BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Front Page News

Autoliv Initiates Strategy to Separate into Two Companies. The ripple affect in the airbag industry caused by the Takata fiasco is at the heart of the strategy by Autolive, Inc. to formally separate into two companies -- Passive Safety and Electronics. Passive Safety will contain the airbag systems, steering wheels and seatbelts segments of the company. This market segment is expected to grow from $20 billion in 2017 to $25 billion by 2025. Currently, Autoliv is the industry's leader with a 39% market share in passive safety products. Click here to read the company's press release on its strategic plans. Posted September 21, 2017

Composites Show Rescheduled. Wow. It took less than 14 days for CAMX 2017 to be rescheduled. After postponing the show due to Hurricane Irma, the show organizers have announced the event will be held December 12-14, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. USA. Details about confirming your registration for the new dates or requesting refunds will be sent via email as soon as possible within the next seven days. Additional information on the schedule at a glance, the conference program, and the exhibit hall is expected within the next 2-3 weeks. Congratulations to the show organizers and the staff at the Orange County Convention Center for its quick work. Posted September 17, 2017

3 Emerging Trends for the Geogrids Market. At BeaverLake6 Report, we have always looked with skepticism at the plethora of technical textile "market studies" being offered by market research firms. There seems to be a report available for every conceivable niche technical textile market segment, and most, quite honestly, just take previously available public market information, re-package it, and then charge an outrageous price. There is one, though, that came across our desk today by Technavio which offers some valid observations in its summary description of the geo grid (and geosynthetics) market, citing 3 market drivers. The trends are not "earth-shattering" revelations but they are valid not only for the geosynthetics industry but also for many other product segments: 1) Increasing mergers & acquisitions; 2) Adoption of natural material over synthetic materials; and, 3) Increasing investments in research and development. Click here if you want to see more in the summary description of the report. Posted September 15, 2017

Parachute Manufacturer Sued by Family of Killed Special Forces Soldier. In September 2015 US Army Special Forces Captain James Ahn was killed in a training accident when his reserve parachute failed to open properly. A subsequent Army investigation found that parachute manufacturer Airborne Systems North America had missed sewing a 4-inch ring in a riser, which guides the cords connecting the parachute to the backpack. The family of Captain Ahn has now filed suit against Airborne Systems for wrongful death. Click here to read more about the suit. Posted August 15, 2017 

Registration Opens for Middle East & North Africa Nonwovens Symposium 2018. EDANA, the European-based nonwovens trade association, has opened registration for the 4th edition of its MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Symposium.  The conference will be held February 6-7, 2018 in Dubai, U.A.E. The event will feature a trade show and an extensive educational track, showing the latest nonwoven industry trends and developments in technologies, markets and applications. Click here for more information. Posted September 14, 2017

Flax Cluster to be Established in Kaliningrad. The newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe is reporting in its September issue the Russian government will be providing subsidies for the establishment of flax production in the Kaliningrad region, the Russian province between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. According to the report, a significant part of the funds will be invested in a new flax processing plant. The majority of future production will be used for the medical, construction and military sectors. The newsletter is subscription-based. Click here to visit the publisher's website. Posted September 14, 2017

US Glove-Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection. Work glove manufacturer Ironclad Performance Wear Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 US federal bankruptcy in California. The company plans to continue to operate as normal due to a $2 million debtor-in-possession loan from Radians Wareham Holdings, Inc., ahead of a planned Section 363 company assets sale to Radians for $20 million. Radians is a manufacturer of work safety apparel. Ironclad was founded in 1998 and makes task-specific work gloves for many end markets including construction and military applications. Click here to read an article on the filing. Posted September 14, 2017

Hurricane Forces Postponement of CAMX Composites Show. Due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, CAMX - The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, scheduled for September 11-14, 2017 in Orlando, Fla., USA, had to be postponed. CAMX is the largest composites show held in North America. It is co-produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). The organizers are seeking a new site with the hope of still holding the event in 2017. Click here to read the official CAMZ press release on the postponement. Posted September 13, 2017

Nonwovens Company to Open Second Plant in Kentucky. Nonwoven fabrics manufacturer WPT Corp. has announced it will open a $6 million plant in Beaver Dam, Ky., USA. The plant will manufacture nonwoven materials for the hygiene and filtration end markets. This is the second operation in western Kentucky. Other products made by the company include nonwovens for landscape fabrics, cable wrap, fire-retardant roof membrane and hot oil filtration media. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

Hexcel Launches $9.79 Million Project to Create New Carbon Fiber Fabrics. Composite manufacturer Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday it will be launching a new UK government-back £7.4 million research and development project -- MAXIM -- and expanding its manufacturing facility in Leicester, East Midlands, UK. The 4-year Multi-Axial Infused Materials (MAXIM) project, backed by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and match-funded by the UK Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be responsible for developing cost-effective materials and manufacturing solutions for large aerospace and automotive composite structures. Hexcel will be installing a state-of-the-art machine for carbon non-crimp fabrics development. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted September 13, 2017

SDL Atlas Names Exclusive Germany and Switzerland Distributor. SDL Atlas, a manufacturer of textile testing solutions, has announced that Vebotech GmbH is now the exclusive distributor for its equipment in Germany and Switzerland. Vebotech, with headquarters in Mönchengladbach, Germany,  has over 40 years of experience with textile testing equipment and the textile industry in Europe. Click here for more information about the announcement. Posted September 8, 2017

Status of US Geosynthetics Manufacturing After Hurrican Harvey. Our good friend Chris Kelsey, editor of the website has done a quick check on the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas on the ethylene production supply line the key ingredient to making geomembrane liners. More than 40% of ethylene production is done in the region devasted by the flooding. Conclusion is that while the storm did shut down much of the production for a few days, the industry appears to be already recovering. Click here to read his report. Posted September 8, 2017

After Investigation, FDA Tells Hospitals the 3M Surgical Warming Lanket is Fine to Use. After receiving complaints related to possible hgher surgical infection risk when using the 3M Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated but has found no "conclusive" evidence of higher infections. Information released from the FDA recently showed that doctors and hospitals could safely continue to use the 3M forced-air warming blanket during surgery. This announcement comes after thousands of lawsuits were filed stating the devices increased the potential for serious surgical infections. The Bair Hugger device is a widely used system designed to help promote post-surgical healing while reducing the risk of infections. It does this by keeping a patient’s body a consistent temperature during surgery. Click here to read the press release. Posted September 6, 2017 

July US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end July 31. The overall global export figure showed a continued improvement that we began to see several months ago, increasing in July by almost 2.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, managed to increase slightly after months of small declines. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, again showed double-digit growth. Click here to see the entire report. 



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World 4,053,630 4,154,886 +2.50

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Posted September 6, 2017

Car and Driver Magazine Offers Look at New Material for Cars. Under the headline "Cabon Fiber is Old News", the publication Car and Driver has posted a very interesting and readable article about new materials which can be used inside automotive vehicles. "Smart textiles that detect an occupant's size, weight, temperature, and even mood, counteract fatigue, insulate the occupant from ambient noise, or simply change color." Click here to read this past-paced article. Posted September 6, 2017

Apple Applies for Three Fabric Patents for Apple Watch Bands. The US Patent & Trademark Office published 3 recent Apple patent applications regarding Apple Watch bands. One of the patents involves creating 3D braided fabrics that contain small embedded pockets. The second patent involves embedding electrical components. The third patent is for embedding sensing devices. Click here to read more posted on the IDropNews website with links to the actual patents. Posted September 6, 2017

New Airbag Plant in Vietnam. Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. announced August 30 its intention to build a new plant in Vietnam to meet growing demand for airbags as safety regulations become more stringent in regions around the world. The new plant will be established as a branch plant of Toyoda Gosei subsidiary Toyoda Gosei Haiphong Co., Ltd. (TGHP), and is expected to start production in July 2019. Click here to read more. Posted September 6, 2017

Dow DuPont Merger Complete. It's been kind of lost in industry trade news but the merger of chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont closed on August 31, 2017. The new company is called DowDuPont (DWDP). The company, however, is temporary. As it was originally intended when the two companies announced the merger two years ago, within 18 months DWDP plans to separate into 3 distinct companies -- agriculture, specialty products and materials. Almost all the fiber products known by the technical textiles industry including Kevlar®, Tyvek® and Nomex® will be found in the new specialty products company. Click here for more information. Posted September 5, 2017

To Cut Costs, 350 Fewer "Bulletproof" Vests Ordered by Indian State Police. Following a terrorist act in 2008 that exposed inferior ballistic armor vests used by its police force, the Indian state of Maharashtra had finally approved a request to procure 5,000 better vests from a Germany manufacturer. However, the Maharashtra police forgot about the Customs fee for foreign-made vests. As a result, the order had to be reduced to 4,650 vests. It seems there is government bureaucracy in every country. Click here to read the article posted on the Mubai Mirror website. Posted August 29, 2017

Automotive Seating Supplier to be Acquired. Adient PLC announced on August 21 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Futuris Group. The purchase price is approximately $360 million. Privately held Futuris is headquartered in Oak Park, Mich, USA. Futuris is a manufacturer of fully integrated automotive seating and interior systems with operations in 15 facilities across North America and Asia. Its primary customers are Tesla, Ford and General Motors. Adient, headquartered in Detroit, Mich., is a 2016 spinoff from Johnson Controls, Inc. Like Futuris, Adient is a global automotive seat system provider with 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries. Click here for more information about the acquisition. Posted August 29, 2017

W. L. Gore Fined $3.3 Million by Korean Fair Trade Commission. US fabric producer W. L. Gore & Associates (Hong Kong) Ltd. has been fined over $3 million by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for restricting sales of Gore-Tex clothes at big-store outlets to keep the price high for the material. According to the FTC report, Gore holds a dominating 60% share in the Korea fabric market for waterproof, breathable fabrics used in the outdoor industry. The relevant Fair Trade Act prohibits a company form unfairly imposing restrictions on its business partner's business activities. The period when this violation occurred was 2010 to 2012. Click here to report an article on the action. Posted August 29, 2017

Heart Monitoring Equipment Pouch

Small Heart Monitor Pouch Company Thrives in $20bn Medical Equipment Industry. There's a very nice feature article posted on The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La., USA) website on EME Company, Inc., EME, headquartered in Prairieville, La., is a textile manufacturer that produces hospital and personal use fabric products used in labor and delivery, ambulatory monitoring, EKG, personal ID and personal security. The operations include narrow web knitting, circular knitting, dye/finishing, ultrasonic welding, heat welding, heat laminating, film printing, label printing, die cut and sewing. Click here to read the article. Posted August 27, 2017

IFAI Announces Annual Business Meeting. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will hold its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., USA, on September 27, 2017, during its IFAI Expo. It appears from the press release, the Annual Meeting is open only to IFAI members; however, the business meetings of the 15 IFAI divisions and country sectors that are taking place September 27-2 are open for non-members to attend, allowing these specialized groups to showcase their activities to those attending the IFAI Expo who are not members of the organization. Click here to find out dates and locations of the events. Posted August 26, 2017

New Graphene Association Announces the Launch of International Conference. The recently formed National Graphene Association has announced the organization of Graphene Innovation Summit & Expo, to be held October 29-31, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Graphene is an ultra-thin two-dimensional layer of carbon that conducts electricity. Click here for more information about the association and the upcoming event. Posted August 25, 2017

Private Equity Company Acquires Tex Tech Industries. Arlington Capital Partners, a US private equity firm, announced yesterday it had acquired Tex Tech Industries, Inc. Tex Tech, headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA, is a manufacturer of a wide variety of woven and nonwoven technical textiles for end markets such as the military, filtration and aerospace. It has manufacturing operations in the US, Thailand and China. Click here for more information. Posted August 25, 2017

Russian Companies May Be Supplying Pyongyang with Aramid Fiber for Rockets. According to an article posted yesterday on the KoreJoongAng Daily website, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) may be illegally obtaining aramid fiber from a Russian company. The fiber is being used in its manufacture of casings for solid-fuel rockets The article quotes Michael Duitsman, a research associate with the US Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Mr Duitsman suggested that North Korea may be using the same fiber for its solid rocket casing as the type of fiber confiscated by Russian authorities in December 2016. Click here to read the article. Posted August 25, 2017

BRS Aerospace Appoints Fernando de Caralt as CEO. BRS Aerospace, a manufacturer of whole aircraft parachute systems, has named Fernando de Caralt as its chief executive officer. Mr. de Caralt had previously served as President and CEO of CIMSA Ingenierla de Sistemas, a parachute manufacturer located in Spain. BRS has supplied more than 35,000 parachute systems since its founding in 1980. It has manufacturing facilities in South St. Paul, Minn., USA and Pinebluff, N.C., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the appointment. Posted August 24, 2017

Lest We Forget: Robert Chapman III Passes. Inman Mills CEO Robert (Rob) H. Chapman III, died August 23, 2017. He was 66. Mr. Chapman was 5th generation family leadership of Inman Mills, headquartered in Spartanburg County, S.C., USA. His cousin Norman Chapman is the company's president. Inman is a manufacturer of yarns and fabrics for a wide variety of usage including technical textiles for the military, protective clothing and automotive markets. Mr. Chapman had also recently completed serving as the president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). Click here for more information. Posted August 24, 2017

Senior Management Changes at Key Safety Systems. Key Safety Systems (KSS), the airbag manufacturer which recently acquired the Takata Corp's airbag manufacturing operation, has announced Jason Luo has resigned as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Luo has taken the position of corporate VP, chairman and CEO of greater China for Ford Motor Company. Yuxin Tang will now become executive director and interim president of KSS, effective September 1, 2017. KSS also announced the formation of a new interim management committees to oversee the company's operations and planned transaction and integration with Takata. Click here to read the KSS press release. Posted August 24, 2017

Raven Industries to Acquire Colorado Lining. Raven Industries, Inc., announced yesterday that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Colorado Lining International, Inc., headquartered in Parker, Colo., USA. The approximate purchase price is $14 million. Raven, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., USA, is a manufacturer of high performance flexible films for the geosynthetics, lighter than air, buildingand agricultural industries. Colorado Lining is a geomembrane fabricator and installer and will now be operating under Raven's Engineered Films division. Click here to read Raven's press release. Posted August 23, 2017

Credit: US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Cente

Energized Fabrics Could Keep Soldiers Warm and Battle-Ready in Frigid ClimatesMuch of the US Army’s cold-weather hand gear was designed more than 30 years ago, so soldiers often opt to buy more technically advanced winter gloves at retail stores. To keep military personnel more comfortable and battle-ready in bitterly cold climates, scientists are now conducting research aimed at creating high-tech fabrics that heat up when powered and that capture sweat. These fabrics could also conceivably make their way to consumer clothing in the future. The researchers are presenting their results today at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C., USA. Click here to read the ACS press release on the presentation. Posted August 21, 2017

André Rollin

Lest We Forget: André Rollin. One of the early advocates for the use geosynthetics was André RollinM.Sc.A., Ph.D., FEIC, FCSME. He passed away August 123, 2017 in Hudson, Que., Canada. Mr. Rollin was a geotechnical engineer and industry consultant, conducting research and promoting the applications of geosynthetics since the 1970s. He served on many organizing and technical program committees for important geosynthetic events over more than 40 years including the international geosynthetics conferences organized by the International Geosynthetics Society, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and the North American Geosynthetics Society. Click here to read a nicely done obituary by Chris Kelsey on the website. Posted August 21, 2017 

Southern Weaving Being Acquired. Andreas Oppermann, President of Oppermann GmbH, a global manufacturer of textile webbing products, has announced his intent to acquire the assets of Southern Weaving Company. In the near term, Oppermann plans to continue operating the Southern Weaving facilities located in Greenville and Anderson, S.C., USA. Oppermann GmbH will continue to service webbing markets from its existing production facility in Piedmont, S.C. while undergoing a plant expansion capable of merging Greenville production within the next year. Southern Weaving’s current Anderson facility is planned to remain in operation in support of existing markets, customers and products. Oppermann is headquartered in Einbeck, Germany, where it also maintains a production facility. The company also operates plants in the UK, China and Slovakia, as well as the Piedmont facility (Oppermann Webbing, Inc.). Its products are used over a wide spectrum of applications in many international market segments, including industrial, transportation, construction and aviation. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the news. Posted August 17, 2017

Indorama Acquires DuraFiber Plants in Mexico and France. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has announced its intention to purchase DuraFiber Technologies México Operations, S. A. DE C. V. (DFT), makers of technical textiles for industrial, tire reinforcement and specialty applications as well as PET High Modulus Low Shrinkage (PET HMLS), PET Heavy Denier Industrial (PET HDI) and Nylon 6 which are used in tire cord, singly-ply roofing, tents, automotive airbags, seat belts, safety harnesses and ropes. IVL is also acquiring DuraFiber Longlaville in France. The acquisitions will significantly increased IVL's participation in the automotive market segment. Click here to read the IVL press release. Posted August 15, 2017

Search Committee Formed to Find New AATCC Executive Director. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) has formally announced an Executive Search Committee has been formed to hire a new AATCC Executive Director. John "Jack" Daniels, the current Executive Director, announced in July his intention to retire in March 2018. Individuals interested in applying should contact Amy Holland, AATCC's Business Services Director, at Posted August 14, 2017

Toray Industries to Build Technical Textiles Plant in India. According to The Hindu Business Line, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced today that Toray Industries will invest $146.7 million in a new manufacturing facility in the southern Indian state to make technical textiles. The plant will be located in Sri City. The facility will be part of Toray's India Expansion Plan. Click here to read the article. Posted August 11, 2017

US Structure Manufacturer Acquires $24.2 Million in Assets from Large Party Tent Supplier. Mahaffey Fabric Structures, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA, has announced its acquisition of $24.2 million in assets from Classic Party Rentals, once the largest commercial tent renter in the US. The acquisition amounts to 3.1 million square feet of tent and structure inventory. Classic Tent will continue to operate, primarily in the southwest US. With the asset purchase, Mahaffey, already a major fabricator of commercial fabric structures, becomes the largest tent rental (marquee hirer) supplier in North America. Click here to read more on the acquisition. Posted August 6, 2017

June US Technical Textiles Export Figures Released by Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end June 30. The overall global export figure showed improved results over the previous month's release, increasing by almost 1.5% over the same period last year.  Mexico, the top destination for technical textiles exports, has continued it slight month-by-month decline. China, the 3rd largest destination for exports, showed a large 17.59% increase. Click here to see the entire report. 



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World 4,080,980 4,141,593 +1.49

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Posted August 5, 2017

US Army Exercises Contract Option with Spider Silk Developer. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a  developer of spider silk based fibers, announced August 2 that the US Army awarded the optional phase of its contract with the company valued at more than $900,000. Under this exercised option, the Kraig Biocraft will work to design, produce, and deliver additional recombinant spider silk materials tailored for the protective needs of soldiers. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted August 4, 2017

Gehring-Tricot Subsidiary Expands to New Facility. According to an article posted on The Herald News website, Tweave, a manufacturer of stretch high performance sports fabric, is moving from its Norton, Mass., USA location to a larger facilty in Fall River, Mass. Tweave's markets include military and industrial applications. It is a subsidiary of Gehring-Tricot, acquired in 2008. Click here to read the article. Posted August 4, 2017

Photo: Google Maps

Another Awning Saves a Toddler. It's happened again. A toddler falls out the window and bounces on the fabric awning below, being saved from serious injury. This time it was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. A two-year old girl survived a 3-story fall when she landed on a store awning beneath her apartment window. Click here to read the story. Posted August 2, 2017

Photo Credit: MIT

MIT Hosts "Hackathon" to Created Functional Fabric Products to Aid Emergency Response.The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute, and MD5, a partnership between the US Department of Defense and a network of national research universities all came together July 29-31 to host a student hackathon to design novel solutions for the battlefield, disaster sites and other dangerous environments using technical textiles. Held at MIT, near Boston, Mass., USA, more than 20 teams of students participated. Two winning teams earned grand prizes of up to $15,000 for their products -- a sensor-laden clothing that detects potential injury which allows prioritization of care and a double-sided, multipurpose blanket for people displaced from their homes.  Click here to read more at the MIT News website. Posted August 2, 2017

Russia is Developing a Parachute System to Airdrop Armored Vehicles with Personnel Inside. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Russian Airborne Force is getting a new Bakhcha-UPDS multi-cupola parachute system in 2018. The parachute system will make it possible to air-drop the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. What's unique about the plan is that the crew will already be strapped into the vehicle when it is dropped from the transport plane, making it operation-ready as soon as it hits the ground. Click here to read the Russian article at the TASS website. Posted August 1, 2017

Wearable Shirt for Cows Keeps Them Cooler in Summer, Producing More Milk. This was recently posted by Lina Rambausek on the Smart Textiles group page in LinkedIn. A Japanese underwear manufacturer Gunze Ltd., in partnership with the Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, has developed a high-tech garment to keep cows from overheating. If a cow is heat-stressed, it produces less milk. The wearable shirt fits over the cow's neck and shoulders and has sensors that monitors the moisture of the material. If it senses the material is too dry, water is pumped through a tube to douse the animal, cooling the hide. Every day technical textiles is solving a problem. Click here to read more. Posted August 1, 2017

Glen Raven to Buy Sunbury Textiles. In a press release issued today, Glen Raven, Inc. announced it is acquiring Sunbury Textile Mills, headquartered in Sunbury, Penn., USA. Sunbury is a manufacturer of decorative jacquard fabrics. The company has already had a 20-year relationship with Glen Raven, having an exclusive license to produce Glen Raven's Sunbrella® fabrics for the outdoor/indoor furniture markets. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven, Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC. Click here to read the press release. Posted August 1, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Shows Significant Increase for 2nd Quarter of 2017. According to data compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, the order index for textile machinery during the period from April to June rose by 26% compared to the same period in 2016. The significant increase was in the Italian domestic market at +66%; however, even the foreign markets increased 22%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi expressed the satisfaction of the entire sector: “The data confirms that a recovery is currently underway for our domestic market. This is the third consecutive quarter that the order index is on the rise.” Posted August 1, 2017

More Robotics and Need for Trained Sewing Machine Operators Highlighted in Article. There is an interesting article posted on the technology website ZDNet on the growing trend of robotic sewers in the US as some end product manufacturing from companies like Nike and Adidas is coming back to the domestic shores. To be competitive, the US fabricators are turning to more robotics such as Atlanta-based SoftWear Automation's "Sewbots."  There is also a shortage of trained sewing operators.  The Industrial Fabric International Association's sewing training program is mentioned in the article. Click here to read the article. Posted July 29, 2017

Foss Manufacturing Sells Its Nonwovens Technical Textiles Division. Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC announced July 28, 2017 it has sold its Northern Division, which manufacturers needle punch nonwoven materials in Hampton, N.H., USA for automotive, craft and industrial applications, to AstenJohnson Holdings, Ltd. The new name of this division under AstenJohnson will be Foss Performance Materials. At the same time, the remaining independent independent Foss Manufacturing is rebranding to become Foss Floors. It is headquartered in Rome, Ga. USA. Posted July 28, 2017

Inflatable Boat Procurement Problems for Canadian Military. There's an interesting article posted on the CBC News website regarding the problems the Public Services and Procurement Canada has had in procuring 350 new inflatables landing craft for the Canadian military. The first request for competitive bids was issued in May 2016, was revised in July 2016, and then cancelled after questions from the industry regarding the expected performance specifications. The department then issued a second tender in November 2016 and received 4 bidders. In January 2017, the contact went to Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. of Delta, B.C, for about $6.4 million. But then came accusations of fair bid evaluation conduct. The department has now decided to cancel the Zodiac deal and start over again. Click here to read the article. Posted July 28, 2017

Newtex Acquires HIgh Temperature Fabic Distributor. US manufacturer Newtex , a producer of high temperature materials, announced yesterday that it has completed its acquisition of Thermostatic Industries, Inc., a Huntington Park, Calif., USA distributor of high temperature textiles and fabricated heat shield products. This acquisition adds a West Coast distribution for Newtex. The purchase of Thermostatic also gains Newtex the distribution rights to 3M's Nextel industrial materials. Click here to read the Newtex press release. Posted July 27, 2017

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet are pictured inside BEAM. Pesquet is also wearing the experimental SkinSuit. Source: NASA

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is Functioning in Space. Do you remember our posts last May about the launch and placement of the fabric Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) for the International Space Station (ISS)? It was only a prototype and expected to be tested for two years, then detached and left to burn up in the atmosphere. However, after being in space a full year, it has performed so well NASA says there is really no reason to throw it away and the new plan is to use BEAM as a storage module for as long as the ISS continues to operate. Meanwhile Bigelow Enterprises, the maker of the BEAM, plans to build a 20 times bigger module called the B330, intending it to be used as a stand-alone space station. Expected launch date is in 2020. Click here to read a post about the success of BEAM on the NPR website. Posted July 27, 2017

Canada's Transportation Safety Board Recommends Mandatory Personal Flotation Devices Be Worn on Commercial Fishing Vessels. Upon releasing its finding of a 2016 commercial fishing tragedy which claimed two lives, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) recommends to the government of New Brunswick that it requires crews on fishing vessels to wear suitable personal floatation devices (PFDs) at all times on deck. Currently, New Brunswick is one of only two provinces which does not have a mandatory PFD requirement for fishing crews. Click here to read an article posted on the Markets Insider website. Posted July 27, 2017 

Lest We Forget: Former ITG President Dies. International Textile Group (ITG) former President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga died unexpectedly on July 22, 2017. He was 65 years old. Mr. Gorga was named president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C., USA, company upon its formation 2004. ITG has 5 companies under its management, including Burlington Labs and automotive safety products fabric supplier Safety Components International. During his industry career, Mr. Gorga had also served in voluntary leadership positions including as a director and vice chairman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and chairman of the National Textile Association. Click here to read his obituary in the Triad Business Journal. Posted July 26, 2017  

JEC Returns to Chicago in 2018, Ending Event's Co-Location with Techtextil North America. As we speculated a couple of weeks ago, the JEC Group has announced its "The Future of Composites in Construction" will not be co-locating again in 2018 with Techtextil North America (TTNA) in Atlanta May 22-24. One of the impediments to the co-location is the TTNA already established May dates which overlap the SAMPE composite show set for Long Beach, Calif., USA. The 2017 JEC event in Chicago last month attracted 3,096 visitors, including 550 attendees to the conference segment. The JEC press release also revealed the show will be in Chicago again in 2019. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Chip Fuller

Strata Systems Announces Retirement of Company Co-Founders. Our good friends at are reporting global geosynthetics manufacturer Strata Systems, Inc. has announced company co-founders Chip Fuller and Rich Enger are retiring. Also retiring is the company's long-time Project Manager Dave Butchart.  Mr. Fuller and Mr. Enger co-founded the company in 1994. In 2009, the company was acquired by Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. Congratulations to all three for a lifetime of service in growing the applications and acceptance of geosynthetics. Click here to read the short post on the website. Posted July 26, 2017

Saint-Gobain Acquires German Scrim Manufacturer. Advance fabric manufacturer Saint-Gobain has announced its acquisition of Kirson, a major European producer of reinforced scrim and combination products of scrim and nonwoven fabrics. In 2016, Kirson revenues reached 27 million euros. The acquisition is pending German government antitrust review. Click here to read the company press release. Posted July 26, 2017

Labor Issue Settled at Trelleborg US Plant. The union representing Trelleborg AB workers at the company's Fair Haven Heights plant in New Haven, Conn., USA, have approved a new contract. Trelleborg, a Swedish-based coated fabrics manufacturer, had recently acquired the plant through its purchase of Uretek. This was the first contract with the workers since the purchase and the employees were concerned about lost benefits and the removal of job protection language from previous contacts. Workers started picketing the plant as the old contract was set to expire (see our June 24 post). While Telleborg remained firm on several key issues in the new offered contract, the company did offer increased wages and improved some minor working conditions. The union passed the new contract on July 1 with a near unanimous vote. Click here to read an article on the issue posted on the New Haven Independent website. Posted July 24, 2017

New FHWA Report Estimates Construction Costs Grew By 68% in Past 13 years. If you supply geosynthetics or other materials to help maintain the US infrastructure, you may be interested in the report the US Federal Highway Administration released on July 19. The report is the National Highway Construction Cost Index, which is a quarterly estimate of the rising cost of domestic highway construction and maintenance over time. It is the first time the Index has been published since the agency made major methodological revisions to improve its accuracy. The new report shows construction costs today are up by 67% from similar costs in 2003. Click here to read the FHWA press release and find out more about the report. Posted July 24, 2017

Daniels to Retire from AATCC. After 21 years of service, Executive Vice President John Y. "Jack" Daniels will retire from AATCC on March 2, 2018. AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The organization provides test method development, quality control materials and professional networking in more than 80 countries. A search committee has been formed to find Mr. Daniels' successor. Click here to read the AATCC press release announcing the retirement plans and Mr. Daniels' accomplishments in his distinguished career. Posted July 17, 2017

Standard to Provide Terminology for Smart-Textile Industry. According to an ASTM press release, a proposed ASTM International standard will support continued growth of the smart-textiles industry by outlining common terms that can be used as the textiles and electronics industries converge and new products are introduced into the market. The standard, created by ASTM International’s Committee on Textiles (D13), will include definitions that help differentiate various products and components. According to members of the committee, the standard will help buyers – both businesses and consumers – better understand what smart-textiles products they are purchasing. Click here to read the organization’s press release. Posted July 17, 2017

Firefighter Protective Clothing Maker to be Acquired. MSA Safety Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, has announced its intention to acquire Globe Holding Company LLC, in an all-cash transaction valued at $215 million. Globe, based in Pittsfield, N.H.,, is the US's largest provider of firefighter protective clothing and boots, with annual revenue of approximately $110 million. Click here to read the MSA press release. Posted July 15, 2017

ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics Honors Y. Grace Hsuan With L. David Suits Award. Congratulations to Dr. Y. Grace Hsuan, professor, at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has received the L. David Suits Award from ASTM International’s Committee on Geosynthetics (D35). The committee recognized Dr. Hsuan for her dedication to the geosynthetics industry. She has been an ASTM International member since 1993. Posted July 15, 2017

US Department of Defense Report Finds More than $453 million in Procurement Contracts Not in Compliance with the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Not a good report: On July 7, the Office of Inspector General (IG) at the US Department of Defense released its audit of the Defense Logistics Agency to determine whether DLA personnel complied with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act. The IG reviewed a non-statistical sample of 88 contracts with an obligated value of $386.9 million, out of 2,382 contracts across DLA with an obligated value of $700.4 million, awarded from October 1, 2014, through March 31, 2016.  DLA contracting personnel complied with the Berry Amendment for 13 of the 32 contracts reviewed. However, DLA personnel at 3 of the 4 contracting offices visited did not comply with the Berry Amendment for the remaining 19 contracts, valued at $453.2 million. Click here to read the IG report. Posted July 15, 2017

 DuraFiber Technologies Announces Next Steps for U.S. Plants. DuraFiber Technologies, a global supplier of high-tenacity polyester fibers, engineered fabrics, sewing threads and advanced materials, announced yesterday that it has taken the next steps to prepare its US production facilities in Salisbury, N.C., Shelby, N.C., and Winnsboro, S.C. to be idled if a buyer is not identified by September 11, 2017. The actions follow a series of initiatives to lower production costs in response to increased competition in the textile industry, as well as a thorough review of strategic alternatives, including potential asset sales. DuraFiber's international operations in France, Germany, and Mexico are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to operate as usual. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 14, 2017

Giant Outdoor Retailer Show Selects Denver as New Location. Emerald  Expositions, LLC, , the producer of the biannual Outdoor Retailer shows, has announced the selection of Denver, Colo., USA, as the location for its shows, beginning January 2018. The shows --  Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market -- are moving from Salt Lake City, Utah, after a dispute with the state on its use of public land. The 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, taking place July 26-29, 2017, will be the last event held in Salt Lake City. Click here to read the press release on the move. Posted July 10, 2017 

Texas Establishes Grant Program to Finance 50,000 Ballistic Vests for Law Enforcement Officers. On the one-year anniversary of 5 Dallas police officers killed even though wearing ballistic vests, the US State of Texas has formally opened a $25 million grant program, allowing law enforcement agencies in the state to purchase rifle-resistant body armor. Texas Governor Greg Abbott had formally signed the funding bill in late May. According to a report on the Dallas Morning News website, "rifle-resistant vests cost about $500 and last approximately five years, meaning the grant program can supply about 50,000 vests to Texas officers." The agencies have until September 6, 2017 to submit their applications. Click here to read the website article. Posted July 10, 2017

Photo Source: Honda

Honda Develops Airbag for Its Scooters. While airbags have been available as an option for motorcycles for the last decade, the smaller compact scooters haven't had the same availability until now. At the Honda Meeting 2017, held June 5-7, 2017, the company showed its new technologies, including the development of an airbag for its motorbikes. Made in collaboration with Autolive Inc., a supplier of automotive airbag safety systems, the scooter airbag can deploy in 0.04-0.05 seconds. Click here to read an article about its development on the Solar Power Plant Business website. Posted July 10, 2017 

Japanese Technical Textile Forum Announces Keynote Speaker. The IFAI Japan Annual Meeting and Forum begins July 13, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. The keynote speaker is Dr. Tohru Nakata, Artificial Intelligence Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Dr. Nakata's presentation topic is "Human Error Prevention." IFAI Japan is a country section of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to contact Ms. Kikuko Tagawa, IFAI Japan's executive director, for more information about the Forum. Posted July 10, 2017

Crypton Names New Vice President of Marketing. The Crypton Companies, a provider of performance fabrics in the contract, home furnishings and apparel markets, has announced it has hired Matt Targett as Vice President of Marketing. This is a new position and he will be based in the company’s Bloomfield Hills. Mich., USA, office. The Crypton Companies have patented and branded environmentally responsible textile performance solutions since 1993. The company’s flagship product, CRYPTON ® Fabric, is used in the healthcare, hospitality, government, education and contract segments. Posted July 10, 2017

Ballistic Vest Manufacturer Featured on Business Website. Crain's Detroit Business website has an informative article on the rise of Armor Express Inc. from the ashes of bankrupted Second Chance Body Armor. In 2004, Second Chance Body Armor was the largest supplier of ballistic vests to US law enforcement but was forced to file for bankruptcy that year when it was discovered the fiber being use, Zylon made by Toyobo, degraded faster than had originally been expected and the company was forced to recall 120,000 vests. The material was subsequently decertified by the National Institute of Justice for use in vests. Armor Express, based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, started up a week after Second Chance's sold its assets in 2005 to Armor Holdings, Inc., parent company of Armor Express. The company now employs 157 people with annual revenue close to $30 million. The founder, Matt Davis, son of 2nd Chance's founder Richard Davis, says Armor Express' vests are worn by 800,000 police officers. Click here to read the article. Posted July 10, 2017 

"Educate the Professor" Seminar Being Held On Building Material Fabrics. The Fabric Structures Association (FSA) and the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), both divisions of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), are hosting a two-day "Educate the Professor" seminar on the fundamentals of using technical textiles as building materials. The intent is similar to IFAI's already successful geosynthetics program call "Educate the Educators." Professors who attend these courses can bring their knowledge to students at their respective institutions. The program will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., USA. Click here to read a short article about the program posted on the Specialty Fabrics Review website. Posted July 7, 2017

De Boer Acquired by Losberger. We missed this when it was announced in late May but it is still very much worth noting: Two of the major fabric event structure fabricators in Europe are joining together with the acquisition by Germany's Losberger Holding GmbH of The Netherlands' De Boer Structures Holding DV.  The new combined company will be called Losberger De Boer GroupThe combination of Losberger and De Boer, which will have a joint turnover of approximately $377 million and employing about 1,200, will result in a leading company in the rental and sale of temporary accommodations in the Industrial, Event, and Rapid Deployment Systems (RDS) market segments in Europe, with strong positions in the Middle EastUSAChina and South America. Click here to read the Losberger press release on the acquisition. Posted July 6, 2017

OMNOVA Reports Growth in Second Quarter, Problems with Chinese Coated Fabrics Operations. Despite reporting a net sales14% growth in the 2nd Quarter, OMNOVA Solutions Inc., a chemical and coated fabric producer headquartered in the US, reported a net loss due to its coated fabrics operation in China.  According to its press release announcing 2nd Quarter results, Anne Noonan, OMNOVA's President/CEO said: "We are considering all options as we proactively address our unprofitable China coated fabrics business. We expect resolution before the end of July 2017."  Earlier this year, OMNOVA realigned its businesses into two segments: Specialty Solutions and Performance Materials. Specialty Solutions includes coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, nonwovens, laminates & film, and oil & gas. Performance Materials represents more mature markets including coated fabrics, tire cord and carpet. Click here to read a report on their financial outlook. Posted July 6, 2017

Indian Defence Force to Acquire Advance Surveillance Balloons. Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd., a manufacturer of technical textiles for the Indian and global markets, announced the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel's Aero-T with the intention to combine their capability for manufacturing and supplying advanced aerostats for the Indian defense force. Aerostats are surveillance balloons equipped with radar and other detection devices that are tethered and capable of reaching altitudes of up to 15,000 feet. Click here to read more on the Indian Defence Aviation Post website. Posted July 6, 2017

Overall US Exports of Technical Textiles Flat but China's Share is Growing. The US Department of Commerce released today the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end May. The overall global export figure showed flat results at -0.19%. China, however, continues its trend these last few months to come on strong with a 14.9% increase from the previous year. Mexico, our largest export country, saw a drop of 1.6%. Click here to see the entire report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong




United Kingdom




World 4,116,122 4,108,374 -0.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 6, 2017

Interview Reveals Key Safety System Wanted Takata's Seat Built Business. Crain's Detroit Business website has just published a really interesting article about Key Safety System's year-long pursuit of Takata Corp, beating out its rival and 10-times bigger airbag maker Autoliv. The interview revealed Key Safety's objective was not the airbag business but rather Takata's seatbelt business which accounted for about $2.6 billion in revenues last year. Click here to read the interview. Posted July 3, 2017

Toray Reported to be Buying 30% of Pacific Textiles. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting Japanese textile maker Toray Industries is acquiring a 30% stake in Pacific Textiles, the world's largest knit fabric supplier. Total price is estimated at $536 million. Pacific Textiles is based in Hong Kong. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

American Flag Manufacturer Featured as US Readies for Celebrating Its Independence Day. As those in the United States get set to celebrate our Independence Day tomorrow, the Miami Herald today featured a nice story about a Freedom Flag and Banner, a Miami, Fla., US company which has been making American flags since 1989. Over the last 28 years, Barbara Dabney, founder and owner, has made flags that represent more than 300 countries and territories. Ms. Dabney says her business is like a barometer of the latest news. After 9/11, she was making up to 400 flags a day. Other world events produce demand for other country flags. Click here to read the article. Posted July 3, 2017

US Technical Textile Distributor Acquires Pacific Coast Fabrics. Indiana-headquartered Top Value Fabrics (TVF), a distributor of industrial, print media and recreational fabrics, has announced its acquisition of Pacific Coast Fabrics (PCF), a distributor of digital and apparel textiles, based in California. Both companies source internationally and also have partner relationships with textile mills in Europe. TVF is primarily a distributor of vinyl coated fabrics and mesh. Its partner mill is Aurich Textiles. PCF's partner mill Georg+Otto Friedrich makes warp-knitted fabrics for a range of end markets. Click here to read the TVF press release. Posted July 3, 2017

Online Applications for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Exhibition Open. Online applications for reserving exhibition space for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 is now available. The event is the largest textile machinery show taking place in Asia. It is being held October 26-30, 2018 in Shanghai, China. ITMA Asia  + CITME 2018 is co-organized by the European machinery coalition CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, China Textile Machinery Association and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation. Click here to visit the CEMATEX website and click here to visit the CITME website. Posted June 29, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Association Elects New Chairman. ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Machinery Manufacturers for the Textile Industry, has elected Alessandro Zucchi as President of the organization. Mr. Zucchi succeeds Rafffaella Carabelli. Mr. Zucchi is currently the Managing Director and a partner at Ferraro, a manufacturer specializing in finishing machinery. Along with the new president, the assembly also elected new Vice Presidents, Messrs. Federico Businaro (Isotex, Santex Rimar Group), Cristian Locatelli (Marzoli, Camozzi Group), Andrea Piattelli (Unitech) and Michele Riva (Reggiani Macchine). Click here to read the ACIMIT press release. Posted June 29, 2017

INDA World of Wipes Conference Attracts Almost 500. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Indusgtry, wrapped up its 11th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference June 12-15. Held in Nashville, Tenn., USA, the event attracted 476 participants from 20 countries. Click here to read INDA's post-event press release which includes names of speakers and award winners. Poste June 29, 2017

US Military Calls for Improving Compliance with Berry Amendment. In a memo dated June 20, Claire Grady, Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, US Secretary of Defense, called on leaders in various branches of the military to improve their compliance with both the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. Director Grady cited Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American, issued by President Donald Trump on April 18, 2017. In the memo, Director Grady writes: "The DoDIG identified numerous contracts where the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act clauses should have been, but were not included in contracts, where compliance with the law and regulations were [sic] neither applied nor properly justified, or where potential Anti-Deficiency Act violations may have occurred." Click here to read the entire memo. Posted June 29, 2017

Strong Demand for ITMA 2019 Exhibition Space. Since the ITMA 2019 exhibit reservations opened up last month, 25% of the available space has already been taken for the world's largest trade show for textile equipment. The space demand is more than 150% ahead of the demand for the 2015 show for the same time period. The show contractor, ITMA Services, reports the increase results come as a result the strong show in 2015 and the rapid technology changes occurring in the industry. ITMA 2019 will be held in Barcelona, Spain, June 20-26, 2019. Click here to read the organizer's press release. Posted June 27, 2017

Fabric Swatches Need for Trend + Design Center at Outdoor Retailer Show. Will you be exhibiting fabrics at the huge Outdoor Retailer Summer Market taking place July 26-29, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA? If so, you should make sure to send your fabric swatches for display at the Trend + Design Center in the exhibition center. The center is where designers come to source and shop the component materials that make up the innovative technical and fashion-forward elements of the outdoor market. The sourcing website FabricLink Network is again helping organize the Trend + Design Center. Contact Kathy Swantko at FabricLink for more information. Posted June 27, 2017

Airbag Maker Takata Files for Bankruptcy. The announcement today that Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata Corp has filed for bankruptcy seems almost anti-climatic given that it has been expected for months. The bankruptcy allows a restructuring of Takata into a much smaller company with most of its assets being purchased by rival airbag maker Key Safety Systems, a division of China-based Ningbo Joyson, for about $1.6 billion. In addition to filing in Japan, Takata's US subsidiary TK Holdings, also filed for bankruptcy. Most of the US operations, which includes two manufacturing plants of technical textiles manufacturer HIghland Industries, will now become part of Key Safety. Click here to read more about the bankruptcy from the Reuters News Agency website. Posted June 26, 2017

Photo Source: US DOD

Afghan Army Purchase Wastes $28 Million on Inappropriate Camouflage Uniform Pattern. In a blistering report issued June 20, 2017, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reviewed the over $93 million spent on purchasing Afghan army uniforms between 2008 and this year. The report says the Afghan Defense Ministry decided on woodland pattern in 2007 for the Afghan National Army (ANA), based on patterns supplied by US officials. While the Army has several free camouflage patterns available, the camouflage pattern picked is proprietary, owned by HyperStealth Biotechnology, a Canadian-based company. In addition, the uniforms purchased were patterned after the US Army's Combat Uniform which is more costly to produce and has different component specifications than the US Army Battle Dress Uniform. Thus, the IG report estimates the total costs which came back to the US government were 40-43% higher for an ANA uniform than was needed. The IG estimates that between November 2008 and January 2017, US taxpayers wasted $28 million on these more expensive and inappropriate uniforms and, further, it could cost an additional $68 to $71 million over the next 10 years. Click here to go to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.  Posted June 24, 2017

Joyson Making Giant Leap in Airbag Manufacturer. While a lot of attention has been given these last few days on the pending Takata bankruptcy announcement, China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic is about to become a major player as an automotive Tier One supplier through its second purchase of an airbag maker in the last year. Joyson purchased US-maker Key Safety Systems in 2016 for about $920 million. Now it is set to purchase through Key Safety the Takata airbag manufacturing operations for about $1.6 billion. The Chinese automotive company was only founded in 2004. With the Takata purchase, Joyson will become the second largest airbag manufacturer in the world. Click here to read a short but interesting article posted on the Nikkei Asian Review website. Posted June 24, 2017

New Aviation Fabric Flammability Test Lab Opens in UAE. UAE national carrier Elihad has teamed up with Switzerland textile manufacturing Lantal Textiles to create what is believed to be the Middle East's first laboratory specializing in flammability testing of aircraft cabin fabrics and other materials. Lantel is a 130 year-old textile producer, specializing in transportation fabrics for automotive, trains, marine, and aircraft. Click here to read more about the opening. Posted June 24, 2017

Speakers Announced for Webinar on HIgh Visibility Safety Apparel. AATCC has announced the speakers for its June 29 webinar Understanding High Visibility Safety Apparel -- the ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 HVSA Performance Specification  Adam R. Varley is technical director and COO of Vartest Laboratories. Patrick A. Ayers is Vice President, Operations & Sales at Vartest Laboratories. ANSI/ISEA 107 compliant High Visibility Safety Apparel are required by the US Federal Highway Administration to be worn by all workers on any public access roadway and are widely used by construction workers, first responders and others. Click here for more conference and registration information. Posted June 24, 2017

"Future of Shade" Competition Winners Announced. Glen Raven, the maker of Sunbrella® woven acrylic fabric, and Architizer, an on-line sourcing website for architects, have announced the winners of the 2017 Future of Shade competition. The competition involved submissions which envision pioneering shade designs to meet the needs of the 21st century. 348 entries were submitted from more than 30 countries. There were 3 categories. The Grand Prize Winner in the Humanitarian category was by Felipe Guerrero Castillo from Columbia; in the Well-Being category, it was Rafael Duailibe dos Santos from Brazil; and, in the Building Shade category, it was Arman Hadilou from the USA. Click here to view more information about their projects. Posted June 24, 2017

Labor Problems at US Coated Fabric Company. On June 21, workers staged a protest again the management outside of the Fair Haven Heights manufacturing plant of Trelleborg Uretek in Fair Haven, Conn., USA. The company was previously known as Uretek until 2014 when it was purchased by Trelleborg, a Swedish-headquartered coated fabric producer with operations world-wide. The issue is the work contract set to expire at the end of June. The union is trying to get some wording into the new labor agreement that prevents Trellebord from shifting some of the work to another facility in North Carolina or elsewhere. Click here to read an article on the protest. Posted June 24, 2017

Composite Manufacturer Expands Plant , Opens New Headquarters Building. Vectorply Corporation, a USA.-based manufacturer of high performance composite non-crimp fabrics (NCF), officially opened the doors of their new Advanced Composite Reinforcement Center with a Grand Opening Ceremony on  June 14, 2017 in Phenix City, Ala.. The new facility features 38,000 sq. ft of manufacturing space dedicated to producing the company’s VectorUltra™ line of advanced multiaxial reinforcements.. Currently, Vectorply produces 19 standard carbon products ranging from a 3-oz. biaxial fabric to a 94-oz.  mirror-image quadraxial tooling fabric. Targeted markets for its products include aerospace, defense, and transportation along with infrastructure, marine, and sports and recreation. Click here to read the company press release on the opening. Posted June 24, 2017

New US Government/Private Industry Research Facility Opens Headquarters. The newly created Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is opening its national headquarters today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., USA. The public/private partnership research organization was created with $300 million in committed funding by both the government and the industry. It will be developing US-made technical textiles for end-product markets such as the medical, military and communications industries. A very good article on the AFFOA objectives can be found on the MIT News website by clicking here. Posted June 19, 2017

Tot Falls 5 Stories Saved by Awning. Well, it's happened again: A two-year old toddler  fell out of an open window in the Bronx in New York on June 16. She fell 5 floors. Fortunately, she was saved by landing on a fabric awning (actually an entrance canopy to the apartment building). Click here to read the article posted on The New York Daily News website. Posted June 17, 2017

"Potential Positives" Cannot Be Demonstrated to Outweigh "Potential Harms" to the US Domestic Textile Industry in PFD Manufacturer's Trade Zone Request.  On June 13,2017, the US Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Staff issued a recommendation that Coleman Co. had not demonstrated that potential negative effects to the domestic textile industry would be outweighed by potential positive effects claim in its request to select the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to personal flotation devices and flotation cushions rather than the individual component material being imported to make the PFDs in the US. Therefore, the Board could not recommend approval of the request. The Foreign Trade Zones Board has now submitted an invitation for public comment on this preliminary recommendation. Deadline for submission is July 31, 2017. For further information, contact Diane Finver at Click here to read the recommendation report that we have posted on the BeaverLake6 Report website. Special thanks to David Trumbull, at Agathon Associates for alerting us on this new public comment period. 

US Textile Association Files Public Comments on NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) filed public comments with the Office of the US Trade Representative outlining what it feels should be the domestic textile industry's priorities in the forthcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  NCTO Chairman William V. McCrary Jr., Chairman and CEO of William Barnet & Son, LLC, said "It is in America's national interest to modernize the agreement and NCTO is eager to work with President Trump to make it even better." Click here to read the NCTO press statement. Posted June 15, 2017

Filtration 17 Registration Has Opened. The online registration for INDA's 26th Filtration International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, Ill, ,USA has opened. The conference date is October 10-12, 2017, a little earlier than the past events. The organizer expects to surpass the 2016 event of more than 1300 visitors in Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Click here to go to the INDA website and check out the speakers and conference sessions. Posted June 15, 2017

Photo Source: ZF

ZF First Company to Develop Airbags for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Will self-driving vehicles need a new type of airbags to protect its occupants? ZF, the world's second largest supplier of automotive airbag systems, believes they will and the time is fast approaching. It is estimated we will begin seeing self-driving vehicles on the roads within 1-5 years. With no "driver-forward" requirement, occupants will be able to swivel their seating around to face each other. Primary airbags are now stored in the dashboard, steering column and in the side door supports and designed to work with fairly rigid position seats. But with vehicle seats being so flexible in driverless cars, ZF is designing airbags that are embedded within the sides of the seating itself. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 13, 2017

C. Joel Sprague

ASTM Committee on Geosynthetics Announces Top Annual Award. Congratulations to C. Joel Sprague, the recipient of the Award of Merit by ASTM International's Committee on Geosynthetics (D35). The Award of Merit is the committee's top award and recognizes Mr. Sprague's long dedication to the committee's work in developing testing and auditing standards for the geosynthetics industry. Mr. Sprague is a senior engineer and the southeast region manager for TRI/Environmental, a Texas, USA-based 3rd party test and research company. Click here to read the press release issued by ASTM. Posted June 13, 2017

Milliken Names New Vice President for Its Specialty Interiors Business. Textile manufacturer Milliken & Company has named Jennifer K. Harmon as Vice President, Specialty Interiors of its Performance & Protective Textile Division. Ms. Harmon was previously vice president of design and interim vice president of sales at True Textile, Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer of interior textile materials. Ms. Price will report to Jeff Price, President of Milliken's Performance & Protective Division. Click here to read the company press release on the appointment. Posted June 13, 2017

Composites Organization Publishes Book on Growing Use of Composites in Construction.  On the eve of its "The Future of Composites in Construction" event taking place June 20-22 in Chicago, Ill., USA, the JEC Group has announced its publishing a book on the growing use of composites in architecture: “The Future of Building: The Growing Use of Composites in Construction and Architecture”. According to the organization's press release, the book reviews the advantages of composites: lightweight, durable, resistant to corrosion, inexpensive to maintain, flexible design etc.  "Between 2016 and 20121, we are expecting a sharp growth in the market and a 5-6% annual increase in the use of composites in this section, explained Ms. Frédérique Mutel, JEC Group President & CEO. Posted June 8, 2017

Success for First Ever EurAsian Geotextiles Symposium. The first EurAsian Geotextiles Symposium (EAGS) was held in Beijing, June 7-8. It attracted over 200 participants from 14 countries. Co-organized by the China Industrial Textiles Industry Association (CNITA) and EDANA, an international industry association serving the nonwovens and related industries, the Symposium was also supported by several other key industry organizations including the International Textile Manufacturers Association (ITMF), the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and the International Society for Geosynthetic Materials China Committee (CCIGS). CNITA President Li Lenshen indicated the Symposium will be held again although date and location have not yet been decided. Click here to read the entire press release distributed by EDANA. Posted June 8, 2017

US Company Being Investigated for Possible False Claims of Military Products Being "Berry Compliant."  In an exclusive artlcle published on its website, The Virginian-Pilot newspaper (Norfolk, Va., USA) reports US Federal agents served a search warrant April 27 on London Bridge Trading of Virginia Beach. Va., investigating whether products the company sold to the military were made outside of the US, a violation of the US Berry Amendment which requires most textile-related products to be made in America. According to its website, London Bridge Trade manufactures tactical vests, backpacks, ammo pouches and other products to the US military and law enforcement agencies as well as for militararies of other countries. The website says it is "100% Berry-compliant.". The company denies the allegations. Click here to read The Virginian-Pilot article. Posted June 6, 2017

Fired Worker Fatally Shoots 5 at Awning Factory in Orlando, Florida. Tragedy struck our industry today when 6 people, including the gunman, were killed at Fiamma Inc., a recreational vehicle awning manufacturing company located in Orlando, Fla., USA. The killer was a recently terminated employee. All of those he killed were employees of the company.  Fiamma makes retractable awnings and other types of fabric shelters designed to be attached to motor homes, campers, vans and trailers. The company has a network of North American distributors as well as sells directly to consumers. The company is a 70 year-old family business, headquartered in Cardano al Campo, Italy. It opened the Orlando factory in 1991. Click here to read an article about the shooting on the Orlando Sentinal website. Posted June 5, 2017

UK Study Shows Less Than One-Third of Women Workers Have Proper-Fitting PPE. The National Safety Council's Safety+Health magazine website has posted an article on a UK study of 5,000 female workers that finds only 29% of women who wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job feel they have proper fitting clothing that fits their gender, despite numerous UK standards requiring employers to provide proper PPE. The report also showed 95% of the women respondents in the emergency services industry reported that they felt the PPE hindered their work either "sometimes" or "significantly." Click here to read the entire article. Posted June 5, 2017

Glen Raven's Recycling Efforts Recognized. There is a nice article on the Burlington Times (Burlington, N.C., USA) website regarding the 100% recycling commitment at the Glen Raven Technical Fabrics manufacturing plant in Burlington. Leftover polyester is sold to specialty yarn maker Unifi, which reduces the fabric into pellets and then back into yarns. Dyes are also recycled. Plant waste that cannot be itself recycled is incinerated, generating energy. Click here to read the article. Posted June 5, 2017 

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

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.


The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...


Steve Warner


June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom. 


In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference Explores the Roads to a Textile Power

Sun Ruizhe

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016

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


Media Partners

In My Opinion

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

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  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

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