BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Front Page News

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 running footwear. Click here to read the compan 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 gesoynthetics 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 accoriding 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

Carbon 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 cabon 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, Geran, and Putnam, Conn., USA. Dimension-Polyant was established in 1966 and currently claims it has a global sailcloth marketshare 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 innagural membership meeting of the Advanced Functional Fabric of America (AFFOA) will be taking place July 28-29, 2016 at MIT, 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 Inudstries 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 embed 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

US Sun-Protection Apparel Company Acquired. Coolibar, Inc., a fabricator of sun-protective clothing, has been acquired by Olivarius Hospitality California. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, Coolibar was founded in 2001 and makes fashionable apparel that is focused on providing UPF 50+ protection from ultraviolet rays. It was the first company to earn The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation. Olivarius Hospitality California is a privately held company based in Santa Barbara, Calif., USA. Click here to read the Coolibar press release. Posted July 17, 2016 

3-D Textiles Reviewed in Article. There is an excellent overview article on 3-D textiles by industry specialist Jim Kaufmann in the July/August issue of Textile World magazine. It covers the types of woven, knits and nonwovens, the list of markets, and the applications. The principal driver in many cases for 3-D textiles is weight savings in markets such aerospace, military and automotive industries. New markets are emerging, too. Click here to go to the Textile World website to read the article. Posted July 17, 2016

Japanese Company to Make Air Bag Fabrics in Mexico. Perhaps seeing an opportunity created in the $29 billion air bag market by the Takata recall debacle, Toray Industries plans to construct a Mexican factory to make airbag fabrics. It will be their first production facility related to fabrics for air bags. Cost is expected at $100 million. Click here to read an article posted on the Nikkei Asian Review website. Posted July 16, 2016

Kraig Biocraft Announces Contract with US Army to Deliver Dragon Silk. In a press release issued today, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories announced that it has received a contract valued at up to $1 million for the develpment of high performance fibers for protective apparel. The company will deliver ballistic shoot packs constructed from its proprietary Dragon Silk™ for performance testing.  Kraig Biocraft is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 12, 2016

Photo Source: BAE Systems

E-Textiles System Fabric Developed for Military Applications. There is a good article posted on the Daily Mail website that talks about the BAE Systems Broadsword Spine. The product is an e-textile conductive base fabric added to materials used to make products such as vests and backpacks, eliminating the need for heavy batterres to power different electronic devices the soldier carries. Broadsword Spine is a cooperative venture between BAE Systems and Integrated Technology Limited, both headquartered in the United Kingdom. The products, originally developed for the military, are now also being marketed to fire and rescue services. Click here to read the article posted on the Daily Mail website. Posted July 11, 2016

Source: Optifade

Reinventing Camouflage. There is an interesting article posted on the Outdoor website entitled "Meet the Man Who's Reinventing Camouflage" that describes how animals see colors differently than humans and the effort to mimic this difference into more effective camouflage patterns for outdoor hunting gear. The article tells about how avid hunter Jason Hairston helped found outdoor hunting gear maker Sitka and then partnered with fabric producer W.L. Gore to make a new line of camouflage hunting apparel and accessories using his patterns. Hairston left Sitka after Gore acquired it and started a new company called KIUI, a direct-to-consumer outdoor hunting supply company using his distinctive, high-contrast pattern. Click here to read the article. Posted July 11, 2016

Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc.

US Company Welcomes Early Ruling on Chinese Import Subsidy Findings. On June 28, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary determination that Chinese manufacturers have been illegally subsidizing certain amorphous silica fiber (ASF) used to insulate and resist extreme heat in industrial applications. The subsidization of these imports allows Chinese producers to sell ASF at artificially low prices in the US market, unfairly undercutting US-made products. The DOC has imposed provisional duties ranging from 4.3% to 104.1%, depending on the exporter. Kathie Leonard, President/CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), of Mechanic Falls, Maine, USA. said "Although these initial countervailing duty (CVD) margins show that Chinese exporters are receiving subsidies, we believe the final determination will yield even higher subsidy rates." AMI is the largest American producer of industrial grade ASF and is the principal supplier of the product to the US Navy and to US defense contractors.  AMI also believes the Chinese-made ASF is being sold to some US defense contractors for use in Navy ship construction which is a violation of the US Berry Amendment and Buy American requirements. Click here to read the AMI press release on the DOC announcement. Posted July 10, 2016

GeoCharlotte 2016 Announced for Charlotte. In what looks like a preview of the Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 conference and trade show, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), through its Geosynthetics Materials Association (GMA), is organizing an event called GeoCharlotte 2016. It will take place October 20, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C., USA, during the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2016. The one-day geosynthetics event will feature 7 presentations and a table-top exhibition. It is not clear from the announcement if the Geo-Institute, part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and co-partner in Geotechnical Frontiers, is involved in GeoCharlotte 2016. Geotechnical Frontiers will be held March 12-15, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., USA. Click here to see the announcement. Posted July 10, 2016

Slowing Demand for US Exports? US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures for May Released. In what may be a sign of a slowing global demand for the US, industrial fabric exports are showing a decline from last year's 12-month ending May 31. The US Department of Commerce has just released the May export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending May 2015 and 2016, plus a World total.  Again, in a pattern we have seen for several months amongst the top 5, exports to Mexico and the United Kingdom show increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong continue to show declines from 2015. (Data figures in thousands.) Troubling, though, is that the increases in Mexico and the UK are less than last year at the same time while the declines in China, Hong Kong and Canada are larger than the previous year for the same period. Click here to see the entire report. Posted July 8,2016




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Explosion Reported at Airbag Manufacturer Plant. The website reported a chemical explosion happened at the Key Safety Systems manufacturing plant in Lakeland, Fla., USA, on July 5. According to reports, no one was injured. The explosion occurred from a machine in the building that makes pellets used in airbags. Key Safety Systems is a manufacturer of airbags. The company was recently purchased by Chinese automotive conglomerate Ningo Joyson Electronics. Click here to read the article. Posted July 7, 2016

Filtration Industry Growth to be Celebrated at 25th Annual Filtration Event. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, will celebrate the strength and growth of the filtration market at its 25th anniversary edition of the Filtration International Conference & Exposition in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, November 8-10. It was started as a small conference in a hotel setting in 1991 by INDA, then in collaboration with the American Filtration & Separations Society. Filtration 2016. Attendees will toast the 25th anniversary milestone at the industry reception November 9 on the show floor. Click here to read the INDA press release about the celebration. Posted July 6, 2016

Foreign Trade Zone Designation Allows US Company to Stay Competitive. There is a nice article in the Lowell Sun News website on the help Claremont Flock Corp. is getting by recently being designated in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). Claremont, located in Leominster, Mass., USA, is a manufacturer of flock material from uncut acrylic fibers. They get the fiber from Portugal. The FTZ designation allows Claremont to be exempt from the 7.5% import tax on the imported acrylic fibers and more competitive with companies based outside the US making flock materials. BeaverLake6 Report frequent contributor David Trumbull helped assist Claremont with the application process. Mr. Trumbull is a licensed custom broker and an expert on textile trade agreements. Click here to read the article. Posted July 6, 2016

British Coated Fabrics Producer Saw Mixed Performance in 1st Half of 2016. Performance materials maker Low & Bonar PLC on Wednesday posted increases in revenue and profit in its first half, and said it remained confident of meeting its full year expectations, as its focus turns to resolving operational issues and finding a solution for its joint venture. The company, which makes yarns, fibers, industrial and coated fabrics and composite materials, reported pretax profit of GBP8.3 million for the six months to May 31, up 6.4% from the GBP7.8 million posted for the same period a year earlier, driven by a 6.3% rise in revenue to GBP180.6 million from GBP169.9 million. However, the Coated Technical Textiles division saw a mixed performance, with sales flat on a constant currency basis, and market conditions for its Bonar Natpet joint venture, in the Gulf Cooperation Council region remain "difficult" with activity levels "still very low". Click here to read an article posted on the website London South East for more information on the company's performance. Posted July 6, 2016


EuroGeo6 Relocated to Slovenia. In a letter today to IGS members, Dr. Russell Jones, president of the International Geosynthetics Society IGS), said the organizers of 6th European Geosynthetics Congress (EuroGeo6) have moved quickly and announced that they have managed to relocate the conference to Ljubljana, Slovenia, keeping the same conference dates. Posted July 5, 2016

BREXIT Dooms T-TIP? Does the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European Union end the proposed Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP) between the United States and the European Union (EU)? In a June 28 editorial on his Textiles and Trade website, textile trade agreement expert David Trumbull wrote that with the British exit, both the EU and the US must now regroup on its trade positions, and that the current agreement is "dead." Click here to read Mr. Trumbull's editorial. Readers may recall that in March, BeaverLake6 Report predicted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was also not going to pass in the US Congress given the lack of support by both presidential party leaders. Two signature trade agreements for President Barrack Obama are now in deep trouble. Click here to read the BeaverLake6 Report editorial from March 23, 2016. Posted June 30, 2016

EuroGeo6 to Relocate After Terrorists Attack of Istanbul Airport. The local organizing committee for the 6th European Geosynthetics Congress (EuroGeo6) has made the decision to relocate the event scheduled for September 25-28, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. The move was made because of increasing foreign visitor concerns over safety after the recent terrorist attack on the international terminal at the Istanbul airport. In a letter posted on the event's website, Prof. Dr. Erol Guler, Chairman of Turkish IGS Chapter and EuroGeo6, announced the Organizing Committee will work with the International Geosynthetics Society to keep the same dates but relocate EuroGeo6 to another country. The conference is held once every four years. Click here to go the EuroGeo6 website to read the entire letter. Posted June 30, 2016

EU Technical Textiles Experience Trade Surge with the US in 2015. According to a EURATEX press release issued June 29, "Technical Textiles continued to represent a very large share of textile product exports outside the EU. This change was reflected in a +5.3% increase. The USA was the main customer in this category by a broad margin - buying 19% of goods, an increment of +13.4%." The figures are included in an extensive market analysis for 2014-2015 that is available by EURATEX (the European Apparel and Textile Confederation). Click here to read the entire press release. Posted June 30, 2016


North Carolina State University Testing New US Homeland Security Uniforms. Mission Ready Services Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, is supplying 170 uniforms for systems-level testing by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the US Department of Homeland Security through its subsidiary Protect The Force Inc. (PTF). [We think this subsidiary gets Mission Ready compliant with the Berry Amendment requirement.] In cooperation with NCSU, PTF has been developing and refining an Advanced Multipurpose Base ensemble for Emergency Responders ("AMBER") for the DHS. The AMBER project aims at developing a next generation uniform that integrates state of the art technologies including flame resistance, blood-borne pathogen protection, water repellency, improved comfort, integrated knee pads, high visibility features among other features. Click here to read the Misson Ready press release. Posted June 28, 2016

Fabric Bridge Enchants Visitors. The artist Christo has done many projects using fabrics over the years but perhaps none has captured the enchantment and thrill of his latest creation called The Floating Piers. So many visitors have traveled to Lake Iseao in Italy to experience the latest work that officials have had to close the project to the public from midnight to 6:00 am each night to repair the worn fabric that makes up the walkway. Since it opened on June 18, more than 350,000 visitors have walked on the fabric pier. The Floating Piers is more than 1.9 miles long and uses 100,000 sq. meters of fabric, covering the more than 220,000 floating cubes. Click here to learn more about the project. Posted June 27, 2016

ITMA ASIA + CITME 2016 Online Registration Open. Are you attending the largest textile machinery show in Asia? Online registration is now open for ITMA ASIA + CITME 2016. You can save 40% off the onsite registration fee by ordering now. This is the 5th edition of the event and is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors. The show is taking place October 21-25, 2016 in Shanghai, China. Click here to purchase badges online. Posted June 27, 2016

Smart Fabric Technology That Will Change the World. Screw the current smart fabric wearables...or at least that is the premise of an article posted on the TechRadar website in giving us an overview of new smart textile products which will soon be coming to the military and consumers. The article covers a few new material developments including metamaterials intended for invisible camouflage uniforms, coating materials that can be used on ballistic vests to make them stronger than Kevlar and other aramid woven fabrics, and new materials that will replace environmentally harmful petroleum-based fabrics. A nice quick read that will give your imagination a test on possible applications. Click here to read. Posted June 27, 2016

Small Company Developing Innovative Smart Parachute for Military. Many small companies are making vital contributions to new products being used by military forces. The Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine, USA) has a really interesting story of father and son Bob and Stan Farrell and their small team working out of a farmhouse in Manchester, Maine, developing controllable military unmanned supply parachutes using smart material technology.  Wires are woven into the parachute fabrics which shoot short burst of electricity to control flaps for changing the speed and direction. At one point during the Afghan conflict, the US was making more than 10,000 supply drops a month, many of them inaccurately landing miles away from the targeted drop. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is also interested in their technology and recently awarded a $114,000 Small Business Innovative Research Phase 1 grant to help develop the application for use in controlled spacecraft landings. Click here to read the article. Posted June 27, 2016

Panama Canal Expansion Involved Technical Textiles. After 10 years and $5.4 billion, the Panama Canal officially opened its expanded locks yesterday, tripling the capacity of container ships making the 11 hour journey between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. One of the hidden critical materials used in the Canal's expansion was a PP nonwoven geotextile made by Italian producer Manifattura Fontana S.p.A. The material protected and strengthened the waterproof geomembrane material in the water basins serving 18 locks on the Canal. The polypropylene staple fiber used in the geotextile was made by Belgium-based Beaulieu Fibres International. Click here to check out information supplied by Beaulieu Fibres on LinkedIn. Posted June 27, 2016

Awning Shop Damaged by Fire in Nebraska. Lincoln Patio and Awning of Lincoln, Neb, USA, sustained substantial water damage as a result of a fire in an apartment located above the facility. Lincoln Patio and Awning is a division of Lincoln Tent. It was established in 1905. Click here to read a brief article about the fire. Posted June 26, 2016

US Military Supplier of Parachutes Sued. The San Diego Union Tribune (San Diego, Calif., USA) has posted an article on a lawsuit brought on by the parents of a US Navy Seal who died in a training exercise. The manufacturer is Airborne Systems of North America CA. The lawsuit alleges a design defect in the reserve chute caused it to deploy prematurely, killing Navy Seal Chief Petty Office Bradley Cavner. The parachute is the MC-6 personnel parachute system, a steerable parachute used throughout US Special Operations Command. An investigation has found at least 4 other situations where the reserve parachute opened prematurely. Click here to read the article. Posted June 26, 2016 

Complying with Updated Regulations on FR Vests. There is an informative article posted on the National Safety Congress' website Safety+Health that covers the new updated high-visibility regulations on FR vests. The article addresses the compliance of both ANSI 107 (high visibility) and OSHA 1910.269 (flame resistant) regulations. The article is written by Gary Zumstein, Glen Raven Technical Fabric's vice president of development/technical and international sales for GlenGuard. Click here to read the article. Posted June 26, 2016

AATCC Announces Flammability Symposium. AATCC, the Association of Textile, Apparel & Materials Professionals, has announced it is organizing a flammability symposium called Shining a Light on Flammability in Textile Applications. The event will be held September 21-22, in Cary, N.C., USA. The symposium will have 20 presentations covering materials used in personal protection including the military and commercial markets, as well as topics such as the differences between "inherent" fiber and "topical" treatments. Click here to find more information. Posted June 23, 2016

Alphabet and Cintas Partner to Develop Smart Garments. Alphabet, the holding company for Google, and work uniform manufacturer Cintas, announced  on June 16 a collaboration under which Cintas will work with the Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Group (ATAP) to explore methods to move Project Jaquard into potential more applications. Project Jacquard's aim is to create smart garment technology. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Oh., USA, Cintas Corporation designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs. Click here to read a post on this announcement from the BidnessEtc website. Posted June 22, 2016

Development of Bullet-Resistant Vests for EMS. The website EMSWorld has an informative article posted on the development of bullet-resistant vests for emergency medical services (EMS). Chris Taylor, the author, works for SafeGuard Armor, a provider of protective clothing for journalists, security and EMS personnel. Mr. Taylor talks about the blending of material, comfort of the product, and the types of situations faced by EMS that makes it necessary for wearing the vests. Recommended read for a quick understand of the EMS market. Click here to read. Posted June 22, 2016

Israeli Textile Company Claims It Can Make Any Fabric Antibacterial. According to an article posted on The Times of Israel website, the Israeli-based Nano Textile has developed a technology that can transform any fabrics into one that kills bacteria. The cost-effective technology permanently prevents the growth of bacteria on both natural and synthetic fibers, can prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections, and can reduce cross contamination between patients and medical staff. The textile is transformed by embedding zinc-oxide nanoparticles onto the fabric. Click here to read the article. Posted June 22, 2016

Composite Manufacturer Expands Its Presence on the European Aerospace Market.  Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has acquired the assets of MIPNET Industries operating under the brand JTT Composites. Based at a new facility near Bordeaux, France, JTT Composites supplies the regional aerospace market and sells composite parts designed with its RT2i weaving technology. Saint-Gobain is a manufacturer of high-performance building materials. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted June 22, 2016

London Textile Show Organized for October 2016 Will Include Technical Textiles. The next edition of Texfusion will be at the London World Textile Fair October 19-20. Texfusion will have a hall dedicated to technical fabrics including functional active wear, and sportswear textiles. This will be the third edition of Texfusion. The organizer expects about 100 exhibitors. Click here to go to the Texfusion website to learn more about the event. Posted June 22, 2016

Registration Now Open for OUTLOOK Plus Latin America. Registration for the second OUTLOOK™ Plus Latin America Conference is now open. The event, taking place March 7-9, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. is focused on the hygiene, personal care, and medical nonwovens market segments in Latin America. The organizers are EDANA and INDA, the two major industry nonwovens associations. Last year's inaugural event in Brazil attracted more than 250 visitors. Watch for more information on the INDA and EDANA websites. Posted June 22, 2016

Mexican Wide-Format Print Show Sold Out. The organizer of FESPA Mexico 2016 has announced exhibition floor space for the wide-format and digital printing show taking place August 18-20, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico, is now sold out. The show's website lists 85 exhibitors. FESPA Mexico is organized by the Federation of European Screen Printing Associations (FESPA). This is the 9th edition of FESPA Mexico. The 2015 show in Mexico drew more than 9,000 visitors. Click here to go to the event's website. Posted June 21, 2016

Nonwoven Conference Issues a Final Call for Papers. A final call for papers has been issued by the organizers of the Third International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications. The conference is taking place March 7-8, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic. Topic areas for abstracts include smart fabrics, substrates for digital printing and signage, and nonwoven applications used in storage and generation of energy. Submissions should be made by email to Nick Butler, Conference Committee, no later than June 30, 2016. Mr. Butler's email address is Click here to view the event's website. Posted June 21, 2016

Source: Outback Swags website

Australian-Made Swag Tent Hits the US Market. At BeaverLake6 Report we had never heard the term "swag tent' used but apparently it is known in Australia. According to an article posted on the website GearJunkie, "swags are a style of heavy-duty shelter aimed at the individual car camper. They often have built-in mattresses..." As the article says, it's a "no-fuss" heavy-fabric personal shelter, complete with an integrated 2-inch egg-shell foam bottom. Outback Swags is the small Australian company which launched into the US market three months ago. Click here to read the entire article posted on the GearJunkie website. Posted June 21, 2016

US House Textile Supporters Thwart Effort to Undermine Berry Amendment. The US House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill on June 16 despite an effort that included South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford to weaken the Berry Amendment which requires the US Armed Forces to buy US-made textiles and textile-made products if available. The move by Congressman Sanford revolves around the requirement of the purchase of athletic shoes. Augustine Tantillo, CEO and President of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), sent out a press release today, lauding the work led by Senator Lindsey Graham in preserving the Berry Amendment during consideration of the Act. Posted June 20, 2016

Source: Blue Origin

Spacecraft Planned Parachute Fail Test Successful. Technical fabrics continue to play a vital role in space exploration efforts. Spacecraft developer Blue Origin had a successful test of its rocket and space capsule today. The highlight of the test, which sent a rocket to more than 100 kilometers into the sky, was the planned test of simulating failure for one of the three parachutes bringing the New Shepard 6-person space capsule back down for a safe landing. Blue Origin is a private company headquartered in Kent, Wash., USA. Click here to see the YouTube video of the event. Posted June 20, 2016

Wearing "Bulletproof" Apparel in Style. The website for Forbes magazine has a neat article posted on the future of men's fashion that takes into account the "ever-changing world" travelers may encounter where there is high risk of kidnapping or violence. The article features many pictures and descriptions of fashionable "bulletproof" and "cutproof" designer menswear, whether it's for a low-key informal dinner or a highly sensitive power meeting. Click here to read the article and see the designs. Posted June 16, 2016. 

Photo Source: Kudumija Trade

Croatia Event Tent Manufacturer and Renter Featured. There is a very nice article posted on the Total Croatia News website on Kudumija Trade, a family-managed tent manufacturer and renter located in Bjelovar, Croatia. The company was created in 1990 by brother and sister Dario and Jasnica Kudumija. They started the business as an event catering service; began renting tents in 1998; and, then in 2003 deciding to manufacture their own tents. They have 85 employees and have expanded beyond Croatia, with over 30% of the sales coming from exports including strong market presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. They also manufacture tarpaulins and awnings. Click here to read the article. Posted June 15, 2016 

New Regional North Carolina Foreign Trade Zone Proposal Moving Forward. The Wilmington Biz website has an article posted regarding the progress of a new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) that's being proposed in the coastal North Carolina region of the US. The FTZ, first proposed in April 2014, has resulted in the North Carolina Department of Transportation submitting an application for the proposed FTZ 214, a region that encompasses 22 eastern North Carolina counties. Usually a FTZ is site-specific designated. According to the Wilmington Biz website post, the new site format allows any busines within the 22 country region to create a trade zone around its site. Click here to read the entire article. Posted June 15, 2016

New Indian Military Parachutes Deemed Unsafe. According to an article posted on The Times of India website, a new parachute developed after 13 years for the Indian special forces has not only failed field trials but have also been classed as "seriously life threatening," in an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The new combat free fall (CFF) parachutes had a 75% failure rate in field trials.[Yikes] The parachutes were developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) lab and made by the Ordnance Parachutes Factory in Kanpur, India. Click here to read the article. Posted June 10, 2016

Dr. Russell Jones (l) and Dr. Robert Koerner Source: Geosynthetica

Lifetime Predictions for Geosynthetics Discussed. Unlike many applications for technical textiles, geosynthetics used in civil engineering projects are for the most part expected to last for decades. There is an excellent interview up on the website that has Dr. Russell Jones, President of the International Geosynthetics Society, talking with the Geosynthetic Institute‘s Dr. Robert Koerner to discuss GSI’s 12-year study on the long-term performance and aging of geotextiles and geomembranes, with a focus on the applicability of the research for lifetime predictions. Dr. Koerner is truly one of the pioneers in the geosynthetics industry with his research going back more than 4 decades. The interview took place in April in Miami during GeoAmericas 2016, the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics. Click here to go to view the interview. Posted June 9, 2016

Nick Pritchard

Profile of Gale Pacific Leader. The Australian Business Review has published a nice profile on Gale Pacific's CEO Nick Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard describes how he returned to Gale Pacific after an absence of 10 years to help turn around the company. He has focused on what the company did best -- making high quality technical textiles. Fifteen brands have been reduced down to four -- three retail and one commercial. Gale's key commercial markets are agricultural, architectural, industrial, horticultural and mining. Click here to read the article. Posted June 7, 2016

EDANA Elects Board of Governors, Welcomes New Chairperson. EDANA, the Brussels-based international association for the nonwovens and related industries, has announced the results of the Board election at its Annual General Meeting. Martin Rapp has been chosen as Chairperson for 2016-2017. Mr. Rapp is Vice President and General Manager of Composites Fibers at Glatfelter Gernsbach in Germany. Mikael S. Axelsen (Fibertex Personal Care, Denmark) and Pieter Meijer (McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe, Germany) were confirmed as Vice Chairs to the Board for 2016-2017, supported by Paul Eevers as Treasurer (Unilever, Belgium). Additionally, the following Governors currently serving on the Board were elected for an additional 3-year term: Mikael Staal Axelsen (Fibertex Personal Care, Denmark), Frank Heislitz (Freudenberg Performance Materials, Germany), Enno Henze (Johns Manville, U.S.A.), Krzysztof Malowaniec (Paul Hartmann, Germany), and Christian B. Marx (DuPont de Nemours International, Switzerland). Click here to read the entire EDANA press release. Posted June 7, 2016

Clustered airbags made with material from Bradford Industries used in Mars landing craft.

US Coated Fabric Producer Bradford Industries Acquired. Although no formal announcement has yet been made, several industry sources have confirmed today to BeaverLake6 Report that Bradford Industries, Inc., headquartered in Lowell, Mass., USA, has been sold to Wembly Enterprises, a private equity company, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., USA. Wembly already has other coated fabrics, resins and plastics companies in its management portfolio. The purchase is effective today (June 6). Bradford was founded in 1967 and has emerged to become one of the leading producers of coated materials for high-tech applications including military and sport parachutes, hot air balloons, high performance industrial glove materials, protective apparel, multi-functional tape products, automotive airbags, and architectural building membranes. Bradford 's president Dick Satin, is reportedly leaving the company. The new president is Stephen Olsen, most recently the executive vice president of Marketing & Business Development at Nylon Corporation of Americas, another company owned by Wembly. Bradford's new name will be Bradford Coatings, LLC, d/b/a as Bradford Industries. The formal announcement of the acquisition is expected from Wembly in the next few days. Posted June 6, 2016; [ Update June 8: Mr. Satin confirmed to BeaverLake6 Report the company has been sold and he is leaving the company.]

Chinese Automotive Supplier Considering Acquiring Takata. According to the Automotive News website and several other media outlets, China's giant automotive parts supplier Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation is considering acquiring Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corp. Last year Joyson purchased US airbag manufacturer Key Safety. A combination of Key and Takata would make Joyson the largest airbag manufacturer in the world. Click here to read the article. Posted June 6, 2016

Source: US Navy

US Navy Seeking 80 Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats. According to the website for Shephard Media, the US Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) is seeking to replace its aging rigid-hull inflatable fleet used by the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center. It is soliciting for up to 80 boats over the next 5 years.  The boats, called Multi-use EOD Response Craft (MERC), will be about 9 meters in length and be in 3 different styles. Click here to read the full article. Posted June 6, 2016

UK thread Company Acquires Manufacturer of High Performance Fibers, Yarns and Tapes. Coats, an international industrial thread manufacturer headquartered in the UK announced today it has acquired Gotex, a Spanish-based designer and manufacturer of high performance fibers, yarns and tapes used in the telecommunications, energy, and oil and gas industries. Gotex will now become part of Coats Specialty. According to the Coats' press release, Gotex's unique fiberglass coating technology and products will complement Coats' existing aramid product range. Click here to read more. Posted June 6, 2016 

US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures for April Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the April export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending April 2015 and 2016, plus a World total (including the top 5 countries). Overall, US exports are showing a very slight decline from last year's 12-month ending April 30. In a pattern we have seen for several months amongst the top 5, exports to Mexico and the United Kingdom have shown increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong continue to show declines from 2015. (Data figures in thousands.) Click here to see the entire report. Posted June 6, 2016




Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong




United Kingdom




World 4,195,714 4,155,966 -0.19


US Rep. Mark Walker

Textiles and Tariff Champion. There is an interesting blog on the Greensboro News & Record website (Greensboro, N.C., USA) about the impact of the recent passage of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in the US Congress. The columnist interviews Leib Oehmig, Glen Raven's president and chief operating officer, on the cost of the lack of the MTB for a number of years. Glen Raven is the producer of Sunbrella, a woven solution-dyed acrylic fabric. The previous MTB had failed to get renewed in 2012, and Mr. Oehmig says the import tax since then has cost Glen Raven millions of dollars. The MTB eliminated tariffs on specialty imports such as the acrylic fibers. Click here to read the article. Posted June 3, 2016   

Chinese Company Plans Space Parachuting Trips. Still looking for that special vacation? According to the website Travel Daily Media, a company in China is planning to allow people to travel to the edge of space in a balloon, then parachute back down to Earth wearing a special high-altitude protective suit. Cost will be around $77,000 for the balloon ride. Click here to read more. Posted June 3, 2016

Safety Apparel Company Acquires DRIFIRE. National Safety Apparel announced yesterday the company has acquired DRIFIRE from Optimer Brands based in Chicago, IL., USA. DRIFIRE is a brand of technologically advanced performance safety apparel that was first used to protect military personnel. The acquisition of DRIFIRE further increases National Safety Apparel’s portfolio of flame resistant (FR) brands and adds another market leader to their already established “House of Brands”. Click here to read the National Safety Apparel press release on the acquisition. Posted June 2, 2016

German Cable Structures Company Acquires FabriTec.  German-based PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH, with its business unit, Cable Structures, has acquired an ownership interest in FabriTec Structures and its sister company, Guard-All Building Solutions. FabriTec, one of the leading companies in North America and South America, is a design and build tension membrane structure company.   Guard-All Building Solutions provides wide span, frame-supported, fabric buildings. FabriTec and Guard-All are based in Dallas, Texas, USA. The new combined team will have offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Poland, Qatar, Singapore and China, Last year, PFEIFER acquired Covertex, another design, engineering, fabricating and installing membrane company. Click here for more information on the FabriTec acquisition announcement. Posted June 2, 2016

US Yarn Company Acquired. Hamilton International has announced its acquisition of TSI Yarns (formerly Texturing Services, Inc.). TSI, based in Martinsville, Va., USA, was founded in 1987 as Texturing Services, Inc. It has the largest air jet texturing facility in North American. Hamilton, based in Atlanta, Ga., USA, USA, is one of TSI Yarns distributors. According to company executives, the transaction combines Hamilton's fiber sourcing expertise with TSI Yarns' manufacturing and development. Our thanks to fiber industry consultant Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the purchase. Posted June 2, 2016

Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi

National Spinning Announces New Board Member. National Spinning Co., Inc., has announced the election of Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi to the company's board of directors.                      Dr. Pourdeyhimi is well known in the technical textiles industry. He is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and the Associate Dean for the Industry Research and Extension at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He also serves as Director of The Nonwovens Institute at NCSU. National Spinning is based in North Carolina, and is a yarn spinner and dyer, supplying yarn for apparel, home furnishings, consumer, protective and industrial uses. Click here to read the entire company press release on Dr. Pourdeyhimi. Posted June 2, 2016

Source: ShoreSox

Soil Erosion Tube Sox in the News. There is a nice article on the Minneapolis Star-Tribune website on a Minnetonka, Minnesota soil erosion product company called ShoreSox. The company, founded in 2001, makes an environmentally-friendly burlap mesh tube that is filled with organic materials such as corn husks or tree mulch. Company founder Daniel Schaaf says his biggest competitor is a company in India which fills its socks with coconut husks. Click here to read the article. Posted June 1, 2016

Success! The space station now hosts the new fully expanded and pressurized Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the Tranquility module. Pressurization of the BEAM restarted at 4:34 p.m. EDT, yesterday and the eight tanks filled with air completed full pressurization of the module 10 minutes later at 4:44 p.m. NASA technicians determined the original failure to inflate on May 26 was due to unexpected friction which occurred from the tightly packed layers of fabrics. BEAM’s pressure will be equalized with that of the International Space Station, where it will remain attached for a two-year test period. The module measured just over 7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter in its packed configuration. BEAM now measures more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter to create 565 cubic feet of habitable volume. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. For more information about BEAM, visit: Posted May 29, 2016

Artist Rendition of Inflated Module Photo Source: Bigelow/NASA

Bigelow Fabric Module Fails to Inflate at International Space Station. Astronauts at the International Space Station were unable to fully inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) today. The module was brought to the station April 8 and attached without incident. After trying for two hours with only a marginal expansion, NASA decided to stop any further attempt until they had time to evaluate why it was not inflating properly. When fully inflated, BEAM will be 10.5 feet wide and contain 565 feet cubed of space. The walls are made of various layers of fabrics. (See our March 28 post for more about the BEAM mission.) NASA plans to provide more information at a news conference which will be streaming live at on Friday, May 27, at 12 p.m. EDT. Posted May 26, 2016

OUTLOOK™ Madrid 2016 Program Launched. EDANA, the international association representing the nonwovens and related industries, has announced the program of speakers and topics for the 15th anniversary edition of OUTLOOK™, a nonwovens personal care and hygiene products conference. The event will take place September 21-23, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. The program will start with a keynote speech by Geoffrey West from the Santa Fe Institute followed by keynotes from Robert Glaze, the Brenva Institute, and Markus Hengstschläger of the Institute of Medical Genetics of the Medical University of Vienna on the second day. Click here to go to the Outlook Madrid website. Posted May 26, 2016

Former Awning Company Owners Arrested. The owners of an awning company located in South Yarmouth, Mass., USA, were arrested in Broward County, Fla., for fraud charges. According to an article posted on the Cape Cod Times website, Scott Alan Maceachern and Damaris A. Skids were charged with larceny after an investigation regarding failure to provide services to customers while doing business as Awnings by Peterson in 2014 and 2015. Click here to read the article. Posted May 26, 2016

Too Important to the Industry to Fail? Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on Takata Corporation's decision to restructure and seek additional cash to cover the mounting costs of the massive airbag system recalls. One of its strategies is to get the automotive companies like Honda, its biggest customer, to help shoulder the financial burden of the recalls. As the article says, automotive manufacturers have a vested interest in keeping the beleaguered Japanese manufacturer in business. In addition to airbags, Takata is a major supplier to the industry of seat belts and steering wheels. There are only a handful of companies that make airbags and seatbelts and the company’s failure would put an impossible demand on the other suppliers to make up the capacity loss. Click here to read the WSJ article. Posted May 26, 2016  

Indictment of US Army Colonel for Berry Amendment Fraud. According to a press release today from the US Justice Department, Lt. Col. Frederick Lamar Burnett of the US Army has been indicted on three counts of fraud for allegedly trying to pass off Chinese-made baseball caps and backpacks instead of American made, as specified in the contract with the Army Recruiting Command which requires compliance to the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. The indictment claims that Mr. Burnett defrauded the Department of Defense on three contracts that he had through his company Lamar International Inc. Two of the contracts were for baseball caps and one was for backpacks. The three contracts were worth approximately $6.2 million and were all awarded between the years 2005 and 2007. Further, Mr. Burnett “negotiated and contracted with suppliers directly from China and with American companies who he knew were procuring the products from China. He hid their foreign manufacture by hiring workers on a cash basis to remove all the Chinese labels and repackage the items he sent to the Army Recruiting Command.” Click here to read the press release. Posted May 25, 2016

Jeff Price

Outgoing NCTO Chairman Gives State of the US Textile Industry Report. Textile World magazine has published the 2016 State of the U.S. Textile Industry report given by outgoing chairman Jeff Price at the recent meeting of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) held in Washington, D.C. Mr. Price gave a concise overview of key issues facing the domestic textile industry and the NCTO positions on these issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), the Berry Amendment, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Besides his NCTO involvement, Mr. Price is president of the Specialty Fabrics Division of Milliken & Company. Click here to go to the Textile World website to view Mr. Price's entire presentation. Posted May 25, 2016

JEC Develops New Composites Show Called "Experience Composites 2016 -- powered by JEC Group."  A new biennial composites show organized by the JEC Group is set to debut September 21-23, 2016 in  Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany. The Experience Composites 2016 - powered by JEC Group event is a collaborative project between Messe Augsburg, Carbon Composites e.V. and JEC Group. It is exploring new fiber materials and lightweight construction and will display composite fiber innovations and projects for mechanical and plant engineering in one of six industry display windows. Click here for more information on the event. Posted May 25, 2016

Canadian Government Proposes PFD Requirement for Float Plane Passengers. Transport Canada, the Canadian Federal government's transportation department, has released a proposed regulation which would require passengers on board commercial float planes wear personal flotation devices (PFDs). Currently, a number of the commercial services keep the PFDs in pouches in an accessable area for each passenger. If passed, the proposed regulation would not be expected to take effect for one year. Click here to read an article posted on The Globe and Mail website. Posted May 25, 2016

Aerospace Composite Material Supplier Opens New Innovation Center. Hexcel Corporation, an advanced composites manufacturing company, opened today a new $10 million Innovation Centre in Duxford, UK. According to a company press release, the Duxford site is Hexcel's largest center for research into resin systems and adhesives. Duxford will also be Hexcel's center of excellence for process technology, including product scale-up and research into new processes for making composite materials. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted May 24, 2016

Fabric Fire Retardant Webinar Planned. A webinar titled "Environmental and Regulatory Considerations of Flame Retardants" is taking place June 21, 2016. It is a session within a series of webinars organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) focused on fabric flammability issues. Speakers are Kristin Robrock, Ph.D., P.E. of Exponent, and Mark Duvall, Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. The session will be moderated by Haskell Beckham, Ph.D. of Exponent. Exponent is a scientific and consulting firm. Beveridge & Diamond is a legal firm with special focus on environmental and toxic substances. Click here to find out more about the webinar. Posted May 24, 2016 

Zero Stars for Indian Cars Submitted without Airbags in Latest Crash Tests. Well, go figure. The latest Indian crash test results from Global NCAP released May 17 in Delhi, finds India continues to disappoint with all five models rated as zero star. It is worth pointing out that none of the cars had airbags. Airbags are not mandatory for cars in India. The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon all showed low levels of adult occupant protection. Global NCAP is an NGO based in London which provides product rating services for industries including automotive. Maruti Suzuki defended their cars, saying the company met the existing Indian automotive safety standards. Things will be changing next year, however; India has formally adopted the Bharat NCAP standards for new cars starting in 2017 which require new cars to meet frontal crash test standards at 56 kilometers per hour. A recent Reuters report forecasted India's airbag industry will grow by 11% to $2 billion by 2020. In contrast, China's airbag industry growth will only be 9%. Click here to read the Global NCAP press release on the Indian testing. Posted May 23, 2016

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Coming Events

  • August 29 - September 1: OFFSHORE Northern Seas, Stavanger, Norway
  • September 6-9: Land Forces 2016, Adaelaide, Vic, Australia
  • September 13-15: NART 2016, Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • September 13-16: Filtration & Separation: Advances in Fiber Manufacturing and Application Technology Course, Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • September 14-15: FILTREX India 2016, New Delhi, India
  • September 14-16: 2016 SGIA Expo, Las Vegas, Nev. USA
  • September 15-16: 4th European Digital Textile Congress 2016, Ghent, Belgium
  • September 20-22: 55th Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Congress, Dornbirn, Austria

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


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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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Beaverlake6 Group, LLC

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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