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: September 18, 2023
Roth Composite Machinery Celebrates Double Anniversary
Roth Composite Machinery celebrated a double anniversary with celebration for the employees of all three locations: 60 years of filament winding expertise going back to the original company Bolenz & Schäfer and 40 years of coating expertise of the original company EHA. “Today we look back on a total of 100 years of curiosity, innovative strength and skill,” emphasized Managing Director Dr. Andreas Reimann.
Roth Composite Machinery emerged from the merger of three long-established companies from northern and central Hesse and combines their expertise: Since 1963, research and development has been carried out in the field of filament winding technology at the former company Bolenz & Schäfer in Biedenkopf-Eckelshausen. “An absolute future technology in which we are a globally recognized and sought-after player thanks to our decades of expertise,” said Dr. Reimann.
While Bolenz & Schäfer was driving expertise in filament winding, the company EHA in Steffenberg was involved in special coating technologies. EHA was founded in 1983 and became part of the Roth Industries Group in 1995. Bolenz & Schäfer had already become part of the Roth Group in 1989 and, like EHA, initially continued to operate under its own name. In 1999, Bolenz & Schäfer’s filament winding special machinery business was transferred to EHA. In 2016, EHA and the Burgwald-based company Schlesinger were merged and renamed “Roth Composite Machinery”. Since then, under the motto “Your Performance – made by Roth,” Roth Composite Machinery has stood for machine concepts that are individually adapted to customer needs worldwide and are characterized by a high degree of specialization and exceptional quality.
Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd., Acquires Terrot GmbH
Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd., founded and wholly owned by Italy’s Lonati family, announced the strategic acquisition of Terrot GmbH, a leading manufacturer of circular knitting machines based in Chemnitz, Germany. The move comes as the latest development in Santoni Shanghai’s long-term vision to build an ecosystem that aims to reshape and consolidate the circular knitting industry. The transaction will be finalized pending approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.
The global circular knitting machine market is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, with a July 2023 report from Consegic Business Intelligence forecasting a 5.7% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, propelled by an increasing consumer preference for breathable and comfortable knitted fabrics as well as increasingly diversification of demand for knitted apparel. To seize this market opportunity, Santoni Shanghai has developed an ambitious strategic plan centered around innovation, sustainability and digitalization. The new partnership with Terrot aims to further this strategy by enhancing Santoni’s integrated and scaled-up ecosystem, while also driving the sustainable development of the global knitting machinery industry.
Spinnova and Renewcell Announce Cooperation to Scale Circular Fashion
Spinnova, the sustainable textile material company, will partner with Swedish textile recycling innovator Renewcell to develop and promote a concept to commercialize and scale textile waste-based fiber. The collaboration is the first of its kind, where textile waste-based fiber can be spun into new fiber without harmful chemicals. The first consumer products from this new textile fiber are estimated to be available by the end of 2024.
Award-winning circular innovation companies Spinnova and Renewcell announced their cooperation to introduce a technology concept for scaling the production of next-generation textile fiber from textile waste. The new fiber production concept combines patented technology from both companies and advances the circularity in the fashion and textile industries.
Pioneering a circular economy in the fashion industry, Renewcell recycles cellulosic-rich textile waste such as cotton and viscose using a patented process, which transforms textile waste into a pulp product called CIRCULOSE®. This biodegradable raw material is produced from 100% recycled textiles and can be used to create new fiber. Until now, CIRCULOSE® has been used to create man-made cellulosic fibers, such as viscose. With Spinnova’s transformative technology, the partners can turn CIRCULOSE® into a new, biobased textile fiber without any harmful chemicals in the fiber spinning process. This is a remarkable step towards addressing the industry’s growing textile waste problem, while setting new standards for sustainable textile fiber production.
Spinnova has already made successful trials spinning the CIRCULOSE® pulp into new textile fiber. The first batches of SPINNOVA® fiber made with 100 % CIRCULOSE® have been produced for yarn and fabric development, and the first prototypes are made from a blend of cotton and SPINNOVA® fiber made with CIRCULOSE®.
Kelheim to Present Sustainable Innovations at GFC
Kelheim Fibres, a leading manufacturer of specialty viscose fibers, will showcases its latest developments at this year’s Global Fiber Congress in Dornbirn. The focus is on innovative solutions that not only promote environmental sustainability but also strengthen the European supply chain.
In the presentation “Towards high performing plant-based AHP products – a joined approach of Pelz
and Kelheim Fibres,” Dr. Ingo Bernt, Project Leader of Fiber & Application Development at Kelheim
Fibres, together with Dr. Henning Röttger, Head of Business Development at PelzGROUP, will introduce the development of a plastic-free yet high-performance panty liner. The water-repellent Kelheim
specialty fibre Olea plays a crucial role in both the top and backsheet of the panty liner. This
product emerged from the ambition to offer eco-friendly alternatives to conventional disposable hygiene solutions without compromising on product performance.
A similar approach is pursued in the second presented project – but Kelheim Fibres takes it even further. Under the title “Performance Fibres meet Sustainable Design – example of a reusable Baby Diaper,” Natalie Wunder, Project Leader from Kelheim Fibres’ New Business Development team, together with Caspar Böhme, Co-Founder of Sumo, will introduce the washable and reusable SUMO diaper. Made from biobased materials and featuring a unique construction with Kelheim specialty fibers, this combination offers double environmental benefits compared to conventional disposable baby diapers.
Both the panty liner and the SUMO diaper are manufactured entirely in Europe, resulting in shorter transportation routes and a reduced CO2 footprint. Moreover, these innovations contribute to
strengthening the European textile and nonwovens industries by fostering innovation within Europe.
NWI Launces New Website
The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) announced the relaunch of its website with a modern look-and-feel, streamlined functionality and an enhanced content strategy.
The new NWI website features a sleek and intuitive design, providing one-click access to the information that is most relevant to the Institute’s primary stakeholder groups (Members, Industry, Students and Faculty).
“As we continue to elevate our pillar initiatives around Knowledge Creation, Workforce Development, Fabrication and Testing, Product Development and Product Incubation, the new NWI website will play a key role in helping NWI enhance its connections with our members and prospective members, student researchers, faculty and the nonwovens industry as a whole,” said NWI Executive Director Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D.
Textil Santanderina Launches Authentic Black Denim Collection Based on DIRESUL®
Textil Santanderina, an innovator known globally for the manufacture of quality fabrics with controlled traceability, recently launched its Advanced Black denim collection in collaboration with Archroma, a global leader in specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions.
The Advanced Black collection by Textil Santanderina uses Archroma’s new DIRESUL® EVOLUTION BLACK LIQ dyestuff to produce on-trend authentic black denim apparel with industry-leading sustainability and resource savings. In addition to allowing fashion and apparel brands to choose eco-friendlier alternatives that demonstrate their commitment to protecting people and planet, Textil Santanderina’s new Advanced Black denim range also offers unique shade and wash-down effects for heightened consumer appeal.
Based on cutting-edge synthesis technology developed by Archroma, DIRESUL EVOLUTION BLACK LIQ delivers an overall impact reduction to 57%*, measuring its effect on human health, ecosystems and resources compared to standard Sulfur Black 1 liquid. Unlike traditional synthesis processes, it does not produce any ammonia, sodium salts waste or liquid effluents, and water consumption in the synthesis process is reduced by 73% for massive savings. The new DIRESUL dyestuff, when adopted with the full Archroma coloration system, delivers a new black color with on-tone wash-down effect and cleaner effluent at the mill.
Orion S.A. Investing €12.8M in Project for Circular Carbon Black
Orion S.A., a global specialty chemicals producer, is investing €12.8 million – including €6.4 million in funding from the German government and European Union – to further develop and demonstrate a climate-neutral process for producing carbon black from alternative carbon sources, the company said.
The technology is designed to improve Orion’s yield and throughput in the production of carbon black using circular feedstocks and thus potentially reduce the carbon footprint of the process by a significant amount. This could accelerate the shift to a circular economy and feed the growing demand for sustainable materials in the tire industry.
Half of the €12.8 million Orion plans to invest in this initiative, called the “Clean Carbon Black Research and Development Project,” will be provided by the decarbonization program of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, supported by the EU’s NextGenerationEU fund.
TenCate Advanced Armour Renamed to Integris Composites
TenCate Advanced Armour that has provided military and law enforcement with protective composite armor for 25 years has changed its name to Integris Composites and broadened its mission.
For decades, the firm has been a trusted partner in the design, engineering and manufacturing of survivability solutions for many demanding defense contractors such as Boeing, Airbus, General Dynamics and BAE Systems as well as major police organizations. The company provides body armor plates for military and law enforcement personnel, as well as ballistic and blast protection for land vehicles, aircraft and naval vessels and antiballistic composites that also serve as structural housings for sensitive technologies such as optronics.
“In 2020, we reestablished the company as a standalone business. Now, I am delighted to announce we have a standalone identity,” said CEO John W. Mercer, who was executive chairman of the steering committee before being named CEO in July. “Our name has changed, but not our company, nor our dedication to customers and innovation, nor our commitment to creating cutting-edge composite solutions.”
Integris maintains the ability to develop, test and manufacture armor solutions in its Danish, French and U.S. facilities. “We stand apart because of our ability to collaborate with and supply major contractors virtually anywhere in the world,” added Jonas Holck, group vice president for strategy
Space Application for ITMA Asia + CITME 2024 Opens
ITMA ASIA + CITME 2024 space application is now open. Asia’s leading business platform for textile machinery will be held October 14-18, 2024, at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai, China.
According to CEMATEX (European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers), the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the launch of space application for the 2024 exhibition ahead of this year’s combined exhibition in November is an exceptional procedure.
The regular biennial sequence of the ITMA Asia + CITME exhibition was disrupted due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Originally slated for 2022, the exhibition had to be rescheduled to 2023. The ITMA Asia + CITME exhibition uniquely combines the Asian edition of the renowned ITMA exhibition with the China International Textile Machinery Exhibition (CITME). Over the past eight editions, it has established a stellar track record and holds significant importance within the textile and machinery industry.
Bally Ribbon Mills Supplies E-WEBBINGS® E-textiles for Torabhaig Atlantic Explorer Gas Balloon
Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), an industry leader in the design, development, and manufacture of highly specialized engineered woven fabrics, announced it provided E-WEBBINGS® e-textiles to Best Aviation Services. Inc., the balloon manufacturing and repair company supplying a tension system to support the Torabhaig Atlantic Explorer gas balloon’s open basket as it prepares to take the first flight across the Atlantic in an open basket gas balloon. The innovative design incorporates electronic components used to dissipate static electricity. The balloon will take off from Maine and then fly over Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic and landing in Europe.
The new design was critical to meeting the very tight manufacturing timeline by reducing the project’s Bill of Materials and saving Best Aviation hundreds of hours of additional sewing. Bert Padelt, owner of the Bally, Pennsylvania-based balloon manufacturing and repair company, said, “Because of your design and quick turn-around on this R&D work, we were able to meet our tight deadline and launch window schedule.”
The Torabhaig Atlantic Explorer, piloted by UK-based Sir David Hempleman-Adams, will collect air samples to look for new scientific discoveries. Sir Hempleman-Adams will be accompanied by Bert Padelt and Swiss explorer, scientist and entrepreneur, Dr Frederik Paulsen. The journey is expected to take four to five days, flying at an altitude of 6,000 to 8,000 feet. It would be the first Atlantic crossing in a hydrogen balloon and may also mark the longest distance covered in this type of balloon.
Standard Textile Welcomes Jonathan Simon as EVP
Standard Textile Co., Inc., a global leader in the healthcare and hospitality textile markets, announced the appointment of Jonathan Simon as its new Executive Vice President of Global Growth & Strategy. Simon will play a key role in guiding the company’s vision and overseeing the development and implementation of global growth strategies and initiatives. Simon’s deep global industry experience will offer a broad perspective, setting the stage for an exciting phase of growth and success for the company.
“We are thrilled Jon is joining Standard Textile,” Gary Heiman, Chairman and CEO of Standard Textile says. “I have known Jon for over twenty years and have been impressed by his humble leadership, innovative mindset, and relentless focus on future growth. Jon is a proven leader with the vision to expand the success we have built over the past 83 years and take us into a new phase of growth and innovation.”
Simon brings significant global experience in corporate strategy, manufacturing, product development, and sales and marketing in the industrial and retail textile industries. In his most recent role as CEO of 1888 Mills, Simon provided inspired leadership for all aspects of the company’s operations while working with the executive board to establish short and long-term goals and related plans and policies. Simon resigned as CEO of 1888 Mills in December of 2020 to serve on its board. Simon’s impressive track record of driving revenue and market share growth, as well as his ability to build and foster meaningful and trusting relationships, has set him apart as a leader in the industry.
MAAG Group Announces Leadership Change in America and China
MAAG Group announced the appointment of Paul Merich, former Vice President MAAG APAC, as incoming VP/GM for MAAG Americas. Ueli Thuerig, President of MAAG Group: “Paul has played a key role in further development of MAAG China. With Paul we found the perfect match for our American business.” Paul Merich commented: “I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to embark on this journey with the MAAG America team.”
Aaron Kong, GM MAAG China, now succeeds Paul Merich. “We are happy to have Aaron accepting this position.” said Ueli Thuerig, President MAAG Group. “He started at MAAG Group one year ago as Sales Director and brings a wealth of experience with him having worked previously at renowned market leaders in the plastics machinery industry.”
The MAAG Group is further expanding its presence in China creating the prerequisites for continued growth in the People’s Republic. Particular focus is being placed on creating incremental production capacity and on the introduction of new products specifically for the Chinese market.
The internationally operating MAAG Group, headquartered in Oberglatt, Switzerland, has been stepping up its localization strategy in China since 2022 and currently has 103 employees. One recent example: The assembly shop at the site in Jiading, a district of Shanghai, has recently doubled in size.
Kelheim Fibres and MagnoLab Join Forces for Textile Innovation and Sustainability
The viscose specialty fiber manufacturer Kelheim Fibres has entered into a collaboration with MagnoLab, an international network of companies in the textile industry based in the Biella region in Italy. This partnership highlights the importance of collaboration between different companies to drive innovation and sustainability in the textile industry.
Kelheim Fibres, a pioneer in the development of sustainable viscose fibers, sees itself not only as a fiber supplier but also as an innovation partner for the entire industry. Through its Open Innovation approach, Kelheim Fibres fosters the exchange of ideas and knowledge to jointly develop sustainable solutions for the future. Kelheim Fibres operates several pilot and technical facilities itself. The close collaboration with
MagnoLab, which boasts an impressive array of state-of-the-art textile machinery, allows for even
more efficient research and development.
Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Director New Business Development, Marketing & Communications at Kelheim
Fibres, emphasizes the advantages of the collaboration: ” Through close networking with the
companies organized under MagnoLab, we can produce small quantities of samples and prototypes using various technologies. This enables us to develop solutions based on our specialty fibers that can be directly transferred to our partners’ production facilities within the textile value chain.”
Giovanni Marchi, President of MagnoLab, also expresses his enthusiasm: “Kelheim Fibres is the first
fiber manufacturer we are collaborating with. Together, we now cover the complete textile chain,
making our work even more valuable.”
The cooperation allows for practical testing, accelerating the implementation of innovations. It also contributes to a closer networking of the European (and thus regional) value chain. Thanks to shorter transport routes within Europe, not only is the environmental impact reduced, but also the realization of innovations in Europe is facilitated.
Aquapak Appoints Dr. Kyra Dorsey, to Advisory Board
Aquapak Polymers Ltd, which specializes in polymer-based material technologies which deliver both performance and environmental responsibility at scale, announced the appointment of leading U.S. nonwoven industry expert, Dr. Kyra Dorsey, to its Advisory Board, which comprises business leaders and experts in material science and the environment. Her appointment is an extension of Aquapak’s market development strategy with a specific focus on tapping into the growing global demand from end use industries such as hygiene and healthcare, thanks to the versatility and cost-effectiveness of nonwoven material.
Kyra will support Aquapak in bringing its innovative HydropolTM technology to full-scale commercialization in the nonwoven sector using her extensive development experience in spunmelt, composite, carded, wetlaid, and chemical applications. HydropolTM is a highly functional, specialty environmental polymer that allows product design to support the circular economy – by enabling recycling and delivering multiple end-of-life options. It is designed to be an alternative to traditional plastics, offering their versatility and functionality but without harming the environment.
Lenzing Indonesia Switches to Veocel
Lenzing has completed a series of technical upgrades at its manufacturing facility in Purwakarta, Indonesia, which has included a transition to renewable electricity and adaption to specialty Veocel production.
The €100 million upgrade means the site will now produce Lenzing Ecovero branded fibers for textiles and Veocel branded fibers for nonwoven applications.
Stephan Sielaff, chief executive officer of the Lenzing Group, said that the production upgrades and the switch to renewable energy sources would contribute to the goal of reducing carbon emissions per ton of product by 50% by 2030 and achieving carbon-neutral production by 2050.