BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

April 1 - June 30, 2016

BREXIT Dooms T-TIP? Does the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European Union end the proposed Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP) between the United States and the European Union (EU)? In a June 28 editorial on his Textiles and Trade website, textile trade agreement expert David Trumbull wrote that with the British exit, both the EU and the US must now regroup on its trade positions, and that the current agreement is "dead." Click here to read Mr. Trumbull's editorial. Readers may recall that in March, BeaverLake6 Report predicted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was also not going to pass in the US Congress given the lack of support by both presidential party leaders. Two signature trade agreements for President Barrack Obama are now in deep trouble. Click here to read the BeaverLake6 Report editorial from March 23, 2016. Posted June 30, 2016

EU Technical Textiles Experience Trade Surge with the US in 2015. According to a EURATEX press release issued June 29, "Technical Textiles continued to represent a very large share of textile product exports outside the EU. This change was reflected in a +5.3% increase. The USA was the main customer in this category by a broad margin - buying 19% of goods, an increment of +13.4%." The figures are included in an extensive market analysis for 2014-2015 that is available by EURATEX (the European Apparel and Textile Confederation). Click here to read the entire press release. Posted June 30, 2016

North Carolina State University Testing New US Homeland Security Uniforms. Mission Ready Services Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, is supplying 170 uniforms for systems-level testing by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the US Department of Homeland Security through its subsidiary Protect The Force Inc. (PTF). [We think this subsidiary gets Mission Ready compliant with the Berry Amendment requirement.] In cooperation with NCSU, PTF has been developing and refining an Advanced Multipurpose Base ensemble for Emergency Responders ("AMBER") for the DHS. The AMBER project aims at developing a next generation uniform that integrates state of the art technologies including flame resistance, blood-borne pathogen protection, water repellency, improved comfort, integrated knee pads, high visibility features among other features. Click here to read the Misson Ready press release. Posted June 28, 2016

Fabric Bridge Enchants Visitors. The artist Christo has done many projects using fabrics over the years but perhaps none has captured the enchantment and thrill of his latest creation called The Floating Piers. So many visitors have traveled to Lake Iseao in Italy to experience the latest work that officials have had to close the project to the public from midnight to 6:00 am each night to repair the worn fabric that makes up the walkway. Since it opened on June 18, more than 350,000 visitors have walked on the fabric pier. The Floating Piers is more than 1.9 miles long and uses 100,000 sq. meters of fabric, covering the more than 220,000 floating cubes. Click here to learn more about the project. Posted June 27, 2016

Smart Fabric Technology That Will Change the World. Screw the current smart fabric wearables...or at least that is the premise of an article posted on the TechRadar website in giving us an overview of new smart textile products which will soon be coming to the military and consumers. The article covers a few new material developments including metamaterials intended for invisible camouflage uniforms, coating materials that can be used on ballistic vests to make them stronger than Kevlar and other aramid woven fabrics, and new materials that will replace environmentally harmful petroleum-based fabrics. A nice quick read that will give your imagination a test on possible applications. Click here to read. Posted June 27, 2016

Small Company Developing Innovative Smart Parachute for Military. Many small companies are making vital contributions to new products being used by military forces. The Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine, USA) has a really interesting story of father and son Bob and Stan Farrell and their small team working out of a farmhouse in Manchester, Maine, developing controllable military unmanned supply parachutes using smart material technology.  Wires are woven into the parachute fabrics which shoot short burst of electricity to control flaps for changing the speed and direction. At one point during the Afghan conflict, the US was making more than 10,000 supply drops a month, many of them inaccurately landing miles away from the targeted drop. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is also interested in their technology and recently awarded a $114,000 Small Business Innovative Research Phase 1 grant to help develop the application for use in controlled spacecraft landings. Click here to read the article. Posted June 27, 2016

Panama Canal Expansion Involved Technical Textiles. After 10 years and $5.4 billion, the Panama Canal officially opened its expanded locks yesterday, tripling the capacity of container ships making the 11 hour journey between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. One of the hidden critical materials used in the Canal's expansion was a PP nonwoven geotextile made by Italian producer Manifattura Fontana S.p.A. The material protected and strengthened the waterproof geomembrane material in the water basins serving 18 locks on the Canal. The polypropylene staple fiber used in the geotextile was made by Belgium-based Beaulieu Fibres International. Click here to check out information supplied by Beaulieu Fibres on LinkedIn. Posted June 27, 2016

Awning Shop Damaged by Fire in Nebraska. Lincoln Patio and Awning of Lincoln, Neb, USA, sustained substantial water damage as a result of a fire in an apartment located above the facility. Lincoln Patio and Awning is a division of Lincoln Tent. It was established in 1905. Click here to read a brief article about the fire. Posted June 26, 2016

US Military Supplier of Parachutes Sued. The San Diego Union Tribune (San Diego, Calif., USA) has posted an article on a lawsuit brought on by the parents of a US Navy Seal who died in a training exercise. The manufacturer is Airborne Systems of North America CA. The lawsuit alleges a design defect in the reserve chute caused it to deploy prematurely, killing Navy Seal Chief Petty Office Bradley Cavner. The parachute is the MC-6 personnel parachute system, a steerable parachute used throughout US Special Operations Command. An investigation has found at least 4 other situations where the reserve parachute opened prematurely. Click here to read the article. Posted June 26, 2016 

Complying with Updated Regulations on FR Vests. There is an informative article posted on the National Safety Congress' website Safety+Health that covers the new updated high-visibility regulations on FR vests. The article addresses the compliance of both ANSI 107 (high visibility) and OSHA 1910.269 (flame resistant) regulations. The article is written by Gary Zumstein, Glen Raven Technical Fabric's vice president of development/technical and international sales for GlenGuard. Click here to read the article. Posted June 26, 2016

Alphabet and Cintas Partner to Develop Smart Garments. Alphabet, the holding company for Google, and work uniform manufacturer Cintas, announced  on June 16 a collaboration under which Cintas will work with the Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Group (ATAP) to explore methods to move Project Jaquard into potential more applications. Project Jacquard's aim is to create smart garment technology. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Oh., USA, Cintas Corporation designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs. Click here to read a post on this announcement from the BidnessEtc website. Posted June 22, 2016

Development of Bullet-Resistant Vests for EMS. The website EMSWorld has an informative article posted on the development of bullet-resistant vests for emergency medical services (EMS). Chris Taylor, the author, works for SafeGuard Armor, a provider of protective clothing for journalists, security and EMS personnel. Mr. Taylor talks about the blending of material, comfort of the product, and the types of situations faced by EMS that makes it necessary for wearing the vests. Recommended read for a quick understand of the EMS market. Click here to read. Posted June 22, 2016

Israeli Textile Company Claims It Can Make Any Fabric Antibacterial. According to an article posted on The Times of Israel website, the Israeli-based Nano Textile has developed a technology that can transform any fabrics into one that kills bacteria. The cost-effective technology permanently prevents the growth of bacteria on both natural and synthetic fibers, can prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections, and can reduce cross contamination between patients and medical staff. The textile is transformed by embedding zinc-oxide nanoparticles onto the fabric. Click here to read the article. Posted June 22, 2016

Composite Manufacturer Expands Its Presence on the European Aerospace Market.  Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has acquired the assets of MIPNET Industries operating under the brand JTT Composites. Based at a new facility near Bordeaux, France, JTT Composites supplies the regional aerospace market and sells composite parts designed with its RT2i weaving technology. Saint-Gobain is a manufacturer of high-performance building materials. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted June 22, 2016

Australian-Made Swag Tent Hits the US Market. At BeaverLake6 Report we had never heard the term "swag tent' used but apparently it is known in Australia. According to an article posted on the website GearJunkie, "swags are a style of heavy-duty shelter aimed at the individual car camper. They often have built-in mattresses..." As the article says, it's a "no-fuss" heavy-fabric personal shelter, complete with an integrated 2-inch egg-shell foam bottom. Outback Swags is the small Australian company which launched into the US market three months ago. Click here to read the entire article posted on the GearJunkie website. Posted June 21, 2016

US House Textile Supporters Thwart Effort to Undermine Berry Amendment. The US House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill on June 16 despite an effort that included South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford to weaken the Berry Amendment which requires the US Armed Forces to buy US-made textiles and textile-made products if available. The move by Congressman Sanford revolves around the requirement of the purchase of athletic shoes. Augustine Tantillo, CEO and President of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), sent out a press release today, lauding the work led by Senator Lindsey Graham in preserving the Berry Amendment during consideration of the Act. Posted June 20, 2016

Spacecraft Planned Parachute Fail Test Successful. Technical fabrics continue to play a vital role in space exploration efforts. Spacecraft developer Blue Origin had a successful test of its rocket and space capsule today. The highlight of the test, which sent a rocket to more than 100 kilometers into the sky, was the planned test of simulating failure for one of the three parachutes bringing the New Shepard 6-person space capsule back down for a safe landing. Blue Origin is a private company headquartered in Kent, Wash., USA. Click here to see the YouTube video of the event. Posted June 20, 2016

Wearing "Bulletproof" Apparel in Style. The website for Forbes magazine has a neat article posted on the future of men's fashion that takes into account the "ever-changing world" travelers may encounter where there is high risk of kidnapping or violence. The article features many pictures and descriptions of fashionable "bulletproof" and "cutproof" designer menswear, whether it's for a low-key informal dinner or a highly sensitive power meeting. Click here to read the article and see the designs. Posted June 16, 2016

Croatia Event Tent Manufacturer and Renter Featured. There is a very nice article posted on the Total Croatia News website on Kudumija Trade, a family-managed tent manufacturer and renter located in Bjelovar, Croatia. The company was created in 1990 by brother and sister Dario and Jasnica Kudumija. They started the business as an event catering service; began renting tents in 1998; and, then in 2003 deciding to manufacture their own tents. They have 85 employees and have expanded beyond Croatia, with over 30% of the sales coming from exports including strong market presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. They also manufacture tarpaulins and awnings. Click here to read the article. Posted June 15, 2016 

New Regional North Carolina Foreign Trade Zone Proposal Moving Forward. The Wilmington Biz website has an article posted regarding the progress of a new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) that's being proposed in the coastal North Carolina region of the US. The FTZ, first proposed in April 2014, has resulted in the North Carolina Department of Transportation submitting an application for the proposed FTZ 214, a region that encompasses 22 eastern North Carolina counties. Usually a FTZ is site-specific designated. According to the Wilmington Biz website post, the new site format allows any busines within the 22 country region to create a trade zone around its site. Click here to read the entire article. Posted June 15, 2016

New Indian Military Parachutes Deemed Unsafe. According to an article posted on The Times of India website, a new parachute developed after 13 years for the Indian special forces has not only failed field trials but have also been classed as "seriously life threatening," in an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The new combat free fall (CFF) parachutes had a 75% failure rate in field trials.[Yikes] The parachutes were developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) lab and made by the Ordnance Parachutes Factory in Kanpur, India. Click here to read the article. Posted June 10, 2016

Lifetime Predictions for Geosynthetics Discussed. Unlike many applications for technical textiles, geosynthetics used in civil engineering projects are for the most part expected to last for decades. There is an excellent interview up on the website that has Dr. Russell Jones, President of the International Geosynthetics Society, talking with the Geosynthetic Institute‘s Dr. Robert Koerner to discuss GSI’s 12-year study on the long-term performance and aging of geotextiles and geomembranes, with a focus on the applicability of the research for lifetime predictions. Dr. Koerner is truly one of the pioneers in the geosynthetics industry with his research going back more than 4 decades. The interview took place in April in Miami during GeoAmericas 2016, the 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics. Click here to go to view the interview. Posted June 9, 2016

Profile of Gale Pacific Leader. The Australian Business Review has published a nice profile on Gale Pacific's CEO Nick Pritchard. Mr. Pritchard describes how he returned to Gale Pacific after an absence of 10 years to help turn around the company. He has focused on what the company did best -- making high quality technical textiles. Fifteen brands have been reduced down to four -- three retail and one commercial. Gale's key commercial markets are agricultural, architectural, industrial, horticultural and mining. Click here to read the article. Posted June 7, 2016

US Coated Fabric Producer Bradford Industries Acquired. Although no formal announcement has yet been made, several industry sources have confirmed today to BeaverLake6 Report that Bradford Industries, Inc., headquartered in Lowell, Mass., USA, has been sold to Wembly Enterprises, a private equity company, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., USA. Wembly already has other coated fabrics, resins and plastics companies in its management portfolio. The purchase is effective today (June 6). Bradford was founded in 1967 and has emerged to become one of the leading producers of coated materials for high-tech applications including military and sport parachutes, hot air balloons, high performance industrial glove materials, protective apparel, multi-functional tape products, automotive airbags, and architectural building membranes. Bradford 's president Dick Satin, is reportedly leaving the company. The new president is Stephen Olsen, most recently the executive vice president of Marketing & Business Development at Nylon Corporation of Americas, another company owned by Wembly. Bradford's new name will be Bradford Coatings, LLC, d/b/a as Bradford Industries. The formal announcement of the acquisition is expected from Wembly in the next few days. Posted June 6, 2016 [Update June 8: Mr. Satin confirmed to BeaverLake6 Report the company has been sold and he is leaving the company.]

Chinese Automotive Supplier Considering Acquiring Takata. According to the Automotive News website and several other media outlets, China's giant automotive parts supplier Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation is considering acquiring Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corp. Last year Joyson purchased US airbag manufacturer Key Safety. A combination of Key and Takata would make Joyson the largest airbag manufacturer in the world. Click here to read the article. Posted June 6, 2016

US Navy Seeking 80 Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats. According to the website for Shephard Media, the US Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) is seeking to replace its aging rigid-hull inflatable fleet used by the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center. It is soliciting for up to 80 boats over the next 5 years.  The boats, called Multi-use EOD Response Craft (MERC), will be about 9 meters in length and be in 3 different styles. Click here to read the full article. Posted June 6, 2016

UK thread Company Acquires Manufacturer of High Performance Fibers, Yarns and Tapes. Coats, an international industrial thread manufacturer headquartered in the UK announced today it has acquired Gotex, a Spanish-based designer and manufacturer of high performance fibers, yarns and tapes used in the telecommunications, energy, and oil and gas industries. Gotex will now become part of Coats Specialty. According to the Coats' press release, Gotex's unique fiberglass coating technology and products will complement Coats' existing aramid product range. Click here to read more. Posted June 6, 2016 

US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures for April Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the April export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending April 2015 and 2016, plus a World total (including the top 5 countries). Overall, US exports are showing a very slight decline from last year's 12-month ending April 30. In a pattern we have seen for several months amongst the top 5, exports to Mexico and the United Kingdom have shown increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong continue to show declines from 2015. (Data figures in thousands.) Click here to see the entire report. Posted June 6, 2016




Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong




United Kingdom




World 4,195,714 4,155,966 -0.19


Textiles and Tariff Champion. There is an interesting blog on the Greensboro News & Record website (Greensboro, N.C., USA) about the impact of the recent passage of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in the US Congress. The columnist interviews Leib Oehmig, Glen Raven's president and chief operating officer, on the cost of the lack of the MTB for a number of years. Glen Raven is the producer of Sunbrella, a woven solution-dyed acrylic fabric. The previous MTB had failed to get renewed in 2012, and Mr. Oehmig says the import tax since then has cost Glen Raven millions of dollars. The MTB eliminated tariffs on specialty imports such as the acrylic fibers. Click here to read the article. Posted June 3, 2016

Chinese Company Plans Space Parachuting Trips. Still looking for that special vacation? According to the website Travel Daily Media, a company in China is planning to allow people to travel to the edge of space in a balloon, then parachute back down to Earth wearing a special high-altitude protective suit. Cost will be around $77,000 for the balloon ride. Click here to read more. Posted June 3, 2016

Safety Apparel Company Acquires DRIFIRE. National Safety Apparel announced yesterday the company has acquired DRIFIRE from Optimer Brands based in Chicago, IL., USA. DRIFIRE is a brand of technologically advanced performance safety apparel that was first used to protect military personnel. The acquisition of DRIFIRE further increases National Safety Apparel’s portfolio of flame resistant (FR) brands and adds another market leader to their already established “House of Brands”. Click here to read the National Safety Apparel press release on the acquisition. Posted June 2, 2016

German Cable Structures Company Acquires FabriTec.  German-based PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH, with its business unit, Cable Structures, has acquired an ownership interest in FabriTec Structures and its sister company, Guard-All Building Solutions. FabriTec, one of the leading companies in North America and South America, is a design and build tension membrane structure company.   Guard-All Building Solutions provides wide span, frame-supported, fabric buildings. FabriTec and Guard-All are based in Dallas, Texas, USA. The new combined team will have offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Poland, Qatar, Singapore and China, Last year, PFEIFER acquired Covertex, another design, engineering, fabricating and installing membrane company. Click here for more information on the FabriTec acquisition announcement. Posted June 2, 2016

US Yarn Company Acquired. Hamilton International has announced its acquisition of TSI Yarns (formerly Texturing Services, Inc.). TSI, based in Martinsville, Va., USA, was founded in 1987 as Texturing Services, Inc. It has the largest air jet texturing facility in North American. Hamilton, based in Atlanta, Ga., USA, USA, is one of TSI Yarns distributors. According to company executives, the transaction combines Hamilton's fiber sourcing expertise with TSI Yarns' manufacturing and development. Our thanks to fiber industry consultant Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the purchase. Posted June 2, 2016

National Spinning Announces New Board Member. National Spinning Co., Inc., has announced the election of Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi to the company's board of directors. Dr. Pourdeyhimi is well known in the technical textiles industry. He is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and the Associate Dean for the Industry Research and Extension at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He also serves as Director of The Nonwovens Institute at NCSU. National Spinning is based in North Carolina, and is a yarn spinner and dyer, supplying yarn for apparel, home furnishings, consumer, protective and industrial uses. Click here to read the entire company press release on Dr. Pourdeyhimi. Posted June 2, 2016

Soil Erosion Tube Sox in the News. There is a nice article on the Minneapolis Star-Tribune website on a Minnetonka, Minnesota soil erosion product company called ShoreSox. The company, founded in 2001, makes an environmentally-friendly burlap mesh tube that is filled with organic materials such as corn husks or tree mulch. Company founder Daniel Schaaf says his biggest competitor is a company in India which fills its socks with coconut husks. Click here to read the article. Posted June 1, 2016

Success! The space station now hosts the new fully expanded and pressurized Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the Tranquility module. Pressurization of the BEAM restarted at 4:34 p.m. EDT, yesterday and the eight tanks filled with air completed full pressurization of the module 10 minutes later at 4:44 p.m. NASA technicians determined the original failure to inflate on May 26 was due to unexpected friction which occurred from the tightly packed layers of fabrics. BEAM’s pressure will be equalized with that of the International Space Station, where it will remain attached for a two-year test period. The module measured just over 7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter in its packed configuration. BEAM now measures more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter to create 565 cubic feet of habitable volume. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. For more information about BEAM, visit: May 29, 2016

Bigelow Fabric Module Fails to Inflate at International Space Station. Astronauts at the International Space Station were unable to fully inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) today. The module was brought to the station April 8 and attached without incident. After trying for two hours with only a marginal expansion, NASA decided to stop any further attempt until they had time to evaluate why it was not inflating properly. When fully inflated, BEAM will be 10.5 feet wide and contain 565 feet cubed of space. The walls are made of various layers of fabrics. (See our March 28 post for more about the BEAM mission.) NASA plans to provide more information at a news conference which will be streaming live at on Friday, May 27, at 12 p.m. EDT. Posted May 26, 2016

Former Awning Company Owners Arrested. The owners of an awning company located in South Yarmouth, Mass., USA, were arrested in Broward County, Fla., for fraud charges. According to an article posted on the Cape Cod Times website, Scott Alan Maceachern and Damaris A. Skids were charged with larceny after an investigation regarding failure to provide services to customers while doing business as Awnings by Peterson in 2014 and 2015. Click here to read the article. Posted May 26, 2016

Too Important to the Industry to Fail? Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on Takata Corporation's decision to restructure and seek additional cash to cover the mounting costs of the massive airbag system recalls. One of its strategies is to get the automotive companies like Honda, its biggest customer, to help shoulder the financial burden of the recalls. As the article says, automotive manufacturers have a vested interest in keeping the beleaguered Japanese manufacturer in business. In addition to airbags, Takata is a major supplier to the industry of seat belts and steering wheels. There are only a handful of companies that make airbags and seatbelts and the company’s failure would put an impossible demand on the other suppliers to make up the capacity loss. Click here to read the WSJ article. Posted May 26, 2016 

Indictment of US Army Colonel for Berry Amendment Fraud. According to a press release today from the US Justice Department, Lt. Col. Frederick Lamar Burnett of the US Army has been indicted on three counts of fraud for allegedly trying to pass off Chinese-made baseball caps and backpacks instead of American made, as specified in the contract with the Army Recruiting Command which requires compliance to the Berry Amendment and Buy American Act. The indictment claims that Mr. Burnett defrauded the Department of Defense on three contracts that he had through his company Lamar International Inc. Two of the contracts were for baseball caps and one was for backpacks. The three contracts were worth approximately $6.2 million and were all awarded between the years 2005 and 2007. Further, Mr. Burnett “negotiated and contracted with suppliers directly from China and with American companies who he knew were procuring the products from China. He hid their foreign manufacture by hiring workers on a cash basis to remove all the Chinese labels and repackage the items he sent to the Army Recruiting Command.” Click here to read the press release. Posted May 25, 2016

Canadian Government Proposes PFD Requirement for Float Plane Passengers. Transport Canada, the Canadian Federal government's transportation department, has released a proposed regulation which would require passengers on board commercial float planes wear personal flotation devices (PFDs). Currently, a number of the commercial services keep the PFDs in pouches in an accessable area for each passenger. If passed, the proposed regulation would not be expected to take effect for one year. Click here to read an article posted on The Globe and Mail website. Posted May 25, 2016

Aerospace Composite Material Supplier Opens New Innovation Center. Hexcel Corporation, an advanced composites manufacturing company, opened today a new $10 million Innovation Centre in Duxford, UK. According to a company press release, the Duxford site is Hexcel's largest center for research into resin systems and adhesives. Duxford will also be Hexcel's center of excellence for process technology, including product scale-up and research into new processes for making composite materials. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted May 24, 2016

Zero Stars for Indian Cars Submitted without Airbags in Latest Crash Tests. Well, go figure. The latest Indian crash test results from Global NCAP released May 17 in Delhi, finds India continues to disappoint with all five models rated as zero star. It is worth pointing out that none of the cars had airbags. Airbags are not mandatory for cars in India. The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon all showed low levels of adult occupant protection. Global NCAP is an NGO based in London which provides product rating services for industries including automotive. Maruti Suzuki defended their cars, saying the company met the existing Indian automotive safety standards. Things will be changing next year, however; India has formally adopted the Bharat NCAP standards for new cars starting in 2017 which require new cars to meet frontal crash test standards at 56 kilometers per hour. A recent Reuters report forecasted India's airbag industry will grow by 11% to $2 billion by 2020. In contrast, China's airbag industry growth will only be 9%. Click here to read the Global NCAP press release on the Indian testing. Posted May 23, 2016

New Recycled Polyester Staple Fiber Plant Announced. Custom Synthetic Fibers, LLC announced on May 19 that a new recycled polyester fiber plant will be operational in mid-summer 2016. The operation will be located in Rogersville, Ala., USA. The plant is owned by a group of individual investors, including the majority owners of Custom Polymers, Inc., a plastics recycler and reprocessor based in Charlotte, N.C., USA, and Custom Polymers PET, LLC, a post consumer PET bottle recycler, located in Athens, Ala., USA. The new plant will produce 40 million pounds annually of recycled polyester staple fiber for sale into a variety of applications including automotive, home furnishing and industrial. Our thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for sending us the news. Posted May 22, 2016

Smart Textile Market Examined in Article. There is an excellent market overview on wearable smart textiles posted on the New Electronics website. The article examines the potential of smart textiles and cites research involving major global players including those in the sports clothing industry such as Nike, Adidas and Under Amour. Click here to read the article. Posted May 22, 2016

Las Vegas Police Seeking Improved "Bulletproof" Vests for K-9 Dogs. The Las Vegas Review Journal (Las Vegas, Nev., USA) website posted an interesting story on the search for a better "bullet-proof" vest for the law enforcement dogs. Key takeaways from the story are the current dog vests being used cost between $700-2,000 each, they are too hot for dogs in that part of the country, they have design problems which limits the dog's mobility, and they are too heavy for the dogs. Click here to read the entire article. Posted May 22, 2016

Impact Report of TPP Agreement Released. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has released its report assessing the impact of the potential  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that is now being considered by the US Congress. The USITC's report, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors, includes a lengthy section on the impact for the textile and apparel industry (pages 254-271), plus comments by several textile industry trade associations and specialists. Click here to go to the USTR website that has the full report online. Posted May 20, 2016

US Army and Marines Testing New Uniforms in Hawaii. The Tropic Lightning Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division's Jungle Operations Center have been testing new uniforms designed specifically for jungle operations. The prototype uniforms, designed by the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and engineering Center, have the Army's new camouflage pattern and are designed to improve the cooling factor of the uniforms. The uniforms, called M4, feature mesh materials for outer products, new material moisture wicking characteristics, and added ventilation ports in the chest and back to allow for faster cooling. The testing is being done under Natick's Jungle Fabric and Architecture Development Effort (JFADE). Click here to read an article about the testing posted on the Hawaii Army Weekly website. Posted May 20, 2016

Failure Mechanisms of a Fabric Structure. Seaman Corporation, a US manufacturer of coated fabrics and fabric structures, has a very good quick article on its blog site written by Felon Wilson entitled "Failure Mechanisms of a Fabric Structure." Mr. Wilson, the Business Director for Seaman's Industrial Fabrics Division, lists 5 basic factors which can determine the life expectancy of a fabric structure. Click here to view the posting on their company website. Posted May 20 2016

Medical Textiles Company Appoints New CEO. BeoCare Group, Inc., has announced the appointment of Matt Velago as Chief Executive Offices. BeoCare, based in the US, is a supplier of knit medical fabrics, medical elastics, and post-surgical apparel. Click here to read the company press release. Posted May 20, 2016

Sioen Industries Elects New Board Chairman. The Board of Directors of Sioen Industries, a Belgium-based manufacturer of technical textiles, chemicals and protective clothing, has elected Michel Delbaere as chairman to the board of directors. Mr. Delbaere succeeds Luc Vansteenkiste who has chosen to resign. Mr. Delbaere is the founder of the food company Crop's NV and serves on the board of several companies. Posted May 20, 2016

University Creates New Smart Textiles Research & Development Center. Drexel University, located in Philadelphia, Penn., USA, has created a new Center for Functional Fabrics (CFF) in response to the school being designated a regional center in the U.S. Department of Defense's newly created Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Some of the smart textile projects already being worked on at Drexel include a maternity bellyband to monitor uterine activity and assess fetal well-being; protective, touch-sensitive garments for robots; a knitted exoskeleton for the hand; energy storage for textiles and wearable technology. Click here for more information about the CFF's scope and development. Posted May 18, 2016

Engineering Staff Earns Special Achievement Award from NASA's Capsule Parachute Assembly System Team. The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) Capsule Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) Team has given a Special Achievement Award to the Strainsert Company, to recognize their efforts to develop a force sensor to collect textile riser load measurements during engineering development for use on qualification airdrop testing, spaceflight testing and human spaceflights. Drogue and main parachute riser loads are critical measurements collected during CPAS airdrop tests. Riser design changes from steel to textile required a complete revision of how these loads could be measured. Strainsert, a premier manufacturer of standard and custom force sensors for research, testing, weighing and control applications in the aerospace, military, marine and automotive industries. Click here to read more. Posted May 18, 2016

Italian Textile Machinery Domestic Sales Up in 1st Quarter; Globally Signs of Lackluster Performance. Some good news for the domestic Italian textile industry as ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, reported 1st Quarter 2016 domestic sales were up 82%. The huge increase in the domestic industry, however, only shows how bad sales were in 2015. Considering both domestic and foreign sales found only a 3% increase. In looking at the global market, ACIMIT President Raffaella Carabelli said "The current global economic situation is not too much positive. The recovery in China in 2015 has yet to be verified, while other Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, which invested significantly last year, are showing signs of slowing down. The outlook  for 2016 is spotty at best." Click here to read the entire ACIMIT press release. Posted May 18, 2016

Lest We Forget: Mike Funk of Glen Raven. Sad news to report. Michael (Mike) Funk passed away unexpectedly on May 14 in Aurora, Ill., USA. Mr. Funk worked for Glen Raven/Sunbrella in Sales for the Midwest for the last 30 years. Click here for more information. Posted May 18, 2016

Flame Retardants Used In Tents Could Pose Hazard to Campers. In the US, almost all camping tents adhere to the flame retardant CPAI-84, a test method written by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) for flame-resistant materials used in camping tents. A study appearing in Environmental Science & Technology has found that the flame retardants used by manufacturers to be compliant with CPAI-84 are released in the air within the enclosed tent space. The researchers tested 15 different tents, taking air quality samples. All the samples contained various amounts of the FR compounds.Click here to read more about the testing. Posted May 16, 2016

U.S. Law Enforcement Ballistic Vest Grant Program Reauthorized. On May 10, the US House of Representatives unanimously approved the reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. This reauthorization of the grant program will provide up to $25 million annually through Fiscal Year 2020. Local and state law enforcement officials are able to offset up to 50% of the costs of the vest purchases through the funding program. Since its inception in 1997, the program has assisted in the purchase of 1,235,593 vests in more than 13,000 jurisdictions nationwide. The program is administered through the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the US Department of Justice. Click here to read a short article posted on the Chesterton Tribune (Chesterton, Ind., USA) website. Posted May 15, 2016

Awning Company Celebrates Its 135th Anniversary. Congratulations to Ed and Lynda Burak, president and vice president respectively, of the family-owned Hudson Awning & Sign. In 2016, the company is celebrating its 135th year. It has been located all these years in Bayonne, N.J., USA, orginally making sails for the ships along the Hudson River. Posted May 15, 2016

US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures for March Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the March export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending March 2015 and 2016. Exports to Mexico and the United Kingdom have shown increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong continue to show declines from 2015. (Data figures in thousands.) Click here to see the entire report. Posted May 9, 2016




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Bangladesh Preparing for Future Disasters. According to the Dhaka Tribune's website, the Bangladesh government has authorized the importation of 7,339 as it begins to plan for future disaster responses such as what was needed after the country's devastating earthquake experienced in 2015. The MInistry of Disaster Management and Relief is going to purchase tents in three phases. Mizan Construction Ltd won the right to supply the first 2,591 tents. Computer World BD is to oversee the import of the next 2,672 tents and JSM Corporation is to import the remaining 2,676 tents. Click here to read the article. Posted May 7, 2016

Name Change Announced for Protective Medical Device Manufacturer. Vestagen Technical Fabrics,, Inc., based in Orlando, Fla., USA, has changed its name to Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc. Vestagen was founded in 2009 and develops performance textiles for healthcare and other related industries. The company press release says the name change "is intended to reinforce the company's focus on innovative products designed to maintain worker and patient health and safety, and allow for inclusion of new product applications going forward."  Click here to read the entire press release. Posted May 7, 2016

Use of Prison Labor Ok in US But Not in China? There is an article posted on the website The Hill by Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, questioning why the Obama Administration seeks to prohibit products coming into the US that have been made by prison labor when, in fact, the US also makes textile products by prisoners under the longstanding UNICOR program administered by the Federal Prison Industries. Mr. Helfenbein is not advocating allowing products to be imported if they are made from prison labor; instead, he wonders why the US itself allows its domestic prison industry to employ cheap labor and compete with American companies trying to make the same products. Click here to read his article. Posted May 7, 2016

First Law Enforcement Officer Saved by "Bulletproof" Vest Dies 40 Years Later. There is an interesting article/video on the KIRO 7 television website noting the passing of Raymond Johnson, the first law enforcement officer in the United Sates credited with being saved by a "bulletproof" vest. The retired Seattle, Wa., USA, police officer passed away in his sleep a few weeks ago, 40 years after being shot multiple times while on-duty. Since he was shot in 1975, the vests made with DuPont Kevlar aramid woven fabric has saved more than 3,100 lives. The vest Mr. Johnson wore back in the 70s weighed over 60 pounds. Today's vest weigh a little more than 2 pounds. Click here to go to the website and watch the video report. Posted May 7, 2016

UNIFI Has Unexpected Senior Management Shake-Up. The Winston-Salem Journal website is reporting yarn producer Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. has made major management changes with the sudden retirement announcement of its chairman and chief executive, Bill Jasper, and the resignation of president and chief operating officer, Roger Berrier Jr. The changes have caught industry analysts by surprise. No press release has yet been issued by Unifi. The company reported on April 20 a 3.3% drop in third quarter net income to $9.69 million. Revenue was down 6.3% to $161.3 million. Unifi, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., USA, is a producer of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns and related raw materials. The board has elected James Mead as non-executive chairman and appointed Thomas Caudel Jr. as president. Mr. Mead is president and CEO of James Mead & Company, a management consulting company. Mr. Caudle has previously served as Unifi's vice president of manufacturing. Click here to read the article. Posted May 2, 2016

New England Tent & Awning Acquires Facility. There is a nice article on the Mainebiz website on the acquisition by New England Tent & Awning company purchasing its Brunswick, Maine, USA, facility. New England Tent & Awning had already been a tenant at the site for five years. The company was, established in 1929 and purchased by David Norton in 2011. New England Tent & Awning is a renter of commercial and party tents as well asa a maker and installer of residential awnings., It's nice to hear success stories of small businesses in our industry. Click here to read the Mainebiz website article. Posted April 29, 2016

47,000 Tent Dealers in India Stand Up Against Child Marriage. Even though child marriage has been illegal in India since 2006, it is still pavalent in many areas of the country, including Rajashan, its largest state. The Rajashan Tent Dealers Kiraya Vyavsai Samiti, a 47,000 member tent dealer association, is tired of inaction by the local legal authorities. Their association has created a strict pledge and criteria for its members to end the supply of tents for child marriages. Dealers will now require the parents provide the birth certificates of the bride and groom. If the dealer finds one or both of the couple are minors, they will not only refuse to provide a tent but they will also inform the nearby law enforcement agency. Click here to read the post about this provided on the India TV News Desk website. Posted April 29, 2016

Largest Textile Flammability Test Lab in UK Opens. Intertek, a multinational inspection, product testing and certification company headquartered in London, UK, welcomed Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham on April 22 to its Leigh facility to officially open the laboratory. Intertek has extensively renovated and expanded the 30-year old site to incorporate under one roof the UK's largest textile flammability laboratory, a new chemical laboratory, as well as upgraded textile testing capabilities. Click here to read more about the facility. Posted April 29, 2016

Rigid Inflatable Boat Manufacturer Makes Two New Appointments. Zodiac Nautic North America, a subsidiary of Zodiac Nautic -- a global manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), inflatable boats, inflatable life rafts and safety equipment -- has made two new corporate appointments. Greg Mathes has been hired as the company's new Director of Manufacturing. Alan Brocious has been promoted to Vice President -- Research & Development. Click here to learn more about the appointments. Posted April 29, 2016

Sioen Reports 3% Increase Sales in 1st Quarter. Sioen Industries NV, a Belgium-based manufacturer of technical fabrics and finished protective apparel, reports during the 1st Quarter of 2016 the Coating division realized net consolidated sales of EUR 53.5 million against EUR 49.9 million in the 1st Quarter of 2015, or an increase with 7.3%. The Apparel division decreased 8% due to a sizeable order being completed in 2015 of uniforms for the Dutch police force. The Chemicals division increased 10.8%. Overall, the companyincreased sales 3% in the quarter. Click here to read the 1st Quarter update. Posted April 29, 2016

Court Dismisses Crye Precision's Camouflage Patent Infringement Suit Against Duro Textile. A US Federal judge April 22 granted Duro Textiles' motion for summary judgement and dismissing Crye Precision's remaining claims against Duro Textiles stemming from a lawsuit filed against Duro in early 2015. Crye Precision LLC of Brooklyn, N.Y., USA, is a producer of apparel and equipment for military use. It holds four design patents relating to the “MultiCam” camouflage pattern used on military apparel and equipment. Crye licensed to Duro Textiles of Fall River, Mass., USA, the right to print the pattern on fabrics and sell it from 2008 to 2014, after which the license expired.The heart of the original dispute was the US Army's decision to switch from MultiCam to the new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) that was jointly developed by the US Army and Crye. Click here to read an interesting analysis of the outcome posted on the Soldier Systems website. Posted April 28, 2016

Former Glen Raven Corporate Counsel Passes. Carl Edison Wallace, Jr. (Wally) passed away on April 24. Mr. Wallace was for many years the corporate attorney for Glen Raven, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of technical textiles. During his tenure at Glen Raven, the company expanded internationally, opening plants in other countries, and also purchasing other companies, all of which transformed Glen Raven into an international corporation. Many who met him will remember Mr. Wallace's infectious hearty deep laugh and quick wit. He will be missed. Click here for his complete obituary. Posted April 28, 2016

Legislation Introduced in the US Congress to Require Adherent to Berry Amendment. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congressman Bruce Poliquin have introduced legislation to boost US footwear manufacturing. The Stepping Up for American Workers an Troops Act requires the US Department of Defense (DOD) to adhere to the long-established law -- the Berry Amendment -- that provides US service members with American-made clothing, footwear and other equipment. Recent audits of the Navy and Air Force have found a serious lack of Berry Amendment understanding by procurement officers in the military branches. Further, since FY 2002, the DOD has circumvented this policy by issuing cash allowances to new recruits for training shows, which are not required to be American-made or Berry Amendment compliant. Click here to read the press release announcing the new legislation. Posted April 26, 2016 

New Jersey Textile Company Featured on Website. There is a neat article and video about Absecon Mills posted on the Press of Atlantic City website. The company is a small textile producer located in Cologne, N.J., USA. Absecon's manufacturing space only occupies about 100,000 sq. feet and the company employs 90 workers. It manufactures textiles for the commercial contract market such as seating for transportation, healthcare and public theaters. The company recently started making technical textiles for a variety of products including ballistic-grade fabrics for the military market. Click here to read more and watch the video about the company. Posted April 26, 2016

Seaman Corporation Appoints New FiberTite Vice President and General Manager. Seaman Corporation issued a press release today announcing Scott Gipson has been named Vice President & General Manager of its FiberTite Roofing Systems division. Mr. Gipson had previously worked the last 4 years at OMNOVA's Global Coated Fabrics Operation in China. Seaman Corporation, headquartered in Wooster, Oh., USA, is a manufacturer of high-performance fabrics. Posted April 26, 2016  

Former Industry Leader Passes. Industry veteran John Mortensen died on April 20, 2016. at the age of 78. Mr. Mortensen began his career at Johnson & Johnson and retired from C.M. Offray of Bernardsville, N.J., USA, as head of their Specialty Narrow Fabrics division. Mr. Mortensen was a man of many talents, holding over 30 patents. In recognition of his work in the industry and the association he received Honored Life Member status from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in 2004. Besides all the work he did for the industry, he will be remembered by many for the simple small embroidered rose he gave out whenever he saw you. Posted April 24, 2016

Coleman Can Sue on PFD Design Patent Infringement. A US Federal Circuit Court ruling has now paved the way for The Coleman Company to sue Sport Dimension Inc. (SDI) for infringement on its patent covering personal flotation devices. Sport Dimension’s accused personal flotation devices, like Coleman’s design, have two armbands connected to a torso piece. But, unlike Coleman’s design, the torso section in the Body Glove® device extends upwards to form a vest that goes over a person’s shoulders. SDI had sued for a judgement that its products do not infringe on the Coleman patent. The trial court ruled in SDI's favor but the Federal Circuit Court now says that judgement was in error and the lower trial court should have looked at the overall design disclosed in the patent, not just the collection of elements. Click here to read more on this issue. Posted April 23, 2016 

Google Testing Reliability of Its Interactive Fabrics Using Robotics. The MIT Technology Review has posted an interesting article regarding the progress of Google's Project Jacquard. As you may, last year Google revealed it was creating interactive advanced textiles using grids of conductive yarns. The intent is to apply the advanced textiles into 'smart" clothing and other products. Activation of the electronics in the smart textiles would be done byusing hand gestures across the fabric surface. The MIT article summarizes a research paper that will be presented at a technology conference in May that describes a robotic arm test pf which repeated swiped gestures acrose the interactive fabric. The fabric held up to 200 swipes a day and 12,000 total swipes without showing visible damage to its electronic capabilties. After 20,000robitic arm swipes, the fabric still reported 95% integrity in recognizing the gestures. Click here to read more. Posted April 22, 2016

Kufner Group Acquires Ploucquet.  The Munich-based Kufner Group has announced it will take over Ploucquet GmbH from Smart Solutions Holding GmbH (formerly SympaTex Holding GmbH). SympaTex is a laminator and finisher of technical textiles. Kufner is a 200-year-old company that manufactures technical textiles and interlinings. Ploucquet is a producer and distributor of lining materlal and a finisher of technical textiles. SympaTex management says the sale of the company and the production site located in Zittau, Germany is also the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two textile companies and Sympatex. Click here to read the press release. Posted April 21, 2016

US Industrial Fabrics Export Figures for February Released. The US Department of Commerce has released the February export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics 206 Group. The numbers in the table below represent 12-month totals for the top five countries with year ending February 2015 and 2016. Exports to Mexico and the United Kingdom has shown increases while Canada, China and Hong Kong have declined. (Data figures in thousands.) Click here to see the entire report. Posted April 18, 2016




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General Motors to Stop Making Cars without Airbags. It was only this past January that General Motors Corporation CEO Mary Barra told an audience at the World Economic Forum that it had to make cars in some countries without airbags and other safety devices in order to make them affordable to buyers (see our January 24 post). However, the company has changed its mind after the Latin New Car Assessment Program gave the Chevrolet Sail zero stars in its latest crash test evaluation. The Chevrolet Sail is made in China and sold to emerging markets without airbags or three-point seat belts. GM said it will gradually stop the production of all cars which do not have these safety features with a completion goal of model year 2019. This action should significantly increase the market for airbag manufacturers. Click here to read an article about the GM decision. Posted April 17, 2016

Taiwanese Technical Textile Companies Looking to Partner with Indian Firms. There is an interesting article posted on India's The Economic Times website on how Taiwanese composite and technical textile companies are exploring partnership opportunities with Indian firms. According to the article, India's technical textiles industry is expected to grow at 20% per year, reaching $30 billion over the next 5 years The composite industry is currently estimated at $2.2 billion with an expected growth of 15% per year over the next 4 years.Click here to read the article. Posted April 17, 2016

China Agrees to Dismantle WTO Prohibited Export Subsidies for Textiles, Apparel and Footwear. On April 14, 2016, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced China has agreed to terminate its export subsidies provided through a program it called the "Demonstration Bases-Common Service Platform." On February 11, 2015, the US had filed a challenge in the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the China program that provides prohibited export subsidies to Chinese enterprises located in 179 industrial clusters throughout China known as “Demonstration Bases.” The program channeled export-contingent subsidies across seven economic sectors and dozens of subsectors. Textiles, Apparel and Footwear was one of the sectors affected by the termination. Click here to read the USTR announcement and also to other links which go into more detail on the Memo of Understanding. Posted April 17, 2016

Parent Company of Coleman Merges with Newell Rubbermaid. Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden Corporation, owner of The Coleman Company, hav successfully completed their $16 billion merger. The newly combined company is called Newell Brands Inc. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., USA. The Coleman Company is a manufacturer of a variety of outdoor products including tents and personal flotation devices with amnufacturing facilities in severla countries. Click here to read the Newell Brands company press release. Posted April 16, 2016

Ohio State University Develops Super Thin Woven Circuitry for Wearable Tech. What is holding back the common acceptance of smart textile technology in apparel is the washable issue. A team of researchers at Ohio State University (OSU), located in Columbus, Oh., USA, has developed electronic circuitry as thin as a regular thread. They are being tested for use in smart textile applications. The team, led by John Volakis and Asimina Kiiourti have been refining the e-textile technology. Their newest accomplishment is a silver-coated polymer threat that is 0.1 millimeter thick, made with 7 filaments twisted into a single strand. The copper and pure silver threads can be used to make extremely fine and detailed circuit boards. Click here to read more. Posted April 15, 2016 

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group Breaks Ground on New North Carolina Textile Plant. The US textile industry continues to expand with the special ground breaking on April 12, 2016, of the new plant for Meridian Specialty Yarn Group, Inc. The multi-milion dollar textile plant will be located in Valdese, N.C., USA. It is an $8 million expansion for the company which manufactures package dyed yarn, space dyed yarn, yarn printing and twisting. Posted April 15, 2016

Facebook Hires Former DARPA Head for Projects Including Digitally Advanced Textiles. Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman laid out his 10-year vision for the company. Yesterday he announced Facebook had hired Google executive Regina Dugan, Ph.D. At Google she led the Advanced Technology and Products section. Dr. Dugan is also the former director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). At Facebook, like at Google, one of her projects will be the development of emerging technologies including digitally advanced textiles. Click here to read more about her hiring. Posted April 14, 2016

Polyfab USA Spun Off from Australian Company. Barry Jamieson, Director of Polyfab Australia, has announced that the Polyfab USA division has been sold to its American management. Polyfab is the manufacturer of heavy duty knitted HDPE shadecloth. The American division was established in 2008. Steve Morenberg is the new Managing Director of Polyfab USA Ltd. Posted April 11, 2016

Smart Textiles Being Tested for Cycling. The website has an interesting article on the development of temperature-regulating performance wear for cycling enthusiasts.  Mentioned is the research being done at Falmouth University. There are three ways the smart fabrics can work: 1) Trapping dead air inside the fabrics to increase insulation against cold; 2) Have the smart materials carry electric currents though the fibers to generate heat; and. 3) Have the fabric contain microcapsules of some type of material like wax that absorbs body heat and melts but can also radiate the heat back when needed. Click here to read the article. Posted April 11, 2016

Southern Weaving in the News. There is a nice article posted today on the Greenville News website about Southern Weaving and its CEO Ron Mohling. Southern Weaving, located in Greenville, S.C., USA, is a manufacturer of nylon and polyester narrow fabrics. Its webbing is being used in the BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) that was just sent to the International Space Station for testing (see our March 28 post). Click here to read the Greenville News article. Posted April 9, 2016

The Story Behind the Development of the "Bulletproof" Vest. The website atlasobscura has a fascinating article posted about the murky development of the original bulletproof vest in the early 1900s. A Chicago-based Polish priest named Casimir Zeglen, motivated by the assassination of the mayor of Chicago in 1893, began development of a vest and by1897 had "patented his new method of weaving silk into layers thick enough to stop bullets." Shortly after, Father Zenglen began giving live demonstrations of his new vest. Interest in the vest became even greater after the 1901 assassination of US President William McKinley. Unfortunately, Father Zeglen's business partner, textile manufacturer Jan Szczepanik, forced him out of the business and managed to market himself as the inventor of the vest. Eventually the protective properties of the tightly woven silk could not keep up with the increasing strength of the bullets. Click here to read the article. Posted April 9, 2016

Madrid Policewomen Discipline for Refusing to Wear Male Ballistic Vests. Wearing protective vests is mandatory in Spain due to the ongoing "Orange" terrorist level; however, ballistic vests are in short supply. And the situation is further exacerbated by the lack of female form fitting vests.  According to the Spanish News Today, two Madrid, Spain policewomen have been recently disciplined because they have refused to wear "bulletproof" vests designed for men, complaining they are too ill-fitting and heavy. Click here to read more. Posted April 9, 2016  

Bringing Down Unwanted Drones with Net and Parachute.  As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones become increasingly popular, they are also becoming a serious problem for flying in restricted air space near airports, sensitive power or military facilities, and sometimes just a nuisance in invading your privacy. What to do about it? Send in a "dronecatcher." Delft Dynamics, a Dutch company, has developed a drone that tracks down other drones, fires a wide fabric net that captures it, and then deploys a parachute to bring it softly down to earth.  The website has a couple of neat videos of the dronechatcher in action. Click here to view. Posted April 5, 2016

US International Trade Commission Rules Imported PET Resins Dumped. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) made a final determination on March 31, 2016 that imports of polyethylene terephthalate resin (PET resin) from Canada, China, India and Oman are causing injury to the domestic industry. This was the final step in the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and follows the March 7, 2016 determination by the US Department of Commerce that imports of PET resin were dumped from all four countries and that imports from China and India were also subsidized. The US PET producers filing the petition were DAK Americas, M&G Chemicals and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America. Our thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to this case. Click here to read the entire release. Posted April 4, 2016 

Understanding the Necessary Components for Melding Technical Textiles and Sustainable Product Innovation. If you are looking for a good quick read on technical textiles and sustainable product innovation, John Klein, Business Development Manager of the Aerogel Division of PrimaLoft, Inc., has a new post up on LinkedIn entitled "The Future Development of Technical Textiles and Sustainable Product Innovation." Mr. Klein has in the past posted other excellent analysis that demonstrates his command of the specific market segments including "The Future of Technical Textile Design" and "Body Armor: Protecting Your Assets." PrimaLoft, headquartered in Latham, N.Y., US, is a manufacturer of insulation used primarily in the outdoor apparel industry. Click here to read his latest LinkedIn posting. Posted April 4, 2016

China Delivers Tents to Fiji After Cyclone Devastation. The Ministry of Commerce of China has procured and delivered more than 6000 tents, 13,000 set of blankets and 5,800 pieces of waterproof canvases to the Republic of Fiji. The island nation was devastated by a Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone on February 20, 2016. Click here to read more on the Fiji Times website. Posted April 4, 2016

Korea Research Institute Developing Aluminum-Coated Fabrics. According to the website Korea Bizwire, the Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS) has developed technology to coat various surfaces with liquefied aluminum. The research center's internal technology firm ALINK has produced fabrics for wearable devices, and is preparing the launch of aluminum-coated filters that block ultrafine particles. The core of the technology is turning aluminum into a form of nano-particle ink and coating fabrics with it. Using the technology, conductive fabrics that are used in wearable devices such as smart watches can be produced. click here to read the entire posting. Posted April 4, 2016

Updated Version of High-Visibility Safety Vest Standard Becomes Law. A new edition of the American National Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests became effective February 1, 2016 in the US. The updated edition consolidates the requirements of ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 and ANSI/ISEA 207 in an effort to establish a single, comprehensive document that considers all occupational tasks.  The standard, developed jointly by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), continues to present three performance classes of garments based on the amount of visible materials and design attributes incorporated into the final configuration, and identifies garment types based on expected use settings and work activities being performed.  These are designated as off-road (type O), roadway and temporary traffic control (type R), or public safety activities (type P). What is new is that the parts mentioning flame resistance was revised to require a clear "FR" or "not FR" on the pictogram and a statement of flame resistance is required on the label of the garment. Click here to read a good article about the standard posted on the 3M website. Posted April 4, 2016

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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