BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

July 1 - September 30, 2018

US Export Figures Released for June. The US Department of Commerce has released the June export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group.  Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

124,441 124,236 -0.16

United Kingdom


99,913 -0.95
World 4,141,593 4,321,164 +4.34

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted August 7, 2018

Change in Leadership Announced for Nonwovens Company.  Finland-vased Suominen Corporation has appointed Pekka Ojanpää as the new President & CEO of the Company. Ojanpää works currently as the President & CEO of Lassila & Tikanoja Plc and starts as Suominen’s President & CEO latest in February 2019. Suominen’s current President & CEO Nina Kopola will leave her position as President & CEO. Tapio Engström, CFO, has been appointed as Suominen’s interim President & CEO as of August 3, 2018. Suominen is a global manufacturer of nonwoven wipes and personal hygiene products. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the transition. Posted August 6, 2018

Teijin Frontier to Acquire German Automotive Interior Manufacturer.  Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd. announced today that it has agreed to acquire J. H. Ziegler GmbH, a German supplier of automotive interior materials for approximately $146.4 million. Established in 1864, Ziegler makes nonwoven seat wadding materials and sound-absorbing composite solutions. The company operates 5 plants located in Germany, China and Hungary. It posted consolidated sales of over $80.8 million in its last fiscal year. Teijin Frontier is making the acquisition to improve its automotive interior materials' production and sales capabilities in Europe. Teijin Frontier is a subsidiary of Teijin Group, and is a manufacturer of high performance fibers such as aramid and carbon. Click here to read the corporate announcement of the acquisition. Posted July 30, 2018

NASA Completes Another Test of Orion Spacecraft Parachute System. A test was successfully completed July 12, 2018 on the Orion Spacecraft's parachute system. This was the 7th of 8 qualification tests and this time it was to test the parachute's "robustness." The mock spacecraft was dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles and generated enough speed to simulate forces on the main chutes as a nomal descent. Each of the three main parachutes expanded to 116 feet. Altogether, the spacecraft has 11 parachutes. Click here to read more on the Space Flight Insider website. Posted July 30, 2018

Kenyan Government's Purchases Defective Body Armor. The Nigerian website Pulse reports that an audit of the Kenya Prisons department for 2017 found 600 body armor jackets purchased by the department were defective, arriving without armor plates and incapable of stopping either ballistic or knife stabs. Cost of the body armor was $427,000. Click here to read the posted article. Posted July 30, 2018

New Para-Aramid Factory Announced in China. Yantai Tayho Advanced Materials has announced plans to spend $89 million to build a para-aramid fiber plant in northwest China. The plant is expected to produce 3,000 tons of yarn for the new 5G networks being built across China as well as other civilian and military applications. Plant construction is expected to be completed and trial runs started in early 2020. Yantai Tayho is headquartered in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Click here to read more. Posted July 30, 2018

US Fabric Shelter Manufacturer to Build New Facility.  Engineering Services and Products Co., operating as ClearSpan Fabric Structures, is building a new $7 million manufacturing structure in Dyersville, Ia., USA. ClearSpan is a fabricator and installer of large fabric tension structure facilities used in the agricultural industry. The new facility will be manufacturing steel beams used in the company's fabric structures. ClearSpan currently employs 263 people in Dyersville in other manufacturing plants. Click here to read more about the new facility. Posted July 30, 2018 

Body Armor Manufacturer Agrees to Settle with US Department of Justice. Finally, Richard Davis, the founder and former president of Second Chance Body Armor Inc., has agreed to settle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the lawsuit brought by the government over defective bulletproof vests sold to law enforcement agencies. As BeaverLake6 Report has reported in numerous updates (latest was June 6, 2018), Mr. Davis was accused of knowingly selling the defective body armor containing Zylon fiber. The other defendants in the case, including Zylon's manufacturer Toyobo, have previously settled. Under the settlement, Mr. Davis will relinquish $1.2 million in assets which had already been previously frozen by the US government, plus pay an additional $125,000. Click here to read more at the Legal News Hotline website. Posted July 27, 2018

Space Technology Award Given to Bally Ribbon. Engineered textile material provider Bally Ribbon Mills has been awarded a Space Technology Award from NASA's Technology Mission Directorate for weaving the three-dimensional carbon material used within NASA's Heat Shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) project. The HEEET project aims to develop a new Thermal Protection System that leverages weaving and 3D printing manufacturing methods for aircraft parts made of carbon composite materials. Bally is headquartered in Bally, Penn., USA. Click here to read more. Posted July 23, 2018

Compilation of Flammability Testing Standards Published. Flammability testing company Govmark Organization’s founder and former CEO Salvatore Messina has published a compilation of the most pertinent federal, state, local and industry voluntary flammability standards that apply to textiles, foams, plastics, and composites used in carpeting/floor-coverings, draperies, mattress, upholstered furniture, and wall-coverings. Summaries and sketches are derived from standards issued by ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), ICC (International Code Council), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), City of Boston, Canada/ULC, and the State of California, and federal requirements contained in the two major model building codes promulgated by NFPA and ICC. A good reference book for those in the textile industry. Click here to go to Amazon webside where you can find out more about the book contents or to order. Posted July 23, 2018

Sage Automotive Acquired by Asahi Kasei. Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corporation has announced it is acquiring interior automotive fabric supplier Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. for $1.1 billion from Clearlake Sage Holding, LLC. The purchase of Sage by Asahi Kasei is in part to move the Japanese company up to a Tier 2 status with the automotive industry. Asahi Kasei makes fibers and textiles. It has been a supplier of fibers to Sage. In 2017 Asahi Kasei had sales of $2.7 billion. Sage had 2017 sales of $475 million. It has 5 locations in the US as well as manufacturing operations in Italy, Poland, Romania, Brazil and China. Sage was originally part of Milliken & Company before it was spun off in 2009. Click here to read the Asahi Kasei press release on the acquisition. Posted July 19, 2018

US Zipper Company Supplying to Military Not in Compliance with Berry Amendment, Loses Contract. Dunlap Industries, a 100-employee manufacturer of zippers located in Dunlap, Tenn., USA, has lost its US military contract because another zipper manufacturer successfully filed a complaint that Dunlap was not making all of its zipper parts used in uniforms in the US as required by the Berry Amendment.  Dunlap president Robert Kwasnik has admitted the company sources the slider of the zipper from outside the country, saying it is virtually impossible to get some parts for a zipper from a US manufacturer. As noted in an Associated Press story, the irony is that the company making the complaint was YKK Corporation, the world's largest supplier of zippers. Although YKK is based in Japan, it supplies the US military through a plant located in Macon, Ga., USA. Click here to read an article posted on the CBS News website. Posted July 19, 2018

US Textile Organization Applauds Proposed New Tariffs on Chinese Textiles. The National Council of Textile Organization's (NCTO) has approved the Trump administration's proposed additional Section 301 tariffs on up to $200 billion of Chinese-made products that includes a substantial amount of yarns and finished textile materials. NCTO CEO Auggie Tantillo has said the organization will be thoroughly vetting all the line items to examine how the competitiveness of the US textile industry is impacted. Industry has until August 30, 2018 to give public imput. Click here to read the NCTO statement. Posted July 13, 2018

Milliken Appoints New CEO. The board of directors of Milliken & Company has announced the selection of Halsey M. Cook Jr. as president and CEO effective September 1, 2018. J. Harold Chandler will return to his role as the company's chair of the board of directors. Mr. Chandler was elected as president following the abrupt departure of Joseph Salley in October 2016.  Mr. Cook  has a 30-year career leading a wide range of global businesses with significant manufacturing and distribution networks. Milliken is a diverse global manufacturer of products including technical textiles. Click here to read the Milliken company press release. Posted July 13, 2018

Firestone Fibers & Textiles Investing $19 Million. Technical textile fibers manufacturer Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company is investing $19 million to expand its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, N.C., USA. The company also has manufacturing operations in Gastonia, N.C., USA and Woodstock, Ont., Canada. Click here to read an article about the expansion on the Gastone Gazette website. Posted July 13, 2018

University of Massachusetts Lowell Opens Fabric Discovery Center.  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was on hand at the ceremony opening the new Fabric Discovery Center at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The center will be at the forefront of research into smart fabric applications such as wearable electronics and military uniforms. It was built through the support of a $10 million state grant. The Discovery Center works with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), an initiative created by the US Department of Defense. Click here to read more about the opening of the center in an article posted on the Boston Globe website. Posted July 13, 2018

US Export Figures Released for May. The US Department of Commerce has released the May export figures for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Group. The numbers are showing a healthy +5.16% gain over last year for the same 12-month period. It will be interesting to watch these figures as the trade war with China begins. Click here to see the entire report released by the Department of Commerce. 



Year Ending


Year Ending



% Change













Hong Kong

124,263 122,405 -1.50

United Kingdom


101,479 +3.57
World 4,108,374 4,320,302 +5.16

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted July 10, 2018

South Africa Fines Airbag Maker Toyoda Gosei for Price-Fixing Collusion. Japanese-based airbag manufacturing Toyoda Gosei was fined 6.1 million Rand ($455,700) by South Africa's Competition Committee after the company admitted to colluding with other airbag makers Autoliv and Takata in requests for airbag quotes for Toyota cars made in South Africa. The prosecution is part of a world-wide effort to thwart ad-hoc cartels of similar automotive material suppliers sharing sensitive information. Other participants still being investigated in South Africa include TRW Automotive and Tokai Rika. Click here to read an article about the collusion. Posted July 9, 2018

Astrup Building Set for Remodeling in Cleveland. If you are a custom products manufacturer using canvas or specialty fabrics, you likely remember The Astrup Company, the leading distributor of the materials for almost 100 years until the company was bought and merged into Glen Raven in 2007. An article posted on Crain's Cleveland Business (Cleveland, Oh., USA) discusses the plans to renovate the former Astrup Awning Co.'s 3-story building that dates back to 1911. Because of the rich history of the company which started as a maker of sails, the developer is seeking to have the building listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the article. Posted July 9, 2018

Trelleborg Acquires US Coated Fabrics Manufacturer.  Swedish coated fabric maker Trelleborg, through its Trelleborg Coated Systems division, has signed an agreement to acquire Laminating Coating Technology, Inc. (Lamotec). Lamotec develops and manufactures polyurethane-coated and laminated fabrics primarily used in the aerospace and healthcare/medical industries. Lamotec is headquartered in Monson, Mass., USA. Posted July 9, 2018

Stealth Material Developed at University of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin -- Madison in Madison, Wisc., USA, has an interesting article posted on its website about a new cloaking material the university has developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The material prevents infrared cameras from using heat-seeking sensing to find objects such as a person or a vehicle. Less than 1 millimeter thick, the stealth sheet absorbs approximately 94% of the infrared light it encounters. Click here to read the article. Posted July 4, 2018

Armor Express Names New Vice President of Sales. Ballistic body armor manufacturer Central Lake Armor Express Inc. has announced industry veteran Frank Capro is joining the company as its new vice president of sales. Mr. Capro has had a 20-year career in the body armor, protective solutions and public safety industry, most recently as vice president of Public Safety Sales for 5.11 Tactical, a maker of tactical apparel and gear. Armor Express is based in Central Lake, Mich., USA, and is part of KDH Defense Systems. Click here to read the company's press release. Posted July 4, 2018

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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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