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24.05.2022

INDA Releases 2022 Nonwovens Supply Report

Report Offers INDA Members Key Metrics to Assist in Strategic Planning and Investments

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, announces publication of the ninth edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report for its members.

Based on extensive research, producer surveys and interviews with industry leaders, the report provides an overall view of North American supply, including the key metrics of capacity, production and operating rates, in addition to regional trade, through the year 2021. The 75-page report contains 36 figures and 11 tables.

Findings from this year’s Supply Report include:

Report Offers INDA Members Key Metrics to Assist in Strategic Planning and Investments

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, announces publication of the ninth edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report for its members.

Based on extensive research, producer surveys and interviews with industry leaders, the report provides an overall view of North American supply, including the key metrics of capacity, production and operating rates, in addition to regional trade, through the year 2021. The 75-page report contains 36 figures and 11 tables.

Findings from this year’s Supply Report include:

  • North American capacity continues to increase with investments being made across all the processes and for a variety of end-uses. Production output exceeded that of new capacity, resulting in the industry’s nameplate capacity utilization increasing year-over-year, for the fourth consecutive year.
     
  • In 2021, capacity of nonwovens in North America reached 5.540 million tonnes, an increase from the previous year of 1.8% (net growth of 98,300 tonnes) and an improvement over the previous year’s pandemic-impacted growth rate of 0.5%.
     
  • The industry was able to quickly react to the demand for electrostatically charged fine-fiber meltblown used in the manufacture of respirators and pleated face masks. Twenty-two meltblown lines were added in 2020, resulting in 7.2% year-over-year growth rate for meltblown. In 2021, another 12 lines were added, resulting in 8.5% annual growth over 2020.
     
  • North American imports, in tonnage, increased 1.6% in 2021 as exports decreased 6.0%. Imports were led by China accounting for 39% of the imports into North America followed by India (14%) and Germany (9%). Even with the significant shifts in North American trade dynamics, nonwovens tend to stay where they are produced, with the net trade balance (imports less exports, 422,100 tonnes) accounting for less than ten percent of the region’s capacity

The report—and the quarterly INDA Market Pulse and monthly Price Trends Summary—are provided to the nearly 400 INDA member companies and associates as part of their membership. The data gathered for this annual report serves as the foundation for the both the biannual Global Nonwoven Market Report published in September of 2021 and the biannual North American Nonwovens Industry Outlook, which will be updated and published this fall.

More information:
nonwovens INDA
Source:

INDA

(c) Euratex
17.05.2022

EURATEX 2022 Spring Report: Exports of textile and clothing articles +10.6%

EURATEX has just released its Spring report, offering a detailed insight into trade figures for the European textile and apparel industry in 2021. The numbers are encouraging: comparing with the dramatic corona-year 2020, EU exports of textile and clothing articles increased by +10.6%, while imports dipped by -7.5%. As a result, the EU trade deficit improved, even it remains significant (- €48 billion).

Furthermore, import prices went slightly down in clothing and dropped in textiles, following a strong decrease of Chinese import prices of face masks and protective medical supplies.

The boost in exports was mainly due to strong performance on the Swiss, Chinese and US markets. On the other side, EU sales of textile & clothing to the United Kingdom fell sharply (-23%), due to Brexit new requirements, customs’ delays and shortage of truck drivers.  Imports from the EU top supplier, China, plunged by -28%, corresponding to €13 billion. Similarly, textile and clothing imports from the United Kingdom recorded a sharp decrease over the period (-48%, equal to €-3 billion).

EURATEX has just released its Spring report, offering a detailed insight into trade figures for the European textile and apparel industry in 2021. The numbers are encouraging: comparing with the dramatic corona-year 2020, EU exports of textile and clothing articles increased by +10.6%, while imports dipped by -7.5%. As a result, the EU trade deficit improved, even it remains significant (- €48 billion).

Furthermore, import prices went slightly down in clothing and dropped in textiles, following a strong decrease of Chinese import prices of face masks and protective medical supplies.

The boost in exports was mainly due to strong performance on the Swiss, Chinese and US markets. On the other side, EU sales of textile & clothing to the United Kingdom fell sharply (-23%), due to Brexit new requirements, customs’ delays and shortage of truck drivers.  Imports from the EU top supplier, China, plunged by -28%, corresponding to €13 billion. Similarly, textile and clothing imports from the United Kingdom recorded a sharp decrease over the period (-48%, equal to €-3 billion).

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “the 2021 export figures, presented in this Spring report, confirm that EURATEX members have gained momentum; even if energy prices are causing some serious short-term disruptions, our long-term ambition remains to be a world leader on sustainable textiles.”

The international trade dimension is indeed critical for the competitiveness of the European textile ecosystem, and needs to be fully embedded in the EU’s Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Commission insists that “all textile products placed on the EU market, are durable, free of hazardous substances, produced respecting social standards…” This is an essential condition to create a level playing field between all textile and apparel companies, regardless of their production base. With €100 billion of imports, and over 20 billion of “foreign” textile items put on the Single Market, this requires a dramatic upscaling of market surveillance, without however disrupting fluid supply chains.

Looking at the impact of war in Ukraine, EURATEX has strongly condemned the Russian aggression, and offered support to the Ukrainian textile industry. Ukraine offers valuable sourcing opportunities for European textile and apparel brands, as part of a broader nearshoring trend, which seems to emerge from the trade figures.

More information:
Euratex export
Source:

Euratex

16.02.2022

"European textile industry needs to grow its role on global markets"

Statement

On the occasion of the EU-Africa Business Summit, EURATEX is re-iterating the ambition of the European textile industry to grow its role on global markets, including the African continent.

The textile ecosystem is considered the 2nd most globalised sector of the European economy ; it is built on globalised supply chains and fierce competition with China, US, Bangladesh, Turkey and many others. Imports are now peaking at €115 billion (ca. 60% garments and 40% textiles), with a dramatic increase of imported medical textiles (face masks) in 2020. Every year, 22 billion pieces of textile and garment products are brought into the EU Single market.

Statement

On the occasion of the EU-Africa Business Summit, EURATEX is re-iterating the ambition of the European textile industry to grow its role on global markets, including the African continent.

The textile ecosystem is considered the 2nd most globalised sector of the European economy ; it is built on globalised supply chains and fierce competition with China, US, Bangladesh, Turkey and many others. Imports are now peaking at €115 billion (ca. 60% garments and 40% textiles), with a dramatic increase of imported medical textiles (face masks) in 2020. Every year, 22 billion pieces of textile and garment products are brought into the EU Single market.

Europe’s answer to this competitive pressure must be to invest even more on quality and innovative products, made in a sustainable manner. As emerging markets evolve, the appetite for better quality, comfort and design will grow. The ability and willingness to purchase technical textiles, which offer solutions to durability and improved performance, will increase. That is where Europe can be successful. To illustrate: the EU’s exports to China have increased by 33% in 2021 (first 11 months).

In its vision paper on the future of European textiles and apparel, EURATEX has confirmed its ambition to increase the global market share of the European textile industry. Strengthening relations with nearby Turkey and North African countries is important in this regard, offering opportunities for nearshoring. The African continent at large offers trade and investment opportunities, provided the business climate is stable and transparent.

Relations with the UK and Switzerland need to be optimised; especially Brexit has caused serious damage to bilateral trade flows (-33% export to the UK during Jan-Nov 2021). The Mercosur FTA offers interesting opportunities for the European textile industry; it should be ratified as soon as possible. We need to work with the US on mutual recognition of standards and setting global environmental and social rules. We call upon India to make an honest proposal for the upcoming free trade negotiations, which will ensure full and fair access to the Indian market.

European textile and apparel companies (mostly SMEs) need to be accompanied to exploit these market opportunities. At the same time, they need to be protected from unfair competition, e.g. products who do not comply with stringent EU standards and procedures. This requires more effective market surveillance.

More information:
Euratex Competition market share
Source:

Euratex

(c) Hohenstein
27.01.2022

Hohenstein tests and certifies FFP respiratory masks

The textile service provider Hohenstein has successfully extended its accreditations as a testing laboratory and certification body to include FFP (Filtering Face Pieces) respiratory masks in accordance with DIN EN 149, thus completing its portfolio in the textile mask sector. The necessary functional and safety tests on community masks, medical masks and FFP respiratory masks contribute to consumer safety. In addition, Hohenstein has not only been a member of the German Mask Association since September 2021, which pools the expertise of all mask manufacturers and suppliers in Germany, but also supports the Quality Working Group with its expertise in the field of textile protective clothing.

The textile service provider Hohenstein has successfully extended its accreditations as a testing laboratory and certification body to include FFP (Filtering Face Pieces) respiratory masks in accordance with DIN EN 149, thus completing its portfolio in the textile mask sector. The necessary functional and safety tests on community masks, medical masks and FFP respiratory masks contribute to consumer safety. In addition, Hohenstein has not only been a member of the German Mask Association since September 2021, which pools the expertise of all mask manufacturers and suppliers in Germany, but also supports the Quality Working Group with its expertise in the field of textile protective clothing.

Filtering Face Pieces are primarily used for the self-protection of the wearer and are intended to protect from harmful aerosols, particles and droplets. There are different protection levels for FFP respiratory masks (FFP 1-3), depending on how well they retain liquid and solid particles. In occupational safety, they are part of personal protective equipment (PPE) and fall under category III. Their protective function is specified throughout Europe by the DIN EN 149:2009-08 standard, which requires laboratory tests and practical performance tests with test persons. The Hohenstein testing laboratory carries out reliable proof of the safety of FFP respiratory masks in several test steps:

  • Through visual inspection, the Hohenstein experts assess the correct labelling, the comprehensibility of the enclosed instructions for using the masks, as well as the functionality and packaging.   
  • Laboratory tests can determine, among other things, breathing resistance, filter medium transmittance and inward leakage. The practical performance of FFP respiratory masks is assessed through realistic tests with test persons.
  • Test persons can also be employed to assess other parameters such as skin tolerance, field of vision or headgear comfort.
  • Optional tests, such as testing FFP respiratory masks for harmful substances, complete the safety verification.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a particularly large number of FFP respiratory masks with doubtful and even false labelling have been in circulation, so reliable and neutral testing and certification of these products is essential. Hohenstein, with its many years of extensive experience in the testing and certification of personal protective equipment, thus offers the ideal service for customers who value testing quality "Made in Germany".

As a testing laboratory for medical devices, Hohenstein also offers testing of medical face masks for their bacterial filtering performance, differential pressure as an indicator of breathing activity, microbiological purity and cytotoxicity, among others. Medical face masks fall under the Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745 and fulfil the requirements according to EN 14683. The testing service provider Hohenstein has already taken a big step towards safety and functionality with the introduction of its quality label for Tested Community Masks in June 2020 and also tests according to the first European Guideline for Everyday Masks, the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) 17553:2020.

Source:

Hohenstein

05.11.2021

NCTO Commends House Passage of Infrastructure Package

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”

NCTO worked with congressional allies to include a version of the Make PPE in America Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), in the infrastructure legislative package. The bill ensures all PPE purchased by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are Berry Amendment-compliant (containing 100 percent domestic content); guarantees long-term contracts (a minimum of two years) to U.S. manufacturers; and creates a tiered preference for PPE made in the Western Hemisphere by our free trade partners using U.S. components, after domestic manufacturing capacity has been maximized.

20.10.2021

NCTO launches Video highlighting Healthcare Workers & U.S. PPE Supply Chain

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, released an illuminating video and social media campaign detailing the heroic efforts of U.S. textile manufacturers to supply desperately needed medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features interviews with healthcare workers who confronted a once-in-a-generation health crisis and American textile and apparel executives, who came together to manufacture lifesaving PPE as the pandemic intensified and, once again in 2021, when President Biden issued a call to deliver 20 million American-made face masks for underserved communities in 60 days.

To view the video, click here.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, released an illuminating video and social media campaign detailing the heroic efforts of U.S. textile manufacturers to supply desperately needed medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features interviews with healthcare workers who confronted a once-in-a-generation health crisis and American textile and apparel executives, who came together to manufacture lifesaving PPE as the pandemic intensified and, once again in 2021, when President Biden issued a call to deliver 20 million American-made face masks for underserved communities in 60 days.

To view the video, click here.

18.10.2021

SABIC presents new Portfolio for Nonwovens at INDEX

SABIC has announced that the newly formed Hygiene & Healthcare segment of its Petrochemicals business will showcase its extensive portfolio of SABIC PURECARES™ polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) polymers for high-purity nonwovens and hygiene films at the upcoming INDEX™ Expo in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 19 through 22, 2021. The company will also present enabling solutions developed with partners to address the issue of plastic waste and support the transformation of the industry towards a circular economy with closed-loop initiatives and certified circular polymers under its TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and services.

SABIC has announced that the newly formed Hygiene & Healthcare segment of its Petrochemicals business will showcase its extensive portfolio of SABIC PURECARES™ polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) polymers for high-purity nonwovens and hygiene films at the upcoming INDEX™ Expo in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 19 through 22, 2021. The company will also present enabling solutions developed with partners to address the issue of plastic waste and support the transformation of the industry towards a circular economy with closed-loop initiatives and certified circular polymers under its TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and services.

During INDEX, SABIC will exhibit a wide range of PP polymers targeted at these needs. Highlights on display will include dedicated PP and PE grades for lightweight nonwoven fabrics using the latest spunbond and meltblown processes, and a new ultra-high melt flow PP product engineered for meltblown fibers in nonwoven fabrics. The nonwoven focus will be complemented by industry proven polyolefins for cast and blown film applications in hygiene webs and laminates, providing desirable back and top sheet properties such as water tightness, breathability and elasticity.

In addition, SABIC will also present ISCC Plus certified fiber and film polymers based on circular and renewable PP and PE polymer technology as part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio for advancing the transformation of the plastics industry from a linear to a truly circular economy. Examples of this comprehensive initiative include collaborations with various market leaders in the field. Together with Fibertex Personal Care, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of spunbond nonwovens for the hygiene industry, SABIC is creating a range of high-purity nonwovens for the hygiene market using ISCC PLUS certified circular PP polymer derived from post-consumer plastic waste. In another project, Fraunhofer Institute, SABIC and Procter & Gamble (P&G) joined forces to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of an advanced close-loop recycling process for used nonwoven facemasks.

Source:

SABIC / Marketing Solutions NV

18.10.2021

RadiciGroup at INDEX with new nonwovens

RadiciGroup's nonwoven innovations are on display at the INDEX trade fair, to be held from 19 to 22 October 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. Active in the spunbond production business for more than 30 years with the dylar® product line, the Group is introducing Respunsible®, a reduced environmental impact spunbond made from recycled polypropylene, and radimelt™, the brand name for the Group’s line of meltblown nonwovens and composite materials (e.g., SMS).

Respunsible® is a spunbond made from recycled polypropylene, a material appreciated for its chemical properties and its versatility. Its high technical performance makes it suitable for any application, even the most demanding ones in terms of resistance and duration.

Radimelt™ is the brand name identifying the Group’s meltblown nonwovens, materials used for the manufacture of protective face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). This nonwoven fabric has excellent filtration performance even for microscopic particles, such as viruses, and ensures breathability and protection.

RadiciGroup's nonwoven innovations are on display at the INDEX trade fair, to be held from 19 to 22 October 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. Active in the spunbond production business for more than 30 years with the dylar® product line, the Group is introducing Respunsible®, a reduced environmental impact spunbond made from recycled polypropylene, and radimelt™, the brand name for the Group’s line of meltblown nonwovens and composite materials (e.g., SMS).

Respunsible® is a spunbond made from recycled polypropylene, a material appreciated for its chemical properties and its versatility. Its high technical performance makes it suitable for any application, even the most demanding ones in terms of resistance and duration.

Radimelt™ is the brand name identifying the Group’s meltblown nonwovens, materials used for the manufacture of protective face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). This nonwoven fabric has excellent filtration performance even for microscopic particles, such as viruses, and ensures breathability and protection.

(c) Reifenhäuser
18.10.2021

Reifenhäuser Reicofil exhibits sustainable nonwovens at INDEX

Reifenhäuser Reicofil will exhibit at the world's leading nonwovens trade show INDEX in Geneva from October 19 to 22, 2021. Under the slogan "Living Nonwovens", the nonwoven line specialist will showcase solutions for the production of sustainable nonwovens for a wide range of applications.

Sustainable nonwoven production starts with the amount of material used - the less raw material needed, the better. The "Reicofil 5x" line series is specialized in this application and achieves fabric weights of 8 gsm (grams per square meter) or even less through efficient downgauging, even on 1000 m/min Composite lines containing 3 Spunbond beams.

In addition, Reicofil customers can reduce the use of fossil raw materials on request by processing biobased raw materials as an ecological alternative - for example for diapers. The topsheet material, made of bulky, soft, and industrially compostable high-loft nonwovens, meets maximum hygiene requirements at the same time.

Reifenhäuser Reicofil will exhibit at the world's leading nonwovens trade show INDEX in Geneva from October 19 to 22, 2021. Under the slogan "Living Nonwovens", the nonwoven line specialist will showcase solutions for the production of sustainable nonwovens for a wide range of applications.

Sustainable nonwoven production starts with the amount of material used - the less raw material needed, the better. The "Reicofil 5x" line series is specialized in this application and achieves fabric weights of 8 gsm (grams per square meter) or even less through efficient downgauging, even on 1000 m/min Composite lines containing 3 Spunbond beams.

In addition, Reicofil customers can reduce the use of fossil raw materials on request by processing biobased raw materials as an ecological alternative - for example for diapers. The topsheet material, made of bulky, soft, and industrially compostable high-loft nonwovens, meets maximum hygiene requirements at the same time.

For industrial applications, high-strength nonwovens can be processed even from up to 90% PET flakes from post-consumer waste. This is how Reicofil shows ways to combine sustainability and high-performance nonwovens.

In the medical sector, the line manufacturer will also be exhibiting its leading solutions for high-barrier medical protective clothing. In addition, meltblown nonwovens for face masks - still in great demand in many regions due to Covid - provide reliable safety and are helping to combat the pandemic worldwide. Reicofil technology therefore guarantees maximum safety, with filtration efficiencies of up to 99% (N99 / FFP3 standard), minimum quality fluctuations, and extremely high line availability at the same time.

With the current RF5 machine generation, Reicofil also sets benchmarks in terms of quality, performance, availability, efficiency, and machine intelligence - for challenging applications in hygiene, medical, and industrial sectors.

More information:
INDEX Reifenhäuser
Source:

Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG

Virtual RISE Conference Highlights (c) INDA
RISE 2021 Award Winner Canopy
06.10.2021

Virtual RISE Conference Highlights

  • Next-Gen Technologies for Nonwovens/Engineered Materials
  • Canopy Respirator from Canopy Wins Innovation Award

145 professionals in product development, material science, and new technologies convened for the 11th conference edition of RISE®—Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, held virtually, Sept. 28-30. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on Nonwoven Material Science Developments, Sustainability, Increasing Circularity, Promising Innovations, Process Innovations, Material Innovations, Government/NGO Challenges to Single-Use Plastics, Machine-Assisted-Learning Development of Biopolymers, and Market Intelligence and Economic Insights.

Participants praised the high-quality program content, in-depth round table discussions, networking and Q&A’s where participants ask expert speakers questions pertaining to their focused presentations.

Highlights among the 26 presentations included

  • Next-Gen Technologies for Nonwovens/Engineered Materials
  • Canopy Respirator from Canopy Wins Innovation Award

145 professionals in product development, material science, and new technologies convened for the 11th conference edition of RISE®—Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, held virtually, Sept. 28-30. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on Nonwoven Material Science Developments, Sustainability, Increasing Circularity, Promising Innovations, Process Innovations, Material Innovations, Government/NGO Challenges to Single-Use Plastics, Machine-Assisted-Learning Development of Biopolymers, and Market Intelligence and Economic Insights.

Participants praised the high-quality program content, in-depth round table discussions, networking and Q&A’s where participants ask expert speakers questions pertaining to their focused presentations.

Highlights among the 26 presentations included

  • Sustainable Solutions for our Plastic Planet Predicament, by Marc A. Hillmyer, Ph.D., McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota;
  • Closed-Loop Recycling Pilot of Single-Use Face Masks by Peter Dziezok, Ph.D., Director of Open Innovation, Proctor & Gamble;
  • Innovating a Sustainable Future for Nonwovens: A European Perspective, by Matt Tipper, Ph.D., CEO, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI);
  • Phantom Platform: The Polyolefin-cellulose Coformed Substrates Technology, by Fabio Zampollo, CEO and Founder of Teknoweb Materials; 
  • Guiding Environmentally Sustainable Innovations – From Reactive to Proactive Life Cycle Management, by Valentina Prado, Ph.D., Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global LLC;  
  • High-Loft, Ultra-Soft Hygiene Solutions, Paul E. Rollin, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist – Global Hygiene, Propylene-Vistamaxx-Adhesion (PVA) Global Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Company;
  • Canadian Plastic Policy Update, by Karyn M. Schmidt, Senior Director, Regulatory & Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Other highlights included the announcement of Canopy Respirator as the winner of this year’s RISE® Innovation Award winner. The annual award recognizes innovation in areas within and on the periphery of the nonwovens industry which use advanced science and engineering principles to develop unique or intricate solutions to problems and advance the usage of nonwovens.

RISE® Innovation Award Winner
The RISE® Innovation Award was presented to Canopy for their Canopy Respirator. The productis an innovative respirator that is fully mechanical, non-electrostatic, with a filter designed for superior breathability while offering the wearer facial transparency. The breakthrough respirator features 5.5mm water column resistance at 85 liters (3 cubic feet) per minute, 2-way filtration, and a pleated filter that contains over 500 square centimeters of surface area. The patented Canopy respirator resists fluids, and eliminates fogging of eyeglasses.

Source:

INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

Ascend Performance Materials, APMPR063 ©Ascend Performance Materials
SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A inactivated by zinc-embedded nylon fabric.
22.09.2021

SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A inactivated by zinc-embedded nylon fabric

  • A paper published in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces details effectiveness, describes protocol for future testing

An international team of scientists and engineers from the University of Cambridge, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, ResInnova Labs and Ascend Performance Materials has found that a nylon fabric embedded with zinc ions successfully inactivated 99% of the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the common flu.

Face masks, protective clothing and filters are used to slow the spread of viruses. But poor-quality masks can harbor active viruses from infected wearers, posing a transmission risk.

“A major challenge is absorption and inactivation,” said Vikram Gopal, Ph.D., co-senior author and chief technology officer at Ascend Performance Materials. “Respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, and the flu, are transmitted through droplets and aerosols. Polypropylene, the material in commonly used disposable masks, is a hydrophobic plastic and does not absorb moisture. Instead, the viruses can sit on the surface of the mask, posing a transmission risk when the mask is handled.”

  • A paper published in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces details effectiveness, describes protocol for future testing

An international team of scientists and engineers from the University of Cambridge, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, ResInnova Labs and Ascend Performance Materials has found that a nylon fabric embedded with zinc ions successfully inactivated 99% of the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the common flu.

Face masks, protective clothing and filters are used to slow the spread of viruses. But poor-quality masks can harbor active viruses from infected wearers, posing a transmission risk.

“A major challenge is absorption and inactivation,” said Vikram Gopal, Ph.D., co-senior author and chief technology officer at Ascend Performance Materials. “Respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, and the flu, are transmitted through droplets and aerosols. Polypropylene, the material in commonly used disposable masks, is a hydrophobic plastic and does not absorb moisture. Instead, the viruses can sit on the surface of the mask, posing a transmission risk when the mask is handled.”

Cotton also has problems, Dr. Gopal said. “Cotton effectively absorbs moisture, but it doesn’t inactivate the virus – again, posing a transmission risk,” he said. In the paper published in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces, the researchers described how a fabric made of nylon 6,6 embedded with active zinc ions absorbed virus-containing moisture droplets and effectively inactivated the particles. The fabric produced a 2-log, or 99%, reduction of virus particles in one hour.

The research team also was able to demonstrate that nylon with active zinc ions remains stable over time, keeping its virus-inactivating properties after 50 washes. “The study shows how nylon textile fabric with zinc outperforms the widely used cotton and polypropylene materials at virus absorption and inactivation,” Dr. Gopal said. The findings have significant implications for future development of PPE, Dr. Gopal said. “Pathogen-free PPE does more than just cut down the risk of transmitting the virus,” Gopal said. “By making PPE washable and reusable, you reduce the need for single-use products, keeping hundreds of millions of masks out of landfills.”

(c) Autefa
25.08.2021

Swiss Textile Machinery: Top Technology for Nonwovens

Originally conceived as a low-cost, high-volume alternative to knitting and weaving, nonwovens was already expanding its market boundaries by the 1970s with new applications in ‘disposables’ such as diapers, hygiene and teabags.

In the past five decades, the nonwovens business has exploded in all directions, reaching a global market worth USD 40.5 billion in 2020, projected to grow to USD 53.5 billion by 2025. This annual growth rate of 5.7% (MarketsandMarkets, Nonwoven Fabric Market Report) is based on countless new applications and expansion into durable, as well as additional disposable, products.

Major growth drivers include the hygiene sector, and filtration media for power plants and air conditioning systems. Especially during the peak of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, demand in the hygiene sector multiplied. Worldwide capacities for both meltblown and spunlace production rocketed compared to a normal business year. Swiss Autefa Solutions, for example, significantly benefited from this trend, notably with the launch of a fully-automatic machine for producing face masks.

Originally conceived as a low-cost, high-volume alternative to knitting and weaving, nonwovens was already expanding its market boundaries by the 1970s with new applications in ‘disposables’ such as diapers, hygiene and teabags.

In the past five decades, the nonwovens business has exploded in all directions, reaching a global market worth USD 40.5 billion in 2020, projected to grow to USD 53.5 billion by 2025. This annual growth rate of 5.7% (MarketsandMarkets, Nonwoven Fabric Market Report) is based on countless new applications and expansion into durable, as well as additional disposable, products.

Major growth drivers include the hygiene sector, and filtration media for power plants and air conditioning systems. Especially during the peak of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, demand in the hygiene sector multiplied. Worldwide capacities for both meltblown and spunlace production rocketed compared to a normal business year. Swiss Autefa Solutions, for example, significantly benefited from this trend, notably with the launch of a fully-automatic machine for producing face masks.

The automotive industry is the second big growth area, with many new applications being pioneered. The trend to electric and hybrid vehicles has helped this, as nonwovens reinforced with carbon fibres are widely used as battery housings.

Swiss nonwovens competence
Innovative applications across all sectors have driven the rapid evolution of sophisticated nonwovens machinery. Today’s trends demand higher productivity, sustainability and Industry 4.0 compatibility – demonstrated by the full equipment portfolio of Swiss Textile Machinery member Autefa Solutions. With V-Jet Futura, the company recently sealed the link in its product range between web forming and drying technology. This latest Hydroentanglement Machine, together with the SQ-V Square Drum Dryer, embodies advanced technology combined with significant reductions in energy consumption compared to other process solutions.

A vital contribution to nonwovens production is offered by Rieter subsidiary Graf, a leading supplier of clothing and combs for carding and combing processes in spinning and nonwovens. Graf's Hipro card clothings – suitable for any man-made fibres in the nonwovens sector – are focussing on higher productivity. Their superior performance delivers up to 10% higher throughput and greater carding efficiency compared to conventional clothings. These reliable card clothing elements also ensure a consistently reproducible high web quality, as well as 20% fewer failures in the web, thanks to the precise fibre transfer to and from the cylinder.

Another constant trend in nonwovens today is the drive for better quality. Manufacturers want to take charge of contamination levels in their processes, as well as eradicating defects which may arise during production. Uster Technologies, a leading provider of quality management solutions from fibre to fabric, offers a combined solution to achieve both these required quality standards. At the fibre preparation stage, Uster Jossi Vision Shield N ensures the best possible initial inspection and removal of contamination. Then, at the end of the production sequence, Uster EVS Fabriq Vision N handles automated detection and marking of all the main defects caused during production. This combined solution avoids material waste and takes full advantage of the potential for process optimization.

Source:

Swiss Textile Machinery Association

09.06.2021

EURATEX calls for an effective EU Industrial strategy

On the occasion of releasing its 2021 Spring Report, EURATEX calls the European Institutions to implement a new Industrial Strategy which will effectively support the European textiles industry. EURATEX welcomes the fact that Textile and Clothing industry is recognised as one of the 14 essential ecosystems of the European economy, but we need to take effective measures to support these sectors, and take into consideration the global dimension.

On the occasion of releasing its 2021 Spring Report, EURATEX calls the European Institutions to implement a new Industrial Strategy which will effectively support the European textiles industry. EURATEX welcomes the fact that Textile and Clothing industry is recognised as one of the 14 essential ecosystems of the European economy, but we need to take effective measures to support these sectors, and take into consideration the global dimension.

Economic data for 2020 in EURATEX Spring Report show preoccupying trends. Figures reflect a dramatic contraction in demand and production: EU turnover contracted by -9.3% in textiles (which is in line with the general manufacturing average) and by -17.7% in clothing, compared with 2019. Furthermore, supply chain disruptions and substantial price increases of some raw materials are putting significant pressure on the T&C industries across Europe. The trade deficit for European textiles and clothing jumped from € -47 bln in 2019 to € -62 bln in 2020, an increase of more than 30%, which is almost entirely due to the import of Chinese face masks and related products. Fortunately, more recent figures from the 1st quarter of 2021 indicate some signs of recovery.

That figure illustrates very well today’s political discussions on the future of the European industry. Many European companies have made considerable efforts to adapt their production to the pandemic, but clearly this was not enough. Whether the production cost in Europe is too high or the EU should adapt its procurement rules, the industry needs have a coherent long-term plan to become more competitive and conquer new markets.

EURATEX General Assembly highlighted the critical role of the new EU Industrial Strategy. The inclusion of textiles and clothing in the fourteen ecosystems is a step in the right direction to consolidate the industrial base but we should look also at the global challenges. European companies should continue investing in innovation, design and quality, in combination with a structural move towards more sustainable textiles. At the same time, the EU should create an environment - both inside the Single Market and globally - where everybody plays by the same rules.

Source:

Euratex

21.05.2021

Alchemie Technology and HeiQ create sustainable textile finishing partnership

Alchemie Technology, a leader in waterless, digital on-demand, smart dyeing technology, has today announced its partnership with HeiQ, a leader in textile innovation, as it prepares the production rollout of its NOVARATM digital multifunction finishing solution to the global textile market in Q3 this year.

NOVARA can apply single-sided, or simultaneous two-sided, coating of multiple finishes to specific areas of textile. For example, combining anti-odour and water repellence in one material.

“For example, using NOVARA for single-sided finishing of HeiQ Viroblock required 52% less chemistry, 66% water reduction and 50% less energy, whilst achieving a 99.7% reduction in antimicrobial activity after 15 washes at 400celsius. With the huge demand for high-performance antibacterial, antiviral finishing for face masks, medical apparel, gym wear, home furnishing, mattresses, and textiles for high-risk, high traffic areas such as train, plane seats, and more, our combined technology is critical for increasing protection and reducing environmental impact of these products” says Dr Simon Kew, Managing Director, Alchemie Technology.

Alchemie Technology, a leader in waterless, digital on-demand, smart dyeing technology, has today announced its partnership with HeiQ, a leader in textile innovation, as it prepares the production rollout of its NOVARATM digital multifunction finishing solution to the global textile market in Q3 this year.

NOVARA can apply single-sided, or simultaneous two-sided, coating of multiple finishes to specific areas of textile. For example, combining anti-odour and water repellence in one material.

“For example, using NOVARA for single-sided finishing of HeiQ Viroblock required 52% less chemistry, 66% water reduction and 50% less energy, whilst achieving a 99.7% reduction in antimicrobial activity after 15 washes at 400celsius. With the huge demand for high-performance antibacterial, antiviral finishing for face masks, medical apparel, gym wear, home furnishing, mattresses, and textiles for high-risk, high traffic areas such as train, plane seats, and more, our combined technology is critical for increasing protection and reducing environmental impact of these products” says Dr Simon Kew, Managing Director, Alchemie Technology.

NOVARA also enables unique lifestyle product innovations at lower production cost for fashion, sportswear, technical clothing, and upholstery such as combining sustainable odour control, skin care additives, and fragrance finishing, without impacting breathability, hand feel or wicking. It is suitable for finishing all fabric types, from 50 - 1000 gsm, including polyester, cotton, nylon and polycotton.

15.04.2021

Brodelec uses Direct-To-Fabric Printing with Kornit Digital Printing Technology

Brodelec chose to broaden its scope of activity by investing in the Kornit Presto S.

Dominique Willems, CEO at Brodelec, comments: "We had already seen a strong trend for personalized items, whether in the furniture or fashion sector, but since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen a strong growth in requests for small-scale personalization. And that's exactly where Kornit offers us a solution with incredible durability and quality, perfectly suited to our needs."

Brodelec chose to broaden its scope of activity by investing in the Kornit Presto S.

Dominique Willems, CEO at Brodelec, comments: "We had already seen a strong trend for personalized items, whether in the furniture or fashion sector, but since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen a strong growth in requests for small-scale personalization. And that's exactly where Kornit offers us a solution with incredible durability and quality, perfectly suited to our needs."

He continues: "The Kornit Presto S has allowed us to bring our latest project to life: the creation of a website entirely dedicated to ordering custom masks. Thanks to an online editor and our 200 models, our customers can order their masks in quantities ranging from 1 to several thousand pieces if necessary. As the Kornit Presto is free of certain technical and chemical constraints and has adapted perfectly to Brodelec's workflow system; we are currently printing more than 10,000 masks per week and can respond to requests within extremely short deadlines while guaranteeing quality and sharpness of detail. The masks meet the recommendations of the AFNOR and are designed with a fabric that filters out particles in the air by over 90%! Therefore, the designed and printed fabric masks are designated as category 1 and meet the UNS1 standards. They are distributed after testing for 60 washes."

07.04.2021

NCTO: Importance of the U.S. Textile Industry to Lifesaving PPE & the Economy

National Council of Textiles Organization (NCTO) member Parkdale Mills hosted Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) at the company’s Magnolia Manufacturing plant in Hillsville, Va. today to showcase the critical role the company and the industry has played in producing lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid frontline health-care workers and the country during the pandemic.

Parkdale’s facility in Hillsville, Va. is a key yarn spinning hub contributing to a major face mask initiative bringing together several U.S. companies and more than 5,000 workers as part of the Biden administration’s pledge to provide 25 million reusable face masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic.

National Council of Textiles Organization (NCTO) member Parkdale Mills hosted Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) at the company’s Magnolia Manufacturing plant in Hillsville, Va. today to showcase the critical role the company and the industry has played in producing lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid frontline health-care workers and the country during the pandemic.

Parkdale’s facility in Hillsville, Va. is a key yarn spinning hub contributing to a major face mask initiative bringing together several U.S. companies and more than 5,000 workers as part of the Biden administration’s pledge to provide 25 million reusable face masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic.

“Parkdale Mills thanks Senator Kaine for his leadership on policies that help bolster our company and the entire textile industry. We are proud to be part of an initiative that is bringing together American companies to produce 100% American-made masks for community health centers, soup kitchens and food banks across the country,” said Davis Warlick of Parkdale Mills. “With the support of our government and leaders like Senator Kaine, our industry is demonstrating its ability and capacity to make critical items here for the long term.”

Kim Glas, President and CEO of NCTO said: “We want to sincerely thank Senator Kaine for his leadership in supporting American manufacturers, which have played a vital role in our economy as well as the nationwide effort to produce critical PPE and medical textiles for a nation in crisis. We are grateful to the senator and the Biden administration for prioritizing domestic manufacturers and the U.S. workforce. The U.S. textile industry is a vital contributor to the U.S economy and policies that Senator Kaine supports help bolster the onshoring of PPE and critical items, which in turn spurs employment and investment in the American manufacturing base.”

27.03.2021

NCTO: Biden Administration awards Contracts for American-Made Face Masks

The Biden Administration has awarded two contracts to National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) members Parkdale Mills and Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., following through on the President’s pledge to procure millions of fully Made in America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.  A third contract is expected to be awarded to a small business early next week.

North Carolina headquartered Parkdale Mills, the nation’s largest cotton yarn spinner, has partnered with Ferrara Manufacturing, a tailored clothing company based in New York City’s garment center whose workforce is union represented by Workers United/SEIU, to manufacture over 17 million reusable masks. The government said it could purchase up to a maximum of 22.2 million masks under the two contracts announced today. The masks will be Berry compliant and thus 100% U.S.-made.

The Biden Administration has awarded two contracts to National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) members Parkdale Mills and Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., following through on the President’s pledge to procure millions of fully Made in America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.  A third contract is expected to be awarded to a small business early next week.

North Carolina headquartered Parkdale Mills, the nation’s largest cotton yarn spinner, has partnered with Ferrara Manufacturing, a tailored clothing company based in New York City’s garment center whose workforce is union represented by Workers United/SEIU, to manufacture over 17 million reusable masks. The government said it could purchase up to a maximum of 22.2 million masks under the two contracts announced today. The masks will be Berry compliant and thus 100% U.S.-made.

Ferrara Manufacturing and Parkdale Mills will contract with additional U.S. companies across the manufacturing supply chain, employing nearly 5,000 American workers as a result of these awards.  Parkdale will be utilizing yarn from their facilities in NC, VA, and GA and Ferrara will deploy their cut and sew operations in New York City.

The U.S. textile industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year.  Since the spring of 2020, both Ferrara and Parkdale have retooled their production chains to help produce millions of masks and gowns to help workers on the frontlines. 

25.01.2021

NCTO: Statement on "Made in America" executive order

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today on the White House announcement that President Biden will sign an executive order today, “ensuring the future of America is Made in America by all of America’s workers.”  Further, NCTO launched a new industry video campaign today that outlines steps the Biden administration and Congress must take to re-shore the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the entire supply chain for critical products. The video can be found here: MakeAmericanPPE.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas said:
“We commend President Biden for taking action in his first days in office to strengthen our domestic supply chain and manufacturing base with a “Made in America” executive order directing the federal government to spend taxpayer dollars on American-made goods produced by American workers using American-made components.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today on the White House announcement that President Biden will sign an executive order today, “ensuring the future of America is Made in America by all of America’s workers.”  Further, NCTO launched a new industry video campaign today that outlines steps the Biden administration and Congress must take to re-shore the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the entire supply chain for critical products. The video can be found here: MakeAmericanPPE.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas said:
“We commend President Biden for taking action in his first days in office to strengthen our domestic supply chain and manufacturing base with a “Made in America” executive order directing the federal government to spend taxpayer dollars on American-made goods produced by American workers using American-made components.

Increasing the domestic procurement threshold and the price preferences for domestic goods under the current Buy American law will bolster domestic production and stimulate more investment in U.S. manufacturing.

We believe it is critical that taxpayer dollars are used to invest in American manufacturing and our workforce. It is essential that we close loopholes in our Buy America laws, expand application and product coverage of domestic content rules, and close unnecessary contract waivers that undermine American manufacturing and its workforce.
 
We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress on immediately strengthening our domestic procurement laws. The COVID-19 crisis was exacerbated when foreign supply chains broke down leaving our frontline workers vulnerable, underscoring the vital need for America to manufacture essential medical products at home. We look forward to working with the Biden administration on implementing this Executive Order, and with members of Congress to push critical bipartisan legislation to help ensure this onshoring effort is fully realized.

We also sincerely thank Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) for their leadership in sending a recent letter to President Biden, requesting the president prioritize “Made in America” personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases and outlining key steps the administration can take to produce and procure quality American-made PPE for frontline workers.”

Source:

National Council of Textile Organizations

24.01.2021

NCTO: Letter to President Biden to prioritize American manufactors

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) wrote to President Biden calling on the Administration to prioritize purchasing fully made in America Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The lawmakers outline four steps the Administration can take now to ensure our frontline workers have products needed to effectively carryout their critical responsibilities and to support domestic manufacturers who are ready to scale up production and help keep workers healthy and safe.

In their letter, Brown and Manning call on President Biden, through Executive Order and legislative efforts, to:

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) wrote to President Biden calling on the Administration to prioritize purchasing fully made in America Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The lawmakers outline four steps the Administration can take now to ensure our frontline workers have products needed to effectively carryout their critical responsibilities and to support domestic manufacturers who are ready to scale up production and help keep workers healthy and safe.

In their letter, Brown and Manning call on President Biden, through Executive Order and legislative efforts, to:

  1. Prioritize the purchase of fully made in America PPE “Berry compliant” to help continue bolstering the U.S. supply chain regardless of purchasing agency;
  2. Issue long-term contracts directly to domestic manufacturers when possible to help bolster the domestic supply chains;
  3. Adopt a contracting purchase methodology that uses “Best Value” criteria versus “Lowest Price Technically Acceptable” criteria; and
  4. Designate a point person in charge of coordinating the government’s efforts to procure PPE and other medical equipment who is responsible for meeting regularly with key domestic manufacturing stakeholders.

A full copy of Brown and Manning’s letter can be found here.

Source:

National Council of Textile Organizations

21.01.2021

NCTO welcomes President Biden’s action plan and Covid-19 Response

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today welcoming President Biden’s action plan and COVID-19 response, accompanied by a series of executive orders, including an order signed today to strengthen U.S. supply chains by directing federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and related vaccine supplies.

“We are closely reviewing President Biden’s national strategic plan to confront the pandemic and welcome the executive order signed today to strengthen our supply chains by directing all federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act to address shortages of personal protective equipment, vaccine supplies and essential products. These are important steps that will help ramp up critical manufacturing of these essential PPE products and other critically needed supplies like tests and vaccines.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today welcoming President Biden’s action plan and COVID-19 response, accompanied by a series of executive orders, including an order signed today to strengthen U.S. supply chains by directing federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and related vaccine supplies.

“We are closely reviewing President Biden’s national strategic plan to confront the pandemic and welcome the executive order signed today to strengthen our supply chains by directing all federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act to address shortages of personal protective equipment, vaccine supplies and essential products. These are important steps that will help ramp up critical manufacturing of these essential PPE products and other critically needed supplies like tests and vaccines.”

American manufacturers have been at the forefront of the effort to build a domestic PPE supply chain since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. textile industry retooled production and operations virtually overnight, producing millions of face masks, isolation gowns, testing swabs and other critical medical textiles.

The industry is dedicated to making significant investments in automated equipment for PPE, but the industry needs long-term, multiyear contracts to help realize that investment.

The deployment of DPA is one of the critical tools that will help incentivize investment in equipment, propel the hiring of U.S. workers and expand these critical production chains.

Since its inception, the DPA has been utilized by the Department of Defense to make critical investments in domestic textile manufacturing infrastructure and capacity, creating private-public partnerships through the government’s capital investments under the DPA and guaranteeing purchases through long-term contracts.  

NCTO applaud President Biden’s action and anticipate further steps including a reported order that will seek to strengthen government procurement of U.S. products in the coming days. NCTO appreciate President Biden outlining the “National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness” a series of actions and steps the administration will undertake to deploy and manufacture the vaccine and other essential products.

Source:

National Council of Textile Organizations