BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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ClearSpan Invests in Company Growth.  Fabric building manufacturer ClearSpan Structures has announced that it has completed construction on a new $10 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.  The plant is located within the ClearSpan's 60-acre campus in Dyersville, Iowa., USA, and is expected to bring an additional 75-100 jobs.  Posted September 18, 2019

Photo: SpaceX

NASA Parachute Development Collaborative Effort.  There is a short informative article posted on the NASA website that describes the partnership between NASA, Boeing and SpaceX on the development of the Commercial Crew Program parachute system to be used by both the Boeing Starliner and the SpaceX's Dragon spacecrafts that will be transporting humans and cargo to the International Space Station.  The Dragon's capsule's reentry system is comprised of 2 drogue parachutes and 4 main ring-sail parachutes.  Altogether, SpaceX has completed 30 drop tests and 18 system-level tests of the system.  According to the posted article, "NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a public-private partnership with Boeing and SpaceX to take the experience of NASA and couple it with new technology and designs being pioneered by private industry."  Click here to read the entire article.  Posted September 18, 2019

Fabric Structure Manufacturer Awarded Maximum $200 Million Contract.  Alaska Structures Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial shelters. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Arizona and New Mexico, with a September. 25, 2020, performance completion date. Using US military services are Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Posted September 18, 2019

Female Military Backpacks Being Designed in the UK. There is an interesting article posted on the United Kingdom website Express website on the research being done at the UK's Army Infantry Training Cente in Catterick, North Yorkshire, which is aiming to develop better backpacks for females as the first women prepare to start training for infantry units.  The article says research has shown female hearts and lungs are 25% smaller and bone density thinner, raising the likelihood of stress fractures in legs and hips. The average weight of a military backpack carried is 123 lbs. Female-fitting backpacks are already available commercially but the current military standard is "one size fits all."  [Perhaps US military backpack suppliers should get ahead of the curve and start looking at offering different styles to the procurement offices]. Click here to read the post. Posted September 16, 2019

German Nonwoven Producer Expanding US Plant. Sandler Nonwoven Corporation, the US subsidiary of Sandler AG, is investing more than $60 million dollars in the expansion of its U.S. plant. According to a company press release, construction of the new building in Perry, Ga. has already begun. The new 135,000 sq ft. building will house production and warehouse facilities, and will include a new manufacturing line for nonwovens used in hygiene applications. Production is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020. This investment will create 70 new jobs in different departments at the Perry site.  Sandler AG is headquartered in Saale, Germany.  Posted September 16, 2019 

Crypton to Acquire Abercrombie Textiles.  Upholstery fabric manufacturer Crypton Cos. has announced its intention to acquire Abercrombie Textiles of Clifton, N.C., USA.  Abercrombie has been a material supplier partner of Crypton for 17 years.  John Reagan, owner of Abercrombie, will remain with the company.  Crypton plans to incorporate Abercrombie into its Crypton Home division, plus add another 25 employees to Abercrombie's workforce over the next year.  Berkeley Capital, a private equity firm, has a majority stake in Crypton Cos. Click here to read more from the Charlotte Business Journal. Posted September 16, 2019

India Develops National Ballistic Vest Rating Standard, Exporting Vests to +100 Countries.   India has become only the 4th country to develop ballistic vest standards (US., UK and Germany are the others) and is reportedly exporting the vests to more than 100 countries.  The vests are certified to a new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) that was published in December 2018.  The Indian army is now procuring vests meeting the new BIS standard.  The companies producing the vests are the government's Medani and Ordnance Factory, and the private companies SNPP, Starwire and MKU. More than 200,000 vests have already been produced under the standard's criteria. Click here to read more posted on The Economic Times website. Posted September 16, 2019

Geosynthetics Conference Extends Abstract Submission Deadline.  The organizer of EuroGeo Warsaw 2020 has announced the deadline for submitting abstracts for paper presentation has been extended from August 30, 2019 to October 4, 2019.  [Seriously, when has a conference ever held firm to its original submission deadline dates?]  EuroGeo Warsaw 2020 is organized by the Polish Geosynthetics Association (PSG), a chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS), and will be held September 6-9, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. This will be the 7th EuroGeo conference organized under the auspices of the IGS. EuroGeo 2016 was held in Slovenia and attracted 683 participants and 46 exhibitors. Click here for abstract submission information. Posted September 16, 2019

Photo source: StemRad

Radiation Protection Vest to be Tested at ISS.  The October 21 launch of the resupply ship for the International Space Station (ISS) will be carrying special vests designed to protect asstronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events.  The AstroRad Vest has been developed by StemRad, an Israeli-based company, and Lockheed Martin.  Astronauts over a 2-4 week period will provide input on the garments as they wear them while performing daily tasks. Click here to read more about the AstroRad Vest.  Posted September 10, 2019

Woven TPS tested at NASA Ames Research Center. Photo courtesy of NASA Ames.

Bally Ribbon Featured on Space Website. The website NASASpaceflight posted a nice article on the contributions of technical textile producer Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM) to the various NASA space exploration programs, including the newest partnership in one of several entry, descent and landing projects announced by NASA to prepare for Moon and Mars missions. BRM has developed a new carbon fabric heat shield for the landing crafts.  The company is headquartered in Bally, Penn., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted September 10, 2019

Merger Called Off for Nonwoven Companies. AstenJohnson and Heimbach have called off the mergers of their respective paper machine clothing business units. The merger had been announced in April 2019 (see our April 15 post).  Both companies are saying the timing was not right for the merging of the business.  Heimbach is headquartered in Germany and AstenJohnson is in the US. Click here to read the AstenJohnson press release. Posted September 10, 2019

IFAI Expo Considered for Do-Gooder Award.  The Industrial Fabrics Association International's (IFAI) Expo 2018, held last year in Dallas, Texas, USA, has been announced as a finalist for Trade Show Executive magazine's Gold 100 Award for the Do-Gooder award category.  The Do-Gooder category is specifically for shows that promote events for philanthropy or social causes.  As it has in past years, the IFAI Expo 2018 put together its Manufacturing for Good booth.  The booth was a partnership of Expo exhibitors, visitors and sponsors, brought together to produce duffel bags for the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in North Texas.  The award winners will be announced at Trade Show Executive's Gold 100 Awards and Summit taking place September 25-27, 2019, in San Diego, Calif., USA. Posted September 10, 2019

Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Reviewed.  Apparel magazine has posted a review of the 2019 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show held in Denver, Colo., USA, in July 2019. The show attracted more than 23,500 visitors.  The article by veteran industry writer John McCurry focuses on new products and services introduced by technical textiles exhibitors including Unifi, Gehrig-Tricot Corp., Hohenstein Institute, and Cordura. Click here to read the article. Posted September 7, 2019

Keyston Bros Acquires Regional DLT Corporation.  On its LinkedIn website, US industrial and upholstery fabrics distributor Keyston Bros announced it had acquired mid-west upholstery fabric distributor DLT Corporation.  DLT was founded in 1913 and is headquartered in Warrenville, Ill., USA. The move expands Keyston Bros services in the Chicago and Detroit regions. Posted September 7, 2019

SAERTEX® Acquires TK Industries.  Composite manufacturer SAERTEX has announced its acquisition of TK Industries GmbH. The purchase allows SAERTEX to further expanding its range of heavy-tow carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics.  TK Industries is a specialized, medium-sized fabric manufacturer based in Selbitz, Germany. At its production site, TK Industries processes carbon fibers for composite materials used in the transportation and boating industries. Posted September 6, 2019

Unifi Appoints New EVP/CFO.  Unifi, Inc. has announced the appointment of Craig A. Creaturo as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, effective September 9, 2019Christopher A. Smosna, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since December 2018, will continue in his role as Vice President & Treasurer. Mr. Creaturo recently served as Chief Financial Officer & Vice President-Administration of Chromalox, Inc., an advanced thermal technologies manufacturing company.  Unifi, Inc. is a manufacturer of synthetic and recycled performance fibers.  Click here to read the company’s press release.  Posted September 6, 2019

US Department of Commerce Releases July Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the July export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group.  The affects of the world's geopolitical issues as well as a global economic slowdown is continuing to affect US exports.  Also, Germany is close to overtaking the UK as Americas' 5th largest destination for technical textiles. Click here to see the entire July 2019 report.




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Posted September 5, 2019

3 Western Canadian Universities Collaborating on Developing Better Body Armor for the Military.  A 3-year projected funded by a $1.5 million Canadian government investment has been created to develop new textile technologies and body armor solutions for the Canadian Armed Forces. Thirteen researchers from 3 western Canada universities, plus private defense material companies, are participating on the Comfort-Optimized Material for Operational Resilience, Thermal-Transport and Survivability (COMFORTS). The universities are University of British Columbia Okanagan, the University of Alberta, and the University of Victoria. The COMFORTS network will work on 8 projects including protection from ballistic impacts, biohazards, chemicals, extreme temperatures and weather. Click here to read more.  Posted September 5, 2019

Portable Fabric Fuel Tank Manufacturer Awarded US Air Force Contract.  GTA Containers Inc., South Bend, Ind., USA, has been awarded a $9,478,079 contract modification (P00004) to previously awarded FA8533-16-D-0001 for collapsible fuel tank production. The contract modification provides for the purchase of additional quantities of 34 10K collapsible fuel tanks; 171 50K collapsible fuel tanks; and 130 210K collapsible fuel tanks being produced under the basic contract. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $15,102,610. Work will be performed at South Bend, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2018 other procurement funds are being used and no funds are being obligated at the time of delivery order award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., USA, is the contracting activity. Posted September 4, 2019

1St Half Results Revealed for Sioen Group.  Sioen Group has released its 2019 first half results, showing net sales had a 2.3% increase over 2018 during the same period. Group profit was down 22%, €13.02 million compared to €16.7 million in 2018.  In the Coating business, Sioen’s external sales were down 1.8%. Much better results were found in the Apparel business which is technical protective clothing. Over the first half compared to the first half of 2018, external sales were €74.7 million, compared to €63.2 million. The Apparel business unit results included several investment successes such as the contracts acquired for specialized firefighter apparel, military ballistic protection, and lifejackets for the French navy.  Click here to read the Sioen report. Posted September 3, 2019

J.C. Egnew, President of Outdoor Venture Corp., speaks at ceremony

Fibrotex USA Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Manufacturing Facility in Kentucky.  Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and US Congressman Hal Rogers attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 29, 2019 at the a new manufacturing facility for Fibrotex USA in Stearns, Kentucky, USA. Late last year, Fibrotex was awarded a 10-year, $480 million contract to supply the US Army its new Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Net Systems. The company is partnering with Outdoor Venture Corporation, another Stearns manufacturer to the military, in fulfilling the contract. The new 50,000 square foot facility will create up to 350 full-time jobs in the area.  Click here to read more. Posted August 31, 2019

Erica Simmons

Erika Simmons Joins AATCC as new Technical Director.  AATCC has announced Erika Simmons has been selected the organization’s new Technical Director.  Ms. Simmons replaces Diana Wyman who was named the AATCC’s Executive Director last month.  Ms. Simmons has more than 20 years of experience in the Hanesbrands testing labs providing leadership and training, developing solutions, and launching new programs. As compliance manager, she led projects in quality management to meet customer compliance requirements and government regulatory mandates. Previously, Ms. Simmons held the position of quality manager at Fruit of the Loom and process engineer at Milliken.  Posted August 31, 2019

Textile Machinery Maker Reports Significant Drop in Sales in First Half of 2019.  Fiber and yarn textile equipment maker Saurer Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd. has reported a significant sales decrease in the first half of 2019. Sales revenues declined by 17.5%.  The company, based in Shanghai, China, is part of the Saurer Group.  In a press release, Secretary to the Board Daniel Zeng attributed the loss to declines in 3 major markets (China, India and Turkey), a slowdown in overall global economic growth, a delay in orders because of ITMA and over-saturation of textile machinery production due to extremely good years in 2017-18.  Click here to read the report issued by the company. Posted August 29, 2019

Coated Fabric Producer Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Ground Water Contamination.  A US District Court Judge has ruled property owner suits against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics for alleged ground water contamination in a neighborhood can now be joined together as a class action.  According to a news article posted on the Bennington Banner website the contamination was from a ChemFab coated fabric plant in North Bennington, Vermont, USA.  The company was using liquid Teflon (perfluorooctanoic acid) to coat materials. The contamination occurred over a 30-year period ending in 2002 when the plant was closed and operations moved to New Hampshire. ChemFab was acquired by Saint-Gobain in 2000.  Click here to read more about the lawsuit. Posted August 29, 2019 

Brian Francois

SDL Atlas Appoints General Manager of Americas and Europe.   SDL Atlas has announced Brian Francois has joined the company as its General Manager of Americas and Europe. Mr. Francois previous position was as Executive Vice President of AATCC, a non-profit association for textile chemists and colorists. Prior to the AATCC position, he had been with Pulcra, a chemical additives producer for 25 years. He will now be responsible for SDL Atlas operations and staff in the US and UK as well as the markets in the Americas and Europe. Atlas is a provider of test services and test equipment for the textile industry.  Posted August 29, 2019

Ford Files Patent Design for New Airbag.   Hot on the heels of the announcement by Honda of a new airbag design for the front passenger seat that acts like an oversized baseball catcher's mitt (see our August 23 post), Ford Motor Co. has filed a patent for a driver-side airbag that features two wing-like airbags which inflate from the sides of the vehicle's steering column and supplements the central steering wheel-mounted bag. In its patent application, Ford is calling the design "Bow Tie Drive Airbag System" because of its look when deployed.  Click here to read more.  Posted August 28, 2019

Ilse Beterams

Serge Ferrari Names Vice President of North America.  Serge Ferrari has announced that Ilse Beterams has rejoined the company as Vice President of North America. Ms. Beterams has worked for Serge Ferrari for more than 25 years, including serving as General Manager of Serge Ferrari North America in 2015-2018. She will now oversee all aspects of Serge Ferrari operations in the United States and Canada. She relaces Jules Duguay who left the company at in June 2019.  Posted August 28, 2019 

Outdoor Retailer November Show Cancelled. Organizers of Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market Show, has announced the cancellation of the event -- or rather the spin is the show is being "united" into the Snow Show scheduled in January 2020.  The November show had reportedly booked only 230 companies and a pre-registration so far of 2,300 visitors. However, according to several interviewed who attended the 2018 November, the show was a disaster with empty aisles and exhibits closing up prior to the show's final day.  It's a case of over-reaching and tinkering with a successful model. The Outdoor Retailer Winter and Summer shows always attracted well when they were in Salt Lake City, Utah. Politics, though, moved the shows to Denver. The move, plus acquisitions and mergers of other outdoor shows, and a terrible first-year scheduling of all these shows in 2018, has led to a realization they moved too much too fast. Click here to read the official release by the Outdoor Industry Association.  Posted August 28, 2019

INDA Announces Session Chairs for Inaugural FiltXPO.  Seven distinct sessions have been announced for INDA's inaugural FiltXPO, an exhibition and technical conference being held for the filtration and separation industry, February 26-28, 2020, in Chicago, Ill., USA.  The overall conference program will be chaired by Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Nonwovens Institute. Co-chairs are Paul Marold, President, Lydall Performance Materials, and Taylor Sulmonetti, Ph.D., Associate, Exponent. The sessions are: Air Filtration, Biopharmaceuticals, Membrane Technology, Micro/Macro Modeling, Nano Fibers, Separation Technologies, and Water Filtration. Click here for more information on the program including the names of the keynote speakers for each session. Posted August 27, 2019

Space Travel Textiles Needs Discussed in Northrup Grumman Website Blog.  On the website blog Now, hosted on the Northrup Grumman website, author Albert McKeon discusses the need for flexible and protective textiles for space travel. Mr. McKeon says the fatal Apollo 1 launch fire that killed 3 astronauts in 1967 spurred the need for better protective wear, including the introduction of PBI textiles, a non-flammable and stable material at high temperatures.  Besides apparel fire protection, he also talks about applications such as thermal insulation blankets, inflatable structures, restraints and tethers, bag and storage containers, sleep station cushions and covers, and composite materials such as carbon fibers used for structural support.  Click here to read. Posted August 27, 2019

K. Wayne Hays

Lest We Forget: K. Wayne Hays Passes.  One of the true founders of the North American nonwovens industry, K. Wayne Hays, died on August 21, 2019 at the age of 95.  Mr. Hays became involved in the nonwovens industry in the 1950s while at Calloway Mills. He was instrumental in the establishing the International Nonwovens and Disposables Association which now is called INDA. He became the organization's first chairman and later served briefly as its interim president.  INDA recognized Mr. Hays' accomplishments both for the industry and the organization with the IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.  Click here to read more on the INDA website. August 26, 2019

Diane Bayatafshar

Composites Association Appoints Bayatafshar as Chief of Staff.  Congratulations to Diane Bayatafshar for recently being named Chief of Staff for the American Composites Manufacturers Association. Ms. Bayatafshar was formerly with the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), serving as its Director of Operations, Board Secretary and Acting President. AFMA was acquired by the National Council of Textile Organizations in 2018. During her time at AFMA, Ms. Bayatafshar also served as the Managing Director for the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association. Posted August 26, 2019

Photo: Honda

Honda Introduces New Airbag Design.  Honda introduced today a new passenger front airbag.  The airbag design was developed in partnership with Autoliv, the largest airbag producer in the market. Unlike the current system which inflates one bag, the new system utilizes 4 major components; 3 inflated compartments -- a center chamber and 2 outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash -- along with a "sail panel" that stretches between the 2 side chambers at their outermost edge. The system acts like a baseball catcher's mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant's head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head.  Click here to read the entire Honda press release. Posted August 23, 2019

US Textile Leaders Hold Discussion with Key Member of Congress on Passage of USMCA.  US textile executives participated in a roundtable discussion August 21, 2019 with Representative Tom Rice, a key member of the US House Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee to outline key textile issues including the passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.  The meeting was hosted by Milliken & Company at its headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here to read the full press release issued by the National Council of Textile Organizations. Posted August 23, 2019

Brad Kalil

INDA's Market Research Director to Speak at Association Events on Nonwoven Trends.  INDA's Director of Market Intelligence & Economic Insights Brad Kalil will be giving presentations at 2 upcoming INDA conferences -- Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics Conference (RISE®) and Hygienix™.  Mr. Kalil will be speaking on trends driving nonwovens innovation at RISE, September 24-25, 2019, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. He will also be presenting on supply/demand developments in North American markets and absorbent hygiene sectors as well as population trends and the Echo Boom at Hygienix, November 11-14, 2019, in Houston, Texas, USA.  Click here to read more about his presentations. Posted August 23, 2019

Teijin Acquires High Temp Prepeg Materials Producer.  Teijin Limited announced earlier this month it had completed the acquisition of Renegade Materials Corpration, a North American supplier of high heat-resistant thermoset prepreg used for the aerospace industry.  The Renegade acquisition will allow Teijin to expand its aerospace business as it strengthens the company's position in carbon fiber and intermediate materials. The company is targeting annual sales in this field to exceed $900 million by around 2030.  Renegade is headquartered in Miamisburg, Oh., USA. Click here to read the entire press release on the acquisition. Posted August 23, 2019

Berry Amendment Compliance Audit Started. The Inspector General of the US Department of Defense issued a memorandum dated August 5, 2019 to the military branches informing them it is starting an audit of the Department of Defense's Compliance with the Berry Amendment.  The Berry Amendment is a law that requires the US military to buy -- with some exceptions -- domestic made textile products. The purpose of the audit is to determine whether the Military Services and the Defense Logistics Agency complied with the Berry Amendment for DoD procurements and acquisitions when purchasing materials and suppliers. Posted August 16, 2019

Workers Killed While Removing Fabric Shade Structures.  Two workers of the design company GuildWorks were killed August 8, 2019 as they were attempted to remove fabrics tents that had provided shade for the main stage at Pickathon, an outdoor music festival in Happy Valley, Ore., USA.  Brad Set and Brandon Blackmore died when the boom lift they were in tipped over.  The accident happened as they were ascending in the lift to remove the ropes from trees that fastened the shade structures. Posted August 16, 2019

China Nonwovens Show Issues Call for Papers. The organizer of the 18th Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition (SINCE 2019) has issued a Call for Papers for the forum that will accompany the exhibition.  SINCE 2019 will be held December 11-13, 2019 in Shanghai, China. The exhibition will attract more than 500 companies from 30 countries. The deadline for submitting abstracts for the forum is August 31, 2019. Click here to inquire about submitting an abstract. Posted August 16, 2019

ExoMars Parachute Deployment Sequence. Source: ESA

ExoMars Parachute Testing Fails Again.  The European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed the complex parachute system for the ExoMars rover mission has experienced another failure during an August 5, 2019 high altitude test.  The test involving a module was conducted over northern Sweden. Four parachutes in a complex use sequence were intended to deploy and slow the module down from supersonic descent speeds. In both the August 5 test and the previous test in May, there was damage to the main parachutes. The most recent setback now puts the July 2020 launch date for the mission in jeopardy. Click here to read more. Posted August 16, 2019

Abstract Submission Deadline Reminder: EuroGeo 2020.  The deadline for submitting abstracts for presentations at EuroGeo 2020 is August 30, 2019. EuroGeo is Europe's largest event for the geosynthetics industry. It wil occur September 6-9, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. Click here to learn more about the conference or the requirements on submitting an abstract. Posted August 15, 2019

US Senator Chuck Schumer

US Senate Leader to Propose New Legislation Limiting Sale of Body Armor to Civilians. US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he will be proposing new legislation prohibiting civilians from purchasing body armor.  The announcement comes in the wake of two recent mass shootings, one in which the alleged shooter wore body armor.  Currently, body armor is legal for civilians to purchase in all 50 US states.  In most states, it is a felony if a person is wearing body armor while committing a crime. The civilian market is a major driver in the growth of the body armor business in the US.  Occupations where body armor is becoming increasingly popular include people employed in high crime targets like jewelry store and pawn shop owners, and people in high risk situations such as hunters, attorneys and judges, journalists and couriers. Senator Schumer intends to introduce the legislation when the US Congress reconvenes in September.  Posted August 14, 2019

SunSetter Recalls More Than 250,000 Retractable Covers Following Reported Injuries and Death.  SunSetter Products LP, of Malden, Mass., USA,  issued a product recall today of all soft vinyl awning covers used with five retractable awnings sold 1999 through January 2019 and supplied with bungee tie-downs. The company has received 14 incident reports, including 1 report of a death and 6 reports of injuries.  The death occurred when a man died after falling from a ladder and over a balcony when a motorized awning opened unexpectedly and struck him while he was removing the cover's bungee tie-downs.  The problem appears to happen when a powered awning is activated while the cover is secured with bungee tie-downs. The awning can open unexpectedly with enough force to strike the person standing in the awning's path.  Approximately 270,000 covers are involved in the recall. The covers were sold through Costco, independent retailers and through SunSetter directly. Click here to read the recall notice posted on the US Consumer Products Safety Commission's website. Posted August 13, 2019

Steve Pawl

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics Names Chief Marketing Officer. Glen Raven Custom Fabrics has announced the hiring of Steve Pawl as its first chief marketing officer. Mr. Pawl has a strong track record of developing growth strategies and strengthening brands for global companies. Most recently he was the vice president of eCommerce for Husqvarna Group as well as serving as the company's vice president of brand and product marketing for its $1 billion Consumer Brands Division. At Glen Raven, Mr. Pawl will direct brand strategy, positioning and activation for Sunbrella® fabrics as well as other trade brands within Custom Fabrics. Glen Raven Custom Fabrics is headquartered in Glen Raven, N.C., USA. Posted August 13, 2019

AATCC Announces Speakers for Antibacterial & Odor Control Conference.   AATCC, the trade association for the textile color, dye and chemical industry, has announced the speaker lineup for its Antibacterial & Odor Control Conference taking place October 16-17, 2019 in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA.  Fifteen speakers will be giving presentations on key aspects of the antibacterial and odor control textile industry. The sessions will focus on regulations and consumer marketing, novel technologies geared towards reducing pathogenic bacteria on medical/healthcare textiles, and sustainability of odor control chemistries. Click here to go the conference's website. Posted August 13, 2019

Technical Textile Product Manufacturing Center Receives $750,000 US Federal Grant.  Catawba Valley Community College’s (CVCC) Manufacturing Solutions Center in Hickory, N.C., USA, has received $750,000 from the US Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration’s i6 Challenge grant.  The grant will help fund work in bio-textiles, military applications, wearable textiles, industrial hemp fiber re-introduction, eco-friendly sustainable products and other textile items.  With the grant, a large 3D printer, laser engraver, metal-working tools, 3D scanner, direct-to-garment printer, two specialized knitting machines for shoe uppers and medical devices will be purchased, according to Dan St. Louis, director of the Manufacturing Solutions Center. This will help the center perform and develop tests for new products developed by entrepreneurs.  Click here to read more. Posted August 7, 2019

Technical Textile Producer ABC Industries Acquired.  Branford Castle Partners, LP, a New York City-based private equity firm, today announced the acquisition of ABC Industries, Inc.  Headquartered in Warsaw, Ind., USA, ABC is a niche market manufacturer and distributor of flexible ventilation solutions and technical fabrics. Its products are used for industrial ventilation, industrial textiles, underground mining and tunneling. ABC owns and operates two manufacturing plants, one in Warsaw, Ind., and the other in Grand Junction, Colo., USA. The company was founded in 1926.  Click here to read the Branford's press release on the acquisition. Posted August 7, 2019

Second Women in Textiles Conference Planned.  The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced the formation of its second Women in Textiles Summit. The event will take place February 19-21, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn., USA. IFAI is now accepting proposals for presentations.  Click here to find out more. Posted August 7, 2019

New Name for Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo.  Exposition Development Company, Inc., and Progressive Business Media announced today that the name of their trade Home Frunishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo has been changed to Furniture Manufacturing Expo.  According to the organizers, the name change reflects more clearly the event's purpose. The next show will take place July 15-16, 2020 in Hickory, N.C., USA.  Click here to go to the event's website.  Posted August 7, 2020

Trade Associations Collaborate in New Report on Worldwide Outlook for Nonwovens.  Worldwide Outlook for the Nonwovens Industry, 2018-2023 is a new report published by two leading nonwoven trade associations forecasts. The report forecasts a strong market demand for nonwovens materials through the next 5 years. It is now available for puchase from both INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, and EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries. Highlights include the historical period of 2008-2018 found production increased 5.7%, lead by growth in the spundbond/spunmelt and dry laid hydroentanglement, and China during this period was the leading growth country in overall production with 10.8% annual growth rate.  Click here to read more about the report and how to order. Posted August 6, 2019

Dukane Announces Acquisition of Aurizon.  Dukane Corporation has announced it has acquired all the assets and intellectual property of Aurizon, LLC, a manufacturer of rotary ultrasonic systems for converting nonwoven materials, bonding textiles and films, and sealing packages.  Aurizon is headquartered in Kimberly, Wis., USA.  Dukane is a manufacturer of ultrasonic, vibration, spin, laser, hot-plate, hot gas and infrared welders for many different industries.  The company had annual sales of $40 million and is headquartered in St. Charles, Ill., USA. Posted August 6, 2019

James Carville

James Carville Named as Keynote Speaker for SPESA Conference.  SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas) today announced that political commentator and media personality James Carville will be the keynote speaker for its annual Executive Conference. The event is being held October 29-30, 2019, in New Orleans, La., USA.  Click here to view more information about the SPESA conference. Posted August 5, 2019

Auburn Manufacturing President Appointed to US Ex-Im Bank.  President and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing Inc. Kathie Leonard was appointed to serve as the U.S. textile industry representative on the US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) 2019 Advisory Committee.  Auburn Manufacturing Inc. is a woman-owned manufacturer based in Mechanic Falls, Maine, USA, producing heat-and fire-resistant textiles used worldwide by industries like ship building/repair, foundries, mining, aerospace, power generation and many other heat-intensive industries. Ms. Leonard started the company in 1979. Ms. Leonard is also a board member of the National Council of Textile Organizations, the US trade association.  Click here to read the entire press release on the appointment issued by NCTO. Posted August 6, 2019

NCTO Announces Support for President Trump's Plan to Impose New 10% Tariff on $300B of Chinese Imports.  In a statement issued yesterday, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) welcomed the announcement of US President Donald Trump's plan to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of imports from China on September 1, 2019. The new tariffs announced yesterday are aimed at finished consumer products such as apparel.  NCTO President Kim Glas, though, once again expressed concern about the possibility the tariffs may also include dyes, machinery and chemicals used by US textile producers.  These items had been previously excluded from other rounds of tariffs. Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted August 2, 2019

US Department of Commerce Releases June Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the June export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Surprisingly, Mexico showed a slight decline for the 12-month period ending June 30 in comparison to the previous 12-month period.  Not surprising was China's continued decline in the 12-month comparison. Click here to see the entire June 2019 report.




Year Ending


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% Change













Hong Kong

124,236 121772


United Kingdom


106,654 +6.75
World 4,321,164 4,324,530 +0.49

Posted August 2, 2019

KDH Defense Systems Awarded $40 Million in Orders from the U.S. Armed Forces.  KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (KDH), a manufacturer of ballistic vests, announced July 30 it had been awarded two separate delivery orders from the U.S. Army totaling approximately $40 million.  KDH received a $31.5 million delivery order from the US Army Contracting Command to produce the Modular Scalable Vest (“MSV”) Generation II. KDH also received a delivery order valued at $9.0 million from the US Army Contracting Command to produce the Blast Pelvic Protectors (“BPPs”). These are new fair opportunity awards stemming from the contracts the Company initially won in 2015. All production will be performed at KDH’s manufacturing facility in Eden, N.C., USA, with an estimated completion date of June 2020.  Click here to read the company’s entire press release.  Posted August 2, 2019

OSHA Proposes $287,000 in Fines for Nonwovens Manufacturer.  The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $287,212 for U.S. Nonwovens Corp, a nonwovens manufacturer headquartered in Long Island, N.Y.  OSHA cited the company for nine serious and four repeat safety and health violations at its facility in Hauppauge, N.Y.  The agency cited Nonwovens Corps. for failing to train and evaluate forklift operators on how to safely operate equipment and provide training on lockout/tagout procedures, as well as a lack of machine guarding.  The agency also cited the company for 1) Exposing employees to fire and smoke inhalation hazards; 2) Failing to report an amputation and provide illness and injury records to OSHA in a timely manner; and, 3) Failing to store materials securely and repair damaged storage racks. Click here to read more about the citations. Posted August 2, 2019

Home Furnishing Show Held in North Carolina. The 3rd edition of Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo (HFMSE), a trade show and conference serving the furniture manufacturing industry, was held July 17-18, 2019 Hickory, N.C., USA. The event attracted more than 1,000 visitors and featured an exhibition of 69 companies from Italy, Romania, Switzerland, and the USA.  During the Expo, Furniture Today, an industry trade show publication, presented the prestigious Manufacturing Excellence Awards in 4 categories, each honoring a manufacturer who is a leader in the furniture industry. The categories and winning companies were:  Product Design & Innovation awarded to HomeStretch; Manufacturing Innovation awarded to McCreary Modern; Domestic Manufacturer of the Year awarded to Century Furniture; and, Upholstery Supplier of the Year awarded to STI Fabrics.  The next HFMSE will be held July 15-16, 2020.  Posted August 1, 2019

Exhibit Space Application Opens for ITMA Asia + CITME 2020. The textile machinery exhibition ITMA ASIA + CITME is set for its seventh presentation in Shanghai from October 15-19, 2020. 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), exhibit space application has now opened online.  Applications for space will close on 28 February 2020. Click here to read more.  Posted July 31, 2019

Fiber Industries Announces New CEO.  Fiber Industries LLC, a textile production manufacturer based in Darlington, S.C., USA, has announced Donald Bockoven as Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced Andrew Rosenfeld has been named Vice Chairman of the company. Mr. Brockoven has served most recently as President and CEO of Leigh Fibers. Prior to Leigh Fibers, Bockoven held senior management positions at Hollingsworth & Vose, Invista and Dupont. Fiber Industries is owned by MHR Fund Management, LLC, a private investment company. Posted July 31, 2019

Jeff Price

Milliken Names Jeff Price Executive VP of Operations. Milliken & Company has named Jeff Price executive vice president of operations for the company. Chad McAllister has been named the successor to Mr. Price as president of Milliken’s Performance & Protective Textiles division.  Mr. Price will oversee corporate logistics and sourcing; environmental, health and safety; corporate engineering; global security; and Milliken’s consulting arm, Performance Solutions by Milliken. His 40-year tenure at Milliken includes leading the company’s global Performance & Protective Textiles division as well as serving as general manager of the company’s global airbag and automotive nonwovens business.  Mr. McAllister joined Milliken’s Chemical division in 2001. In 2010, McAllister joined Milliken’s Performance & Protective Textiles division as chief financial officer. Posted July 29, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Decline Again in 2nd Quarter.  Continued bad news for Italian textile machinery makers. ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, has reported from April to June textile machinery sales fell by 19% compared to the same period in 2018. Orders from outside Italy were worse, showing a 21% decline. ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi commented that some of the decline may have been due in part to buyers waiting for ITMA, the textile machinery fair, that took place in Barcelona in June.  Slow sales, he added, may also be the result of the current global geopolitical situation. Click here to report the press release. Posted July 29, 2019

ASTM Defines Smart Textiles Terminology.  ASTM International's smart textiles subcommittee D13.50 has approved its first standard, a compilation of industry terms regarding smart textiles. According to Carole Winterhalter, a member of the subcommittee, "The new standard helps define everything from "smart textile" to "wearable electronic."  Ms. Winterhalter is a textile technologist with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command-Soldier Center.  The new standard will soon be available as D8248.  Click here for purchasing information. Posted July 29, 2019

MMI Textiles Acquires Competition Textiles.  MMI Textiles, Inc., a diversified supplier of fabrics, trims, hardware and other notions, has announced its acquisition of the assets of Competition Textiles.  Located in Indianapolis, Ind., USA, Competition Textiles is a converter of urethane-coated industrial textiles for the recreational industry.  Mike Wire, the company's former owner, will stay on as a consultant to MMI during the transition of the business. MMI is headquartered in Westlake, Oh., USA. Posted July 28, 2019

Coated Fabrics Manufacturers Form Joint Venture. Coated fabric manufacturers Engineered Polymer Technologies (EPT) and Erez Technical Textiles have announced the launch of a joint venture called E2.  EPT is based in the US and Erez is based in Israel. Technical textile products markets for the two companies include marine safety, boats, defense, geotechnical, secondary containment, and flexible storage tanks. Posted July 27, 2019 

$24.2 Million US Tactical Vest Contract Awarded. Carter Enterprises LLC, doing business as Mil-Spec Enterprises, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA, has been awarded a maximum $24,252,013 modification to a one-year contract with three one-year option periods for the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, Generation IV. This is a firm-fixed price, indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is New York, with a Sept. 15, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are US Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. Posted July 27, 2019

Photo: Mills Manufacturing

US Army Awards $249 Million Parachute Contract.  ASNA (Airborne Systems North America), Santa Ana, Calif., USA; and Mills Manufacturing Corp., Ashville, N.C., USA, have received a $249,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of T-11 Personnel Parachute System. The T-11 parachute (previously called the Non-Maneuverable Canopy Personnel Parachute System) is intended to replace the T-10 parachute system currently being used by both the US and Canadian armed forces.  The new system is expected to carry a combined weight of about to 400 pounds of soldier and equipment.  Posted July 25, 2019

Tension Structure Continuing Education Course Offered. FabriTec Structures, a manufacturer and contractor of lightweight fabric structures, has announced the company has partnered with Architectural Record and BNP Media to certify, host, and distribute the company’s AIA Continuing Education course "Anatomy of a Tension Structure." The continuing education course provides architects with 1 LU (learning unit) upon successful completion.  The company’s Anatomy of a Tension Structure course teaches viewers about tensile membrane structures from conceptual design through to final construction. The course covers general fabric structure forms, membrane types, concept development and analysis, material takeoff, design analysis, pricing, design considerations, engineering, steel fabrication, membrane fabrication, installation, and several project case-studies. Click here for more information.  Posted July 19, 2019

Dan Laturno

Aurora Specialty Textiles President Resigns. Although there has been no official announcement on the Aurora Specialty Textiles Group's website, Dan Laturno has posted on his LinkedIn page that he has resigned as president of the company to take the position of President/CEO of Peoria Production Shop. Mr. Laturno had been with Aurora for almost 18 years, the last 5 as its president. Marcia Ayala, Aurora's vice president, will take over his position. The company is a manufacturer of coated fabrics, serving the technical textiles industry in many markets. It is based in Yorkville, Ill., USA.  Posted July 18, 2019

Techtextil North America 2020 Names Georgia Institute of Technology Official Academic Partner.  Messe Frankfurt has named the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as the Official Academic Partner for the 2020 edition of Techtextil North America. Georgia Tech is one of the southern US' largest industrial and engineering research agencies. Its Materials Science and Engineering Program has repeatedly made the 10 best list for both its undergraduate and graduate programs. Techtextil North America 2020 is being held in Atlanta, Ga., USA, May 12-14, 2020. Click here to read more about the partnership between the academic institution and the show. Posted July 18, 2019

 Sattler Names CEO.  Sattler Corp, a division of The Sattler Group,  Austria, named today Ulrich Tombuelt as CEO. Mr. Tombuelt is a textile industry veteran and prior to his appointment he held multiple management positions in the textile industry in the United States and in Europe. Located in Hudson, N.C., USA, Sattler Corp. is a manufacturer of 100% solution-dyed acrylic woven products and spun yarn, sold under the brand name Outdura®.  Posted July 17, 2019 

Ukraine Body Armor Quality is "Cr*p".  The Ukrainian information website Unian has a post regarding intercepted conversations by the Ukraine State Bureau of Investigations (STB) between officials in the country's Ministry of Defense discussing both the quality and inflated prices paid for recently purchased protective body armor. One of the secretly recorded conversations between two ministry officials quoted one saying about the body armor "this is all cr*p!". Reportedly 3 out of 5 of the 20,000 armored vests purchased failed the ballistic stoppage tests. Total costs of the purchases was about $3.6 million.  The STB is also investigating purchases of poor quality of uniforms and tents.  Click here to read the article. Posted July 16, 2019

Nonwovens Association Seeks Nominations for 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry seeks industry nominations for one of its most prestigious awards – the Lifetime Technical Achievement Award – before Aug. 12, 2019. The award honors individuals whose technical achievements over a career of 20 years or more have meaningfully contributed to the growth of the nonwovens industry. This year, the award will be presented before 500 industry professionals at the fifth edition of Hygienix™ – the premier event for absorbent hygiene & personal care markets, November 11-14 in Houston, Texas, USA.  Click here for more information or to submit nominations. Posted July 16, 2019

TED Talk on Fiber Technology.  If you're looking for a good introduction to microfibers, Jeff Dugan, Co-Founder and Vice President of Research for Fiber Innovation Technology, recently gave a TED Talk on the subject of new developments in fiber technology. TED (technology, entertain and design) Talks are informative short presentations that all different types of issues. Click here to view Mr. Dugan's talk.  Posted July 16, 2019

Allen Gant, Jr.

Gant Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Casual Furniture Association. Congratulations to Allen Gant, Jr., chairman of Glen Raven, Inc.  The International Casual Furnishings Association has named him as one of this year’s recipients of its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards.  Mr. Gant was instrumental in leading the technical textile company into the outdoor and indoor casual furniture markets in the 1990s. Click here to read more about the award recipients. Posted July 10, 2019

Diana Wyman

New President for AATCC.  The Board of Directors for the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists announced today that Brian Francois, Executive Vice President for AATCC has decided to pursue another opportunity and will depart his current role effective July 26, 2019.  The Board of Directors has voted to promote Diana Wyman to the role of Executive Vice President.  Wyman currently serves as the Technical Director for AATCC.  Wyman has a BA in Fashion Merchandising from Radford University, an MS in Textiles from North Carolina State University, and an MBA from Meredith College.  Posted July 9, 2019

Lydall Announces Leadership Transition in its Thermal Acoustical Solutions Business.  Lydall, Inc. today announced that Joseph A. Abbruzzi has been named President, Lydall Thermal Acoustical Solutions, effective immediately.  Mr. Abbruzzi replaces Scott M. Deakin, who is departing Lydall to pursue alternative opportunities.  Mr. Abbruzzi, who most recently served as President of Lydall’s Technical Nonwovens business, has a long history with both Thermal Acoustical Solutions and the automotive industry.  From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Abbruzzi led the turnaround of the Thermal / Acoustical Fibers business segment, a segment that was combined with Thermal / Acoustical Metals in 2017 to create Lydall’s Thermal Acoustical Solutions business segment.  Lydall, Inc. is headquartered in Manchester, Conn., USA with global manufacturing operations producing specialty engineered products for the thermal/acoustical and filtration/separation markets. Posted July 9, 2019 

EDANA Elects New Board and Officers for 2019 - 2020. Mikael Staal Axelsen (Fibertex) has been selected as Chairman of EDANA, the European nonwovens association, and will be supported in the role by Vice-Chairs Omar Hoek (Ahlstrom-Munksjö, France) and David Lamb (Nonwovenn Ltd, UK). Paul Eevers’ (Unilever) position as Treasurer was also renewed. Announced at EDANA’s recent Annual Strategic Review and AGM in Vienna, the newly elected Board began their term on July 1st.  The following Governors were elected as new Board members: Michael Baumgartner, Managing Vice President Eurasia, Fitesa; Christian Hassmann, Director of Global Filtration and Separation, Johns Manville; Petri Helsky, President & CEO, Suominen; Christine Lemoine, Tyvek® Global Technology Manager, DuPont; John McNabb, Chief Technology Officer, Freudenberg Performance Materials; Elizabeth Metz, Vice President of Global Nonwovens, Kimberly-Clark; Kristin Olofsson, Innovation, Sustainability & CSR Director, Trioplast Group; and, Mark Thornton, Global Director of Materials, Procter & Gamble. Posted July 9, 2019

US Department of Commerce Releases May Export Figures for Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  The US Department of Commerce has released the May export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. China continued to show a significant decline of more than 5%

for the 12-month period ending May 31 in comparison to the previous 12-month period.  Click here to see the entire May 2019 report.




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% Change













Hong Kong

122,405 123,664


United Kingdom


106,229 +4.68
World 4,320,302 4,355,927 +0.82

Posted July 5, 2019

Paul O'Day

NCTO Announces Winner of 2019 Paul T. O'Day Memorial Scholarship.  The National Council of Textile Organizations' Fiber Council has announced Reagan Dunnam of Florence, S.C., USA as the recipient of the 2019 Paul T. O'Day Scholarship Award. Ms. Dunnam is pursuing a major in Fashion and Textile Management at North Carolina State University. As a recipient, she will receive a $5,000 award each year, totaling $20,000 for 4 years of study. The scholarship program was created in 2014 in honor of Paul T. O'Day.  Mr. O'Day was the President of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association for more than 3 decades. He passed away in 2017.  Posted June 30, 2019

Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographic Division, LC-D4-62072.

Whatever Happened to the Traditional Shop Awning?  There is a terrific article posted on the UK website Ian Visits on the history of the traditional commercial shop awning. A couple of the tidbits revealed are that the rise of shop awnings occurred with the increased use of glass windows in storefronts and the increased use of Greek and Roman style shops that included pilasters and half-columns on the sides of the shops. In the UK, one of the first companies to mass produce the awnings was London-based Deans Blinds of Putney.  (The company had started out as a fabricator of canvas water bags for the British forces.)  Click here to read the article. Posted June 28, 2019

Photo Source: ShoreMaster Fabric

Major US Marine Dock System Manufacturers Announce Merger. HydroHoist Marine Group and ShoreMaster, LLC have announced a merger of their businesses. The combined enterprise will make it the largest dock and boat lift player in North America.  Located in Fergus Falls, Minn., USA, ShoreMaster Fabric Incorporated, a division of ShoreMaster, is a manufacturer and supplier to the marine industry with various fabric products, including boat covers, boat lift canopy covers, bimini boat tops, and related marine accessories.  Posted June 28, 2019

AATCC Launches First Special Issue of the AATCC Journal of Research.  AATCC is pleased to announce publication of its first Special Issue of the AATCC Journal of Research, a compilation of 12 original research and review papers from the 14th Asian Textile Conference (ATC-14), which was organized by the Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Federation of Asian Professional Textile Associations in Hong Kong, June 27–30, 2017.  Dr. Chi-wai Kan, associate professor in the Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was Guest Editor for this issue.  Click here to access to these Special Issue papers available free to all on the AJOR IngentaConnect webpage. Posted June 28, 2019

Space Capsule Completes Final Parachute Test.  Boeing cleared another milestone toward launching its Starliner space capsule with the fifth, and final, qualification test of the vehicle’s parachute system on June 25, 2019.  The final test was the most difficult. Two parachutes were disabled on a Starliner test article that was dropped from a balloon at an altitude of 40,000 feet. During a four-minute descent, the other parachutes deployed, and the capsule touched down as planned at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range. Each Starliner will carry more than half a dozen parachutes, which are manufactured by Airborne Systems of Santa Ana, Calif. Airbags made by Delaware’s ILC Dover will cushion Starliner at landing. Those airbags and other landing systems have already been qualified for crews through rigorous test programs. During the latest test, one out of the two drogue parachutes and one out of the three main parachutes were intentionally disabled.  Click here to read the entire Boeing press release on the recent test.  Posted June 26, 2019

Bill Passes US House of Representatives to Close Kissell Amendment Loophole.  The U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 2019  approved H.R. 2083, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act. The legislation is designed to ensure  the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purchase uniforms and equipment manufactured in the United States.  The bill establishes specific criteria that increases the ability of DHS to obtain American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE). The HOPR Act builds upon earlier procurement provisions such as the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment. The bill will now move on to the Senate. Click here to read more. Posted June 26, 2019

Milliken Appoints President for Newly Acquired  Polartec Division.  Milliken & Company has announced Steve Layton as president of its newly purchased Polartec business.  Polartec, an outdoor fabric producer, was acquired in early June 2019.  Mr. Layton joined Millien in 2012, most recently serving as vice president of sales and marketing for the Westex by Milliken textiles business.  He replaces the outgoing Polartec CEO Gary Smith.  Click here to read the Milliken/Polartec press release. Posted June 26, 2019

Scottish Technical Textile Producer Prepares for Layoffs.  The website The Courier has posted news on the planned redundancy (layoffs) at technical textile producer Don & Low.  The company, located in Forfar, Angus, Scotland, employs around 500 at its headquarters and, according to a letter sent from company chairman Vassilis Zairopoulos, the company will eliminate 55 current positions due to increased competition from imports and changing consumer preferences affecting its nonwovens used for carpet-backing. The company dates back to 1792 and was purchased by Thrace Plastics, part of Thrace Group, in 1999. This is the second Scottish technical textile producer announcing significant redundancy lately (see the May 2 post on Scott & Fyfe). Click here to read more about the Don & Low announcement. Posted June 25, 2019

US Body Armor Company Award $215.9 Million Contract.  The US Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a $215.9 million contract to Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., of Pompano Beach, Fla., USA for the Marine Corps Low Intensity Threat Environment (LITE) new small arms protective insert. Posted June 25, 2019

University of Rhode Island Students Win Hackathon Competition with Radiation-Deflecting Spacesuit Design.  Congratulations to 3 students from the Wearable Biosensing Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island's College of Engineering.  Himanshu Mishra, Ayush Arora and Adityaraj Verule placed first in a recently held "hackathon" competition at Harvard University.  The team's idea was "SpaceBling: A Radiation Deflecting Spacesuit."  The designed spacesuit would not only protect the user from solar radiations but also cosmic radiation.  The three are visiting interns from the India Institute of Technology in Delhi, India, studying textile technology. Click here to read the article about their accomplishment. Posted June 25, 2019

Composites Forum in Chicago Attracts more than 200 Delegates.  JEC Forum Chicago 2019, unveiled its new format this year that combined business meetings and conference sessions. The event took place June 19-20 in Chicago, Ill., USA.  JEC Group, the organizer, reports there were 201 delegates and 490 business meetings that took place. During the event, the JEC Innovation Awards winners were announced. Winners were KTM-Technologies GmbH of Austria, Gazechim Compoistes Iberica of Spain, Surface Generation of the United Kingdom, and Carbo-Link AG of Switzerland. Click here to find out more about the event. Posted June 21, 2019

Geosynthetics Producer Expanding with New US Manufacturing Facility.  Geosynthetics manufacturer Solmax has announced that it is expanding its operations and establishing a manufacturing facility in Nevada, USA.  CEO Jean-Louis Vangeluwe said in a press release the manufacturing facility will be fully operational by mid-2020.  Following the integration of the Solmax and GSE Environmental businesses into one combined strong global entity – Solmax’s goal is to continue to grow its industry leadership position in the geosynthetics sector with strength, reach, capacity and talent to reshape the geosynthetics industry.  Solmax is headquartered in Varennes, Que., Canada.  Posted June 20, 2019

Photo source: Silvalea website

Savaria to Acquire Sling Manufacturer Silvalea. Savaria Corporation, a manufacturer of products in the healthcare accessibility industry, has announced it is acquiring Silvalea Group. Established in 1993, Silvalea is a manufacturer of patient transfer slings and accessories.  It is headquartered in Newton Abbot, UK.  In its last fiscal year, the Silvalea Group recorded revenue of $6.8 million on sales of 70,000 slings. The slings are made from various types of textiles, depending on the application. Savaria is headquartered in Laval, Que., Canada. Click here to read the press release. Posted June 20, 2019

Early Discount Registration Ends Soon for IFAI Expo 2019.  The Early Bird Rate deadline for the IFAI Expo 2019 ends June 26. The annual Expo is being held October 1-4, 2019 in Orlando, Fla., USA.  The show will feature a 300,000 sqf exhibition floor and the show floor has two distinct areas -- Advanced Textiles and Specialty Fabrics. Click here to go to the Expo's registration page. Posted June 20, 2019

Apollo Spacecraft Computer was Handwoven by Textile Workers.  In commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, the website Fast Company has a fascinating article on the textile aspects of the spacecrafts that flew to the Moon. The lunar rover, for example, used a mesh tire made of piano wire woven by hand. The parachutes bringing the spacecrafts back to Earth used 7,200 square feet of fabric and had 2 million stiches sewn by women from an apparel company. Perhaps the best reveal was the circuits of the flight computers as well as the actual programs were woven by hand by women using looms using needles with wire attached to them instead of thread, making what is called "rope core memory."  Click here to read the article. Posted June 18, 2019

New President for Miller Weldmaster. Miller Weldmaster, a manufacturer of textile welding systems, has announced that it has appointed Brent Nussbaum as President, effective June 1, 2019.  Mr. Nussbaum was named to succeed Scott Miller as the president. Mr. Miller will continue his company ownership. Mr. Nussaum has been with the company for 21 years. Miller Weldmaster is headquartered in Navarre, Oh., USA. Posted June 18, 2019

Outdoor Tactical Gear Fabricator Opens New Facility in California.  Outdoor Research, a Seattle-based maker of tactical gloves for the military as well as other sewn outdoor products for consumers, has opened a new production facility in El Monte, Calif., USA. According to an article posted on The Seattle Times website, company management would have preferred to stay in the Seattle, Wash., area but could not find enough skilled sewers.  The new facility is employing 105 workers. Click here to read the article. Posted June 18, 2019

Article Looks at Connecticut Parachute Company's Role in D-Day.  In the last week, there has been much in the news about the 75th Anniversary of D-Day during World War II. An article posted on the website of Connecticut Magazine reviewed the contribution of the Pioneer Parachute Company located in Manchester, Conn., USA. More than 13,000 paratroopers used Pioneer chutes during the invasion of France. The company was originally started as a silk mill in 1838 and by the 1920s was a supplier of parachute fabric to manufacturers. In 1938, it began its own parachute manufacturing and by 1942 was the world's leading producer of nylon parachutes, turning out 300 parachutes a day.  Later, Pioneer developed parachutes for NASA space craft. The company has undergone ownership change and its main production plant has moved to Mississippi. Click here to read the article. Posted June 12, 2019

Dominic Duffy

Asian Pacific Sales Manager Hired for Aircraft Fabric Maker. Tapis Corporation a manufacturer of high-performance fabrics for seating and vertical surface applications in the aviation industry, has announced the hiring of industry veteran Dominic Duffy as vice president of sales for Asia Pacific.  Mr. Duffy will represent Tapis in Singapore, Thailand, China, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan among other Asian nations. He has experience in aircraft manufacture, structural and non-structural composites and, for the last 20 years, has focused on aircraft interiors and seating systems.  Prior to joining Tapis, he was business development manager for Asia Pacific with Zodiac Cabin Interiors and regional sales manager for Asia Pacific with Zodiac Seats UK (Contour). In both roles, he liaised between the product sales teams at both seating companies and the airlines, helping to ensure successful sales and delivery of products.  Posted June 12, 2019

Milliken to Acquire Polartec.  Milliken & Company has announced today it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Polartec, LLC from Versa Capital Management, LLC. The acquisition is expected to close later this month.  Headquartered in Andover, Mass., USA, Polartec makes textiles for the workwear, outdoor and military. Versa had previously acquired the Polartec assets from Malden Mills in 2007. Click here to read the Milliken press release on the acquisition. Posted June 11, 2019

$8.9 Million Contract Awarded by US Military Includes Tentage. Mahaffey Tent & Awning Co. Inc., Memphis, Tenn., USA was awarded a $8,976,868 modification (P00006) to contract W9124E-16-D-0006 for shower trailers, environment control units, light sets, tentage of various sizes and configurations, hand washing stations, generators, cots, and other logistical life support equipment. Work will be performed in Fort Polk, La., USA, with an estimated completion date of June 20, 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance US Army funds in the amount of $8,976,868 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Polk, La., is the contracting activity. Posted June 11, 2019

Joyson Safety Systems announces Tri-Party Joint Venture with ANAND Group and Abhishek Industries.  Joyson Safety Systems (JSS), a supplier of mobility safety systems including airbags and seatbelts, has announced the formation of a Tri-Party Joint Venture to merge its two Joint Ventures in India. KSS Abhishek Safety Systems Private Limited (“KSSA”) which is a Joint Venture of JSS with Abhishek Industries is being merged with Takata India Pvt. Ltd (“TIPL”). TIPL is a Joint Venture between ANAND Group and JSS. The new tri party Joint Venture will be called “Joyson ANAND Abhishek Safety Systems Private Limited” (“JAASS”). The merger of the two entities is subject to approval to India's National Company Law Tribunal.  Under the terms of the new Joint Venture agreement, the new shareholding structure of JAASS will be: JSS 65%, ANAND Group 30% and Abhishek Industries 5%.  Posted June 8, 2019

April US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce has just released the April export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. In the first 4 months, Mexico, China and Hong Kong showed significant declines.  Comparing year-endings April 30, China is showing a decline of 2.87%. over last year. Click here to see the entire April 2019 report.



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% Change













Hong Kong

121,936 122,325


United Kingdom


105,644 +4.58
World 4,296,522 4,365,197 +1.60

Posted June 7, 2019

Fabric Shelter Frame Contract Award by US Military. Camel Manufacturing Co., Pioneer, Tenn., USA, has been awarded a maximum $10,222,198 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for manufacturing and delivery of the expandable tent frame and components.  This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received.  This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods.  Location of performance is Tennessee, with a June 4, 2020, performance completion date.  Using military services are US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the US Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted June 6, 2019

Registration Open for New Print Show. Registration is now open for PRINTING United, a new printing technologies show being introduced by the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA). The show is the replacement for the organization's annual SGIA Expo. It is taking place October 23-25, 2019, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here for more information from the organizer. Posted June 6, 2019

European Geosynthetics Conference Issues Call for Abstracts. The Polish Society of Geosynthetics (PSG-IGS), a chapter of the International Society of Geosynthetics (IGS), has announced abstracts are now being accepted for the 7th EuroGeo Conference. The event is being held in Warsaw, Poland, September 6-9, 2020.  The deadline for abstract submissions is August 30, 2019.  Click here for more information about the conference, including abstract submissions. Posted June 6, 2019

Milliken Acquires Healthcare Company.  Milliken & Company announced today the acquisition of Andover Healthcare, a manufacturer of cohesive bandages and compression systems for the healthcare, animal health, and sports medicine markets. The company will be joining Milliken Healthcare Products LLC.  Andover Healthcare is a family-owned business headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., US. Click here to read the official press release. Posted June 5, 2019

$200 Million Shelter Contract Awarded.  HDT Expeditionary Systems Inc., Solon, Oh., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for commercial off-the-shelf shelters and tents. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a one-year base contract with 3 one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Alabama, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky, with a June 4, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. Posted June 3, 2019

Looking for Older Information?

See our Archives sections for older information. 

Coming Events

  • September 23-26:  CAMX 2019. Anaheim, Calif., USA
  • September 24-25: RISE 2019, Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • September 25-26, 2019: AATCC Introduction to Textile Testing Workshop, Durham, N.C., USA
  • October 1-4:  IFAI Expo, Orlando, Fla., USA

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

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Final Report Issued on 2018 China Industrial Textiles Industry

In 2018, China's industrial textile industry maintained a relatively rapid growth. The year, though, also found more complex challenges for the industry, including the tariff issues with the US. Thanks to BeaverLake6 Reports' exclusive arrangement with China Textile magazine, we are presenting the English-translated version of the final 2018 report written by the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA).  The report included information on fiber and material production, plus selected large end-product markets. Click here to read the report. Posted September 3, 2019

Do Profit and Convenience Muck Up the Moral Concern in Tariff Testimony by US Domestic Textile Industry?

NCTO Members Testifying at US International Trade Commission.  Surprisingly, there appears to be a little worry the announced new US tariffs on China (Section 301) may be reaching too far with its scope. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), which has been firmly behind most of the textile-tariffs against China over the last year, is expressing concern the new Tranche Four retaliatory tariffs may affect US imports on products needed by the US domestic textile industry.  

[Read the rest of my editorial that takes NCTO to task for its hypocritical "moral" argument supporting the proposed additional products but excluding its industry's suppliers by clicking here.]


Steve Warner


Posted June 17, 2019

China's Industrial Textile Market Demands Still Remains Vigorous

Despite the increasingly complex industry demands, the Chinese technical textiles market was relatively stable. Nonwovens output increased over last year. Key specific markets such as tire cord also increased in 2018 over 2017. Overall operating income for industrial textiles used in China reached $34 billion. Click here to read the complete summary provided to BeaverLake6 Report by China Textile magazine through our exclusive relationship. Posted February 15, 2019

Does IDEA Show Need to be in Miami Beach?

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has issued its final report on IDEA19.  The event held March 25-27, 2019 in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, attracted 6,500+ participants and 509 exhibiting companies from 75 countries.  Show floor space was a record 168,600 square feet, a 9% increase over the previous show. 


Surprisingly, the people and exhibitor participation figures are not record numbers. The IDEA16 show in Boston, Mass., USA, attracted 7000+ and 555 exhibitors. 


So, why was participation down this year from IDEA16?  I think an explanation for the decline is the South Florida location of IDEA19.  Click here to read more.

President Li Lingshen, President, China Nonwovens & Industrial Texiles Association

President Li Lingshen

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.

Final Analysis of IFAI Expo 2018 and CAMX18

IFAI President S. Schiffman

IFAI Expo 2018 was the first show under IFAI's new CEO/President Steve Schiffman. In a quick conversation on the first day, Mr. Schiffman thought event attendance was on target with the expectation of a 500 increase over the 4500 total participants (counting both exhibitors and visitors) they had in 2017 in New Orleans. Similarly, a conversation with one of the managers of ACMA, a partner in CAMX, said their pre-registration had already topped the 6500 they had last year in Orlando. (Keep in mind, though, the 2017 CAMX show had to be rescheduled from September to December because of Hurricane Irma.) Click here to read more about the shows. 

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify          on Proposed USMCA Impact

Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies. 


The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. Click here to read more.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. 

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