BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


Accurate    Concise    Timely

Front Page News

Sage Automotive Acquired by Asahi Kasei. Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corporation has announced it is acquiring interior automotive fabric supplier Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. for $1.1 billion from Clearlake Sage Holding, LLC. The purchase of Sage by Asahi Kasei is in part to move the Japanese company up to a Tier 2 status with the automotive industry. Asahi Kasei makes fibers and textiles. It has been a supplier of fibers to Sage. In 2017 Asahi Kasei had sales of $2.7 billion. Sage had 2017 sales of $475 million. It has 5 locations in the US as well as manufacturing operations in Italy, Poland, Romania, Brazil and China. Sage was originally part of Milliken & Company before it was spun off in 2009. Click here to read the Asahi Kasei press release on the acquisition. Posted July 19, 2018

US Zipper Company Supplying to Military Not in Compliance with Berry Amendment, Loses Contract. Dunlap Industries, a 100-employee manufacturer of zippers located in Dunlap, Tenn., USA, has lost its US military contract because another zipper manufacturer successfully filed a complaint that Dunlap was not making all of its zipper parts used in uniforms in the US as required by the Berry Amendment.  Dunlap president Robert Kwasnik has admitted the company sources the slider of the zipper from outside the country, saying it is virtually impossible to get some parts for a zipper from a US manufacturer. As noted in an Associated Press story, the irony is that the company making the complaint was YKK Corporation, the world's largest supplier of zippers. Although YKK is based in Japan, it supplies the US military through a plant located in Macon, Ga., USA. Click here to read an article posted on the CBS News website. Posted July 19, 2018

Composites Transportation Forum Attracts 600 in Chicago. The JEC Forum on Composites was held June 27-28, 2018 in Chicago, Ill., USA, and attracted 600 participants. The event featured 24 speakers in 4 sessions. Speakers included representatives from Ford Motor Company, Mercedes Benz, Owens Corning and Porcher Industries, covering new composite products being used in automotives, railways, trucks and buses. Click here to learn more about the speakers and also the 5 winners of the JEC Innovation Awards. Posted July 14, 2018 

US Textile Organization Applauds Proposed New Tariffs on Chinses Textiles. The National Council of Textile Organization's (NCTO) has approved the Trump administration's proposed additional Section 301 tariffs on up to $200 billion of Chinese-made products that includes a substantial amount of yarns and finished textile materials. NCTO CEO Auggie Tantillo has said the organization will be thoroughly vetting all the line items to examine how the competitiveness of the US textile industry is impacted. Industry has until August 30, 2018 to give public imput. Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted July 13, 2018

Halsey M. Cook Jr.

Milliken Appoints New CEO. The board of directors of Milliken & Company has announced the selection of Halsey M. Cook Jr. as president and CEO effective September 1, 2018. J. Harold Chandler will return to his role as the company's chair of the board of directors. Mr. Chandler was elected as president following the abrupt departure of Joseph Salley in October 2016.  Mr. Cook  has a 30-year career leading a wide range of global businesses with significant manufacturing and distribution networks. Milliken is a diverse global manufacturer of products including technical textiles. Click here to read the Milliken company press release. Posted July 13, 2018

Firestone Fibers & Textiles Investing $19 Million. Technical textile fibers manufacturer Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company is investing $19 million to expand its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., USA. The company also has manufacturing operations in Gastonia, N.C., USA and Woodstock, Ont., Canada. Click here to read an article about the expansion on the Gastone Gazette website. Posted July 13, 2018 

University of Massachusetts Lowell Opens Fabric Discovery Center.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was on hand at the ceremony opening the new Fabric Discovery Center at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The center will be at the forefront of research into smart fabric applications such as wearable electronics and military uniforms. It was built through the support of a $10 million state grant. The Discovery Center works with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), an initiative created by the US Department of Defense. Click here to read more about the opening of the center in an article posted on the Boston Globe website. Posted July 13, 2018

US Export Figures Released for May. The US Department of Commerce has released the May export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The numbers are showing a healthy +5.16% gain over last year for the same 12-month period. It will be interesting to watch these figures as the trade war with China begins. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

124,263 122,405 -1.50

United Kingdom


101,479 +3.57
World 4,108,374 4,320,302 +5.16

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 10, 2018

South Africa Fines Airbag Maker Toyoda Gosei for Price-Fixing Collusion. Japanese-based airbag manufacturing Toyoda Gosei was fined 6.1 million Rand ($455,700) by South Africa's Competition Committee after the company admitted to colluding with other airbag makers Autoliv and Takata in requests for airbag quotes for Toyota cars made in South Africa. The prosecution is part of a world-wide effort to thwart ad-hoc cartels of similar automotive material suppliers sharing sensitive information. Other participants still being investigated in South Africa include TRW Automotive and Tokai Rika. Click here to read an article about the collusion. Posted July 9, 2018

Astrup Building Set for Remodeling in Cleveland. If you are a custom products manufacturer using canvas or specialty fabrics, you likely remember The Astrup Company, the leading distributor of the materials for almost 100 years until the company was bought and merged into Glen Raven in 2007. An article posted on Crain's Cleveland Business (Cleveland, Oh., USA) discusses the plans to renovate the former Astrup Awning Co.'s 3-story building that dates back to 1911. Because of the rich history of the company which started as a maker of sails, the developer is seeking to have the building listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the article. Posted July 9, 2018

Trelleborg Acquires US Coated Fabrics Manufacturer.  Swedish coated fabric maker Trelleborg, through its Trelleborg Coated Systems division, has signed an agreement to acquire Laminating Coating Technology, Inc. (Lamotec). Lamotec develops and manufactures polyurethane-coated and laminated fabrics primarily used in the aerospace and healthcare/medical industries. Lamotec is headquartered in Monson, Mass., USA. Posted July 9, 2018

China's Yarn Expo Moves to Mid-October. The new China national government-organized China International Import Expo, to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai in November, has necessitated the need for long-term renovation of the exposition halls at the fairground, requiring Yarn Expo Autumn 2018 to be held one month later, and concurrent with ITMA Asia + CITME, from October 15-17, 2018. Posted July 4, 2018

John Cappo

Armor Express Names New Vice President of Sales. Ballistic body armor manufacturer Central Lake Armor Express Inc. has announced industry veteran Frank Capro is joining the company as its new vice president of sales. Mr. Capro has had a 20-year career in the body armor, protective solutions and public safety industry, most recently as vice president of Public Safety Sales for 5.11 Tactical, a maker of tactical apprarel and gear. Armor Express is based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, and is part of KDH Defense Systems. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted July 4, 2018

Stealth Material Developed at University of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin -- Madison in Madison, Wisc., USA, has an interesting article posted on its website about a new cloaking material the university has developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The material prevents infrared cameras from using heat-seeking sensing to find objects such as a person or a vehicle. Less than 1 millimeter thick, the stealth sheet absorbs approximately 94% of the infrared light it encounters. Click here to read the article. Posted July 4, 2018

Shawmut to Merge Glen Raven Technical Fabrics Headliner Fabrics Operations with Global Lamination Platform. [Updated] Shawmut Corporation, a high-performance composites manufacturer, and Glen Raven Technical Fabrics (GRTF), a technical fabric manufacturer, announced today the companies have agreed to terms to merge GRTF’s automotive headliner and specialty fabrics business into Shawmut. The merged organization will be majority-owned by Shawmut, with Glen Raven as the minority owner. The combined entity will include all Shawmut locations together with Glen Raven’s Park Avenue (Glen Raven, N.C., USA) manufacturing operation and its associated specialty fabric product lines including fabrics for automotive headliner, ultra-lightweight camouflage and netting systems, military apparel and filtration applications. The remaining segments of GRTF, including GlenGuard protective fabrics and Strata, the geosynthetics operation, are not included in the merger. Posted June 28, 2018

Augustine Tantillo

NCTO Leader Receives Award. Congratulations to Augustine (Auggie) Tantillo for being named the 2018 Chapman Award winner by the Southern Textile Association. The award is given to recognize individuals for exemplary service to the US textile industry. Mr. Tantillo has been the president and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) since 2013. Prior to joining NCTO, Tantillo served as excecutive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) for 10 years. Altogether, he has served the US textile industry for more than 30 years. Click here to read more about his award. Posted June 27, 2018

Awning Manufacturing Company Closes. Shirley Utzinger, owner of Independent Awning and Canvas of Dayton, Oh., USA, has informed those in the region that she has ceased the company's operation. The company was founded in 1915. Posted June 27, 2018

US Department of Commerce Invests $1 million for Cut-and-Sew Textile Training Facility in New Mexico. US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced yesterday that the Department's Economic Development Administration was awarding a $1 million grant to the Partnership for Community Action of Alburquerque, N.M. The grant will be used to construct the Social Enterprise Center, a manufacturing and training facility to support profesional development, direct cut-and-sew manufacturing, and assembly of textiles, entrepreneurship training, as well as workforce education. Click here to read the press release. Posted June 28, 2018

Filtration Show Expected to Attract 1,400 Participants. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced a new website for its upcoming Filtration 2018 International Conference & Exposition. The event is being held in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, October 2-4, 2018. It is expected to attract more than 1,400 participants from the transportation, medical, energy, life science, commercial, nuclear, aerospace, and induoor air quality markets. Click here to view the website. Posted June 27, 2018

Online Visitor Registration Opens for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018.  Registration is now open for the combined ITMA Asia + CITME textile machinery show. The event is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors. It akes place October 15-19, 2018 in Shanghai, China. More than 1,700 textile machinery makers from 28 countries will be exhibiting. A special early discount rate is offered for those registrering before September 30. ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 is owned by CEMATEX and its Chinese partners -- the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, China Textile Machinery Association and China Exhibition Centre Group Coprporation. Click here for more information. Posted June 27, 2018

US Protective Gear Maker Moving to Baltimore. It seems kind of fitting since the newspaper US Today named Baltimore the "murder capital of the US" that Semforex Inc., a maker of protective bodywear for the military and police, has announced plans to move the company to the city next month. The company was founded in 2012 and is located in Beltsville, Md., USA. Semforex curently contracts with Blind Industries Services of Maryland to manufacturer its products but plans to begin its own manufacturing after its move. Click here to read an article about the move. Posted June 27, 2018

ITMACH Africa Cancelled. The organizers of ITMACH Africa 2018 has announced the textile machinery show has been postponed (cancelled) due to a scheduling problem with the site location. The show was to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, December 1-3, 2018; however, a new Kenyan government event is overlapping the dates and space of ITMACH Africa at the facility. No new dates were listed in a letter sent to the press. Posted June 27, 2018

Italy Chosen as Location for ITMA 2023. CEMATEX, the Europen Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, today announced that ITMA 2023 will be In Milan, Italy, June 8-14, 2023. The world's largest textile machinery event is held every 4 years. Space for the 2019 show in Barcelona, Spain is already sold out and will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors. Click here to read the CEMATEX press release. Posted June 21, 2018

Canadian Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods Include Sleeping Bags and Inflatable Boats. In response to the US's announcement of tariffs on Canadian-made steel and aluminum, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released a list of more than C$16.6 billion worth of US imported goods that will be hit by retaliatory tariffs, starting July 1, 2018 and lasting until the US tariffs are ended. The list of items affected include inflatable boats and sleeping bags. Click here to read the complete list. Posted June 18, 2018

Chinese-Made Textile Machinery Removed from Tariff List. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has scored a significant victory for the US domestic textile manufacturing industry after the Trump administration released June 15 the list of imported Chinese-made items that will be subject to 25% tariffs. The preliminary April 3, 2018 list had included textile machinery. In his May 19 testimony to the United States Trade Representative, NCTO President/CEO Auggie Tantillo made persuasive arguments on the harm textile machinery tariffs could do to the US domestic textile manufacturing industry. Click here to read the NCTO statement released after the June 15 decision by the Trump administration. Posted June 18, 2018 

D. Rousse presents award to Dr. Haynes

INDA Gives Lifetime Achievement Award. At the WOW conference last week, INDA's President Dave Rousse  gave the association's 2017 Lifetime Technical Achievement Award to Brian Haynes, Ph.D., Senior Technical Director in Global Nonwovens, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.  Dr. Haynes was recognized for his career involvement and commitment to bringing innovative science-based polymer process approaches and process issues to the nonwoven industry. Click here to read more about the award and Dr. Haynes' accomplishments. Posted June 15, 2018

Canadian Military Sleeping Bag Shortage. There's an interesting article on the Canadian website Defence Watch on a shortage of sleeping bags and rucksacks for new Canadian army recruits. The army is apparently asking its soldiers to give up extra rucksacks and sleeping bags. It is believed that around 4,000 soldiers in the Canadian forces have 2 or more rucksacks. As for a shortage of sleeping bags, there is speculation that the shortage may have occurred because a lot of Canadian military equipment has been shipped to Ukraine in the last 4 years including 2,300 ballistic vests, 735 sleeping bags and 100 tents. Click here to read the article. Posted June 15, 2018 

Nonwoven Wipes Event Held Last Week. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, reports its 12th annual World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference June 5-8 successful in connecting 440 participants from 22 countries advancing their business in wipes. WOW networking events included 52 tabletop displays. The event was highlighted with the announcement Diamond Wipes Internationals’ Hero Wipes was the 2018 recipient of the World of Wipes Innovation Award®. The innovative new wipe removes toxic, cancer-causing carcinogens from firefighters’ skin. The event was held in Chicago, Ill., USA. Next year's event will be held June 24-27, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Click here to read the INDA press release summarizing the event. Posted June 14, 2018

John Carter

Lest We Forget: John Carter. While it happened in March, we would be remiss in failing to note here the passing of John Carter, founder of J & J Carter Ltd., a pioneering tensile structure maker, based in Andover, Hampshire, UK. Mr. Carter founded his company in 1988 and over the years had won national and international awards for tensile design and manufacturing. He was a friend and colleague to many in the industry and active in industry trade associations. Click here to find a nice tribute that is posted on the company's website. Posted June 13, 2018

Filtration Group Acquires Aviation Filter Media Manufacturing Business. Filtration Group Corporation has acquired the acquisition of the global Facet filtration business from Parker-Hannifin Corporation. Facet, based in Cleveland, Oh., USA is a major provider of aviation fuel filters. The addition of Facet creates an expansion of Filter Group's operations in aviation, marine, and diversified industrial and environmental markets. In 2017, as part of the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by the US Department of Justice after a merger of Parker-Hannifin and CLARCOR, the only other maker of aviation fuel filters Parker-Hannifin was required to fully divest the Facet filtration business. The agreement now to sell Facet to Filtration Group restores a competitive market. Filtration Group is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., USA, with facilities in 28 countries. Click here to read the company's press release of the purchase. Posted June 13, 2018

Automotive Seat Manufacturer CEO Abruptly Resigns. The board of automotive seat manufactuer Adient plc, announced today R. Bruce McDonald has stepped down as the company's chairman and CEO. Retired GM president and chief executive officer Frederick A. Henderson has been named as the interim CEO. Adient, with more than 85,000 employees and 238 manufacturing facilities worldwide, has struggled financially since its spinoff in 2016 from Johnson Controls Inc. The company's is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company press release. Posted June 11, 2018

Santex Rimar Announces Management Change. Italian textile machinery producer Santex Rimar Group has announced its board of directors has appointed Simone Rancan as the company's new CEO, Mr. Rancan joined Santex in 2016. He replaces Stefano Gallucci.  Mr. Gallucci is becoming the CEO of CenterVue, a medical device company which is also part of Santex. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 11, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases April Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the April export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group and the numbers are showing a healthy gain over last year for the same 12-month period. Overall exports in this group have increased 5.16%. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

126,523127,542 121,936 -3.63

United Kingdom


101,018 +4.06
World 4,085,830 4,296,522 +5.15

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted June 8, 2018

INDA's RISE® 2018 Conference Speakers Announced, Nominations for Innovation Award Opens. Biomimetics in nonwovens, light-weighting of auto materials, battery separator developments, and the latest in electrospinning nanotechnology will be among the topics offered at the 8th edition of RISE, the conference on Research, Innovation and Science for Engineered Fabrics. Organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, the event is taking place September 11-13, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Nominations for the RISE Innovation Award, which recognizes innovation in areas within the nonwovens industry, are now being accepted. Click here to find out more about RISE. Posted June 5, 2018 

Body Armor Federal Lawsuit Drags on for 14th Year. It's really turned into a fascinating case: Both a fiber producer and the then-leading manufacturer of body armor for law enforcement being sued by the US government for knowingly marketing a defective product. Earlier this year, BeaverLake6 Report posted on the settlement which resulted in Toyobo, the manufacturer of the Zylon fiber paying out $66 million. But the lawsuit goes on for Richard Davis, the founder of Second Chance Body Armor Inc., despite the urging of the US District Judge for him to settle the case. Click here to read an article on this affair on the website Court House News. Posted June 5, 2018

US Geosynthetics Manufacturer Acquires Erosion Control Company. Hanes Geo Components, of Winston Salem, N.C., USA, has announced its agreement to acquire DDD Erosion Control of Ashburn, Ga., USA. DDD Erosion Control is a manufacturer of silt fence products. Hanes Companies is a subsidiary of Leggett & Platt, a diversified manufacturer of textiles for end-market segments including construction, transportation and home.  Click here for more information. Posted June 5, 2018

Teijin Breaks Ground for Carbon Fiber Facility in US.  Composite companies continue to build plants near automotive manufacturing operations. Teijin Limited held yesterday the groundbreaking of their new carbon fiber production facility of its wholly owned subsidiary Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc. The new facility is expected to create about 220 jobs with $600 million worth of investment by around 2030. Click here to read the company press release. Posted June 2, 2018

Call for Presentations for Digital Print Conference. Two major industry organizations -- Specialty Graphics Industry Association (SGIA) and AATCC -- are again organizing a digital print conference. The Digital Textile Printing Conference is being held December 5-6, 2018 in Durham, N.C., USA. The organizations have now issued a "Call for Papers." Interested individuals should submit an abstract to Johnny Shell by June 30, 2018. Click here for more information about the event. Posted June 2, 2018

Zoltek to Increase Carbon Fiber Production at Hungarian Facility. Zoltek Companies, Inc., a producer of industrial grade carbon fiber, has announced an increase in production capacity at its facility in Nyergesujfalu, Hungary. Zoltek will increase the plant's production capacity by 50% to 15,000 tons annually.  The increase is because of the growing demand for carbon fiber for the automotive and wind energy industries. The expansion will cost approximately $130 million and generate about 350 additional jobs. Headquartered in the US, Zoltek is a subsidiary of Toray. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted June 2, 2018

Crown Capital Investments Acquires Graniteville Specialty Fabrics. [Updated] Graniteville Specialty Fabrics announced today that it has been acquired by Crown Capital Investments LLC, a private family office investment firm based in Atlanta, Ga., USA. GSF, based in Graniteville, S.C., USA, is a specialty textile manufacturer and distributor of engineered coated products used for such items as military shelters, marine covers and tents. Headquarters and the manufacturing operations will remain in Graniteville. Jim Egan, president of the company, told BeaverLake6 Report, the current management team is being kept in place. Posted June 1, 2018

CEO of Samsonite Resigns Following Investigation of False Claims.  The Board of Samsonite, the world's largest luggage company, has announced Ramesh Tainwala, has stepped down as CEO of the company. Various news outlets have reported Mr. Tainwala, who had been the company's CEO since 2014, had been lately accused of falsely claiming he had a PhD on his resume. Kyle Gendreau, the company's Executive Director and CFO, has been appointed the new CEO, effective immediately. Click here to read the company's official press release on the change. Posted June 1, 2018

Textile Mill Featured in Public Radio Report.  There is a great article posted on Public Radio's Marketplace website about the Monte Galbraith, President of DNA Textile Group in Columbus, Ga., USA, and the company's efforts to navigate through the changing manufacturing landscape for textiles in the US. One of only three denim manufacturers left in the US three years ago, Mr. Galbraith made the decision to shut down the denim operations to focus on technical specialty fabrics. He said the transition will cost his company $7 million but believes its the only option for the company to survive. Click here to read the article. Posted June 1, 2018

Visitors going through special German pavilion.

Atlanta Trade Shows Attract Strong Audience and Rave Reviews. The recent combined Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas 2018 trade shows saw a record attendance of 8,292 visitors and 567 exhibitors. The attendance of the two shows was an increase of about 4% over their last co-located shows in 2016. Country pavilions included Italy, Texclubtec, Belgium, China, Taiwan, High-Tex from Germany, and SEAMS Made in USA. Techtextil North America 2019 will take place in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Texprocess Americas is held every two years and will be held next in Atlanta in 2020. Click here to read the official press release which includes show comments by visitors and exhibitors. Posted May 31, 2018

Alexium Names Interim CEO. The Board of Directors of Alexium International Group Limited, a manufacturer of flame retardant technologies for the technical textiles industry, has named Dr. Robert Brookins as the company's interim CEO. Dr. Brookins replaces Dirk Van Hyning, who resigned for personal reasons. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Brookins had served Alexium in a variety of operational roles since joining the company in 2010. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted May 30, 2018

NCTO CEO/President Auggie Tantillo

US Textile Organization Testifies on Trump's Proposed China Tariffs. President and CEO Auggie Tantillo of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) testified May 19, 2018 in Washington at the United States Trade Representative (USTR) hearing regarding the proposed China 301 tariffs.  NCTO, as well as the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI), supported the Trump administration's Section 301 case for retaliatory tariff action against China and requested the tariff list be expanded to include Chinese textiles, home furnishings, advanced textiles and apparel products. The USIFI and NFI are divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Mr. Tantillo also requested the current inclusion of textile-making machinery be dropped from the proposed list. Click here to read Mr. Tantillo's public comments statement. Click here to view a 25-page document used to support his comments. Posted May 17, 2018

US Senator Introduces Legislation to Help Law Enforcement Agencies Obtain Better Body Armor. While the current Bullet Proof Vest Partnership (BP) grant program funded by the US Department of Justice has already helped local and state law enforcement officials purchase more than 1.3 million ballistic vests, most of the body armor has been Type II vests which are intended to stop handgun-fired ballistics. On May 15, 2018, US Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado introduced a bill to provide $1.1 billion to help fund the costlier higher protection of Type III ballistic armor, capable of protection against assault rifles. Click here to read Senator Garner's press release.  Posted May 17, 2018

Geosynthetics Company Acquires Fiberglass Material Maker. SKAPS Industries has announced its acquisition of fiberglass weaver and knitter Matrix Composites. SKAPS, headquartered in Athens, Ga., USA, manufactures geosynthetic and nonwoven drainage products for environmental and civil use.  Matrix, based in Henderson, Ky., USA, produces woven, knitted and nonwoven fiberglass materials. Click here to read the SKAPS announcement. Posted May 16, 2018

Photo Source: Recaro website

Self-Cleaning Aircraft Seats in the Works. Well, it's coming for passengers in First Class. According to a report on Bloomberg, Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH says it's developing a seat infused with a disinfectant that destroys almost every germ on contact within seconds. Bloomberg posts "A 2014 study at Auburn University found the MRSA -- a super-bug resistant to many antibiotics treatments -- can live for a week in the fabric of a seat pocket nestled in a small blob of saliva." [Something I am sure we all think about.] The seat is expected to be introduced within the next two years. Recaro makes about 120,000 seats each year and serves airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways. Click here to read the complete Bloomberg post. Posted May 14, 2018

High-Performance Nonwoven Conference Names Keynote Speaker. The organizer of the 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High Performance, taking place in Cannes, France, October 10-11, 2018, has announced the keynote presentation will be given by Heinz Meierkord, CEO, Advansa & outgoing CIRFS President. CIRFS is the European man-made fibers association. Mr. Meierkord's presentation is titled "Manmade Fibres – Myths and Reality" and will examine the pros and cons of natural vs manmade fibers, sustainability, and microfiber waste. Click here to learn more about the schedule of speakers and registration information. Posted May 14, 2018 

Indorama Acquires Controlling Interest in Israeli Nonwovens Company.  Indorama Ventures Public Company Ltd. has announced it is acquiring a controlling interest in Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd., the 3rd largest global manufacturer of nonwovens for hygiene applications. The acquisition price is $314 million. Avgol is headquartered in Israel and operates manufacturing plants in 6 countries, employing more than 900 people. The hygiene market, including disposable diapers, is the largest segment of the nonwovens industry and is projected to grow globally at 6-7% annually. The adult incontinence product market is particularly attractive because this type of product uses 6 times the fiber content compared to baby diapers. Indorama Ventures is based in Thailand, with approximately 18,000 employees world-wide and 2017 consolidated revenue of $8.4 billion. Click here to read Indorama's press release on the pending acquisition. Posted May 14, 2018

Yoga Pants Could Burn More than Fat. The website MarketWatch has a short article about the potential hazard of wearing yoga pants while having an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan done. To reduce odor and bacteria, many brands of yoga clothing have tiny silver threads woven into the material. These helpful fibers, though, can also conduct heat and cause heat induction-style skin burns if you're wearing the clothing while undergoing an MRI. Many hospitals are now posting warnings prohibiting yoga attire, including brands such as Lululemon, Gap's Athleta and Columbia Sportswear's Omni-Heat clothing. Click here to read the article. Posted May 14, 2018

EDANA Announces Life Time Achievement Award.  Congratulations to Professor Michael Hauschild of the Technical University of Denmark. Professor Hauschild received the 2018 EDANA LCA Life Time Achievement Award in Rome on May 13, 2018. EDANA is the European-based  trade association serving the nonwovens and related industries. The award was given at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in recognition of his 25-year world in the field of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Click here to read the EDANA press release. Posted May 14, 2018

Hoigaard's Custom & Awnings Acquired. According to a posting on the Specialty Fabrics Review website, Hoigaard's Custom Canvas & Awnings, once one of the most influential regional awning companies in the US, has been acquired by G & J Awning of Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA.  Hoigaard's was founded 120 years ago and was a charter member of the National Tent & Awning Association (now Industrial Fabrics Association International) when it was created in 1912. Click here to read the article. Posted May 11, 2018

Canvas Product Manufacturer in Botswana Featured. On the opposite side of the world from the previous story below, there is another nice feature article posted on the website The Monitor about two women in Botswana who have created a company called Canvas Manufacturers. The company makes canvas products like tents, duffel bags, back packs, car covers and travel bags.The two owners -- Qaitse Motoma and Gotsemodimo Shamokuni --say they have been helped getting started by Gender Affairs Department, a government agency promoting gender equality in business. Click here to read the story. Posted May 8, 2018

Tent Maker Successful in Michigan. There is a nice article published on the Travers City Record Eagle (Traverse City, Mich., USA) website on the continued success of a local company called TentCraft. The company, founded 11 years ago, makes custom event tents and employs 85 full-time workers with about 20 more in seasonal situations. Click here to read the story. Posted May 8. 2018

More than 1600 Companies Reserve Exhibit Space for Asian Textile Machinery Show. The organizers of the 6th edition of ITMA Asia + CITME have announced the show floor will contain more than 1,600 textile machinery manufacturers. The companies will take more than 170,000 square meters of space to showcase state-of-the-art machinery as well as products that boost automation and energy-saving features. After China, the largest countries represented in order are Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. The show takes place in Shanghai, October 15-19, 2018. Click here for more information. Posted May 8, 2018

Disney Designs VR Jacket. Do you need a hug but there's no one around? Use the new jacket called The Force designed by Disney and MIT. Besides the previous used vibrations and electrodes to create sensations, the designers have incorporated 26 airbags within the VR jacket that quickly inflate and deflate to give the sensation of moving outside pressure. According to the article posted on our favorite idea magazine Popular Mechanics, the jacket will probably be used in gaming applications. Click here to read the article. Posted May 8, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases March Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the March export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. Overall exports in this group jumped to a 4.34% increase over the previous 12-month period ending March 31. Exports to China increase 25.5% in the comparison period. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











222,418 +25.5

Hong Kong

127,542 122,390 -4.0

United Kingdom


101,814 +6.8
World 4,079,592 4,264,421 +4.5

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted May 8, 2018

US Government Directs $11 Million from Fraud Case be Given to Purchase Police Ballistic Vests.  On May 3, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will use $11 million of the recent $66 million settlement with fiber maker Toyobo to help fund the purchases of more than 18,700 additional bullet-resistant vests for law enforcement through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program. (See our March 17 post about the suit settlement.) According to the May 3 DOJ release, "Since 2007, the body armor industry has paid the United States more than $132 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act by knowingly manufacturing and selling defective bulletproof vests containing Zylon." The fiber was made by Toyobo. The United States is proceeding against the two remaining participants in the fraudulent Zylon scheme: Richard C. Davis, the former President of Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., and Honeywell International, Inc. Click here to read the entire DOJ press release. Posted May 5, 2017

Technical Fabrics Manufacturer Creates New Position. The Thrace Group has announced that Andreas Lake will assume the newly created position of Group Development Director for the Technical Fabrics division.  Brian Sparks, formerly VP of Sales and Business Development, will replace Mr. Lake as the General Manager of the Thrace LINQ organization in Summerville, S.C., USA.  Mr. Lake has been with Thrace since 2014 and has 26 years in the nonwoven fabric industry.  Mr. Sparks’ background is 17 years in the technical fabrics industry, and he has been with Thrace LINQ since 2010.Thrace LINQ is a supplier of woven and nonwoven technical fabrics for a wide variety of textile applications in the Americas. Its corporate office and North American manufacturing and distribution center is located in Summerville. Thrace LINQ is a member of The Thrace Group of Athens, Greece. Posted May 3, 2018

Glove Maker Expands Manufacturing with $8.7 Million Investment. According to the website MiBiz, HexArmor, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment, will be investing $8.7 million to upgrade its Grand Rapids, Mich., USA, glove manufacturing facility. In support of the investment, the Michigan Economic Bureau is providing an additional $350,000. The parent company is Performance Fabrics Inc. Click here to read the MiBiz posting. Posted May 3, 2018

Ballistic Vest Panels Contract Awarded for US Army. Point Blank Enterprises, doing business as The Protective Group, Pompano Beach, Fla., USA has been awarded a $33,140,900 firm-fixed-price, fixed-quantity contract for rifleman sets with tactical assault panels. The panels are made of woven aramid yarns. This is a one-year contract, with deliveries over a 13-month period. This was a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Locations of performance are Florida and Puerto Rico, with an Oct. 31, 2019, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2018 through 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-18-C-0006). Posted May 3, 2018

Takata Finalizes Asset Sale and Purchaser Renamed. A consortium led by its parent Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation and PAG, an Asia based private equity firm and Future Industry Investment Fund has provided the funding to Key Safety Systems (KSS) to successfully complete the acquisition of substantially all of the global assets of Japan-based Takata Corporation, the beleaguered manufacturer of vehicle safety systems including seat belts, airbags, steering wheels and child seats as well as other automotive products. Also going to the new company is North Carolina-based coated fabric manufacturer Highland Industries. KSS, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., USA, is a global leader in mobility safety. The combined company is being rebranded Joyson Safety Systems. Click here to read the Joyson press release. Posted April 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Schiffman

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

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

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Coming Events

  • July 18-19: Home Furnishings Manufacturing Solutions Expo, Greenville, S.C., USA

  • July 23-26: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Denver, Co., USA

  • July 24-27: Intermediate Nonwovens Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA

  • September 4-6: Cinte Techtextil China 2018, Shangai, China

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

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. Posted June 18, 2018

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

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


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


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


Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy. 


Steve Warner, Publisher

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

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

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

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


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


Steve Warner


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

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


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


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


Steve Warner


Posted November 3, 2017

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

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


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


Steve Warner


June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

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

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

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

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

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

Media Partners

In My Opinion

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.


So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.


Steve Warner


Posted January 17, 2016

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

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