BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry

 

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Front Page News

Safety Supply Corporation Acquires Glove Company. Safety Supply Corporation, a manufacturerof personal protective equipment, has announced an agreement to acquire LFS Glove, a division of LFS, Inc. The newly formed subsidiary of Safety Supply will be named Bellingham Glove, Inc., and will be part of the Safety Supply's Radians group of companies. Radians is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., USA. LFS Glove had been headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, USA. Radians will now open a Bellington Glove sales office in Bellingham. Click here to read the company press release on the acquisition. Posted April 24, 2018

Registration is Open for Home Furnishings Show. The 2018 Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo (HFMSE) has now opened its registration. HFMSE is taking place July 18-19, 2018 in Greenville, S.C., USA.  HFMSE features a wide variety of exhibitors showcasing the latest in manufacturing equipment, systems, software and technology specifically developed for the furniture and home furnishings industry. Click here for more information. Posted April 23, 2018 

Italian Exhibitors Organize Stand at Digital Print. Italian textile print machinery manufacturers will be at the upcoming FESPA Global Print Expo, May 15-18, 2018, in Berlin, Germany. The event is billed as Europe's largest trade show for the wide format print industry with 600 exhibitors and 18,000 expected visitors. In addition to Italian companies with their very own stand, six companies will set up shop in the common area created by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers and the Italian Trade Agency. The Italian companies exhibiting in the ACIMIT / Italian Trade Agency area are: Arioli Group, Beta Machinery, Caru, Mcs, Monti-Mac and Unitech.The event marks the very first time ACIMIT promotes a collective effort at the world’s foremost print exhibition. Posted April 23, 2018

Article Posted on Contribution of Local Coated Fabrics Producer. The Lowell Sun newspaper website published a nice article yesterday about Bradford Industries, headquartered in Lowell, Mass., USA. Bradford is a manufacturer of automotive airbag fabrics, inflatable side rollover curtains, and other high-tech applications for the automitve, military and sporting goods markets. Click here to read the article. Posted April 23, 2018

ITMA 2019 Exhibit Space Sold Out. Exhibition space for ITMA 2019 in Barcelona, Spain has been sold out, according to the show owner CEMATEX. Space has been reserved by over 1,500 companies from 45 countries. Plans are underway to open more space. The top countries exhibiting are Italy, Germany and Spain. ITMA 2019 will be held June 20-26, 2019. Click here to visit the ITMA website for the latest information. Posted April 23, 2018

New Report Shows Growth in European Nonwovens Production. EDANA, the European nonwovens and related industries association, has disclosed the results of its annual nonwovens industry survey. In 2017, nonwovens production in Greater Europe increased in volume by 4.3% to reach 2,544,450 tons with a total estimated turnover near $9,614 million (+5.6%). Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director, elaborated “We continue to see the expected variances within the EU region. Although some established players like France and the Benelux countries were at a standstill, many pushed on from last year with Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the UK and Ireland all witnessing growth. In Greater Europe as a whole, the standout performers were Turkey, posting a double-digit growth rate, and Russia, where growth exceeded 9%.” Click here to read more. Posted April 23, 2018

Steve Schiffman

IFAI Names New President. The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has named Steve Schiffman, the association's vice president of media and sales, as its new president and CEO. Mr. Schiffman will replace Mary Hennessy, who is retiring June 1, 2018. Prior to joining IFAI in 2013, Mr. Schiffman had an extensive career in regional publishing. At IFAI, he has been managing advertising and exhibit sales, membership recruitment and retention, web development, and the editorial and circulation departments. Click here to read the IFAI press release. Posted April 21, 2018

US Navy Body Armor Contract Awarded. According to a release on the Propper International company website, the US Navy has awarded a $30.4 million contract for the new Naval Security Forces Vest (NSFV). The contract is shared by the company's subcontractor Applied Fiber Concepts as well as KDH Defense Systems and Carter Enterprises. Up to 51,000 vests could be ordered at 2000-5000 vests per order, 2-3 times per year. The vests consist of a base vest and modular components for tailoring protection levels. Click here to read more. Posted April 17, 2018

DowDuPont Investing in Virginia Kevlar Plant. Last month BeaverLake6 Report  (March 16, 2018) posted about the closing of the Deepwater, N.J., USA chemical plant used by DowDupont to make aramid fibers such as well-known Kevlar. The Chesterfield Observer (Chesterfield, Va., USA) posted an interesting article April 16 on the $50 million investment into the DowDuPont's Spruance plant in Chesterfield. More than 80% of the Kevlar fiber is now produced at the facility with the remainder at its Ireland plant. The article also covers briefly the opinion that after a dominating 50-year run, there are now better materials out there such as Honeywell's Spectra Shield. Click here to read the article. Posted April 16, 2018

Photo: US Army

US Air Force Awards Bomb Disposal Protection Suit Contract. Med-Eng LLC, Ogdensburg, N.Y., USA has been awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for explosive ordnance disposal bomb suits.  This contract provides for the delivery of a full bomb suit ensemble and associated accessories.  Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be complete by March 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received.  Med-Eng is a business unit of The Safariland Group. The order is for up to 305 explosive disposal suits. Posted April 16, 2018

Scottish Technical Textiles Company Doubles Net Profits with International Trade. The Wilkie Group has announced its net profits more than doubled the past year due to its increased presence in China, India, USA and European countries. The 150-year-old company, headquartered in Angus, Scotland, is a vertically integrated textile company with in-house yarn spinning, warping, weaving and finishing and a fabricator of technical textiles and end-products such as protective vests. It has been operating in China since 2007, and in 2015 opened a new $7.1 million factory near Shanghai, China. Through its Jack Ellis Body Protection division, Wilkie has been awarded a contract to supply $2.3 million of protective vests to the Hong Kong Police and Customs authority. Click here to read more. Posted April 13, 2018

Call for Board Candidates for Trade Association.  The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now seeking candidates to fill two upcoming positions on the organization's board of directors. In order to be considered, a candidate must be employed from a member company.  IFAI is a 1500-member non-profit trade association representing the specialty fabrics industry. Click here to request  an application. Deadline for application submission is May 31, 2018. Posted April 12, 2018

Italian Textile Equipment Manufacturer to Go Public. Itema Sp.p.A. filed yesterday with the Italian stock exchange (Borsa Italiana) an application to list ordinary shares of the company. It plans to go public within the second quarter of the year. The ordinary shares being offered will represent at least 35% of the capital. Headquartered in Italy with global operations, Itema is a manufacturer of weaving machines, spare parts and integrated services. Click here to read more from the company's press release. Posted April 10, 2018

Secretary Wilbur Ross

US Secretary of Commerce to Speak at Smart Fabrics Summit. US Department of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be the keynote speaker at the Smart Fabrics Summit, taking place April 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Secretary Ross will give the closing presentation at the day-long event that is co-hosted by the US Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Also on the agenda are presentations from Jeff Rasmussen, IFAI's Director of Market Research, Chris Semonelli, president of Coated Technical Solutions, and a panel discussion regarding the development of performance standards for smart fabrics. Click here to go to the event's website to see the complete list of speakers and registration information. Posted April 10, 2018

US Army Awards $480 Million Camouflage Netting Contract. HDT Expeditionary Systems Inc., Solon, Ohio (W911QY-18-D-0213); Saab Barracuda LLC, Lillington, North Carolina (W911QY-18-D-2011); and Fibrotex USA Inc., Washington, District of Columbia (W911QY-18-D-0210), will share in a $480,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for development and procurement of the Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Net System Increment 1. Bids were solicited via the Internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2028. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Posted April 9, 2018

U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Emily Knitter

US Military Body Armor Changing for Women. In March, US Army Lt. Col. Ginger L. Whitehead, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, gave a presentation for the Pentagon's Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services regarding new changes that ensure protective gear fits correctly for women with hair buns. According to an article posted on military.com by writer Hope Hodge Seck, "Women in uniform had been complaining that the 'X-Back' design of the apparatus holding the chin straps interfered with hair buns, making it difficult for the helmet to fit securely on the head, with the straps in the proper places."  In another presentation, the Marine Corps presenter said it is expanding its protective gear fit to the 2nd percentile of female troops to the 98th percentile of males, from the previous 5th to 95th percentile. This change means another 8,856 smaller-stature and 5,711 larger Marines will get gear that fits. Click here to read the article. Posted April 9, 2018

US Contract Awarded for Tactical Vests Conversion Kits. Carter Enterprises LLC, doing business as Mil-Spec Enterprises, Brooklyn, New York, has been awarded a maximum $15,854,179 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for improved outer tactical vest generation III conversion kits, yoke and collar assemblies, groin protector ballistic inserts and universal external side plate pouches. This is a one-year base contract with one one-year option period. This was a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Location of performance is New York, with an April 5, 2019, performance completion date. Using military services are Air Force and Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-18-D-1040). Posted April 9, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases February Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the February numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures. Overall exports exports in this group continued to rise, achieving a 5.2% increase over the previous 12-month period ending February 28. The NAFTA partners now have a 63% share of the exports. Exports to China continues to see healthy gains. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 

 

 

Year Ending

2/2017

Year Ending

2/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,056,986

2,096,943

+1.9

Canada

556,599

596,297

+7.2

China

173,239

216,567 +25.0

Hong Kong

125,886 121,415 -3.6

United Kingdom

93,813

100,764 +7.4
World 4,049,319 4,259,825 +5.2

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted April 9, 2018

Textile Machinery on Tariff List of Chinese Products. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today released the initial list of $50 billion of Chinese products facing 25% US tariffs. The list composed of more than 1300 products includes fiber, textile and sewing machinery. This action will have a significant impact on the US domestic textile manufacturing industry which is dependent on foreign makers of most equipment. The products targeted are reported to be specifically known as part of China's "Made in China 2025" plan. There will be an approximate 60-day period for public comment and hearings with the International Trade Commission on the list before it goes into effect. Click here to see the product list. Posted April 3, 2018

NASA Rocket Launches Supersonic Mars Parachute. Following the successful testing of the ESA Mars parachute last week, NASA launched its own Mars parachute test March 31. The latest was carrying the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE). The rocket reached an altitude of 32 miles before deploying the ASPIRE at supersonic speed. This was the second deployment test for the planned Mars project. Everything went according to plan. Click here to read more. Posted April 2, 2018

Michael McDonald

Sewn Equipment Trade Group Names New Executive Director. The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) has announced the appointment of Michael McDonald as the new SPESA Executive Director. He will be replacing current president, Benton Gardner, and managing director, Dave Gardner, upon their retirement at the end of 2018. Mr. McDonald was previously Manager of Government Relations for the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). SPESA is a trade asociation devoted to the advancement of suppliers of machinery, technology, ancillary equipment, parts, service and other solutions for the development, manufacture, and distribution of sewn products. Posted April 1, 2018

Photo source: Geosynthetic Materials Association

Trump Administration Seeks Input from Geosynthetics Trade Group. Members of the Executive Council of the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) were invited to attend high-level meetings with White House senior staff to discuss President Donald Trump’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. The GMA members discussed the “innovative and transformative” benefits of geosynthetic products and the role geosynthetics can play in helping the Administration achieve the President’s goal of reducing project timelines, lowing overall costs, and increasing the life span of our nation’s infrastructure system. The GMA will be hosting its Spring Lobby Day May 16-17, 2018, in Washington. The event involves meetings with members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate and their staffs. GMA is a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Click here to find out more about the GMA Spring Lobby Day. Posted March 30, 2018

First Test Success for Largest Mars Mission Parachute. The USA's NASA-planned mission to Mars isn't the only game in town. The European Space Agency (ESA) also has a mission planned for July 2020. The ESA venture, named ExoMars, will deliver a rover and a surface science platform. On March 29, ESA successfully held its first test of the parachute which will be used to carry the payload to the planet's surface. With its 35-meter diameter canopy, it's the largest parachute ever tested to fly a Mars mission. The first test dropped a module from 1.2 km above ground. The next test will be from an altitude of 30 km.  Click here to read the ESA press release. Posted March 30, 2018

Canadian Webbing Manufacturer Investing in Modernizing Plant. The publication Industry Week has a terrific article posted on its website this week on the $2.8 million investment by Belt-Tech, Inc. for its Quebec manufacturing plant. Belt-Tech's products are webbing for seat belts, webbing for air bags (automotive), industrial webbing for slings, webbing for safety harnesses, and webbing for parachutes (military). According to the article, the Canadian company provides nearly a third of the webbing used in cars and trucks in North America. The investment includes new weaving machines and a state-of-the-art drying system comes after seeing a recent 30% surge in orders from the North American auto industry. Click here to read the article. Posted March 30, 2018

Serge Ferrari Acquires Composites Manufacturer Plastitex.  Serge Ferrari Group has completed the acquisition of Plastitex, an Italian manufacturer of specialty composite materials for indoor and outdoor furniture. Based in Carmignano di Brenta in Northern Itally, Plastitex employs approximately 60 people at two production facilities located in Carmignano and Novi Grad, Croatia. Plastitex designs and produces high-performance fabrics made by synthetic fibers and polymeric yarns. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted March 28, 2018

Takata Whistleblowers Receive $1.13 Million. The law firm Constantine Cannon LLP announced today that two of its whistleblower clients will receive more than $1.13 million to settle their claims for whistleblower awards for information they provided to the U.S. government in its criminal case against Takata Corp, the now-bankrupt maker of defective airbags. The whistleblowers, Mark Lillie and another man who remains anonymous, are both former Takata employees who provided extensive assistance to government investigators under the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, a federal whistleblower-reward program. In January 2017, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company's fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. The criminal action also resulted in three high-level Takata executives pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Click here to read the law firm's entire press release. Posted March 27, 2018

Coats Appoints New President for Performance Materials Business. Industrial thread manufacturer Coats has announced the appointment of Keith DuPont as President, Performance Materials. The Coats Performance Materials business includes hi-tech end uses such as automotive, composites, fiber optics, flame retardant and engineered performance fabrics and knits. Mr. DuPont replaces Shantanu Banerjee who has become the company's Group Head of Innovation with responsibility for its 3 Innovation Hubs located in the USA, China and Turkey. A couple of facts at the bottom of the press release were interesting: More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats' Performance Materials thread every year and the company makes enough thread every month to stretch from the Earth to the Sun. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted March 27, 2018

US Trade War Could Hit Outdoor Products Industry. The Denver Post (Denver, Co., USA) posted an article March 23 on the potential impact of a trade war that could result in drastically increased prices for camping tents imported into the US from China. According to the article, the outdoor industry already pays steep tariffs applied to its products coming into the US, an average of 17.6% for backbacks and tents. Because of the layers of distributors and retailers costs, a 25% increase in tariff could actually end up resulting in a 75% increase to the consumer. The outdoor industry's lobbyists are in Washington right now, working to make sure outdoor items such as apparel, tents and sleeping bags are excluded from the tariff list. Click here to read the article. Posted March 27, 2018

Kanye West's Apparel Company Embroiled in Lawsuit Over Camouflage Pattern. There is an interesting article on the Outside website entitled "The Camo Wars Behind the Kanye West Lawsuit." Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, which owns cmouflage brand Realtree, has filed a lawsuit alleging entertainer Kanye West's apparel company Yeezy has infringed on its camouflage patterns. Realtree is one of the country's leading camouflage companies. It makes patterns and licenses them to other companies that make items such as clothing and tents. Click here to read the article. Posted March 26, 2018

Marty Moran

NCTO Elects 2018 Chairman. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has elected Marty Moran, CEO of Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, as its Chairman for 2018. Mr. Moran is CEO of Georgia-headquartered Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, a subsidiary of South Korea's Samil Spinning Company. NCTO also elected Don Bockoven, President & CEO of Leigh Fibers, as the organizations 2018 Vice Chairman. Posted March 26, 2018

Karla Clem

Polo Custom Products CEO Leadership Change. Although there has been no official announcement, it appears President & CEO Karla Clem of Polo Custom Products, Inc., has left the Topeka, Kansas, USA custom industrial sewing manufacturer. Ms. Clem had been employed by the company since 1991, serving as its president since 2009. Polo supplies custom sewn and sealed products to several OEM markets including medical, safety, industrial electronics and military. Kent Lammers, Polo's executive vice president and CFO, has been appointed to replace her. Posted March 23, 2018

North America Technical Textiles Operations Announced by METYX Group. METVX Group has completed an agreement to acquire a manufacturing facility for its new METYX USA Technical Textiles Division. The site is located in Ranlo, a town near Charlotte, N.C.  The new facility will employ up to 200 people and manufacture a range of glass and carbon fabrics to serve the North American composites market. METYX Group is headquartered in Turkey and is a division of Telateks A.S., a manufacturer of high-performance technical textiles, including multiaxial reinforcements, carbon reinforcements, RTM reinforcements, woven reinforcements, and vacuum bagging products. Click here to read the coroporate press release. Posted March 22, 2018

NCTO Chairman Presents "2018 State of the US Textile Industry" Address.  Outgoing 2017-18 National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Chairman William V. McCrary Jr. delivered the trade associations' "2018 State of the US Textile Industry" overview at the NCTO's 15th Annual Meeting on March 22, 2018 in Washington, D.C., USA. Mr. McCrary's speech outlined 1) US textile supply chain economic, employment and trade dates; 2) the 2018 policy priorities of domestic textile manufacturers; and, 3) other NCTO activities. Click here to go to the NCTO website to read the text of his remarks. Posted March 22, 2018

Management Buyout for Sioen Filtration. Concluding that Sioen Filtration is no longer part of the core activities, Belgium-based Sioen Industries Group has agreed to sell the subsidiary to Pierre Loungueville and his partners. Mr. Loungueville is currently the manager of Sioen Filtration. The company specializes in the development, production and sales of a wide range of industrial filters. The transfer is planned for April 1, 2018. Click here to read Sioen Group's press release. Posted March 22, 2018

Dr. Aaron Westrick

"Bullet Proof" Vest False Claims Act Case Ends in Victory for Whistleblower.  The US Department of Justice announced today that Japanese manufacturing company, Toyobo Co., Ltd., agreed to pay $66 million to settle allegations that it conspired to sell defective body armor to American police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military.  The settlement was reached as part of a False Claims Act initiated by a whistleblower, Aaron Westrick, Ph.D. The case originated in 2001, when Toyobo informed Second Chance Body Armor (SCBA), formerly the largest bullet proof vest company in the United States, that Zylon™, a high-performance fiber made by Toyobo and being supplied to SCBA for its body armor, may experience degradation. Dr. Westrick was an employee at the time of SCBA. Click here to read more on the lawsuit. Posted March 17, 2018

Photo Source: DuPont

DuPont to Close Chemical Plant Used to Make Its Aramid Fibers. DuPont has announced it will eliminate about 100 jobs and close its Deepwater, N.J., USA plant used to make aramids intermediates for Kevlar® and Nomex® fibers. Company spokesperson Dan Turner said in an email to the press "Since there are no other suppliers of these materials in the U.S., Transpek Limited in India will be the primary supply source."  While outsourcing the intermediates, DuPont still will produce Kevlar and Nomex fibers at its Richmond, Va., USA manufacturing plant. It plans to invest $50 million to modernize the facility. Click here to read an article posted on Chemical & Engineering News website. Posted March 16, 2018

Toray to Purchase TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V. As we reported March 13, Koninklijke Ten Cate was looking for a strategic partner to purchase its subsidiary TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V.  Toray Industries, Inc., a carbon fiber manufacturer, has now announced they have reached an agreement to acquire the Dutch carbon fiber composite material manufacturer. The purchase price is estimated to be $1.15 billion. Click here to read the Toray company press release. Posted March 16, 2018

Jules Duguay

Serge Ferrari Americas Names Vice President. Serge Ferrari, a manufacturer of flexible composite material technology, has announced that Jules Duguay has been appointed Vice President, Serge Ferrari Americas. Mr. Duguay is a 20-year industry veteran. He will lead the business operation in North, Central and South America. Mr. Duguay was most recently the General Manager of Mermet Corporation, a manufacturer of solar screen fabrics. Posted March 16, 2018

Nonwovens Association Elects New Board Members. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announces five newly elected members to its 2018 Board of Directors. These accomplished new Directors demonstrate extraordinary commitment and strong leadership to the nonwovens industry: Mary Liz Cahill, Business Development Manager, SWM International; Luca di Benedetto, President, ATEX, Inc.; Ricardo Fasolo, Managing Vice President, Fitesa Inc.; Larry Grabowy, President & CEO, Tufco LP; and, Richard Palmer, President & Co-Founder, Nehemiah Manufacturing. Click here to read more about the selections. Posted March 15, 2018

TenCate Advanced Composites Reported for Sale. The editor of the website CompositesWorld is reporting TenCate Advanced Composites confirmed during the recent JEC World in Paris that management "is exploring options for a potential strategic partner to acquire the company." TenCate Advanced Composites products include thermoset-based and thermoplastic-based prepregs; film adhesives; syntactics; and resins. The company supplies prepregs in fabric, unidirectional tape, chopped fiber, and reinforced thermoplastic laminate forms. Toray, Hexcel, Teijin, Solvay, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, and Arkema were all mentioned as possible suitors. TenCate Advanced Composites is a division of privately held Koninklijke Ten Cate B.V., headquartered in The Netherlands. Click here to read the report on the CompsitesWorld website. Posted March 13, 2018

Earlier Dates and New Location for 2019 Techtextil North America. A new location and an earlier time of year highlights the announcement of 2019 Techtextil North America (TTNA19). The event will be held February 26-28, 2019, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. The date is much earlier than is normal but makes sense in avoiding taking place too close to Techtextil 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. The Frankfurt show takes place May 14-17, 2019. TTNA18 is set for Atlanta, May 22-24, 2018. Posted March 13, 2018

SYFA Spring Technical Conference Features Nonwovens Research Director. The Synthetic Yarn & Fabrics Association's 2018 Spring Technical will feature Brad Kalil, Director of Market Research for INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. In addition to Mr. Kalil, the program includes 8 other speakers, including Dr. John Connaughton, Professor of Financial Economics at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. SYFA Spring Technical Conference 2018 will be held April 26-27, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Click here for the schedule of speakers. Posted March 13, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases January Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the January numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures. Overall exports rose 4.68% in January 31 year-ending comparison with 2017. As we have seen for a number of months, the largest percentage gain in US exports was to China at 27% over the previous year.  Click here to see the entire report for the January numbers. 

 

 

Year Ending

1/2017

Year Ending

1/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,065,352

2,085,890

+1.0

Canada

554,922

594,011

+7.0

China

170,106

216,347 +27.2

Hong Kong

127,254 122,972 -3.4

United Kingdom

94,130

101,819 +8.2
World 4,045,486 4,237,832 +4.7

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted March 13, 2018

INDA Changes Frequency and Creates Permanent Location for Filtration Show. INDA, the organizer of the annual Filtration International Conference & Exposition, has announced the event is changing frequency to 18 months. the change is effective after the October 2-4 event in Philadelphia, Penn., USA. The change means no event in 2019. The expanding time between shows avoids conflicts with the already crowded filtration events taking place around the world. INDA said in its press release that the show is also expanding beyond nonwovens to include engineered media, filtration & separation technologies, filter making equipment, and other equipment related to the industry. Further, after the 2018 event in Philadelphia, the future Filtration International Conference & Exposition will be held exclusively in Chicago. The first show under this change will be in February 2020. Click here to read the press release. Posted March 13, 2018

JEC World 2018 Closes with Record Attendance. A record 42,445 visitors attended JEC World 2018 in Paris. The 3-day composites event took place March 6-8, 2018. Visitors came from 115 countries to see more than 1300 exhibitors. One of the highlights of the event was a visit by Ms. Delphine Gény-Stephann, the French Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance. Posted March 8, 201

US Textile, Fiber Trade Associations Announce Merger.  The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) announced a merger of their respective organizations effective April 1, 2018. The move has been expected since the passing last year of long-time AFMA president Paul O'Day. The two organizations have often been aligned on major trade issues. Both are based in the Washington, D.C. area. The merged organizations will be called by the name National Council of Textile Organizations. Click here to read the entire NCTO press release. Posted March 8, 2018

German Textile Machinery Association Holding Conference in India. The German-based VDMA Textile Machinery Association has announced a workshop and forum for Indian textile and nonwoven manufacturers. The event is taking place May 15-16, 2018 in Mumbai. More than 30 German textile machinery and component manufacturers are participating, giving 36 application-oriented presentations on spinning, knitting, weaving, finishing, dyeing and embroidery. Click here to gain more information as well as the names of participating German companies. Posted March 7, 2018

Startup Booster Winners Announced at JEC World.  The world's largest composites trade show, JEC World 2018, started in Paris today, with the announcement of the 3 winners of JEC's Startup Booster Competition. The winners were 1) N12 Technologies (USA), a creator of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes at interlaminar interfaces which allow tougher, lighter, and more durable composite structures; 2) Inca-Fiber GmbH (Germany), the creator of a new electroplating procedure to metallize carbon fibers in a single step using electrolytes to enhance the fiber's properties; and, 3) Sound Bounce (Ireland), the developer of a novel patented material which provides over 100 times better noise attenuation in a small package compared to similar materials.  Posted March 6, 2018

Comments Sought on Proposed Revisions to Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standard. The US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking comments on proposed revisions to NIJ Standard 0101.06NIJ Standard on Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor. A draft of the revised document specifies minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of body armor used by US law enforcement that is intended to protect the torso against handgun and rifle ammunition.  NIJ, the U.S. Army, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others have been cooperating to harmonize laboratory test procedures and practices in ASTM Subcommittee E54.04 on Personal Protective Equipment within Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications. Comments to the proposed draft must be submitted by May 23, 2018. Click here to obtain a  copy of the draft, plus how to submit comments on the changes. Posted March 6, 2018

Source: NC State University

"The Bold New Face of Textiles.  "There is a very nice article on the North Carolina State University website on new career opportunities in the domestic US technical textiles industry, including end markets such as medical, military and aerospace. The College of Textiles at NSCU, Raleigh, N.C., USA, has 58 faculty members and almost 1,000 undergraduate students. It's a refreshing look filled with optimism as the industry overall is still fighting the image of only providing a career in apparel manufacturing. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2018  

Webbing Company Announces US Expansion.  German-headquartered Oppermann Webbing Inc. has announced it will be creating 71 jobs as part of a $10 million expansion in Powdersville, S.C., USA. The company manufactures a variety of webbing products including tie-downs and aircraft safety belts. Oppermann is a family owned business with 9 global locations. The US plant was established in 2004. Click here to read more. Posted March 4, 2018

Navis TubeTex Buys Consultex and Tandamatic. Navis TubeTex, a provider of  finishing machinery to the textile industry, announced today their purchase of Consultex Spray Systems and Tandematic.  Based in Lexington, N.C., USA, Navis TubeTex designs, engineers and manufactures machinery for the knit, woven, nonwoven, technical and geotextile industries. Consuoltex produces a spray system used in the textile, film, nonwoven, paper and bettery industrys. Tandematics is a maker of low tension feeding systems and stenter auxiliaries. Click here for the Navis announcement. Posted March 2, 2018

Last Chance: Call for IGS Council Candidates. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has issued a Call for Candidates to fill governing positions. There are 8 positions available -- President, Vice President and 6 Council Members.  Candidate requirements included being an IGS member. The position terms are for four years, beginning September 25, 2018. The deadline for nominees is March 1, 2018. Click here for more information. Posted February 2018

US Anti-Microbial Fiber and Yarn Producer Obtains Distribution Agreement in Japan. Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.and PurThread Technologies, Inc. have entered into a distributorship agreement for Mitsui USA to distribute PurThread’s antimicrobial fibers and yarns to textiles and soft goods in Japan. PurThread fibers and yarns are used in businesses serving the healthcare, consumer, home, military, and industrial markets in the United States. PurThread, incorporated in 2009 and based in Cary, N.C., USA, was formerly known as ProtectStyle Corporation. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the distribution agreement. Posted February 28, 2018

Nonwovens Association Wins Awards. Congratulations to EDANA, the nonwovens industry trade association based in Brussels, Belgium. The organization was recognized in two categories at the 2018 European Association Awards held in Brussels on February 23, 2018. EDANA won the Best Association Conference Award for organizing Outlook 2017 and was honored with the silver award in the category for Best Provision of Industry Information and Intelligence for EDANA’s Marketing Intelligence service and tools. Posted February 27, 2018

American & Efird to be Acquired. Global investment firm Platinum Equity announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire American & Efird (A&E) from KPS Capital Partners. Headquartered in Mt. Holly, N.C., USA, A& E manufactures and distributes industrial and consumer sewing thread used by producers of apparel, automotive components, medical supplies and industrial products. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 26, 2018 

Sattler Names Northeast US Sales Manager. Awning and marine fabric manufacturer Sattler Group has announced Hans Schwieger as its Northeast Sales Manager. Mr. Schwieger has been in the technical textiles industry for 20 years, joining Sattler on February 24, 2018. Sattler Group is part of Sattler AG, an acrylic fabric maker headquartered in Germany with a distribution office in Hudson, N.C., USA. Posted February 24, 2018

©Bigelow Space Operations, LLC 2018

Bigelow Aerospace Announces the Creation of Space Operations Company. Bigelow Aerospace, the developer of the inflatable space module being tested at the International Space Station, has established Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a commercial space company that will manage and operate space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace. Two modules are scheduled to launch in 2021.  A new manufacturing facility is planned to build the modules. Click here for more information. Posted February 23, 2018

Elizabeth Peggs

Elizabeth Peggs Retires from Geosynthetica. Geosynthetica, the online publication covering the geosynthetics industry, has announced Elizabeth Peggs has retirement after nearly 18 years at the website's helm. She has served in a number of leadership positions within the industry during her geosynthetics involvement including key positions in the organization of GeoAmericas 2016, the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and the ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics. Click here to read the article on the geosynthetica website. Posted February 23, 2018

Textile Innovations from Germany Presented at Techtextil North America. Sixty-six companies from the German textile, textile-machinery and garment-technology industries will make presentations at the ‘High-Tex from Germany’ exhibition within the framework of the Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas trade fairs in Atlanta from 22 to 24 May 2018. ‘High-Tex from Germany’ is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) and the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Messeausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. – AUMA). Click here to go to our special Techtextil North America section and read the entire press release. Posted February 22, 2018

German Army Lacking Tents, Ballistic Vests and Winter Clothing to Fulfill NATO Obligation. The Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, is in a serious situation regarding shortages of basic equipment after years of budget cuts. The newspaper Rheinische Post has reported that an internal German Army Command document reveals the Bundeswehr (the Germany armed forces) is in need of 10,282 "housing units" [portable shelters] as it prepares to take the lead in providing a high-readiness force by 2019 for potential North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) deployment. While it has 2,500 shelters available for deployment, according to the internal army document, most, are unsuitable. The report also says that the Bundeswehr has a serious shortage of bulletproof vests and winter clothing needed for possible overseas missions.  Click here to read more. Posted February 19, 2018

Scott Campbell

Rainier Industries Leader Announces Retirement. Rainier Industries CEO Scott Campbell has announced his retirement. Mr. Campbell has been President of the company, a diverse manufacturer of industrial and consumer textile products, since 1984. David Traub, the company's current COO, has been named to succeed him as President and CEO. Founded in 1896 as a tent supplier for Alaskan gold miners, Rainier has grown to 260 employees in several locations. Its headquarters is in Tukwila, Wash., USA. Mr. Campbell will remain as the company's Chairman of the Board. Click here to read more. Posted February 18, 2018

Source: Bullet Blocker

"Bulletproof" Backpacks for Kids Sky-Rocket After School Mass Shooting in Florida. It's really no surprise that makers of "bulletproof" backpacks are reporting huge sale increases after the most recent school mass shooting happened February 14 in South Florida. The backpacks typically weigh around 4 lbs and cost from $200 - $500. One of the makers, Bullet Blocker, reported a 30% surge in business the day after the shooting. The company says its product are lined with Kevlar aramid panels and is capable of stopping .357 and .44 Magnum rounds, 9 mm bullets and .45-caliber hollow-point ammo and more. Click here to read more. Posted February 17, 2018

Tennessee Boot Maker Management Team Pleads Guilty to Violating Berry Amendment. On February 15, 2018, Vincent Lee Ferguson, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Wellco Enterprises, Inc. and Tactical Holding Operations, Inc, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Four other former company executives also plead guilty to either fraud or smuggling goods into the US. Wellco was a leading manufacturer of military footwear to the US Department of Defense for over 70 years. It developed the first practical method for molding and attaching a rubber sole to a shoe upper in a single operation. During the Vietnam War, the US Army adopted Wellco technology for the manufacture of its hot-weather boots. The fraud appears to have started in 2008, about 2 years after Mr. Ferguson was made President and CEO. From 2008 through 2012, the company executives conspired to import boots from China and then deceptively market them as "Made in America" to both consumers and the US Department of Defense. In all, Wellco sold at least $8.1 million of the fraudulent boots. Falsely claiming them made in the US violated the military's Berry Amendment procurement requirement. Click here to read the entire press release issued by the United States Department of Justice. Posted February 17, 2018

Wing Inflatables Acquires Inflatable Lifesaving Products Manufacturer. Inflatable boat manufacturer Wing Inflatables, Inc. has announced its acquisition of The Patton Companies, a military contractor of inflatable rafts. Patten was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Lake Worth, Fla., USA. Wing Inflatables, in addition to making inflatable boats, also makes high-performance collars for rigid inflatable boats used by the military, commercial, and recreational customers. In 2016, Wing acquired UK-based Henshaw Inflatables, the European leader in marine inflatable technology. Henshaw operates a manufacturing facility in Wincanton, England. Click here to read the entire company press release. Posted February 17, 2018

Technical Textiles Producers Leads Surge in Czech Textile Manufacturing. According to a survey conducted by the Czech Association of Textile, Clothing and Leather Industries (ATOK), Czech textile and clothing companies last year recorded their best results in the past 12 years. According to Jiří Česal. ATOK's head, the growth is clearly driven by the country's strong auto industry. Seven of the textile industry's top 10 textile producers are making technical textiles. Click here to read more about the importance of technical textiles in the Czech Republic. Posted February 15, 2018

Source: Dianese

Inflatable Safety Vest Protects Olympic Skiers. Downhill ski racers in the Olympics are reaching speeds up to 100-mile-per-hour and the high speed creates greater chance of serious injury or death. Teams from Austria, Italy, Canada and US are using inflatable protective vests made by Dianese, an Italian manufacturer who also produces motorcycle protective vests. The Dianese D-air system uses technology similar to automotive airbag systems. Once triggered, the pneumatic gas generator fills the air bags in the protective vests in 40 milliseconds. Click here to read the article. Posted February 15, 2018

Costco Selects Standard 100 by OEKO-Tex® for Textile Product Screening.  Costco, the second largest retailer in the United States, has announced a partnership with the Hohenstein Group to integrate Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification into its Smart Screening Program to ensure safe, traceable and sustainable textile products. The program is designed to protect consumer and environmental health by removing chemicals of concern (COCs) from the products offered Costco stores worldwide. Used by over 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in 100 countries, Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® is an independent verification that products have been tested for harmful substances. Click here to read the press release by Hohenstein Institute. Posted February 12, 2018

New Business Opportunities Highlights 2018 International Technical Texiles Symposiunm in Taiwan. The 2018 International Technical Textiles Symposium (ITTS 12th) is being held March 14-15, 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan. This will be the 12th symposium since the event was started in 2006 by the Taiwan Technical Textiles Association (TTTA).  The 2018 edition will feature an opening speech on March 14 by Gince Kuruvilla Mattam, the deputy director of the India-Taipei Association, on the opportunities for technical textiles in India. The theme of the overall event is building a connection with other world textile leaders. More than 180 industry leaders from Taiwan and surrounding countries are expected to attend the event. Speakers include industry leaders from Germany, Malaysia, Japan and the UK. Click here to contact Howard Lo at TTTA for more information. Posted February 15, 2018

Brand & Oppenheimer Acquires General Fabrics Co. Textile converter Brand & Oppenheimer Co., Inc., has announced it is acquiring the assets of General Fabrics Co. Headquartered in Pawtucket, R. I., USA, General Fabrics was founded in 1951. the company is a wholesale designer, packager, and distributor of printed textiles for the craft and quilting industry. Brand & Oppenheimer, owned by private firm Praesidian Capital, is located in Portsmouth, R.I. Click here to read the company's press release on the acquisition. Posted February 11, 2018 

Association Honors Peter Hauser with Olney Medal. AATCC, the Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists, has announced Peter J. Hauser is the 2018 recipient of the AATCC Olney Medal Award for his substantial work as an industry scientist and textile chemistry professor in industrial textile wet processing research and development. Dr. Hauser has been a member of AATCC since 1977 and served in many association leadership positions, including as President in 2013-2014. Established in 1944 in honor of of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATTCC, the Olney Medal recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. Presentation of the medal will be given at the AATCC's International Conference being held in Greenville, S.C., USA, March 6-8, 2018. Click here to read the AATCC's press release and learn of Dr. Hauser's many accomplishments. Posted February 11, 2018 

Evolution of the New Supersonic Parachute for Landing Humans on Mars. There is a fascinating article posted on the Wired website detailing the history of the supersonic parachute used in space exploration. The article notes NASA's supersonic parachutes have barely evolved in the 46 years since an August 1972 test of a new design for the Viking Mars landing module. The design, however, isn't going to work for the current planned mission to send explorers to Mars. The landing craft will be 20 times heavier than previous payloads landing on the planet. The article focuses on the development work of Theodor Knacke and Helmut Heinrich, two former parachute specialists at Germany's Graf Zeppelin Research Institute, who came to the US after World War 11. Click here to read the article. Posted February 8, 2018

Next Generation of Sensing Fabrics Will Help Protect Infrastructure. A team of UMass Lowell researchers has partnered with technical fabric producer Saint-Gobain to develop fabrics integrated with optical fibers and sensors. The project is supported by an $853,000 grant from the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), which is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.  In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded the researchers a $550,000 grant through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2).a research and development company to create new, cost-effective sensor-laden textiles that can be used to monitor the structural health and integrity of vital infrastructures across the country, including buildings and skyscrapers, roadways, bridges, tunnels, railway tracks, dams and pipelines. Click here to read the entire press release on the project. Posted February 8, 2018

European Patent Office Upholds Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology Patent.  Royal DSM, a Netherlands-based ballistic fabric manufacturer, announced its key patent for its Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology will be maintained after a second challenge before the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office.  The appeal against the patent was filed by Honeywell Inc., another manufacturer of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a high-stength fiber used in ballistic vests.  Click here to read the announcement. Posted February 7, 2018

December/Calendar Year Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce for Technical Textiles. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end December 31. Overall exports rose 4.22% in calendar year 2017 over 2016. The largest percentage gain in exports was China. Mexico, though, continues to be the dominant destination of exports, holding almost 50% of the market. Percent wise, however, exports to Mexico were flat at just a little more than a 1% increase. Click here to see the entire report for the December numbers. 

 

 

Year Ending

12/2016

Year Ending

12/2017

 

% Change

Mexico

2,057.034

2.078,805

+1.1

Canada

557,207

590,833

+6.0

China

168,226

212,481 +26.3

Hong Kong

129,977 120,104 -7.6

United Kingdom

93,010

100,809 +8.39
World 4,043,017 4,213,746 +4.2

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted February 7, 2018

Toyoda Gosei and Nippon Kayaku to Form Alliance in Airbag Business. Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. and Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd. have agreed to a capital alliance for greater cooperation in their airbag business and, as a result, will hold approximately 1 billion yen of the other company's common shares. Toyoda Gosei has purchased inflators, a key component in airbags, and other products from Nippon Kayaku for decades. The demand for airbags is growing rapidly as safety regulations become stricter around the world, and this capital alliance will help the two companies in their aim to strengthen stable supply and quality assurance systems for airbags globally. The environment in the automobile industry is undergoing major changes with progress in autonomous driving and the move toward electric vehicles, and the two companies will also work together in the field of new materials as well as safety, collaborating in the development of new products with a view to the future. Click here to read the Toyoda Gosei press release. Posted February 6, 2018

Automotive Interior Manufacturer Changes Name. Trèves TSC group has changed its name to Tesca. The change happened as a result of new shareholders who invested in 2016 and the launch of a new strategy. According to the press release, the new name “Tesca” illustrates the group’s wish to differentiate the company and accelerate its internal and external growth. Trèves SAS designs and manufactures specialized acoustic and interior solutions for the automotive industry worldwide. It offers interiors and trunks solutions, such as floor carpeting, soundproofing, luggage compartment trimming, and rear-shelving products; and seats and components, which include headrests, armrests, and seat pads. The company also provides textiles and covering materials ranging from yarn to seat covers for various automotive textile applications; and engine and underbody solutions. The company was founded in 1836 and is based in Paris, France with facilities in 8 countries. Posted February 6, 2018

Albany International Selects New CEO. Advance materials manufacturer Albany International 
Corp. announced today its Board of Directors has appointed Olivier Jarrault as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board. Mr Jarrault succeeds Joseph G. Morone, effective March 2, 2018. Mr. Jarrault is a 14-year veteran of Alcoa with his last position being Executive Group President of Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions. Albany is headquartered in Rochester, N.H., USA and operates 22 plants in 10 countries. Click here to read the corporate press release. Posted February 6, 2018

Polartec Seeks World Domination in Cycling Wear. Perhaps it was an over eager writer but an article posted on the cycling website Velonews claims that Polartec, the US-headquartered fabric producer, is seeking "world domination" in supplying fabric for cycling apparel. In spite of the hype, the article does present a good overview of Polartec. The company produces 4 main categories of fabric -- base, insulation, protection, and flame-resistance. It then has about 27 main fabric platforms within the categories. Click here to read the read article. Posted February 6, 2018

Article Features Accomplishments of US Coated Fabric Producer. There was a very nice article posted on the Providence Journal (Providence, R.I., USA) website about Cooley Group, a manufacturer of coated fabrics headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I. The article covers the different end markets served by the company including roofing material, awnings and graphics. Examples of the use of their coated fabrics include a 1 million square foot roof in Wisconsin and the claim Cooley material is for 70% of the billboards in the US. Click here to read the article. Posted February 5, 2018

One-Third of Ballistic Vests Supplied to Indian Police Failed Test. Not good news for the police force in Maharashtra, an Indian state located in the central region of the country. A total of 1430 "bullet-proof" jackets out of 4600 received are being returned to the manufacturer after failing an AK-47 bullet stopping test conducted by Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The Kanpur-based manufacturing firm of the vests is unnamed in the articles posted about the failure. A major controversy had erupted on the quality of the ballistic vests being used by the Indian police force after the death of the anti-terrorist squad leader in a 2008 terror attack near Mumbai. The police officer was wearing a ballistic vest that failed. Click here to read more. Posted February 5, 2018 

Eagles Fans Destroy Hotel's Fabric Canopy in Wild Celebration. A wild street party took place after the Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL Super Bowl yesterday. Unfortunately, the beautiful fabric canopy covering the entry way to the Ritz Carlton hotel couldn't hold up with a dozen people standing on it. No one was hurt but all that was left by morning was a pile of the twisted frame. People were reported running through "the city of brotherly love" with pieces of the canopy's fabric as souvenirs. Click here to see the video of the canopy going down. Posted February 5. 2017

Trelleborg Acquires Manufacturer of Coated Fabrics for the Healthcare & Medical Industry. Trelleborg  Group has, through its business area Trelleborg Coated Systems, acquired the privately owned UK company Dartex Holdings Ltd. The company is specialized in the manufacture of coated fabrics primarily for the healthcare and medical industry and is a world leader in coated fabrics for pressure injury prevention. Dartex has its head office and production facilities in Long Eaton, England and North Smithfield, R.I., USA. Click here to read the Trelleborg press release. Posted February 2, 2018

Market Research Keynotes Slated for Nonwovens Conference. Dave Rouse, president of INDA, Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, and Jeff Rasmussen, market research manager for Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will be the keynote speakers for NETInc 2018. The annual nonwovens conference will be held this year on April 15-18, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Mr. Rouse's talk is titled "State of the Nonwovens Industry." Mr. Rasmussen's presentation is titled "The 2018 State of the Specialty Fabrics Industry."  Click here to visit the event's website. Posted January 31, 2018

Gore Innovation Center Enters Joint Development Agreement with Health Care Startup. W. L. Gore (Gore) today announced a joint development agreement and cash investment with digital health startup Kenzen and the Gore Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. Kenzen has developed the Kenzen Patch, comprised of a variety of printed sensors that continuously monitor numerous health parameters and measure a variety of attributes, including sweat, heart rate and body temperature.  The companies will work together to develop a wearable health monitoring system that employs biosensor data and predictive modeling to anticipate and prevent avoidable injuries and health conditions. By incorporating Gore’s advanced materials, Kenzen will enhance the comfort of this type of on-skin applications. Click here to read more about this new collaboration. Posted January 31, 2018  

Toray Opens New Airbag Fiber and Fabric Plant in Mexico. Toray Advanced Textile Mexico held an opening ceremony on January 23, 2018 for its new automobile airbag nylon fiber and fabric manufacturing and distribution plant. The plant is located in El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico, and is the Toray Group's first integrated production facility spanning from automobile airbag yarn to fabric. It is intended to be the production base primarily for Americas. The new plant will employ 173 workers and have the capacity to produce about 10,000 tons of nylon fiber per year. With the addition of the Mexico plant, the Toray Group as a whole has grown to have 3 airbag nylon fiber production bases (Japan, Thailand and Mexico) and 6 airbag fabric production bases (Japan, Thailand, China, Czech, India and Mexico). Click here to read the company press release on the opening. Posted January 30, 2018

Geosynthetics Company Constructing New Plant in IndiaStrata Geosystems, a geogrid manufacturer, has begun construction for its new $15 million manufacturing facility in Gujarat, India. At current capacity levels, Strata already contributes 8 million sqm of the estimated 17 million sqm domestic volume in 2017 in India. However, the country's infrastructure sector has accelerated significantly. Geogrid demand is expected to reach nearly 19 million sqm in 2018. Strata's new facility is being designed with a capacity of 20 million sqm in its first phase, which will be seamlessly scaled up to 30 million sqm by 2020. The 150,000 sq.ft. modern facility will house the next-generation of wide-width machines, adopt an advanced coating technology, and automate several material-handling activities. The grounds will also include a world-class field-testing facility and an advanced laboratory to mimic site conditions. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted January 31, 2018

AATCC to Conduct Textile Testing Workshop. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATC) is holding its Introduction to Textile Testing workshop, May 16-17, 2018 at the associaton's headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. The workshop is covering how to properly perform and interpret test results for approximately 20 colorfastness and physical peroperties test methods and evalution procedures. Click here to find out more about the event. Posted January 30, 2018

JEC Innovation Awards Finalists Revealed. 30 finalists have been named in the 10 categories for the JEC Innovation Awards competition. Each year the prestigious awards program receives hundreds of applications. The top award winner in each category will be announced at a ceremony conducted March 7 during the JEC World 2018 being held March 6-8, 2018 in Paris, France. JEC is the international composites industry group. Click here to go to the JEC website for more information on the Innovation Awards program. [Note: The finalist list had not yet been posted as of January 25.] Posted January 25, 2018

Techtextil North America Opens Interactive Floor Plan for Selecting Exhibition Space. Are you thinking of exhibiting at either Techtextil North America or Texprocess Americas 2018 coming up in May? Messe Frankfurt, the shows organizer, has just opened up its interactive floor reservation module on its website. More than 500 companies are expected to exhibit on the combined floor at the shows taking place May 22-24, 2018 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Click here to go to the website. Posted January 25, 2018

Blue Sage Capital Makes Investment in Americo Manufacturing.  Americo Manufacturing Company, located in Acworth, Ga., USA, has announced that Blue Sage Capital has become a majority equity partner in the company. Americo produces a diverse range of high-loft, nonwoven products, which include floor maintenance pads as well as specialty fabrics which are utilized in a variety of industries. The company has manufacturing facilities in Cartersville, Ga. and Los Angeles, Calif., USA. Posted January 25, 2018

Surge Tent by DHS Systems LLC

Hospitals Overwhelmed by Flu Patients Turning to Tents to Accommodate Patients. Many hospitals and urgent care facilities across the US are at capacity as the influenza epidemic continues. In San Diego, Calif., surge tents are also being used because of the outbreak of Hepatitis A among the poor and homeless. These medical facilities are turning to surge tents set up in their parking lots to handle the influx of patients.  Surge tents in California are strictly regulated by the California Department of Public Health which requires an FR certification. Click here to read a story about surge tent use in Pennsylvania. Posted January 25, 2018 

Applied DNA Expands into India. Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. announced yesterday that it is establishing a Central DNA Testing Laboratory in Ahmedabad, India, to service its growing business in the Asia Pacific region. Dr. Ila Lansky, a forensic scientist with over 11 years of forensic experience, will direct the new lab. Applied DNA, headquartered in the US, is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology for textiles. Click here to read more about its new India operation. Posted January 24, 2018

Fiber Maker SGL Carbon Ends Joint Venture. SGL Carbon has sold its shareholding in SGL Kümpers to the joint venture partner Kümpers GmbH and Franz-Jürgen Kümpers. The existing business relationship with Kümpers for the supply of carbon fibers will be continued cooperatively. Franz-Jürgen Kümpers, headquartered in Rheine, Germany, is a manufacturer of technical textiles. SGL Group, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, is a maker of carbon fibers and other high strength materials.  The company will continue to supply carbon fibers, thereby maintaining its existing business relationship with Kümpers. SGL Kümpers makes composite materials for the automotive and windmill industries. Click here to read the SGL Group company news release. Posted January 19, 2018

Ohio Awning Acquires Canvas Exchange. Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Company has acquired Canvas Exchange, Inc. (CEI). Both companies are located in Cleveland, Oh., USA. Ohio Awning was founded in 1854 and CEI started in 1982. While both make commercial and residential awnings, CEI is more focused on the residential awning market and Ohio Awning has been focused on commercial end markets. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted January 19, 2018

Joint Venture Formed to Produce Low Melting Fiber in US.  Chemical producer Indorama Ventures and a Korean joint venture called HUVIS Corporation, have announced their intention to establish a joint venture for the development, construction and operation of a Low Melting Fiber (LMF) plant in the US. HUVIS is itself a joint venture between SK Chemicals and Samyang Corporation. The new plant's exact location is being finalized but it is expected  to be operational by 2019. The LMF plant will have the capacity to produce 60,000 tons. LMF is commonly used as a binder fiber in core-sheath constructions to produce HVA applications for automotive and industrial composites such as wadding, insulation, filtration, automotive acoustic insulation material and other products where heat is used to bond the fibers. Click here to read the Indorama press release. Posted January 18, 2018

Oldest Technical Textiles Producer in UK Invests in New Equipment. Small, steady and diversified are probably key words in describing the 186 years of continuous operations for specialty warp knit manufacturer Baltex. The company is headquartered in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, UK, with two other operations in the UK and a subsidiary in Poland. The company started out in 1831 as a dyehouse but now specializes in high tech fibers and 3D spacer fabrics serving the military, healthcare and automotive industries. It has recently made a £600,000 ($832,000) investment in its 10-year old Basford. UK factory to install new knitting machines for making automotive technical textiles. The investment will also create new jobs. Click here to read more. Posted January 18, 2018 

World of Wipes® International Conference Program Announced, Registration Opens. Emerging technologies, new applications, and market insights are the focus of INDA's World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference 2018. The leading keynote address will be given by Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Golden Gate University,. The address is entitled "Gen Z Deciphered: Insights and Strategies for Marketers." Registration has also just opened up. INDA is an association for the nonwovens fabrics industry. Click here to see the full WOW conference program. Posted January 18, 2018 

Airbag Developed to Lessen Hip Fractures in Elderly Falls. On display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nev., USA, was a protective airbag to lessen injuries for the elderly. Helite, a French manufacturer, makes airbags for a variety of applications including equestrian riders, children's car seats, and motorcycle riders. The hip airbag is designed to be worn by older people at risk of serious injury from falls. The cost is $800. Click here to read more about the airbag. Posted January 15, 2018

Michèle Sioen

Sioen Leader Named Manager of the Year. Congratulations to Michèle Sioen, named manager of the year by the Flemish business magazine Trends. Ms. Sioen is the CEO of textile group Sioen Indusries, based in Ardoole, West Flanders in Belgium. According to the website Flanders Today, the award was decided through a jury of Trends editors, former winners and a select group of professionals -- basing their decision on "company results, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, sustainable grow and community and business engagement outside the company." Click here to read more about the award. Posted January 15, 2018

James C. Leonard III

Lest We Forget: James C. Leonard III. Word has come that former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce James C. "Jim" Leonard III died on December 25, 2017. Mr. Leonard worked for Burlington Industries for 34 years in various management positions, culminating with being the company's Director of Government Relations. He served on the Industry Trade and Advisory Committee for Textiles and Clothing (ITAC13). In 2001, Mr. Leonard was nominated by President George W. Bush to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles, Apparel and Consumer Goods, where he served from March 2002 to September 2006.  Mr. Leonard was a friend to the US domestic textile industry during a challenging time. Click here to read his obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal. Posted January 12, 2018

John Lee, MFC, HLM

Award Honoring John Lee Being Given At IFAI Canada Meeting. Organizers of the IFAI Canada Expo meeting have created a new award named for John Lee, founder of J J L Events and long-standing IFAI member who passed away October 2016. According to the IFAI Canada leadership, this new award was inspired by his legacy of service to share and give back. His outstanding work and accomplishments have greatly benefited the industrial fabrics industry. The first recipient will be announced and honored at a special program held during the Keynote Lunch on February 8, during the IFAI Canada Expo, February 8-9, 2018 in Montreal, Que., Canada. Posted January 11, 2018

EDANA Launches Call for Papers for FILTREX™ Asia 2018.  EDANA, a global association serving the nonwovens and related industries, has opened the call for papers for the 11th edition of FILTREX™. The event is being held in Shanghai, China, December 4-5, 2018, and will run in conjunction with the 7th Filtration & Separation Asia (FSA) and the 10th China Filtration & Separation Exhibition and is coorganized by the China Filtration Society (CFS), China Nonwovens Technology Association (CNTA) and UBM China. EDANA is now inviting papers on the following topics: • Innovative filter media technologies • Filtration equipment and devices • Air filtration and liquid filtration • Automotive filtration (oil, engine, cabin) • Filter testing and standards. Presentations that are specifically relevant to Asia’s challenges in air pollution control and indoor air quality are particularly welcome. Click here to read more about how to submit a paper. Posted Janaury 11, 2018

Canadian Textile Conference Postponed. Late word has come that the meeting of the 117th Scientific Session of the Institute of Textile Science has been postponed from February 6, 2018 to April 19, 2018.  It will still be held in Montreal, Que., but will no longer coincide with the annual IFAI Canada Expo, organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International. Posted January 10, 2018 

Wellman Reportedly Closing Recycled Polyester Staple Fiber Business. Although there has been no official word from the company, Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International is reporting this morning that Wellman Advanced Materials in Johnsonville, S.C., USA has informed customers that as of January 5, 2018, the company was permanently closing its recycled polyester staple fiber business to allow it to concentrate on its core business of compounding and supplying thermoplastic resins.  Posted January 8, 2018

AATCC Selects New Executive President. The AATCC Board of Directors has hired Brian C. Francois as the new AATCC executive vice president to succeed Jack Daniels upon the latter's retirement in March 2018. Mr. Francois is currently the CEO of the Pulcra Chemicals Group (formerly Cognis Corporation and Henkel Textile Technology). AATCC's formal name is American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. Posted January 8, 2018

Textile Mill Adding 100 Jobs in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer newspaper is reporting today upholstery fabric manufacturer Specialty Textiles, Inc. (STI) is adding about 100 jobs at its new 150,000 square foot facility in Kings Mountain, N.C., USA. Click here to read more. Posted January 8, 2018

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Coming Events

  • April 24: Smart Fabrics Summit 2018, Washington, D.C., USA

  • April 26-27: SYFA 2018 Spring Conference, Charlotte, N.C., USA

  • May 6-9: IFAI Outlook Conference 2018, Braselton, Ga., USA

  • May 15-16: VDMA B2B Forum & Conference, Mumbai, India

  • May 15-16: European Sign Expo 2018, Berlin, Germany

  • May 16-17: Introduction to Textile Testing, Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA

  • May 17-19: 7th IMS International Textile Architecture Symposium, Miami, Fla., USA

  • May 21-24: SAMPE 2018, Long Beach, Calif., USA

  • May 22-24: Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas 2018, Atlanta, Ga., USA

  • May 23-24: International Nonwovens Symposium, Rome, Italy

  • May 30-31: CANSEC 2018, Ottawa, Ontario, Canda

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

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the first part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has just been published by Textile World magazine. 

 

This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.

 

The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.

 

Click here to go to the Textile World website to read the first part. 

 

Steve Warner, Publisher

Status of China’s Industrial Textiles Industry

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a new report on the state of China's industrial textiles industry, presented through our exclusive exchange with China Textile magazine. In China's 13th "Five-Year Program" period, industrial textiles are focused on new materials and applications for environmental protection, infrastructure construction, medical treatment and health care, emergency and public safety, and military and civilian integration. Click here to go to the article.

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.

 

I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

"Buy American" Amendments Needed in US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.

 

Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.

 

What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry. 

 

Steve Warner

Publisher

Posted November 3, 2017

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

Publisher

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

Publisher

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

Publisher

Posted January 17, 2016

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

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

 

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