BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Special Report

Day 4: Techtextil Show Preliminary Participation Figures Released

Combined Shows Attract more than 47,000 Visitors from 116 Countries.  Once again, the co-located Techtextil 2019 and Texprocess 2019 proved to be the major international platform for the global technical textiles industry. Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, the organizer of the two trade fairs, released preliminary participation numbers immediately upon the conclusion of the 4-day event on May 17. Combined, there were a total of 1,818 exhibitors from 59 countries and 47,000 trade visitors from 116 countries. In comparison, the figures in 2017 were 1,789 exhibitors from 66 countries and 47,388 visitors from 114 countries. 

While a quick glance finds the 2017 and 2019 numbers about even, I think 2019 is a remarkable achievement given the challenges facing the global industry. I'd like to do a deeper dive into the demographics to see if we can determine where the show has gained participation and what holds back other markets this year. It will be interesting to compare, for example, the Chinese participation this time verse the 2017 participation since there is a slowdown in the country's economy and the increasing tariff dispute with the US, its largest export designation for technical textiles.


In Europe itself, many in the industry described the economy in a "pause" situation, citing issues such as the Brexit mess, the political situation in Turkey, and a slow-growth 1.5% GDP economy so far in 2019. The industry seems to be waiting for market clarity which may be provided with the upcoming European parliamentary elections. 


Click here to read earlier Techtextil 2019 posts.


Steve Warner


Posted May 19, 2019

Front Page News

Auggie Tantillo

Industry Honors Retiring NCTO Leader Auggie Tantillo.  On May 16, many of the leaders of the US domestic textile manufacturing industry gathered in Charlotte, N.C., USA to pay tribute to the leadership of Auggie Tantillo as he retires from a 38-year career in the textile industry. His positions included serving as the president/ceo of the National Council of Textile Organizations and as deputy assistant secretary for textiles & apparel at the US Department of Commerce. The dinner and reception included Allen E. Gant, Jr., chairman of Glen Raven Inc., Marty Moran, CEO of Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, and Jeff Price, president of Milliken's  specialty fabrics division. Click here to read Textile World's report on the celebration.  Posted May 22, 2019

Glen Raven Opens New Sunbrella Headquarters. In a press release issued May 20, Glen Raven Inc. announced the opening of its Sunbrella division's new headquarters located in Burlington, N.C., USA. The renovated building was the first wholly owned production facility for the company built in 1901. Click here to read more on Burlington's The Times-News website. Posted May 22, 2019

March US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce is finally catching up from the January shutdown in issuing its monthly export reports. It has now released the March export figures in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group.  The report shows that the US is now starting to see the affects of the US / China trade dispute. China's is its third largest export destination for technical textiles. The report shows a decline of almost 2% over the past 12 months over the previous 12-month period. Click here to see the entire March 2019 report.



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

122,390 122,027


United Kingdom


105,352 +3.47
World 4,264,421 4,386,276 +2.86

Posted May 22, 2019

Lydall Technical Nonwovens Divests Geosynthetic Installation Business Unit. Nonwoven material manufacturer Lydall, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Texel Technical Materials, Inc., has announced that it completed the sale of Texel Geosol, Inc. on May 9, 2019 to FC Géosynthétiques, Inc. Geosol installs geosynthetic products in the civil engineering and environmental protection sectors, principally within the province of Quebec, Canada. “The divestiture of Geosol follows Lydall’s strategy to focus on our core technologies and capabilities that improve our effectiveness and positioning as a specialty materials provider,” said Dale G. Barnhart, President and CEO of Lydall, Inc. Texel Technical Materials Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lydall, Inc.  headquartered in Manchester, Conn., USA. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted May 20, 2019

Outlook™ Plus Latin America 2019 Keeps Its Momentum.  The two global nonwoven trade associations, EDANA and INDA, supported by ABINT, the Brazilian Association of Nonwoven Industries, closed the third edition of the OUTLOOK™ Plus Latin America conference in São Paulo, Brazil.  Opening the conference, keynote presenter Walter Barral, Ph.D., outlined the challenges and opportunities in the political and economic environment within Brazil and the Mercosur Region.  Key drivers for these opportunities are changing perspectives brought about by rapid negotiations in Free Trade Agreements and customs tariffs. Altogether, the event attracted 215 participants who heard 31 speakers. In addition to the seminars, OUTLOOK™ Plus Latin America featured an 18-company tabletop exhibits.  Click here read the press release on the event prepared by the 2 organizations. Posted May 15, 2019

Marta Doménech Catarina

Safety Components Hires New Head of European Sales.  Safety Components, Inc. (SCI), a manufacturer of high performance flame-resistant fabrics, has announced the addition of Marta Doménech Catarina to its Protective Fabrics team.  Ms. Doménech Catarina comes to Safety Components from Alfredo Grassi, S.p.A., where she was the Technical & Commercial Manager for Spain.  The main focus of SCI is to design and manufacture textiles for markets including: first responders (fire service, USAR & EMS), military, outdoor fabrics, aerospace escape slides, fuel cells, and automotive air bag fabrics. Posted May 11, 2019

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Shelter Contract. LiteFighter System LLC, Canton, Ga., 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. It is a 12-month base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, with a May 9, 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. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support. Posted May 10, 2019

Indian Government Adopting New Military Procurement Policy.  The India Defence Ministry is creating a new procurement policy that will push for more domestic content in products.  One of the product areas being targeted is military textiles.  In the new procurement policy, the content of the product from domestic sources will be determined prior to the bidding.  Products that are affected include ballistic vests, sleeping bags, and high altitude clothing.  The minimum domestic content will be 50%. The overall content is not a fixed rate but will be determined by the product. Click here to read an article about the new policy. Posted May 10, 2019

US Textile Trade Association Supports Trump as New Tariffs Are Announced.  The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) issued a press release on May 8, 2019 expressing appreciation for "the Trump administration's action to crack down on unfair trade practices from China through the Section 301 mechanism."  The support comes on the same day the US Trade Respresentative Robert Lighthizer announced the administration's intent to raise tariffs on $200 billion imported Chinese goods including almost all technical textiles and a wide scope of end-products made of technical textiles such as parachutes, pet collars and leashes, luggage, sport and golf bags, and conveyor belts. The tariffs on the affected items now will go from 10% to 25%.  Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted May 9, 2019

Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Introduced in US Congress.  16 US Senators, representing both Republicans and Democrats, have introduced legislation to permanently reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal intiative that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase ballistic vests for law enforcement officers. The grant program has been funded for 20 years, awarding over $467 million in matching federal funds for the purchase of more than 1.3 million vests. Congress has renewed the program 5 times, most recently in 2016. The current authorization expires in 2020. Click here to read more. Posted May 9, 2019

SpaceX Crew Dragon Parachutes Failed April Test.  At a hearing of the House Science Committee's space subcommittee, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier revealed that an April test of the SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute system failed so drastically that it has the potential to affect future capsule parachute designs. In the test, one of the 4 parachutes was purposefully failed to demonstrate the capability of the overall system. However, the remaining 3 parachutes failed to support the load, causing the test sled to hit the ground harder, damaging it. Mr. Gerstenmaier told the subcommittee NASA and SpaceX are still studying whether the failure was a design or equipment problem. Prior to the April experience, there had been 5 previous successful testing with one of the 4 parachutes disabled.  Click here to read more at the website. Posted May 9, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Sales Decline in 1st Quarter. The order index for Italian textile machinery carried out by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, for 2019 January-March period ranging from January to March 2019 dropped 3% compared to the same period of the previous year.  The drop was due to foreign sales where orders fell by 11%. On the domestic front, orders increased by 84% compared to the first quarter 2018.  ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi commented, "Regarding foreign markers, the slowdown is a result of deep rooted feeling of uncertainty currently permeating the global economy with multiple pressures on global trade in different geographical areas." Posted May 7, 2019 

Tex Tech Completes Acquisition of US Coater and Laminator. Tex Tech Industries, Inc., a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners, has announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of the coating and laminating operations and U.S. defense-related operations of Highland Industries, Inc., a former subsidiary of Takata Corp. The acquired businesses will be renamed Tex Tech Coatings, LLC and will operate as a division of Tex Tech. Tex Tech Coatings, headquartered in Kernersville, N.C., USA, is a supplier of coated and laminated products across a variety of end markets including aerospace & defense, industrial, and medical. Tex Tech Coatings will be led by the existing management team, including Scott Burkhart as President of Coatings, Kelly Moore as VP of Finance, and Justin Barnett as Director of Coatings Sales. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted May 2, 2019

February US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released.  The US Department of Commerce has released the February export figures in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. In comparing the 2018/2019 12-month periods ending February 28, there is still a strong overall increase of +3.19%; however, comparing year-to-date for 2019 vs. 2018, we start to see a small export decline for the US.  If the trend continues, we will start to see the Year Ending figures start to decline, too, within the next few months. Click here to see the entire February report that includes both ways of recording, plus historical calendar year numbers going back to 2015. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

121,415 124,884


United Kingdom


105,158 +4.36
World 4,259,825 4,395,822 +3.19

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted May 2, 2019

Serious Troubles for Scottish Technical Textile Manufacturers. Competition from foreign companies have had a serious negative effect on Scott & Fyfe, a manufacturer of technical textiles located in Tayport, Scotland. The company was established in 1864 and now supplies a wide range of technical textiles for the construction, medical, sports, aerospace and energy industries. Local newspapers reported management was planning to lay off up to 19 of the 80-employee workforce because of significant declining sales over the last 6 months. Click here to read more. Posted May 2, 2019 

Containment cover being placed over telescope. (Photo: NASA)

AR Tech Builds Containment Cover for Space Telescope.  AR Tech, a subsidiary of A&R Tarpaulins Inc., recently completed a more than two-year project for Northrop Grumman who is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the James Webb Space Telescope.  AR Tech is located in Fontana, Calif., USA, and began collaborating with Northrop engineers in August 2016 on the concept of a large contamination cover for the telescope. The cover included inner and outer components. The production process of the 36-foot-tall cover included 300 hours of labor, per piece. The covers were delivered in October 2018 and featured in a video released by NASA Goddard in February 2019. Posted May 2, 2019

(Left-Right) Dr. F.- Hans Grandin and Sven Schröe

HUESKER Promotes US Subsidiary Leader, Announces Several Other Senior Management Changes.  CEO Sven Schröer of HUESKER Inc., the US subsidiary of HUESKER Group, is returning to the company's headquarters in Germany. Dr. F.-Hans Grandin, Chairman of the Management Board, announced Mr. Schröer will join the Management Board as Managing Director, in charge of HUESKER's geosynthetics sales worldwide.  Flávio Teixeira Montez will take over Mr. Schröers current responsibility as CEO of the US subsidiary HUESKER Inc. in Charlotte, NC. Mr. Montez co-founded HUESKER Ltda in São José dos Campos, Brazil, in 1998, which he developed into one of the most successful subsidiaries within the HUESKER Group. André Estêvão Ferreira da Silva, who joined HUESKER 20 years ago and has been an integral part of the success in Brazil, already has taken over as the new Managing Director of HUESKER Ltda. from Mr Montez. Posted May 2, 2019

Polartec and Kraig BioCraft Laboratories Announce Plans to Bring Spider Silk Materials to Consumer Market.  Polartec, a manufacturer of outdoor apparel and insulating fabrics, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Kraig), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, have announced plans to bring to market the first fabrics made from spider silk. Initially developed for specialized military applications, the companies say the high-strength material made from recombinant spider silk will eventually service the global market for high performance textiles and apparel. Click here to read the announcement. Posted April 30, 2019

NSF Appoints New Textile Sustainability Program Director.  NSF International (formerly National Sanitation Foundation) has appointed Christine York as Program Manager for NSF’s textiles sustainability program. Ms. York’s experience in sustainability initiatives at global textile, apparel and footwear organizations advances NSF’s commitment to bring innovative sustainability solutions to the textile industry.  Prior to joining NSF, Ms. York worked at Wolverine Worldwide and Nike. She was also a representative member for Nike in the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Sustainability Working Group, contributing to the development and launch of the Higg Index – a suite of tools that allows organizations in the apparel, footwear and textile industries to measure and score a company’s or product’s sustainability performance. Posted April 29, 2019

Fabric Military Shelter Kits Contract Awarded. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Merrimack, N.H., USA, was awarded a $19,491,157 firm-fixed-price contract for protective fabric shelter kits. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Merrimack, N.H., with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2024. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $1,681,301 were obligated at the time of the award. Posted April 29, 2019

Thermal Signature Difficult to Mask in Military Camouflage Efforts. There is an interesting article posted on the Business Insider website today about US military efforts to deal with thermal detection in camouflage clothing. Retired Army Lt. Col. Timothy O'Neill, a consultant for HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp, explains that heat is energy and must somehow be dissipated or vented. US scientists are experimenting with aerosol particles that block infrared light. "Quantum stealth" is another idea: It's a light-bending camouflage material able to bend the electromagnetic spectrum around a target. Click here to read the article. Posted April 29, 2019

US Textile Organization Announces New Management Appointments, Kimberly Glas Begins Today as President/CEO. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has announced today the appointment of Kristi Ellis as the organization's new Vice President of Communications, effective April 29, 2019, and Donald Vavala as the Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, effective May 2019. Ms. Ellis has 24 years of manufacturing and international trade reporting experience with national textile press publications. Mr. Vavala comes to NCTO following a 31-year career at W.L. Gore, where he most recently held the position of Director, Military Government Affairs. He will succeed Hardy Poole. Mr. Poole has announced his resignation effective in May 2019. Both new appointments were announced today to coincide with Kimberly Glas' first day as the new NCTO President/CEO. Click here to read NCTO's press release. Posted April 29, 2019

Research Service Award Announced.  Congratulations to Gina Sloan, Ph.D., for receiving the 2019 AATCC Technical Committee on Research (TCR) Service Award for her leadership of AATCC’s RA31 Antimicrobial Activity Test Methods research committee. She was recognized at the AATCC International Conference Awards Luncheon on April 11, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.  Dr. Sloan joined AATCC in 2011 and became chair of RA31 in 2012. Dr. Sloan is Director of Innovations at Microban International. She holds a BS in Biology from Western Carolina University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Wake Forest University.  AATCC is an association serving textile professionals. Click here to read more about her AATCC accomplishments. Posted April 26, 2019

Sustainability Report Issued. American & Efird (A&E), a portfolio company of Elevate Textiles and the world’s foremost manufacturer and distributor of industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles, announced its Earth Day release of its 9th annual, Corporate Sustainability Report, “A Focus on the Future.” Highlighting its annual progress in environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility, A&E measured its performance against goals outlined within its Eco-Driven® program, the Ten Threads of Sustainability, with a mission of ensuring that future generations will have a great place to live and work. Click here to read the full press release which details specific accomplishments within the report. Posted April 26, 2019

Two Awning Companies in Arizona Close.  Consumers appeared to be caught unaware of the sudden closing of two awning manufacturers located near Phoenix, Ariz., USA. Awnings By Design LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sun City Awning LLC of El Mirage, Ariz., both owned by Brian Beachy, announced through postings on their respective websites they had closed, effective April 1, 2019. The Sun City Awning website said the company was founded in 1971 and was the largest awning and patio cover company in Arizona. The Awnings By Design website said the company was established in 1982.  Following consumer complaints, the Arizona Register of Contractors has suspended their licenses to do business. Posted April 23, 2019

Ralf Schrenk (left), Jochen Groth

Management Acquires Losberger Cover All.  Losberger De Boer has announced that it has sold the company division Losberger Cover All to current management Jochen Groth and Ralf Schrenk. Losberger Cover All is located Stralsund, Germany and produces pre-fabricated and flexible hall shelters for agriculture, industry, equestrian sport and sport venues. Losberger, founded in 1919, had acquired De Boer Structures Holding BV in 2017, and the combined company renamed Losberger De Boer. Losberger Cover All is focused on the production of storage halls, and a strategic evaluation of the overall company determined the division would be better positioned as an independent company. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 22, 2019

INDA Issues Annual North America Nonwovens Supply Report.  INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has released its 6th edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply.  New findings include: In 2018, North American nonwoven capacity increased to 5.17 million tons, a net increase of 3.4% (180,000 tons) over 2017. This growth figure accounts for not only the addition of new lines, but also machine productivity increases and line closures to arrive at a net increase growth figure. In the last 2 years, 43 new lines have come online, and 16 lines have been shut-down. The majority of the new lines are making engineered fabrics for the transportation and filtration markets. The report is authored by Brad Kalil, INDA’s Director of Market Research.  Click here to find out more about the report which is distributed to INDA members as part of their member benefits. Posted April 22, 2019

IFAI Announces Call for Board and Leadership Positions. The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has announced it is seeking candidates for positions on the organization's Board of Directors, as well as for a number of Division Advisory Boards. The available IFAI Board positions are 1st Vice Chairman, 2nd Vice Chairman and 3 Director positions. The current 1st Vice Chairman Kathy Schaefer is Chairman-Elect and will automatically assume the duties of the Chairman of the Board in October 2019. Click here to contact Cherie Schmit, Assistant to the President, to obtain an application or seek additional information on the available positions. Posted April 22, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Maker Announces Formation of New Company for Technical Textiles. The Italian textile machinery manufacturer Itema Group has announced the formation of Itematech, a new company exclusively dedicated to producing weaving machines for the benefit of technical fabrics weavers. The new company is a result of the recent partnership of Itema and PTMT (formerly Panter), a maker of techincal textiles machines.  Itema will be introducing the new company at the upcoming Techtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany. May 14- 17, 2019. Click here for more information. Posted April 18, 2019

Global Nonwoven Association Leaders Meet to Coordinate Updated Definition of Nonwovens and Plastic Issues Response.  Leaders from 10 global nonwoven associations held a joint strategy meeting March 26, 2019 at the IDEA 2019 Conference, in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, to advance coordination on two key issues common to all: free and fair trade in nonwovens, and the growing concern about plastics in the environment and the need for coordinating messaging on the issue. The first step in advancing the coordination of fair and free trade is the nonwoven definition. The nonwovens associations seek to distance themselves from "textiles" in defining the material and industry, particularly regarding trade agreements and issues. Click here to read more and who participated at the meeting. Posted April 16, 2019 

Photo credit: US Army

Report on the US Army's New Soldier Protection System. The website US Army-Technology has a nice overview of the new US Army's Soldier Protection System (SPS) that has been introduced this year. The SPS has several sub-systems including the Vital Torso Protection (VTP) variants.  The Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP) is further comprised of multiple components, including the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS), the Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP) and Ballistic Battle Belt (B3).  The modular vest is scalable for different situations and sizes, and is replacing the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) which was introduced in the 1990s.  The module component system provides more that gives a better fit for women and men of smaller statue. Click here to read the article. Posted April 16, 2019

Future Leaders Award Presented by Association.  The AATCC Future Leaders Award was presented to Meredith L. McQuerry on April 11, 2019 at the International Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The award recognizes promising young professionals in the fields of textiles, apparel, and related material sciences. Dr. Mcquerry is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Retail Entrepreneurship Department at Florida State University. She has over $380,000 in research grants, 12 journal articles published, and seven manuscripts in preparation for submission. One of the journal articles, published with Emil DenHartog and Roger Barker in 2016, received the AATCC J.W. Weaver Paper of the Year Award.  Nominees for the AATCC Future Leaders Award must be AATCC members who are 39 years old or younger and actively engaged in the greater textile or related industries.  AATCC is a not-for-profit association serving textile professionals. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA. Posted April 15, 2019

AstenJohnson and Heimbach to Merge PMC Businesses. Heimbach and AstenJohnson have announced plans to merge their Paper Machine Clothing (PMC) and Advanced Fabrics businesses. Heimbach is based in Germany and AstenJohnson is based in the US. They have had a partnership for almost 40 years. The merger will not affect Heimbach Technical Textiles, nor AstenJohnson's technical textiles and filtration business. Click here to read the AustenJohnson press release. Posted April 15, 2019

Fabrics That Protect Against Chemical Warfare Agents.  According to a post on the North Carolina State University website "Researchers at North Carolina State University and the U.S. Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center developed functional textiles that neutralized a blistering agent simulant under conditions of 80 percent relative humidity. The new coating also captured ammonia gas."  The new coated composites have potential to be used as a bae film in protective textiles. Click here to read the article. Posted April 12, 2019

Anthony Centofanti

Lest We Forget: Anthony J. Centofanti Passes. Anthony "Tony" J. Centofanti of Avon, Conn., USA, passed away on April 4, 2019. Mr. Centofanti's professional career was in the nonwovens and technical textiles industry. He began working for Albany International and Tex-Tech Industries before managing Poly-Bond.  He then became President and CEO of National Nonwovens in Easthampton, Mass., USA. He had also served on the board of INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Industry. Mr. Centofanti was 75 years old. Click here to read his obituary. Posted April 12, 2019

Dr. Jorge Zornberg

Geosynthetics Society Announces New Lecture Series.  The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has announced the creation of the Zornberg Lecture, established in recognition of IGS Past President Dr. Jorge Zornbberg's contributions to the geosynthetics discipline, his leadership in creating the first IGS GeoAmericas conference, and his continued fostering of the IGS presence across the Americas. A selection task force has been appointed to solicit and vet nominations for the 2020 Zornberg Lecturer. The Zornberg Lecture will recognize an individual whose work resulted in significant advances in concepts or technologies that had a significant impact on the practice of geosynthetics engineering in the Americas. Click here to learn more at the IGS website. Posted April 10, 2019

New Research Published on Gas-Detecting Color-Changing Threads. There is an interesting paper published in the journal Scientific Reports on the research Tufts University (Medfort, Mass., USA) is conducting on threads which change color when detecting certain types of gas.  What makes the threads particularly attracting are they can be woven into material which is washable and, thus, reuseable. Potential applications are military and industrial chemical exposure situations. Click here to read an article about the research taking place. Posted April 9, 2019

Inflatable Space Module Being Developed for Lunar Orbit Habitat. Space contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nev., USA held an open house April 2, 2019, allowing members of the press to see the prototype of the company's Large Inflatable Fabric Environment (LIFE) space habitat module.  Sierra Nevada is one of 5 companies bidding to provide the habitat component for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's NextSTEP project, designed to return humans to the Moon by 2024. Habitat testing on Earth will begin within the next several months. Another of the 5 companies is Bigelow Aerospace that has already tested its inflatable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) at the International Space Station (see our post in the Archives section for May 29, 2016).  The fabric used in both inflatable modules is woven from Vectran, a high-strength polyester fiber made by Kuraray. Vectran woven fabrics has also been used in spacesuits and for all the airbags landings on Mars. Click here for an article on the Sierra Nevada article posted on the Boulder Daily Camera website. Special thanks to BL6's faithful reader Sue Zorichak for alerting us to the story. Posted April 4, 2019

Each year the online textile sourcing website FabricLink, releases its Top 10 Textile Innovation Awards as recognition to those organizations and product developers who pursue their ideas and strive for excellence in their textile advancements.  Click here to read a complete review for each of these winners. Posted April 4, 2019

Elevate Textiles Names New President/CEO. Elevate Textiles has announced today the appointment of Per-Olof Loof as President and Chief Executive Officer. The company is a manufacturer of advanced materials. It was renamed with the intergration of American & Efird and the companies in the portfolio of International Group (Burlington, Cone Denim, Gutermann and Safety Component), both companies owned by Platinum Equity, a private investment company.  Mr. Loof most recently served as CEO of Kemet Electronics Corporation. Elevate Textiles is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Posted April 4, 2019

Italian Textile Machines to be Shown at Upcoming Techtextil Show in Frankfurt. Even with the upcoming ITMA show in Barcelona, Spain in June 2019, Italian textile machinery providers will be out in force at the Techtextil show in Frankfurt, May 14-17, 2019. According to ACIMIT, the Italian textile machinery association, around 30 companies will be exhibiting including 15 within a special exhibition pavilion organized by the Italian Trade Agency and ACIMIT. Posted April 4, 2019

January US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. It appears the China/US trade disagreement is starting to affect the US exports of technical fabrics to the US. The January report still shows an increase in a January year-ending comparison; however, it is only 1.6% compared to almost 4% the previous month. Click here to see the entire January report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

122,972 123727


United Kingdom


103,895 +2.04
World 4,237,832 4,408,107 +4.02

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted April 4, 2019

Bulk Container Maker Acquires Propex Foreign Holdings. BAG Corp, a fabricator of flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC), has announced that it has acquired Propex Foreign Holdings, a subsidiary of Propex Global. Propex Foreign Holdings is a manufacturer of FIBC fabrics and is based in Matehaula, Mexico. BAG Corp is based in Richardson, Texas, USA. Click here to read the BAG Corp press release on the acquisition. Posted April 2, 2019

Coating and Laminating Conference Highlights New Techniques and Opportunities. Eighty industry specialists gathered in Berlin, Germany for the 2019 International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating (TCL2019) on March 14-15, 2019. Developments in smart and functional textiles had its own session with talks on graphene and 2D materials. Developing sustainable products while reducing water and fuel consumption was another major theme explored during the two-day event. Organized by International Newsletters Ltd., the conference director was William C. (Bill) Smith of Industrial Textile Associates. and chaired by Adrian Wilson. Click here to learn more about the speakers and sessions,  and how to obtain the conference proceedings. Posted April 2, 2019

Freudenberg Acquires Majority Stake in Chinese Filter Manufacturer.  Freudenberg’s Filtration Technologies Business Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Apollo Air-Cleaner Co., Ltd. The purchase agreement was signed in December 2018; however, approval was needed by the Chinese antitrust authorities. Apollo Air-Cleaner is a provider of air and water filtration solutions in China. In 2017, Apollo generated sales of 750 million RMB (approximately US$111.5 million) and has roughly 1,000 employees. Apollo will continue as a joint venture between Freudenberg (75%) and the previous sole proprietor Apollo Trading Group, Japan (25%), under the name Freudenberg Apollo Filtration Technologies. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies will bring its current consumer filtration business into the joint venture. Click here to read Freudenberg's press release on the acquisition. Posted April 2, 2019

Hexcel and Arkema to Open a Joint Research and Development Lab in France. Carbon composite manufacturer Hexcel and PEKK manufacturer Arkema have announced they will open a joint research and development laboratory in Les Avenieres, France this month. This follows the companies' previous announcement in March 2018 they were forming a strategic alliance to develop thermoplastic composite materials for the aerospace sector. According to the press release, the companies' objective is to develop carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic prepreg tapes to enable lightweight parts to be produced for future generations of aircraft. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 1, 2019

Outgoing NCTO President Delivers 2019 State of the US Textile Industry Address. At the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) in Washington, D.C., March 21, outgoing president Marty Moran  gave a state-of-the-US textile industry address. Key points: US textile industry production value is now estimated at $76.8 billion in 2018, up more than $3 billion from 2017. On trade, Mr. Moran noted NCTO is aligned with President Donald Trump on macro policy objectives including reshoring industry, fighting for free but fair trade, enforcing US trade laws, making the US tax code more competitive, buying American, and other issues. NCTO is also fully behind President Trump's push to move from NAFTA to the proposed USMCA agreement. Click here to read the entire report. Posted March 29, 2019

Astronaut Christina Koch, one of the 2 scheduled for the historic spacewalk.

Lack of Female-Fitting Spacesuits Opens Discussions on Problems in Other Applications.  The much-hyped historic spacewalk by two NASA female astronauts this week had to be cancelled because they only had one suit available that fit the women in their sizes. The public-relations blunder has many of us scratching our heads. To be fair, it was a last-minute decision from astronaut Anne McClain to switch from a large to a medium size that brought attention to the situation. There was another medium size spacesuit on board, but it was not ready for a spacewalk. The situation, though, has opened up a discussion of other examples where female sizes were not been taken into consideration including ballistic vests, protective construction gear and personal flotation devices.  Note to NASA: 50% of the new class of NASA astronauts are women. The New York Times has a good article about the issue.  Click here to read. Posted March 29, 2019

US National Textile Organization Elects New Leaders. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) held its 16th Annual Meeting March 19-21, 2019 in Washington, D.C., USA. Elected as NCTO officers for 2019 are: Chairman -- Lieb Oehmig, CEO of Glen Raven, Inc.. Vice Chairman -- David Roberts, CEO of CAP Yarns, Inc. Click here to read the NCTO press release on the election. Posted March 21, 2019

AATCC 2019 Millson Award Recipient Announced. AATCC has named Patrick R. Gruber as the recipient of the Henry E. Millson Award for Invention for developing a green chemistry-based continuous process for producing polylactic acid fibers known as PLA. The Millson Award recognizes inventions that are outstanding contributions to textile technology.  Mr. Gruber is CEO and board member at Gevo Inc., a company specializing in converting carbohydrates into low carbon chemicals and fuels, lessening reliance on petrochemical  sources. AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, is a professional society which provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members in about 50 countries throughout the world. Click here to read more about Mr. Gruber’s accomplishments. Posted March 21, 2019

Hygienix™ Conference 2019 Issues Call for Presentation. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, is seeking presentations for the fifth edition of Hygienix™, an event for industry professionals across the supply chain in the absorbent hygiene and personal care markets, November 11-14, 2019, in Houston, Texas, USA.  The conference will feature three days of program content devoted to the latest in sustainable technologies, emerging markets, converting challenges, and market trends in the absorbent hygiene and personal care industry. Last year’s event attracted over 530 absorbent hygiene professionals from 24 countries. Deadline for proposal submissions is April 8, 2019. Click here for more information. Posted March 21, 2019

JEC World Closes with Record Attendance. JEC World 2019 closed March 14 with a record 42,445 3-day attendance from 112 countries. The composite industry event featured a trade show with more than 1300 exhibitors and 27 country pavilions, and educational sessions with 250 speakers. Click here to read JEC Group's press release. Posted March 21, 2019

Digital Conference Call for Proposals. A Call for Proposals has been issued for presentations to be given at Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0. The conference is being held December 11-12, 2019 in Durham, N.C., USA. It is co-organized by the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). Deadline for submissions is May 31, 2019. Click here for more information. Posted March 21, 2019

Women’s Conference Attracts Textile Leaders. About 60 women attend the Women In Textiles Summit organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in Savanah, Ga., USA, March 6-8, 2019. Speakers included, Amy Bircher, president and founder of MMI Textiles, Westlake, Ohio; Patti Bates, general manager of the Protective Market, Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, Glen Raven, N.C.; Denise Offray, president and CEO, OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics, Bernardsville, N.J.; and Kathie Leonard, president and CEO, Auburn Manufacturing, Mechanic Falls, Maine. Click here to read the report posted on the IFAI website. Posted March 19, 2019

US Body Armor Contract Awarded. SourceAmerica, Vienna, Va., USA was awarded a $24,969,056 firm-fixed-price contract to re-purpose legacy body armor vests into the newly-designed Modular Scalable Vest configuration. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Lansing, Mich., USA; Miami, Fla., USA; and Austin, Texas, USA, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $24,969,056 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., USA, is the contracting activity. Posted March 17, 2019

AATCC Chapin Award Winner Announced.  AATCC has named Sandra L. Johnson as the 2018 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award for her service to AATCC.  A strong advocate of education, Ms. Johnson is an active speaker and participant in local and national conferences, workshops, and symposia. Ms. Johnson served as the 44th President of AATCC from 2015 through 2016. She has chaired the AATCC Foundation Board of Directors, the Appropriations Committee as Immediate Past President, and the Awards Oversight Committee as President-Elect.  The Chapin Award was established in 1958 in honor of Harold C. Chapin, professor of chemistry at Lowell Textile School, who served as national secretary of AATCC for nearly 25 years. The Association will present the Chapin Scroll during the International Conference Awards Luncheon that will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, April 9-11, 2019.  Click here to read more about Ms. Johnson’s contributions to AATCC. Posted March 14, 2019

New Names for TenCated Advanced Composites and Subsidiary. TenCate Advanced Composites, part of the Toray Group, announced that it has changed its name to Toray Advanced Composites. TenCate Performance Composites, a subsidiary of TenCate Advanced Composites, will subsequently change to Toray PMC. Toray, a leading global supplier of carbon fiber and composite materials, acquired TenCate Advanced Composites in 2018, and has been working in recent months to integrate them into the Toray Group. The new names were officially unveiled yesterday at the start of JEC World 2019 in Paris, France. The name change will be completed by July 17, 2019. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 13, 2019

Technical Textile Producer Announces Name Change. Brand and Oppenheimer Co., Inc. has announced that it has changed its name to Ocean State innovations (OSI). Company, founded in 1913, is based in Portsmouth, R.I., USA. OSI produces technical textiles for the military, medical, industrial, and automotive markets. Posted March 12, 2019

Funding Secured to Expand Spider Silk Production.  Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. has announced it has closed a $1 million round of private financing, pursuant to fund expansion of its recombinant spider silk production in Vietnam, support its advanced research operations, improve its balance sheet, and to support other corporate initiatives.  A core focus for the funding will be to support the growth of operations at the company’s new production facility in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.  With the funding in place, the company plans to ramp up its silk production at this larger factory. Kraig Biocraft Labs is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted March 12, 2019

Nonwovens Association Elects New Board Members. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced the election of 7 to serve on its Board of Directors, each for a three-year term: Lewis BarnhardtPresident/COO of Barnhardt Manufacturing Company; Philip Champagne, President of Groz-Beckert USA; Bryan Haynes, Ph.D., Director of Research and Engineering in Global Nonwovens, with Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Jeffrey S. Hurley, Ph.D., Vice President, Nice-Pak Products Inc.; Lynda Kelly, Senior Vice President – Care Business, Suminen Nonwovens; Chris Peart, President/CEO of Tenowo, Inc.; and, Tom Zaiser, CEO of FiberVisions.  Click here to read the entire INDA press relations that gives the backgrounds of the new board members. Posted March 12, 2019

Stefan Flöth

New managing director for Monforts. Monforts Textilmashinen GmbH & Co. KG has announced Stefan Flöth has been assigned as its Managing Director. Mr. Flöth has re-joined Monforts in his new role from the Trützschler Group, also headquartered in Mönchengladbach, where he was the managing director of Trützschler Nonwovens from 2009 onwards. Monforts Textilmaschinen was founded in 1884 and is a supplier of textile finishing machines, including stenters, continuous dyeing ranges, and special executions for denim and for the coating of technical textiles. The company`s headquarter is located in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Posted March 8, 2019

Taiwan Hosting Technical Textile Conference, Signing a MoU Collaboration Agreement with SASMIRA. The 2019 International Technical Textiles Symposium is being held March 20-21, 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan. At the opening day, Taiwan Technical Textiles Association Chairman Alex Lo and Dr. Gangopadhyay Sasmira, the executive director of India's Synthetic & Art Silk Mills' Research Association (SASMIRA), will sign a Memorandum of Understanding agreement between the two organizations, pledging more collaboration. There will be a number of Indian companies represented at the conference. Other visitors include representatives from Thailand, Japan, German, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Malaysia. Click here for more information on the event. Posted March 8, 2019

Call for Papers Issued for Filtration Conference.   FiltXPO – the new exposition and conference event based in the United States and dedicated exclusively to filtration and separation professionals -- invites  papers for presentation at its inaugural edition to be held February 26-28, 2020, Chicago, Ill., USA.  FiltXPO is expected to attract 300 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees. Professionals involved in the design, manufacture, sale, use or study of filtration and separation products, equipment and services are encouraged to provide brief abstracts on industry topics that connect filtration and separation to process and product development, end use markets, science, materials and applications. The desired focus of the 2020 conference includes: Biopharmaceutical filtration needs, membrane filtration and the approach of nanofiber-enhanced meltblown materials, energy technologies and applications across all sectors of filtration and separation.  Click here to learn more about the event. Abstract submissions are accepted until May 1, 2019. Posted March 8, 2019

Registration Open for Spring SYFA Conference. Online registration for the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association's 2019 Spring Conference is now open. The theme of the event is "A Sustainable Thread." It will be held April 25-26, 2019 in Charlotte, N.C., USA. Speakers include John Bradshaw of Shaw Industries, Mike Todaro of AAPN, Dr. Karen Leonas of NCSU's Wilson School of Textiles, and Sanjay Mehto of Indorama. Click here to go to SYFA's conference website. Posted March 8, 2019

Demand for Airbag Drives Growth of Coated Fabrics. According to a new market research report authored by The Freedonia Group, US demand for coated fabrics used in motor vehicles is projected to expand 2.5% annually to 144 million square yards in 2023. The growth is driven by the increasing number of airbags in light vehicles as well as their growing use in place of leather upholstery. US coated fabrics demand in all markets is forecasted to expand to 3.1% per year to $3.2 billion in 2023. The market study Coated Fabrics was published in February, is 178 pages, and costs $5600. Click here if interested. Posted March 8, 2019

Howard C. Malpass

AATCC Honors Howard C. Malpass with the Olney Medal.   Howard C. Malpass is this year’s recipient of the AATCC Olney Medal Award.  Mr. Malpass is being recognized for his work on the implementation of pre-reduced indigo and its beneficial impacts in the dyeing, manufacturing, and retail industries. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. Its presentation each year is a highlight of AATCC’s International Conference. This year, the conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, from April 9-11, 2019. The Association will present the Olney Medal during the Awards Luncheon on April 11. Click here to read more about the recipient’s accomplishments. Posted March 8, 2019


ZF Unveils External Side-Impact Airbags. One of our favorite magazines, Popular Mechanics, has a great article on the new external side-impact airbag being developed by ZF Friedrischshafen AG, the largest vehicle airbag system manufacturer.  According to the article, ZF has spent the last 10 years developing the external airbag system.  Now, the issue is to convince the automakers to add another suit of sensors in the vehicle. It might be as quick as 2 years when we see the external airbags being offered. Implementation of the technology could almost double the size of the current market for airbag material. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2019

New Standard for Industrial Gloves Released. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has released a new standard -- ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection -- to improve on the impact performance of industrial gloves. According to ISEA, the US and Europe have long had standards for industrial gloves that protect hands from cuts, punctures, abrasion and chemical exposure. The new standard is the first to address the risk from impact injuries. Click here to read the complete press release. Posted March 7, 2019

US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. The final 2018 numbers on US exports for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group were released with the December report. Mexico and Canada continue to be the major recipients, accounting for more than 63% of the exports. Overall, Specialty and Industrial Fabrics exports increased by 4.5% in 2018. Click here to see the entire December report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

120,481 124,689


United Kingdom


106,562 +5.71
World 4,213,746 4,403,929 +4.51

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted March 7, 2019

KDH Defense Systems Awarded $29.9 Million Delivery Order from the US Army.  KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (KDH) today announced it has been awarded a $29.9 million delivery order from the U.S. Army Contracting Command to produce the Modular Scalable Vest (“MSV”) Gen II System. This delivery order is part of the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract the Company previously announced in September 2018. Production will be done at the company’s Eden, N.C., USA manufacturing facility. Posted March 4, 2019

European Completes Acquisition of Airbag Fabric Producer. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, announced that it has completed the acquisition of UTT Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH. UTT is a supplier of airbag fabrics with manufacturing sites in Germany and Mexico that have a combined capacity to produce around 70 million sqm of fabrics. UTT also produces other highly specialized solutions in the field of technical textiles. The acquisition of UTT allows IVL to be an integrated supplier of airbag yarns and textiles. According to the company's press release, the acquisition further accelerates IVL’s growth momentum in the automotive sector by bringing together a complementary product portfolio. Posted March 3, 2019

Federal and Defense Summit Being Organized for Textiles Fabricators. The Offices of US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and the North Carolina Military Business Center are hosting the Southeast Region Federal and Defense Textile (FedTex) Summit, April 23-24, 2019 in Hickory, N.C., USA. The Summit is focused on a target audience of manufacturers of textile-based military, medical and related soldier systems – and their supply chain partners and R&D resources. Click here to go to the Summit’s website for more information and registration. Posted March 2, 2019

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Expands Operations.  Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has announced Erik Nees has been hired as Sales Account Manager. In this role he will oversee industrial sales, which includes working with new and current customers in the tape, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.  Mr. Nees worked at Alice Manufacturing from 1992 until the end of 2018, when Alice Manufacturing, also known as Alice Mills, closed doors. At Alice Manufacturing, he managed sales in the home furnishings, career apparel, industrial applications and medical sectors, targeting global and North American accounts. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a coater, dyer and finisher of both woven and non-woven fabrics. The company is based in Yorkville, Ill., USA. Posted February 25, 2019

Ketty Pillet

Gerber Names Vice President of Global Marketing. Gerber Technology has announced industry veteran Ketty Pillet will join the company as vice president of Global Marketing. Ms. Pillet most recently worked for Lectra as Worldwide Marketing Director, Fashion and Apparel. Gerber is a manufacturer of software and automation machine systems. The company has manufacturing operations in the United States, Canada and China. Posted February 24, 2019

Geosynthetics Conference Attracts 1100 Participants. Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), the organizer of the Geosynthetics Conference 2019, reported the event,was a huge success in Houston, Texas, USA. Held February 10-13, more than 1100 participates were involved from all levels of the geosynthetics community including material producers, academics, consultants, state and federal government officials and the civil engineering profession. IFAI anounced the normally biennial event would again be held next March 8-10, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., USA. Click here for the report on Geosynthetics Conference 2019. Posted February 23, 2019

Annual Tent Rental Gathering Attracts +500. More than 500 tent professionals, including tent makers and installers, gathered in Orlando, Fla., USA, January 23-25, 2019. Former professional football player Ben Utecht was the keynote speaker. Besides education sessions and hands-on workshops, there was an exhibition of 65 industry suppliers. The next IFAI Tent Conference is scheduled for January 22-24, 2020 in River Ranch, Fla., USA. Click here to read more about the 2019 event. Posted February 20, 2019. 

Kordsa Expand Its Global Footprint with New US Acquisition. Turkey-based Kordsa SA has announced the intent to acquire Axiom Materials for $181 million. Axiom is a provider of advanced composites for aerospace and industrial applications. Kordsa is manufacturer of industrial nylon and polyester yarn, tire cord and single-end cord. This is Kordsa's 3rd major recent purchases of US specialty materials makers as it seeks to solidify its composites manufacturing capabilities. In 2018, Kordsa bought Fabric Development Company, a maker of high-strength aramid fabrics, and Textile Products, Inc., a producer of specialty industrial textiles. Click here to read the company's press release on the Axiom purchase. Posted February 19, 2019

Ohio Pledges Another $500K for Body Armor in 2019. In the US, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced February 14 that $500,000 is being allocated to help fund the Attorney General's Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program. The financial commitment is in addition to the initial $2 million previously announced for 2019. The funds will help 250 law enforcement agencies across the state. Click here to read more about the program. Posted February 19, 2019

New International Standard for Resistance of E-Textiles Published.  The AATCC research committee RA111 Electronically-Integrated Textiles, recently approved its first evaluation procedure. AATCC says AATCC EP13, Evaluation Procedure for Electrical Resistance of Electronically-Integrated Textiles, is one of the first international standards for e-textiles. The new standard is available from AATCC. The research committee is currently balloting two additional standards.  Click here to learn more about the development of the standard.  Posted February 19, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Association Sees Troubled Waters in 2019.  ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, released its textile machinery sales report for the 4th quarter 2018. Domestic sales fell 12% compared to the same period for 2017. However, foreign sales decreased even further to -16%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi commented. "Turkey, Iran, and even China, all primary markets for our sector, have recorded a drop in demand for textile machinery, for a variety of reasons."  Further, he said "The overall sentiment for 2019 isn't very positive either." Click here to read the press release. Posted February 17, 2019

Body Armor Trends from SHOT Show. There is an excellent report on the website from a blogger on his observations of ballistic body armor trends from the recent SHOT Show. The author's observations included new vest shaping using clothing industry expertise, more elastic being used to allow for "stretching", external access plate pouches, specific designs for fire and EMS, and lots of pockets on the vest. Click here to read the article. Posted February 16, 2019

URI Photo/Nora Lewis

Rhode Island Technical Textiles Networking Event Attracts More Than 200. Following up to our February 8 post, the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network's networking event attracted more than 200 from industry, government and academic worlds. It was held on the University of Rhode Island's Kingston (R.I., USA) campus on February 11. Jessica Zaretzky, technical applications manager at Kenyon Industries, who received her masters degree in textile science at URI spoke: “There is so much that goes into developing textile products and so much that the industry touches – from automotive and aerospace to tablecloths. We are developing fabrics for the medical industry, for consumers, for the military. These are products that are intricately involved in so many aspects of our lives that people don’t even realize. And, in many cases – for instance with military products – we are talking about products that protect and improve people’s lives.”  Click here to read a great article on the gathering posted on The University of Rhode Island's website. Posted February 15, 2019

Photo: Strata Geosystems India Pvt Ltd

Geogrids Manufacturer Opens New Facility in India. Strata Geosystems held a grand opening on February 11, 2019 in Daheli, Gujarat, India, for its new geogrids manufacturing facility. The facility is expected to fabricate about 20 million square yards in its early years, eventually  scaling up to 30 million. Strata Geosystems (India) Pvt. Ltd., a joint-venture of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics and Strata Geosystems. On hand for the grand opening were Lieb Oehmig, President and CEO of Glen Raven, and Harold Hill, president of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, a subsidiary of Glen Raven.  Click here to read the company's press release. Posted February 15, 2019

Kim Glas

NCTO Appoints Kim Glas as New President/CEO.  The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has announced the appointment of Kimberly Glas as the organization's new President & CEO, effective April 29, 2019. Ms. Glas will succeed Augustine "Auggie" D. Tantillo, who had recently announced his intention to retire. Ms. Glas is well known in the US domestic textile industry, having previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials at the US Department of Commerce during the Obama administration.  In that job, she worked closely with the US Trade Representative, other key agencies, and the US Congress to advance a multitude trade policy interest for the domestic industry. Click here to read the NCTO press release. Posted February 13, 2019

New Company Name for Leading Geosynthetics Producer.  Geosynthetics fabricator GSE has been renamed Solmax. According to the company’s CEO Louis Vangeluwe, the return to the Solmax name and brand follows the successful integration of the Solmax and GSE Environmental businesses to form a single strong global entity.  “Solmax is a name that reflects our new identity as the global leader within the geosynthetics industry.”  Montreal-based Solmax, founded in 1981, acquired GSE Environmental in 2017. GSE's origins can be traced back to Schlegel Lining Technology and Gundle Lining Systems, which pioneered the first high-density polyethylene product in 1972. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted February 12, 2019

CEMATEX Underscores ITMA 2019 Theme with Innovation Lab Feature.  CEMATEX, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, has launched the ITMA Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab will be featured at ITMA 2019, being held in Barcelona, Spain, June 20-26, 2019, supporting the event's theme of "Innovating the World of Textiles". The 4 main components of the Innovation Lab are: 1) Research & Innovation Pavilion; 2) ITMA Speakers Platform; 3) Innovation Video Showcase; and, 4) ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award. Click here to find out more about each of these components. Posted February 11, 2019 

New Thermal Insulation Shelters Being Tested by US Military. The US Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Soldier Center has developed a thermal shelter insulation liner with Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding. The soft-wall shelter can be used in either hot or cold climates. Warwick Mills of New Ipswich, N.H., USA provided the fabric and tent liners. Click here to read more about the project. Posted February 11, 2019

Chris Plotz

INDA Appoints New Education & Technical Affairs Director.  INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced the appointment of Chris Plotz as its new Director of Education & Technical Affairs. Mr. Plotz has 19 years of technical nonwovens related experience in global product management and product development. At INDA, he will direct, oversee and expand education and training programs for all levels of industry members, manage the international harmonized standards activities, and Product Stewardship activities. Posted February 11, 2019

Rhode Island Technical Textiles Suppliers Participating in Networking Event. The first Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network Academic/Industry networking event will be held February 11, 2019 at the University Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., USA. More than 20 Rhode Island-based industry, higher education and business groups will be participating, including technical textiles suppliers The Cooley Group, Kenyon Industries, Navatek, ACW (American Cord & Webbing), and Darlington Fabrics.  The program will expose students and URI faculty to industry leaders and those leaders to the pioneering research going on at URI. Click here for more information. Posted February 8, 2019

World of Wipes® Registration Opens.  Material developments, preservatives, sustainability, market data, international tariffs, and plastics in the environment are among the topics to be presented to wipes brand owners, converters, and their entire professional wipes supply chain at INDA’s 13th edition of the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference, June 24-27 in Atlanta, GA.  Registration has now opened. Details of the program for the WOW 2019 conference are now available and registration is open. Click here to go to the WOW program page on BeaverLake6 Report. Posted February 7, 2019

New Name for US Army's Natick Research Center.  The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, located in Natick, Mass., USA became the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or CCDC Soldier Center, on February 3, 2019.  The CCDC Soldier Center is part of the Army Futures Command, or AFC. Click here to read more about the change. Posted February 7. 2019

Two Hundred US Jobs Possible for Making Border Patrol Uniforms. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) may not yet be official but it seems to already be paying off in bringing back to the US some textile product manufacturing. A part of the new agreement closes up the NAFTA loophole exception found in the Kissell Amendment that allows for foreign-made uniforms for Secret Service, Customs and Porder Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.  The Macon County Chronicle (Lafayette, Tenn., USA) has posted an article that reports VF Workwear official is already looking at possible sites in the US for Customs and Board Patrol uniforms being made in Mexico and has contacted the mayor of Red Boiling Springs about working with Racoe Inc., a government supplier of military uniforms located in nearby Celina, Tenn. The mayor says it mean up to 200 additional jobs. Click here to read the article. Posted February 6, 2019 

Looking for Older Information?

See our Archives sections for older information. 

Coming Events

  • June 3-5: China International Nonwovens Expo and Forum (CINE), Shanghai, China
  • June 4-6: Absorbent Hygiene Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA
  • June 6-8:  Non Woven Tech Asia 2019, New Delhi, India
  • June 12-13:  International Nonwovens Symposium 2019, Vienna, Austria
  • June 12-14:  Super Expo 2019, Broadbeach, QLD, Australia
  • June 18-20: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Denver, Colo., USA
  • June 19-20: JEC Forum Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USAA
  • June 20-26:  ITMA 2019, Barcelona, Spain
  • June 24-25:  WIPES Academy, Atlanta, Ga., USA

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

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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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