BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

April 1 - June 30, 2014

NASA Parachute Testing in the News. Two NASA testing of the Orion Mars landing vehicle components were tested over the last few days. The actual testing of the vehicle parachute system was a success on June 25 in Arizona, USA. It involved a designed failure of one of the parachutes. It was a success. On June 28 in Hawaii the saucer-like ring around the entry vehicle was successfully test although one of the parachutes did malfunction.  The tested vehicle, called the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD), is made of woven aramid fabric and is designed to inflate into a huge ring around the craft, creating friction to slow the craft's descent. Click here to read more about the Hawaiian test. Posted June 29, 2014

Robotic Oil Boom Dispenser Developed. We found an interesting article on the website PortStrategy on the development of robotized boom deployment system. Response time to a containment situation is critical to control a spreading spill. Manual layout is time-consuming. The unmanned craft holding the new system is sent out on a pre-planned GPS route and automatically starts deploying the oil boom, cutting significant response time. The system is made by SP Marine in cooperation with the port of Gothenburg (Sweden) for use in its energy ports. Other ports such as the Copenhagen Malmoe (Denmark) and the Petroport in Stenungssund (Sweden) are also beginning to use the system. Click here to read the article. Posted June 25, 2014

Inflatable Airbags Being Studied to Save Cargo Ships and Environment. There is an interesting short article posted on the website™ exploring the possibility of installing airbags in a ship's ballast tanks. The bags could rapidly inflate if the ship is disabled, helping to keep it the upright and afloat. The stabilized ship could possibly avoid polluting the seas and land, plus gain valuable time for the off-loading of crew, pasengers and cargo. Click here to read the article. Posted June 24, 2014

Parachute Manufacturer Awarded Military Contract. Airborne Systems North America of Santa Ana, Calif., USA was awarded an $8,099,431 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for foreign military sales customers India, Jordan, Moldova and Romania. The total estimated quantities are: 37 T-11 personnel parachute systems, eight T-11 spare parts packages, 825 MC-6 personnel parachute systems, and eight MC-6 spare parts packages.Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., USA, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-14-D-0064). Posted June 24, 2014

US Military Tent Provider Purchased. The website for Bluestone Capital Partners has announced that Cold Mountain Capital, LLC, an investment and management company, has purchased Camel Manufacturing of Caryville, Tenn., USA. Cold Mountain Capital was launched in 2013 by Stony Point Group, a firm specializing in reorganizing distressed businesses. Camel Manufacturing is one of the few shelter manufacturers left supplying the US military. According to its website, Camel Manufacturing was founded in 1919, making it the oldest continuous provider of military shelters. Posted June 23, 2014

Noted Kevlar Inventor Passes. Kevlar inventor Stephanie Kwolek has died at age 90. Ms. Kwolek was a chemist in the DuPont labs in 1965 when she developed a liquid crystal solution that could be cold-spun. The new fiber became Kevlar, one of the most successful commercialized fibers in the technical textiles industry. It is estimated more than one million protective vests using Kevlar technology have been sold over the years. In April, BeaverLake6 Report noted the passing of Tom Bair, another member of the Kevlar team. Click here to read a nice tribute to Ms. Kwolek that was posted on the website. Posted June 23, 2014 

Brief History of Geotextiles. We missed it when first published a few months ago but Chris Kelsey wrote an excellent concise article on the history of geotextiles that was published in the March/April issue of Land and Water Magazine.  The article is still available in pdf form. Click here. And, in a related posting on the website, Alan Ossege of geotextile pioneer Carthage Mills, has an article on the contributions of his company in History of Geosynthetics: Filter Fabrics Emerge from a 1957 Storm. The article can be found online by clicking herePosted June 19, 2014

Ballistic Protected Life Jacket Developed for Maritime Operations. According to a press release found on the website defenceweb, a site devoted to African military issues, Atlantis Systems Technologies (AST) has developed a ballistic protected life jacket for use by armed merchant ship guards when in Indian Ocean pirate waters. The jacket is called Oyster BPLJ and combines the buoyancy of the inflated life jacket with the bullet-resistant vest protection. AST is a South African company. Click here to read the article. Posted June 18, 2014

Agathon Associates Adds Customs Brokerage Service. Congratulations to David Trumbull, our good friend and BeaverLake6 Report contributor, who received his Customs Broker license on June 17. Mr. Trumbull will be adding Custom Broker services to his firm Agathon Associates' list of client services. Mr. Trumbull has represented US textile interests in trade and development policies at negotiations and conferences throughout the world for more than 20 years and is a sought after speaker for industry trade events. Posted June 18, 2014.

DuPont to Sell Sontara Nonwovens Business Unit. DuPont Protection Technologies has agreed to sell its Sontara nonwovens business to Switzerland-based Jacob Holm Group. Sontara produces nonwoven products used in medical and wipes applications. It has plants in Old Hickory, Tenn., USA and Asturias, Spain. The deal is expected to be completed in the 3rd Quarter 2014, pending regulatory approvals. Click here to read a posting about the pending sale. Posted June 18, 2014

Leigh Fibers Acquires "ICE" Recycling. Leigh Delaware Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Leigh Fibers Inc., has acquired Industrial Conservation Engineering "ICE" Recycling LLC of Lake City, S.C., USA. ICE Recycling reprocesses post-industrial polymers as well as cardboard, paper and metals. Leigh Fibers is one of the world's largest reprocessors of natural, synthetic and specialty fibers. Click here to read the press release posted on the Textile World website. Posted June 18, 2014

Firefighters to Receive Anti-Ballistic Vests. We suppose it's a sign of the times. We have read several reports lately regarding firefighters and emergency medical technician professionals are now receiving anti-ballistic vests for use during an emergency involving an active shooter. The latest is the Gwinnett County Fire Department, located in Georgia, USA, will be receiving 300 vests. Click here to read the news article posted on a local television's web site. Posted June 18, 2014

Indian Textile Machinery Company Opens Plant in China. India's largest textile machine manufacturer Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW) has opened a new plant in a Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China industrial park. The $29 million 22,000 square meter factory will manufacture spinning equipment. Click here to read the article posted on The Hindu website. Posted June 16, 2014

$3 Million of Inflatable Boats for Afghanistan?  According to the website Daily Mail Online, eight inflatable boats were ordered in 2010 by the US military for use in Afghanistan for $3 million or $375,000 each, a cost 7 times the standard price per boat. The boats were originally intended to be used to patrol the river between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan but never shipped because they were deemed unnecessary. The new unused boats are sitting in a navy warehouse in Yorktown, Virginia, USA, and are expected to be sold for pennies on the dollar. We don't think we need to add any further comment. The situation speaks for itself. Click here to read the article. Posted June 16, 2014

Ban on Large Inflatables at Recreational Lakes. We've seen bans on large tents at beaches but now we have learned that trampoline inflatables are being banned starting next year on two of the largest lakes in North Carolina, USA. According to the website of the newspapaer Charlotte Observer, Duke Energy, the manager of the lakes under US federal license, plans to ban the floating inflatables because "they can block navigational access for boats and can hurt the 'aesthetics' of the lake." Click here to read the article. Posted June 14, 2014

Auburn Manufacturing Wins $3.5 Million Defense Contract. In a June 9 press release, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc.of Auburn, Maine, USA, announced it had been awarded a multi-year contract to supply over 200,000 yards of AMI-SIL® fabric to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., USA for use in hot work operations during ship repair. AMI-SIL is a composite fabric used in extreme high temperature conditions such as welding and boiler work. The contract could be worth as much as $3.5 million over the next five years. Click here to read the press release. Posted June 12, 2014

New York State Will Provide Funding to Cities for Vests. Nice editorial posted on The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y., USA website, regarding the funding of new body armor for police officers. New York has a new program called inVEST Partnership which will provide matching funds for cities for up to 10,000 "bullet-proof" vests. In the past 30 years, the editorial states, more than 3,000 officers have been saved by vests. Click here to read the editorial. Posted June 12, 2014

Geosynthetic Executive Dies in Plane Crash. Gianmario Beretta, founder of TENAX Group, died May 28 in a lightweight aircraft crash in northern Italy. Under Mr. Beretta's guidance, Tenax became a global leader in the geosynthetics industry. Tenax has production plants in Europe, China and North America. Click here to read an obituary posted on the website. Posted June 12, 2014

New Construction Method Uses Air Cushion. An interesting construction method for creating large concrete shell structures is shown on the Product Design & Development website. The method was designed at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria and involves laying a flat slab of concrete, consisting of several segments, separated by wedge-shaped spaces between the segments. Beneath the slab an air cushion has been laid. Once the slab is harden, the air cushion below is inflated and the dome rises, fitting tightly as it expands into the wedge-shaped spaces. Thanks to our friend Joe Fields for alerting us to this article. Click here to read more. Posted June 12, 2014

Uproar Over "Illegal" Awning Tax in Southern Spain. The English-language news site The Olive Press is reporting that cafes and bars across the Costa del Sol region in southern Spain are furious with a new tax that has come out for awnings and windbreaks. The tax will cost businesses €154 a year for each awning. Some of the popular coastal establishments could face annual bills in excess of €1,000. One of the reasons for the unhappinesss is that businesses already pay a tax when an awning is installed and they feel this is double-taxation. Click here to read the article. Posted June 9, 2014

Update on Development of New US Army Planning Camouflage Patterns. The website has a very good update on the US Army's development progress in developing its new camouflage uniforms. The Army was finishing up it testing and planning to introduce a "family" of three camouflage patterns and appeared to be on the verge of announcing a deal with Crye Precisions, one of four industry manufacturers of uniforms. The deal broke down because of the costs and then a new directive in the 2014 Defense Authorization Act complicated the process. The Act directed the Defense Department to coordinate its camouflage patterns with the Navy and Marines military branches. One of the more interesting points that came from the article was that while testing the camouflage the research revealed color of the pattern is important against the surrounding terrain but the actual pattern is not that relevant beyond 50 meters. Click here to go to the website; however, to read the article, you must pay for a 24 hour premium pass ($.99). Posted June 9, 2014.

The Economist Features Article on New Generation of Spacesuits. In the latest edition of The Economist there is an excellent article about the new generation of spacesuits being developed. Much of the creative ideas for new designs are coming from the private space industry. As we reported in a similar article a few months ago, there are three types of suits being designed -- pressurized flight suits, suits for extravehicular activities such as space walks, and suits to use on planetary exploration. Click here to read an online version of the article. Posted June 8, 2014

Interview with a Manufacturer of "Bulletproof" Men's Attire. A writer on the website The Wire interviewed Abbas Haider, CEO, and Robert Imre Davis, vice president, of Aspetto, a small men's suiting retailer located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA. The company offers a line of armored men's business suits. The interview is revealing as to why the owners started the company, the line of products offered and some of the markets they serve. [We do take issue with this article and others like it that claim they have "bulletproof" suits or tactical gear. We think a more appropriate term is "bullet resistance."] Click here to read the interview. Posted June 8, 2014

Smart Textiles Making Inroads. There was an intersting article posted on The Indian Express website June 8 about the latest wearable technology. We loved the title of the article: "My T-Shirt Told Me to Take a Chill Pill." The article is about smart clothing with sensors in them. In our opinion, the key to the consumer acceptance of these types of products will be cost and washability. Click here to read the article. Posted June 8, 2014

US Army Tests New Parachute. According to a May 29 article posted on the, "The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate conducted a rigorous operation test recently on the new Military Free Fall Advanced Ram-Air Parachute System." The new system, shortened to the acronym RA-1, will be replacing the two decades old MC-4 parachute system for all service branches. Further, according to a June 6 article posted on the website oregonlive, the parachute will be able to support a load of up to 450 pounds and the operater can fly the parachute as far as 29 miles. The parchutes are being made by Airborne Systems, a New Jersey, USA company. Click here to read the article on the US Army website.Posted June 8, 2014

Low & Bonar Appoint New Chief Executive Officer. Advance materials manufacturer Low & Bonar PLC announced today the appointment of Brett Simpson as its new Group Chief Executive. Mr. Simpson will join the company in August and assume the CEO position in September with the retirement of Steve Good, the current CEO. Mr. Simpson was most recently CEO of Belgium-based LBC Tank Terminals Group. Low & Boar have a number of business units involved in technical textiles including Colbond in geosynthetics, Mehler Texnologies in coated fabrics and Yhua Bonar, a manufacturer of specialty yarns and fabrics. Click here to read the company press release. Posted June 6, 2014

US Releases April Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) today released the April export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Exports to Mexico, the leading country receiving US goods, is up 17.8% over the last 12 months. The UK re-entered the top 5, dropping Japan to 6th place. Overall, US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group are up 6.75% over the last 12 months. Click here for the full report. Posted June 5, 2014

Kim Glas Leaving Department of Commerce. BeaverLake6 Report has learned that Kim Glas, deputy assistant secretary for textiles, consumer goods and materials at the US Department of Commerce, has submitted her resignation. Ms. Glas will become the executive vice president of the BlueGreen Alliance in Washington. BlueGreen is a coalition of 14 of the country's largest unions and environmental organizations. Posted June 3, 2014

Korean Firms Should Be Aware of the US Legal Attack. Are you a Korean company trying to enter the US marketplace? On the Korea Times website, Jeff Randall, global head of Paul Hastings, the law firm representing Kolon Industries in its legal battles with DuPont, advised Korean companies to be aware of aggressive US company attacks against their attempts to enter the US market. In August 2012, a  US District Court ordered Kolon to pay $919.9 million to DuPont and to cease making its aramid fiber for 20 years. The US court this past April, however, overturned the verdict. The case is currently being appealed. It's an interesting short article. Click here to read it. Posted June 3, 2014

Bounce Houses Need to be Regulated. Can you see the little speck in the upper left quadrant of the picture? That's a children's bounce house that got swept up in a wind gust in upstate New York in May, seriously hurting two children. The little boys fell out at about 50 feet high but can you imagine what would have happened to them if they been still in the bounce house when this picture was taken? Another incident occurred on June 1 in Colorado when a wind gust blew a bounce house 300 yards across a lacrosse field. Again, two children were hurt in the house. It's time to recognize and enforce proper staking and onsite supervision of these potentially dangerous inflatable "toys." Click here to view the video CNN has posted on its site about the Colorado accident. Posted June 2, 2014

Brand & Oppenheimer Announces Promotion of David Mackney. Brand & Oppenheimer (B&O), a textile converter for the US military with operations in Duxbury, Mass. and Greensboro, N.C., has announced the promotion of David Mackney to Vice President of Protective Fabrics for the company's Performance Textiles Division. Mackney was previously the Specialty Fabrics Business Manager. Posted June 2, 2014

Color-Changing Textile Developed. A textile that uses electricity to change color on command has been demonstrated by a textile designer from Hungary. The fabric is called Chromosonic and is more a research project at the moment, far from commercial viability. To make Chromosonic, thermochromatic dyes were screen-printed on to a fabric. The standard fibers were interwoven with thin nichrome wires which are driven by 24V industrial DC power supplies When the power is turned on, the wires quicly heat-up and the thermochromatic dyes react to change the color red or black to white. The weight of the batteries at the moment make the fabric prohibitive for apparel application but possible for an application such as curtains. Click here to read the article posted on the Plastic Electronics website. Posted June 2, 2014

Research Center in Spain Examines Practicality of Embedding Fabrics with Solar Cells. The Cetemmsa Technological Centre in Spain is investigating the suitability of various materials for use as photovoltaic cells, as well as different techniques for implanting the cells into fabric. The research is funded by the European Union. The report appearing on the website Printed Electronics World, mentions large applications such as stadium awnings to smaller applications such as umbrellas and athletic uniforms. Click here to read the article. Posted June 2, 2014 

Ford to Offer Competitors Its Inflatable Seatbelt Technology. The Motor Report website is reporting today that "Ford has confirmed it will extend an offer for rival carmakers to use its life-saving inflatable seatbelt technology..." Ford is currently one of only two carmakers offering inflatable seatbelts. Ford's inflatable seatabelt works on cold compressed gas, unlike airbags which rely on heat-generated chemical reactions.  Click here to read the article. Posted June 2, 2014

Car-Top Shelter Market Has Its Enthusiasts. We haven't really previously explored this very niche market but we came across the website that was featuring a company making tents for car-tops. They look ungainly and precariously perched. The article, though, piqued our interest, leading us to further research the market. We found an interesting article from September 2013 on the that gave a good summary of car-top tents. Tents typically range in price from $1500-$2500, making it a bit expensive for the average camper but that's why we probably found the article posted on the Land Cruiser website. Click here to read the article. Posted June 1, 2014

Indian and Japanese Companies Form JV to Manufacture Nonwovens. Arvind Ltd., India's largest textiles and apparel manufacturer, and OG Corporation, a trading company based in Japan which specializes in technical textiles, have formed Arvind OG to manufacture needle-punched nonwovens fabrics in India. The first intended end markets are bag house filtration and artificial leather. Later plans included supplying the automotive interiors, industrial filters and geotextiles markets. Arvind has put into place an Advanced Materials Division with four core market segments -- protective textiles, industrial fabrics, composite application fabrics and nonwovens. Arvind estimates it already has 10% of the $12 billion Indian technical textiles market but this is its first forray into manufacturing nonwovens. OG, which will have a 26% stake in the joint venture, has a technology partnership arrangment with Kureha, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyobo. Click here to read an article that was posted on The Indian Express website. Posted June 1, 2014

"Bulletproof" Vests and Kevlar Helmets Going to Ukraine. The Ukrainian News Agency is preporting the country's National Guard expects to receive 3,000 "bulletproof' vests with level-6 protection and 7,000 Kevlar helmets during the period of May 31-June under a contract with a European country.  Click here to read the posting on the Ukranian News agency site. Posted May 30, 2014

US Army Orders Joint Precision Airdrop System. According to the military website Strategy Page, the US Army recently ordered another 110 JPADS (Joint Precision Airdrop System. Each costs $273,000. The high-altitude guided cargo parachute system involves a parachute and guidance controls. Each equipment pallet can contain up to 5 tons of material. The JPADs system is expensive but reusable. Most of these systems are sold to foreign military services. Click here to read the online article. Posted May 27, 2014

Canadian Parachute Manufacturer Closing Plant, Moving Operations to US. According to a report by a Canadian broadcasting website called Quinte News, Airborne Systems Canada, located in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, will close in August 2014 and move its operations to one of Airborne Systems' US locations. In addition to locations in the US and the Canadian plant, Airborne Systems, one of the leading global suppliers of military parachutes, has manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom and France. Last year, Airborne Systems Canada received a $3.5 million contract from the Canadian military. The investment company TransDign Group purchased Airborne Systems in December 2013 for $250 million.The Belleville plant closing will result in the loss of 30 jobs. Click here to read the original posting. Posted May 27, 2014

Awning Collapses on Children. A commercial store-front awning collapsed on May 22, falling on several children in Mundelein, Ill., USA. The report, posted on a local television website, has a surveillance video showing the complete structure falling as an intact unit, indicating  the problem was installation with the building. Not a good PR image for the awning industry. Fortunately, none of the children were seriously hurt. Click here to watch the television report. Posted May 27, 2014

Military Contract for Shrapnel Vests Awarded. The US Defense Logistics Agency today announced that TYR Tactical*, Peoria, Arizona, was awarded a $10,689,084 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales contract for the procurement of nonstandard fragmentation shrapnel vests and projectile protection. This contract involves foreign military sales to Denmark. Posted May 21, 2014

"Iron Man" Suit May Be Coming to Elite US Forces. The Associated Press is running a story today that explores the consideration of US special operations forces obtaining a battlefield suit that has an exoskeleton made of liquid armor and incorporates smart textiles which can stop hemorrhaging and monitor vital signs to its operatives. The Light Operator Suit project is coordinated through the Special Operations Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fl., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted May 21, 2014

"Bullet-Proof" Plates in Backpack Prove No Safer Than School Books.  A  television station in San Diego, Calif., USA, tested the effectiveness of "bullet-proof" backpackes against a regular backpack filled with books. Guess which one did better? That's right, keep your kid's backpack filled with books and it serves just as well as those high-priced new glamour backpacks with ceramic plates. Click here to view the television report. Posted May 21, 2014

Rescue/Recovery Parachutes for UAVs Now Available. One less thing for us to worry about as we walk outside. Drones won't be crashing around us. skygraphics AG has been working several years on the development of a family of parachute systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to allow drones to land without a runway or net recovery system; and to also protective a drone and its payload in case of an unexpected out of control emergency situation. The skygraphics protection system is already being used in Europe and is being introduced in North America. Click here to read more. Posted May 20, 2014

Parachute Training Contract Awarded. The US Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a $21,717,415 contract to Complete Parachute Solutions Inc., DeLand, Fla., USA to provide training and technical support for the Multi-Mission Parachute Course (MMPX). The MMPC will provide students with the unique knowledge and technical skills needed to safely pack and jump the multi-mission parachute system. Posted May 19, 2014

Autoliv to Expand in Hungary. It seems almost every month there is new announcement about an expansion of an automotive restraint system factories, the result of the booming car market and increased inclusion of safety airbags. The Swedish automotive restraint company Autoliv has announced its plan to expand its Sopronk, Hungary factory. No financial figures were given but the expansion is expected to go through 2018 and eventually double the capacity of the plant. Autoliv has plants in 28 countries. Click here to read the news release. Posted May 19, 2014

BMW To Triple Carbon Fiber Production. The website is reporting SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture of BMW and SGL Group, is planning to triple the capacity of its carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, Wash., USA. The plant manufactures carbon fiber body panels. It will first double the capacity to 6,000 tons by adding a third and fourth production line in the next couple of months and then in 2015 add a 5th and 6th production line, tripling the capacity to 9,000 tons. Click hereto read the web article. Posted May 16, 2014

US Department of Defense Enforces Berry Amendment on Athletic Shoes. The US Department of Defense has closed a loophole in the Berry Amendment which requires that the US military purchase domestic textile products whenever it is possible. Previously, military personnel had been given an allowance to purchase their own shoes, regardless of production origin. Now, the service members will be required to use the cash allowance to purchase athletic footwear that is produced in the US. This will be good news for the US-based show manufacturer New Balance, headquartered in Brighton, Mass., USA and Guilford Performance Textiles, the supplier to New Balance with a mesh fabric. Guildford is headquartered in Kanansville, N.C., USA. Click here to read more. Posted May 16, 2014

BioPrinting Research Collaborative Effort Formed Between Ireland and Australia Research Centers. A new partnership between Dublin City University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has been formed to create advanced, wearable medical devices. Particular interest of the research will be 3D printing, called BioPrinting, of smart textile products. Click here to read the press release. Posted May 16, 2014

Interview with GSE Leader After Bankruptcy Filing. When one of the largest geosynthetics manufacturers files for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it makes for big news (see our May posting of the news). The website www.geosynthetica.nethas now posted an exclusive interview with Steve Eckhart, vice president of GSE Environmental, on what happened and the company's plan for restructuring. One of the factors Mr. Eckhart cites for the cause is the estimation that current US production capacity exceeds US demand by 30-40% for geomembranes. Great interview conducted by Elizabeth Peggs, publisher of Geosynthetica. Click here to go to the website. Posted May 16, 2014

Anit-Gravity Suit Contract Awarded. The US Defense Logistics Agency has awarded Vinyl Technology a maximum $9,287,082 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the manufacture and delivery of advanced technology anti-gravity suit. Posted May 16, 2014

TenCate Advanced Armour to Supply Nexter Systems. TenCate Advanced Armour DanMark A/S has won a contract for the supply of lightweight composite armour to Nexter Systems.  The contract to be supplied protects vehicle occupants against the effects of blasts, fragments, and projectiles. Click here to read the TenCate news release. Posted May 16, 2014

Textile Executive and US Congressional Candidate Dies. Keith Crisco, founder of Asheboro Elastics Corp., Asheville, N.C., USA, died in a home accident on May 12. Asheboro Elastics Corp. is now known as AEC Narrow Fabrics. Mr. Crisco was currently a candidate for a US Congressional position and was in a very tight primary race with another candidate. Posted May 14, 2014 

US Releases March Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) today released the March export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Japan has entered the top 5 countries receiving US exports in the category, dropping the UK to 6th on the list. Mexico continues to be the dominant destination, receiving 46.4% of the exports in the last 12 months. Canada, the second largest destination, dropped slightly in percentage but continues as the 2nd highest destination, followed by China, Hong Kong and Japan. Click here for the full report. Posted May 11, 2014

Milliken Acquires Westex. Our friend Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael Associates has alerted us that Milliken & Company, Spartanburg, S.C., USA today announced the acquisition of Westex, Inc., a manufacturer of flame-retardant fabrics. Westex, Inc., Chicago, Ill., USA was established in 1919 and is a supplier to the FR clothing fabricator marketplace. The manufacturing plant is located in Sylvania, Ga., USA. The purchase better positions Millken in the competitive FR fabric supplier market. Click here to read an article about the purchase. Posted May 9, 2014

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Contracts for Uniforms. The US Defense Logistics Agency announced today Burlington Apparel, Greensboro, N.C., USA has been awarded a maximum $19,500,000 modification (P00100) for Army poly/wool cloth. Burlington Apparel was also award another Army poly/wool cloth contract for a maximum $13,633,200 modification (P00100). Posted May 9, 2014

French Navy Awards Inflatable Boat Contract. The French defense ministry has announced it is purchasing 9 inflatable ECUME RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) manufacturer by Zodiac Milrpo. The ECUME is a new multi-mission craft. Further, the French navy says it will order another 10 boats in the future. ECUME RIB is manufactured in Ladner, B.C., Canada. Click here for more information about the recent selection. Posted May 9, 2014

Television Show to Feature Tension Structure Company. The US television show "How It's Made" is on the Discovery Channel. A film crew spent a day shooting an episode yesterday with ClearSpan, a fabricator of high-tension fabric buildings. The company is located in Dyersville, Iowa, USA. Click here to read more. Posted May 9, 2014<< New text box >>

International Textile Group CEO Retiring, Successor Named. President and CEO Joseph L. Gorga of International Textile Group (ITG) has announced he is retiring from his position May 31. Mr. Gorga has been the leader of ITG since its establishment in 2004. The company's board of directors has appointed Kenneth T. Kunberger, currently serving as ITG's chief operating officer, as the company's new president and CEO effective May 1. Click here to see a posting of the announcement in the TriadBizBlog (North Carolina, USA) website. Posted May 6, 2014

A&R Tarpaulins Wins Senate District Award . Congratulations to our good friends Carmen and Bud Weisbart at A&R Tarpaulins Inc., of Fontana, Calif., USA. Their company was selected as Small Business of the Year for Senate District No. 32 in California. The award will be presented June 16, 2014 during the 2014 California Small Business Day celebration in Sacramento, Calif. A&R Tarpaulins is the parent company of AR Tech and AR Industries, and provides products and services for a multitude of industries covering the aerospace, architecture, industrial and consumer markets. Posted May 6, 2014

GSE Files for Bankruptcy Protection. GSE Environmental Inc, one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketer of geosynthetic lining solutions, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late on Sunday, May 3. The Chapter 11 protection is also for its domestic US operations and wholly-owned subsdiaries. The non-US subsidiaries are not included and will continue to operate in the ordinary course without interruption, including it new plant in China. Click here to read more. Posted May 6, 2014 

High-Tech Backpacks for Search and Rescue Dogs. Another interesting application of technical textiles. According to the Fast Company website, "a small team of Smart Emergency Response System (SERS) researchers from North Carolina State University are developing what's being called a 'high-tech harness equipped with sensors' that can be worn by rescue dogs." The harness is outfitted with cameras, microphones, gas monitors and heart rate monitors, all monitored wirelessly. Click here to go to the article. Posted May 6, 2014

Organization Calls for Safety Rating on Motorcycle Clothing. The UK-based Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for protective motorcycle clothing to have clear labelling for the amount of protection it gives. The call comes after their research shows that motorcyclists find it difficult and time-consuming to find the right clothing at the right price. Click here to read their press release. Posted May 5, 2014

Performance Fibers Closing North Carolina Plant. Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International has advised us Performance Fibers is closing its Moncure, N.C., USA plant as part of its $25 million transformation (modernization) plan. Production there will be transferred to the firm's facility in Salisbury, N.C. This commitment to upgrading its remaining facilities is important to US military contractors. As Mr. Carmichael notes in his advisory, "Performance Fibers (PF) is the only producer of polyester industrial filament products in the US and is, therefore, a vital supplier into the US Berry amendment chain of products (mainly for the military) in which the fiber has to be of US origin. Performance Fibers is also an important supplier to the tire cord industry. Click here to read more on the impact on tire cord production at website. Posted May 5, 2014

Performance Fibers Closing North Carolina Plant. Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International has advised us Performance Fibers is closing its Moncure, N.C., USA plant as part of its $25 million transformation (modernization) plan. Production there will be transferred to the firm's facility in Salisbury, N.C. This commitment to upgrading its remaining facilities is important to US military contractors. As Mr. Carmichael notes in his advisory, "Performance Fibers (PF) is the only producer of polyester industrial filament products in the US and is, therefore, a vital supplier into the US Berry amendment chain of products (mainly for the military) in which the fiber has to be of US origin. Performance Fibers is also an important supplier to the tire cord industry. Click here to read more on the impact on tire cord production at website. Posted May 5, 2014 

New Research, Development and Manufacturing Center Being Developed in Canada. An apparel research center, focusing on flame-retardant protective clothing, is being established in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Canadian federal government has announced it is giving the research center C$3 million to purchase testing equipment. One aspect of the testing will be steam-protection because of that hazard in the oil and gas industry. Click here to read the article. Posted May 3, 2014

How Well Are Garments Being Certified for Pesticide Applicators? Not very well, according to Washington State University's Carol Black. There is no standardization of the type of garments required for pesticide applicators. Ms. Black works on national pesticide policy issues as a WSU education specialist. She is working with 13 grower-cooperators in the state of Washington to learn industry practices and attitudes about protective clothing. She has found that unlike Brazil and the European Union, the United States does not actually certify the garments that applicators must wear. She is currently reviewing the clothing requirements of hundreds of pesticide labels, finding only about 5% of the labels require chemical-resistant garments. Click here to read an article posted on the Good Fruit Grower website. Posted May 1, 2014

Bonar Invests in New China Facility. Low & Bonar's division Bonar, a multinational group of producers and suppliers of technical textiles, has announced it is building a new factory at Changzhou in the Yangtze river delta near Shanghai, China. Bonar executives Marc Krauth, Global Business Director Interiors & Flooring, and Clark Halladay, Sales & Marketing Director NAFTA, provided comments in the press release talking about the strategic decision for the factory being located in China for supplying both the internal market there and for supporting its US customers moving into the Asian Pacific region. Total cost to build the facility will be about 32 million and production is expected to commence in 2016. Bonar is a Netherlands-based company with manufacturing facilities located in 8 countries, including a joint venture in Jiangsu, China. Click here to read the announcement. Posted May 1, 2014

Risk Assessment When Selecting New Firefighter Turncoats. The publication Fire Chief has a good article posted on its website on how to perform a risk assessment for personal protection equipment (PPE). The article describes how a fire department should go through the selection process and stresses the selection committee should invite at least four clothing manufacturers in addition to the incumbent supplier to make presentations. Prior to meeting with the clothing manufacturers, the committee should have the fabric manufacturers and moisture barriers manufacturers make presentations, allowing the committee to understand the properties of the material. Click here to read the article. Posted May 1, 2014

Nonwovens Used in Packaging. A nice article by Adrian Wilson in a posting today on the Innovations in Textiles website takes a look on the use of nonwovens in packaging. Approximately 4.1% of overall nonwovens consumption is used by the packaging industry. Products include food transportation and storage, sterile medical products and reusable shopping bags. Click here to go to the website. Posted April 30, 2014 

Mars Landing Challenges Solved with Technical Textiles. Yes, we know we are obsessing about the development of the Mars space/landing craft which will humans to another planet. We've had three postings in the last 40 days for something that won't happen until the mid-2030s. But we are fascinated with how our industry is helping contribute to perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the 21st century. This time we found a great infograph that prominently shows the value of the 30.5 meters parachute, the 8 meters inflatable section to increase drag in the descent, the composites used in the heat shield and the airbags that will reduce the landing impact. Click here to view the infograph. Posted April 30, 2014

Picanol 1st Quarter Results Reflects Slowdown in Global Weaving Market. The Picanol Group reported a 23% decrease in turnover in 1st Quarter 2014 compared to a very strong 1st Quarter 2013. The Weaving Machines division was confronted with a significant slowdown in the global weaving machine market and the issue was intensified by the strong euro. Bright spots in the report were that the company realized further growth from external clients as compared to the same period of last year and the company continues its aggressive investment plan in new production machines, a new testing area for weaving machines and a new customer training center in Ypres, France. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 30, 2014

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Sandbag Contract. The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded Dayton Bag and Burlap, Dayton, Oh., USA a maximum $74,098,240 modification (P00101) exercising the first option period on a two-year base contract with three one-year option periods for acrylic sandbags. Posted April 28, 2014

Sioen Industries Reports 1st Quarter Increase. Sioen Industries NV, a manufacturer of technical textiles based in The Netherlands, has released the results of its 1st Quarter showing a sales increase of 5.2% over the same quarter 2013. According to a company press release, almost all areas of activity showed signs of financial recovery (transportation, construction, etc.) Click here to read the release. Posted April 28, 2014

TenCate Revenues Down in 1st Quarter. Lower defense revenues had a considerable effect on TenCate's overall earnings in the 1st Quarter 2014. TenCate's revenues declined 7% during the period, with 2% of this being the result of currency effects. The Advanced Textiles & Composites sector showed a sharp decrease in defense-related revenues. The activities in automotive and industrial composites did make a significant contribution to the grow in revenues  in the composites sector. The Geosynthetics sector showed limited revenue growth in Europe and the American continents. In Asia, the market for infrastructure projects remained depressed, as a result of lower government budgets and local political uncertainty. Revenue growth did increase in the Protective Fabrics segment. TenCate does not consider the results of the 1st Quarter to be representative of the year as a whole. Click here to read TenCate's 1st Quarter report posted on the company's website. Posted April 28, 2014

Sage Automotive Interiors Up for Sale. The Gores Group has put Sage Automotive Interiors up for sale. Gores purchased Sage only two years ago. Sage is a manufacturer of automotive bodycloth and headliners for car makers including General Motors, Toyota and Honda. Sage was formerly a division of Milliken that was sold to a group of Millikan managers in 2009. It operates 5 manufacturing plants in the US. Thanks to our friend Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the Reuters news alert. Click here to read the article. Posted April 25, 2014

Noting a Passing of an Industry Pioneer. Last week Tom Bair passed away. Who was he? He was a chemist at DuPont who played a major role in inventing Kevlar, the aramid fiber which has over the years saved thousands of lives of soldiers and police officers. Mr. Bair discovered a method for making a high-strength/density polymer that could be chemically treated and transformed into a spinable fiber. His enhanced polymer was chose by DuPont for further development and the end result was Kevlar. Click here to read an article posted on The International Business Times that tells more about his contributions. Posted April 25, 2014

Wide-Format Online Printer Guide Available. ST Media Group International, the publisher of Sign of the Times magazine, has teamed up with Info Trends, a market research company, and announced the launch of a new platform to access and evaluate wide-format printing equipment -- The Big Picture Premier Printer Guide. According to the press release issued by ST Media Group, the guide will provide the wide-format print market a comprehensive resource designed to help companies make educated decisions when investing in wide-format printing solutions. Click here to read the release. Posted April 24, 2014

Human Flight? The CNN has an interesting article posted on wingsuit flying. These are wearable, custom-made suits of 420 denier, high tenacity nylon 6.6. Inflatable wings are stitched into the ribs of the suit to create tha airfoil. A top-of-the-line suit can cost about $1,750. (Frankly, though, who would want to opt for a cheaper version?) Clickhere to check out the website. Posted April 24, 2014

Vintage Tents Made for Television Series. The Bradford, UK website Telegraph & Argus has a nice article today about the making of historical World War One hospital tents for the BBC television series The Crimson Field. The tents were made by BCT Outdoors, a Bradford area fabricator. Since obtaining the television contract, BCT Outdoors has also received an order to produce 1,000 custom-made tents for the world-famous Glastonbury music festival. Click here to read more about BCT Outdoors and the tents made for The Crimson FieldPosted April 24, 2014

Incentive Program to Purchase Awnings. The small city of Des Plaines, Ill., USA, has visionary leadership. The city council this past week approved an awning initiative program to provide reimbursements of up to 75% of costs, up to $5,000, for the installation of awnings on commercial buildings. Click here to read the article on the Des Palines' Daily Herald website. Posted April 24, 2014

Fablok Mills and Milco Industries to Combine. According to Agathon Associates' website Textiles and Trade, Fablok Mills and Milco Industries have agreed to combine their companies. Milco Industires, a supplier of knitted fabrics, announced the news today via a press release. Founded in 1952, Fablok Mills is a supplier of raschel and tricot fabrics. Click here to go to the Textiles and Trade website to read more. Posted April 23, 2014.

Custom-Fit Covers to Be Made for GM Vehicle Transport. General Motors has announced it has collaborated with CoverCar, a division of Italy-based Confesioni Andrea S.r.l., to manufacture reusable hand-made custom-fitted fabric car covers. The covers will be used in transporting vehicles from its Flint, Michigan, USA assembly plant to dealers in Dubai and the wider Middle East region. CoverCar built a fabrication plant near Flint last year to be near the vehicle assembly plant. Up to 100,000 vehicles are expected to use the covers. Click here to read the article. Posted April 20, 2014

"Chicks Dig It" May be a Factor in Camouflage Pattern Debacle. We've talked about it before and now the April 12th issue of the news magazine The Economist has picked up on the spectacular waste of US military spending regarding the different branches of services design rivalry of camouflage uniforms. One example: The article talks about the $3.2 million development of its own "universal" camouflage only to discover it proved it's not really good for anyplace. Since its introduction, the US Army has spent more than $5 billion on uniforms and equipment printed in this pattern. Part of the overall problem according to the article: "...officers can be a bit too preoccupied with a uniform's CDI (chicks dig it) factor." Click here to read the article online. Posted April 17, 2014

Survey Finds Firefighters Taking Better Care of Protective Clothing. The care of a firefighter's personal protection gear is always a concern. Improper or lack of cleaning and storage can result in a shorter effective life span for the gear and cause harm to the firefighter. Contamination as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals in a fire is another concern. The website Fire Chief has an excellent article by Jeffrey and Grace Stull on the summary of a survey to determine specific industry practices on how fire departments take care of their protective clothing and equipment. Click here to view the article (which also provides a link to the actual survey). Posted April 17, 2014

New US Textile Product Patents Posted. Jim Carson, principal of RB Consulting, Inc., posted today on David Trumbull's Textiles and Trade blog website information on 25 recent textile-related patents issued by the US Patent Office. The patents include one for a knitted, cut-resistant glove made from three distinct types of yarns; a new structured fabric for use in a papermaking machine; a braided medical vascular tube with an inner and outer layer that folds onto itself; and, a medical balloon with a variable diameter that is reinforced with continuous fibers woven to form a fabric with a varying number of layers and fiber densities. Click here to check out all the patents posted at Textiles and Trade website. Posted April 16, 2014

Book Published by Large Structures Designer. "The Sky is Not the Limit" is the title of a book by Rudi Enos. Mr. Enos, owner of Rudi Special Structures Lab Ltd.,  is a UK-designer of large structures used for gatherings such as rock festivals and awards ceremonies. According to the author, the book describes the history of tents "as magnificent buildings, as symbols of power and as inspiration for spectacular architecture." The book is the first in what Mr. Enos intends to be a series which will also include an insight into the techniques of tent design and construction, and a reference into the use of large tents at events. Click here to read an article about the book on the livedesignonline website. Posted April 16, 2014

Public Votes on Space Suit to be Used on Mars. Did you vote? It's too late now. The voting closed yesterday on their preferred design for the spacesuit to be used eventually on Mars. Apparently more than 200,000 people around the world did vote. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held the vote, asking the public to help decide the look of the suit. The three choices were "Trends in Space," "Biomimicry," and "Technology." A unique design feature of the spacesuit is called the "suit port." The spacesuits will be attached to the outside of the spacecraft and the astronauts will step into the suit using a back hatch. Click here to go to the video web site. Posted April 16, 2014 

More Details on the DuPont/Kolon Court Battle. Last week we posted the news about the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a $920 million judgment for DuPont as the well 20-year injunction again Kolon Industries to prevent the Korean-based company from manufacturing para-aramid fibers. In its appeal, Kolon successfully argued that the judge in the 2011 case had previously represented DuPont and, therefore, there was a potential conflict of interest in the original case. The case is expected to be retried. Click here to read a summary of the case posted on Courthouse News Service, a web-based legal site. Posted April 13, 2014

Sustainability and Performance in Textiles: Can You Have It All? That is the title of a brilliant short article written be Deidre Hoguet on the UK-based website Ms. Hoguet is the director of sustainability and material exploration at Designtex. The article should serve as a primer for those who are just getting into the industry. Click here to read the article. Posted April 13, 2014

The "Miracle" of the Hagfish Slime. Well, we're not exactly sure it's a miracle but that's what the editors use in a headline for an article posted on the website 109(/). The article reports on the potential applications of the slime of the hagfish, a notoriously ugly ocean fish creature. The hagfish secretes a slime when it is threatened or agitated. Apparently the slime contains tens of thousands of protein threads whichwhen harvested can take on properties similar to the dragline silk of a spider. These superfibers could "one day be used in everything from bullet-proof vests to artificial tendons." Click here if you want more on the slime. Posted April 11, 2014 

More on Mars Spacecraft Technical Textile Products. We no sooner post about the new parachute being tested for the next Mars landing craft when word comes out from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern Calif., USA, about the NASA testing of a saucer-shaped ring that will go around the vehicle and is designed to inflate as the vehicle descends, creating a larger surface and more drag to slow the descent speed. This inflatable ring, an improved parachute and the craft's surface impact inflatable airbag cushions will allow the craft to carry a greater payload to the surface. We're proud to see our industry contributing to the next incredible journey for mankind. Click here to read more about the Mars landing craft. Posted April 11, 2014

Geosynthetics Use Promoted in Alaska News Website. The Alaska news websiteAlaska Dispatch posted an article yesterday on the application of a nylon wicking fabric to prevent what is known as "frost boils" or an upheaval in the surface on the famed Dalton Highway caused by freezing/thawing sequence of moisture underneath the road. The fabric research was done by the University of Alaska Fairbanks with support from the Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities, the US Dept. of Transportation and TenCate Geosynthetics, the supplier of the fabric. The test area used is 110 miles south of Prudhoe Bay and called "Beaver Slide" which is another reason it seems appropriate to cover it in a website called BeaverLake6 Report. Click here to read the article. Posted April 10, 2014 

NASA Builds Outdoor Wind Tunnel to Test Mars Parachutes. The parachutes for the Curiosity Rover sent to Mars were too large to be tested in a conventional indoor wind tunnel. So, NASA set up an outdoor tunnel. The website Gizmodo has an article and a video link about the challenge. Fun to watch. Click herePosted April 10, 2014 

Showdown of the Unbeatables. If you're located in the US, you might want to watch on April 11 a television show called "Showdown of the Unbeatables." The premise is that the show features the very best companies competing with their prized products for performance grades.  In the April 11th episode, the show pits Tff-N-Lite®

safety apparel against Cold Jet® ice blasting technology. Sounds like a fun competition. Click here to get more information on what's happening. Posted April 10, 2014

British Tensile Structure Company Expands into South America. The UK seems to be one of the leading countries for innovation in tensile structure architecture. Big applications, though, are limited no matter where you are located and so structure manufacturers search out projects all over the world. We came across a release today saying that a Bristol, UK company, Base Structures, is partnering with Brazilian subcontractor Remaster BR and its Columbian counterpart to sell its complex architectural structures in South America. Click here to read more about the Base Structures market expansion. Posted April 9, 2014

Beauty in the Machinery. The decline of Made in the USA is the theme of a textile article that appeared yesterday on the UK's Daily Mail website. We think the author, Sadie Whitelocks, is a little naïve in her assessment of the state of the industry as the article seems only to focus on old textile mills in the northeast US; however, you cannot find fault in the beautiful pictures shown of textile machinery and processing operations that accompany the article. Well worth the look. Click here to see the article and pictures.  Posted April 8, 2014

New High-Tech Life Jacket Can Call for Help. An interesting article was posted on the website about an innovative Irish firm, Mullin Survival Technology, which has developed a life jacket called the Mullion Jacket. The lifejacket self-inflates and also activates a builtin Global Position System beacon and a lighting system when the jacket hits the water. The firm recently won a contract to supply 8,500 life jackets to the British fishing industry. Click here to read the entire article. Posted April 6, 2014

Automotive Textile Supplier Expands in the US. The booming automotive manufacturing in the southeast United States continues to help the US textile manufacturing industry. Suminoe Textile of America Corporation has announced it is expanding its Cherokee County, S.C., USA, plant with a $5 million investment. Suminoe, a subsidiary of Suminoe Textile Ltd. of Japan, is a manufacturer of needle-punched automotive carpeting. Click here to read more about the expansion. Posted April 4, 2014

US Releases February Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) today released the February export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A 12-month ending February 28 comparison for 2013/2014 showed the top five countries receiving exports are Mexico at 46.1%, Canada at 14.95%, China at 4.8%, Hong Kong at 3.6% and the United Kingdom at 2.3%. Both Canada and Hong Kong, however, are showing declines in export over the previous 12-month period.. Click here for the full report. Posted April 3, 2014

US Court Voids $920 Million DuPont Award Against Kolon Industries. According to Reuters, "A federal appeals court today threw out a $919.9 million jury verdict that had favored DuPont Co. in a case over the alleged theft of trade secrets for a fiber used to make Kevlar bulletproof vests." The verdict had been against South Korea's Kolon Industries. The original verdict had also prohibited Kolon for a period up to 20 years from manufacturing or distributing para-aramid products. Click here to read the article. Posted April 3, 2014

TRW Starts Production of Roof Airbag Technology. TRW Automotive announced today that it has recently started production of its roof airbag technology on the Citroen C4 Cactus. The new "bag in roof" replaces passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel. Click here to read the release. Posted April 3, 2014

Run, Porton Man, Run. According to the This Is Wiltshire website, "A new robot mannequin that will help test the next generation of chemical and biological protective suits for the UK's armed forces has been unveiled. The Porton Man can walk, march, run, sit, kneel and even mimic the movement of a soldier sighting a weapon..." The mannequin has been made for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The developer's task in creating the robot was based on input data collected from 2,500 soldiers. Click here to read the interesting article. Posted April 4, 2014

Coleman Company Files for FTZ in US. News from David Trumbull's excellent blogTextiles and Trade Consulting on The Coleman Company, Inc., filing for Free Trade Zone (FTZ) for production activity at its facility located in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. It's the location of the former Stearns Manufacturing Co. The facility is used for production of personal flotation devices and cushions constructed with textile fabrics.  Click here to go to the website. Posted April 2, 2014

Cyclist Airbag Demonstration on Video. This is very cool video showing how an airbag collar works for cyclists. A volunteer deliberately rides his bike into a concrete column at a good speed. Hövding, a Swedish manufacturer of cyclist helmets, designed and makes the collar. It takes less than 0.1 seconds to inflate and protect your head. The Hövding airbag collar was first shown in 2010 but only recently went on sale to consumers. Click here to watch the video. Posted April 2, 2014

History of Tents Infographic Created. Congratulations to the creative minds at Miller Weldmaster for coming up with a neat timeline graphics chart which shows the story of tents and tent making. The infographic takes readers from 40,000 BC to present day. "Researching the history of tents showed us that tents have not only been around for centuries but have gone through many changes in design and use, " said Jeff Sponseller, Executive Vice President of Miller Weldmaster, a fabric welding machine company located in Navarre, Oh., USA. Visit the Miller Weldmaster website by clicking here to download the infographic. Posted April 2, 2014

For older Archived News click here.

Our desire is to only give you the latest information about the industry on the Front Page. Older information may be found divided into sections:

  • Archived Industry News
  • Archived Editorials
  • Archived Event News
  • Archived Organization News

Coming Events

  • January 16-18:  NECPA 2020 Conference & Expo, Worcester, Mass., USA
  • January 21-24:  SHOT Show, Las Vegas, Nev., USA
  • January 22-24:  IFAI Tent Conference, River Ranch, Fla., USA
  • January 28-29:  Elementary Nonwovens Training, Cary, M.C., USA
  • January 29-31:  2020 Winter Outdoor Retailer & Snow Show, Denver, Colo., USA

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

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Posted January 7, 2020

Will Things Get Done in Washington in 2020?

The historic political fight in Washington may actually benefit the US technical textiles industry in 2020.  


In more "normal" times, even with bipartisan support of trade deals and building legislation, it's a slow process to get something done in Washington.  In a funny way, under the current polar vortex called impeachment, things may actually get done faster.  President Donald Trump wants to show he is still able to carry out his campaign promises and impeachment is not hindering his ability to administer.  The Democrats, fearful of a bogged down impeachment process that could wear down their public support, are eager to show they can also get something done and avoid a blame they are only consumed with getting rid of the president.


Thus, you see both sides touting what's in the United States/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is focused on the impact of what the agreement means in terms of fiber and yarn sourcing; however, I am more interested in the end product markets that benefit from the trade agreement.  In the USMCA, the amount of material made in North America that goes into a vehicle increases significantly.  The largest single end-market for technical textiles is the automotive industry.  The USMCA means more products like headliner material, airbags and seatbelts, acoustical and vibration dampening, carpeting, composites and industrial hoses will be needed.  USMCA is a terrific win for the many smaller technical textile parts makers in the US.


As for infrastructure, the current authorization, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, expires at the end of 2020.  President Trump wants more than $1 trillion to help fix the country's roads and bridges. There is a bipartisan support for the new legislation because it's passage will benefit so many states.  The winners for us?  It would hands-down be the geosynthetics industry, as well as those who make construction-used products like tarps and protective covers, and personal protection gear.


So, expect to see some things getting accomplished in Washington in 2020.  It is an election year and never underestimate the self-preservation instincts of a politician.


Steve Warner


Posted January 7, 2020

December 3, 2019

2019 Brief Analysis of China's Industrial Textile Industry

Thanks to the BeaverLake6 Report's arrangements with China Textile magazine and the China Nonwoven & Industrial Textile Association (CNITA), we have received the report "A Brief Analysis of Economic Operation of the Industrial Textile Industry in the First Half of 2019" writtened by CNITA's market research department.  


In the first half of 2019, China's economy faced a complicated development environment.  Issues such as the downturn in automotive demand and the US/China trade dispute are having an impact.  Production is still growing but the markets are relatively flat.  Click here to read the entire report in the China section.  Posted 

November 24, 2019

2019 Eurasian Geosynthetics Symposium Held in China

Flora Zhao, China Textiles

The second edition of the Eurasian Geosynthetics Symposium (EAGS 2019) was held November 18-19, 2019 in Beijing, China.  Many of the leading experts in geosynthetics delivered presentations.  Ms. Flora Zhao, the director of the editorial department for China Textile magazine, has given us an extensive review of the symposium program.  Click here to go to our China section to read her report. 

IFAI Expo 2019 Analysis

The IFAI Expo 2019 was held last week in Orlando, Fla., USA.  The exhibition was a smaller event than in years past but it still remains a powerful showcase of industry products.  In the Special Report section, you will find analysis of the show, plus news that comes from the Industrial Fabrics Association International's Annual Meeting and the winners of the International Achievement Awards. Click here to read the articles.  Posted October 10, 2019

Final Report Issued on 2018 China Industrial Textiles Industry

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

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

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


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


Steve Warner


Posted June 17, 2019

China's Industrial Textile Market Demands Still Remains Vigorous

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

Does IDEA Show Need to be in Miami Beach?

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


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


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

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

President Li Lingshen

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

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify on Proposed USMCA Impact

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


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

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

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

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

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