reports from Days 1-2 by clicking here.]

Gloria and Mathew Mei of Ling Yang Limited

Day 3: Exhibitors are Happy, All is Well. It was a second day of the exhibition being open and the traffic was steady. First time exhibitors like Gloria and Mathew Mei were very satisfied with the reception to their environmentally-friendly Sileather, an interior and exterior upholstery fabric. The material is made by combining silicone resin with materials such as non-wovens and super-dense woven materials.  End markets for Sileather include marine,outdoor furniture and healthcare. Several US companies were reported to be seeking out distribution arrangements with them. 

Mark Harries and Ted Fetterman of Bally Ribbon Mills

69th Annual International Achievement Award Winners Announced. The winners of the prestigious IFAI International Achievement Awards were announced at the start of the day.Almost 300 entries from 10 countries were received this year for the 42 product categories. Seven major category "Best in Category" winners were highlighted:


     Fabric Structures: Xiangtan BBG Shopping Mall ETFE      Skylight by Shanghai Taiyo Kogyo Co., Ltd.


     Awnings and Canopies: Abdali Mall ETFE Canopies by Covertex Membranes                (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.


     Fabric Environments: NHL Hockey Pucks by Rainier Industries Ltd.


     Marine: Caryali Custom Sofa by Canvas Designers, Inc.


     Tents: Dining Under the Stars by Mahaffey Fabric Structures


     Geosynthetics: Erosion Repair Underneath the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal        by TenCate Geosynthetics Americas


GeoCharlotte Introduced. New this year was a special one-day event called GeoCharlotte. Designed to promote the upcoming Geotechnical Frontiers event taking place March 12-15, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., USA, the Charlotte conference was targeted for civil engineers and industry suppliers. It featured 10 presentations on geosynthetic applications, plus a table-top exhibition with 19 participating companies. Show management didn't reveal the number of registrants but it looked like about 80-90 delegates. Posted October 20, 2016

Front Page News

Good Primer on Smart Textiles. There's a neat article on the T3 website called "A Beginner's Guide to Smart Materials." It's a quick look for the consumer on what makes up the scope of wearable smart textiles, including touch materials, super strength graphene, and Goggle's Project Jacquard. Click here to look at it. Posted October 24, 2016

A Third Option on an Asian Regional Trade Agreement. While it looks increasingly unlikely the US will ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, there is now a third option which could be considered. The second option, of course, is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proposal, an agreement being actively pushed by China. The third trade agreement option is the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This agreement is also been brought forth by the Chinese and differs from TPP because it avoids sticky issues like Intellectual Property Rights which would not be acceptable to China. Prior to the development of TPP, it is reported the US was actually supportive of FTAAP in its early stages. FTAAP would include all of the TPP and RCEP members except India, plus Russia and Taiwan. Click here to read more on the issue. Posted October 23, 2016

Nonwovens Association Publishes Report on South American Market. INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has published the fourth study of the South American region with the “South American Nonwovens Industry Outlook, 2015 – 2020” for nonwoven producers and suppliers, converters, manufacturers, brand owners, analysts, and raw materials and machinery suppliers. Written by industry consultant, Rick Jezzi, Principal, A.D. Jezzi & Associates, LLC, and Brad Kalil, Director of Market Research and Statistics, INDA, the 180-page report defines where the industry has been (2010-2015) and the forecast of where it is heading (2015-2020). Click here for more information. Posted October 23, 2016

IFAI Japan Announces Date of New Product Showcase. The annual winter meeting IFAI Japan, a country sector of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), will be taking place January 24, 2017, in Osaka, Japan. It is called New Product Showcase because it allows non-Japanese companies to introduce their products. The organization is looking for company presentations of about 45 minutes in length. Click here to contact Ms. Kikuko Tagawa, IFAI Japan's Executive Director, for more information. Posted October 23, 2016

Textile Machinery Association Elects New Leader. CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers based in Zurich, Switzerland, has appointed Fritz P. Mayer as its new President at its recent General Assembly meeting held in Amsterdam. Mr Mayer takes over the Presidency from Charles Beauduin, who retires from the position after 4 years at the helm. Mr Mayer joined Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik in 1975. In 1981 he was appointed Managing Director of the company and became a Member of the Management Board of Karl Mayer Group, taking over the position of CEO of Karl Mayer Group in 2007.Posted October 21, 2016

Sudden Leadedrship Change at Milliken. Textile giant Milliken & Co. announced Monday that J. Harold Chandler has been elected its chairman, president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, following the resignation of Joseph M. Salley as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors. No reason was given for Mr. Salley's resignation. Mr. Chandler has served on Milliken's board of directors for 14 years and as its chairman for the past five years. Mr. Salley served at Milliken for 20 years, serving as president and CEO for the past eight years.MIlliken is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here for more information. Posted October 18, 2016

August Statistics Continue to Show Cooling of US Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. Weakness in US specialty fabric exports is eviden with the US Department of Commerce releasing August export numbers and the results show the fifth straight month of continued decline in exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Below are the August export numbers for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted October 17, 2016




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World 4,214,635 4,072,963 -3.36


US Automotive Interior Company Acquires Italian Company. According to a press release issued by Sage Automotive Interiors, the company as acquired the automotive manufacturing assets of Italy-based Apollo S.p.A. with the goal of expanding capacity and capability for automotive interior products to the European market. Based in Florence, Italy, and Bucharest, Romania, Apollo is ideally suited to supply automotive fabrics and sewn covers in Central and Eastern Europe. Specifics of the transaction were not disclosed. Sage and Apollo have a long history of working closely together in Europe. Sage Automotive Interiors is a global supplier of soft automotive interior surfaces—seating, door panel surfaces and headliners—to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Office and manufacturing locations include the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, Mexico and Europe. Click here for more information posted on the Greenville Business Magazine website. Posted October 13, 2016

Narrow Fabrics Producer Has Name Change. Offray Specialty Narrow Fabrics® has changed its name to OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics™.  CEO Denise Offray says "I am proud of our family legacy that spans an astonishing 14 generations. But where once our family designed and manufacturered decorative ribbons that brought joy to people lives; today we innovate and weave advanced fibers into narrow fabrics that save lives." OTEX is headquartered in Bernardsville, N.J., USA. Click here to read the entire company press release. Posted October 7, 2016 


European Mars Parachute Update. It seems to be the week for Internet postings about parachutes and Mars. The website Mil-Tech has a short article on the European landing craft that will settle on the planet October 19 using a 12-meter diameter parachute. Click here for the article. Posted October 7, 2016

Russian Tankers Wear "Cowboy" Protective Suits. There's an interesting article on the Sputnik website about the deployment of better protective suits for Russian military tank crews. The protective clothing is formally known as 6B15 kit since its introduction in 2012 but is only now becoming more widespread with more than 1,000 kits being delivered in the Southern Military District this year. The crews have affectionately nicknamed the kits "Cowboy." It features Class 1 body armor, fire-retardancy, and baliistics-resistant padding on the tanker's headset. The suits, covering 80% of the tanker's body, weighs 6.5kg. Click here to read the article. Posted October 6, 2016

SGIA Expo Attracts More Than 24,000. Final results aren't in yet but it appears the SGIA Expo 2016 held September 14-16 in Las Vegas, Nev., USA, attracted a strong audience visiting the largest trade floor in the history of the show. Organized by the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA), the exhibition floor featured a sold-out 562 exhibitors. During the show, Rich Thompson, Ad Graphics, Pompano Beach, Fla., USA, took over as SGIA Chairman of the Board for 2016-2017. Click here to read more about the 2016 event. Posted October 6, 2016

NASA Tests Mars Parachutes. Well, the Chinese are not the only ones busy with parachute testing for a landing craft destined to land on Mars [see our posting yesterday]. The US National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) conducted a series of tests on September 30 to qualify Orion's parachute system for test flights with astronauts. The unmanned test vehicle was dropped from a plane at 35,000 feet (about 6 miles). Click here to read an article on the website about the tests conducted. Posted October 6, 2016 

Key Safety Systems Plans Expansion in Japan. Regardless whether or not it is successful in being selected for taking over Takata, the beleagured Japanese airbag manufacturer, Key Safety Systems is aiming to triple its revenues from Japanese automotive to $300 million by 2020, according to Automotive News, by building its first manufacturing plant while also looking at acquisitions. Currently No. 4 in the airbag business, acquiring Takata would propel Detroit-based Key to No. 2, in the world behind only Sweden's Autoliv.Inc. Click here to read the Automoitve News article. Posted October 6, 2016

Attendee Ping Hao, Durafiber, talks with Roger Crossfield of CTW (and SYFA President)

SYFA Meets in Charlotte, Announces Name Change. More than a hundred textile industry leaders gathered in Charlotte, N.C., USA, last week for the SYFA 2016 Fall Conference organized by the Synthetic Yarn and Fiber Association. The conference theme was Diverse Elements of the U.S. Textile Supply Chain...Leaders in Action  Living up to the theme, presentations included the outlook on energy prices, a progress report on the development of the new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the US economic outlook, and the transformation of the automotive textile industry needs. During the meeting, SYFA President Roger Crossfield announced the organization would undergo a slight name change to the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association; thus, still allowing the SYFA acronym. Posted October 5, 2016.

Associations Organize Digital Textile Printing Conference. AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Matrials Professionals, and the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) are partnering to offer the conference Digital Textile Printing: The Future is Now. The event will be held December 6-7, 2016 in Durham, N.C., USA. The program will feature 18 digital textile processing presentation on topics such as ink technology and surface imaging. Click here to find out more information. Posted October 5, 2016.

Foss Manufacturing Buys Nonwovens Plant in Georgia. Foss Manufacturing, headquartered in New Hampshire, USA, with plants in Georgia, has purchased a needlepunch fabrics plant in Murray County, Georgia, USA, from Beaulieu America. The plant produces carpet fabrics and employs about 55 people. Foss produces an array of needlepunch nonwovens for markets including automotive and healthcare. Our thanks to industry consultant Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the acquisition. Click here to read more about the purchase at the Dalton Daily Citizen website. Posted October 5, 2016

China Test Supersonic Parachute for Planned Mars Mission. China is preparing its first trip to Mars in 2021. The planned expedition includes landing a 5-ton spacecraft on the planet's surface. With this objective, China recently tested an experimental supersonic, low density parachute, launching it into the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere to simulate Mars' conditions. Few details have been released about the test other than it was a complete success. The craft will also include an inflatable airbag system for a soft landing. Click here to read more about the planned mission. Posted October 5, 2016   

Qartar Plans Tent Cities to House Fans Attending 2022 World Cup.  Qatar has a housing problem for the 2022 World Cup. The country is expected to have only 46,000 available hotel rooms ready for the event, short of the 55,000 Qatar promised in being selected. According to Doha News, the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy has begun a trial project which could see 350 temporary tents and 300 permanent tents created in the traditional Arabian style. The tents will house 2,000 people. If the test is successful, Qatar will start the building of 5 desert tent cities of similar size, each with a different desert theme. Click here to read more. Posted October 5, 2016

Photo source: Pravda.Ru

Russian Military Interested in New Parachute for Ultra-Low Jumps. The Pravda.Ru website reports a parachute designed for ulta-low jumps is being developed. Called the Shturm, it will allow the airborne forces to land from a jump the height of 80 meters and perhaps as low as 50 meters. The D-10 standard Russian military parachute system is also being modernized in 2017 and is planned to be used until the new D-14 system is introduced in 2020. Click here to read more. Posted October 1, 2016

US Military Shelter Maker Closing Plant. In a memo given employees today, HDT Global announced that the US military defense shelter manufacturer is closing its facility in Buena Vista, Va., and moving the operations to Huntsville, Ala. The plant makes military tents for emergency operation centers and employs about 80 people. The Virginia plant was once called Base-X before it was sold to Hunter Defense Technologies in 2005 (now HDT Global). The company memo blamed the closure on significant defense spending reduction and a decline in sales. The memo said orders for shelters made at the Buena Vista plant have dropped 50% since 2015. The company also announced it plans to consolidate operations in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania Virginia area to a new built-for-purpose facility. Click here to read an article about the Buena Vista closing on the Roanoke Times website. Posted September 26, 2016 

Takata Subsidiary Reported to Be Sold This Week. According to the Crain's Detroit Business website, the airbag and seatbelt manufacturer Takata Corporation is in the process of selling its Irvin Automotive subsidiary to Piston Group, a supplier of interior automotive parts. Irvin, based in Pontiac, Mich., USA, is a supplier of headrests, seats, visors and other trim for the automotive and mass transportation industries. Irvin employs about 7,100 people and has annual sales of about $500 million. Takata acquired Irvin in 1989. The company traces its roots back to Leslie Irvin, a supplier and innovator of parachutes. Clck here to read the Crain article. Posted September 25, 2016

Solar Engery Plans for Textile Giant. According to the website Upstate Business Journal today, "Glen Raven Inc. plans to build a $2 million solar farm through the Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program at its Anderson-based Sunbrella manufacturing center [Anderson, S.C., USA]. The 1000-kW project will become the largest solar energy installation in the Upstate owned by a privately held company. The solar farm will be online in January 2017." Glen Raven is a global manufacturer of technical textiles. Click here to read another article that appear on the website September 9. Posted September 25, 2016

Geosynthetics Trade Association Sets Date for Lobbying in Washington. The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has set December 1, 2016  for its members' annual Fall Lobby Day. Industry companies are urged to send representatives to Washington, D.C., to help the association meet with government-elected officials to promote awareness of the applications of geosynthetics in efforts such as government-funded infrastructure projects and inclusion of geosynthetic terminology in environmental regulations. GMA is a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to find out more about the Fall Lobby Day schedule. Posted September 25, 2016

New Global Automotive Textiles Market Report Shows Industry in State of Flux. Higher demand for increased comfort and improved safety is driving the market for increased textile materials in cars according to the just-release market report Automotive Textiles: An Industry in Flux -- From Motor City to Silicon Valley. The 330-page report is authored by Adrian Wilson and published by Textile Media Services. Key take-aways from the prospectus are 1) textile usage has increased from an average 20kg in 2000 to 28kg in 2016 for a mid-size car and 2) an the unprecedented industry consolidation is underway even as the market growth explodes. Click here to read more on the Innovation in Textiles website. More than 70 companies are profiled. Posted September 25, 2016

Cycling Airbag Helmet Manufacturer Claims Hundreds of Lives Saved. It doesn't look fashionable when its inflated but the airbag cycling helmet, which is stored uninflated wrapped around the neck, seems to be catching on in Europe. The Swedish company Hövding is the manufacturer and Fredrik Carling, the company's CEO, claims more than 30,000 cyclists are now wearing the inflatable helmet, saving hundreds of lives in bike accidents. The website Sputnik News has a nice article on the company, including a number of great videos showing how the helmet in action. Click here. Posted September 26, 2016

AATCC to Host Introduction to Textile Testing Workshop. AATCC's Introduction to Textile Testing Workshop will be held November 16-17 at Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The workshop includes a review of AATCC and ASTM textile testing methods for better testing and approval decisions, and more accurate, reproducible results. AATCC is the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals. Click here to find out more information on the workshop. Posted September 24, 2016

Felicia Pullam

US Commerce Department Names New Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles. The US Department of Commerce has announced Felicia Pullam has joined the Industry & Analysis section of the International Trade Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials. Her responsbilities include overseeing programs and strategies to improve domestic and international competitiveness of US textiles. Prior to this position, Deputy Assistant Secretary Pullam was the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA where she managed outreach efforts, including communications, legislative and intergovernmental affairs. She replaces Joshua Teitelbaum. Posted September 24, 2016

Arkansas Coated Fabric Plant to Close, 300 Jobs Lost. American Fuel Cell and Coated Fabrics Co., (Amfuel) will close its plant in Magnolia, Ark., USA, ending the employment of 300 workers. [We first reported about the possible closure on July 26, 2015.] The company began in 1917 in California as Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. It moved to Magnolia at the end of World War II, changing its name to American Fuel Cell in 1983. In 1995 it was sold to Zodiac Aerospace and sold again in 2015 to Crosslake Investment Group. Amfuel makes coated fabrics and fuel cells for the aerospace industry. The closure reason appears to be due to the aging infrastructure needs of the plant and an on-going labor dispute. Amfuel recently opened a new plant in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. Click here to read the article on the Democrat-Gazette website. Posted September 24, 2016

SYFA Fall Conference Speaker Line-Up. The Synthetic Yarn & Fabric Association has a great line-up of speakers at its SYFA Fall Conference in Charlotte, N.C., USA, next week. Many of the topics relate to issues facing the technical textiles industry including Carole Winterhalter, Textile Technologist at US Army Natick Soldier Research, giving an update on the newly organized Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute.  Click here to review the schedule and register. Posted September 23, 2016

Pakistan University Organizing National Conference on Technical Textiles. National Textile University (NTU) Faisalabad is organizing the Pakistan's first ever national conference on technical textiles. The event will take place September 26-27, 2016 at NTU in Faisalabad. Already more than 150 technical directors and general managers in the textile industry have confirmed their participation. Click here to read the FTU announcement. Posted September 20, 2016

Why Local Governments Should Consider Fabric Structures for Emergency Situations. There is a good article by Joe DiCersare on the Seaman Corporation's Shelter-Rite Architectural Fabrics website on why governments should consider fabric structures as emergency shelters, taking into account how quickly and effectively the structures can be put in place to protect the public in disaster situations such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Click here to read Mr. DiCersare's article. Posted September 19, 2016

Participation Strong for Experience Composites. JEC, one of the organizers of the new Experience Composites conference, has released a list of more than 200 companies participating in the event. Experience Composites is scheduled for September 21-23, 2016, in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany. Click here to review the list of participating companies. Posted September 19, 2016

UK Technical Textiles Company Set to Expand. Yarn manufacturer TBA Textiles, with the help of a development grant, will be investing about $1 million in new technology and equipment. The company, located in Rochdale (Greater Manchester area) in the UK, is more than 140 years old. It supplies companies located in more than 100 countries with high performance yarns and fabrics. Approximately $195,000 of the funds will be supplied through a grant by the N Brown Textiles Growth Programme. Click here to read an article about the grant and TBA Textiles posted on the Manchester Evening News website. Posted September 19, 2016

NanoMech Wins Contract from U.S. Army To Develop Next- Generation Combat Uniforms. A $235,000 contract from the US Army (Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment) has been awarded to NanoMech, Inc., to develop and evaluate advanced multi-functional textiles using NanoMech's proprietary and technology platform, nGuard®. If successful, the new technology could be used for the next generation Army combat uniform and other Army individual equipment and clothing items. nGuard is a coating finish and additive for a wide variety of textile fabrics, including protection against vector-borne diseases such as malaria and zika. It can also offer material resistance for flash fire and thermal threats. NanoMech is headquartered in Springdale, Ark., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the contract being awarded. Posted September 19, 2016

Military Branches Share Research and Acquisition Information. There is a good informative article posted on the website Seapower on the collaborative acquisition efforts of the US Marine Corps and US Army. Both the Marine Corps Systems Command and the Army's Program Executive Office-Soldier are collaborating to develop, test and deliver ever-better capabilities for Marines and Soldiers. Two of the initiatives are the Cross-Service Warfighter Equipment Board and Improved Personal Protective Equipment System Integrated Product Team. One of the projects the team is working on regards cold weather clothing and equipment, including sleeping gear. Click here to read more. Posted September 19, 2016

Vietnam Delays Vote on TPP Agreement. According to the Bangkok Post, Vietnam's next National Assembly gathering in October will not include a vote on the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement because of the uncertainty of the US passing the trade deal. Vietnam is seen as the largest beneficiary of TPP and was expected to be the first to ratify the agreement. Its ratification was seen as a formality. The country has already seen a tremendous spur of foreign investment in its domestic textile industry. Click here to read the article. Posted September 19, 2016

Smart Materials Reshaping How We Should Look at Things. There is an inspiring article found on the website about making inactive material -- including technical textiles -- into sentient materials capable of responding to its environment, sending data and fixing themselves. The crux of the article is that current technology is exploring embedding sensors into material to relay information; however, we should look beyond this technology to explore making the material itself the sensor. Examples given include an airplane skin that self-heals to removed dents and dings, thereby improving aerodynamics. Borstena, a Portuguese automotive textile supplier, is developing prototypes of seats and seatbelts that use smart textiles with built-in sensors to detect a driver's heart and breathing rates so it can alert drivers to tell-tale signs of drowsiness. Worth the read. Click here to view. Posted September 19, 2016

Smart Parachute Program Being Investigated to Track Inventory. The US Army has submitted a Request for Proposal for a program called the Automated Parachute Management System IT Platform that could help keep better track of cargo and personnel parachutes. The program would involve using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags sewn into parachutes and would work with different types of devices including mobile smart phones. The tagged parachutes would enable the Army to keep better track of parachute inventory, the individual parachute's history and its maintenance. Click here to read an article posted on the website about the program. Posted September 19, 2016

New Russian Body Armor 30% Lighter. An article posted on the Russian website Sputnik International says the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian State Corporation Rostec are developing brand new "bulletproof" vests made of an ultra-lightweight aramid woven material as part of its new Ratnik-3 personal combat uniform kit. As the name implies, this is 3rd-generation soldier equipment. It is estimated the vest, which includes additional protection for the groin, forearm and neck, will weigh about 15 kilograms, about 30% less than the previous Ratnik version. About 80,000 vests of the Ratnik-2 version were distributed in 2015. Click here to read the article. Posted September 16, 2016

Architectural Fabrics Industry Veteran Joins Value Vinyls. Value Vinyls, Inc., of Grand Prairie, Texas, USA, has appointed Marc Shellshear as Director of Sales -- Structure Fabrics. Mr. Shellshear, formerly the Director of Commercial Sales at Gale Pacific USA, is well-known throughout the architectural fabrics industry. Value Vinyls is a distributor of coated vinyl and other materials used in many end-markets in the technical textiles industry. Posted September 9, 2016

Latest US Export Figures Continue to Show Decline. The US Department of Commerce has released July export numbers and the results show a continued decline in exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. The World consolidated number shows a 3.85% decline in comparing year-ending July 2015 and 2016. The UK and Mexico showed slight increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong showed declines in US exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted September 9, 2016




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World 4,220,177 4,057,888 -3.85


Geosynthetics: Does It Hurt to Compare to "Traditional" Products?'s editor Chris Kelsey has an interesting posting on the website, trying to figure out whether comparing geosynthetics to "traditional" civil engineering products (such as clay, cement, rocks and asphalt) may actually hinder its market penetration with agencies like state transportation agencies who don't want to take risks with their product selection. Mr. Kelsey doesn't conclude it hinders when producers use this "vs. traditional" terminology but he raises a valid question that can be applied in many market sectors including architectural fabrics and protective clothing: Should we be seeking to isolate new materials as completely different from products already in use or is it more practical to gain market acceptance by promoting the materials as if it's already in the pool of established choices...just better than the rest of the choices? Click here to read Mr. Kelsey's posting. Posted September 9, 2016

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Contract for Anti-Gravity Suits. Vinyl Technology Inc., Monrovia, Calif., USA, has been awarded a maximum $10,160,073 modification exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods for advanced technology anti-gravity suits. Location of performance is California, with a Sept. 9, 2017, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2017 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the US Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support. Posted September 7, 2016

Global Airbag Market Estimated to be 380 Million Units. In a further report on the Kolon Group acquiring an air bag manufacturing facility in Vietnam [see our September 1 posting], the website BusinessKorea has included interesting statistics on Kolon's air bag manufacturing. It's new Vietnam facility produces 7 million air bag cushions a year; it's Mexican facility produces 3 million units a year; and, its Chinese factory in Nanjing will be making 600,000 air bags a year when is fully operating next year. Kolon also has another facility in China but no figures were given. The article says the global market size for air bags was estimated to be 380 million units in 2015. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2016 

History of the Backpack. There is a neat article on the Time magazine website titled "A Brief History of the Modern Backpack." A key take-away from the article was the contribution to the backpack designs from Gerry Cunningham, owner of Gerry Outdoors. Mr. Cunningham invented the first backpack with zippers in 1938 and in 1967 his company came out with the first nylon teardrop-shaped backpack which allowed controlled weight distribution. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2016

Vanishing Parachutes Being Developed for Military Stealth Missions. Under a $3 million grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, is designing special polymers for use to make stealth single-use parachutes which will disintegrate on demand in response to an electrical trigger. Click here to read more about this work. Posted September 1, 2016

International Geosynthetics Conference Issues Call for Abstracts. The Organizing Committee of the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics (11ICG) has issued a call to members of the industry, academia and government to submit abstracts. The 11ICG is being held September 16-21, 2018 in Seoul, Korea. The abstract submission deadline is December 30, 2016. Click here to go to the event's home page. Posted September 1, 2016

New Co-President and CFO at US Event Management Company. Patrick Nohilly has been selected as the ne Co-President of Messe Frankfurt Inc., the US subsidiary of the Messe Frankfurt Group. Mr. Honilly relaces Kathryn Fitts, who left the company earlier in the year. He will oversee the US company's business together with Dennis Smith, who will be continuing as Co-President and CEO. Mr. Nohilly's responsibilities will be to focus on Finance & Administration. Messe Frankfurt Inc. is the organizer of the annual Techtextil North America show and the biennial Texprocess show. Posted September 1, 2016

Sewers are in Demand for US Outdoor Gear Manufacturers. There's an interesting article in the August 11 online edition of Outside magazine on the shortage of skilled domestic sewers in the US to make outdoor equipment such as ultralight tens, bags and stuff sacks. One company has even started an informal training school. Our thanks to industry veteran Fred Magenheimer for alerting us to the article. [The Industrial Fabrics Association International has recently formed a new division called Maker which focuses on developing training curricula for sewing machine operators.]  Posted September 1, 2016

Korean Company Investing in Vietnam. The Kolon Group, the Korean-based manufacturer of technical textiles, is continuing to announce new investments in Vietnam. Earlier this year, the company was licensed to start up a $14.1 million airbag manufacturing facility in the southern province of Bin Duong. According to an article in the Vietnam Breaking News website, Kolon is now negotiating to build a high tech materials manufacturing plant also in Bin Duong. The company has filed other proposals to build plants in Vietnam to make chemical fibers and industrial fabrics for automotive tires. Click here to read the article. Posted September 1, 2016

Geosynthetics Website Adds Spanish Version. The geosynthetics news website Geosynthetica has launched Geosynthetiica Latin America. The new portal delivers Spanish-language articles for Mexico and South and Central America-based readers. Click here to visit the new website. Posted September 1, 2016

Duro Textiles Closing. Duro Textiles LLC of Fall River, Mass., USA, is in the process of closing its manufacturing facilities and laying off its 131 person work force. The company has been in operation almost 70 years and its major customer has been the US military. Like many military contractors, Duro Textiles has suffered through the reduced military budgets these past few years. The company's closing is also a blow to the commercial tactical industry because it is a major supplier of printed specialty camouflage patterns. It is also a setback for the efforts of the US Army's attempts to source royalty-free Operational Camouflage Patterns (OCP) fabrics. Click here to read an article posted by The Herald News (Fall River) newspaper. Posted August 31, 2016 

US Marines and Army Testing New Jungle Uniforms. There is an interesting article posted on the Marine Corps Times website on the testing being done by the US Marine Corps and the US Army in Hawaii and in Japan on different types of jugle gear. The Marine Corps is looking for a lighter tropical uniform fabric that improves moisture management and reduces dry time without sacrificing durability and protection. Some of the materials being tested have insect-repelling permethrin treatments. Click here to read the article. Posted August 31, 2016

Auburn Manufacturing Wins Again with US Ruling on Unfair Chinese Dumping of High-Performance Fabric. The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has determined that two Chinese manufacturers have been selling amorphous silica fabric (ASF) in the United States at unfairly low prices. Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), of Mechanic Falls, Maine, USA, a manufacturer of the product, had brought the complaint to DOC. ASF is used to insulate and resist extreme heat in industrial applications. The DOC ruling is a further action of an action the DOC originally made on June 28, 2016. [See the BL6 posting on July 10, 2016.] This new ruling now calculates a preliminary antidumping margin of 162.47% for all companies, and will instruct US Customs and Board Protection to collect cash deposits on all imports  of Chinese ASF in an amount equal to 162.47% of the import's declared value, going back to products imported in the beginning of June 2016 when the DOC issued its preliminary determination. Click here to read the press release issued by AMI. Posted August 31, 2016

Ten Cate Appoints New CEO. During the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of Royal Tent Cate on August 25, 2016, J.H.L. (Jan) Albers was appointed member and chairman of the Executive Board, with the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Ten Cate, based in The Netherlands, is a manufacturer of materials used in protective clothing, composites and geosynthetics. Click here to read the company's press release on the appointment of Mr. Albers. Posted August 31, 2016

French Textile Machinery Manufacturers Exhibiting at ITMA Asia + CITME. Seven companies belonging to the French Association of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (UCMTF) will be exhibiting at ITMA Asia + CITME, October 21-25, 2016 in Shanghai. The companies are NSC Fiber to Yarn, Laroche, Fil Control, AESA Air Engineering, Superba, Dollfus & Muller, and Trelleborg. Posted August 27, 2016

Picanol Group Realizes the Strongest Half Year in its History. It's good news for the textile machinery maker Picanol Group. According to a company press release just release, Picanol had a consolidated turnover of 329.7 million in the first half of 2016, an increase of 27% compared to 259.8 million in the first half of 2015. Picanol closed the first half of 2016 with a net profit of €60.4 million, compared to €42.0 million in the first half of 2015. Based on the current order book, the group expects to achieve a 2016 turnover increase of approximately 10% compared to 2013, which is currently the best year in the history of the company. Click here to read the entire Picanol press release. Posted August 27, 2016

8 US Companies Displaying Products at the Norwegian Gas and Energy Event. The US Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) will have sample books available from 8 US manufacturers of protective textiles and apparel in the OTEXA booth during the upcoming Offshore Northern Seas 2016. The biennial show for the oil, gas and chemical industries is being held August 29-September 1, in Stavanger, Norway. Those OTEXA booth participating companies are American Cord & Webbing; Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina; Fortress Clothing; Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, LLC; Kappler, Inc.; LaCrosse Footwear, Inc.; London Fall Protection; McRae Footwear; and, Precision Fabrics Group, Inc. Click here to read the latest press release about the OTEXA promotion at the event. Posted August 27, 2016

Potential Huge for Technical Textiles in India. Speaking at the two-day conference "Industrial Textiles -- Products, Applications and Prospects," Sanjay Chatrath, president and chief executive officer of Tire Cord and Polyester Yarn, SRF Limited, said Asia Pacific is the largest market for technical textiles, accounting for more than 40% of the global use. India's technical textiles industry is growing at 20% annually; however, currenrly per capita consumption of technical textiles in the country is only 1.7 kg compared to 10-12 kg in developed countries, making the potential huge. The conference was held at PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore, India and August 26. Click here to read the article reporting on the event. Posted August 27, 2016

Airship Has Hard Landing on Test Flight. On its second test flight, the Airlander 10, the world's largest aircraft (302 feet), today experienced a crash-landing which damaged its cockpit. It appears to be a slow-motion craft as it was settling down at its base in Cardington, Bedfordshire, in England. The Airlander's outer hull that holds the helium is made of laminated woven Vectran, a fiber made by Kuraray Co. from liquid crystal polymers. It is the same fiber used in the Bigelow inflatable capsule currently being tested at the International Space Station. The airship is manufactured by Hybrid Air Vehicles, a UK-based company founded in 2007. Click here for more information about the crash. Posted August 24, 2016

SYFA Fall Conference Taking Shape. The organizer of the Synthetic Yarn & Fiber Association 2016 Fall Conference has announced speakers from the following companies will be giving presentations: Eastman Chemical Company; Pure Renewables Port Arthur LLC; Sage Automotive Interiors; Vanguard Furniture; PCI Wood Mackenzie; US Natick Research Development & Engineering Center; Texican Natural Gas Company; and, Kennesaw State University Econometric Center. The conference is taking place September 29-30, 2016 in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Click here for registration information. Posted August 24, 2016

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement Examined. There is a very good article published by the research arm of the Hong Kong Trade Development Corporation on the implications of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that is currently being negotiated. Click here to review a synopsis of the report that's published on the Textile-Future website. Posted August 24, 2016 

IFAI Expo Schedules Informal Industry Education Discussions During Show. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced a series of show floor education sessions for its IFAI Expo event taking place October 18-21, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. They are called "Campfire" sessions. Topics include "Filtration from Textile and Nonwovens", "Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade Update", "What is needed to Enter the Government Market", and "Cyber Security." Altogether more than 22 of these "Campfire" talks have been organized. Click here to go to the IFAI Expo website. Posted August 24, 2016

Competition Announced for Designing the Next Chemical Biological Defense Suit. The US military wants to pay you up to $150,000 to help redesign the suit used to protect personnel against chemical and biological attacks. The competition is being hosted by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and will kick off with a special introduction August 25, 2016 at the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass., USA. Click here to find out more about the program. Posted August 19, 2016

Source: Adidas

Adidas Announces Robot-Filled "SPEEDFACTORY" in US. Adidas has announced it will bring its highly-automated, custom-oriented adidas SPEEDFACTORY concept from Germany to the United States. It will be opening a factory in the Atlanta area in 2017. The move is part of adidas' vision to decentralize its manufacturing process, allowing speed to the consumer, eliminating long shipping distances. The focus of the new 74,000 square foot Atlanta factory will be running footwear. Click here to read the company press release. Posted August 18, 2016

Indian Technical Textile Producer Announces 43.7% Growth in FY16. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd., a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, announced its financial results for the 4th quarter and financial year ended March 31, 2016. For the year, net sales improved by 5.5%, profit before tax grew by 43.8%, and net profit after tax grew by 43.7%. Garware-Wall Ropes serves the fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, sports, agriculture, coated fabrics and geosynthetics markets. Click here to read the company press release. Posted August 18, 2016

South Korea Technical Fabrics Producer Sees 12.2% Operating Profit Jump. According to a report published on the Business Korea website, Kolon Industries, the chemical and textile unit of Kolon Group, saw its operating profit jump more than 10% in the first half of this year compared to a year earlier. Kolon announced August 10 that it had posted a $2.09 billion in consolidated sales and $149.93 million in operating profits for the first half of the year. The two major markets responsible for the increase were the apparel and automotive industries. Kolon has targeted the US for sales in the tire and airbag markets. Click here to read the article. Posted August 18, 2016

Industry Associations Block FTZ Request from US Domestic Manufacturer. On August 5 the US Foreign-Trade Zones Board approved FTZ Subzone status for Flemish Master Weavers in Sanford, Maine on July 28; however, it then denied on August 5 the company's request for Proposed Production Activity that was sought to obtain duty-free status for imported polyester and polypropylene yarns used in producing area rugs intended for both the domestic and foreign markets. Flemish Master Weavers claimed it could not source within the US the needed yarns at a competitive price. The application request was opposed by National Spinning Company, a North Carolina supplier of specialty and commodity yarns, and a coalition of three textile trade associations -- National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), and the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International). Click here to view the textile associations' joint opposition letter. Posted August 15, 2016

Smart Materials Consultant Interviewed on State of the Industry. There is an interesting interview found on the R&D website with Dr. Kasha Ghaffarzadeh, Ph.D. on the state of the smart textiles industry. Dr. Ghaffarzadeh is the research director at IDTechEx, a UK-based consulting firm and show organizer which covers emerging technologies like e-textiles and conductive inks. Key take-aways from the interview: He is the co-author of a report entitled E-Textiles 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players that was published in June 2016; the majority of recent commercial focus has been on sports and fitness sectors but the potential is in home textiles and medical; and, a conference is being organized by his firm covering e-textiles in November in Santa Clara, Calif., USA, called Wearables USA. Click here for the interview. Posted August 15, 2016

Pakistan Anticipates Another 15,000 Tents for Future Disaster Needs.  According to the Pakistani website Business Recorder the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has requested as many as 15,000 tents from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to supplement the almost 37,000 it has in reserve, plus another 10,000 it has already ordered. In total, the Punjab province government would have about 62,000 tents ready to be distributed during a natural disaster like floods and earthquakes. Click here to read the article. Posted August 15, 2016

Point Two

Airbag Vests Being Used By Olympic Equestrians. Equestrian riding is a dangerous sport. A dozen riders were killed between 2007 and 2008, mostly when the horse crashed back onto the rider during a fall. The website Wired has an interesting story posted today on the growing use of inflatable vests by equestrian riders in the Olympics. The air jackets made by manufacturer Point Two have one air pocket that covers from the neck to the tailbone, and attaches directly by a lanyard attached to the saddle to a CO2 canister. The jack inflates in under 60 milliseconds. Click here to read the article. Posted August 13, 2016

Pink is the New Orange in Hunting Clothes. If you are a hunter in the State of New York, you now have a choice of wearing either the traditional blaze orange or now fluorescent pink. The additional pink color was added July 21 to the state law requiring junior hunters (ages 14-15) to wear apparel with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned orange visible in all directions. Pink has been found to be just as visibly effective as the traditional blaze orange. The move is made to attract more women and girls to the sport. Besides New York, the states of Wisconsin and Colorado allow pink as a color for hunting apparel. Click here to read an article about the new law posted on the New York Times website. Posted August 12, 2016

New Self-Healing Fabric Coating Technology Derived from Squid Enzymes. A team of researchers from Drexel University (Philadelphia, Penn., USA) and Penn State University (University Park, Penn., USA) have developed a coating for both nonwovens and woven materials that can both neutralize toxins and then heal tears and holes during the laundry cleaning process. The coating, less than a micron thick, is derived from proteins like those found in the rings of squid teeth. This process can hold great opportunities in the chemical protective clothing market. Click here to read the abstract of the paper published in the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Posted August 10, 2016

Medical Textile Suppliers Target Cinte Techtextil China. October’s Cinte Techtextil China is shaping up to be one of the most diverse yet as more of the country and region pavilions are being organized, with each one featuring a range of exhibitors from different product groups and application areas. The fair boasts pavilions from Belgium, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as a just-confirmed Russian Zone, joined by the European Zone and a number of regional Chinese pavilions. One of the key target markets will be nonwoven medical textiles. The show organizers report in a press statement just released that Chinese producers are responding not only to strong global consumption, but also rapid domestic growth in this sector. Demand in China for medical textiles products is expected to be 323,000 tons in 2016 and reaching 424,600 tons in 2019. Cinte Techtextil China is taking place October 12-14 in Shanghai. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 10, 2016

AFFOA Seeking Participation in Organization’s Committees. Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), the consortium chosen to lead the US government’s Revolutionary Fiber and Textiles Manufacturing Institute, is now accepting nominations and applications for the Technology Advisory Committee as well as the Education and Workforce Development Committee. Applications for both committees are due on August 15. Selection and evaluation will take place August 15-September 1. Committee members will be announced at the beginning of September. Click here for the committee applications. Posted August 8, 2016

Continued Slowing Demand for US Exports. The decrease in US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics continued in June according to the new US Department of Commerce figures release August 5. Overall decline in June was 3.2% for years ending June 2015 and 2016. In the top 5 countries, Mexico and United Kingdom show modest growth again but less than the previous month. Canada, China and Hong Kong all show decreases. The 6th highest country receiving US exports is Japan and it was off 18% from the previous year. Click here to see the entire report. Posted August 8, 2016




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Source: US Army

eCarbon Nanotubes Being Used to Create Barriers in Chemical Protective Suits. Popular Mechanics, one of our favorite new idea publications, has a neat story posted August 4 on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's work in "using carbon nanotubes to create a barrier that would be impentrable to chemical and biological agents, but still water-permeable." This second skin results is a more comfortable chemical protective suit for soldiers. Click here to read the article. Posted August 8, 2016

New Composites Symposium and Conferences Names Speakers. The new Experience Composites event is featuring 32 educational tracks plus a special symposium program for the automotive & transport industry. Speakers at the symposium include Heinrich Timm (Member of the CCeV board); Virginia Bozsak (Technical Manager Composites, Arkema); David de Vries (Lead Engineer, Code Product Solutions); M. Eng., Stefan Herrmann (Team bodywork: lightweight design, csi entwicklungstechnik GmbH); Dipl-Wirt.-Ing. Reni Hofmann (Research associate - doctoral candidate, BMW group); Dipl. Ing. Hans Lochner (Head of technological development & prototype construction, KTM Technologies GmbH; and Dr. Andreas Erber (Director Lightweight and Application Center; SGL Group). More than 200 companies from 15 countries are expected to participate. Experience Composites is being co-organized by the JEC Group, Messe Augsburg and Carbon Composites. It is taking place September 21-23, 2016, in Augsburg, Germany. Click here for more information. Posted August 3, 2016


Runaway Awning Causes 20 Acre Grass Fire. Well, here's something you don't read about every day. An RV awning near Carbondale, Co., USA, apparently blew off its trailer and got wrapped around some power lines. The metal frame still attached to the power-line wrapped awning then caused an electrical arc to the ground and started a 20-acre brush fire. Click here to read the article. Posted August 3, 2016

Sioen Industries Acquires Sailcloth Manufacturer. Netherlands-based Sioen Industries BV announced on July 28 it had acquired 100% of the shares of Dimension-Polyant, a major sailcloth manufacturer with facilities in Kempen, Germany, and Putnam, Conn., USA. Dimension-Polyant was established in 1966 and currently claims it has a global sailcloth market share of more than 40%. It is a vertically integrated manufacturer, doing the weaving, finishing and laminating of its materials. Click here to read the company press release. Posted August 3, 2016

Angie Barraza

New Specification Manager at Serge Ferrari North America. Serge Ferrari North America has announced Angie Barraza has been added to the sales team as Specification Manager, working in the yachting and solar markets in the Southeast United States region. Ms. Barraza will be responsible for building product awareness with specifiers, and sales and customer service support to shade and boat manufacturers located in the region. Serge Ferrari is a manufactuer of flexible composite membranes used for solar protection, marine, architectural, building fascade, acoustics and modular structure. Posted August 3, 2016

Parachute Maker Expanding, Creating 100 New Jobs. Tennessee (USA) Governor Bill Haslam announced yesterday Precision Military Aerodynamics is investing $1.8 million in its Dunlap, Tenn., manufacturing facility. In addition, the Appalachian Regional Commission awarded a $200,350 grant to construct an access road and a $500,000 Local Park and Recreational Grant to upgrade the water pumping station in the Dunlap Industrial Parks for the Precision Military Aerodynamic facility. Click here to read more about the announcement. Posted July 30, 2016

Call for Papers for 2017 NETInc Conference. TAPPI has issued a call for papers for the 2017 NETInc Conference being held April 23-26, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minn., USA. NETInc is being co-located with the TAPPI Papercon show. The NETInc program committee is seeking abstracts for a number of different areas including innovations with synthetic and conductive fibers, nanofibers, nonwovens and technical textiles. Abstract submission deadline is October 19, 2016. Click here for more information. Posted July 29, 2016 

ASTM Holds Smart Textiles Workshop and Organizes a Subcommittee. ASTM International held its Smart Textiles Workshop June 26 in Chicago, Ill., USA. The workshop was followed the next day by the first D13.50 Smart Textiles Subcommittee meeting. According to Jennifer Rodgers, ASTM's Director of Technical Committee Operations, the workshop had 92 attendees with 8 presenters. At the subcommittee meeting, 3 task groups were formed to investigate standardization activities in ASTM related to : 1) Terminology for Smart Textiles; 2) Data Security of Smart Textiles; and 3)  Market Research for Standardization of Smart Textiles. Click here to contact Ms. Rodgers if you are interested in participating in the D13.50 subcommittee. Posted July 29, 2016

Czech Military Buys Ballistic Vests for Foreign Missions. The Czech website Prague Daily Monitor is reporting the Czech Defence Ministry will buy 500 sets of ballistic vests for soldiers serving in Afghanistan as the life-span of the ones currently being worn will expired later this year. The contract is for 500 sets of SPCS Magnum TAC-1 ballistic vests. The Defence Ministry had previously ordered 2,291 vests from the Czech arms maker Ceska Zbrojovka that were to be delivered last year but have not yet received them. The military is reportedly preparing another tender for the delivery of 5,500 vests, to be delivered by November 30, 2020 Click here to read the article. Posted July 28, 2016

Deadline Approaches for Attending Membership Day of New Advanced Functional Fabrics Organization. The inaugural membership meeting of the Advanced Functional Fabric of America (AFFOA) will be taking place July 28-29, 2016 at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., USA. Deadline for registration is July 25. AFFOA is the lead organization charged with managing the new Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a public-private consortium established by the US government. Click here to go to the AAFOA website to learn more about the meeting and to register. Posted July 24, 2016

Circus Tent Company Indicted for Failure to Properly Install Tent.. The Union Leader website has posted an article on a grand jury indictment in Lancaster, Penn., USA, of Walker International Events of Sarasota, Fla., USA, for allegedly failing to properly install a circus tent that collapsed August 3, 2015 (see our August 4, 2015 post in the Archives section), As a result of the alleged poor installation, the tent collapsed during high winds, killing two people. The company was charged with failing to drive the tent stakes three feet deep and for failing to provide at least 10 feet between the tent and the tractor trailer to which the tent was partially secured. [The IFAI Tent Rental Division has published an installation guide on properly staking a tent structure.] Click here to read the article. Posted July 24, 2016  

Korean Companies Post Better Earnings in 2nd Quarter. Both Korean-headquartered textile giants Hyosong Corp. and Kolon Industries Inc. are reporting better earnings for the second quarter. Hyosong is expected to earn $229.7 million, up 2.5% from a year ago. Long-time rival Kolon Industries is expected to post a $78 million operating profit, up 16.3%. Increased sales are due to cutting-edge technology, Hyosong in manufacturing carbon fibers and Kolon in aramid fibers.Click here to read the article posted on the Pulse website. Posted July 24, 2016

Safeguard Armour Stealth Pro Vest

Pros & Cons of Covert vs. Overt Body Armor.  There is a good article found on the Ammoland website that explains the different characteristics and applications for selecting either covert or overt body armor. Covert, as the name implies, is important for individuals when they wat to be protected but do not want to be seen as wearing body armor. It tends to be lighter and more flexible. Overt armor is heavier and bulkier in appearance. It is designed for higher protection levels. Click here to read the article. Posted July 20, 2016

Bonar & Low to Invest in Expanding Slovak Geosynthetics Plant. According to the Plastics & Rubber News website, performance materials company Low & Bonar is set to expand production capacity at its geosynthetic products plant near Nitra, Slovakia. Bonar is planning to invest about $5.4 million to construct a new 8,000 square meters product hall at the site acquired when it bought the Slovak geosynthetics company in 2013. Click here to read the Plastics & Rubber News website article. Posted July 20, 2016

Gelvenor CEO Dicky Coetzee, with Leon Raubenheimer (Jacobs Capital director) and Wessel Jacobs (Jacobs Capital CEO)

Gelvenor Textiles Sold to South African Investor. South African private equity firm Jacobs Capital has acquired Gelvenor Textiles, a manufacturer of industrial, technical apparel, outdoor lifestyle, protective and aeronautical fabrics from Courthiel Holdings. Gelvenor was established in 1965 as a weaver, dyer and finisher of synthetic and man-made continuous filament yarn fabrics. It now produces aeronautical fabrics, ballistics textiles, fire resistant fabrics, and many other specialized products used in markets such as military, parachute and protective clothing. According to its press release, Gelvenor has the capacity to produce 18 million square meters of fabrics per year of which 25% is contract fabrics, 30% industrial fabrics, 25% specialty high tech fabrics, 15% apparel fabrics and 5% commodity fabrics. Gelvenor exports about 30% of its fabrics. Click here to read the company announcement. Posted July 20, 2016 

Researchers Invent "Smart" Thread to Monitor Wounds. There is an interesting short piece found on the Nigerian Naija247 News website on the promise of the "smart sutures" invented by a team of researchers led by engineers from Tufts University (Boston, Mass., USA). The researchers embedded electronics, microfluidics, and nano-scale sensors to create high-tech diagnostic sutures. The threads can collect data such as tissue temperature, pH and glucose levels, and stress and strain, and even sense if an infection is coming on. These super stiches can then wirelessly send the data to a smartphone or computer. Click here to read the article. Posted July 20, 2016

European Zone Established on Show Floor at Cinte Techtextil China. A European Zone has been established on the show floor for the Cinte Techtextil China trade show that is taking place October 12-14, 2016 in Shanghai, China. The zone will feature more than 50 European exhibitors plus three country pavilions -- Italy, Germany and Belgium. Altogether, Cinte Techtextil China will have more than 500 exhibitors. Click here to read more about the European participation in the event. Posted July 20, 2016

NASA Space Vehicle Parachute Testing Contract Awarded. Jacobs Engineering Group announced on July 12 it was awarded a contract by the NASA Johnson Space Center under the JSC Engineering and Technical Services (JETS) contract to perform manned flight qualification testing on the parachute system for the Orion space capsule. In addition to testing, Jacob's role also includes the production, delivery and installation of the flight parachutes for the first Orion Exploration Mission (EM-1), a mission to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth. The contract is valued at $40.3 million and is a continuation of the ongoing parachute development Jacobs has been perforrming for the Orion Program since 2006.  Since 2007, Jacobs has completed 38 full-scale parachute system tests for NASA. Jacobs is headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., USA. Click here to read the press release issued by Jacobs. Posted July 17, 2016

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Coleman Escalates FTZ Dispute with the Textile Industry. In a letter to Mr. Gene Dodaro, Controller General of the US General Accountability Office, five US senators and one congressman have requested the GAO to investigate how the Foreign-Trade Zones Board evaluates applications, ensuring a fair and transparent manner, as required by law. In conducting an examination.


In an August 22 letter, the Congressional leaders ask that Mr. Dodaro assess the process for reviewing applications that involve the import of textile products for use in a manufacturing process. Further, they asked the GAO to assess the FTZ Board's procedures for determining whether an application meets the tests for "threshold factors" and "economic factors" described in the Foreign-Trade Zones Act's implementing regulations.


While the letter does not specifically state the Coleman situation, all of the senators and congressman are from states with Coleman operations in the Midwest. A ruling was expected in August on the Coleman request for additional Production Authority allowing them to bring in textiles at a lower duty rate. [See the complete BeaverLake6 Report editorial for background information by clicking here.]


This call for a GAO investigation may delay the decison on Coleman's request for additional Production Authority for up to a year. Our thanks to industry trade expert David Trumbull for alerting us to this letter and his excellent coverage on his Textiles and Trade website which has more details. Posted September 29, 2016

Jon Klein's Outlook

Sports Footwear

The global sports footwear market is witnessing positive growth, mainly driven by the consumer demand for customized performance and comfort in sports footwear. Read the latest column about the research and trends by Jon Klein, Business Development Leader at PrimaLoft® Aerogel insulation. Click here.


Special Report

Wendy Wen on the China Technical Textile Market and the Cinte Techtextil China Show

Wendy Wen

What is the outlook for technical textiles in China and the region? Cinte Techtextil China is Asia’s leading biennial trade fair for the technical textiles industry and it's taking place in October. BeaverLake6 Report’s publisher Steve Warner has an exclusive interview with Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd., the organizer of the trade fair. Click here to read the interview.

In My Opinion

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

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


Steve Warner


Fiber Composite Growth (2016-2020), Part 2

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present "Fiber Composites Growth, Part 2", a new contribution from our partnership with China Textile magazine. The authors are China Textile's Zhao Hong, Editor-in-Chief, and Flora Zhao, the Director of the Editorial Department. Mr. Zhao is also the Director of International Trade Office of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, (CNTAC) and Vice President of the China Knitting Industry Association (CKIA). In Part 2, the focus of the article is on international trade and the development of fiber-reinforced composites. Click here to read. Posted July 12, 2016

Jon Klein's Outlook 

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


Steve Warner, Publisher

June 27, 2016

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

One essential document BeaverLake6 Report recommends if you are going to be exporting your products is the 2016 Technical Textiles Top Markets Report, produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA).


The 59-page 2016 edition is now available online and forecasts global demand for U.S. technical textile products to increase 4% annually through 2017, from $8.6bn in 2015 to $9.3bn in 2017. Innovation and new technology coupled with trade relationships developed under existing and future free trade agreements will drive this increase in demand.


Top Markets Report examines historical data from 2008 through 2015 plus forecasts demand for 2016 and 2017, and ranks 70 markets for overall technical textile exports. This study of the U.S. technical textiles market is intended to provide an analysis of the competitive landscape, including developing trends and key regions where U.S. producers could find new and continued opportunities for their products.


Click here to go to the website to view the report. Posted May 25, 2016

Fiber Composites Growth (2016-2020)

We are pleased to present a new contribution in the China Textile section of the website. This article starts a multi-part series Fiber Composites Growth  (2016-2020). The authors are Zhao Hong, Editor-in-Chief, and Flora Zhao, the Director of the Editorial Department of China Textile magazine. In addition to his role at China Textile, Mr. Zhao is also the Director of International Trade Office of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, a national confederation of all textile-related industries, and the Vice President of the China Knitting Industry Association. Click here to read the article. Posted May 16, 2016


Steve Warner, Publisher

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


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

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

Media Partners

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a Dead Deal

OK, I am going to say what the National Council of Textile Organizations is reluctant to concede: There is not a chance in the world for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to pass in the US Congress next year. It is a dead deal. There is still a lot of wasted energy in justifying support for a trade agreement that is going nowhere. Click here to read the rest.


Steve Warner


Posted March 24, 2016

In My Opinion

Warner's Eleven Things That Mattered for Our Industry in 2015

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


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


Steve Warner


Posted January 17, 2016

In Pursuit of Clarity

Read the latest thoughts on our industry from small business owner Bud Weisbart, IFM, MFC., Mr. Weisbart is vice president of AR Tech, Fontana, Calif., USA. HIs company is a manufacturer of a variety of products to the shade, architectural and aerospace industries. In his new contribution, he continues his conversation about the makeup of people in our industry. Click here to read. Posted January 25, 2016

What Will the TPP Agreement Mean for the Technical Textile Industry?

David Trumbull

US technical and industrial textile manufacturers appear to have gotten a fairly good deal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement reports David Trumbull, principal of Agathon Associates. Mr. Trumbull has two decades' experience in the textile industry, including many years in trade advisory positions. He has just completed a thorough look at the TPP agreement and offers his assessment as to what it means for the technical textiles industry in this exclusive contribution to BeaverLake6 Report. Click here to read his analysis. Posted November 19, 2015

JEC Event Pages Now Available

We are pleased to now offer a special Sponsored page for the JEC Group. JEC is the largest composites industry organization in the world with a network of 250,000 professionals. JEC represents, promotes and expands composites markets by providing global or local networking and information services


With their new Sponsored page on BeaverLake6 Report, JEC will be featuring their three major events -- JEC Asia 2016, JEC World 2016 and JEC Americas 2016. Click here to go immediately to the JEC home page. Make sure to come back often to these pages for the most up-to-date information on the events.

NCTO was Wrong to Support TPA and TPP So Early in the Game

I don’t get the logic behind the National Council of Textile Organizations' (NCTO) support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In my opinion, NCTO’s primary desire for supporting TPP is the textile economic containment of China. This approach will fail with TPP and may end up putting the US domestic industry at future risk with other trade agreements ... Click here to read the rest of the column. 

Steve Warner


Posted August 4, 2015

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Ron Gottlieb  


  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.


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

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


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