BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

January 1 - March 31, 2019

Lack of Female-Fitting Spacesuits Opens Discussions on Problems in Other Applications.  The much-hyped historic spacewalk by two NASA female astronauts this week had to be cancelled because they only had one suit available that fit the women in their sizes. The public-relations blunder has many of us scratching our heads. To be fair, it was a last-minute decision from astronaut Anne McClain to switch from a large to a medium size that brought attention to the situation. There was another medium size spacesuit on board, but it was not ready for a spacewalk. The situation, though, has opened up a discussion of other examples where female sizes were not been taken into consideration including ballistic vests, protective construction gear and personal flotation devices.  Note to NASA: 50% of the new class of NASA astronauts are women. The New York Times has a good article about the issue.  Click here to read. Posted March 29, 2019

US Body Armor Contract Awarded. SourceAmerica, Vienna, Va., USA was awarded a $24,969,056 firm-fixed-price contract to re-purpose legacy body armor vests into the newly-designed Modular Scalable Vest configuration. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Lansing, Mich., USA; Miami, Fla., USA; and Austin, Texas, USA, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $24,969,056 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., USA, is the contracting activity. Posted March 17, 2019

New Names for TenCated Advanced Composites and Subsidiary. TenCate Advanced Composites, part of the Toray Group, announced that it has changed its name to Toray Advanced Composites. TenCate Performance Composites, a subsidiary of TenCate Advanced Composites, will subsequently change to Toray PMC. Toray, a leading global supplier of carbon fiber and composite materials, acquired TenCate Advanced Composites in 2018, and has been working in recent months to integrate them into the Toray Group. The new names were officially unveiled yesterday at the start of JEC World 2019 in Paris, France. The name change will be completed by July 17, 2019. Click here to read the company press release. Posted March 13, 2019

Funding Secured to Expand Spider Silk Production.  Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. has announced it has closed a $1 million round of private financing, pursuant to fund expansion of its recombinant spider silk production in Vietnam, support its advanced research operations, improve its balance sheet, and to support other corporate initiatives.  A core focus for the funding will be to support the growth of operations at the company’s new production facility in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.  With the funding in place, the company plans to ramp up its silk production at this larger factory. Kraig Biocraft Labs is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted March 12, 2019

Funding Secured to Expand Spider Silk Production.  Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. has announced it has closed a $1 million round of private financing, pursuant to fund expansion of its recombinant spider silk production in Vietnam, support its advanced research operations, improve its balance sheet, and to support other corporate initiatives.  A core focus for the funding will be to support the growth of operations at the company’s new production facility in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.  With the funding in place, the company plans to ramp up its silk production at this larger factory. Kraig Biocraft Labs is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted March 12, 2019

New managing director for Monforts. Monforts Textilmashinen GmbH & Co. KG has announced Stefan Flöth has been assigned as its Managing Director. Mr. Flöth has re-joined Monforts in his new role from the Trützschler Group, also headquartered in Mönchengladbach, where he was the managing director of Trützschler Nonwovens from 2009 onwards. Monforts Textilmaschinen was founded in 1884 and is a supplier of textile finishing machines, including stenters, continuous dyeing ranges, and special executions for denim and for the coating of technical textiles. The company`s headquarter is located in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Posted March 8, 2019

Demand for Airbag Drives Growth of Coated Fabrics. According to a new market research report authored by The Freedonia Group, US demand for coated fabrics used in motor vehicles is projected to expand 2.5% annually to 144 million square yards in 2023. The growth is driven by the increasing number of airbags in light vehicles as well as their growing use in place of leather upholstery. US coated fabrics demand in all markets is forecasted to expand to 3.1% per year to $3.2 billion in 2023. The market study Coated Fabrics was published in February, is 178 pages, and costs $5600. Click here if interested. Posted March 8, 2019

ZF Unveils External Side-Impact Airbags. One of our favorite magazines, Popular Mechanics, has a great article on the new external side-impact airbag being developed by ZF Friedrischshafen AG, the largest vehicle airbag system manufacturer.  According to the article, ZF has spent the last 10 years developing the external airbag system.  Now, the issue is to convince the automakers to add another suit of sensors in the vehicle. It might be as quick as 2 years when we see the external airbags being offered. Implementation of the technology could almost double the size of the current market for airbag material. Click here to read the article. Posted March 7, 2019

New Standard for Industrial Gloves Released. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has released a new standard -- ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection -- to improve on the impact performance of industrial gloves. According to ISEA, the US and Europe have long had standards for industrial gloves that protect hands from cuts, punctures, abrasion and chemical exposure. The new standard is the first to address the risk from impact injuries. Click here to read the complete press release. Posted March 7, 2019

US Exports in Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Released. The final 2018 numbers on US exports for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group were released with the December report. Mexico and Canada continue to be the major recipients, accounting for more than 63% of the exports. Overall, Specialty and Industrial Fabrics exports increased by 4.5% in 2018. Click here to see the entire December report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

120,481 124,689


United Kingdom


106,562 +5.71
World 4,213,746 4,403,929 +4.51

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted March 7, 2019

KDH Defense Systems Awarded $29.9 Million Delivery Order from the US Army.  KDH Defense Systems, Inc. (KDH) today announced it has been awarded a $29.9 million delivery order from the U.S. Army Contracting Command to produce the Modular Scalable Vest (“MSV”) Gen II System. This delivery order is part of the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract the Company previously announced in September 2018. Production will be done at the company’s Eden, N.C., USA manufacturing facility. Posted March 4, 2019

European Completes Acquisition of Airbag Fabric Producer. Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, announced that it has completed the acquisition of UTT Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH. UTT is a supplier of airbag fabrics with manufacturing sites in Germany and Mexico that have a combined capacity to produce around 70 million sqm of fabrics. UTT also produces other highly specialized solutions in the field of technical textiles. The acquisition of UTT allows IVL to be an integrated supplier of airbag yarns and textiles. According to the company's press release, the acquisition further accelerates IVL’s growth momentum in the automotive sector by bringing together a complementary product portfolio. Posted March 3, 2019

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Expands Operations.  Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has announced Erik Nees has been hired as Sales Account Manager. In this role he will oversee industrial sales, which includes working with new and current customers in the tape, bedding, medical and technical textiles industries.  Mr. Nees worked at Alice Manufacturing from 1992 until the end of 2018, when Alice Manufacturing, also known as Alice Mills, closed doors. At Alice Manufacturing, he managed sales in the home furnishings, career apparel, industrial applications and medical sectors, targeting global and North American accounts. Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. is a coater, dyer and finisher of both woven and non-woven fabrics. The company is based in Yorkville, Ill., USA. Posted February 25, 2019

Gerber Names Vice President of Global Marketing. Gerber Technology has announced industry veteran Ketty Pillet will join the company as vice president of Global Marketing. Ms. Pillet most recently worked for Lectra as Worldwide Marketing Director, Fashion and Apparel. Gerber is a manufacturer of software and automation machine systems. The company has manufacturing operations in the United States, Canada and China. Posted February 24, 2019

Kordsa Expand Its Global Footprint with New US Acquisition. Turkey-based Kordsa SA has announced the intent to acquire Axiom Materials for $181 million. Axiom is a provider of advanced composites for aerospace and industrial applications. Kordsa is manufacturer of industrial nylon and polyester yarn, tire cord and single-end cord. This is Kordsa's 3rd major recent purchases of US specialty materials makers as it seeks to solidify its composites manufacturing capabilities. In 2018, Kordsa bought Fabric Development Company, a maker of high-strength aramid fabrics, and Textile Products, Inc., a producer of specialty industrial textiles. Click here to read the company's press release on the Axiom purchase. Posted February 19, 2019

Ohio Pledges Another $500K for Body Armor in 2019. In the US, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced February 14 that $500,000 is being allocated to help fund the Attorney General's Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program. The financial commitment is in addition to the initial $2 million previously announced for 2019. The funds will help 250 law enforcement agencies across the state. Click here to read more about the program. Posted February 19, 2019

Italian Textile Machinery Association Sees Troubled Waters in 2019.  ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, released its textile machinery sales report for the 4th quarter 2018. Domestic sales fell 12% compared to the same period for 2017. However, foreign sales decreased even further to -16%. ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi commented. "Turkey, Iran, and even China, all primary markets for our sector, have recorded a drop in demand for textile machinery, for a variety of reasons."  Further, he said "The overall sentiment for 2019 isn't very positive either." Click here to read the press release. Posted February 17, 2019

Body Armor Trends from SHOT Show. There is an excellent report on the website from a blogger on his observations of ballistic body armor trends from the recent SHOT Show. The author's observations included new vest shaping using clothing industry expertise, more elastic being used to allow for "stretching", external access plate pouches, specific designs for fire and EMS, and lots of pockets on the vest. Click here to read the article. Posted February 16, 2019

Geogrids Manufacturer Opens New Facility in India. Strata Geosystems held a grand opening on February 11, 2019 in Daheli, Gujarat, India, for its new geogrids manufacturing facility. The facility is expected to fabricate about 20 million square yards in its early years, eventually  scaling up to 30 million. Strata Geosystems (India) Pvt. Ltd., a joint-venture of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics and Strata Geosystems. On hand for the grand opening were Lieb Oehmig, President and CEO of Glen Raven, and Harold Hill, president of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics, a subsidiary of Glen Raven.  Click here to read the company's press release. Posted February 15, 2019

New Company Name for Leading Geosynthetics Producer.  Geosynthetics fabricator GSE has been renamed Solmax. According to the company’s CEO Louis Vangeluwe, the return to the Solmax name and brand follows the successful integration of the Solmax and GSE Environmental businesses to form a single strong global entity.  “Solmax is a name that reflects our new identity as the global leader within the geosynthetics industry.”  Montreal-based Solmax, founded in 1981, acquired GSE Environmental in 2017. GSE's origins can be traced back to Schlegel Lining Technology and Gundle Lining Systems, which pioneered the first high-density polyethylene product in 1972. Click here to read the company’s press release. Posted February 12, 2019

New Thermal Insulation Shelters Being Tested by US Military. The US Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Soldier Center has developed a thermal shelter insulation liner with Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding. The soft-wall shelter can be used in either hot or cold climates. Warwick Mills of New Ipswich, N.H., USA provided the fabric and tent liners. Click here to read more about the project. Posted February 11, 2019

New Name for US Army's Natick Research Center.  The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, located in Natick, Mass., USA became the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or CCDC Soldier Center, on February 3, 2019.  The CCDC Soldier Center is part of the Army Futures Command, or AFC. Click here to read more about the change. Posted February 7. 2019

Two Hundred US Jobs Possible for Making Border Patrol Uniforms. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) may not yet be official but it seems to already be paying off in bringing back to the US some textile product manufacturing. A part of the new agreement closes up the NAFTA loophole exception found in the Kissell Amendment that allows for foreign-made uniforms for Secret Service, Customs and Porder Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.  The Macon County Chronicle (Lafayette, Tenn., USA) has posted an article that reports VF Workwear official is already looking at possible sites in the US for Customs and Board Patrol uniforms being made in Mexico and has contacted the mayor of Red Boiling Springs about working with Racoe Inc., a government supplier of military uniforms located in nearby Celina, Tenn. The mayor says it mean up to 200 additional jobs. Click here to read the article. Posted February 6, 2019 

November US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Exports Released. It's back to work for the trade analysts at the US Department of Commerce who had been furloughed by the government shutdown. The November 2018 report on US exports for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group has been released. Overall, export increases continue at a just-under 5% pace over the previous 12-month comparison. We should the seeing the December 2018 numbers released shortly as the department catches up on its workload. Click here to see the entire November report. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

119,799 125,981


United Kingdom


105,295 +2.92
World 4,199,826 4,408,852 +4.98

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted February 6, 2019

New Deputy Assistant for Textiles at US Department of Commerce. Changes in top leadership at the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) continues with the announcement via LinkedIn that Lloyd "Woody" Wood, the organization's Director of Public Affairs for the last 3 years, has been named the new Deputy Assistant For Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials at the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Wood's appointment follows the earlier announcement today that NCTO President/CEO Auggie Tantillo will be retiring later this year. Mr. Wood is also president of Lloyd Wood Group, a Washington-based government relations consultancy, and has represented other textile-related organizations with the US government including the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute and Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Posted February 4, 2019

New Zealand Police Force Being Provided New Body Armor.  Police Commissioner Michael Bush announced last week that all police officers in New Zealand would be provided new stab and ballistic vests over the next 3 1/2 years. A US$13.8 million contract has been awarded to Northern Ireland manufacturer Cooleen Protection for stab and ballistic resistant armor. Cooleen is a major global provider of law enforcement body armor. Last year it was awarded a US$62.52 million contract to provide its products to the French Ministry of Interior French for the National Police, Gendarmerie, Prison Service, and Customs officers. Click here to read more about the New Zealand contract. Posted February 4, 2019

INVISTA Completes Sale of Apparel & Advanced Textiles Business. INVISTA has completed the previously announced sale of its Apparel & Advanced Textiles business to an affiliate of Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding. INVISTA retains ownership of its nylon, polyester, polyols and licensing businesses and related brands. This includes the nylon 6,6 intermediates business, its global nylon polymer and fiber portfolio, and CORDURA® fabric. INVISTA will also retain its intellectual property rights for 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) technologies and will continue to license these and other technologies on a global basis. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 1, 2019

US Marine Corps Awards Ballistic Vest Plate Carriers. Central Lake Armor Express Inc., Central Lake, Mich., USA has been awarded $10,432,525 for firm-fixed-price delivery order under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of 1,322,654 Plate Carrier Generation III soft armor inserts and data reports. Work will be performed in Central Lake and is expected to be complete by October 24, 2023. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $10,432,525 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year. The base contract was competitively procured as a total small business set aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 13 offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., USA is the contracting activity. Posted January 31, 2019

US Marine Corps Awards Ballistic Vest Plate Carrier Contract.  Vertical Protective Apparel LLC, Shrewsbury, N.J., USA has been awarded $14,539,807 for an order under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and integration of 56,710 Plate Carrier Generation III complete systems and 61,729 components and spares.  Work is to be performed in Guanica, Puerto Rico, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 29, 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $14,539,807 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year.  The base contract was competitively procured as a Total Small Business Set Aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with four offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., USA is the contracting activity. Posted January 31, 2019

Inside Job: A Shakedown of Small Shop Owners with Awning Sign Code Violations. After months of hundreds of small business owners in New York City being terrorized by an avalanche of complaints regarding illegal awnings, it appears the perpetrator of the anonymous calls reporting signage code violations may have been an employee at the city's Department of Buildings (DOB), acting in collusion with one or more of the 20-30 licensed awning/signage hangers. The DOB received more than 1,900 complaints of illegal signage in 2018 compared to 251 in 2017. The small business owners were told the fines could be up to $6,000 for this rarely enforced code violation. According to some shop owners, a man allegedly wearing a DOB jacket and showing a DOB ID card would visit their business and inform the owner of the violation and potential fine. The DOB employee would then give out the name of a sign business who could make the shop's sign legal. The mayor and city council have now issued an agreement called the Awning Act which basically forgives shop owners who have been slapped with the huge fines. Click here for an article on the issue. Posted January 25, 2019   

Recommendations for US Department of Defense Procurement Policies Include Relaxing Berry Amendment Compliance.  Mandated by the US Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, the Section 809 Panel has released Volume 3 of its Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations. The report adds 58 recommendations to the 40 found in Volume 1 and Volume 2 which were issued earlier. While there is no requirement the Defense Department to adopt any of the recommendations, all the recommendations from an earlier interim report were enacted. Among the recomendations in this final report is that purchasing preference requirements for commercial products should be more flexible. Lawmakers should adopt a public interest exception and procedures for the Berry Amendment identical to the ones that exist for the Buy American Act. Click here to read an article posted on the National Defense website. Posted January 23, 2019

International Textile Group Becomes Elevate Textiles.  International Textile Group, the parent of technical textiles manufacturer Safety Components, has rebranded as Elevate Textiles. Elevate is also the parent of American & Efird, Burlington, Gütermann and Cone Denim. Elevate Textiles was born out of the integration of American & Efird and ITG last year under Platinum Equity, which acquired ITG in 2016 and A&E in 2018. Elevate will be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., USA, but will keep offices in Greensboro, N.C. and Mount Holly, N.C. as divisional headquarters for Cone Denim and A&E, respectively. The company serves 25,000 customers in more than 100 countries and has 37 facilities and over 15,000 employees. Click here to read the Elevate company press release. Posted January 23, 2019

Testing Unusually-Shaped Parachutes. There is a neat short posting on the European Space Agency's website that talks about the testing of different shape parachutes. The testing is being done to determine the most suitable method of slowing down payloads as they land on Mars. One novel design developed by Vorticity UK played on a previous one known as the disc-gap-band type— a traditional cone shape but with a gap at the base leaving a ring of material. The novel design used multiple rings of fabric in the hope it would make any descent slower while keeping the payload stable. Click here to read more. Posted January 23, 2019

USTR Furloughs Most of Its Staff. So, what about all these trade agreements being undertaken by the US government? In the wake of the US government's partial shutdown, about 70% of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative staff have been furloughed until the funding crisis is resolved. According to the USTR office, those personnel who remain will "ensure USTR continues to conduct operations, including trade negotiations and enforcement."  One of the issues is the current trade dispute with China. According to a news brief issued by the international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., "The US has said that if China does not make sufficient progress on resolving longstanding trade irritants by March 2, it will increase the Section 301 additional tarrif on $200 billion worth of goods from China from 10% to 25%." Click here to read more. Posted January 21, 2019

China's Economic Slowdown Affecting Textile Production. The Wall Street Journal  has published an article today on the affect of the downtown in the Chinese economy for labor-intensive industries, specifically the auto-parts and textiles industries. According to the article, China's growth weakened to 6.6% in 2018, its slowest annual growth rate in nearly 3 decades. The cause is a number of factors including rising labor rates and healthcare, a slump in new car sales, and the trade war with the US.  Click here to read the WSJ article. Posted January 21, 2019

Indian Government Announces List of Products Classified as Technical Textiles. On January 15, 2019, the Indian Commerce and Ministry's Directorate General of Foreign Trade announced 207 items under the Harmonized Systems of Preference (HSP) will now be classified as technical textiles. Click here to find the complete list of the HSN-classified technical textiles items. Posted January 21, 2019

Philippine National Police Acquire Ballistic Vests. The website SunStar Manila reports the Philippine National Police (PNP) has acquired $13.3 million worth of equipment to boost its operational capability. The purchase includes 11,245 "bullet proof" vests and 4,169 waistcoat vest level IIA ballistic protection. Click here to read the article. Posted January 16, 2019

Acrylic Fabric Maker Adds Distributor to US Network.  Recasens USA, a manufacturer of acrylic fabric for sun protection, textile architecture, screens, decoration, and marine, use has announced Innovative Industrial Solutions (IIS) as its newest US-based distributor for all the company's products. Recasens is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. ISS is based in Boynton Beach, Fla., USA. Click here to read the Recasens USA press release on the distribution network expansion. Posted January 16, 2019

US Marine Corps Getting a New Parachute System. The website Marine Corps Times has a really interesting article on why the US Marine Corps moved forward with a new multi-mission parachute system (MMPS). In the Corps' making its original request within the Defense Budget, Congress asked for more explanation on why a new MMPS was needed. The Secretary of the Navy then provided a report on the desired new MMPS capabilities as well as safety issues with the old system. Marine Corps Times, under the US Freedom of Information Act, obtained a copy of the report with the concerns of the old system and desired capabilities of the new MMPS. Subsequently, the Corps did go forward and awarded a contract in January 2018 to Airborne Systems North America for the new parachute system. The purchase was for more than 1,000 parachutes with delivery by 2021. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2019

New Material and Process for Ballistic Protection Products?  Echelon Materials, Stamford, Conn., USA, has developed a proprietary weaving process that produces TiTek – a lightweight, bullet-resistant fabric that reportedly shreds bullets into shrapnel. According to the company “TiTek is the first and only fabric to enable lightweight Level IV+ multi-hit, high-powered rifle protection. TiTek is a patented fabric that weaves tiny, sharp-edged titanium discs into the plane of the fabric using the very kevlar threads that comprise the fabric. These discs present their sharp edges to the incoming round and cut it to shreds as it passes. Once shredded by the TiTek fabric, debris from bullets are easily captured by the armor package’s backing layers that employ existing materials, such as aramids or polyethylenes. Compared to traditional armor that “stops” the bullet by applying extremely high counter-force, TiTek armor uses the bullet’s own energy to cut it apart, destroying it and making it easier to stop.” Click here to go to an interesting article posted on the website Body Armor NewsPosted January 10, 2019

$27 Million Military Foul Weather Jacket Contract Awarded to US Federal Prison Industries. Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C, USA, has been awarded a maximum $27,189,820 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for extreme cold/wet weather jackets. This is an 18-month base contract, with one one-year option period. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, with a July 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted January 10, 2019

Indian Army Confirms Order Contract for Ballistic Vests.  On January 8, 2019, the India Ministry of Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre announced the Indian army was expecting delivering soon of more than 186,000 "bulletproof" jackets from an unnamed Indian manufacturer. Dr. Bhamre said the jackets will be certified to the standards based on US National Institute of Justice Level III. Quality ballistic vests has been an embarrassing issue for India after last year's fiasco in which the Indian state of Maharashtra revealed 1430 out of 4600 ballistic vests it purchased for its state police had failed in certification testing. Click here to read an article on the website army-technology.comPosted January 9, 2019

Huge Backpacks are Selling Out. Who would want a backpack so large you could fit a person in it? Apparently, a lot of people. Made by CWF in Japan, the "Backpacker's Closet" is selling out.  Priced at $234, the bags weigh 3.5 pounds. The CWF website explains the backpacks are perfect for camping. They have extra padded straps if you're strong enough to carry it fully packed with gear. Don't see yourself carrying this monster pack very far? Many are buying the backpacks for use around the home as an extra closet or storing pillows. So, those of you readers who are end-product fabricators with a few extra yards of fabric, you might just want to make a few and test the market in your area. Absurd ideas can fool you sometimes. Click here to read a short article on the backpacks. Posted January 7, 2019

Carbon Fiber Maker Fined $7.8 Million. The US Department of Treasury has issued a $7.8 million fine to carbon fiber maker Zoltek Corp. for its purchase starting in 2012 of acrylonitrile, a key chemical ingredient of carbon fiber, from OJSC Polymir, a subsidiary of Belneftekhim, a Belarusian state-owned oil and gas company.  Belneftekhim was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Zoltek had voluntarily disclosed the trade sanctions violation. Zoltek is now a subsidiary of Toray Industries Inc., and headquartered in Bridgeton, Mo., USA. Click here to learn more. Posted January 4, 2019

Solar-Powered Tent for Homeless Invented by High School Young Women. If you are looking for an inspiring story about our industry, check out the article "How 12 Teens Invented a Solar-Powered Tent for the Homeless." It's on the website called and describes how a group of young women at San Fernando High School near Los Angeles, Calif., USA developed a solar-powered tent for homeless people that folds into a backpack. The story tells how the team had to learn to sew, 3D-print, and computer code, as well as other aspects of running a business. For their efforts, they received a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program and invited to receive their award at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., USA. Our thanks to Joe Fields at Outdoor Venture Corporation for letting us know about these remarkable young women. Click here to read the article. Posted January 2, 2019 

Hospitals to Provide Medical Personnel with Body Armor in Australia. A sad sign of the times is the new market for ballistic and stab-resistant vests coming with the decision by the Australian Health Department to provide West Australian doctors and nurses with body armor. The decision comes as the medical staff faces increasingly more violent patients and visitors situations. The health department has ordered 250 custom body armor vests. A particular threat comes from syringes and knives by hostile patients. Click here to read the article on the Body Armor website. Posted January 2, 2019

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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