In the dynamic and global textile fiber industry with its various manufacturing processes and end-uses, news and information is breaking on a daily basis. International Fiber Journal is tracking stories relevant to our industry from manmade to natural to bio-based fibers, innovations in nonwoven, woven, braided and technical textiles, technologies for additives, bonding, coatings and polymers, and applications from apparel to hygiene to transportation, and more. Here we will post news stories relevant to textile fibers and their downstream applications on an ongoing basis. Please check back for regular updates. If you have news that you feel should be added to this summary report, please email it to Ken Norberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most recent update: August 19, 2022
INDA’s RISE® to focus on rethinking, reusing, recycling nonwovens
More than 20 industry experts will present their views on how material science innovations can create a more sustainable future for the nonwovens industry at the Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE®) Conference, Sept. 27-28 at North Carolina State University.
Starting with responsible sourcing of nonwoven inputs to developing realistic end-of-life options and circularity opportunities, RISE will focus on rethinking, reusing and recycling nonwovens and engineered materials at the Talley Student Union in Raleigh.
Co-organized by INDA and The Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University, registration is open, and the full program is available on the RISE® website.
Participants will learn what’s coming next with sessions on the following six themes: Towards a More Circular Industry; Advancement in Sustainable Inputs; Development in Natural Fibers; Sustainable Inputs: Fibers and Biofibers; Waste Not, Want Not, Sustainable Inputs from Waste Products; and Economic Insights and Market Intelligence.
The 12th edition of RISE® will bring together thought leaders in product development, materials science, and new technologies to connect and convene for the industry’s premier nonwovens science and technology conference.
Milliken & Company acquires N.C. Frontier spinning plant from Gildan
Milliken & Company, a diversified global manufacturer innovating in the textile, chemical, floor covering and healthcare industries, recently acquired one of the Frontier yarn plants in Mayodan, N.C., from Gildan.
This plant acquisition expands Milliken’s open-end yarn production for its protective fabrics, workwear, government and defense, industrial and napery textile business units.
The Frontier Spinning Plant #3, which will be renamed the Two Rivers Plant as a nod to its dedicated team and the community it serves, will become a spinning hub for Milliken. Multiple Milliken textile plants throughout the Southeast will source their yarn needs from the Two Rivers Plant.
Hyosung TNC commercializes world’s first bio-based spandex
Hyosung TNC of South Korea announced that it has successfully developed bio-derived spandex, “creora® bio-based,” using a natural material extracted from corn instead of coal and obtained a global eco-friendly certification.
Commercializing the world’s first bio-based spandex that reduces carbon emissions by 23% compared to conventional products.
The “creora® bio-based” spandex uses a corn-derived substance that obtained an eco-friendly certificate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, replacing a part of coal-extracted raw materials.
The corn-derived substance has long been used for general fibers, wrapping papers, cosmetics, and liquid detergents, but not for high-functional textiles, such as spandex, as it is impossible to deliver unique elasticity and resilience due to technological limitations. Building on its technological prowess that leads the world’s spandex market, Hyosung TNC has made research and development efforts for more than a year, and successfully commercialized bio-based spandex for the first time in the world.
According to the Life Cycle Assessment, an assessment technique based on the international standards for environmental impact, when “creora® bio-based” is applied to the products, it can reduce water use by 39% and carbon dioxide emissions by 23%, compared to conventional spandex products.
INDA appoints Ryan Ragan as director of Membership and Industry Relations
INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has named experienced operations and development officer Ryan Ragan as its new director of Membership and Industry Relations to retain and grow memberships and enhance member values. He brings 20 years of experience from various bio-medical and healthcare organizations.
For the past four years he worked in domestic and international business development at the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, (ACHC).
He began his career the U. S. Marines before transitioning to business after being discharged. Ragan also helped the Central Jersey Blood Center achieve record-setting growth in his first two years as its chief operating officer. In another role, he trained management candidates at Grifols to take over and run both existing and start up biomedical facilities.
As business development manager for ACHC, he helped develop and launch pharmaceutical and home health programs in Italy and Saudi Arabia. Ragan’s team also oversaw relationships with state and national associations.
At INDA, he will work with members to help identify opportunities and work internally to determine how INDA can be a resource for solutions. He will strive to add additional value to INDA members through education and new service lines.
Karl Mayer acquires yarn tensioner technology from AEI
Appalachian Electronic Instruments and Karl Mayer Group have agreed that AEI will transfer their YTC yarn tensioner technology to Karl Mayer.
Karl Mayer Group takes over the complete range of products YTC (YTC-2000 AND YTC-2000 MAX) and the complete technology of yarn tensioners for weaving and warp knitting preparation from Appalachian Electronic Instruments Inc. (AEI). The after sales service for the installed base machines will be taken over by Karl Mayer effective from Sep 1, 2022. AEI will continue to provide support to Karl Mayer and the customers during the transition. As full range supplier in indigo dyeing, Karl Mayer Group will complete their yarn tensioner product range with this integration of the YTC technology.
Beckmann Converting Seeing Influx of “Onshoring” Textile Laminate Programs
Beckmann Converting, Inc, the textile laminator specializing in ultrasonic bonding toll converting, reports a significant influx of active projects aimed at “onshoring” textile manufacturing programs to North America.
“We are seeing a rapid uptick in projects from current customers and new prospects on products that historically would be made offshore,” said Ray Piascik, Director of Sales and Marketing at Beckmann Converting. “These products often already are in production elsewhere, but the recent surge also includes brand new products emerging from research and development.”
Whereas at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic companies that began onshoring projects ran into multiple barriers and put them on hold, now it seems they are able to secure solid supply chains at lower total cost and with much better reliability, he explained.
Beckmann Converting, Inc. is a world leader in converting continuous wide web, roll-to-roll, technical textiles into multi-layer composites with the application of Ultrasonic bonding technologies. The company’s multi-layer capabilities allow for the bonding of materials into high-performing new products and new uses that were often considered to have been previously impossible to manufacture.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories expands operational footprint in Vietnam
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., the biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, announced that the Company has now been granted a business license to begin operations in Lam Dong Province.
The newly established business license and facility in Lam Dong Province are part of the company’s expansion into the Vietnamese highlands, the center of silk production in Vietnam. The highlands of Lam Dong Province offer temperate climates ideal for silkworm rearing and ready access to the cocoon and silk spinning facilities currently producing several hundred metric tons of mundane silk per year.
In June, management from Kraig Labs traveled to Lam Dong for meetings with officials from the Lam Dong Agro-Forestry Research Experiment Center (LAREC) to assess the opportunities to expand silk production into the province and to tour the regional support infrastructure. The LAREC operates as the authority in Vietnamese sericulture, maintaining 47 unique species of Vietnamese silkworms. The LAREC has developed multiple varieties of mulberry, including S7-CB, which has doubled production yields, from about 25-30 metric tons of foliage per hectare, for standard mulberry, to 50-60 tons of foliage per hectare, for the S7-CB mulberry strains. Kraig Labs planted with S7-CB mulberry at its facilities in Quang Nam, which has resulted in similar improvements.
The company’s Vietnamese headquarters will remain in Quang Nam at its breeding and production center. The Quang Nam facility is designed to produce and supply all of the company’s proprietary silkworm eggs for in-house and 3rd party contract manufacturing.
Focke & Co. launches Destination: Your Hygiene Hub on August 31, 2022
As demand for sustainable packaging increases, organizations are challenged to find quick solutions to find the right packaging material, while achieving automation targets. To meet this demand, Focke & Co is bringing together innovative hygiene companies and leading industry experts to explore the future of sustainable packaging, all in a one-day event, on August 31, 2022, where participants can learn more about the growing use of paper as a packaging material and the benefits of hybrid turnkey packaging machines, utilizing both plastic and paper, by one machine. Topics will include plastic neutral, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable packaging options, as well as remote service and modern customer care.
The FOCKE Hygiene Hub offers a platform for exchange with market participants from the hygiene industry, as well as, addressing current and future issues in the industry.
Archroma to acquire the Textile Effects business of Huntsman Corporation
Archroma, a global leader in sustainable specialty chemicals and solutions and a portfolio company of U.S.-based private investment firm SK Capital Partners, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Textile Effects business from Huntsman Corporation.
Since its formation in 2013, through a series of mergers & acquisitions, as well as internal investments in R&D, manufacturing and service capabilities, Archroma has been building a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to serve the emerging needs of the textile industry. The combination with Textile Effects and its rich historical roots of Huntsman and Ciba Specialties will create a technology powerhouse that will include Archroma’s legacy heritages of Sandoz, Hoechst, Clariant, BASF and Dohmen who have been at the cutting edge of the textile industry for decades, and together will continue to serve customers for years to come.
INDA announces full program and opens registration for Hygienix
With reusable and recyclable products and new inputs offering growth opportunities in absorbent hygiene and personal care products, Hygienix will provide an insightful view into the market’s future this November in New Orleans. Industry participants from around the world and throughout the supply chain will convene and connect for the eighth edition of the premier event, November 14-17, at The Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel. INDA this week announced the full program and registration is now open at the Hygienix website.
The in-person conference will highlight the segment’s continued growth and new opportunities with presentations by more than 20 industry experts on sustainable inputs, natural fibers, product transparency, reusable menstrual products, recyclable diapers and more as well as the latest market forecasts and insights into consumer buying trends.
Hygienix also will offer two specialized workshops, and a myriad of business connection opportunities including a welcome reception on November 14 and a first-time attendee mentorship program. Participants will discover innovative products in absorbent hygiene and personal care at tabletop exhibits with evening receptions on November 15-16, providing opportunities for 60 companies to showcase their unique offerings.
Three finalists will each present their innovative and technically sophisticated disposable absorbent hygiene products as they vie for the prestigious Hygienix Innovation Award. Nominations are open until August 29. Demonstrating the interest in sustainability, last year’s award recipient was Kudos Diaper Subscription featuring its 100% cotton disposable diaper.
INDA President Tony Fragnito will welcome participants to New Orleans and also present the INDA Lifetime Service Award on Nov. 15 and the Hygienix Innovation Award on Nov. 17.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö targets carbon footprint cut
Ahlstrom-Munksjö is investing in new technology and converting its existing boilers at its Mosinee and Rhinelander plants in Wisconsin, United States, to reduce its carbon emissions and landfill waste.
These investments at the Mosinee production plant will enable a reduction in its carbon footprint by an estimated 20%, and a reduction of landfill waste by more than 10%. The project is estimated to be completed at the end of the second quarter in 2023.
3M to spin-off of health care business
3M announced it will spin off its health-care business into a separate publicly traded company. The new business will focus on wound and oral care, health-care IT and biopharma filtration, the material science company said. That includes products like its bandages, skin adhesives, oral aligners, air purifiers and optical lenses.
3M health-care products recorded more than $8 billion in sales in 2021. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of next year, and 3M will maintain a 19.9% stake in the new company.
Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlades installed at RWE offshore wind farm
Siemens Gamesa (Zamudio, Spain) recently celebrated the delivery of green energy from the world’s first turbine equipped with the company’s composite RecyclableBlades. The first commercial installation of recyclable wind turbine technology recently took place at RWE’s (Essen, Germany) Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany, marking what is said to be a turning point in the long-term sustainability of offshore wind power.
Using the RecyclableBlade technology enables full reclaim of the blade’s components at the end of the product’s lifespan, Siemens Gamesa said. Separating the resin, fiberglass and wood, among others, is achieved through use of a mild acid solution. The materials can then go into the circular economy, creating new products like suitcases or flat-screen casings without the need to call on more raw resources.
IFG to collaborate with PTT MCC Biochem
International Fibres Group announced a collaboration with PTT MCC Biochem, a producer of bio-based polybutylene succinate (BioPBSTM), which aims to provided environmentally friendly staple fibers for the nonwovens industry. Promoted under the IFGBio brand, the biobased, compostable fibers based on PTTMCC’s BioPBSTM technology will have applications in the food & beverage, filtration, geotextile and construction industries.
PTTMCC is a strategic joint venture company between PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC) and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC). It operates the world’s largest commercial production of bio-based polybutylene succinate under the BioPBS tradename with its facility in Rayong, Thailand producing 20,000 tons per year.
BioPBSTM is partially derived from renewable resources and has high level compostability performance at ambient temperature. BioPBSTM also performs well shows excellent performance in low temperature heat sealability, high heat resistance and flexibility compared to other biodegradable resins, the company said.
International Fibres Group (IFG) is a leading independent producer of polypropylene-based staple fiber, a component with reinforcing, insulating, separating or draining properties. The fiber is used in the production of flooring, rugs, furniture, filtration, foodstuff packaging, car interiors and nonwoven fabrics, which means a diversified customer portfolio.
Advanced Textiles Association debuts new logo
Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) recently launched their new logo. ATA became the official new name of the association formerly known as Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), on June 1. and have now released their new look.
The goal was to find a name and acronym that was more inclusive of the textiles, fabrics, materials that make up the marketplace that IFAI already serves. IFAI set out to “reimagine” what IFAI can and must be to best serve its various members and markets in a swiftly evolving textiles industry.
“We wanted to create something recognizable while updating the logo and colors. We also hoped to hint at the growth that IFAI has had in the last several years,” said ATA President and CEO Steve Schiffman. “We think this design that includes a similar red, green, blue color palette capitalizes on the brand equity that IFAI has built and the ATA bursting out of the circle represents the growth in benefits and programs that are offered by ATA.”
ATA is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the specialty fabrics and technical textiles industry since 1912. ATA provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their business.