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 Matt Migliore at email@example.com.
Most recent update: September 16, 2020
Helsinki Fashion Week Designer Residency program features dress made of Spinnova sustainable fiber
KoH T, a designer in the Helsinki Fashion Week Designer Residency program, has revealed a unique gown dress he designed with Spinnova, a sustainable, wood-based fiber.
As part of the digital Designer Residency of the Helsinki Fashion Week, Spinnova was a mentor for Japanese fashion designer KoH T (Taisuke Kohji). Inspired by the human body, nature and the highly sustainable, natural Spinnova material, Taisuke used the Spinnova materials to create a gown dress that “feels like air.”
The multi-faced gown dress is well aligned with the Spinnova material that is 100% natural and made of wood without harmful chemicals. The design is both contemporary and nostalgic, resembling both Japanese and Nordic styles.
The dress is composed only of undyed fabric that is one of the first blends of Spinnova fiber with wool, and accessory ribbons that are a mixture of Spinnova and lyocell, also a wood-based fiber. Since the Spinnova fiber’s insulation capability is as good as wool’s, the dress is warm, yet breathable.
“The dress is about sustainability, style and high level of comfort. Instead of metal or plastic, only ribbons made of Spinnova are incorporated into the design. Hand-made pleats add ventilation functionality, and all patterns and structures are designed to fit human movement,” said KoH T.
“KoH T’s idea of creating something very close to nature was a great fit with our sustainable innovation. We firmly believe that wearing natural materials that don’t burden the environment create emotional wellbeing, which is something we all need more of, said Helsinki Fashion Week mentor, Spinnova’s application manager, Maree Hamilton.
The Designer Residency reached over half a million views during its seven-day streaming sessions prior to the virtual Fashion Week event.
Helsinki Fashion Week is an international medium for sustainable designers, brands and companies. It’s the first recognized fully sustainable fashion week in the world. Its 2020 edition was presented in an all-virtual format.
ProAmpac wins packaging design award
Flexible packaging leader ProAmpac was recognized in the 2020 American Inhouse Design Awards for its ProActive Recyclable retail shopping bag (pictured), which was designed in the companies Design and Sample Lab (DASL) in Cincinnati.The 57th American Inhouse Design Awards are presented by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA).
ProAmpac’s award winning design utilized the companies four-step creative process – ideate, illustrate, render and prototype – to facilitate new package development in an organized and rapid fashion. The process led to a series of recycling graphics and messages on paper bags designed to encourage area residents to increase at-home recycling.
The bag was introduced last year during Earth Day Over the Rhine, a Cincinnati event held in conjunction with the “Keep Cincinnati Beautiful” campaign in which ProAmpac donated over 1,000 units that were givenaway to attendees of the event.
Recently, ProAmpac launched DASL’s newest creative design tool, MAKR by DASL. MAKR allows users to remotely create custom three-dimensional package designs in both film and paper formats which can then be prototyped and shipped directly to the requestor.
Learn more about ProAmpac’s DASL: http://proampac.com/DASL
TSG Finishing announces immersion process now contains up to 30% plant-based technology
TSG Finishing announced the market launch of the first phase of incorporating plant-based technology into its DEFEND Finishing Program. Going forward, all high-performance DEFEND immersion processes now contain up to 30% USDA approved plant-based technology, making it one of the first performance brands in the market to claim this progress.
Through the efforts of TSG’s technical team, the plant-based DEFEND will also continue to offer high performance in repelling both water and oil-based products. The amount of PFAS (fluorinated chemical), also known as C6, is reduced by one-third in this new technology.
Brian Rosenstein, CEO states, “This is great progression regarding the reduction of the C6 footprint and seeking out the elusive ‘holy grail’ of textile finishing, which is a true fluorine- free treatment that will protect against both water and oil-based stains,” said Brian Rosenstein, TSG’s CEO. “Our team spent a lot of time vetting out different materials until we were satisfied that we had the right component. Having a USDA certified Bio-based product was key in our decision-making process.”
In the near future, TSG plans to cultivate this knowledge heading into more plant-based options, as well as expanding it into all of its DEFEND offerings.
Monforts delivers high-capacity stenter to Acafintex facility in Puebla, Mexico
At a total length of over 71 metres, the Montex finishing line that has just been installed by Monforts for Acafintex at its plant in Puebla, Mexico, is one of the highest capacity stenters the German technology leader has delivered to date.
Founded in 1986, family-owned Acafintex operates as a commission dyehouse, finishing both knitted and woven fabrics for local companies in Mexico, in widths of between 100cm to 3.6 metres. The company is run by father and son team Don Francisco and Lic Francisco Moyano.
“We have very flexible operations for fabric finishing and also produce and sell our own fabrics for both the fashion industry and for the uniforms market,” says Don Francisco. “These days, we are increasingly finishing materials for technical textiles and for the automotive industry too. We have both local and international suppliers of both yarns and base fabrics and make sure we choose the best and most reliable sources. Exports now account for over 40% of our sales.”
With a width of 3.8 metres, the new Monforts Montex line at Acafintex is equipped with no less than 12 double TwinAir drying chambers to meet the requirements of specific technical textiles to a European customer, in a contract secured following the company’s ISO 9001 certification in 2019. The line is equipped with an integrated heat recovery system and also benefits from an exhaust air cleaning system to ensure the most resource-efficient processing available on the market.
On the Monforts TwinAir system, the airflows above and below the fabric being dried can be regulated completely independently of each other, with Optiscan Auto-Balance fully controlling the distance between the fabric and the dryer nozzles via variable-frequency fan motors and CCD chip evaluation. As a result, the evaporation rate of the stenter and its energy utilization are always fully optimized. Contact-free drying eliminates the possibility of fabric marking or stitch draft.
Highly-intuitive Monforts Qualitex visualization software allows all machine functions and process parameters to be assessed and controlled easily, and thousands of article specific settings and formulations to be called up at any time – with 100% reproducible results.
In combination with an existing Montex stenter, the new line has expanded finishing capacity at Acafintex to an annual 20 million linear metres.
KC enters agreement to acquire Softex, bolsters position in Indonesian personal care market
Kimberly-Clark Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Softex Indonesia, an Indonesian personal care company, in an all-cash transaction for approximately $1.2 billion from a group of shareholders including CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific IV.
“This acquisition represents a compelling strategic fit and demonstrates our commitment to accelerate growth in developing and emerging markets,” said Mike Hsu, chairman and CEO, Kimberly-Clark. “Moreover, adding Softex Indonesia and its brands to Kimberly-Clark will enhance our company’s underlying growth prospects and help us create even more long-term shareholder value.”
Indonesia is a large, growing market with attractive future prospects, and the acquisition immediately improves Kimberly-Clark’s currently limited position in the country to one with strong market share in key personal care categories across Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
The diaper market in Indonesia is currently estimated at $1.6 billion, the sixth largest in the world, with approximately five million annual births. Approximately 80 percent of Softex Indonesia sales come from diapers, and it currently holds the number two market share position with the Sweety and Happy Nappy brands while continuing to grow its market presence.
CINTE & CINC 2020 presented as first live technical textile and nonwovens event since COVID-19 outbreak
CINTE 20 & CINC 2020 were successfully presented by the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association September 2-4 in Shanghai. The 14th edition of the China International Trade Fair for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens (CINTE 20) was co-organized by CNITA, CCPITTEX and Messe Frankfurt.
The event was the first exhibition of technical textiles and nonwovens after the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it attracted nearly 500 exhibitors. The exhibits covered the entire industrial chain of technical textiles and nonwovens, including machines and accessories, raw materials and chemicals, nonwoven fabrics and products, other industrial textile rolls and products, functional fabrics, personal protective equipment, etc. The scale was 38,000 square meters, occupying the three major exhibition halls of Shanghai New International Expo Center. The number of visitors represented an increase compared to prior editions of the show, according the event organizers.
In an effort to promote the industry’s anti-pandemic deeds and display anti-pandemic products, the event included a display area of “Heroic Deeds of Anti-pandemic,” which featured innovative products of key anti-pandemic materials in the exhibition hall.
The 9th China International Nonwovens Conference (CINC 2020) focused on the theme of “Responsibility and Innovation of the Nonwovens Industry under the Pandemic,” presentations about investment, technological innovation, social responsibility and industrial chain collaboration in the nonwoven industry were delivered at site or via
video by many speakers from China, North America and Europe.
Li Lingshen, President of CNITA, reviewed the development of China’s nonwovens industry in 2019 and contributions of China’s nonwovens industry in the fight against COVID-19, described the outlook and social responsibility strategy of the nonwovens industry in the post-virus period. INDA President, Dave Rousse, and EDANA General Manager, Pierre Wiertz, made presentations via video. Rousse shared with attendees the functional foundation of nonwoven materials in three critical areas of facemask, medical and surgical gowns, and wipes for healthcare workers and all citizens, and reported on the latest capacity and production data in North America. EDANA highlighted the essential character of nonwovens industry after breakout of the pandemic. Mr. Wiertz gave an overview of what the European nonwovens industry and EDANA have done to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
INDEX20 Innovation Awards virtual ceremony set for October 2020
The INDEX20 Innovation Awards, presented once every three years, was originally scheduled for April 2020. Due to COVID-19, EDANA has decided to present the awards in an online ceremony on October 6, 2020, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The INDEX20 Innovation Awards are open to all INDEX20 exhibitors and EDANA members, for products commercially available by January 31, 2020, and have been selected by a jury of experienced industry members. The INDEX20 Innovation Awards are the highest accolade for the best examples of excellence in the industry, highlighting creativity and innovations from businesses of all sizes and roles within the business.
The awards are comprised of 7 categories covering all fields of the nonwovens supply chain, with a maximum of 3 nominees selected per category. The winners will not be disclosed until the online event on October 6, 2020.
Nominees are as follows:
- Nonwoven Roll Goods
- Fa-Ma Jersey – Microfly – nanocham AG+
- Jacob Holm – Sontara Dual
- Sandler – New ADL
- Finished products made from or incorporating nonwovens
- Callaly – Tampliner
- Dupont De Nemours – Dupont Tychem 2000 SFR
- Hassan Group – Heatable Geosynthetic Material
- Raw materials or components of special relevance to the nonwovens industry and related converted products
- Beaulieu Fibers International – UltraBond
- Omya International 0 Omyafiber 800 (Calcium Carbonate)
- Pelsan – Biodegradable breathable film for hygiene & medical market
- Innovation in machinery of special relevance to the nonwovens industry
- CAMPEN Machinery – new patented airlaid beater forming technology
- Dienes Werke für Maschinenteile – Depth Control Senso Plus (Led)
- GDM – Expandable Welding Wheel
- Achievement for the most original marketing campaign for a product made from or incorporating nonwovens
- Berry Global – J-Cloth Plus Biodegradable Communication Campaign
- Sustainable Product
- Ahlstrom-Munksjö – Fiber+, Green Capsule oxygen barrier lid, Compostable k-cup filter
- Beaulieu Flooring Solutions – Rewind-Forward thinking carpet
- RKW – RKW HyJet Crop Cover
- Sustainable process or management practice
- Diaper Recycling – Pureflow8
- Fatersmart – Closing the loop on used absorbent hygiene products
- TiHive – TULIPZ
Videos from the nominees will be posted on the indexnonwovens LinkedIn page, allowing observes and participants to vote in the “People’s Prize” by liking the nominee’s video that they feel is most deserving.
All the award winners’ and nominees’ submissions will be on display in the Nonwovens Innovation Lab, a new feature at the INDEX20 exhibition, taking place at Palexpo in Geneva, from September 7-10 2021.
Gelest ensures BIOSAFE antimicrobial product availability as demand continues to surge
Gelest, Inc has received U.S. EPA approval to use new manufacturing processes for its BIOSAFE antimicrobials, expanding its production capacities. Gelest has been working with suppliers to overcome material supply shortages and meet the increased demand for sanitizers, disinfectants and antimicrobials due to COVID-19. BIOSAFE Antimicrobials are found in a wide range of EPA-approved applications including Careismatic Certaintym SmartBoost Laundry Additive for healthcare uniforms, and National Wiper Alliance Quat Keeper Foodservice Towels for restaurants and cafeterias.
BIOSAFE antimicrobials are used to preserve treated articles by preventing the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, fungi, mold, and mildew.
Eurofins Softlines & Leather publishes white paper on microplastics shedding from domestic laundry
Eurofins Softlines & Leather published a white paper titled “Microplastics from textile sources – Understanding the characteristics of microplastics shedding from simulated domestic laundry through quantification.”
Microplastics, referred to as particles of plastic smaller than 5mm, have become a controversial topic in recent years as more and more scientific researches expose the potential risks of microplastics to the human body, the ecosystem and the environment. Research by different institutes and organizations have indicated that the quantity of microplastics discovered in water bodies, as well as human bodies, is rising.
Shedding of microplastics from synthetic textiles during domestic laundry has been identified, in a study, as a key source of the primary microplastics found in oceans. However, given the lack of industry standards and regulation on textile-related microplastics release, it is challenging for the industry to measure its real impact and look for meaningful solutions.
Eurofins Softlines & Leather has developed an offering that assesses microplastics shedding quantification from textile products during simulated domestic laundry. Samples undergo simulated domestic washing (from single wash to multiple wash) in a controlled environment. Liquid is filtered to collect residue for analysis.
Based on close to 600 samples assessed from this offering, Eurofins Softlines & Leather publishes this White Paper sharing analysis with the industry in the hope of supporting the development of impactful solutions to this microscopic challenge. Highlights of the findings include:
- Fabrics and garments which are made with yarns containing fibers of longer lengths shed less particles into water.
- When comparing fabrics of the same composition and with similar weight, it cannot be concluded yet that the construction of the fabric directly results in a larger volume of microplastics being shed.
- The results show that the length of fibers shed in higher quantities are those that are between 0.45 µm and below 50 µm in measurement. These fibers are produced from one to ten washing cycles.
The white paper can be downloaded for free at https://www.eurofins.com/textile-leather/white-paper.
Study shows most consumers consider wood-based textiles sustainable
According to an international study sponsored by Spinnova, 86% of consumers consider wood a sustainable textile raw material. Still, only one third are familiar with wood-based apparel. Consumers think brand sustainability image is the single most important sign of a conscious buying decision.
The study was made in Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and the U.S. in the spring of 2020. Wood was found the most sustainable out of currently available textile raw materials. The highest sustainability rating over wood was given to emerging, waste-based raw materials. Nordic respondents were most pro wood; 90% of Finns and 91% of Swedes consider wood a sustainable textile raw material.
According to the study, harmful chemicals are seen as the worst environmental problem of the textile industry; 64% considering this an issue. 60% also associated excessive water use a problem of the industry, followed by ocean microplastics, waste and CO2 emissions.
When asked what factors make up a sustainable image of a product, brand sustainability image got the most replies, 54%. Only 29% of respondents thought high price is a sign of sustainability. Environmental certificates were considered an indicator of sustainability by 48%.
Despite the positive take on wood, only a third of all respondents had experience of wood-based textiles, although man-made cellulosic fibers have been around for decades. However, 55% did consider the idea of wood-based apparel appealing. When asked the same question regarding apparel made of plant-based waste, as much as 76% said they would find it an appealing choice.
SAERTEX announces new production site in Mexico
Like its facilities in Huntersville, North Carolina (USA) and Indaiatube (Brazil), the Ciudad Juárez plant will focus on meeting demand for SAERTEX composite materials in the region and the Americas, as well as conserving resources by shortening delivery routes.Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico, and international companies such as Bosch, Siemens, Honeywell, and Foxconn are settling there. In addition, the area has become an important hub for the production of rotor blades for the wind industry.
Freudenberg starts new production line in Taiwan with focus on technology and sustainability
Freudenberg Performance Materials completed the installation of a spunlaid line in Taiwan and will begin production of nonwovens for diverse markets. The new production line features the latest spunlaid technology developed by Freudenberg. The technology enhances filament distribution for increased material uniformity, providing customers with ease of processing the nonwovens for a variety of applications. The line also utilizes AI technology to detect variances in the material and automatically adjust uniformity as well as an IR camera to identify small melt defects.
In addition to the new technology, the production line features enhancements to reduce environmental impacts. All parts used in construction were selected to lessen CO2 emissions during operation. The Taiwan site also invested in a recycling system to recycle all start-up materials and scrap materials during normal operations, helping to reach zero-waste operations. The spunlaid line will run partially on solar energy supplied from panels installed on-site last year.
59th Global Fiber Congress presented as “Webinar Week”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 59th Global Fiber Congress will now be presented online as a “Webinar Week” between September 16 and 18, 2020. Three technology experts from the Manmade Fibers Segment of the Swiss Oerlikon Group will take part in the presentations and discussions. The focus of the ‘Dornbirn-GFC 2020 – Webinar Week’ will be on speeches and discussions on the following topics: ‘Smart, Integrated, Digital Textile Production Chain’, ‘Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – a Challenge for the Industry in Europe?’, ‘New Recycling Technologies – what are the Challenges?’, ‘Circular Economy in the European Industry Recovery’ and ‘Future Rules & Regulations for Textiles – what should be expected from the EU?’.
The opening speech comes in the form of a keynote on the topic of “The Green Deal and its Implications for the Textile Industry” by Leonore Gewessler. She is the Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology for the Republic of Austria, a position she took over in January 2020.
Sylvain Huck, Technology Manager Digtal at Oerlikon Manmade Fibers, will be talking on the topic of “Yarn DNA supported by Digitalization” on September 16, 2020, between 1 and 1:20 p.m. The following day, Head of Product Management at Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Markus Reichwein will be addressing “On the Road to a Sustainable Manmade Fiber Industry” beginning at 2 p.m. on September 17. In his ‘Leading Meltblown Technology for the Production of Face Mask Filter Media’ presentation, Dr. Ingo Mählmann, Head of Sales & Marketing at Oerlikon Nonwoven, will cover the secrets of meltblown technology at 9:40 a.m. on September 17.
Information and registration for the webinar: dornbirn-gfc.com
All-virtual World of Wipes International Conference attracts 260+ attendees
INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, hosted its 14th annual World of Wipes (WOW) International Conference in an all-virtual format, Aug. 25-27. The event was attended by more than 260 participants from 20 countries, with features including conference presentations, live Q&A, tabletop display rooms, live chat, cocktail hours, afternoon tea, and coffee connections.
The event featured presentations from 30 industry leaders on issues, market trends, and statistical data to plan business strategies as well as a virtual three-day Wipes Academy training course.
Food Fresh Liners from Berk International LLC was the winner of the 2020 World of Wipes Innovation Award. Food Fresh Liners are the first nonwoven that can absorb accumulated moisture in sealed produce packaging to keep produce from wilting and spoiling, thus staying fresher for longer. The annual award recognizes the product that best expands the use of nonwovens and demonstrates creativity, novelty, uniqueness, and technical sophistication within the entire nonwovens wipes value chain.
“We are reinventing our approach to conferences to meet the connection and content needs of our industry participants, as well as the social distancing and hygiene needs of the current COVID-19 situation we are in. At the World of Wipes®, we were encouraged by our attendees’ ability to adapt to the new technology platform and variety of modes we put forward to creatively interact,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President.
* International Fiber Journal is owned by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (inda.org).
Americhem acquires Controlled Polymers
Americhem, a globally recognized designer and manufacturer of custom color masterbatch, functional additives, engineered compounds, and performance technologies, has announced that it has acquired Controlled Polymers, a leading global manufacturer of customized compounds and masterbatch for the medical industry and other industries. With 30 years of experience, Controlled Polymers is located in Denmark and supplies sustainable polymeric solutions to some of the largest healthcare OEMs in the world.
Controlled Polymers will integrate with Americhem and its Engineered Compounds division (AEC) by blending the companies’ product lines together to create a full range of offerings for customers in the medical plastics and other industries. Controlled Polymers has developed a specialized portfolio of products integral to many medical device and healthcare applications, including a particular strength in the hearing aid industry.
This acquisition expands Americhem’s global reach with increased product offerings, extended service capabilities, and broadened technical expertise. In particular, Controlled Polymers has built deep subject expertise in medical compounds and masterbatch through strategic customer partnerships. Other industries served include packaging, consumer goods, electronics, construction, and automotive where Controlled Polymers distinguishes itself through flexible lot sizes, industry leading lead times, and exceptional color matching capabilities.
Americhem’s CEO, Matthew Hellstern, stated, “We are thankful that our successes at Americhem have allowed us to continue expanding our portfolio by bringing other like-minded companies into our Americhem family.”
CEO of Controlled Polymers, Mogens Larsen, stated, “We are delighted to join the Americhem family and specifically Americhem Engineered Compounds. Our companies’ customers will continue to experience the same dedicated quality and service as always, but with an expanded global reach and deeper breadth of product offerings.”
Lindner and Erma machinery provide foundation for new recycling plant in Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia inaugurated a new recycling plant for processing industrial plastic waste, in particular plastic film. The new facility features a universal and state-of-the-art washing system from Lindner Washtech with a range of new and improved components, such as a Micromat 2000 shredder, a highly effective pre-wash unit Floater extend and a mechanical dryer of the Loop Dryer series. The washed flakes are regranulated by an Erema Intarema 1714 TVEplus extruder. The plant has been up and running around the clock five days a week for several weeks now.
With 19 waste depots in operation, Dinos is considered one of the largest waste management and recycling companies in Slovenia. The company collects and recycles non-ferrous materials (glass, wood, plastic and paper), metals (all types of old and new industrial scrap, steel, stainless steel and cast iron) and non-ferrous metals (aluminium, copper, nickel and tin). After collecting the waste material, it is sorted and then processed. Dinos has been part of the German Scholz Group since 2012.
“In the past 15 years, in the plastics sector Dinos focussed mainly on collection and pressing or shredding”, explains Plant Manager Jure Jambrovic, “But due to the changing situation on the world market where the placement of plastic waste has become increasingly difficult, we’ve decided to start our own recycling line. This will enable us to offer the market a high quality end product.”
The primary materials processed are LDPE and LLDPE clear wrap (mainly packaging films from the industrial sector & supermarkets), mixed post-consumer LDPE films, HDPE drums and HDPE canisters (primarily post-commerical packaging) and PP (crates and packaging).