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Techtextil Frankfurt 2017

Living in Space

One of the highlights of the Techtextil and Texprocess shows was the theme "Living in Space." Featured was a material gallery area with displays of 40 selected textile products from the exhibitors for use in space travel. The display was divided into 4 sections -- Architecture, Clothing, Civilization and Mobility. 


Dominating the display area was the Prototype II, a modular shelter designed by architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and made by MDT-tex. The shelter envisions how we might one day live on the moon or on Mars. The design is inspired by foldable structures and the need for lightweight and compact transport into space. The primary material component of the shelter is PTFE membrane. Posted May 17, 2017

Messe Frankfurt Press Release

Issued May 13, 2017

Visitor and Exhibitor Records at Techtextil and Texprocess

Special ‘Living in Space’ exhibition attracts the masses


Textile industry shows itself from the dynamic, high-tech side


“Although we had extra personnel on our exhibition stand, visitors still

had to queue on occasions. For us, the fair was fantastic”, said Dr Jan

Zimmermann of Techtextil exhibitor Forster Rohner from Switzerland.

Many of the 1,789 exhibitors of Techtextil and Texprocess had similar

experiences. Over 47,500 visitors (an increase of around 14%,

2015: 41,826) from 114 countries made their way to Frankfurt Fair and

Exhibition Centre from 9 to 12 May, to discover the most innovative

products in the field of technical textiles and the latest processing



Entering the exhibition halls of the two leading trade fairs left no doubt:

“Industry 4.0, smart and functional textiles and digitalization are no

longer tomorrow’s trends. Today, the textile industry is in the thick of it. If

any industry is fit for the future, it’s the textile industry. Nevertheless,

even in this age of digitalization, a personal exchange of ideas and

opinions is essential. Accordingly, we are delighted that so many visitors

came to Techtextil and Texprocess”, explained Detlef Braun, Member of

the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “Anyone who was not here in

Frankfurt over the last four days has missed experiencing the dynamic

nature of the textile industry for themselves”, added Braun.


“We expected numerous visitors before the doors opened. But that there

would be so many was a great surprise. On occasions, we even had

trouble in answering all inquiries”, said Sebastian Feges of Texprocess

exhibitor Efka confirming the record number of visitors. From scanning

body dimensions of tomorrow’s apparel customer, via IT-aided fashion

design, automatic cutting, ever faster sewing and joining, as well as

embroidering innumerable parts simultaneously, to delivering the

garments: at Texprocess, the degree of interaction between man and

machine reached a new level.


“The garment manufacturing and textile industries set course for the

future at an early stage and, during the two fairs, once again demonstrated

that they rank among the most viable and progressive of sectors”,

said Elgar Straub, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and

Leather Technologies, conceptual partner of Texprocess, rounding off the

overall impression


On all four days, the situation was similar at Techtextil where

international trade visitors jammed the exhibition halls looking for

high-tech textiles for use in applications such as folding textile

headlights, smart knee bandages, warming or cooling fashions, not to

mention garments with integrated LEDs, fire-resistant fibers, bicycle

frames made of carbon and textile membranes for stadium roofs.


After Germany, the three main visitor nations at Techtextil were Italy,

France and Turkey. At Texprocess, they were Italy, Romania and

Portugal. Particularly striking this year: very many young professionals

attended the fairs – another indication of the positive and dynamic mood

in the textile sector, which is clearly on course for growth. “Techtextil and

Texprocess provide the setting for a lively exchange of ideas and

opinions, as well as networking between the players, especially from the

industry and start-ups, as well as the research and scientific fields”, said

Parliamentary Undersecretary of State Dirk Wiese of the Federal Ministry

of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und

Energie – BMWi) during his visit to the two fairs.


The very good mood at the fair was underscored by the visitor poll on the

economic climate in the sector. According to 33% of Texprocess

visitors (2015: 26%), the current economic situation can be

described as good. In the case of Techtextil visitors, the figure was even

higher with 42% holding this opinion (2015: 32%). To these

figures must be added the outstanding ratings given to the two events.

Thus, 96% of Techtextil visitors said they were very pleased with

the results of their visit to the fair. In the case of Texprocess visitors, the

figure was even higher: 97%.


Also very well received were the numerous special exhibitions and

events, which offered insights into the whole textile value chain and

highlighted the synergistic effects between the two fairs. Opened by ESA

astronaut Dr Reinhold Ewald, the space-travel oriented exhibition, ‘Living

in Space’ attracted numerous visitors with features such as a virtual reality

journey to Mars, materials for use in space and a ‘Space Habitat’

designed by star architect Ben van Berkel. There was thunderous

applause for the ‘Innovative Apparel Show’, which drew packed crowds

to the foyer of Halls 5.1 / 6.1 with a display of high-tech textiles live on

the catwalk several times throughout the fair. Showing a complete textile

production line in operation, the ‘Digital Textile Micro Factory’ was

praised as having been a complete success.


The next Techtextil and Texprocess will be held in Frankfurt am Main

from 14 to 17 May 2019.

Trade Show Opens with Record Number of Exhibitors

Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board, Messe Frankfurt, at the Opening Ceremony

This year's Techtextil opened its doors in Frankfurt today under the motto "Connecting the Future."


To say the event is big is an understatement: Techtextil 2017 has 1,477 exhibitors from 55 countries and the co-located Texprocess has another 312 exhibitors from 36 countries, for a combined staggering 1,789 exhibitors. That's a lot of walking for the visitors.


By necessity, the 2017 shows added an extra day, expanding from 3 to 4 days -- but even then, if you were determined to visit every stand this week, you would only be able to spend slightly more than 1 minute at each over the 35 hours of floor time. Whew!


The Techtextil Innovation Awards were presented at the Opening Ceremony today. An international jury honored 8 products, including a bicycle lock made of high-tech textiles, an intelligent knee brace, and a seamless load-securing net.


Steve Warner


Posted May 8, 2017

Eight smart products chosen for the Techtextil Innovation Award 2017

Special exhibition of the award-winning products throughout the fair


The Techtextil Innovation Awards were presented at the opening ceremony of Techtextil today. An international jury honored 8 products in 4 categories:


In the New Application category, a winner was the Centexbel, non-profit organization (Belgium). The intelligent knee brace from Centexbel supports patients during the rehabilitation phase after knee operations. A textile sensor identifies the angle of the knee in real-time and informs the patient of this accordingly. It also offers personalized exercises via an app.


Also a winner in the New Application category was Peterseim Strickwaren, presenting a basalt knitted fabric that protects maritime systems, such as buoys, from environmental influences and cuts maintenance costs by up to 40%.

In the New Technology category, the winner was Upper Franconian company of V. Fraas Solutions in Textile  with its product SITnet, a load-securing net distinguished by joining points for the belts, which are warp-knitted instead of sewn. Thus, the net is completely flat, even and capable of bearing higher loads than conventional products.

Vetex NV (Belgium), a company specializing in coating and laminating technology, also was a winner in the New Technology category. Its OC2PUS technology permits a polyurethane coating to be applied to flexible substrates, i.e., to functionalize textiles, without the use of solvents, such as the controversial dimethyl formamide (DMF). To this end, specially developed polyurethane resins, which harden chemically during the coating process, are used.

In the New Product category, the Leipzig-based start-up Texlock was chosen for its innovative, textile-based bicycle lock, which is light, flexible and does not scratch the bicycle’s paintwork thanks to its soft surface. 

In the New Product category, a winner was Penn Textile Solutions which specializes in the production of elastic textiles and was selected for an Innovation Award for Ombra-DLS, a shading net for use in facade construction and window installation. By expanding the net to a greater or lesser extent, the light admitted to a room or building can be modified according to requirements, regardless of how much light energy is available at the time.

The Institute of Textile Chemistry and Chemical Fibres (ITCF) Denkendorf received the New Material category for PURCELL, a sustainable composite made of pure cellulose, which is used not only as a high strength reinforcement fiber but also as a matrix component. 

Also named a winner in the New Material category was Durafiber Technologies (France), chosen for an alkaline-resistant polyester HT yarn. Tests have shown that the yarn retains its original technical properties almost unchanged even after being in contact with alkaline products at high temperatures for several days.

The jury:

Braz Costa, CITEVE, Centro Tecnológico das Indústrias téxtil e do Vestuário, Portugal

Sabine Gimpel, TITV Greiz Textilforschungsinstitut Thüringen-Vogtland e.V., Germany

Dr Klaus Jansen, Forschungskuratorium Textil e.V., Deutschland

Dr Jan Laperre (Chair), Centexbel, Belgium

Dr René Rossi, EMPA – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland

Dr Thomas Stegmaier, ITV Institute for Textile and Process Technology Denkendorf, Germany

Dr Hartmut Strese, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, Deutschland


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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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