BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

July 1 - September 30, 2014

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Contract to Federal Prison Industries. Federal Prison Industries, Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $13,533,000 modification on a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. This is a firm-fixed-price contract for US Army physical fitness uniform jackets. Posted September 19, 2014

US Defense Department of Defense Awards Sand Bag Contract. On September 17, the US Department of Defense announced Quincy Bag Co. Inc., Dubuque, Iowa, USA was awarded an $8,393,200 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, with options, for standard and large sandbags, and poly sheets in support of the National Flood Fight Center. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Posted September 19, 2014

New President for AEC Narrow Fabrics. The Triad Business Journal (North Carolina, USA) has posted an article reporting AEC Narrow Fabrics has announced the appointment of Charles R. Adams as the company's new president. AEC Narrow Fabrics is a global supplier of narrow fabrics for medical and industrial applications. Mr. Adams has previously held positions in Milliken & Co. and Polyester Fibers LLC. Click here to read the article. Posted September 19, 2014

Sale of TRW Expected Soon. The industry trade magazine Automotive News has posted an article by Reuters that ZF Friedrichshafen, a German automotive parts manufacturer, is preparing to purchase US-based TRW for an estimated $11-12 billion. TRW is the world's largest automtive-safety equipment suppliers, including airbags and other fabric-based restraint systems. Click here to read the article posted on the Automotive News website. Posted September 15, 2014 

Tornado Sleeping Bag Protection. There is an interesting article and video posted on the UK-based website about an armored sleeping bag invented to provide some protection from flying debris from a tornado or other extreme weather conditions. The sleeping bag is called the Tuuli Armor Tornado Shield. Click here to read the article and watch the video. Posted September 15, 2014

Small Custom Canvas Shop Featured.  The website has a nice video and article posted about Al's Awning Shop of Erie, Penn., USA. The company is more than 70 years old and fabricates a number of different custom canvas products. We've known the Quadri family, owners of Al's Awning Shop, for a long time. Click here to go to the website. Posted September 15, 2014

More Investment in the US Technical Textile Industry. Continued good news for the US domestic manufacturing base. According to an article posted on the SCNow website, Glen Raven Inc., is expanding its Anderson County, S.C., USA, manufacturing center through a $13.5 million investment. The plant manufactures the company's Sunbrella brand of acrylic fabrics for the upholstery, marine and awning industry. Click here to read the article. Posted September 12, 2014

Ohmatex has a New CEO. The management of Ohmatex has announced the appointment of Klaus Ostergaard as CEO of the company. The Danish company works with Euopean technology companies in the development of space, medical, sports and safety products. Click here to read the company's press release on the appointment of Mr. Ostergaard. Posted September 5, 2014

Automotive Restraint System  Manufacturer Acquired. Hong Kong-based investment company FountainVest has acquired a majority stake of Key Safety Systems, Inc. (KKS), headquarted in Sterling Heights. Mich., USA. KKS is a manufacturer of automotive airbags and seatbelts, with sales and manufacturering facilities in 28 locations. Click here to read more about the purchase. Posted August 5, 2014

US Releases July Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the July export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Total year-ending comparison July 2013/July 2014 finds US exports in this category grew by 9.26%. Mexico was again the largest recipient of US exports for specialty and industrial fabrics with export value of $1.932bn, a 19.7% increase. Click here for the full report. Posted September 5, 2014

Geosynthetics Company Expanding North American Distribution Network Through Acquisitions. The website TriadBizBlog (Raleigh, N.C., USA) and several other geo-related websites have reported Hanes Geo Components (HGC) has acquired ERO-TEX, a distributor of erosion control and geosynthetic materials in the US Mid-West region. ERO-TEX is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., USA. HGC is a division of Legett & Platt, a global company which has 130 locations in 18 countries and annual corporate revenues of $3.7 billion. Over the last three years, HGC has acquired three other geosynthetic distributors -- Price & Co. (Mich., USA), CSI Geosynthetics (Wash., USA) and A&R Geosynthetics (Ont., Canada). HGC now has 34 geosynthetic material distribution locations in North America. Click here to read more. Posted August 29, 2014

Seaman Corporation Completes $50 Million Capital Investment. More good news regarding the coated technical textiles industry: Seaman Corporation, based in Wooster, Oh., USA, issued a press release saying the company has recently completed a 10-year, $50 million capital improvement program, capped with a $15 million investment over the past three years. Richard Seaman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said that in the past 10 years the company's business has doubled, largely as a result of expanded capabilities through capital investments designed to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Click here to read the entire company press release. Posted August 29, 2014

Sioen Industries Reports First Half Increase. One of the global giants in the coated technical textile industry is Sioen Industries NV based in Belgium. Yesterday the company issued a press release reporting on its first half 2014 performance. Net sales were up 3.1%, EBIT up +35% and EBITDA up +22.6%. All good news for our industry. In the coated fabrics marketplace, growth was mainly driven by product lines for the truck, agriculture and building segments. Click here to read the entire press release. Posted August 29, 2014

South African Police Reluctant to Wear Anti-Ballistic Vests. There is an interesting article posted on the South Africa website iolnews about the reluctance of police in Durban province to wear their "bulletproof" vests. Amongst the police complaints were the vests are heavy and limited their movement, caused them to sweat profusely, did not take into account individual physiques as they were either too big or too small, and cause women pain and bruises. Many of the vests are more than 10 years old and long past their expiration dates. It is a terrible paradox because 146 police officers have been shot dead in South Africa in the past three years. The families of police officers killed in action will not get a death payout if it is found the officer was not wearing a vest. It's time Durban gets new modern vests. Click here to read the complete article. Posted August 26, 2014

Smart Textiles Used at US Tennis Open. When you see those ball girls and ball boys scooting around at the US Open tennis tournament, you will see 'smart" textiles at work. Designer Ralph Lauren polo shirts are using material in the shirts to take readings of heart rate, breathing and stress levels. At least one tennis player, Marcos Giron, will also be wearing one of the shirts. Click here for more information. Posted August 26, 2014

Building Code Officials Wearing Anti-Ballistic Vests. It's a tough world out there...and more violent as firemen, first responders and now even building code and animal control officials are wearing anti-ballistic vests. The Sacramento (Calif., USA) County Code Enforcement officers have new rules which require they wear "bulletproof" vests. This requirement came after a country animal control officer was killed by a person residing in a foreclosed home. The American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals paid for the animal control officers vests while the county is paying for the building code officials vests. Click here to read the article posted on a local television website. Posted August 26, 2014 

Textile Technology Center Receives Extra Training Funds from State. It's good to hear the North Carolina government is giving Gaston College in Belment, N.C., USA, an extra $150,000 in funding to help train textile workers. The funding makes sense: In the last year North Carolina has gained $513 million in new investments in the textile industry, resulting in more than 800 jobs. Click here to read the article posted on the Gaston Gazette website. Posted August 24, 2014

"Yarn Forward" May Only Delay the Inevitable in TTP Agreement. The US textile industry's insistence of including the "Yarn Forward" Rule of Origin in the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, if then implemented, may only delay the inevitable for the decline in textile exports for apparel manufacturing to Central American countries. In a website blog posting, Dr. Sheng Lu, Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island's Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, summarizes that the inclusion of the Yarn Forward Rule of Origin will allow the US to export to Vietnam apparel production facilities. However, the already strong investment in manufacturing facilities by Japan in Vietnam may hamper efforts by the US. Dr. Sheng concludes that the US domestic industry's best prospect lays in industrial and technical textiles. Click here to read his posting. Posted August 24, 2014

Dutch Sending Helmets and Vests to Iraqi Kurds. The website reported on August 22 that The Netherlands is sending 1,000 helmets and 1,000 "bullet-proof" vests to help the Kurds in Iraq who are fighting against Islamic State militants. Click here to read the article. Posted August 24, 2014

Archive Features Silk Applications in World War One. We love it when we learn something new: The Warner Textile Archive is one of many museums in the United Kingdom taking part in the First World War Centenary Partnership. The archive is located in Braintree, Essex, UK, and contains a collection of more than 60,000 textiles, plus more than 10,000 textile books and documents. A unique contribution for the World War One Partnership is its feature of Frank Warner, owner of silk manufacturer Warner & Sons. During World War One, Warner experimented with using 15-20 layers of loose layers of silk to make bullet-proof vests. The company also made noil cloth, a material made from the short fibers left after silk is spun. Noil was essential for making cartridge-bags that held the explosive charge for the artillery shells. The fabric was the only material that could guarantee complete combustion; it did not leave ashes when it burned, and, thus, prevented the accidental reigniting of the next shell. Click here to visit the website with the archive. Posted August 24, 2014

Brand & Oppenheimer Names Business Development and Marketing Manager. Brand & Oppenheimer Co., Inc., a textile converter headquartered in Red Bank, N.J., USA, has appointed Lizz Gillcrist as Business Development and Marketing Manager for Protective Fabrics. Ms. Gillcrist had previously worked as Product Specialist in the Advanced Concepts Group for Polartec, LLC. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted August 24, 2014

Vietnam to Buy Ebola Protective Clothing Suits. According to the website VietNamNet Bridge, the concern of the spread of the deadly Ebola disease has prompted the Vietnam Ministry of Health to order the purchase of 10,000 personal protective equipment for those who may potentially have to work with patients infected with the virus. Click here to read the article. Posted August 24, 2014

Trinidad & Tobago Government Puchasing Anti-Ballistic Vests. The possibility of a prison shutdown has caused the Trinidad & Tobago government to announce plans to act on the recommendations of Prime Minister Kamla Perad-Biessear's Special Prison Committee to spend $7.5 million on 4,000 "bulletproof vests" for prison officers. Click here to read the post found on the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian website. Posted August 24, 2014

US Military Shelter Contract Awarded. The US Defense Logistics Agency announced today that Anchor Industries, Evansville, In., USA, has been awarded a maximum $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for commercial shelters. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and 20 offers were received. This is a one-year base contract, with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Indiana, with a Nov. 22, 2015, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. Posted August 21, 2014

Airbag Fall Protection for Elderly. We love how our industry continually solves problems. A hip fracture for an elderly person is devastating. According to an article posted on the MedGadget website, a company called ActiveProtect is now developing a belt that is worn on the outside of the clothing and it includes motion sensors that monitor the movement of the hips. If it detects that a person is falling, an airbag within the belt opens before the person hits the ground, cushioning the impact. Click here to read the article. Posted August 17, 2014

Mobile Lodging Success Story. There's a nice article posted on the UpStart Businees Journal website about Shelter Company, a camping tent rental company located in San Francisco, Calif., USA. The company was founded in 2012 and offers camping tents for rent. Besides the basic two-person tent, add-ons" include restrooms, showers and even a butler tent. Click here to read the article. Posted August 17, 2014

AutoLiv Reorganizes to Focus on Active Safety Business. According to a report posted on the Automotive News website today, Swedish manufacturer Autoliv, the largest automotive supplier of seat belts and airbags, "is restructuring its business units to focus more on its fast-growing high-margin active safety business..." Two business units are being organized: Passive Safety will be for the airbags and seat belt products. Electronics will be organized for the active safety business including radar, night vision and front-view cameras. Click here to go to the Automotive News website for the article. Posted August 15, 2014

Military Helmet Contracts Awarded. The US Defense Logistics Agency announced today it has awarded Gentex Corp., Simpson, Penn., USA, a $14,825,236 firm-fixed-price, multi-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for procurement of a maximum quantity of 42,000 Advanced Combat Vehicle crewman helmets. The DLA also announced Armor Source, Hebron, Oh., USA, was awarded a $12,893,417 firm-fixed-price, multi-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for procurement of a maximum quantity of 42,000 Advanced Combat Vehicle crewman helmets. Posted August 15, 2014

What is UAE's Second Largest Industry? You've probably guessed it is the textile industry since we are posting this on our website. According to officials at Abughazaleh Trading Company, United Arab Emirates exports textile products to more than 50 countries with major destinations being China, South Korea, Japan and other Asia countries. UAE has a diversified textile manufacturing portfolio including in our industry tents, automotive seating and luggage. Click here to read the article. Posted August 15, 2014

"Could This Be the [Motorcycle] Life Jacket of the Future?" This was the title of a short article found on the CarBuzz website (with our insertion of "Motorcycle"). The posting is about the performance of the new Decati D-Air motorcycle protection system which includes a jacket connected to the bike via a Bluetooth pairing system that senses an impact. There is a very cool short video that shows the inflation of the rider's jacket. Click here to visit the site and watch the video. Posted August 15, 2014

UK Hi-Tech Fabric Maker Bought by US Company. Bradford (UK)-based Universal Carbon Fibres Ltd. (UCF) has been acquired by Tex Tech Industries, a global manufacturer of engineered, high-performance materials. UCF is a manufacturer of high-performance yarns and fabrics, predominantly from carbon-based fibers, for applications such as automotive fuel cells and friction materials, fire-blocking for the transportation and aerospace industries, and water-blocking technology for communication and power cells. UCF also manufacturers inherently fire-resistant fabrics for personal protective clothing. Tex Tech is headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA. Click here to read the company press release announcing the acquisition. Posted August 15, 2014

Failure to Pass MTB has Contributed to $10 Million in Duty Costs to American Companies Importing Rayon Fiber. According to a report by Agathon Associates lack of congressional action on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill ("MTB") has contributed to $10 million in added costs to textile manufacturers who import rayon fiber. The US has not produced rayon filament fibers since Avtex, Inc. of Front Royal, Virginia, closed in the early 1990s, and has not produced rayon staple fibers since Liberty Fibers Corp. of Lowland, Tenn., USA, the last North American producer of these rayon fibers, terminated all U.S. manufacturing operations in 2005. However, rayon filament yarn (singles), staple fiber, tow, and top all continue to be subject to import duties ranging for 4.3% to 10%. Congress previously recognized that a tariff on a good for which there is no domestic producers adds a cost to other domestic producers while benefiting no one and, therefore, suspended, temporarily, the import duties on certain rayon fiber. Since the last of the rayon duty suspensions expired at the end of 2012, Congress has failed to act with the result that U.S. companies are now paying hundreds of thousands of dollars every month in import duties on rayon. Subscribers to Agathon Associates Trade Advisor service can read more by clicking herePosted August 11, 2014

US Releases June Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the June export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Exports continued to grow thorugh a 12-month year-to-year ending in June, increasing.5%. The top five recipients of US exports in this category were Mexico (+17.85%), Canada (-5.45%), China (-3.1%), Hong Kong (+1.16%) and Japan (+1.21%). Click here for the full report. Posted August 11, 2014

NASA Releases Video of Flying Saucer Ring Deployment. The US National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) has released a very cool video of the testing of the inflatable ring on the new Mars landing craft. The inflatable ring is shaped like a donut around the craft, giving the entire craft a "flaying saucer" look. The video was during a June 28 high-altitude test over Hawaii and shows the craft's descent velocity reduced from 4 times the speed of sound to 2 1/2 times. Click here to go to the site to watch the video. Posted August 9, 2014

MIller Weldmaster Acquires Product Lines from Sinclair Equipment. A news release was issued today from Miller Weldmast that the company has purchased the Triad, Spec and Roof Welding Toll product lines from Sinclair Equipment Company of Diamond Springs, Calif., USA. Miller Weldmaster, based in Navarre, Oh., USA, is a global manufacturer of heat seaming solutions for industrial fabrics and Sinclair has been one of the leading manufacturers of portable wedge welders, so the acquisition makes good sense. The press release is unclear what is happening to Sinclair Equipment but references that the owners, Frank and Anita Sinclair, are retiring. Posted August 8, 2014

Record Recall This Year on Airbags. According to the Reuters news agency more than 6.4 million vehicles have now been recalled this year because of possible faulty inflators used in the airbag systems manufactured by Japanese-based Takata Corp. Takata holds 20% of the world's airbag market. The recall is expected to result in the company's year-end loss of about $235 million for the year ending March 2015. Overall, automakers using Takata airbags have had to recall more than 12 million vehicles since 2008. Click here to read an article on the website about the recall and its effect. Posted August 7, 2014

Geosynthetics' Society Newsletter is Available. If you are looking for a comprehensive global look at the geosynthetics industry, we would suggest you consider the newsletter published by the International Geosynthetics Society. The latest IGS News (Volume 30, Issue 2) has just been released. It is free to download and filled with information on activities of the many IGS country and regional chapters as well as news about awards, recognitions and events to take place. Click here to view the newsletter. Posted August 7, 2014

Finnish Fiber-Material Manufacturer Reports Improved Profitability. Finland-based Ahlstrom has issued an interim report for January-June 2014. In the 2nd Quarter, while net sales fell by 4.5%, the profitability improved due to restructuring within the company. Ahlstrom is a manufacturer of fiber-based materials for the automotive, construction, food and medical industries. In the medical products segment, demand for its fabrics was stable in Europe and North America, while it strengthened in Asia. Click here to read the report issued by Ahlstrom. Posted August 7, 2014

Brawer Bros. Expand Warp Knitting Capability. More manufacturing in the US. Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International is reporting Brawer Bros., with headquarters based in New Jersey, USA, has announced it is expanding their conventional  warping operations with the addition of a new plant located in Whiteville, N.C., USA. Posted August 6, 2014

Pioneer Big Top Sail Being Replaced. An interesting article was posted on the Sunshine Coast Daily website about the replacement of a shade sail from the Big Top Shopping Centre located in Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia. At the time the original sail was erected in 1986, it was the largest shade sail in the southern hemisphere. The sail, designed by David Oliver, used 4500 square meters of fabric and was designed to protect a shopping mall. Click here to read the article. Posted August 6, 2014

OTEXA Looking for Injection Molding Companies. The US Department of Commerce's Office of Textile and Apparel (OTEXA) has asked for BeaverLake6 Report to help to find a company capable of doing injection moldings for elbow and knee carriers. If you can help, please contact Nadeen Saqer at Posted August 5, 2014

US Army Announces Date for Phasing in New Camouflage Pattern. The website posted an article on July 31 announcing that combat uniforms featuring the service's newest camouflage pattern called "Operational Camouflage Pattern" will be available starting in mid-2015. The plan is to transition to this new pattern, including dyeing over current wearable items which have the older digital Universal Camouflage Pattern. The Army is soliciting for industry partners who can over-dye nylon, cotton and rayon fabrics. The Operational Camouflage Pattern is expected to be used both in garrison and combat environments. According to the website, the new Operational Camouflage Pattern is one of a "family" of new patterns that will also include darker jungle-woodland and lighter desert environment variants. Click here to read the article. Posted August 1, 2014

Trelleborg Acquires Assets of US Coated Fabrics Company. Several news services are reporting that Trelleborg Coated Systems of Sweden has signed an agreement to acquire the assets and businesses of US-based Uretek Archer LLC Group. The acquired company consists of Uretek LLC and Archer Rubber Company LLC. The two companies manufacture urethane-coated and rubber-coated fabrics used in applications such as defense, outdoor recreation and aerospace. Total sales of Uretek and Archer amounted to almost US$70 million last year. Click here to read a Business Wire posting. Posted August 1, 2014

TenCate Shows Financial Improvement in 2nd Quarter. After a weak 1st Quarter, Royal Ten Cate (TenCate) has reported a 5% organic growth in revenues for the 2nd Quarter. Organic growth is the company's financial performance by increasing output and enhancing sales but excluding profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Strong growth in the composites and synthetic turf activities largely offset the decline in revenues in defense markets. TenCate, however, is investing in innovations in the defense section and and has strengthened its market position in particular of TenCate Advanced Armour. Revenues of TenCate Protective Fabrics declined in the first half of the year while revenues from protective fabrics for the industrial market rose by in excess of 10%. TenCate Geosynthetics rose 6% in organic terms in the first half of 2014 due from improved demand in the US. Click here to read the TenCate press release. Posted July 30, 2014

GSE Environmental Receives Approval of Its Reorganization Plan. As you may remember, GSE Environmental, Inc. announced on May 4, 2014 that it had voluntarily sought protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. The company is one of the world's largest producers of geomembranes. On July 28, GSE announced in a press release that the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., USA, has confirmed the reorganization plan for GSE. The plan eliminates a large amount of debt and provides capital for the company's future needs. Click here to read the press release. Posted July 30, 2014

Alternative to Aramid-Based Fabrics Tested in Body Armor. The regional Washington state website Business Examiner has posted an interesting article about a company called Moore Innovative Technologies LLC (MIT). The company claims to have developed a body armor vest material whose main component a gel-based substance that could become "an alternative to Kevlar as a component in the next evolution of bulletproof vests."  The vest is reinforced with layers of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fabric. Law enforcement officials who recently tested the vests were inpressed with the results. [Readers: Any thoughts on this? We're thinking maybe it is the UHMWPE material that is making the vest ballistic-resistant and the gel helps to lessen the impact force and helps to close the hole created when the first layers of the fabric yarn is separated by the bullet penetration.] Click here to read the article. Posted July 30, 2014

World Record for Lightest Two-Person Tent.  The UK website Ripley & Heanor News is reporting Terra Nova Equipment was awarded the Guinness World Record for the lightest two-person tent commercially available. The new Laser Ultra 2 will be available for consumer purchase next spring. The tent weighs 1.532 pounds (695g). [Sharp-eye readers of the posted article may wonder like us how the tent can be awarded this distinction in a category labeled  "commercially available" when the product is not yet "commercially available." Still, less than 2 pounds for a two-person tent is impressive.] Click here to read more about the tent and the company. Posted July 30, 2014

US Foreign Trade Zone Approved for Coleman Company. We've learned from Agathon Associates's website that the US Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) Board has authorized limited production activity for the Coleman Company at their facility in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. [See our previous April 2 post in the Archived News section.] This limited approval issued July 25 means that Coleman will be exempt from customs duty payments on foreign status components used in production of personal flotation devices (pfds) and cushions constructed in Sauk Rapids that are designated for export. However, Coleman had also sought to pay the duty for produced pfds and cushions intended for the US domestic market based upon the import duty for a finished product (which is lower) rather than on the materials imported to make the product. The FTZ Board declined to allow the lower duty rates for domestic sales as requested by Coleman. Click here to go to the Agathon Associate website. Posted July 27, 2014

UK Company Donates $6.8 Million of Fire Protective Gear. The website has a nice article posted about the donation by protective clothing manufacturer Ballyclare Ltd., of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK. The donation amounted to $6.8 million of specialist clothing and was given to the International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) for distribution to fire services in needed countries. The protective gear includes tunics, boots, helmets, gloves, and trousers; enough to outfit about 4,500 firefighters. They will be given to fire services in Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Albania and Bosnia. The donated materials have reached their expiration dates for allowing them to be sold in the UK. The IFRA founder says that despite the expired dates, the protective gearis still very serviceable. Click here to read the article. Posted July 27, 2014

Stab-Resistant Fashion Clothing Unveiled. Do you want to look fashionable in a knife fight? The NBC news website has posted an article about a new line of knife-resistant clothes recently shown at Columbiamoda 2014, an international fashion show which took place July 22-24 in Medellin, Columbia. Click here to read the article. Posted July 27, 2014

Massive Tent Goes Up in 10 MInutes. One of the largest tents in the world is ready to go up. The Singapore website asiaone has an interesting story posted about a 10-story tent near the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The tent is used for the Cavalia's White Theatre Tent, a touring show the website article says "featuring a mix of equestrian and performing arts, multimedia and special effects.' The structure takes up almost 6,700 square meters. Once the support towers are in place, it will take about 10 minutes to erect the huge structure. Click here to read the article and see the pictures. Posted July 27, 2014

"Bulletproof" Vests Now Mandatory for Police Officers in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune website, the State of Illinois (USA) has passed a law that mandates "every law enforcement agency in the state to provide a bulletproof vest to each new recruit as part of the officer's initial equipment issue, and that the agency replace the vests before their warranties expire." The law also mandates that "the unit of government with jurisdiction over each department apply to the U.S. Justice Department for matching grants to pay for the vests under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act." Federal reimbursement is available for up to half the cost of the vests. [However, as BeaverLake6 Report posted in May, federal funding is currently being held up in the US Congress.] According to statistics provided by the federal government, since the Bulletproof Vest Partnership program was established in 1999, $375 million has been given by the federal authority to the local enforcement agencies to purchase more than 1.1 million vests. Click here to read the Chicago Tribune posting. Posted July 20, 2014

Israel Defense Force Orders New Parachutes. According to the website IsraelDefense, the Israel Defense Force (IDF), after 50 years of using the same designed parachute, has ordered new parachutes based on the T-11 model by the Airborne Systems Company, Santa Ana, Cal., USA. The T-11 parachute is square-shaped. In the website posting, it says one of the main reasons for the replacement is the fact that today's paratroopers weigh, on average, a few kilograms more than the average paratrooper of the last century. The T-11 system includes a new reserve parachute that has a wider canopy than the one being replaced. The IDF will have to wait, though, until the US Army has received its order of about 15,000 of the new T-11 parachutes. Click here to read the article. Posted July 16, 2014

Israel Defense Force Orders New Parachutes. According to the website IsraelDefense, the Israel Defense Force (IDF), after 50 years of using the same designed parachute, has ordered new parachutes based on the T-11 model by the Airborne Systems Company, Santa Ana, Cal., USA. The T-11 parachute is square-shaped. In the website posting, it says one of the main reasons for the replacement is the fact that today's paratroopers weigh, on average, a few kilograms more than the average paratrooper of the last century. The T-11 system includes a new reserve parachute that has a wider canopy than the one being replaced. The IDF will have to wait, though, until the US Army has received its order of about 15,000 of the new T-11 parachutes. Click here to read the article. Posted July 16, 2014

US Defense Logistics Agency Awards Tarp Contract. It was announced to day that GTA Containers Inc, South Bend, Ind., USA, was awarded a $7,539,057 firm-fixed-price contract with options for 6,333 tarps and bows for the five-ton long wheel base vehicle. Work will be performed in South Bend, Indiana, with an estimated completion date of June 17, 2017. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 10 received. Fiscal 2011 other procurement funds in the amount of $3,967,737, and fiscal 2012 other procurement funds in the amount of $3,571, 320 are being obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., USA, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-14-C-0223). Posted July 16, 2014

"Tornado Lifejacket" Developed. At least that's what inventors Dr. Steve Walker and Stan Schone of ProTecht, LLC, call their new product BODYGUARD. Made of "heavy duty" nylon, a layer of what's called "Impact Gel," and a final layer of a woven aramid fabric, the blanket is designed for use in schools as a protective cover over a student's body to lessen the impact of flying debris during a catastrophic event like a tornado. BODYGUARD will be marketed to schools that are particularly in the path of frequent devastating weather events. In looking at the ProTecht website, the blanket appears to be related to another product they developed called the Storm ProTecht blanket that is marketed to consumers for keeping in cars, boats and other outdoor exposed areas. Click here to read the article posted on the website. Posted July 16, 2014

Polyester Fibers Completes Management-Led Buyout. The website has posted an article noting that the management of Polyester Fibers LLC, a North American manufacturer of nonwoven polyester materials, have completed a management-led buyout from its parent company, Empire Investment Holdings. Polyester Fibers, headquartered in Conover, N.C., USA, is a supplier of polyester nonwoven material for various end-product markets including the filtration and automotive industries. Click here to read the entire posting. Posted July 16, 2014

Takeover Bid Launched on TRW. TRW Automotive Holdings, one of the three major global manufacturers of airbags, is the target of a takeover bid by German auto-parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG. TRW is based in Livonia, Mich., USA. If the bid is successful, it would be create a $40 billion company. Click here to read a Wall Street Journal posting on the bid. Posted July 11, 2014

Australia's Largest Manufacturer of Technical Textiles Sold. The Australian newspaper website The Border Mail reported today Bruck Textiles of Wangaratta, Vic., Australia, has been sold to Australian Textile Mills (ATM). Bruck, established in 1947 and currently employing about 250 workers, specializes in supplying performance and protective fabrics textiles for the automotive and defense industries. The sale is estimated to result in the loss of 60 jobs. [BeaverLake6 Report did a quick search and was unable to find out anything about ATM.] Click here to read the post from The Boarder Mail website. Posted July 11, 2014

Ukraine Reportedly Receives 2,000 Body Armor Vests from US. A Ukrainian website posting this week the US Embassy put out a July 7 press release confirming that the Ukrainian Armed Forces has received 2,000 sets of Interceptor body armor from the US government. Further, the press release said that other recent deliveries from the US include 1,000 sleeping mats and 3,600 camouflage jackets, and that 1,000 helmet covers will arrive shortly. These are all part of the $23 million non-lethal aid package announced earlier this year. [BeaverLake6 Report was unable to find this July 7 press release on the US Embassy's Ukraine website but did find a June 21 press release which announced in more general terms a $23 million non-lethal aid package that included body armor and other materials.] Click here to read the Ukraine website posting. Posted July 10, 2014

Leading Geosynthetic Supplier Acquired. In a July 9 press release, Tensar Corporation, a major supplier within the global geosynthetics industry, announced it had been acquired by Castle Harlan, Inc., a New York-based private equity firm. Tensar was originally formed in 1983 as a jointly venture formed by Gulf Canada Limited, Netlon Limited and Netlon Limited's majority shareholder. Since then, the company has been through a number of acquisitions, most recently in 2005 by the investment group Arcapita Inc. Tensar is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Click here to read the press release on the acquisition. Posted July 10, 2014

Truck Side Curtains May Have Caused a Fatal Accident. A Scotland television news website,, has posted an article on its site reporting on police speculation that a fatal lorry accident was caused because the vehicle's fabric side curtains acted like a sail and toppled the truck during a bad gust of wind. The side curtains were closed on the empty trailer. At the inquiry, the road policing constable said that "industry bodies recommend leaving the weatherproofing membrane [curtains] open in windy conditions, but the advice was not published." Further, "there was no legislation or formal guidance covering the use of trailer side curtains." Click here to read the accident article. Posted July 10, 2014

Home Sew Acquired by MAD Holdings. Congratulations to our good friend Mark Dammeyer. His company, MAD Holdings, Inc. of Bethlehem, Penn., US, has acquired Home Sew, Inc., a leading US catalog and online retailer of sewing and craft supplies. Mr. Dammeyer has long experience in the technical textiles industry and previously held management positions with United Textiles (UNITEX) and Somfy. He will now become president/CEO of Home-Sew Holdings LLC. Click here to read the news release about the acquisition. Posted July 9, 2014

Crazy Innovative Tent Designs. No website goes unchecked as we search to bring you the most cool applications in the technical textiles industry. We came across some amazing camping tents at the unlikely website named dometicsluttery that are intended to appeal to the female camper. Click here to look at all the uniquely designed tents displayed on the website. Posted July 9, 2014

US Releases May Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. The US Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) has released the May export numbers for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Over a 12-month year-to-year ending in May, exports increased 6.8%. Mexico, the largest recipient of products in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group during the last 12 months at $3.2bn, grew 17.17%, The other countries in the top 5 are Canada, China, Hong Kong and Japan. Click here for the full report. Posted July 9, 2014

Foreign Investers Urge Vietnam to Speed Up FTAs' Negotiations. According to the Vietnam daily newspaper Thankh Nien, many foreign companies that have invested in Vietnam in anticipation of the country's benefits from its involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, are now urging the government to speed up the negotiation process. While trade value between the US and Vietnam reached $29.7 billion last year, a 20% year-on-year increase, the TPP benefit could result in a jump of another 14%.  [Note: Much of the anticipated trade lies in textiles and finished products made of textiles.] Click here to read the article. Posted July 8, 2014

State Sues Nonwovens Company for Failure to Abide by Terms of Grant. Custom Nonwovens Inc. is being sued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the return of $100,000 in grant money given to the company in 2012. The grant was awarded with the understanding the company was going to invest $5.3 million in the development of a plant in Allentown, Penn., USA, and operate it for at least 5 years.  The North Carolina based company shuttered the project in 2013. Click here to read an article posted on the Allentown Morning Call website. Posted July 8, 2014 

British Airlines Tests "Happiness Blanket." A very cool marketing study was conducted last month when British Airlines gave flyers going from London to New York special blankets. The blankets had fiber optics woven into the material and the customers wore headbands with neurosensors to measure brain wavers. The purpose was to measure the passenger's relaxation. The fiber optics caused the color of the blanket to turn red for a minimum of relaxation and blue showed the maximum relaxation. The goal was to provide the passenger with the best sleep possible on long flights. Testing was done on food served, takeoff and landing, and even the types of movies shown on the trips. Click here to read an article on the test and watch a neat video produced by British Airways. Posted July 8, 2014

NC State Names Hinks Interim Dean of Textiles. The search committee's task for finding a new dean of the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University is proving to be a difficult. The committee has not been able to reach a concensus on a candidate to recommend. Provost Warwick Arden has suspended the search and appointed professor David Hinks to serve as interim dean effective July 1. Dr. Hinks is the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry and director of the Forensic Sciences Institute. Blanton Godfrey, who has served as dean for 14 years, will be returning to the faculty. The search for the new dean will start up again in the coming academic year. Click here to read the NC State press release announcing Dr. Hinks' interim appointment. Posted July 2, 2014

More Carbon Fiber Plants Going Up in US. As industry consultant Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International reported yesterday, "The carbon fiber industry in the US is on a significant growth spurt." Japan's Mitsubishi Rayon Company, Ltd. (MRC) announced June 30 that it plans to double carbon fiber capacity at its US location in Sacramento, Calif. Capacity would increase from 2,000 tons to 4,000 tons. The fibers would be between 12k tow and 50k tow. MRC notes that worldwide demand for carbon fiber is increasing at an annual 20% rate. One of the applications causing the increase is the use in carbon fiber-reinforced pressure vessel used in compressed natural gas fuel tanks. These tanks are used in transportation from the boom in shale gas development. Click here to read more about the MRC increase. Posted July 2, 2014

Qatar Reveals Tent-Like Stadium Structure Design for 2022 FIFA World Cup. The design of a new 60,000-theater stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, has been unveiled. The stadium is to be modeled after a traditional Bayt Al-Sha'al tent used by the region's nomadic tribes. The stadium, called "Al Bayt," will be fabric-covered and is intended as one of the semi-final venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Three more venues in Qatar are expected to be announced soon. The architect of Al Bayt stadium is Dar Al Handasah. Click here to view a fascinating video of how it will look. Posted June 30, 2014

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Coming Events

  • October 8-10: 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, D.C., USA

  • October 9-12: Nonwoven Fabric Property Development and Characterization, Raleigh, N.C., USA

  • October 10-11: 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications, Cannes, France

  • October 15-19: ITMA Asia + CITME 2018, Shanghai, China

  • October 15-19: CAMX, Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, Dallas, Texas, USA

  • October 16-17: GeoDallas 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA

  • October 16-18: IFAI Expo 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

Fiber Publication Acquired. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, today announced the acquisition of two leading industry publications: International Filtration News and International Fiber News.  The association purchased the publications from International Media Group, Inc., based in Tempe, Az., USA. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed. The publications each have circulations of 8,000-plus domestic and international readers and have served their readers for over three decades. Both are published six times a year in print and digital formats. The acquisitions will expand INDA’s reach and relevance in the key markets the print and digital publications serve with a particular emphasis on the filtration and separation segment as INDA launches its new FiltXpo event to be held in Chicago every 18 months starting February 26-28, 2020.  Click here to read the INDA press release on the purchase. Posted October 2, 2018

Rhode Island Organizes Textile Innovation Network

Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum and US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

On September 24, 2018, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center helped to launch the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). The event was held in Pawtucket, R.I., US, at the Slater Mill Museum. RITIN is a trade group formed with the objective to guide the growth of the state's textile industry in the 21st century. "The Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network is an innovative business partnership to help Rhode Island stay at the forefront of advanced textile manufacturing," said US Congressman David Cicilline. 14 companies of the state's textile industry participated in the meeting including American Cord & Webbing, Cooley Group, and Kenyon Industries. Click here to view a video of the opening address by Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum. [Note: The original post reported an incorrect the date of the meeting.] Posted September 28, 2018

New Trade Deal with Mexico is Good News for US Textile Industry

Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico. 


The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production. 


To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.


Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.


Mea Culpa.  In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.


Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative. 


Steve Warner


Posted August 28, 2018

Frédérique Mutel Stepping Down as JEC President

Frederique Mutel

In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.


On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018

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. Posted June 18, 2018

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine. 


This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.


The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.


Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy. 


Steve Warner, Publisher

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.


I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.


Steve Warner


"Buy American" Amendments Needed in US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.


Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.


What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry. 


Steve Warner


Posted November 3, 2017

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.


The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers.


Steve Warner


June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017

Media Partners

In My Opinion

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.


So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.


Steve Warner


Posted January 17, 2016

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

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