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News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Special Report

Apollo Moon Landing Contributions by Technical Textiles Industry

Photo: NASA

50 years ago this week, the world stood still to watch mankind reach beyond its own planet to land a man on the Moon. What's been interesting to me are the articles I am finding posted about the many different contributions of the technical textiles industry in achieving this historic event.   


The El Paso Times, for example, just reprinted an article on its website on the contributions of Radioplane, a local manufacturer (and part of Northrup Corp.).  The company made the small drogue parachute used to guide the Project Mercury capsules to a soft landing. The company employed 100 sewing machine operators and cutters to piece the parachutes together.  Each parachute contained 370 yards of nylon. It took more that 30,000 yards of thread to sew on parachute. The success of the Mercury flights eventually led to the Apollo program. 


In June, we posted about the article on Fast Company's website about the woven piano wire tires used on the lunar rover and the "computers" which had woven fabric circuit boards.

Photo: Smithsonian Institute

This week, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., USA, opened a new display of Neil Armstrong's spacesuit used when he stepped on to the Moon. The suit was made with 21 layers of synthetic fabrics, films and rubber sewn by the women of the International Latex Corporation in Dover, Del., USA, the manufacturer of women's intimate apparel. These women were the only ones with the training and expertise required for the complicated stitching.


So, this week we celebrate the contributions of the technical textiles industry in the 50th anniversary of landing a man on the Moon. Now let's work on getting mankind to Mars.


Steve Warner


Posted July 17, 2019

Military Market Update

2020 National Defense Authorization Act Bill includes Change to Berry Amendment on Threshold Amount

BeaverLake6 Report military market columnist Ron Houle has written a new column on the pending passage of the US 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill is currently in the Conference Committee to sort out the differences between the Senate and House of Representatives versions of the bill which will then go to President Donald Trump for final action. Click here to read Ron Houle's take on what is different from the current NDAA Posted July 9, 2019

Front Page News

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 Specitlaty Fabrics 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  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.




Year Ending


Year Ending



% 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.



Year Ending


Year Ending



% 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

New York Man Charged with Selling Counterfeit Protective Clothing to the US Military.  A wholesaler of military uniform items and gear has been indicted for trafficking in counterfeit goods and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ramin Kohanbash, the owner of California Surplus, Inc., Gan Eden, LLC, and FR-HQ, LLC, allegedly sold the US military and government agencies more than $20 million worth of Chinese-made gear between 2013 and 2018. The gear included fake specialized cold-weather Multi-Cam® parkas that were supposed to be made with fabric having Near-Infrared signature management technology, making the parka more difficult to detect by night vision goggles. In addition to falsely claiming they were made in the US as per the requirement of the Berry Amendment, the counterfeit goods also did not work as intended.  Click here to read the indictment. Posted June 1, 2019

European Nonwovens Report for 2018 Issued.  EDANA, the European nonwovens trade association, has released its annual statistics for 2018.  According to the figures collected, the overall production of nonwovens in Europe grew by around 1.3% in 2018 to reach 2.76 million tons. While positive, this represents a slower growth from the annual average rate of nearly 4% over the last decade. Growth decline were found in end-markets such as civil engineering (geosynthetics) and automotive.  Positive growth markets were in personal care wipes and food & beverage applications. Click here for more information. Posted May 31, 2019

Eric Blond

Solmax Appoints New Global Technical Director.  Geosynthetics manufacturer Solmax has announced the appointment of Eric Blond to serve as its Global Technical Director. Mr. Blond holds nearly 25 years of experience in geosynthetic testing.  He had previously served at CTT Group in charge of the Geosynthetic division known as SAGEOS. Solmax is headquartered in Varennes, Que., Canada. Posted May 31, 2019

New Automotive Textile Conference Announced. International Newsletters, the publisher of Technical Textiles magazine and website, has announced the organization of a new conference called "Textile Opportunities in a Changing Automotive Industry."  The event will be held February 5-6, 2020, in Birmingham, UK. Key issues being discussed will include the impact on the automotive textile industry due to the emergence of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, restrictions on car use in urban areas, light weighting, environmental regulations, and end-of-life recycling. Click here  for more information. Posted May 31, 2019

Mike Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence Visits Yarn Manufacturer.  US Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the heart of the domestic textile industry on May 22 and visited the Parkdale Mills yarn manufacturing plant in Monroe, N.C. His trip was to help the Trump Administration promote its proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the intended replacement for the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Parkdale, one of the world's largest yarn producers, is a prime benefiter of the "yarn forward" criteria included in both NAFTA and the new USMCA.  Also attending the visit was US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Click here to read Vice President Pence's official remarks during the visit. Posted May 31, 2019

President Signs Law for Permanent Renewal of "Bulletproof" Vest Program.  No more having to go through a renewal process every few years. On May 24, 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that permanently reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program through the US Department of Justice. (See the May 9 post for more information about the grant program.)  The legislation was amended by Senator Lindsey Graham to rename the program the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program in recognition of the work done by Senator Patrick Leahy, one of two original sponsors of the bill 20 years ago, to continually make sure the program was funded.  Posted May 29, 2019 

Klaus Holz

TREVIRA CEO CONTRACT RENEWED.  Trevira CEO Klaus Holz and Trevira’s parent company, Indorama Ventures, will continue to work together for a further 3 years following a mutually agreed renewal of Mr. Holz’s contract. The contract was due to expire at the end of this year, but it has now been extended until the end of 2022. Mr. Holz took up his position as a managing director of Trevira at the beginning of 2011 and has been sole managing director of Trevira GmbH since 2013.  Trevira GmbH is a European manufacturer of fibers and filament yarns for technical applications and hygiene products as well as for home textiles, automotive interiors and functional apparel. The company’s head office is in Bobingen, Germany. Posted May 29, 2019

Abstract Deadline Extended for Geosynthetics Conference.  The deadline for submitting abstracts for GeoAmericas 2020, the 4th Pan American Conference on Geosynthetics, has been extended to June 26, 2019.  The event, organized by the Brazilian chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society, is being held April 26-29, 2020, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  GeoAmericas is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates from 30 countries. Click here for more information on the conference and abstract submission requirements. Posted May 24, 2019

Nonwoven Producer Opens Sales Office in Korea.  Jacob Holm Group, a manufacturer of spunlaced nonwoven fabrics, has announced the opening of a new sales office in Seoul, South Korea, as the most recent expansion of the company's presence in Asia. The Jacob Holm Group already has established offices in China, Japan and Malaysia.  Posted May 24, 2019

Lion First Responder Builds New Manufacturing Facility.  Person protection equipment manufacturer Lion First Responder has announced it is hiring for 75 full-time jobs for its new manufacturing facility in Dayton, Oh., USA. The facility will be producing firefighter turnout coats as well as chemical and biological protective gear for first responders.  Click here to read more. Posted May 24, 2019

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

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  • July 23-26:  Intermediate Nonwovens Training Course, Carey and Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • July 25-27:  OFPANZ 2019 Annual Conference, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

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

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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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