BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

January 1 - March 31, 2018

First Test Success for Largest Mars Mission Parachute. The USA's NASA-planned mission to Mars isn't the only game in town. The European Space Agency (ESA) also has a mission planned for July 2020. The ESA venture, named ExoMars, will deliver a rover and a surface science platform. On March 29, ESA successfully held its first test of the parachute which will be used to carry the payload to the planet's surface. With its 35-meter diameter canopy, it's the largest parachute ever tested to fly a Mars mission. The first test dropped a module from 1.2 km above ground. The next test will be from an altitude of 30 km.  Click here to read the ESA press release. Posted March 30, 2018

Canadian Webbing Manufacturer Investing in Modernizing Plant. The publication Industry Week has a terrific article posted on its website this week on the $2.8 million investment by Belt-Tech, Inc. for its Quebec manufacturing plant. Belt-Tech's products are webbing for seat belts, webbing for air bags (automotive), industrial webbing for slings, webbing for safety harnesses, and webbing for parachutes (military). According to the article, the Canadian company provides nearly a third of the webbing used in cars and trucks in North America. The investment includes new weaving machines and a state-of-the-art drying system comes after seeing a recent 30% surge in orders from the North American auto industry. Click here to read the article. Posted March 30, 2018

Serge Ferrari Acquires Composites Manufacturer Plastitex.  Serge Ferrari Group has completed the acquisition of Plastitex, an Italian manufacturer of specialty composite materials for indoor and outdoor furniture. Based in Carmignano di Brenta in Northern Itally, Plastitex employs approximately 60 people at two production facilities located in Carmignano and Novi Grad, Croatia. Plastitex designs and produces high-performance fabrics made by synthetic fibers and polymeric yarns. Click here to read more about the acquisition. Posted March 28, 2018

Takata Whistleblowers Receive $1.13 Million. The law firm Constantine Cannon LLP announced today that two of its whistleblower clients will receive more than $1.13 million to settle their claims for whistleblower awards for information they provided to the U.S. government in its criminal case against Takata Corp, the now-bankrupt maker of defective airbags. The whistleblowers, Mark Lillie and another man who remains anonymous, are both former Takata employees who provided extensive assistance to government investigators under the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, a federal whistleblower-reward program. In January 2017, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company's fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. The criminal action also resulted in three high-level Takata executives pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Click here to read the law firm's entire press release. Posted March 27, 2018

Coats Appoints New President for Performance Materials Business. Industrial thread manufacturer Coats has announced the appointment of Keith DuPont as President, Performance Materials. The Coats Performance Materials business includes hi-tech end uses such as automotive, composites, fiber optics, flame retardant and engineered performance fabrics and knits. Mr. DuPont replaces Shantanu Banerjee who has become the company's Group Head of Innovation with responsibility for its 3 Innovation Hubs located in the USA, China and Turkey. A couple of facts at the bottom of the press release were interesting: More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats' Performance Materials thread every year and the company makes enough thread every month to stretch from the Earth to the Sun. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted March 27, 2018

US Trade War Could Hit Outdoor Products Industry. The Denver Post (Denver, Co., USA) posted an article March 23 on the potential impact of a trade war that could result in drastically increased prices for camping tents imported into the US from China. According to the article, the outdoor industry already pays steep tariffs applied to its products coming into the US, an average of 17.6% for backbacks and tents. Because of the layers of distributors and retailers costs, a 25% increase in tariff could actually end up resulting in a 75% increase to the consumer. The outdoor industry's lobbyists are in Washington right now, working to make sure outdoor items such as apparel, tents and sleeping bags are excluded from the tariff list. Click here to read the article. Posted March 27, 2018

Kanye West's Apparel Company Embroiled in Lawsuit Over Camouflage Pattern. There is an interesting article on the Outside website entitled "The Camo Wars Behind the Kanye West Lawsuit." Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, which owns cmouflage brand Realtree, has filed a lawsuit alleging entertainer Kanye West's apparel company Yeezy has infringed on its camouflage patterns. Realtree is one of the country's leading camouflage companies. It makes patterns and licenses them to other companies that make items such as clothing and tents. Click here to read the article. Posted March 26, 2018

Polo Custom Products CEO Leadership Change. Although there has been no official announcement, it appears President & CEO Karla Clem of Polo Custom Products, Inc., has left the Topeka, Kansas, USA custom industrial sewing manufacturer. Ms. Clem had been employed by the company since 1991, serving as its president since 2009. Polo supplies custom sewn and sealed products to several OEM markets including medical, safety, industrial electronics and military. Kent Lammers, Polo's executive vice president and CFO, has been appointed to replace her. Posted March 23, 2018

North America Technical Textiles Operations Announced by METYX Group. METVX Group has completed an agreement to acquire a manufacturing facility for its new METYX USA Technical Textiles Division. The site is located in Ranlo, a town near Charlotte, N.C.  The new facility will employ up to 200 people and manufacture a range of glass and carbon fabrics to serve the North American composites market. METYX Group is headquartered in Turkey and is a division of Telateks A.S., a manufacturer of high-performance technical textiles, including multiaxial reinforcements, carbon reinforcements, RTM reinforcements, woven reinforcements, and vacuum bagging products. Click here to read the coroporate press release. Posted March 22, 2018

Management Buyout for Sioen Filtration. Concluding that Sioen Filtration is no longer part of the core activities, Belgium-based Sioen Industries Group has agreed to sell the subsidiary to Pierre Loungueville and his partners. Mr. Loungueville is currently the manager of Sioen Filtration. The company specializes in the development, production and sales of a wide range of industrial filters. The transfer is planned for April 1, 2018. Click here to read Sioen Group's press release. Posted March 22, 2018

"Bullet Proof" Vest False Claims Act Case Ends in Victory for Whistleblower.  The US Department of Justice announced today that Japanese manufacturing company, Toyobo Co., Ltd., agreed to pay $66 million to settle allegations that it conspired to sell defective body armor to American police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military.  The settlement was reached as part of a False Claims Act initiated by a whistleblower, Aaron Westrick, Ph.D. The case originated in 2001, when Toyobo informed Second Chance Body Armor (SCBA), formerly the largest bullet proof vest company in the United States, that Zylon™, a high-performance fiber made by Toyobo and being supplied to SCBA for its body armor, may experience degradation. Dr. Westrick was an employee at the time of SCBA. Click here to read more on the lawsuit. Posted March 17, 2018

DuPont to Close Chemical Plant Used to Make Its Aramid Fibers. DuPont has announced it will eliminate about 100 jobs and close its Deepwater, N.J., USA plant used to make aramids intermediates for Kevlar® and Nomex® fibers. Company spokesperson Dan Turner said in an email to the press "Since there are no other suppliers of these materials in the U.S., Transpek Limited in India will be the primary supply source."  While outsourcing the intermediates, DuPont still will produce Kevlar and Nomex fibers at its Richmond, Va., USA manufacturing plant. It plans to invest $50 million to modernize the facility. Click here to read an article posted on Chemical & Engineering News website. Posted March 16, 2018

Toray to Purchase TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V. As we reported March 13, Koninklijke Ten Cate was looking for a strategic partner to purchase its subsidiary TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V.  Toray Industries, Inc., a carbon fiber manufacturer, has now announced they have reached an agreement to acquire the Dutch carbon fiber composite material manufacturer. The purchase price is estimated to be $1.15 billion. Click here to read the Toray company press release. Posted March 16, 2018

Serge Ferrari Americas Names Vice President. Serge Ferrari, a manufacturer of flexible composite material technology, has announced that Jules Duguay has been appointed Vice President, Serge Ferrari Americas. Mr. Duguay is a 20-year industry veteran. He will lead the business operation in North, Central and South America. Mr. Duguay was most recently the General Manager of Mermet Corporation, a manufacturer of solar screen fabrics. Posted March 16, 2018

TenCate Advanced Composites Reported for Sale. The editor of the website CompositesWorld is reporting TenCate Advanced Composites confirmed during the recent JEC World in Paris that management "is exploring options for a potential strategic partner to acquire the company." TenCate Advanced Composites products include thermoset-based and thermoplastic-based prepregs; film adhesives; syntactics; and resins. The company supplies prepregs in fabric, unidirectional tape, chopped fiber, and reinforced thermoplastic laminate forms. Toray, Hexcel, Teijin, Solvay, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, and Arkema were all mentioned as possible suitors. TenCate Advanced Composites is a division of privately held Koninklijke Ten Cate B.V., headquartered in The Netherlands. Click here to read the report on the CompsitesWorld website. Posted March 13, 2018

US Department of Commerce Releases January Export Figures. The US Department of Commerce has released the January numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group export figures. Overall exports rose 4.68% in January 31 year-ending comparison with 2017. As we have seen for a number of months, the largest percentage gain in US exports was to China at 27% over the previous year.  Click here to see the entire report for the January numbers. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











216,347 +27.2

Hong Kong

127,254 122,972 -3.4

United Kingdom


101,819 +8.2
World 4,045,486 4,237,832 +4.7

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted March 13, 2018

Comments Sought on Proposed Revisions to Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standard. The US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking comments on proposed revisions to NIJ Standard 0101.06NIJ Standard on Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor. A draft of the revised document specifies minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of body armor used by US law enforcement that is intended to protect the torso against handgun and rifle ammunition.  NIJ, the U.S. Army, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others have been cooperating to harmonize laboratory test procedures and practices in ASTM Subcommittee E54.04 on Personal Protective Equipment within Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications. Comments to the proposed draft must be submitted by May 23, 2018. Click here to obtain a  copy of the draft, plus how to submit comments on the changes. Posted March 6, 2018

"The Bold New Face of Textiles.  "There is a very nice article on the North Carolina State University website on new career opportunities in the domestic US technical textiles industry, including end markets such as medical, military and aerospace. The College of Textiles at NSCU, Raleigh, N.C., USA, has 58 faculty members and almost 1,000 undergraduate students. It's a refreshing look filled with optimism as the industry overall is still fighting the image of only providing a career in apparel manufacturing. Click here to read the article. Posted March 6, 2018 

Webbing Company Announces US Expansion.  German-headquartered Oppermann Webbing Inc. has announced it will be creating 71 jobs as part of a $10 million expansion in Powdersville, S.C., USA. The company manufactures a variety of webbing products including tie-downs and aircraft safety belts. Oppermann is a family owned business with 9 global locations. The US plant was established in 2004. Click here to read more. Posted March 4, 2018

Navis TubeTex Buys Consultex and Tandamatic. Navis TubeTex, a provider of  finishing machinery to the textile industry, announced today their purchase of Consultex Spray Systems and Tandematic.  Based in Lexington, N.C., USA, Navis TubeTex designs, engineers and manufactures machinery for the knit, woven, nonwoven, technical and geotextile industries. Consuoltex produces a spray system used in the textile, film, nonwoven, paper and bettery industrys. Tandematics is a maker of low tension feeding systems and stenter auxiliaries. Click here for the Navis announcement. Posted March 2, 2018

US Anti-Microbial Fiber and Yarn Producer Obtains Distribution Agreement in Japan. Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.and PurThread Technologies, Inc. have entered into a distributorship agreement for Mitsui USA to distribute PurThread’s antimicrobial fibers and yarns to textiles and soft goods in Japan. PurThread fibers and yarns are used in businesses serving the healthcare, consumer, home, military, and industrial markets in the United States. PurThread, incorporated in 2009 and based in Cary, N.C., USA, was formerly known as ProtectStyle Corporation. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the distribution agreement. Posted February 28, 2018

American & Efird to be Acquired. Global investment firm Platinum Equity announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire American & Efird (A&E) from KPS Capital Partners. Headquartered in Mt. Holly, N.C., USA, A& E manufactures and distributes industrial and consumer sewing thread used by producers of apparel, automotive components, medical supplies and industrial products. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 26, 2018

Bigelow Aerospace Announces the Creation of Space Operations Company. Bigelow Aerospace, the developer of the inflatable space module being tested at the International Space Station, has established Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a commercial space company that will manage and operate space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace. Two modules are scheduled to launch in 2021.  A new manufacturing facility is planned to build the modules. Click here for more information. Posted February 23, 2018

Elizabeth Peggs Retires from Geosynthetica. Geosynthetica, the online publication covering the geosynthetics industry, has announced Elizabeth Peggs has retirement after nearly 18 years at the website's helm. She has served in a number of leadership positions within the industry during her geosynthetics involvement including key positions in the organization of GeoAmericas 2016, the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) and the ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics. Click here to read the article on the geosynthetica website. Posted February 23, 2018

Textile Innovations from Germany Presented at Techtextil North America. Sixty-six companies from the German textile, textile-machinery and garment-technology industries will make presentations at the ‘High-Tex from Germany’ exhibition within the framework of the Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas trade fairs in Atlanta from 22 to 24 May 2018. ‘High-Tex from Germany’ is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) and the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Messeausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. – AUMA). Click here to go to our special Techtextil North America section and read the entire press release. Posted February 22, 2018

German Army Lacking Tents, Ballistic Vests and Winter Clothing to Fulfill NATO Obligation. The Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, is in a serious situation regarding shortages of basic equipment after years of budget cuts. The newspaper Rheinische Post has reported that an internal German Army Command document reveals the Bundeswehr (the Germany armed forces) is in need of 10,282 "housing units" [portable shelters] as it prepares to take the lead in providing a high-readiness force by 2019 for potential North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) deployment. While it has 2,500 shelters available for deployment, according to the internal army document, most, are unsuitable. The report also says that the Bundeswehr has a serious shortage of bulletproof vests and winter clothing needed for possible overseas missions.  Click here to read more. Posted February 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Costco Selects Standard 100 by OEKO-Tex® for Textile Product Screening.  Costco, the second largest retailer in the United States, has announced a partnership with the Hohenstein Group to integrate Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification into its Smart Screening Program to ensure safe, traceable and sustainable textile products. The program is designed to protect consumer and environmental health by removing chemicals of concern (COCs) from the products offered Costco stores worldwide. Used by over 10,000 manufacturers, brands and retailers in 100 countries, Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® is an independent verification that products have been tested for harmful substances. Click here to read the press release by Hohenstein Institute. Posted February 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











212,481 +26.3

Hong Kong

129,977 120,104 -7.6

United Kingdom


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

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted February 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change











206,549 +26.0

Hong Kong

128,890 119,799 -7.1

United Kingdom


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

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted January 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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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