BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

News about the Global Technical Textiles Industry


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Breaking News

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

Front Page News

Scott Campbell

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

Source: Bullet Blocker

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

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

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

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

Source: Dianese

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

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

Costco Selects Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® for Textile Product Screening. Costco, the second largest retailer in the United States, has announced a partnership with the

Hohenstein Group to integrate Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification into

its Smart Screening Program to ensure safe, traceable and sustainable textile products.

The program is designed to protect consumer and environmental health by removing

chemicals of concern (COCs) from the products offered Costco stores worldwide.

Used by over 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in 100 countries,

Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® is an independent verification that products have

been tested for harmful substances. Click here to read the press release by Hohenstein Institute. Posted February 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











212,481 +26.3

Hong Kong

129,977 120,104 -7.6

United Kingdom


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

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted February 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surge Tent by DHS Systems LLC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michèle Sioen

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

James C. Leonard III

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

John Lee, MFC, HLM

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

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

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

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

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

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

November Export Figures on Technical Textiles Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end November 30. Overall exports rose almost 5%. If the trend continues, it looks like calendar year 2017 will show a 4% increase over 2016. Exports to China are also on pace to grow about 25% in calendar year 2017. Click here to see the entire report for the November numbers.. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











206,549 +26.0

Hong Kong

128,890 119,799 -7.1

United Kingdom


102,403 +13.2
World 4,035,927 4,199,829 +0.5

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted January 8, 2018

Start-Up US Military Products Manufacturer Featured. There is a nice article on The website about Spiritus Systems, a military products start-up company located in Aberdeen, N.C., USA. The company makes nylon tactical gear primarily for law enforcement and military located across the US. The company products are compliant with the Berry Amendment, the Kissell Amendment and the Buy America Act, laws that prohibits the US Department of Defense from buying clothing, fabrics, fibers and yarns made outside the US. Click here to read the article. Posted January 5, 2018

AATCC Announces Program for 2018 International Conference.  AATCC has announced the program for its 2018 International Conference being held March 6-8, 2018 in Greenville, S.C., USA. The program will feature a keynote presentation by Jerry Inman of Demand Worldwide on "The Retail Rebels -- Who Will Conquer the Connected Consumer?" In addition, the conference will include tabletop exhibits on educational tracks focusing on Concept 2 Consumer, Chemical Applications, and Materials. Click here to learn more about the event. Posted January 5, 2018

GM Granted Airbag Patent That Protects Pedestrians. Automotive manufacturer General Motors has been granted a US patent for an exterior airbag designed to protect pedestrians during a crash. The airbag deploys out of the vehicle's A-pillar and covers the exterior side of the windshield. The patent was filed in 2014 and approved December 5, 2017. GM follows similar pedestrian airbag technology moves by Subaru which debuted in October 2016 and Volvo in 2012.  Click here to read more about the patent. Posted January 4, 2017

Teijin Aramid to Increase Twaron Yarn Capacity. Teijin Aramid last week announced its intention to increase the production capacity for its Twaron® fiber by more than 25%. The additional capacity will become available within the next 5 years and is response to the high demand for Teijin's para-aramid fiber. If successful in increasing the capacity, Twaron's global market share for para-aramid fiber should be at about 50%. Since 1999, Teijin Aramid has increased its production capacity by 130%. Click here to read the company's press release on the increased production plans. Posted January 2, 2018

ITMACH India Attracts Over 350 Exhibitors. The 2nd International Textile Machinery & Accessories Exhibition (ITMACH) India, featured over 350 exhibitors when held December 7-10 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. While no attendance figures were released as yet, the show's organizer, K AND D ITMACH Expositions, LLP., reported this second ITMACH India had grown 3-fold over the size of the first show. The exhibition encompassed products across the entire value chain of textile manufacturing from spinning, knitting and weaving to processing to yarn and fiber. The next show will be held December 5-8, 2019, Again in Gandinagar. Posted January 2, 2018

Picture supplied by Hyundai Mobis

Hyundai Mobis Announces Airbag Developed for Sunroofs. In a press release issued December 29, 2017automotive parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis has announced the successful development of what the company claims is the first panorama sunroof airbag system. the deployed airbag can reduce injuries by preventing passengers from being thrown out of the car roof during an accident. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 2, 2018

Teijin Frontier to Establish Fiber Research Lab in Thailand. Fiber-product converting company Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., has announced that it will establish a research and development fibers facility in Thailand. Teijin Frontier Thai Innovation Laboratory (TFTIL) will be located in the Thailand Science Park, a private sector science and technology hub that the Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency is opening this month. TFTIL will mainly research polymers as raw materials for polyester and other fibers and related manufacturing. TFTIL will join with Teijin's polymerization and fiber's R&D facilities in Matsuyama, Japan and Teijin Product Development China Co., Ltd., in Nantong, China as the company's 3 strategic R&D hubs in Asia. Click here to read Teijin's press release on the lab. Posted January 2, 2018

Lest We Forget: Former Cooley Leader P. Robert Siener, Jr. Passes. Cooley Group's long-time president and chairman of the board P. Robert Siener, Jr., passed away on December 24. He was 93 years old. Mr. Siener, a World War 2 combat veteran, joined Cooley in 1947. He was named president in 1960. Mr. Siener was a past member of the board of directors of Canvas Products Association International (now Industrial Fabrics Association International). In 2001, Mr. Siener was given the organization's Honored Life member status. Cooley, headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., USA, is a manufacturer of technical textiles serving the graphics, building products and engineered fabric markets. Posted December 27, 2017

South Africa Pays High for New Ballistic Vests. According to the South African news website Sunday Times, the South African Police Services has purchased "what could be the most expensive bulletproof vests in the world." The article claims the government spent almost $526,000 to purchase 200 lightweight vests ($2,622/vest) for initial testing, with a further order for $2.9 million from the Indian manufacturer MKU pending the results of the testing. In contrast, current vests cost only $625 per vest. The new contract went out without tender and reportedly a significant amount of the purchase cost went to a "middleman." Click here to read a summary of the article which appeared on the  website. Posted December 20, 2017

Geosynthetics Industry Shakeup: Groupe Solmax Acquires GSE Environmental. Groupe Solmax, a Canadian-based company and an industry leader in the production of high-quality polyethylene geomembranes for industrial and environmental applications has acquired GSE Environmental based in Houston, Texas, USA from Littlejohn & Co., LLC and certain funds and accounts managed by Strategic Value Partners, LLC, both Greenwich, Connecticut-based private investment firms supplying large industrial players with high-quality containment systems for domestic, hazardous or industrial waste burial sites, retention ponds, fracking and heap leaching pads.  The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ are Solmax’s financial partners for this transaction. Both will have equity positions in the company. Click here to read the Solmax press release. Thanks to our friend Chris Kelsey at for alerting us to the acquisition. Posted December 20, 2017

Polyfab Australia Announces Acquisition by Nolan Group. Australian shading material maker Polyfab Australia has announced it is being acquired by the Nolan Group, a trading company specializing in industrial textiles in Australia and the surrounding region. Polyfab is the producer of knitted HDPE shadecloth. It's founder, Barry Jamieson, will remain with the company. (Note: Polyfab USA was once part of Polyfab Australia but has since become an independent company.) Posted December 18, 2017

New Safer System for Hauling Liquids in Tanker Trucks. There is an interesting article/video on the Uk's Transport Engineer website about a Dutch manufacturer of a system to secure liquid loads in road-going tankers using inflatable bladders that reduces fuel consumption and improves vehicle security. The company is called Accede NV. The inflatable tubes replace traditional baffles used to control foward movement in quick stopping situations. Click here to read the article and watch the video of an interview with a transport driver on his impressions in using the new system. Posted December 15, 2017

US Lawmakers Question Need for New Marine Parachute System. According to a report on the website, the new US 2018 National Defense Authorization Act prevents the US Marine Corps in investing in an enhanced multi-mission parachute system until the US Department of the Navy submits a report evaluating whether other military systems such as the Army's new RA-1 system would meet Marine Corps mission requirements. Documents show the Marine Corps wants up to 1,200 of the parachutes, along with accessories including harnesses for working dogs and parachutist oxygen systems. The RA-1 system was approved last year under a $99 million contract with Airborne Systems North America. Click here to read the article on the website. Posted December 13, 2017

International Geosynthetics Society Seeks Nominations for Awards. The International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) has issued a Call for Nominations for its IGS Awards. The IGS Awards, issued only every 4 years, will be granted in 2018 to individuals or groups of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development and use of geotextiles, geomembranes, related products, or associated technologies through their scientific and technological achievements covering the period January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2017. The Awards will be present at the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics taking place in Seoul, South Korea in September 2018. Deadline to receive the nominations is January 31, 2018. Click here to find out more about criteria and eligibility. Posted December 12, 2017 

Looking for a New Hire in the Nonwovens Industry? INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has announced a new benefit to nonwoven/engineered materials companies seeking to hire university students in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics). INDA’s new Career Corner posts resumes of students interested in nonwoven entry level career opportunities, internships, and co-op programs.  “The new Career Corner on INDA’s website was developed in response to INDA members’ need to identify and recruit talented individuals in the thriving nonwovens and engineered materials industry. With Career Corner, INDA members can find candidates and post open positions as a free service to INDA member companies,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President. Click here to view current listings on the INDA website. Posted December 12, 2017

Supercapacitor Fibers Developed. Writing on his Texsnips web blog, Texas Tech University Professor Seshadri Ramkumar reports that a supercapacitor fiber which can serve as a power source for wearable technologies has recently been developed by a team of scientists from Deakin University in Australia. They have succeeded in spinning 2-dimensional "MXene," into fibrous strands. The strands can become a power source for electronic devices. MXenes are a relatively new type of ceramics that have inherently good conductivity. Click here to read more about the discovery on Professor Ramkumar's website. Posted December 12, 2017

US Gives Pakistan Police $23 Million in Protective Gear. According to various Pakistan websites, the US embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Section has provided the Pakistan police with state-of-the-art lightweight protective gear worth more than $23 million between June-September 2017 to protect the latter in their fight against terrorism and crime. The latest equipment, which consists of 30,500 "bulletproof" vests and more than 27,000 ballistic helmets, has been provided by the US. This step brings the total number of protective gear assistance since 2009 to more than 53,000 "bulletproof" vests and almost 47,000 ballistic helmets. Click here to read the article posted on the Pakistan website The Nation. Posted December 12, 2017

Hexcel to Acquire Oxford Performance Materials' Aerospace & Defense Business. Composite material maker Hexcel Corporation announced yesterday that it is acquiring the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) business of Oxford Performance Materials. A&D is a manufacturer of carbon fiber reinforced 3F printed parts for Commercial Aerospace and Space and Defense applications. Hexcel is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., USA. Click here to read the company's press release on the acquisition. Posted December 12, 2017

Gale Pacific Focusing on Technical Textiles.  There is an interesting article posted on the ShareCafe investment website on the refocus of Gale Pacific on technical textiles. Over the past 3 years, Gale has sold most of its non-textile businesses; most recently its unprofitable Everton glass business in June. Other divestments include items like household products such as bath mats and soap dispensers. The article reports the company plans to have technical textile products "now generate about 96% of its revenues and 100% of its profits." Major retail product lines include items such as shade fabrics, exterior window furnishings, gazebos, shade sails, screening, synthetic turf, weedmat/garden covers and shade umbrellas. Click here to read the article. Posted December 12, 2017

Italian Textile Machinery Association Opens Training Center in Vietnam. Despite the failure so far of the Trans-Pacific Agreement, Vietnam remains the hot spot in Southeast Asia for the developing textile industry. Completing an agreement originally reached in April 2016, the Italian Trade Agency and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology has opened the Italian technology training center for textile machinery. The opening follows the announcement of the Swiss textile machinery association of its intent to open an office in Vietnam (see our November 6 post). Italian textile machinery exports to Vietnam rose +53% during the first half of 2017 over the first half of 2016. Click here to read the press release offered by ACMIT, the Italian textile machinery association. Posted December 11, 2017

Coats Acquires Patrick Yarn Mill. United Kingdom based industrial thread manufacturer Coats Group plc has acquired Patrick Yarn Mill, a manufacturer of high-performance engineered yarns based in N.C, USA.  Patrick Yarn Mill specializes in cut-resistant and flame-retardant yarns.  It also produces yarns from recycled fibers marketed under its earthspun® trademarks. Founded in 1963, Patrick Yarn Mill has 150 employees.  In 2016, its annual sales were $36.5m. The acquisition of Patrick Yarn Mill follows two acquisitions in 2016 for Coats. Gotex, a Spanish company which designs and manufactures high-tech industrial yarns and tapes used in the telecommunications, energy and oil and gas sectors became part of Performance Materials.  FRS, a UK based company which provides software solutions and expertise to improve operational efficiency and speed to market in apparel and footwear, became part of Coats Global Services. Click here to read the Coats press release. Posted December 11, 2017

October Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end October 31. Overall exports rose to just under 4%. Exports to Mexico, the US's largest export destination, remains flat, amounting to less than a percentage point increase. Exports to China, however, continued its brisk pace this year with a 24% increase from the previous year. Click here to see the entire report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











202,061 +25.0

Hong Kong

127,467 123,735 -2.9

United Kingdom


100,577 +10.0
World 4,032,358 4.190,971 +3.9

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted December 11, 2017

Moses Lake Carbon Fiber Plant Acquired. SGL Carbon SE is acquiring BMW Group's 49% equity investment in the joint ventures SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) and SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC (US) – together referred to as "SGL ACF." The agreement was signed November 24, 2017. SGL Group will be the sole owner of SGL ACF, located in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. The transaction is subject to approval from the respective authorities. The SGL ACF joint venture was founded in 2009 with the aim of establishing the use of carbon as a lightweight construction material in the automotive industry and securing the supply of carbon fibers and fabrics for BMW Group. SGL ACF will be assigned to the Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) business unit. Click here to read the entire announcement. Posted December 4, 2017 

Awning-Cleaning Business Owner Charged with Violent Extortion Scheme. A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Ruslan Reizin and Mark Krivoi with extortion conspiracy.  The charges stem from the defendants’ alleged extortion and violent assault of a teenage victim who started an awning-cleaning business in Brooklyn that competed with a similar business operated by Reizin. According to the charges, the defendants allegedly threated to cut off their ex-employee's ear if he didn't pay them $5,000 for encroaching on their awning cleaning business. When the victim said he couldn't pay, the defendants beat him severely until he eventually agreed to their terms. Click here to read the US Attorney's Office press release on the indictment. Posted November 30, 2017

Apple Granted Patent on Next Generation Smart Fabrics for Its Future Apple Watch. According to the website Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Apple Inc. for its invention of a new type of smart fabric composition that includes inserting metal wires and other conductive fibers that can be used to carry signals for electrical components. Click here to read more about the patent. Posted November 30, 2017

Gerrman Textile Machinery Technology Introduced in Events Held in the US and Mexico. The VDMA Textile Machinery Association held events in November for the textile industries in the US and Mexico. More than 80 decision-makers of the US textile, nonwoven and carpet industry as well as 25 leading textile machinery and accessories manufacturers participated in the VDMA textile machinery conference on November 6 in Charlotte, N.C., USA. The following two-day event on 8-9 November in Mexico City, Mexico, attracted nearly 450 customers and 30 textile machinery and accessories manufacturers. VDMA member companies presented their latest production technologies from spinning to dyeing and finishing. Major topics addressed were digitalization of the textile and textile machinery industry (Industrie 4.0 / industrial internet), higher efficiency and profitability, energy, water and material savings, new applications with growth potential, such as composites and nonwovens, higher quality with measurement, control and testing devices, technical training centers. Click here to learn more about the events. Posted November 30, 2017

US Coated Fabric Manufacturer Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. In a story we have been following for more than two years (see the July 26, 2015 original post), coated fabric and fuel cell bladder manufacturer American Fuel Cell (Amfuel) Company has now filed for Chapter 11 protection with the US Bankruptcy Court. Last year Amfuel announced it was closing its plant in Magnolia, Ark., USA, and moving to Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. As of its November 26 Chapter 11 filing, the company said it still had about 125 employees in Magnolia in addition to about 240 people in Wichita Falls. On September 27, Amfuel was awarded a $10.2 million contract with the US Department of Defense to manufacture aircraft fuel cell bladders. Amfuel is one of only 5 domestic companies making fuel cells for the US military. The company originally started out in 1917 as Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. Click here to read more about the Chapter 11 filing. Posted November 30, 2017

Toray Falsified Data Regarding Carbon Fiber Testing. It's another "black eye" for the Japanese technical textiles industry with the admission by Toray Industries that company subsidiary Toray Hybrid Cord had altered data results after internal testing showed it failed to meet stated company claims of some of its cords used in the manufacture of tires, car hose belts and paper making. The Japanese technical textile industry is already reeling from the Takata false data fiasco which ultimately brought the company down. The products issued with false data were supplied to approximately 13 companies between 2008 and 2016. Click here to read a New York Times article about the issue. Posted November 30, 2017 

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, is seeking presentations for the 4th edition of Hygienix™, the event for industry professionals in the absorbent hygiene and personal care markets, November 5-8, 2018, in Orlando, Fla., USA.  The event will feature 3 days of program content devoted to the latest technologies, emerging markets, and market trends in the hygiene industry. INDA is looking for abstracts on the latest hygiene research, product, or component innovation. Deadine for submission is April 2, 2018. Abstract topics for consideration include: Breathability, Closure Systems, Core Construction, Demographics, Elastomers, Films, IP, Market Trends/Globalization, Material & Equipment Advancements, Odor Control, Packaging, Printing, Raw Material Cost Trends, Regulation, SAP & Fluff Pulp, Standards, Sustainability/Biodegradability, and Total Absorbent Systems. Click here for more information. Posted November 30, 2017

DNA Textile Group Announces Closing of Denim Business Unit. DNA Textile Group has decided to exiting the denim buisness by the end of January 2018 due to sagging demand and low selling prices. DNA, headquartered in Columbus, Ga., USA, was the last major US domestic manufacturer of denim. The good news is the company is pivoting quickly and focusing on their 5-year-old Technical Fabrics and Custom Finishing divisions, which have been steadily growing. DNA will continue producing FR Denim and other specialty performance denims within the Technical Fabric Division. Click here to find out more at the DNA website. Posted November 30, 2017

Bondcote Names New President. In a letter posted on its Bondcote Corporation's LinkedIn web page, technical fabric producer Heytex Bramsche has announced the appointment of Martin Denney as president of Bondcote Corporation, effective December 4, 2017.  Bondcote is headquartered in Pulaski, Va., USA. Mr. Denney was most recently president of the North American operations of Gale Pacific Ltd., another manufacturer of technical textiles. Mr. Denney replaces Ted Anderson, who earlier this year had announced his intention to retire. Click here to read the letter posted by Heytex CEO Heribert DecherPosted November 29, 2017 

US Army Reserve Officer Receives 4 Years for Defrauding Government.  In a follow up to our April 26, 2017 post, previously convicted US Army Reserve Lt. Col. Frederick Burnett, president of Lamar International Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., USA, was sentenced November 28 to 4 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $4.4 million for falsely stating that promotional backpacks and baseball caps supplied under a series of contracts with the US Department of Defense were made in the US. An investigation found the items were actually made in China. Lt. Col. Burnett claimed on 3 contracts worth $6.2 million awarded between 2005 and 2009 that the promotional products were US-made to avoid the Berry Amendment's made-in-US requirement. Click here to read an article on the sentencing posted on the News Courier (Athens, Ala., USA) website. Posted November 29, 2017

Beaver Manufacturing Plans Mexican and South American Expansion. In a series of moves during the last month, Georgia-based Beaver Manufacturing, a producer of adhesive-treated fiber reinforcements for industrial hoses, is readying itself to expand into Mexico and South America. Early in November, the company announced the hiring of Enrique Quirarte as the General Manager for Mexico and South America. This week, it announced the opening of a new plant in Tepeji, Mexico to increase its converting capacity of meta- and para-aramid, rayon and polyester products that support automotive, oil and gas, and other industrial applications in Mexico and South America. Click here to read more about the plant opening posted on the website. Posted November 28, 2017

Photo source: brrrº website

Cooling Fabric Maker brrrº Hires Global Sales Manager. Cooling textile innovator brrr° has hired Julie Brown to lead its global sales functions and create new industry-focused sales teams. Ms. Brown, will work with brrr° Chief Executive Officer Mary-Cathryn Kolb to reorganize the company’s global sales team around industry-specific verticals such as business and casual office wear, athletic apparel, uniforms and medical clothing, bedding and home interiors, automotive and other manufacturers. Atlanta-based brrr° was founded in 2014. Its focus is to develop innovative and technologically advanced fabrics with superior cooling performances. Posted November 28, 2017

Photo Source: Burton

NASA-Inspired USA Olympic Uniforms for Snowboarders. Burton Snowboards, the official provider of snowboarding equipment for the US Olympic snowboard team, has unveiled the snappy new uniforms to be worn at the 2018 games taking place in Pyeonchang, South Korea. According to an article posted on the Forbes magazine website, "The uniform infuses a lightweight, aluminum-coated fabric typically used for audio equipment with technical properties made for snowboarding in any weather condition...The company claims the resulting fabric is light, waterproof, and reflective to both light and sound. Next, to pay homage to the spirit of the American space program, the competition jacket has hand-drawn patches depicting the American flag and 'USA' in space-age font." Click here to read the article. Posted November 20, 2017

Ballistic Vest Company Point Blank Enterprises Faces Class Action Lawsuit on Alleged Defective Products. According to the website Class Action, "The Ohio State Troopers Association, Inc., the International Union of Police Associations, and three individual officers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges the shoulder straps on certain model bulletproof vests manufactured by defendant Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. are defective to the extent that they pose a 'life-threatening safety issue' and cannot be reasonably relied upon for their intended use." The lawsuit was filed October 19, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Point Blank is one of the largest suppliers of ballistic vests to US law enforcement and military agencies. Click here to read the Class Action article and also to read the entire 34-page filed document. Posted November 20, 2017 

UMass Lowell Given Grant to Research Smart Fabric. According to an article posted on the University of Massachusetts' website, Governor Charlie Bakerhas awarded UMass Lowell (Lowell, Mass., USA) an $11.3 million state grant to establish the Fabric Discovery Center (FDC). The Discovery Center is one of a series being organized by the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (see earlier posting today about the Drexel Discovery Center). One goal of the UMass FDC research is to seamlessly embed flexible hybrid electronics into fabric by threading conductive wire, which is indistinguishable from normal thread, thereby creating the next generation of smart fabrics,” said Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan. Click here to read the UMass announcement. Posted November 20, 2017<< New image with text >>

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Announces New Additions to Board. The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) has announced Dr. Scott Harley of BAE Systems and Bruce LaFlam of Milliken and Company have been elected to its board of directors. In addition, Frank Montie of Brookwood Companies was elected to serve as the next WPRC Chairman of the Board. The organization's founding chairman Luke Hillier will be stepping up to Chairman Emeritus. Established in 2009, WPRC is an advocacy association with more than 40 US companies involved in military contract-related textile products. Its projects this year focused on expanding domestic source requirements to the US Department of Homeland Security, protecting the Berry Amendment, promoting the use of "Best Value" contracting methodologies for the Personal Protective Equipment/Organizational Clothing industry, and supporting additional funding for the Soldier Enhancement Progam and the Rapid Equipping Force. Click here to read the WPRC's press release announcing the board additions plus listing the 9 new members who joined in 2017. Posted November 20, 2017

Drexel Latest to Open Fabric Discovery Center under AFFOA Coalition. Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has announced it is establishing a statewide center that will "help companies, entrepreneurs and innovators take their advanced-textile concept from prototype to product." The research facility is one of the Fabric Discovery Centers being supported by the US Department of Defense's Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) initiative. Drexel's first project is development of a functional fabric touch sensor. While Drexel will be the physical home of the center, it will bring together research and expertise from universities across the state that are also members of AFFOA, including Carnegie Mellon, Penn State University and Jefferson University. Similar AFFOA centers are now in place in Massachusetts: The AFFOA Fabrics Discovery Center Headquarters, in Cambridge, Mass.; the Defense Fabric Discovery Center at MIT's Lincoln Lab, and the University of Mass. Lowell Fabric Discovery Center. Click here to read more about the Drexel center Posted November 20, 2017

NASA's Mars 2020 Mission Performs First Supersonic Parachute Test. The first testing last month of NASA's Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) was described by one official as "wild." The parachute system was launched into the upper-atmosphere from the Goddard Space Flight Center near Hampton, Virginia, USA. "It was quite a ride," said Ian Clark, the test's technical lead from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For the first time NASA got to see the supersonic parachute system in real action asit successful released at 1.8 times the speed of sound. The parachute is designed to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph. The next ASPIRE test is planned for February 2018. Click here to read the complete NASA press release. Posted November 17, 2017

European Union to Fine Airbag and Seat Belt Manufacturer Cartel. According to the Reuters news agency, the European Union (EU) is finalizing its 6-year investigation into an alleged cartel of a group of car seat belt and airbag makers and is about to announce fines for the companies involved. Cartels are prohibited by EU rules. Airbag producer TRW Automotive, which was acquired by Germany's ZF Friedrichschefen AG, has already acknowledged that two of its factories in Germany were investigated. Autoliv, the world's largest airbag manufacturer, has declined to comment on the investigation. Companies have an incentive to admit their wrong-doing, receiving a 10% discount in the penalty fines handed out by the EU. Click here to read the Reuters report published in Automotive News EuropePosted November 17, 2017

Berry Gobal Group to Acquire Clopay Plastic Products. Berry Global Group, Inc. (Berry) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Clopay Plastic Products Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Griffon Corporation, for $475 million. Berry, headquartered in Evansville, Ind., USA, is a manufacturer of engineered materials, nonwoven specialty materials, and consumer packaging. Clopay, based in Mason, Oh., USA, is a global supplier of printed breathable films as well as elastic films and laminates used in markets such as healthcare, construction and industrial protective apparel. Click here to read the Berry announcement. Posted November 17, 2017

US Federal Court Dismisses Legal Motions Alleging False and Misleading Claims Against Protective Material Manufacturer. Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which manufactures and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, today announced that a U.S. federal court in California denied all additional legal motions against Vestagen brought by medical garment manufacturer Strategic Partners, Inc. (SPI). The SPI motions followed a recent jury trial for its 2016 lawsuit, in which the jury found in favor of Vestagen. The Court decisions this week confirm the jury verdict, rejecting SPI's allegations that Vestagen had made false and misleading advertising and marketing claims about VESTEX. The Court's denial of these new motions means the jury verdict for Vestagen will stand. Click here to read the company's press release on the Court's action. Posted November 17, 2017

Representatives of Messe Frankfurt and SPESA Sign Agreement

Messe Frankfurt, Inc. and SPESA Will Continue to Co-Produce Equipment Show. You can relax if you were worried about who would be managing the 2032 Texprocess Americas show. Yesterday, Messe Frankfurt, Inc. and SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas) announced an agreement to extend the current contract to co-produce the biennial Texprocess Americas trade show through 2032. Since 2010 Texprocess has been co-located with the Textextil North America show in Atlanta on even years. The signing is good news for visitors and exhibitors of Texprocess Americas and Techtextil North America. Both were both included in the 2016 Trade Show News Network's Top 250 Trade Shows in the United States. Posted November 10, 2017

JEC Asia Attracts Record Numbers. The strategic move from Singapore to Seoul, South Korea proved to be a good change for the 10th JEC Asia international composite event. More than 230 exhibiting companies from Asia, Europe and North America were represented in the trade show. Overall, JEC Asia 2017 attracted 6,271 visitors from 42 countries. This was the first time JEC Asia was held outside of Singapore. Next year JEC Asia 2018 will again be held in Seoul, November 14-16, 2018. Posted November 7, 2017

Swedish Textile Machinery Association Opens Office in Vietnam. The opening of a Vietnam office for the Textile Machinery Association of Sweden (TMAS) supports the growing importance of the textile industry in the southeast Asian country. The office, located in Ho Chi Minh City, will be managed by Tran Phuoc Thanh. Mr. Tran formerly worked for the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group. TMAS has 9 member companies. Click here to read the TMAS press release. Posted November 6, 2017

September Export Figures Released by US Department of Commerce. The US Department of Commerce has released the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures for the 12-month period with the year-end September 30. Exports to Mexico, the US's largest export destination, remains flat, whilesales to China have continued to double-digit growth. Click here to see the entire report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











198,961 +22.0

Hong Kong

131,776 124,860 -5.2

United Kingdom


100,546 +10.9
World 4,063595 4,162,674 +2.4

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted November 6, 2017

India's Textile Minister Addresses Need for Domestic Technical Textile Industry to Standardize. At the 3rd National Conclave on Standards and Technical Textiles taking place November 2, 2017 in New Delhi, India, Anant Jumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, discussed the need for faster technical textile standard development. According to an article posted on the Business Standard website, Mr. Singha said that rapid growth is expected in domestic production and that 8 committees had been formed at the Centre of Excellences in India to expedite the process of developing standards. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

Airbag and Seatbelt Safety Discussed for School Buses. The website School Transportation News has an interesting interview with Nick Awabdy, vice president of Engineering at IMMI, a global manufacturer of commercial restraint systems for both people and products. In the article, Mr. Awabdy says the current high costs of airbags make installation of them a "nonstarter" for budget-conscious school systems. However, he says, "It will happen." New technology and placement consideration including roof-rail and side airbags covering the windows make it possible to eliminate any secondary body impacts during a crash. New lap-belt technology, improved education of the positive affects of use, and continuing falling prices for seat modules make it increasingly viable for the inclusion of seatbelts in school buses. Click here to read the article. Posted November 3, 2017

Call for Papers Issued for 2018 International Nonwovens Symposium. EDANA, the Eurpopean-based association for the nonwovens industry, has issued a call for papers for the 2018 International Nonwovens Symposium, taking place in Rome, Italy. The Symposium is being held May 23-24 and will feature a mix of topics on nonwovens across all types of applications. Table top exhibits will also be offered. Click here to learn more about the Symposium. Posted November 3, 2017

(L-R) Regina Brückner, Fritz P. Mayer, Verena Thies

New Chairperson at German Textile Machinery Association. In a press release issued yesterday, the VDMA Textile Machinery Association announced Regina Brückner, Managing Associate of Brückner Trockentechnik, is the new chairperson of the association. She was elected at the members’ meeting in Berlin.The new executive board was completed with Verena Thies, Thies Textilmaschinen, and Fritz P. Mayer, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik, who were elected as vice chairpersons, and the following elected as directors: Johann Phillip Dilo, Oskar Dilo Maschinenfabrik; Peter D. Dornier, Lindauer Dornier; Arno Gärtner, Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik; Roland Hampel, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen; Dr. Janpeter Horn, Herzog; Markus Kleindorp, Memminger-Iro; Martin Küppers, Saurer Schlafhorst; Georg Stausberg, Oerlikon Textile; Andreas Lukas, Andritz Küsters; Benjamin Mayer, Mayer & Cie; Eric Schöller, Groz-Beckert; and, Heinrich Trützschler, Trützschler. Posted November 3, 2017

New Company Name for Former Durafiber Plant in Germany. As we reported last month, the Durafiber Technologies plant in Bad Herseld, Germany was purchased by internal management and a private investment company. Today the high tenacity yarn producer announced that effective November 1, 2017 its new name has become The FilamentFactory GmbH. Posted November 3, 2017

US Textile Association Praises Trump's Determination on China Antidumping Issue. With President Donald Trump headed to Asia today on a visit that includes Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the Washington-based US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) praised the Trump administration’s recent determination China’s non-market economy status for antidumping purposes and called for even more aggressive U.S. enforcement to crack down on unfair trade practices. “The evidence could support no other decision,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo. He added, “Properly defining China as a non-market economy simply confirms what every U.S. manufacturer already understands — China has a set of unfair and extraordinary advantages that allow them to displace investment, production and employment in our market.” Click here to read the entire NCTO press release. Posted November 3, 2017

Timothy P. Kurzweg

Drexel Names New Vice Provost. Timothy P. Kurzweg, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has been appointed vice provost for undergraduate education to foster student achievement at the university. Mr. Kurzweg has undergone several well-funded research studies in recent  work at Drexel, including receiving a nearly $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health for work in smart textiles. He and his collaborators also received an $800,000 grant for further research into textiles used in a medical setting. Posted November 3, 2017

Canadian Textile Science Institute Schedules Meeting. The 117th Scientific Session of The Institute of Textile Science will be held on February 6, 2018, in Montreal, Que., Canada, one day before the opening of the IFAI Canada Expo 2018. It will be held simultaneously at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alb., by video conference. The theme of the scientific session is The Role of Textiles and Related Flexible Materials in Infrastructure Renewal. The session will focus on the use of textiles composites, polymers, and other flexible materials in the renewal of bridge, highways, and other engineered structures. Click here for more information. Posted November 3, 2017

Serbian Ballistic Equipment Facility Opens. According to the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe, Serbian textile producer Yumco has opened a new facility in Vranje called Balistika. The company will produce protective ballistic equipment such as "bulletproof" vests and gloves. The company's general manager said the facility will produce 20,000 protective vests and 10,000 protective equipment kits a year. Click here to go to Textiles Eastern Europe website. [Note: The newsletter is subscription based.] Posted November 1, 2017

Regional Fabricators Conference Organized for Cincinnati. Registration is now open for the Canvas Products Association, Zone 7(CPA-Zone 7) conference in Cincinnati, Oh., USA. The event takes place December 6-9, 2017. Featured speakers include industry experts Kevin Kelly, Mark Stiver and Byron Yonce. CPA-Zone 7 is a regional gathering of companies involved in the manufacture of end products such as awning, marine, truck covers, tarps and other unique custom applications. Click here to find out more information about participating. Posted November 1, 2017

Advisory Council Named for 2018 Techtextil North America. Mess Frankfurt North America, the organizer of 2018 Techtextil North America (TTNA), has announced the formation of an advisory council to help develop educational programming for the event being held May 22-24, 2018 in Atlanta, Ga., USA. The members are Jan Beringer, Hohenstein Institute; Margaret Bishop, Fashion Institute of Technology; Magali Brown, NICCA Chemicals; Sam Buff, Textile Technology Center at Gaston College; Dr. Wei Gao, North Carolina State University; Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, The Nonwovens Institute; and, Dr. Gang Sun, University of California, Davis. Posted November 1, 2017

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Coming Events

  • February 15-17: 2018 Western Canvas Products Expo, Palm Springs, Calif., USA

  • February 20-22: Techtextil Russia 2018, Moscow, Russia

  • February 22-24: FESPA Asa 2018, Bangkok, Thailand

  • February 27-March 3: R+T, Stuttgart, Germany

  • March 5-8: JEC World 2018, Paris, France

  • March 5-10: IFCEE 2018, Orlando, Fla., USA

  • March 6-8: AATCC International Conference, Greenville, S.C., USA

  • March 13-15: FILTECH 2018, Cologne, Germany

  • March 14-15: Outlook Asia, Singapore

  • March 15-16: 2018 International Technical Textiles Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan

  • March 18-19: Techtextil Russia, Moscow, Russia

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

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

Steady Growth Prospects for Expanding Specialty Geosynthetics

There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom. 


In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference Explores the Roads to a Textile Power

Sun Ruizhe

2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016

In My Opinion

Re-Shoring: Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander?

Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.


Steve Warner


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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