BMW to Expand Production in US. German-based automaker BMW announced yesterday it will expand its manufacturing in South Carolina, USA with another $1 billion investment. The expansion will allow an increase in production to 450,000 cars per year. Toray, a carbon fiber manufacturer, had announced in February its plan to build a new manufacturing plant also in South Carolina. Toray provides parts for BMW in addition to being a major composite supplier to Boeing. Special thanks to our readerLowell Duncan for alerting us to this news. Click here to read the BMW press release.Posted March 29, 2014
INVISTA Building New China Polyamide Plant. The website PlasticsToday.com posted an article March 28 on the start of a 150,000 tons/year polyamide (PA) 66 plant at the Changai Chemical Industry Park in China. The company is also constructing a hexamethylene diamine (HMD) monomer plant at the same location. Overall investment is expected to exceed $1 billion. One of PA 66's market applications is technical textiles. Overall, the PA 66 market is forecasted to grow in China to about 450,000 tons. Read the article by clicking here. Posted March 28, 2014
Shorter Business Trips Create More Opportunities for Backpacks. We found an interesting soft-sided luggage insight in The Hindu Business Times. The Indian news site interviewed an executive from Mumbai-based VIP Industries, the country's largest manufacturer of hard-shell luggage. The company is now shifting its focus to carry-on luggage and backpacks as the business trips for travelers are getting shorter. VIP is targeting a 15% growth from this shift. Click here to read the article. Posted March 28, 2014
Kim Glas Featured on Government Website. There's a nice "spotlight" posting aboutKim Glas on the US Department of Commerce's commerce.gov website. Ms. Glas is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce. Click here to go to the website. Congratulations on the acknowledgement of her work to a very good person who tries to help our industry every day. Posted March 27, 2014
25 Ridiculously Cool Backpacks. A couple of days ago we posted Yahoo's pick of the top 10 backpacks out there. It must be the time of year because now we found a website called StyleCaster which names the 25 most chic backpacks being made. We're not so sure if the claim lives up to the designs but they are fun to look at if you're looking for inspiration. Click here to check them out. Posted March 24, 2014
Fabrics Resistant to Growth of Microbes Produced in Iran. The websiteNanotechnologyNow has posted an abstract from Iranian researchers at the Yazd Branch of Islamic Azad University on the work they are doing in nanotechnology to produce cotton clothes with high antibacterial properties. According to researcher Dr.Ali Nazari, his team has created the fabric where the antibacterial properties are stable and created due to the production mechanism of species activated by titanium dioxide nanoparticles when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. Click here to read more. Posted March 22, 2014
Base Diving While on Fire. Devold Protection, a Norwegian manufacturer of protective clothing, has produced an incredible 3 minute video for what is called The Devold Protection Challenge. In the video, a stuntman wearing Devold clothing is set on fire before he races to the edge of a mountain and then falls from a great height before a parachute opens and he lands safely. Click here to watch the video. Posted March 22, 2014
Caravan Awnings Causing Fires. New Zealand's The Timaru Herald is reporting that setting up caravan awnings too close to portable gas refrigerators appear to have caused "a spate of caravan fires" in the Waitaki region in New Zealand. Attention ourBeaverlake6 Report Kiwi readers: Let's make sure the customers are being warned about the danger of having the awnings placed too close at campsites. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014
New Russian Tactical Soldier "Ratnik" Gear Includes Improved Body Armor. The website The Voice of Russia has an article posted about the soon start of the next generation soldier gear called "Ratnik." The gear is comprised of more than 40 components, including body armor. According to the article, "The framework which holds all the gear is a 'breathing' synthetic overall that one can wear for two days without taking it off. The fabric of polymeric compounds protects the soldier again open fire and minor splinters, and makes them invisible to infrared cameras." The soldier bulletproof vests used to consist of two fabric protective panels (30 layers of aramid fabrics) and 25 protective plates made of titanium. The new plates will use ceramic plates and Kevlar. The modification for a seaman using the Ratnik is that it also has a function as a life jacket. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014
Mobile Air Monitoring Makes Use of Backpacks. If knowing the top ten chic backpacks isn't important to you (see posting below), we found another backpack article on the web today. Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have outfitted volunteers in Edinburgh, Scotland with backpacks that contain air quality measuring equipment plus a GPS tracking device. The volunteers go about their everyday lives in the city but the air quality is constantly being monitored wherever they visit. This idea reminds us of Michael Ravnitzky's proposal a few years ago for installing US Postal Service trucks with air and road quality equipment to allow a new and relatively inexpensive data collection system, creating a dual purpose for the vehicles. Mr. Ravnitzky is the former Director of Technical Services for the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and now serves as the Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the US Postal Regulatory Commission. The idea must have made a lot of sense because it was never implemented by the government. Click here to read the article posted about the Edinburgh backpack project. Posted March 22, 2014
India's Technical Textiles Market May Grow 20% Annually. The Indian website The Economic Times is reporting that Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Textiles and Technical Textiles, has said the technical textiles sector, which is currently at US13 billion, is expected to grow at 20% per annun in the next two years. Mr. Jaipuria was speaking at Technotex 2014, an event that took place March 20-22 in Mumbai. Zohra Chatterjee, Secretary for the Indian Ministry of Textiles, also speaking at Technotex, said the technical textiles section in India is looking at a five-fold increase in fund outlay. Click here to read The Economic Timesnews report. Posted March 22, 2014
Yahoo Selects the Top Ten Backpacks. We're not sure of the selection criteria but the UK/Ireland Lifestyle section on the Yahoo website has boldly issued its view of the top ten urban backbacks currently out in the public. Click here to go to the website and view the entries. Posted March 22, 2014
Military Parachute Manufacturer Facing Difficult Time With Budget Cut. The website wdam.com reported on a plant visit by US Congressman Steven Palazzo to a Columbia, Miss., USA parachute manufacturer. The company, Pioneer Aerospace, has been making parachutes since 1938 but has recently had to reduce its workforce by 50% due to military spending cuts. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014
Weight of Tactical Vest Still a Concern of Military. An interesting article appeared on the website StrategyPage.com regarding the latest changes to the U.S. Army's Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). The current IOTV came out in 2008 and the Army recently ordered the IOTV supplier to complete the task of upgrading these existing vests by 2015. A different mesh is being used on the inside of the vest to prevent chafing. However, the Army is still concerned about the weight of the vest at 30-35 pounds (13.6 to 15.9 kg), depending on the size and gender of the user. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2014
Specialty Textiles Company Closes Plant. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc. announced March 20 that the company was closing its plant at Travelers Rest, S.C., USA and consolidating that operation with its plant in Aurora, Ill., USA. The company manufactures fabrics used in tape, graphics, industrial, medical and other applications. Click here to read the company release. Posted March 22, 2014
Money Wasted on Geotextile Groynes. At least that's the opinion of a reader of the Stabroek News about the six geotextile tubes being installed to function as groynes along a beachfront in Guyana. Groynes are a type of fence or barrier going into the sea, designed to trap sand and prevent erosion. Interesting opinion expressed by the writer. Click here to read the letter to the editor. Posted March 17, 2014
Foreign Textile Firms Invest in Vietnam in Anticipation of TPP Agreement.According to the website Thanhnien News, a site devoted to the latest news about Vietnam, many large foreign firms have entered Vietnam's garment and textile sector with an eye on export opportunities the Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to bring. Jiangsu Yulan Textile Group of China recently got a license for a $68 million textile, dyeing, and yarn plant. Although most foreign Vietnam plant investments at the moment appear intended for the apparel end market, it is not unreasonable to assume this will also happen in the technical textiles section. Click here to read the article.Posted March 17, 2014
FabricLink Network Announces the Year's Top 10 Innovations. Are you seeking what was new in 2013? The website FabricLink Network(FLN) released today its top 10 best textile innovations for 2013-14. It is a list of fascinating products, including Geckskin™, developed by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and marketed by Felsuma LLC. Geckskin is an attach-and-release material that replicates the feet of the gecko. The material peels away easily on any surface, leaving no residue, and can hold up to 700 lbs. Click here to see the entire list of innovations recognized this year. Posted March 14, 2014
Project Takes Functional Textiles into Outer Space. Thanks to the websiteInnovation in Textiles for alerting us to a news release issued by the Hohenstein Institute about a very interesting project being undertaken in space in a couple of months. On May 28 2014, the six-month "Blue Dot" space mission lifts off. Included is the "Spacetex" project, the first clothing physiology experiements to be carried out in a weighless environmment. It is a joint project being carried out by the Hohenstein Institute, Schoeller Textil AG, the Charité medical school and ESA. Click here to read more about the project at the Innovations in Textile website. Posted March 14, 2014
Formax Will Open Dedicated Carbon Fiber Automotive Center. According to the website Engineering Materials, carbon fiber composite manufacturer Formax will open a facility dedicated to the production of multi-axial carbon fabric for the automotive industry. The new facility will be located at its Leicestershire (UK) headquarters. Click here for more information. Posted March 14, 2014
Wearable Defibrillator Featured in Article. We came across a small article posted on a local television website in Pittsburgh, Penn., USA, about a woman saved after suffering a potentially deadly heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation while sleeping. Fortunately, she was aware of the possible problem and was wearing a smart jacket called LifeVest which is a wearable defibrillator. The vest sensed the heart stress and shocked her heart back into a normal rhythm. Click here to read the article. Posted March 13, 2014
Conducting Fibers Featured in The Economist Article. In the latest issue of The Economist, a UK-based weekly news magazine, there is a terrific two-page article about the development and potential applications of conducting fibers. The article seems to be well-researched and talks of how conductive fibers now allows fabric itself to become an electric device, made into body-sensing "smart shirts' and other wearable products as well as items used in the aerospace industry, and potentially any product where there is an application using flexible electrical wiring. Click here to read the article. Posted March 11, 2014
New York Awning Firm Plans Expansion. According to the Islip Area Developmentwebsite, M&M Canvas & Awning plans a $2 million investment in a new facility in Islip, N.Y., USA. The company is being assisted by the Islip Industrial Development Agency in acquiring a 20,000 square foot building. A portion of the financial assistance will be used to acquire welding and heat sealing equipment for the manufacture of commercial and residential awnings and canvas equipment. Good news to hear!Posted March 10, 2014
Bullet-Resistant Vest Contract Raises Questions. The Trinidad Expressnewspaper is questioning the awarding of a $14 million contract by the Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Justice for 3,000 bullet-resistant vests and 500 stab-resistant vests for protecting its prison officials. Who received the huge government contract? A company named Complete Wiring and Maintenance, a company registered as specializing in electrical installation. Click here to read the article. Posted March 9, 2014
US Releases January Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. On March 7 the US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) released the January export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A 12-month ending January 31 comparison for 2013/2014 showed Mexico continues to be the dominant recipient of US specialty fabrics, amounting to almost 46% of all exports in this category. Canada is second with 15%, followed by China with 5%, Hong Kong with 4% and the UK with 3%. Click here for the full report. Posted March 9, 2014
Inflatable Boats Made in Dubai Supplied to US Military. We just read a news release published on the U.A.E. website Zawya about a new Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) made by ASIS Boats. At the end of the release, it says that all boats are 100% manufactured in Dubai but it also says the company supplies the US military with RHIBs. How is this possible? Didn't the French-based company Zodiac, which also supplies RHIBs, have to set up a production operation in the US in order to comply with the US Berry Amendment? Click here to read the ASIS release. And let us know if you can figure out how a non-US company is supplying the US military. There's probably a good explanation but we don't have it yet. Posted March 7, 2014
Super Strong Spider Silk Being Developed. We've reported on this fascinating new product Spider Silk. The silk is reported to be 5 times stronger than steel and could be used in anti-ballistic vests and medical implants. An article about it just appeared on the Indian-based The Economic Times website. The synthetic silk is being developed through genetically engineered bacteria inserted through natural silk producers such as spider and silkworm. Interesting. Click here to read the article.Posted March 7, 2014
UK Leading Tent Maker Sells Out to Management. Vango is a tent brand you are probably familiar with if you sell outdoor gear in the UK. According to the website Out & About Live, the Scottish-based AMG Group, manaufacturer of the Vango tent brand, has been acquired by its senior management team. Vango tents feature an innovative AirBeam range in its inflatable tents. AMG Group also has the tent brands Force Ten and Lichfield. The website reports AMG Services Division, which is included in the deal, services and repairs all brands of tent and is the only business of its kind still left in the UK. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2014
Life Jacket Associated with the Titanic Sold. An interesting bit of news that has a connection to our industry happened yesterday. The UK website Shropshire Starreported that a life jacket used on the SS Nomadic was sold at auction yesterday for $1,561. The history angle is that the SS Nomadic was the ship that transported all the passengers onto the Titanic for the doomed ship's voyage. On another site, we found that the Titanic's life jackets, like the one in the accompanying picture, actually caused a lot of deaths because jumping from a height of 10 feet or more caused the stiff jacket to rise up suddenly when hitting the water, breaking the wearer's neck. Clickhere to read about the auction yesterday. Posted March 7, 2014
Intelligent Textiles Start-Ups Featured. The Uk news website The Telegraph has a nicely done article today on a number of small British companies developing wearable technology. According to the website, the global market for wearable technology was worth $2.7 bn in revenue in 2012 and is expected to reach $8.3 bn in 2018. One company featured in the article, Intelligent Textiles, specializes in developing electrically-active woven fabrics, making a range of high-tech fabrics and components for commercial products as well as for the US Department of Defense. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2014
New Patents Awarded. If you haven't visited David Trumbull's blog Textiles & Trade, we urge you to take a look. Recently, Jim Carson, a principal of RB Consulting, Inc., and a patent attorney, has been adding information to the site on new US patents for products made from textiles, including technical textiles. We noticed this week he had added information on patents given for "Rolling Textile Protective System for Textile Structural Members" and another for "Foldable Tent with Integrated Ventilation System." Click here to go to the Textiles & Trade blog. Posted March 6, 2014
India Has Highest Number of Traffic Deaths, Yet No Required Mandatory Airbags in Cars. We're just saying there could be a "cause and affect" relationship in India about safety. The website IndiaRealTime reports Nissan has decided not to include airbags in its newly launched Datsun brand in India. India's roads are the world's deadliest according to the website. The South Asian country overtook China in 2006 as the single largest contributor to road deaths in the world. Listen to this: The number of people killed on India's roads climbed to 138,258 in 2012, from 84,674 10 years earlier. So the car makers choose making the cars affordable over the expense of putting in minimal safety technology. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2014
Albany International Featured in Composites Magazine. There are a couple of nice articles about Albany International and Albany Engineered Composites on the website of Composites World magazine. The Albany Engineered Composites article reviews the development of 3-D fabrics. The second article, Albany International; Multilayer to Multidimensional, gives a great history of this innovative, ever-changing company. Click here to read the articles. Posted March 5, 2014
Yarn-Forward Rule Spurs Investment in US Textile Industry. As we have been reporting in BeaverLake6 Report, the recent announcements about foreign-based companies investing in the US textile industry is a sign of positive industry resurgence. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) issued a press release today saying the catalyst of this new $700 million foreign facility investment surge is the Yarn-Forward Rule of Origin in trade agreements. Yarn-Forward requires that yarn, fabric, and assembly production steps be completed in the Free Trade Agreement region in order to qualify for duty-free preference into the US. This NCTO release seems to be a gentle reminder to the negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that Yarn-Forward needs to be included in the agreement. Click here to go to the NCTO website. Posted March 5, 2014
Chinese Textile Producers Turn to ASEAN Region. The newsletter Textiles South East Asia has an interesting front page report on how the rise of the textile industry in South East Asia is bringing challenges to Chinese producers. Textile production is still a labor-intense industry in this region and the increase in labor costs in China has "largely impaired the competitiveness of the country's textile sector over the past decade." Challenged by South East Asia, China's share of the textile market in developed countries has been decling since 2011. The report's observations are focused on apparel manufacturing but are easily applicable to the technical textiles industry. You do have to subscribe to the Textiles South East Asia in order to read the monthly newsletter. Click here to obtain information. Posted March 3, 2014
Engineers Push Parachute to Its Limits. We continue to be enthralled with the contribution of the technical textiles industry in the development of the new Orion spacecraft. The parachutes passed another hurdle on February 26 in a test that put extra stress on its drogue parachutes and simulated a failure of one of its three main parachutes. The test was conducted with the dropping of a test vehicle from 35,000 feet. The two drogue parachutes are the ones which precede the main parachutes and begin the job of slowing Orion down before it lands. The test was successful and verified that the drogue parachutes will perform successfully during the most extreme speed, altitude and pressure loads. Click here to read more at the NASA website.Posted March 3, 2014
Compendium on Technical Textiles Standard Published. The second National Seminar on Standards in Technical Textiles was held February 25 in Mumbai, India. The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). After the opening presentation by Zhra Chatterji, the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Textiles, a Standards for Technical Textiles compendium was released. Click here to read more. Posted March 1, 2014
Which Personal Protective Outer Shell Fabric is the Most Durable? That's the question being looked at on the Firehouse website about fireman turnout gear. There are three primary categories of performance that all outer shells share: protection, comfort, and durability. This is an interesting informative article that concisely examines the requirements in each of these categories. Click here to read the article.Posted March 1, 2014
Tents Needed for Flood Victims in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe government is appealing for an additional 20,000 tents to provide temporary shelters for the victims of the Tokwe-Mukusi floords who have been relocated to Chingwizi in Nuanetsi Ranch. The refugee camp is swelling as more and more flood victims arrive. Click here to read an article that first appeared in the Zimbabwe newspaper The Herald and reposted on the Wall Africa website. Posted February 28, 2014
US Textile Supplier Prepares for Down-Sized Military. The Herald News (Fall River, Mass., USA) website posted an article yesterday on how Duro Textiles, one of the largest suppliers of US military uniform fabrics, is preparing for the coming budget cuts and force-reduction. The company has sought out business in other countries such as Saudi Arabia. The rip-stop camouflage nylon fabric is shipped to the southern US where it is cut and then shipped to Saudi Arabia where it is sewn into uniforms. Some other countries where they are doing military business include Australia, Columbia and the United Arab Emirates. Click here to read the article. Posted February 28, 2014
TenCate Records $29.5 Million Net Profit for 2013. Koninklijke Ten Cate NV released today the 2013 financial report for TenCate. Some takeaways: The important US defense market faced with automatic budget cuts at the start of the year, and, further, the uncertainty about the size of the US Army withdrawal from Afghanistan had an adverse effect on defense markets. Europe defense expenditure reached its lowest point in 10 years. Thus, defense-related revenues of TenCate declined by 40%. The proportion of defense markets in the overall revenues of TenCate decreased from 13% in 2012 to 8% in 2013. TenCate's geosynthetics revenues were on the whole lower than in 2012 due to decline of government infrastructure projects. On the other hand, products for private markets developed positively. The protective fabrics in the industrial markets grew by 12%. The rise in revenues generated by personal ballistic protection end market offset in part the decline in revenues in vehicle armor. Acquisitions such as Amber Composites also helped to improve revenues. Clickhere to read the entire press release as posted in the Wall Street Journal today.Posted February 27, 2014
China Developing a Standard for Anti-Smog Masks. The South China Morning Gazette reports the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) has finished the first draft of a proposal which will help regulate the booming anti-smog market. The standard is for what is called the PM2.5 mask, the PM number measures air particles' diameter in micrometers. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers can be easily inhaled in the lungs. Unlike the US and Europe, China currently has no national standard for civilian masks. Demand for MP2.5 masks have soared since 2012, with 2.53 billion units sold last year. Sales are expected to reach 3.92 billion units next year. The rapidly growing market is filled with an equally growing market of counterfeit masks. Click here to read the article. Posted February 28, 2014
Body Armor Company Receives Large Military Contract. The U.S. Defense Logics Agency announced yesterday that Protective Products Enterprises Inc., Sunrise, Fla., USA, has been awarded a maximum $76,661,994 modification exercising the second option year on a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods for improved outer tactical vests and components. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Posted February 26, 2014.
Walmart's New Trucks Made of Carbon Fiber. There's a fascinating video on the new trucks which are going to be used by the retail giant Walmart. Thanks to our good friend Don Williams for alerting me to this one. Click here to watch the video. Posted February 26, 2014
Another Airbag Plant in China. Autoliv continues to build new airbag manufacturing facilities around the world. Automotive New Europe ran an article today that Autoliv Inc. will start building an airbag plant in the north China city of Baoding where Great Wall Motor Co., an automotive manufacturer, is headquartered. Autoliv's plant will be supplying airbags for Great Wall's three nearby vehicle assembly facilities. Autoliv now has 10 production facilities in China. Click here to read the article. Posted February 25, 2014
U.S. Commercial Service Offers Catalog Shows in India. The U.S. Commercial Service is offering US manufacturers to display your product catalog at its American Business Corners (ABCs) in the technical textiles manufacturing hubs in India. The ABCs are joint ventures between the U.S. Commercial Service and regional chambers of commerce in India's second and third tier cities. Click here to contact Uma Katochat U.S. Commercial Service to find out more how to participate. Posted February 14, 2014
SAERTEX Takes Over Devold. The SAERTEX Group, headquartered in Germany, continues to expand, and on February 12 announced that it had taken over all shares in Devlod from Hexagon Composites of Alesund, Norway. Devold, like SAERTEX, produces non crimp fabrics of glass, carbon and aramid fibers. They are used for reinforcing textiles in the wind energy industry as well as in ship- and boat-building, in the transport industry, and in the automobile and aviation industries to make plastic reinforced components. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 25, 2014
Graduate Student Engineer Recognized for Testing Tent Designs. Congratulations to Ms. Petia Tzokova, a Cambridge (UK) student civil engineer. Ms. Tzokova was the team leader in a project which won the university's annual Graduate and Student Papers Competition. Their project involved researching and determining the best tent designs for disaster relief shelters. Click here to learn more. Posted February 25, 2014
Lydall Acquires Industrial Filtration Business. Lydall, a US-based company manufacturing specialty engineered products for the thermal/acoustical filtration/separation, and bio/medical markets, has announced its acquisition of the industrial filtration businesses of UK-based Andrew Industries Limited. The filtration segments, collectively called Andrew Filtration, is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of non-woven felt filtration media and filter bags used primarily in industrial air filtration applications. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 24, 2014
Toray to Invest $1 Billion in New US Carbon Plant. South Carolina (USA) GovernorNikki Haley announced last week that Tokyo-based Toray Industries Inc. will invest $1 billion in a new carbon fiber manufacturing facility to be located near Spartanburg in her state. The investment is expected to create more than 500 jobs. Thanks to our colleague Lowell Duncan for alerting us to the story. Click here to read theGoUpstate.com website article. Posted February 24, 2014
Finns Rebelling Against New Awning Ordinance. Time to rally to support the hospitality industry in Helsinki, Finland! Over 150 bars and restaurants are protesting new instructions introduced by the city which requires restaurants with outdoor terraces to have awnings that are only in monochrome and contain no advertising. Restaurant owners say the new law prevents them from differentiating themselves from the competition. Click here to read the Helsinki Times article. Posted February 24, 2014
Iran Manufacturing Bullet-Resistant Vests. Short basic article appeared on the FARS News Agency website about Iran manufactuing hi-tech "bullet proof" vests. Click hereto read the article. Posted February 24, 2014
Sweden Reinvents Textile Cluster. An interesting article appeared today on the website euronews regarding how Boras, Sweden, a traditional "textile town," developed into an effective cluster focused on helping small businesses making smart textile products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 21, 2014
Foreign-Made American Flags Ok to Fly Over US Government Offices. While a new bill signed as part of the US government's 2014 omnibus appropriations bill specifically says American flags purchased by the US Defense Department are to be 100% made in America, another bill that called on a blanket rule for all government agencies to use flags only made in the US did not pass. The current requirement which remains in effect is that the flag has to have at least 50% of its materials made in the US. The US government imports an estimated $3.3 million worth of flags made in China every year. Click here to read the article posted on the Fox News website.Posted February 21, 2014
Government Developing Smart Suits to Protect US Troops from Bio Attacks. An interesting article was posted today on the computerworld.com website on how scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a research facility in Livermore, Calif., USA, are using nanotechnology to create clothing designed to protect US soldiers from chemical and biological attacks. Click here to read the article. Posted February 20, 2014
The Top Five Trends in Fabric Structures. According to the website S.P.I.C.E., (Special Event, Product Launches, Incentive, Conference, Exhibitions), the top five trends in fabric structures are: 1) Not just a tent; 2) Beyond basic white; 3) Massive impact; 4) Easy does it; and, 5) Accessories. To read more about each of these specific trends, click here for the posting. Posted February 20, 2014
Airbags for Ski Racers. The current Olympics have focused the attention of safety for the skiers after a number of frightening injuries so far. An article posted on Yahoo Sports today talks about the progress of developing airbags for racers. While airbags haven't been tested yet in serious competition, Gunter Hujara, chief race director for the International Ski Federation (FIS) has said the airbag system is close to competition ready. This is the best article we've seen to date to discuss ski racer airbags. Click here to read the article. Posted February 20, 2014
China to Deploy New Inflatable Boat. A short article appeared in China's People's Daily On-Line website that the Chinese Navy Equipment Department has announce their navy will set up a multi-platform landing equipment system this year that includes a new type of inflatable landing boat. Posted February 19, 2014
Carbon Fibers to Replace Copper? An interesting article appeared on the websiteSpace Daily and several other websites regarding research done at Rice University (Houston, Tex., USA) that shows on a pound-per-pound basis, carbon nanotube-based fibers have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass. Click here to read the article. Posted February 19, 2014
The Backpack is Back. Looking for a new product line? Get yourself some rich-looking designer fabrics and start turning out backpacks for the business professional. Backpacks are becoming more and more acceptable because they allow you to multi-task with your smart phone as you walk about. Click here for an article posted today in the UK's Daily Mail website. Posted February 19. 2014
Boots Made From Tents. Nice short article in the Portland Business Journal (Portland, Ore., USA) about bootmaker Danner making boots quarter panels from canvas tents. The material is supplied from Portland tent maker Beckel Canvas Products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 19, 2014
Controversy Over U.S. Speedskaters' Racing Suits. Under Armour is the developer of the new suit that was worn for the first part of the Olympics by US speedskaters. The Baltimore, Md., USA, company collaborated with aerospace technology company Lockheed Martin over a two-year period to develop a racing suit which could cut tenths of seconds off a racer's time. The suit is called the Mach 39. If you've been watching the games, you probably noticed the lone patch of gray material on the inner thighs of an otherwise all-black suit. This patch has indented polyurethane dimples designed to reduce friction by 65%. However, the US speedskaters' results are disappointing and blame, whether justified or not, their performances are being compromised by the suits. Click here to read the USA Today article about the issue.Posted February 18, 2014
Kodak and PurThread to Colaborate on Antimicrobial Surface Solutions for Healthcare and Military. Normally, we don't promote specific company news releases but this time the release is about an interesting partnership between Kodak, which has a proprietary silver-based antimicrobial technology, and PurThread, which has a long-established antimicrobial technical expertise in the textile healthcare marketplace. It's a good fit. Some of the new applications may be applications used by first-responders and the military. Click here to read the news release. Posted February 18, 2014
Albany International Reports on 4th Quarter. Albany International Corp, a global advanced textiles and materials processing company with core businesses in machine clothing and engineered composites, reported Q4 2013 net sales were $189.6 million, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to Q4 2012. The Machine Clothing section (MC), the larger of the two company sections, showed a 4.2% decline in net sales. The Engineered Composites section (AEC) showed a 13.3% increase in net sales. Click here to read the press release from Albany. Posted February 16, 2014
An Emerging Sport with Webbing Applications. Have you ever heard of the sport called "slacklining?" We hadn't until we read an article today about it. The participants use a 1-2 inch nylon webbing that is stretched taunt between two trees or other sturdy anchors. It's a balancing workout and provides opportunities for doing tricks. Click here to read more about it. Posted February 16, 2014
More Expansion in the US. We seen lately a growing number of plant expansions in the US, indicating the manufacturing climate in the country is competitive with other parts of the world. The latest is the recent announcement by Vectorply, a manufacturer of reinforcement fabrics for composites. The company has installed new LIBA Max machines to expand its capacity for multiaxial, spread tow carbon fiber reinforcement. Vectorly is headquarted in Phenix City, Ala, USA. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 13, 2014
Freundenberg Stengthens Sites in Brazil. The Freudenberg Group has announced it is investing in nonwoven and seal production Brazil. Both investments are part of a $54 million budget the company has earmarked for the region for innovations, capacity expansion and general process optimization. In part, the budget allows for new technology and production plants in Jacari and Diadema in the Federal State of Sao Paulo. Other investments are geared for producing products for the automotive industry. Brazil is the 4th largest automotive market in the world with 2013 vehicle production increasing by around 10%. Click here to read their press release. Posted February 13, 2014
Giglio Awning Wins Award. Congratulations to Giglio Awning Co., of Harvey Cedars, N.J., USA, for earning the prestigious 2013 Sunesta Bulls Eye Cup by its status as the number one dealer of Sunesta retractable awnings, screens and shelters in North America. Giglio covers the southern New Jersey area. [Note to suppliers: We always like to promote accomplishments of your customers.] Click here to read more about Giglio's award. Posted February 13, 2014
4-D Knitting Creates New Opportunities. The website Knitting Industries has posted an extremely interesting article on the development of 4-D knitting. The article focuses on Fabdesigns Inc. and the possibilities of 4-D knitted material uses in markets such as medical compression and aerospace products. Click here to read the article. Posted February 13, 2014
Technical Fibers Used in Space. Technical Fibre Products Ltd (TFP) announced F ebruary 10 that their nonwovens are present on the recently launched European Space Agency (ESA) satellite GAIA. TFP supplied material through RUAG Space GmbH, a manufacturer of thermal insulation to the space industry. TFP's nonwoven can be found in the satellite's solar shield. Click here to read the news release. Posted February 11, 2014
Backpack Avalanche Airbags. A nice article appeared today on the Capitol Public Radio (Reno, Nev., USA) website on how airbags used by snowmobilers, snowboarders and skiers are saving lives. The interesting concept the author talks about is the difference between an automotive airbag and the backpack airbag. The automotive airbag is designed to stop you from crashing into the other parts of the car; the backpack airbag is designed to turn you into a larger object that will rise and roll on top of the avalanche debris. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2014
DLA Awards Helmet Contract. The US Defense Logistics Agency announced on February 7 that Gentex Corporation, Carbondale, Pa., has been awarded a maximum $14,580,000 firm-fixed-price contract for procurement of advanced combat helmets. This contract is a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Using US military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Posted February 11, 2014
"State of the Industry, Part II" Published. The Specialty Fabrics Review's February issue has published the second part of the magazine's 2014 state-of-the-industry look at the technical textiles markets. The report's author is Jeff Rassmussen, market research director for the Industrial Fabrics Association International. This concluding part covers five specific end markets: Narrow Fabrics, Safety & Technical Products, Geosynthetics, Truck Covers and Tarps, and Fabric Graphics. Click here to read the website version of the article. Posted February 10, 2014
Used Parachutes for Sale. Are you looking to purchase a slightly used parachute? The Norwegian Defence Force has recently replaced all their parachute systems, selling the old rigs to Alpha Nordic AS. The 120 main canopies and 120 reserves are said to be in good condition and selling well. As of yet, there have been no returns from those purchasing the used parachutes. Click here to find out more. Posted February 10, 2014
German Airbag Yarn Manufacturer Acquired. Toyobo, a manufacturer of airbag fabrics and Indorama, a manufacturer of polyester and PET resins, have jointly acquired PHP Fibers GmbH of Germany. PHP Fibers is a leading manufacturer of nylon 66 yarn for airbags as well as PA 66 industrial yarn for tire and MRG applications and of PET industrial yarn. Click here to read more. Posted February 10, 2014
US Releases December Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) yesterday released the December export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A calendar year comparison between 2012/2013 shows the group's export dollar value increased by $192 million. The five largest destinations of US exports are Mexico, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and the UK. Together, they receive 71% of US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Click here for the full report. Posted February 9, 2014
Italian Umbrellas as Awning Alternatives. There's a nice short article in theNanaimo (British Columbia, Canada) Daily News about a local company called West Coast Shutters which has begun to display large umbrellas created by Italy's FIM Marketing Inc. Posted February 6, 2014
US Textile Industry Comes Back to Life. USA Today, a national newspaper, has published a very positive article today on the resurgence of the textile industry in the US. Some of the statistics and facts: In 2013, companies from 11 countries have invested in opening or expanding manufacturing operations in the US. The industry in 2012 employed 233,000 people and generated $54 billion in shipments. Click here to read the article. Posted February 5, 2014
Impact Clothing Being Developed for the Elderly. Based upon the same premise as the development of energy-impact soft material in new motorcycle crash suits, research is also going into how to incorporate this idea into protecting the elderly from devastating harm if they were to fall. Interesting study being done at Imperial College London. Click here to read the article. Posted February 1, 2014
Tent Maker Wins Wedding Industry Award. Congratulations to World Inspired Tents of Ilfracombe in Devon (UK) has been awarded the National Winner in the Best Wedding Marquee Provider category in the Wedding Industry Awards. The award program is a national competition that recognizes and reqards excellence in the wedding industry in 22 different categories. Four marquee manufacturers of the six finalists, by the way, were members of MUTA, the trade association representing the temporary structures and technical textiles industry in the UK. Click here to read more on the award. Posted January 31, 2014
Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in Trouble? It was suppose to be concluded in 2012. Then it was supposed to be concluded in 2013. Then they talked about early 2014. But now it appears there are serious concerns with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement which could actually kill the agreement. The Wall Street Journalblog today reported that US government officials are saying any agreement may be delayed until after the US mid-term elections in November. The problem seems to not be with the textile section but in the agricultural section; more specifically, Japan and the elimination of a tariff on rice. Click here to read the blog. Posted January 30, 2014
Toyota Stops Selling Major Brands Because of Fabric Flammability Issues. Toyota has issued a stop-sale order on six of its core models due to concerns about the flammability of certain fabrics used in heated seats. The models were all assembled in the US. The actual seat covers do not appear to be the issue rather, the concern is with a fabric that is used between the seat and a heater in models that have heated seats. The material used fails to meet US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flammability. The problem was discovered by a South Korean laboratory that was testing component parts in the cars. Click here to read an article about the issue. Posted January 30, 2014
American Textile History Museum Receives $1 Million Gift. David Trumbull, Principal of Agathon Associates, has reported on his Textiles and Trade blog today that the American Textile History Museum, located in Lowell, Mass., USA, has received a $1 million gift from the estate of G. Gordon and Marjorie Osborn, longtime friends and supporters of the Museum. Click here to go to Mr. Trumbull's blog to find out more about this generous gift. Posted January 29, 2014
US Supreme Court Rules on Protective Clothing Compensation. The US Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. Steel Corp. does not have to compensate workers for the time spent putting on and taking off flame-retardant suits and other protective gear. Had the lawsuit been successful, it could have had far-reaching implications for industries which require workers to wear protective gear. The decision, though, seems murky to us. Judge Antonin Scalia wrote in the decision: "If an employee devotes the vast majority of the time in question to putting on and off equipment or other non-clothing items (perhaps a diver's suit and tank), the entire period would not qualify as 'time spent in changing clothes' under [the Fair Labor Standards Act], even if some clothes items were donned and doffed as well. But if the vast majority of the time is spent in donning and doffing 'clothes' as we have defined that term, the entire period qualifies, and the time spent putting on and off other items need not be subtracted." Click here to read more at the EHS Today website. Posted January 29, 2014
Textile Exchange Given Ownership of New Responsible Down Standard.Apparel and outdoor sports clothing manufacturer The North Face has given ownership of the newly developed Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to Textile Exchange. The North Face had initiated and funded the standard's development. The RDS sets detailed animal welfare requirements and can be used for both down and feathers.Posted January 29, 2014
Engineered Solutions Purchases Assets of Rocan Inc. Congratulations to our good friend Hardy Poole. His company, Engineered Solutions, PLLC, of Charlottesville, Vir., USA, has announced the purchase of the intellectual and technical assets of Rocan, Inc., a company founded in 1989 by Clyde T. Canter. Canter, a long term authority in flammability of textile products and a leading independent expert in product liability litigations, has retired but will continue his role as an advisor to assist Engineered Solutions. The purchase includes a laboratory facility in Burlington, N.C., USA. Contact Mr. Poole at email@example.com for more information.Posted January 29, 2014
PGI Group of Charlotte Purchases Porvidencia. Alasdair Carmichael, writing in the Synthetic Yarn and Fiber Association newsletter issued today, reports PGI Group of Charlotte has reached an agreement to buy a controlling interest in the Brazilian nonwovens company Providencia. Click here to see the report. Posted January 28, 2014
Tent Maker Featured in Article. Armbruster Manufacturing Company was nicely featured on The State Journal Register (Springfield, Ill., U.S.) website. The article briefly relates the history of what could be the U.S.'s oldest continuous tent manufacturer. Armbruster is now run by Hellar Armbruster, a member the 4th generation of the family involved in the business. Click here to read the article.Posted January 27, 2014
Natick Tests Olympic Snowboarding Team Uniforms. An interesting article appeared on the www.army.mil website about how researchers at the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center tested the fabrics used for Burton Snowboards, a Vermont (U.S.) company which made the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team. Click here to read the article. Posted January 27, 2014
University of Minnesota Researcher on Wearable Technology Featured. We can't resist feeling a little home-town pride for University of Minnesota's Associate Professor Lucy Dunne. Dr. Dunne is director of the Apparel Design Program and Wearable Technology Lab in the College of Design. The University has produced a very neat video of her research entitled "How We're Making Smart Clothing a Reality." This April, Dr. Dunne will be recognized for her ongoing work on wearable technology prototypes for use in space by receiving NASA's prestigious Silver Achievement Medal. Much of her work in smart textiles is funded through grants provided by the National Science Foundation. Click here to view the video. Posted January 25, 2014
SpaceX Tests Parachutes. The commercial spaceflight company SpaceX has an interesting video on its website depicting its most recent testing of the Dragon capsule's parachutes. The video shows a Dragon capsule being cut loose from a helicopter flying 8,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The test, which took place in late December, tested how Dragon's parachute system would function in case of an emergency during launch or ascent with a human crew on board. Click here to visit the site and view the video. Posted January 25, 2014
Airbags Not Ready for Olympic Ski Racers. The Alpine skiing's governing body, the FIS, had hoped to introduce airbags for the ski racers at the Olympics next week; however, the system being developed a company called Dainese and is not ready. Testing of the airbag will continue and it is hoped to add the airbag system for later races this year. Click here to read the article appearing on the The Australian website.Posted January 24, 2014
Automotive Seating and Airbag Manufacturers to Open Plants in Romania.The website Independent Balkan News Agency is reporting US-based TRW Automotive and Lear Corp will each open new factories in eastern Romania. The TRW plant will initially employ about 400 people by the end of 2014, growing to 1,000 in three years. TRW already operates five other plants in the country. According to Frank Mueller, vice-president of TRW, "By 2018, we expect a supplementary demand for 12 million airbags." The new Lear Corp. plant will employ about 1,500 workers, producing automotive seats. Lear has three other plants in the country. Click here to read the entire release. Posted January 23, 2014
European Consortium to Work on Ecofriendly Carbon Fiber. A group of 13 organizations in Europe have been funded by
European Seventh Framework Program to develop sustainable carbon fibers. The project is known as NEWSPEC and involves industries, R&D institutes, and universities from Italy, UK, Germany,
Greece, Belgium and France. Click here to read the entire release. Posted January 23, 2014
Performance Textiles Acquired. Brand & Oppenheimer, a textile converter based in New Jersey. USA, announced yesterday it had acquired the assets of Performance Textiles, Inc, a supplier of high-performance fabrics engineered for products such as hot air balloons, parachutes and industrial protective vests used in commercial and military markets. Click here to read the news release. Posted January 23, 2014
"Glamping" Opens New Market for Tent Industry. We didn't know about "glamping" until this past year when we came across a number of stories about this new style of camping. Glamping stands for "glamor camping." Now, according to an article appearing on the dezeen magazine website, "glamping" has been taken to another level with the introduction of new tent designs from Seoul-based studio ArchiWorkshop. "Glamping for Glampers" is a line of luxurious high-tech tents. The tent pictured is only one of many they have designed. It is constructed from a steel frame and covered with two layers of fabric. Certainly a step up from the Yurt. Clickhere to read the article and look at a number of other tents developed. Posted January 23, 2014
UK Marquee Manufacturer Expands from Military Contracts. A nice article appeared on The Western Morning News (Plymouth, UK) website on a Wellington-based tent manufacturer. The company, Boldscan, was established in 1990 to fulfill a military contract for canvas vehicle covers to be used in Kuwait. Using this experience, the company has expanded into manufacturing marquee tents for the event industry and covers for products ranging from trailers to aircraft engines. Small businesses like this are what our industry is all about. Click here to read the article. Posted January 23, 2014
Health Site Talks About Smart Textile Applications. An interesting article was posted on HealthLine.com entitled "What 'Smart Fabrics' Means for the Future of Health." The author discusses new wearable technology found at the recent Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Nev., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted January 17, 2014
Sympatex Expanding in Technical Textile Applications. In a January 16 press release, German-based Sympatex Technologies GmbH says it will substantially expand its latest division "Tection" (Technical Applications). Sympatex develops, produces and distributes membranes, laminates and functional textiles as well as finished products. Tection is already involved in the fields of medicine, automotive engineering and industrial applications. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 16, 2014
Power of the Airbag. If you have ever wondered how powerful those airbags are in the car, you should watch this amazing video posted on www.testtube.com. Very cool. Click here to view the video. Posted January 14, 2014
"Why Use a Tent Shaped Like a Pringle?" This was the headline of a January 9 human interest article in The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn., USA) about entrepreneur Stephen McKay. McKay is owner of Euphoria Events, a small tent rental company. Nice positive article that's good for the rental tent industry. Click here to read it. Posted january 13, 2014
TenCate Signs Agreement with Shanghai Leadgo-Tech Co. Ltd. TenCate Advanced Composites issued a press release January 10, announcing the company had signed a marketing and development agreement with Leadgo Advanced Materials of Shanghai. The purpose of the agreement is to further support the advanced composites market for the growing Chinese aerospace industry. Click here to read the press release. Posted January 13, 2014
Perils and Rewards of an Airbag Producer. Reuters News Agency has published a fascinating article on the decision in the mid-1980s by Juichiro Takata, then family heir to the Takata Corporation, to enter the airbag manufacturing industry and the subsequent complex rocky road the company has encountered, including the largest airbag-related recall in history which ended with Takada taking a $300 million charge. Highly recommend read. Click here to go to the Reuters article. Posted January 13, 2014
Trade Promotion Authority Bill Introduced. Legislation to renew trade promotion authority (TPA) was introduced today in the U.S. Congress, giving the go-ahead, if passed, for President Barack Obama to "fast track" trade agreements. This bipartisan effort is a crucial step for pending trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The bill calls for a four-year authorization. Click here to read a press release issued by Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, PA, a customs and international trade consulting service. Posted January 9, 2014
Carbon Fiber Market Study Available. Annual growth in the carbon fiber market is expected to average about 15% through 2015, somewhat lower than had been previously projected. Reinforced Plastics magazine and website has published the first of a two-part carbon fiber composites global market report. The market report was produced jointly by the German-based composite organizations Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV) and the Federation of Reinforced Pastics e.V. (AVK). The report is free online; however, you have to complete a complimentary registration form to view it. Click here to go to the website. Posted January 9, 2014
Tents Hawaii Sold to Investor. Generational Equity, a mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately-held businesses, has announced the acquisition of its client, Tents Hawaii, Inc., by a private Canadian investor. Tents Hawaii is an active player in the commercial tent rental market in Hawaii, supplying tents for events such as the Honolulu Marathon, Pro Bowl Tailgate, Honolulu Triathlon and Heleiwa Arts Festival. Clickhere for more details. Posted January 9, 2014
US Releases November Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) yesterday released the November export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. A 2012/2013 comparison for the five largest destinations of US exports continues to show Mexico is the largest recipient with a 45% share, followed by Canada at 15% share, China with 4.8%, Hong Kong at 3.7% and the UK at 2.4%. Click here for the full report. Posted January 8, 2014
Ballyclare Acquires Lion's UK Firefighter Business. Ballyclare Limited, a leading UK supplier of safety and protective clothing, announced yesterday it had acquired the Lion firefighter business in the UK from the LHD Group. click here to read more. Posted January 8, 2014
Prototypes for Tropical Uniform Fail to Deliver. U.S. Marine Corps procurement officials are being asked to go back to the industry after several prototypes for a quick-drying tropical uniform tested this summer didn't stand up to the rigors of jungle warfare. The non-FR tropical uniforms had an unacceptable failure rate; the most common failures being yarn snags, tears and holes. According to the Marine Timeswebsite, tropical uniforms are being sought because current uniforms and protective equipment have grown too heavy during the last decade of combat in the mostly dry climates of Iraq and Afghanistan. Click here to read the interesting article. Posted January 8, 2014
Highland Industries Expands Plant. Some good news from Highland Industries, a division of Takata Corporation. The manufacturer of technical textiles for the military, auto and industrial industries is investing $24 million and expanding it Cheraw (S,C., USA) plant due to increased demand. Click here to read the article posted by the Chesterfield (S.C.) Cheraw Chronicle website. Posted January 8, 2014
Awnings Beat the Heat. With North America in the grips of a historic "polar vortex", it's nice this website has a global reach and a reader tips us on an article on how awnings and umbrellas can help cool your backyard. Of course, the tipster is Australian and we think he is just reminding us about the beautiful weather as they enjoy summer. The posting appeared on the Australian Herald Sun Homelife website. Clickhere to read the article. Posted January 8, 2014
Military Parachute Technology in India. There is an interesting article posted on The New Indian Express website regarding the capability of the India domestic industry for designing and manufacturing parachutes for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The article reports over one million domestically made parachutes have been delivered to the IAF in the last decade for various use including brake parachutes used in fighter jets, heavy drop parachutes for transport aircraft, recovery chutes for unmanned platforms, torpedo drop parachutes, and ejection seat parachutes. Click here to read the article.Posted January 8, 2014
Crypton Acquires Nano-Tex. According to a company press release issued today, Crypton Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield, Michigan, USA, has recently purchased NANO-Tex from private equity and venture capital investors. NANO-TEX is a textile technology company which employs a proprietary nanotechnology approach to enhance textiles at the molecular level that provides permanent performance attributes such as stain and water resistance, moisture wicking, and odor control. Crypton originally entered the contract market in 1993, providing an alternative to vinyl for the upholstered furniture. It has since expanded into healthcare, hospitality, government and education markets. The acquisition will expand market reach for NANO-TEX in technical textile industries. Click here to read the release. Posted January 6, 2014
2014 State of the Industry Report. The US market for specialty fabrics grew 2.5% in 2013 and is expected to achieve 2.7% in 2014 according to the annual "State of the Industry" report issued in the January issue of Specialty Fabrics Review (SFR). Jeffrey Rasmussen, Market Research Director for Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), has written an excellent 2013 US and Canada industry overview. This is the first of a two-part report and covers four of the nine markets watched by IFAI -- awnings, fabric structures, marine products, and tent rental. Click here to read the article at theSFR's website. Posted January 4, 2014
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October 8-10: 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, D.C., USA
October 9-12: Nonwoven Fabric Property Development and Characterization, Raleigh, N.C., USA
October 10-11: 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications, Cannes, France
October 15-19: ITMA Asia + CITME 2018, Shanghai, China
October 15-19: CAMX, Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-17: GeoDallas 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
October 16-18: IFAI Expo 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA
Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.
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
Fiber Publication Acquired. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, today announced the acquisition of two leading industry publications: International Filtration News and International Fiber News. The association purchased the publications from International Media Group, Inc., based in Tempe, Az., USA. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed. The publications each have circulations of 8,000-plus domestic and international readers and have served their readers for over three decades. Both are published six times a year in print and digital formats. The acquisitions will expand INDA’s reach and relevance in the key markets the print and digital publications serve with a particular emphasis on the filtration and separation segment as INDA launches its new FiltXpo event to be held in Chicago every 18 months starting February 26-28, 2020. Click here to read the INDA press release on the purchase. Posted October 2, 2018
On September 24, 2018, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center helped to launch the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). The event was held in Pawtucket, R.I., US, at the Slater Mill Museum. RITIN is a trade group formed with the objective to guide the growth of the state's textile industry in the 21st century. "The Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network is an innovative business partnership to help Rhode Island stay at the forefront of advanced textile manufacturing," said US Congressman David Cicilline. 14 companies of the state's textile industry participated in the meeting including American Cord & Webbing, Cooley Group, and Kenyon Industries. Click here to view a video of the opening address by Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum. [Note: The original post reported an incorrect the date of the meeting.] Posted September 28, 2018
Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico.
The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production.
To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.
Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.
Mea Culpa. In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.
Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative.
Posted August 28, 2018
In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.
On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018
Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018
I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine.
This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.
The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.
Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy.
Steve Warner, Publisher
The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018
In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.
I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.
As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.
Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.
What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry.
Posted November 3, 2017
Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.
The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers.
June 29. 2017
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:
BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017
Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017
In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.
So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.
Posted January 17, 2016
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