BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

January 1 - March 31, 2017

Magna Seating Invests More Into Serbia Plant. According to the newsletter Textiles Eastern Europe, Canada-based Magna Seating is constructing another facility in Odzaci, Serbia to produce automotive seat coverings. Magna built its first Serbian plant in 2013 and currently employs there almost 1,000 workers. Click here to find out more about Textiles Eastern EuropePosted March 31, 2017

Chinese Developing Recovery System for Reusable Rockets Using Parachutes and Inflatable Bags. While the SpaceX's Falcon 9 had a successful test yesterday in first launching then recovering its reusable booster rocket using thrusters to control its vertical landing, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) is developing a different system for recovering used rockets. In the CNSA proposed system, parachutes would deploy on the first-stage booster after it separates from the rocket. It would come back to Earth using a controlled landing system of parachutes to slow the descent and then an airbag deploying right before it hits the ground. Click here to read an article on the technology posted on the South China Morning Post website. Posted March 31, 2017

Sandler Reports Successful 2016. Sandler AG, a family-owned manufacturer of nonwovens for a variety of markets, has release a report showing a successful 2016 with stable sales of 288 million despite a sharp decline in raw material prices. End-product markets include construction, engineering, filtration, home textiles, hygiene, transportation and wipes.  In the filtration market its products are used for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. In the automotive market, Sandler produces nonwovens for sound dampening and seating applications. Headquartered in Schwarzenbach, Germany, the company also opened a manufacturing facility in 2016 in Perry, Ga., USA. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 31, 2017

Western Excelsior Acquires North American Green. Western Excelsior Corp. announced this week it has acquired North American Green, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tensar Corp. Both North American Green and Western Excelsior are manufacturers of biodegradable temporary erosion control blankets made from both natural and synthetic fiber. Both companies are also headquartered in Evansville, Ind., to read the Western Excelsior press release on the acquisition. Posted March 31, 2017

Church Tent Designed by China Structure Supplier. Liri Tent Technology co., Ltd., of Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, has designed a tent to serve specifically for church services. The biggest roof pitch and highest top height within it’s clear span width range is the highlight. Because of the special shape, the wind factor on gable walls needs to be considered stronger than a normal tent, so the gable wall is separated into three sections to increase its wind resistance. To make the tent looks more suitable for church, Gothic transparent PVC windows for tent walls are made instead of normal arch window.Liri is the largest event tent manufacturer in China. Click here to view an online video online of the installation process for the tent. Posted March 29, 2017

DuPont Celebrates 50 Years of Nomex®.  Congratulations to DePont as it kicks off a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the commercialization of Nomex, the inherently heat-and flame-resistant fiber. The impetus for discovery was the search for protecting race car drivers after a series of deaths in fiery crashes in the 1960s. Over the next 50 years, Nomex is being used as a critical component fiber in almost every application involving extreme heat protection, including more than 3 million firefighters wearing turnout gear. Click here to read more. Posted March 24, 2017

Texas State Senate Approves $25 Million Grant for Police Ballistic Vests. Last week the Texas Senate approved a bill to create a $25 million grant program providing bullet-resistant vests for up to 60,000 law enforcement officers in the state. Many of the current vests being worn are considered primarily useful for lower-caliber ballistic protection. These newer vests are intended to be worn over the other vests in dangerous situations. The bill now goes to the Texas State House of Representatives for approval. Click here to read an article posted on The Daily Texan website. Posted March 24, 2017 

Buhler Quality Yarns Acquired by Korean Cotton Spinner. The Korea JoongAng Daily is reporting Korean-based Samil Spinning has acquired Buhler Quality Yarns, a US subsidiary of Hermann Buhler. The move is an apparent effort to anticipate the trade changes that will go with US President Donald Trump's aggressive domestic protectionist stance. Samil Spinning was originally considering either Vietnam and the US under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement but with the US withdrawal from the agreement it decided to focus either on building a facility in the US or acquiring an already established yarn manufacturer. Through its acquisition, Samil Spinning can now also make use of the US free trade agreements with the Dominican Republic and Central America. Click here to read the article. Posted March 22, 2017

DuPont Partners with Start-Up Aerospace Company to Design Body Armor Fabrics. Luminati Aerospace, headquartered in Calverton, N.Y., USA, has signed an agreement with aramid fabric materials manufacturer DuPont to develop technology to make body armor fabrics that weigh a fraction of the current products. Luminati is a relatively new company which makes solar powered aircraft including drones. According to the website ChemInfo, the new material being developed will use Luminati's approach of spreading yard into single-filament tapes that create nonwoven fabrics with up to 80 layers. Click here too read the article. Posted March 23, 2017

US Recycled Fiber Company Names North American Exclusive Distributor. Custom Synthetic Fibers, LLC, a recycled polyester staple manufacturer announced March 21 that it had selected FiberQuest, LLC as its sole sales distribution partner. Custom Synthetic, headquartered in Florence, S.C., USA, has been operational since the fall of 2016 and produces 40 million pounds annually for end-product markets such as automotive, home furnishing, industrial and apparel goods. Click here to read the press release posted on the Textile World website. Posted March 21, 2017

North Carolina Safety Product Company Being Sold to 3M for $2 Billion. 3M announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Scott Safety from Johnson Controls for a total enterprise value of $2.0 billion. Scott Safety is a manufacturer of personal protection equipment for the police, firefighters, military and rescue teams, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) systems, gas and flame detection instruments, and other safety devices that complement 3M’s personal safety portfolio. Scott Safety is headquartered in Monroe, N.C., USA and employees more than 1500 people around the world. Click here to read the 3M press release. Posted March 17, 2017

Levi and Google Introduce New Smart Jacket Developed Through Project Jacquard. Google and Levi's will together bring a new smart connected jacket targeted at bike riders. The jacket is dubbed as a commuter trucker jacket and uses Google's technology known as Jacquard, which turns fabric into a touch-controlled fabric. Per the article posted on the Popular Science website, the jacket works "by incorporating conductive threads into the left sleeve of the Levi's denim jacket, which senses your touch." Through the touch, you can be connected to your phone or another electronic device. Pretty cool stuff. Click here to read the article. Posted March 15, 2017

Extra! Extra! Awning Saves Toddler's Life. Perhaps the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association should tone down the aesthetic look and energy saving qualities of awnings and emphasize more the safety factor of the sturdy structure. Per the Seattle--based The Stranger website, a 3-year old boy's life was saved yesterday when he fell from a second story window at a motel near the SeaTac airport and landed first on the awning before ending up on the concrete surface below. No word on the condition of the boy (or the awning). Click here to read the story. Posted March 14, 2017

First Parachute Test  for Boeing Starliner Successful. While much publicity is being made about the successful testing  for the Orion space capsule and Mars landing craft, Boeing has been quietly working on its Starliner spacecraft designed for low-orbit missions. On March 10, per the company website, "Boeing test teams reached a significant milestone for the CST-100 Starliner program by testing the parachute system Starliner will use on its return to Earth. Using a helium-filled balloon, it took about 30 minutes for the test vehicle to reach 38,300 ft. The ride down took four minutes and reached speeds of 300 mph. A series of mortars deployed parachutes at different altitudes, ultimately slowing the vehicle down to gently land...This was the first test of the parachute system. More testing is planned for the next several months." Boeing posted parachute drop video which also shows inside the CST-100 Starliner test vehicle during its return to the ground. Click here to watch. Posted March 13, 2017

VDMA's Elgar Straub Interviewed. The website Innovations in Textiles has posted an informative interview with Elgar Straub, managing director of the new Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technoligies division of VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau). Mr. Straub offers his views on the state of the European textile industry and some very good insight on the demand for individual products within what are viewed as commodity markets such as the automotive industry. Click here to check out the interview. Posted March 13, 2017 

Folding Ballistic Shield Developed at BYU. Per the website of the Department of Material Engineering at Brigham Young University, a team of engineers at the school have developed an "origami" type of folding ballistic shield that can protect police officers. About a dozen layers of the Kevlar™ woven material are used to create the foldable shield. The weight is about 40 pounds compared to the currently used 90 pounds of a rigid shield. Click here to read the article on the BYU engineering website. Posted March 10, 2017

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Parachutes Tested at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. Engineers successfully tested the parachutes for NASA's Orion spacecraft at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona Wednesday, March 8. This was the second test in a series of eight that will certify Orion's parachutes for human spaceflight. The test, which dropped an Orion engineering model from a C-17 aircraft at 25,000 feet, simulated the descent astronauts might experience if they must abort a mission after liftoff. There's a neat video on the website which shows the three stages of parachutes being deployed to slow up the craft's descent. Click here to watch. Posted March 9, 2017

US Department of Commerce Releases January Technical Textile Export Figures. 2017 has started on the same downward trending that we experienced in most of 2016. For the 12-month period ending January 31, total exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group decreased 3.48%.  Mexico remains our largest destination with a 52% share of the export market. Of the top 5 countries, only China and the UK saw increases over the previous year.  Click here to see the entire report. Posted March 8, 2017




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World 4,192,115 4,046,298 -3.48

Re-Thinking Parachute Design for Space Exploration. The website has an interesting article posted entitled "A New Paradigm in Parachute Design." Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source are working on developing prototypes for parachutes designed to assist in the decelerating of planetary vehicles. The article also says " A test chamber is also being designed to simulate the strain that parachutes will undergo during atmospheric descent."  Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2017

Apple Files Patent for Next Generation Fabrics for Housing Devices. In a move that shows progress towards more flexible housing for items such as the iPhone, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to fabric housing. According to the website Patently Apple, the patent shows " that a device's housing may be formed from layers of material such as fabrics and polymer layers." The article said that fabric layers may be made of woven polyester yarns.  Interestingly, the website article notes the scope of this invention may go beyond Apple's current types of devices and could be applied to "electronic equipment associated with furniture or a vehicle, equipment in a building, or other suitable electronic device. Click here to read the posted article. Posted March 7, 2017

US Department of Commerce Conducting Industry Survey. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Office of Technology Evaluation (OTE), is conducting a survey and assessment of the health and competitiveness of the U.S. textile, apparel, and footwear industry. The assessment, requested by the U.S. Congress, will update a similar BIS/OTE industry study conducted for Congress in 2003. This survey will cover topics including employment, production, competitors and customers, supply chain, financial information, research and development, effectiveness of the Berry Amendment, and future industrial challenges. This is a mandatory BIS survey for organizations that manufacture textiles, textile products, or apparel in the Unites States. Our thanks to David Trumbull of Agathon Associates for alerting us. Click here to learn more about the survey at the DOC website. Posted March 6, 2017

Multiple Function Protection Needed for Steel Workers. There's another good article posted on the Occupational Health & Safety website entitled "The Need for a Shield Against Steel." The premise of the article, written by Tim Cashell, director of protective markets at TexTech Industries, is that while NFPA 2112 is regarded as the industry governing standard for personal protective equipment used in environments where workers are at risk of flash fire exposure, there are other risks for workers who have cross-function responsibilities. In those situations, NFPA 2112 may not provide the needed protection against both flash fire and contact exposure from molten metal in steel foundries. Click here to read the article. Posted March 2, 2017

Need for Specifying Proper Flame Resistant Workwear for the Occupation. The Occupational Health & Safety website has posted a very good article concisely summarizing the different needs when confronting arc fire and flash fire situations. The industry standard for arc fire/ flame resistant (AR/FR) situations is NFPA 70E, while the flash fire standard is NFPA 2112. The article, authored by Scott Francis, Midwest regional manager of Westex by Milliken, explores beyond industry standards to specify the best FR fabrics to protect workers from these different fire hazards. Click here to read the article. Posted March 2, 2017

Picanol Has Record Year. Textile machinery manufacturer Picanol Group has reported 2016 produced a record 119 million profit, its 7th consecutive year of strong financial results, and outperforming its previous record year set in 2013. Further, Picanol management is forecasting a positive outlook for 2017 based on a well-filled order book. For the Weaving Machines Division, 2016 was a record breaking year. This all spells good news for the technical textiles industry. Click here to read a summary of the audit results. Posted March 2, 2017

Belgium Coated Fabrics Producer Releases 2016 Annual Results. Sioen, a global manufacturer of coated technical textiles as well as finished safeety apparel end products, has released the results of its 2016 year. A summary shows:

  • Net sales 363.4 million € (+11.3%)
  • EBT 38.0 million € (+16.1%)
  • REBITDA 59.9 million € (+ 13.3%)
  • Group profit 26.0 million € (+12.4%)
  • Proposed dividend 0.53 € per share

Click here to read the Sioen 2016 Annual Report. Posted February 27, 2017

3 Key Considerations in High-Visibility Workwear. The National Safety Council's website Health & Safety has posted a concise article on the basic requirements of high-visibility work apparel: 1) 24-hour visibility; 2) Proper location of reflective materials; and, 3) Make sure the amount of high-visibility materials meets the key safety standards for its unique application. Click here to read the article. Posted February 27, 2017

INVISTA to Explore Strategic Alternatives for its Apparel & Advanced Textiles. Per an INVISTA February 24 press release, the company is said to be exploring strategic alternatives for its Apparel & Advanced Textiles business. INVISTA is a global producer of premium fibers and fabrics. The alternatives they are exploring including potentially selluing, or retaining and further investing in the business within INVISTA. The business unit includes LYCRA® and COOLMAX® fiber. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 25, 2017 

DuPont Closing Kevlar Plant. Well, there goes $500 million. The Charleston Post & Courier, Charleston, S.C., USA, has reported DuPont will be closing its Kevlar plant near Goose Creek, S.C., USA. The reason is the declining demand for the aramid fiber in protective gear such as helmets and bullet-proof vests.  The operations will be moved into the DuPont plant in Richmond, Va. In 2011, DuPont increased its global Kevlar manufactuing capacity by 25% with the opening of the plant. That segment, however, experienced a 9.6% sales decline between 2014 and 2015.  DuPont received a $1.2 million state grant for site work when building the plant and the DuPont investment itself was more than $400 million. Click here to read more. Thanks to Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the closing. Posted February 25, 2017

Safety Components Adds to the Team. Safety Components, a manufacturer of technical textiles has named Ana-Maria Petrea merchandise planning manager. Ms. Petrea will manage planning for Safety Components' product lines suchas as WeatherMax performance outdoor fabric, and Armor AP, Glide Ice and PBO Max structural firefighting materials. Safety Components is based in Greenville, S.C., USA. Posted February 25, 2017

Takata Aviation Restraint Subsidiaries Purchased. According to Crain's Cleveland Business, aircraft components maker TransDigm Group Inc. has acquired the stock of SCHROTH Safety Products GmbH and certain assets and liabilities of Takata Protection Systems Inc. Both companies make proprietary safety systems for aviation, racing and military ground vehicles.  SCHROTH, headquartered in Arnsberg, Germany, accounts for nearly 90% of its revenues in the manufacture of specialty technical restraints, passenger belts, and structural monument airbags for commercial, military and private aircraft. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted February 23, 2017

DSM Dyneema Wins Patent Case in Israel. According to a company news release issued today, DSM Dyneema, the manufacturer of Dyneema®, has prevailed after a long-lasting challenge in Israel of one of its key patents. An Israeli firm — the publicly held FMS Enterprises Migun Ltd. of Tel Aviv — had been trying to prevent the issuance of this patent through a series of opposition proceedings and appeals. The decision clears the way for grant of a patent to DSM Dyneema on highly oriented polyethylene fibers with amongst others a defined amount of solvent, and the technique for producing them. These fibers are used in products such as ropes and ballistic resistant vests. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted February 23, 2017

Danish Company Sets up Oil Boom Manufacturing Operation in India. Denmark-based pump manufacturer Desmi has set up a production facility in India near Hyderabad to mmake oil spill response equipment including inflatable oil booms. When full operational, the plant should make about 20,000 meter of booms per year, made of either PVC coated nylon or polyurethane fabrics. Click here for more information. Posted February 23, 2017

Music City Tents & Events Acquires 3 companies in Southeast US. Music City Tents & Events LLC, based in Nashville, Tenn., USA, has announced the purchase of 3 regional tent and event rental companies -- Tents Unlimited, Event Flooring Solutions, and Event Rentals Unlimited. Altogether, Music City Tents & Events now has more than 1 million square feet of rental tents available. Click here to read a Nashville Business Journal article posted on the acquisitions. Posted February 22, 2017

Directa Plus Receives European Grant for Smart Fabric Development. Per a company press release yesterday, Directa Plus PLC reports it has been allocated a EUR1.0 miliion grant from the European Regional Development Fund to develop smart fabrics. The grant money will towards a research project called Graphene for Advanced Textiles and Fashion. It is a collaboration between Directa Plus, Novaresin and Soliani companies and the Politecnico of Milan university. The project is seeking to enhance the thermal and electrical performance of textiles used in fashion applications. Directa is one of the largest producers and suppliers of graphene-based products. Click here to read the press release. Posted February 21, 2017

Inland Tarp & Liner Acquires Brawler Industries Assets. Per the geosynthetica website, it is reported Inland Tarp & Liner LLC, headquartered in Moses Lake, Wash., USA, has acquired the physical assets and equipment of Brawler Industries and Brawler Environmental Containment located in Midland, Texas, USA. Both Inland and Brawler are in the pit and pond liner markets. The Midland purchase will help support the Inland Tarp & Liner production facility in Odessa, Texas. Combined, the production space is now more than 100,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet of offices. Inland Tarp & Liner originally started about 35 years ago as a West Coast-focused hay tarp manufacturer. Click here to read the entire article at geosynthetica. Posted February 20, 2017 

Indian Navy Issues RFI for Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats. Per the website Defense World, the Indian Navy has issued a request for information (RFI) to procure Special Operation Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats from global manufacturers. The Indian Navy is looking for purchasing 10 of these inflatables. They have asked for carbon fiber-layered hull with a foam core and an outer layer of aramid fabric. Click here to read more on the website. Posted February 20, 2017

Rebuffed in Entering US Car Market Chinese Companies Are Now After Auto Parts Makers. The automotive industry is one of the largest end-product markets for technical textiles. There is an interesting article posted on Crain's Detroit Business website that examines the recent Chinese purchases of automotive parts companies including those making airbags and fabric interiors and investment in a new tire plant in LaGrange, Ga., USA. One of the drivers for the spat of investments in the US marketplace is that the Chinese domestice automotive industry is slowing, down from 14% growth to an expected 5% this year. Click here to read the article. Posted February 15, 2017

IKEA's Better Shelter Wins Design Award. The Design Museum of London has awarded its prestigious Baezley Design of the Year award for 2016 to the IKEA Foundation's "Better Shelter." More than 30,000 of these uniquely designed flat-packed refugee shelters have been delivered around the world. It is 17.5 square meters of living space and comes in two flat boxes for easy shipment.  Click here for more information. Posted February 14, 2017

USDA Seeks Contractor to Provide Tents. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5 - California), released on February 8 a request for quotes (RFQ) for tents for use during local, regional, and nationwide fire suppression and all-hazard incidents. The contract size is $7.5 million. Response are due by no later than 4:00 pm PST on February 16, 2017. Click here to read more. Posted February 13, 2017

Lest We Forget: David King. We are sad to note the passing of David King, one of the co-owners of C.E. King and Sons, an awning and marine canvas company located in Springs, East Hampton, New York, USA. Mr. King died February 11. He was a former president of the North East Canvas Products Association and active in the regional technical textile industry. Mr. King was also a former chief and longtime member of the Springs Fire Department. Posted February 13, 2017

US Department of Commerce Releases December Export Figures. The 2016 calendar year finished pretty much as the trend has been all year long with a 3.52% decline of US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group in the year ending December 2016 compared to December 2015. Since Mexico receives just over 50% of US textile exports, we can probably expect the trend continuing in 2017 with the Trump administration's hard-line trade approach to the country. Below are the numbers (in thousand dollars) for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted February 9, 2017




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World 4,194,487 4,046,921 -3.52

US Department of Commerce Hosting USA Pavilions at Techtextil 2017 and Adriatic Sea 2017. If you are a US manufacturer looking at a low-cost entry into promoting your products or services at international shows, you should consider a booth or providing sample books displayed inside a USA-sponsored pavilion. In the upcoming months, OTEXA (the Office of Textile and Apparel in the US Department of Commerce) will have pavilions at the Adriatic Sea 2017 Defense & Aerospace Exhibition & Conference that is being held April 26-28, 2017 in Split, Croatia, and the Techtextil 2017 International Trade Show for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens that is being held May 9-12, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany. Click here to go to a special page BeaverLake6 Report has set up to find further information about participating in either of these shows. Posted February 8, 2017

High-Tech Sails Available for Everyday Racers. The website Sailing World has a neat article posted about the top-end sailcloth development evolution made by North Sails that is now making its way "into the hands of sailing's rank and file." The article explains how North's new 3Di Race sail is making the current widely used 3DL sail obsolete for the racer. According to the article, the 3DL fabric sets blends of carbon, aramids, and Dyneema or Spectra, in a 3-layers of scrim, yarn and Mylar film. The 3Di eliminates the need of the film. The race tape is strictly Dyneema and aramids, making it less expensive and easier to trim. The finished sail is more in line with a rigid airfoil wind. Click here to read the article. Posted February 8, 2017

Key Safety Systems Reportedly Chosen as Favored Buyer. There has been no official announcement yet but the Automotive News website has posted a report that according to the Reuters news agency, "Key Safety Systems Inc. has been selected as the favored buyer for embattled Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corp." In the last few days, Takata has also quietly separated from 3 key executives involved in its North America operations -- North America President Kevin Kennedy, Executive Vice President Robert Fisher and the company's general counsel. Autoliv was the other company being considered for taking over Takata. The acquisition could make Key Safety the largest airbag manufacturer in the world. Click here to read the Automotive News report. Posted February 4, 2017

Sioen Plant Wins Factory of the Future Award. Veranneman Technical Textiles, one of the companies of the Sioen Industries group, has won the Factory of the Future Award given out by the Belgium-based Agoria organization, an association comprised of more than 1,700 companies dedicated to advancing factory technology. Participating companies were audited in 7 areas of work by specialists in those areas. Veranneman produces coated fabric scrims used for applications in roof and pool reinforcement, nonwoven filters, and automotive products. Click here to read the Sioen press release. Posted February 4, 2017

Serge Ferrari North America Appoints New Regional Sales Manager. Serge Ferrari North America, a manufacturer of flexible composite membranes,  has announced Julie Bui is the new Regional Sales Manager for South Central United States. Ms. Bui handle sales and service of Serge Ferrari products in the states of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. She will report to Steve Fredrickson, Serge Ferrari North America’s National Sales Manager. Posted February 1, 2017

Lest We Forget: Pioneer in Textile Education Passes. University of Missouri Professor Emerita Kitty Dickerson, Ph.D., passed away on January 17. Dr. Dickerson taught at UM for more than two decades, retiring as the chair of the Department of Textile and Apparel Management. Her specialization areas included textiles, apparel and retailing industries with a particular emphasis on global trade and sourcing issues. During her active career, she was a consultant for international policymakers on global textile and apparel trade. She received many awards and honors such as the 2006 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Textile and Apparel Association. and was named a "Top 10" leader by industry magazine Textile World. Click here for more about her career. Posted January 29, 2017 

First World Cup Win for Skier Wearing Airbag. In 2015, Austrian professional skier Matthias Mayer survived a nasty fall when his wearable airbag inflated. Yesterday Mr. Mayer became the first skier to win a World Cup while wearing an airbag system. The airbag was developed and manufactured by Dainese, an Italian fabricator of safety apparel for sports including skiing, motorcycles, and automotive. Click here to read the article posted on In the Snow's website. Posted January 25, 2017

South African Firm Thriving Despite Chinese Imports Flooding the Market. I've talked about Gelvenor before and they are in the news again. This time there is a a short feature article posted on the CNNMoney website about the South African textile manufacturer. Similar to what happened in the US when the Chinese swamped the domestic textile market in the 90s, South Africa faced the same situation with the textile industry employment plummeting from 200,000 in 2001 to 80,000 today. Gelvenor survived by focusing on technical fabrics; specifically, aeronautical fabrics, ballistic textiles and fire resistant materials. Click here to read the CNNMoney article. Posted January 25, 2017

Czech Army Withdraws Ballistic Vest Contract. As we reported November 7, the Czech military has had an on-going dispute with Ceska zbrojovka, its contracted supplier of ballistic vests for failure to deliver as promised. As no progress was achieved in the dispute, the Czech Defence Ministry has now withdrawn the contract and has contracted with Argun s.r.o., another ballistic vest supplier located in the Czech Republic. The contract is for 5,500 vests for the army and the military police. Click here to read an article about this on the Prague Daily Monitor website. Posted January 17, 2017

Trelleborg Launches Fabricator Program with Six Other Companies. Swedish coated fabric producer Trelleborg has launched the Trelleborg Master Fabricator Program in the U.S. in collaboration with six industry-leading fabricators serving the general industry and the aerospace market. The Master Fabricator Program is a collaboration between Trelleborg Engineered Coated Fabrics and American Rubber Products, Floats & Fuel Cells Inc., Freudenberg NOK Sealing Technologies, Gasket Engineering Company, Mueller Die Cut Solutions Inc. and Sealing Devices Inc. Steve Brockman, Sales & Business Development Director for Trelleborg’s engineered coated fabrics in the US, explained: “The mission of the Master Fabricator Program is to collectively add more value to the supply chain. Trelleborg and their key fabrication partners will leverage their strengths and close collaboration to gain deeper end user insights." Click here to read the company's press release. Posted January 17, 2017

US Military Selects Winners of the National Challenge to Redesign Chembio Warfighter Suits. The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense has awarded 12 prizes to winners of its Proof Challenge – a "chembio" suit design challenge that called on the public to submit designs and ideas for a new suit.  Finalists came from a variety of fields that ranged from students to engineers. A total of $250,000 was awarded to 12 participants/teams. The 3 winning projects and teams were:

Increase Dexterity & Tactility ChemBio Suit

Shana KaplanMadeline HaasItohan AsemotaNicole RaabAngela Villanueva, and Jess Roberts

JSLIST Rapid Cooling System (RCS) & Integrated Cooling Ensemble

Steven Link, Barret Schlegelmilch, Jonathan Lovett, Eric Hinterman, and Phillip Ebben  

SPIDER© Suit Grey Matter

Thomas LuginbillBrandy JohnsonAaron BraunerSteve Winters, and Steve Luginbill

Click here to read more and find out the names of semi-finalists. Posted January 17, 2017

Takata Criminal Payment Settlement has to Wait Until Company is Sold.  As reported last week, The Tokyo-based airbag maker Takata Corp has settled with the US Justice Department on a criminal complaint for hiding the deadly risks of its airbag system. It received a $1 billion fine. The settlement was hurried in part because the Justice Department was seeking to settle many of its major cases before the end of the Obama administration when many of the key prosecutors were leaving. Another critical element is that the restitution doesn't have to be paid by Takata until the company is sold. Why? According to some news outlets, Takata simply doesn't have the cash to pay right now with only $692 million in market capitalization. The two company bidders favored by Takata are Autoliv and Key Safety Systems because of their technical knowledge of airbag manufacturing. Click here to read an article posted on the Bangkok Post website. Posted January 17, 2017

Settlement Reportedly Near with Takata. Bloomberg News is reporting troubled Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata Corp and the U.S. Justice Department may announce a settlement as soon as Friday (January 13) over airbags blamed for deadly accidental deployments. The fine is reported to be about $1 billion and there are possible criminal charges facing Takata executives. Besides the federal settlement, it is estimated the airbag recalls will end up costing the company $8.8 billion. The Justice Department settlement will now allow Takata to move forward in negotiations with potential company buyers. Click here to read Bloomberg's article. Posted January 12, 2017

J. Ennis Appoints New US Regional Director. Canadian-based technical textile distributor J. Ennis Fabrics has announced the appointment of Steve Toth as its new US regional manager. Mr. Toth has more than 30 years of industry experience, starting with The Astrup Company and then moving to Trivantage, the distribution subsidiary of technical textile manufacturer Glen Raven. Posted January 10, 2017

Hanes Geo Components Acquires Canadian Geosynthetics Manufacturer. Hanes Geo Components of Winston Salem, N.C., USA, has announced it has reach an agreement to acquire Terrafix Geosynthetics, Inc., of Toronto, Ont., Canada. Terrafix, established in 1979, is a manufacturer, distributor and installer of geosynthetic materials, including wovens, nonwovens and grids. It will continue to operate as Terrafix. David Fuerth, formerly Terrafix's vice president, has been named president of the company. Hanes Geo Components is a distributor of geotextile and erosion control products. It is a business segment of Hanes Companies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leggett & Platt. Click here to read Hanes Geo Components press release. Posted January 9, 2017

US Army Exoskeleton Suit to be Introduced in 2017. There is an interesting short article on the Wire website regarding the US Army's plan to introduce exoskeleton and exosuits in the coming years for its elite combat soldiers. The US Department of Defense will launch the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (Talos) this year. Meanwhile, at Harvard University's Wyss Institute, other researchers are designing a more flexible fabric exosuit, sacrificing some of the exoskeleton's protective armor for more power to propel the wearer forward while using less energy. Click here to read the article. Posted January 9, 2017

Event Tent Supplier Recognized. There was a nice company profile on Mahaffey Tent & Event Rentals recently on the Memphis Daily News website. The company, located in Memphis, Tenn., USA, was started in 1924, and has become one of the largest regional event tent manufacturer, renter and installer in the US. Check out the article by clicking herePosted January 8, 2017

Historic Awning Sells for Big Bucks at Auction. Well, if you are a regular reader of BeaverLake6 Report, you might recall that almost a year ago (January 28), I was posting about what might have happened to the famous CBGB Awning that hung above Manhattan's legendary punk club. Turns out, one of the 3 known awnings had been rescued from a garbage bin by a manager in 2004. He kept it for more than a decade under his bed until last year when he heard people were looking for it. Pretty nice intuition to keep it for all those years. It just sold at the auction house Sotheby's for $30,000. Click here to read a quick story about it. Posted January 6, 2017

German Spunbond Maker for Automotive Industry to Open Factory in Serbia. According to Textiles Eastern Europe, the German spunbond fabric producer Hydroweb GmbH plans to build a $62 million factory in Jagodina, Serbia. Construction is due to start no later than March. Hydroweb produces spunbonded fabric for the medical, construction and automotive industries. Part of the production for the Serbia plant is intended for the Italian car cover manufacturer Confezioni Andrea Serbia. The rest is for exporting to China and Russia. Click here to obtain more information about Textiles Eastern EuropePosted January 6, 2017

US Department of Commerce Releases November Export Figures. It's pretty much a steady monthly trend report: US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group continued their decline through November according to the latest figures released today by the US Department of Commerce. The overall World market for the group showed a 3.96% decline in comparing 12-month year-end for November 2015 and 2016. Below are the numbers for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted January 6, 2017




Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong




United Kingdom




World 4,204,823 4,038,413 -3.96


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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