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 email@example.com.
Most recent update: November 29, 2022
Unifi Expanding Repreve Textile Sourcing Initiative
Unifi Inc., makers of REPREVE® and one of the world’s leading innovators in recycled and synthetic yarns, announced a major expansion of its innovative Textile Takeback™ program.
The initiative is designed to collect and recycle polyester-based fabric waste, including both pre- and post-consumer fabrics, and transform it into REPREVE® – the leading recycled performance fiber that powers top brands and sustainable goods worldwide.
With millions of tons of textile waste discarded each year, Textile Takeback™ aims to transform the industry’s take-make-waste model by providing a sustainable way to recycle landfill-bound textiles and create new products. Through UNIFI’s proprietary process, the company transforms dyed and undyed polyester-based textile discards into recycled resin through an innovative material conversion process.
The recycled resin is then converted into REPREVE® fiber, or it may be blended with recycled bottle material to achieve desired specifications. The material then begins its lifecycle again and avoids a trip to the landfill. By focusing on sustainable solutions that create a closed-loop circular system, Textile Takeback™ from UNIFI serves as an actionable step towards addressing the industry’s waste footprint.
As an industry leader and legacy company, UNIFI has championed sustainable innovation since 1971. As the makers of REPREVE®, UNIFI has transformed more than 35 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods, and other consumer products.
Initially piloted in 2011, Textile Takeback™ will include an expanded global footprint and product application scope, making a sustainable solution for waste accessible to partners at scale.
Renewcell, Eastman agree to develop textile-to-textile recycled yarns
The Swedish textile-to-textile recycling pioneer Renewcell has signed a Letter of Intent with Eastman, a leading U.S. cellulosic acetate fiber producer, for a collaboration to develop Naia™ Renew ES yarns sourced from Circulose®, Renewcell’s 100% recycled textile raw material.
The agreement is Renewcell’s first with a U.S.-based fiber producer and an important step in developing the first acetate-based applications to use Circulose® feedstock.
“Eastman considering Circulose® as a feedstock in the production of a premium yarn like Naia™ Renew reflects very well on the Renewcell team’s ability to work with partners to adjust and optimize our product for new fiber applications. This agreement signals an acceleration of our joint efforts to bring Naia™ Renew ES yarns derived from Circulose® to market. I look forward to working alongside Eastman in making fashion circular,” said Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell.
Ruth Farell, GM of Eastman Textiles, said: ”We are thrilled to collaborate with a pioneeer such as Renewcell to lower our reliance on virgin feedstocks, redefine the essence of textile waste and close the loop within the textiles industry. This collaboration is at the heart of our strategy to launch a portfolio of products with increased recycled content.”
Circulose® is a unique material for fashion that is 100 percent recycled, recyclable, biodegradable and of virgin-equivalent quality. Circulose® makes fashion circular.
Indorama Ventures’ PET brand recognized as Best Sustainable Product
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global sustainable chemical company, has been named winner of the Best Sustainable Product Award at the Chemical Week Sustainability Awards 2022.
The award was for IVL’s DejaTM Carbon Neutral pellets, the world’s first carbon-neutral virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins, helping to reduce environmental impact.
“This recognition by Chemical Week marks another milestone in IVL’s sustainability journey,” said Sanjay Ahuja, executive president of Combined PET at Indorama Ventures. “This award recognizes our team as they continue to achieve our vision of being a world-class sustainable chemical company making great products for society.”
The Deja™ brand covers carbon neutral virgin and recycled PET resins and a range of recycled PET (rPET) products, including flakes, resins, fibers and yarns. It provides IVL’s global customers with a range of high-performance applications, including packaging, lifestyle, automotive, apparel and medical equipment. The solutions help environmentally conscious companies meet their sustainability goals.
HeiQ launches biobased technology for botanical odor control
HeiQ announced the launch of a biobased, proprietary textile technology, HeiQ Mint, providing effective and lasting freshness for clothing and home textiles. The new technology meets the need for washing clothes less frequently, keeping them fresh for longer.
HeiQ Mint, the new proprietary odor control technology, is plant-based and designed to make textiles smell fresh even if we use them repeatedly, avoiding the need for frequent washes, thus enabling to save water and energy.
HeiQ Fresh MNT-01, under the HeiQ Mint product family, jointly developed with Patagonia, addresses body odors on textiles and regenerates at every wash, with superior efficiency and durability that meets most end-use performance requirements, while keeping all the fabric properties such as breathability, hand feel or wicking. This textile technology is OEKO-TEX® suited, bluesign approved, and ZDHC compliant, with a USDA bio-preferred certification in progress.
The product development tests were highly demanding, with HeiQ Mint standing out in comparison to the other two tested solutions. According to Laura Hoch, Patagonia’s Materials Innovation engineer, “out of all the anti-odor technologies we tested, HeiQ Mint provided the highest odor control performance, with the added benefit of being plant-based. This innovation enables Patagonia to deliver our customers high-performing products made with the best available chemistry.”
Pennsylvania governor announces funding to increase sewing training
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced $189,000 in new funding for Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC) to address the need for sewing machine operators in southeastern Pennsylvania’s textile industry through the creation of a Training Collaborative.
DVIRC plans to use the funding for two primary activities on behalf of six participating companies. First, DVIRC will facilitate a strategic planning process with the companies to determine the requirements of the Training Collaborative to plan for the future demand for workers. This will help address the long-term challenges facing the sector. Second, DVIRC will work with immigrant/refugee service organizations to create an informal network that will identify, screen, and place viable candidates into vacant positions to address their current need. This will place a minimum of ten individuals in open positions with participating companies and will include on-the-job training.
Oxford Instruments to hold webinar: Rapid spin finish and coatings analysis
Oxford Instruments will conduct a webinar, December 7, 2022, 11 AM (Eastern Time US) focusing on rapid, solvent-free analysis of spin finish and coatings on artificial fibers, textiles and nonwovens. Speakers are Kevin Nott, applications specialist and product manager at Oxford Instruments, and Tom Steen, analytical instrumentation sales specialist who enjoys helping customers identify and develop solutions to their toughest analytical chemistry applications.
During this interactive webinar, the company will share:
- How TD-NMR works.
- The key information it provides across the textiles industry.
- How it improves process and quality control.
- Why it can save you both money and improve product consistency.
Fiber and textile industries have developed a multitude of products using different polymers and coatings with performance often optimized for a specific application. Time Domain NMR (TD-NMR) methods have evolved to meet these changing requirements, including by measuring:
- Oil-based coatings
- Fluorinated coatings
- Elastomeric coatings, e.g. latex/rubber
- Finish removal
- Fiber crystallinity
Among the materials these are applied to are yarn, monofilaments, staple fiber, textiles and nonwovens. The end products enhanced vary from traditional carpet fibers to high performance sportswear, bulletproof vests and even a parachute for landing an autonomous vehicle on Mars!
Oxford Instruments Magnetic Resonance time domain (TD-NMR) relaxometry and benchtop NMR spectroscopy solutions optimize quality control and enable novel research. MQC+ analyzers provide fast, simple and accurate measurement of oil, water, fluorine and fat content to deliver robust QA/QC solutions for textiles, food, agriculture, polymers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other industries. Our X-Pulse NMR spectrometers, with unique broadband multi-nuclei selection, identify molecular structure and monitor reaction dynamics. In oil exploration and petrophysics, our GeoSpec is the industry standard rock core analyzer.
Time: Dec 7, 2022 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Gaston College, SYFA announce scholarship for Textile Technology students
Celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association (SYFA) has teamed up with Gaston College to create a scholarship fund that will help support Gaston’s new Textile Technology program students.
SYFA members produce technically advanced yarns and fabrics for use in important industries, such as healthcare, military, automotive, apparel and furnishing sectors.
“U.S. manufacturers need a talented workforce with the skills, know-how and motivation to implement state-of-the-art technologies. Scholarships are a proven way for attracting talent that, otherwise, might have taken a different path,” said Hardy Sullivan, SYFA president.
Starting in the Spring semester 2023, the scholarship fund will cover $500 of one student’s tuition per year. To support ongoing funding, SYFA’s first fundraising event will be a golf tournament in April 2023.
The Textile Technology Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program launched in the Fall 2022 semester. It prepares students to work as technicians in product development and testing, machine operation, fiber construction and other projects, and as textile designers. A bilateral 2+2 articulation agreement between Gaston College and the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State gives interested students a seamless pathway to pursue a bachelor’s degree at N.C. State University.
The Textile Technology AAS program is taught at the Textile Technology Center, located at Gaston College’s Kimbrell campus in Belmont, N.C. There, students get hands-on experience with the latest technology and equipment. Construction of a world-class Fiber Innovation Center will soon be underway on the Kimbrell campus.
SYFA Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Gaston College Foundation, administrator of 100+ scholarships that are awarded annually to Gaston students.
INVISTA site in South Carolina breaks ground on new polymer facility
The INVISTA nylon site in South Carolina hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new nylon polymer facility, a milestone that represents the site’s transformation to a global nylon 6,6 production facility. The highly anticipated 90,000-square-foot facility is part of a $64 million investment over two years to enhance the site’s polymer and CORDURA® fiber spinning production. It will include nine loading docks, twenty-two storage/packaging silos and bulk loading capabilities.
“Kershaw County would like to congratulate INVISTA on their decision to retool their facility which provides well-paying jobs for our citizens. INVISTA is famous in Kershaw County for decades of community partnership and this is yet another example that Kershaw County is a great place to live, work and raise families,” said Julian Burns, Chairman of Kershaw County Council.
With a strong demand for nylon polymer products, the new facility will allow the site to increase production volume of polymer to new markets, deliver newly developed polymers to the market, implement future volume expansion opportunities, and have the flexibility to meet customers’ individual packaging needs.
“We are excited to be one step closer to the transformation of the Camden site into one of INVISTA’s global nylon 6,6 production facilities. Our vision is built on decades of knowledge around polymer development, the flexibility to meet our customers’ needs and the strength of our teams to be world class in our operations. This transformation allows us to grow and meet the future needs of our global customers along with continued support of our local community,” said Jay Johnson, site manager.
The project is in partnership with KATOEN NATIE Specialty Chemicals USA Inc with completion expected in 2024.
FyberX to establish HQ, production facility in Virginia
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that FyberX Holdings, a developer of technology to process raw agricultural biomass into refined natural fibers, will invest $17.5 million to establish its U.S. headquarters and production operation in the former Kinderton Distribution Center building in Mecklenburg County, Va.
The new facility will process hemp and other agricultural products, producing fibers to supply the textile industry, and will create 45 new jobs.
FyberX was founded in 2019 to build the foundational infrastructure required to process raw agricultural biomass into refined natural fibers, creating more environmentally friendly manufacturing solutions. The company focuses on industrial hemp sources in the U.S. and will use its patented technology to process hemp for use in sustainable replacements for the textile, packaging, and construction industries. FyberX plans to build a green supply chain by working with industrial hemp and other domestic non-tree sources of fiber and establishing centralized large-scale processing centers throughout the U.S.
Beaulieu acquires U.S.-based synthetic turf maker Act Global
Beaulieu International Group (B.I.G.) announced that it has signed an agreement with U.S.-based synthetic turf manufacturer Act Global to acquire its complete range of activities.
Through this acquisition, B.I.G. strengthens its position in the global artificial grass market, especially in the sports segment.
In line with Beaulieu International Group’s (B.I.G.) purpose statement, “Shaping sustainable living, together,” the group aims to develop and create innovative and sustainable flooring and material solutions to enhance the quality of living and working for every generation.
Therefore, and as part of its corporate strategy, the group is actively investing in key growth markets, including artificial grass, in order to further strengthen and expand its solutions portfolio. Today, B.I.G. is a market leader in the fast-growing padel market, targeting further growth in soccer, hockey and other segments.
INDA requests abstracts for World of Wipes®Conference
INDA’s 17th annual World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference is accepting abstracts through December 2, 2022, on innovative, inspiring and informative wipe products, markets and technologies to be presented in Atlanta, Ga., July 17-20, 2023.
Experts in the areas of dry and wet wipes, sustainability, end-use markets, substrate formation, raw materials and fibers, liquid ingredients, packaging, machinery and market trends and data are encouraged to submit a brief abstract of one or two paragraphs detailing the relationship of their presentation to wipes or wipe manufacturing. Along with a brief abstract summary, professionals should also submit a speaker’s photo, and biography. Information may be submitted online via the WOW website before December 2nd.
Presenting at WOW is a unique opportunity to recognize breakthrough wipes products or expertise, connect with next-level leaders, gain potential partners and customers and change the future of wipes.
Over 450 wipes business leaders are expected to convene at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel July 17-20, 2023 to hear premium content in market research, product innovations, sustainability issues, new materials and substrates for all wiping products and their components.
The last WOW event held in Chicago connected more than 450 participants from 18 countries representing the entire wipes supply chain to explore issues and advancements in the growing multibillion-dollar wipes sector. WOW is targeted exclusively for wipes brand owners, converters, manufacturers and their entire supply chain.