Textile World November/December 2022

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and Knitting/Apparel magazines, which remain the property of Textile Industries Media Group, LLC. Copyright 2022, Textile Industries Media Group, LLC Title registered with the U.S. Patent Office. All rights, including translation into other languages, reserved. Subscription rates for one year are: $65 (US); $85 (Canada and Mexico); $130 (Other International). Single copy rates are: $15 per copy. All prices are in U.S. dollars and all orders must be prepaid. Questions may be submitted to jdavis@textileworld.com. To obtain electronic copies of print articles, please contact ProQuest at www.proquest.com. To obtain microform copies, please contact NA Publishing at www.napubco.com.


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November/December 2022 TextileWorld.com Founded 1868 Features Departments 4 From The Editor 6 News 34 People 35 Bulletin Board 36 Calendar 38 Quality Fabric Of The Month ON THE COVER: Hemp fiber,
20 News 21 Monforts: Expanding Added-Value Options European-built coating technology
customers to move
many new markets. 24 Executive Opinion: TSG Finishing’s Brian Rosenstein Talks PFAS Regulation Challenges 26 A New Era Of Sustainability For Cotton Fabrics DuraTech™ by Microban® is a new antimicrobial treatment specifically developed for cotton products. Dyeing,Printing & Finishing
Knitting/Apparel 14 News 15 Hemp: Growing A Made-In-USA Industry Bear Fiber Inc. sees tremendous opportunity for hemp in the U.S. textile, apparel and fashion arena. 20 News 28 Perfectly Circular: Candiani’s Compostable Jeans Lab tests showed Candiani’s new Coreva stretch denim is completely biodegradable. 31 High-Tech Knitting Solutions For Surgery Applications Comez offers a variety of machines that are suitable for producing highly technical medical applications. 32 WHOLEGARMENT® Technology Enables On-Demand Production Tailored Industry relies on technology from Shima Seiki for its consumption area-based, on-demand production system. 14 News Nonwovens/Technical Textiles Event Reviews 8 Advanced Textiles Association’s “Final” IFAIExpo 10 2022 RISE® — Research, Innovation & Science For Engineered Fabrics — Conference 12 SYFA’s 50th Anniversary Fall Conference A Publication
by Textile Industries Media Group, LLC,
shown still attached to the
core of the stalk, offers an opportunity to
a new, sustainable industry in the United States providing value to everyone involved in the supply chain from farmers and processors to textile manufacturers, brands and consumers.
is allowing Monforts’
Fiber World
VOL. 172, No. 6 / TEXTILE WORLD (ISSN 0040-5213) is
PO Box 683155,
and incorporates Modern Textiles, Textile Industries, Fiber World

From Editor

The In Honor Of Jim Phillips Jr.

YYou may notice something missing from this issue of Textile World .And there is something missing from the work that goes on behind the scenes at TW as well.

Long-time editor and contributor Jim Phillips passed away in early November after an extended period of declining health. His monthly“Yarn Market”column was as important to him as it was to TW readers.

Jim came to the textile magazines as part of a major restaffing in 2000.The then publishers wanted to try something different as many of the staff left traditional publishing to participate in the dot com boom.

The idea was to have a mixed staff of textile professionals and journalists to focus on meaningful textile content.Jim was the journalist on the new team.He took on the role of executive editor and made sure the content was up to established standards and editorial integrity.There are many rules in publishing,and Jim with his experience and as an honors graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Journalism,was well up to the task.

Jim was Greenville,S.C.-focused.He had worked for various newspapers including The Greenville News,several advertising agencies in Greenville,and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

Editor Rachael Davis was one of the textile hires for the new team in 2000.“Jim was hugely supportive of me when I began my career at TW ,”she said.“I showed up with my degree in polymer and textile chemistry — so a wealth of knowledge about textiles and textile processes —but little to no knowledge of business writing and journalism ways.

“Jim didn’t judge; he just took me under his wing.He mentored and guided me through writing my first feature stories with valuable feedback and helpful criticism. He was always willing to help,even long

after he was a full-time employee with the publication.

“When he returned as a contributing editor,it was wonderful to work with him again.I will miss our monthly phone calls to talk about deadlinesand other life minutiae.”

After several years,and having never relocated to Atlanta where the magazines were based,Jim left TW ,but not really.He landed a fulfilling job as a writer for IBM.But when the “Yarn Market”column needed a new editor in 2007,Jim gladly took the job saying at the time,“… it pleases me to be asked to rejoin TW and be the shepherd of this column.”

Like Rachael,my role with the magazines may have never happened without Jim’s support.As a textile engineer with several different roles in the industry,I was hired as editor in chief to work on the editorial plan for the magazines making sure there was a balance of content serving the various sectors of the industry.

My hiring was contingent on meeting with and hiring Jim,who was suggested by Sheree Turner out of the Greenville office.In the early days of the new team,there was a lot to learn about what it took to plan,write and publish a magazine and without the digital tools available today,sometimes,it was messy.But Jim had things under control.

In speaking with his wife Marie,she confided that having retired from IBM,writing “Yarn Market”was very important to him even as it became more and more difficult to prepare —but he refused to miss a deadline.

Thank you James Curtis Phillips Jr.for all your contributions as an editor and a friend.

EDITOR IN CHIEF James M. Borneman


TECHNICAL EDITORS Dr. Lisa Parillo Chapman

Dr. Peter J. Hauser

Trevor J.


Behnam Pourdeyhimi


UNITED STATES/CANADA Turner Marketing & Media, LLC +864-594-0921 • sturner@textileworld.com MEXICO, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA Virgilio L. González + 58-412-622-2648 • Fax +58-212-985-7921 • vlgonzalezp@gmail.com

EUROPE (except ITALY) Sabine Dussey +49-171-5473990 • sabine.dussey@dussey.de

ITALY Ferruccio & Filippo Silvera +39-022-846716 • Fax +39-022-8938496 • info@silvera.it

ASIA James M. Borneman +678-483-6102 • jborneman@textileworld.com

INTERNET & CLASSIFIEDS OPPORTUNITIES Julie Davis +678-522-0404 • jdavis@textileworld.com PO Box 683155 | Marietta, GA 30068, USA Telephone +678-483-6102 | www.TextileWorld.com

Little Dr.
Oxenham Dr.

Spinnova Makes TIME Magazine’s Best

Inventions List

Helsinki-based sustainable material company Spinnova® made TIME magazine’s list of 2022 Best Inventions List in the Style category.To compile the list, TIME considers originality,efficacy,ambition and impact,while recognizing creative problemsolving inventions.Two hundred innovations made the list this year.

SPINNOVA® fiber is made using renewable raw materials and no harmful chemicals.According to the company,production of the fiber consumes 99-percent less water and causes 72percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions when compared to conventional cotton.

Finland-based Marimekko recently presented a capsule featuring the first-ever commercially available printed products made using Spinnova fiber; and Denmark-based brand BESTSELLER launched the first product made using Spinnova to consumers.

“We believe that the key to changing the world lies in sustained innovation and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts to transform the raw material base of the global textile industry for the better,” commented Spinnova’s CEO Kim Poulsen.

Unifi Expands Textile Takeback™Program

Unifi Inc.,Greensboro, N.C.,is expanding its

Textile Takeback™ program — an initiative to collect pre- and post-consumer polyester-based fabric waste.The company subjects the dyed and undyed polyester to a proprietary material conversion process to convert the textiles into recycled resin that can be used to manufacture its REPREVE® fiber.The program was initially trialed in 2011.The expansion grows the global footprint for the program as well as the product application scope.

“UNIFI has always seen sustainability as a movement — not a moment,” said Eddie Ingle,CEO of UNIFI.“We are thrilled to expand Textile Takeback to provide our partners with a sustainable solution that helps to create a more circular supply chain for all.”

“Finding new ways to help our partners meet their sustainability goals is always top of mind,”said Meredith Boyd,senior vice president of Technology, Innovation & Sustainability of UNIFI.“By expanding our Textile Takeback initiative, we are one step closer to shaping a future where waste is the exception, not the rule.”

Stony Creek Colors Secures $4.8 Million

In Funding

Natural indigo dye producer Stony Creek Colors,Springfield,Tenn., reports it has closed a $4.8 million Series B2 funding round.Long-term partners Lewis & Clark AgriFood

Ascend Buys Stake In Circular Polymers

Houston-based Ascend Performance Materials reports it has purchased a majority share of Circular Polymers,a Lincoln, Calif.-based recycler of post-consumer polymers including polyester, polypropylene,nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 that is reclaimed from used carpets.The investment ensures a consistent supply of post-consumer recycled materials for Ascend’s new ReDefyne™ sustainable nylon products.Moving forward,Circular Polymers will be known as Circular Polymers by Ascend.The remaining equity is owned by the founder and CEO of Circular Polymers,David Bender,who will continue as CEO of the company.

“We are focused on helping our customers reach their sustainability

goals and Circular Polymers by Ascend provides materials that offer strong performance with a considerably smaller environmental footprint, compared to other technologies like pyrolysis,” said Phil McDivitt,president and CEO of Ascend.“Since we launched ReDefyne,the demand for our circular products has been significant across all segments of our business,including automotive,consumer,electronics and high-performance fibers and textiles.”

“Since 2018,we have focused on improving the sourcing and processing of post-consumer highperformance polymers,” Bender said.“Having Ascend on board will accelerate our growth and ensure these materials go back into new long-term,highperformance applications.”

and Levi Strauss & Co.led the round.According to the company,it is the only industrial scale manufacturer of 100-percent bio-based indigo as certified by the USDA BioPreferred Program. The money allows Stony Creek Colors to continue to develop its farming infrastructure and dye extraction process.

“Stony Creek Colors was founded on the idea of harnessing naturally occurring chemicals in plants, to solve fashion industry challenges while giving farmers a profitable regenerative rotational crop,” said Sarah Bellos,founder

and CEO of Stony Creek Colors.“Our past collaboration with Levi Strauss & Co.as a customer allowed us to bring important denim supply chain innovations,such as IndiGold®, to life.This equity round initiates our next phase of long-term growth.”

“With this current investment round,the company is poised to reach a greater scale in agricultural production and processing to meet growing demand for clean colors in the textile industry,”said Tim Hassler, managing director at Lewis & Clark AgriFood. TW

News 6 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com

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(clockwise from top left): Keynote speaker Dr. Elliot Eisenberg; the expo show floor; just one of the many campfire education sessions that was held on the show floor; ATA’s new branding on display at the ATA Hub during the expo.

ATA Hosts “Final” IFAI Expo

TThe Roseville, Minn.-based Advanced Textiles Association (ATA), hosted the last iteration of its IFAI Expo trade show recently in Charlotte, N.C. In-line with the association’s decision to change its name, it was announced the name of the trade show also will change accordingly. The 2023 edition of the show will be called the Advanced Textiles Expo.

Commenting on the rebranding of IFAI Expo and future of the event, ATA President and CEO Steve Schiffman said: “ATA is proud to host a gathering place where all markets across the advanced textiles industry can come together and get business done. With that said, we’re just scratching the surface of making changes designed to improve the attendee experience, which will become evident over the next few expos.”

According to organizers, IFAI Expo 2022 —along with the collocated Sun Shading Expo North America organized by Messe Stuttgart —attracted more than 4,200 visitors to view the latest innovations from some 314 exhibiting companies.

In-line with the organization’s name change, moving forward the event will be known as the Advanced Textiles Expo.

A day before the trade show floor opened, visitors had the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Textiles Conference, which featured a plenary session and networking luncheon followed by 12 classroom education sessions. The following days offered further learning opportunities with 20 market-specific classroom sessions on a variety of topics of interest to those in the advanced textiles industry.

Evening events, including the official show opening reception and Industry Night —featuring ATA member band Hangin’ by a Thread —were well-attended.

“We are pleased with our inaugural collocation with Sun Shading Expo North America,” Schiffman said. “One of our primary objectives in the collocation was to deliver new leads, new markets, more interna-

tional attendees and ultimately more value to exhibitors. We saw some extremely positive indicators that the textiles industry is on the upswing — orders were being written, machinery was being sold and business owners received valuable insight on the latest trends and innovations to help them propel their businesses forward. Through expo, we provided a space for fabricators and suppliers to safely convene and do business.”

“Attending the IFAI show made us realize just how many companies are interested in sustainable textiles,” said Curran Hughes, president, Renegade Plastics Corp. “We fielded many questions about our fabrics' sustainability benefits and product performance and why we no longer have to sacrifice function for the better health of our people and planet. The IFAI show was a great opportunity to network with a wide array of visitors from diverse industries who were sincerely interestedin our products, our capabilities, and implementing them in their projects."

The Advanced Textiles Expo will be held November 1-2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. TW


Asking The Right Questions


If the recent 2022 Research, Innovation & Science For Engineered Fabrics (RISE) Conference — organized by the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) and held at NC State University in Raleigh, N.C.—were to be made into a book or movie, it undoubtedly would become a hit because this year’s conference had something to suit everyone’s tastes. Presentations offered tidbits of mystery, intrigue, comedy, suspense and truly compelling storylines. Interesting concepts, technologies and products were presented; theories were offered; and some puzzling questions were raised, mostly centered on the conundrum of circularity, recycling and sustainability.

For those present, the conference may have raised more questions than answers. But it was refreshing to see that some of the tough, unspoken questions were asked. One question that stood out was, “Is the recycling effort broken”? Unfortunately, the general consensus appeared to be yes. “The economics of recycling is our biggest challenge,” offered Dr. Jason Locklin, University of Georgia’s director at the New Materials Institute. “It takes a very large infrastructure, which truly isn’t in place, to effectively gather and recycle products at any realistic level.” He and others further reasoned that legisla-

tion specific to recycling and sustainability can be a good thing if the legislators are properly informed. However, there currently appears to be a disconnect between many of the certification bodies and actual reality.

Recycling options were discussed and filtered into three main streams of circularity — chemical recycling, mechanical recycling and composting. Each offer potential opportunities and show promise, but each also presents drawbacks. Suggestions were made that we need to “consider the origin of materials as well as the after-use possibilities” of items we purchase in order to further streamline the options for achieving circularity.

Biopolymer opportunities were discussed in several talks. What is clear, according to Benham Pourdeyhimi, executive director of The Nonwovens Institute: “Biopolymers are not the full solution. They’re only part of the solution.” It was suggested in several presentations that there is a need for more companies producing biomaterials, such as polylactic acid, because competition is good and this drives interest, volumes and ultimately innovation throughout the supply chain.

A growing variety of natural fibers have seen a rise in popularity as sustainable alternatives to man-made fibers, however they aren’t without challenges. According to Paul Latten,

director of Research and Development at Southeast Nonwovens: “A more holistic view of sustainability is needed. Natural fibers are mostly straight and uncrimped, which does present issues in textile processing. Hemp fiber cost is currently two times that of polyester and the costs of other natural fibers may be even higher, but ultimately the decisions around natural fiber usage and sustainability in general will come down to personal choices and behavior. The question really becomes ‘what are we willing to do differently?’”

The contrasting views of the presenters could best be summed up by “Here’s how we save the future” versus “The recycling system is broken, we need to fix it." Unfortunately, the challenges we face were truly made clear when one of the presenters stated, “If it costs more or performs less, we humans likely won’t use it.”

Three facts garnered during the conference really stood out:

•In 2020 alone, 1.6 billion disposable masks entered the ocean;

•Every minute, 300,000 disposable diapers are landfilled or incinerated; and

•It takes 450 years for polyester to biodegrade!

As Dr. Locklin stated, “It’s really hard to do the right thing,” but hopefully, we’re finally asking the right questions. TW

10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com
Recycling and sustainability took center stage at INDA’s 2022 Rise® Conference. Paul

50th Anniversary Conference Attracts Near-Record Attendees

TThe Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association celebrated its 50th anniversary during its recent fall conference. Under the theme “Past, Present & Future,” SYFA looked back on its 50 years while looking to the future of the industry.

To mark the occasion, the association prepared an augmented agenda that included its traditional speaker lineup over the two days of the event, along with a sit-down dinner featuring keynote speaker Kim Glas, president and CEO of the Washington-based textile advocacy group the National Council of Textile Organizations, and a panel discussion featuring six industry leaders who talked about the ideas of the past, present and future in-line with the conference’s theme.

The panel — moderated by T extile World ’s Editor In Chief Jim Borneman — comprised:

• Amy Bircher, founder and owner of MMI Textiles Inc., Brooklyn,

SYFA held lively fall conference to celebrate its 50th anniversary with 170 people registered.

Ohio — a supplier and manufacturer of technical textile products;

•Cameron Hamrick, president of Gaffney, S.C.-based weaving company Hamrick Mills Inc.;

•Charles Heilig, president and CEO of yarn manufacturing company Parkdale Mills Inc., Gastonia, N.C.;

•Eddie Ingle, CEO and director of Unifi Inc. — a producer of premium, value-added fibers;

•Leib Oehmig, CEO of Glen Raven Inc., Burlington, N.C. — a fabric manufacturing and marketing company; and

•Jeff Price, executive vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Milliken & Company — a global manufacturing company with textile, chemical, floor covering and healthcare divisions.

The gathered group held a thoughtful discussion that was quite lively at times sharing experiences and concerns, as well as opportunities for the textile industry in the coming years.

Talking points touched on history, challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, sustainability, energy, automation, and artificial intelligence, among other topics.

“From my perspective the opportunity to be part of a panelist with five other individuals that have a solid track record of industry leadership, growth, innovation and sustainability conscience was a very exciting and rewarding experience,” Bircher said. “MMI Textiles is a much smaller company than the others,

12 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com

however, we have been aggressive in our approach to be relevant and passionate about our industry as a whole — from partnerships to collaboration, we need to support each other and figure out ways to overcome the many challenges that our industry faces. We will not stop investing in our industry and the vision we have to continue to overcome those obstacles, but rather propel us successfully into the next chapter.”

“I would like to congratulate SYFA on its 50th anniversary,” Oehmig said. “I would also like to thank each SYFA member company, and T e x t i l e W o r l d , for all you do to keep our industry moving forward. It is always inspiring for me to be among industry leaders from whom I continue to learn so much. Therefore, to have an opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with peers and friends in the industry was a great day.”

Attendees enjoyed the event and especially the panel discussion. “Thanks to the SYFA for an outstanding 50-year-anniversary conference in Charlotte, N.C.,” said Eva Welsh, North American market manager, Evolon, Freudenberg Performance Materials, who was attending the event for the first time in a number of years. “Outstanding textile industry panel discussion during the conference.”

Speakers And Sponsors

Presentations were given by Wood MacKenzie’s Laura Murphy; Walmart’s Julie Rader; Gildan’s Nello Masciarelli; NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles’ Dr. Andre West; and Consultant Jeff Dugan. Murphy also presented Alasdair Carmichael’s “RPET in Fibers — What is Next for Sustainability” talk because the long-time SYFA board member was unable to attend the event. In addition, Joseph Plasky, a retired DuPont employee and former TYAA president was a guest speaker.

Conference sponsors for this special event included Diamond Spon-

sor Premiere Fibers Inc.; Gold Sponsors Goulston Technologies and Jomar Softcorp International Inc.; Silver Sponsors Pulcra Chemicals LLC and Teijin Aramid USA; Bronze Sponsors Avient, Thies Corp., Measured Solutions Inc. and Unifi Inc.; and Patrons Mariplast North America Inc. and Textile World .

effort to support the industry that has supported us.

Sullivan reflected on the event as the association is already looking to the next one.

New SYFAScholarship Fund, Golf Tournament

SYFA also announced the creation of the SYFA Scholarship Fund for Gaston Community College’s textile program. The association is planning a fundraising golf tournament before the Spring 2023 conference to support ongoing funding for the scholarship. “I know I’m not alone feeling a personal connection to supporting textile students financially, because, for many of us, scholarships are what initially attracted us to the industry,” said SYFA President Hardy Sullivan. “Whether it’s drawing people into textile manufacturing or the 2+2 feeder program with NC State University’s Wilson College of Textiles, we’re proud to be making a tangible

“The conference was a fitting celebration of SYFA’s 50-year history of education and relationship building, and it was a great launching pad for what lies ahead,” he said. “For a normal SYFA conference we would be happy to bring in a speaker from Wal-Mart to discuss re-shoring, Gildan to cover resource conservation, or have a panelists of top industry leaders hosted by Jim Borneman. But to have them all, and more, in a single conference, was really special.

“The SYFA Board of Directors is so appreciative of everyone who sponsored, participated and attended the fall conference,” Sullivan continued. “There were a lot of new faces, and we look forward to seeing them again in the spring!”

The next SYFA conference is scheduled for April 20-21, 2023, at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. TW

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 13
(left to right): Cameron Hamrick, president, Hamrick Mills Inc.; Charles Heilig, president and CEO, Parkdale Mills Inc.; Eddie Ingle, CEOand director, Unifi Inc.; Amy Bircher, founder and owner, MMI Textiles Inc.; Leib Oehmig, CEO, Glen Raven Inc.; and Jeff Price, executive vice president of Strategic Initiatives, Milliken & Company.

Hemp Fiber Company

FyberX Invests In Virginia

FyberX has announced plans to invest $17.5 million to open a production and headquarters location in Mecklenburg County, Va.Founded in 2019,the company developed technology to turn raw agricultural biomass into refined natural fibers.It will process hemp and other agricultural products into textile fibers and employ 45 people when the facility opens.

“This industry is an emerging market in the United States,and I welcome the opening of the headquarters of FyberX which will unlock its growth potential in the Commonwealth,”said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.“This industry provides a sustainable alternative for industrial and consumer

products that will also bring economic benefits to Virginia communities and farmers,and we look forward to a successful partnership with FyberX.”

Eastman, Renewcell Partner

On Naia™Renew ES Yarns

Eastman,Kingsport,Tenn.,and Sweden-based Renewcell have signed a letter of intent to develop Naia™ Renew ES yarns sourced from Renewcell’s Circulose® 100-percent recycled raw material. Circulose is a dissolving pulp made using 100-percent textile waste such as worn out clothing and production scraps.Naia Renew is a blend of 60-percent sustainably sourced wood pulp and 40-percent certified recycled waste plastics. “Eastman considering Circulose as a feedstock in the production of

Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

RMA To Establish Operation In Virginia

Polyvinyl chloride resin and technical textiles producer Ronald Mark Associates Inc.(RMA) has announced plans to open a manufacturing operation in Tazewell County, Va.The investment will result in 29 new jobs.A $116,000 grant was provided by the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project,and the company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community.

“The progressive talent of Tazewell County is a perfect place to start, create,and produce infrastructure fabrics and technical textiles for our Ronald Mark customers,”said RMA President Michael Satz.

TenCate Protective Fabrics, Saxion University Sign MoU

A delegation from Union City,Ga.based TenCate Protective Fabrics group recently toured the Netherlands-based Saxion University including its Circular Textile Lab and Thermoplastic Composites lab of the Lightweight Structures Research Group.Recognizing the advantages of leveraging combined resources and industry experience in protective fabric development,the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that represents a shared collaboration commitment moving forward.

“As two organizations devoted to textile innovation,we’re excited at the chance to unlock this new,scientific partnership,”said Michael Laton,vice president,Global Strategy & Innovation,TenCate Protective Fabrics.

a premium yarn like Naia Renew reflects very well on the Renewcell team’s ability to work with partners to adjust and optimize our product for new fiber applications,”said Renewcell CEO Patrik Lundström.

AlgiKnit Launches Rebranding; Keel Labs Is New Name

Morrisville,N.C.-based AlgiKnit has announced a new name — Keel Labs™.The company’s rebranding initiative supports its “mission and capacity to support a sustainable product at scale.”The rebranding also includes a name for Keel Labs’seaweed-based yarn, which is now known as Kelsun™. The company,founded in 2017, focuses on aquaculture-based technologies derived from nature as sustainable materials. TW

Saint-Gobain Breaks Ground On Glass Mat Facility

On the heels of multiple investments in North America in recent months,France-based SaintGobain held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new glass mat facility recently on its CertainTeed Roofing campus in Oxford,N.C. The investment of $167 million is the company’s largest ever investment in a U.S.-based roofing facility.The plant will produce polymer resin-bonded fiberglass filament mats that are a key component in roofing shingles.The investment was supported by more than $700,000 in incentives and grants from the State of North Carolina including the One North Carolina Fund and a Rural Division Building Reuse Grant. TW

14 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com

Hemp: Growing A Made-In-USA Industry

BBuzzwords come and go in the textile industry, but two words in particular have had some staying power over the past handful years — sustainability and hemp. Not surprisingly, the two words are connected, and one man chasing hemp as the next big thing in sustainable fibers is Guy Carpenter. He is not alone in the United States in that endeavor but is widely acknowledged as one of the forerunners.

Carpenter’s experience in the fiber industry goes back many decades, and his exposure and interest in hemp began when he was working in Europe. He eventually co-founded Bear Fiber Inc. in 2017 when he realized no one else was exploring the potential of hemp fiber in the United States.

Bear wants to be the supplier of choice when it comes to high-quality textile grade hemp fiber, and the company is highly invested in reestablishing American hemp as a source of sustainable, natural fibers. The company operates under the trademarked motto “Hemp Makes It Better™,” and it’s a motto Carpenter firmly believes in.

Hemp! Why Hemp?

While a hot topic and buzzword in the textile industry lexicon, hemp for textile use is not new. Hemp is acknowledged as one of the earliest known textile fibers and has come

and gone from the textile landscape throughout history. However, hemp has a checkered history in the United States due in part to its association with cannabis and the negative thoughts this connection invokes.

The current rebirth of the fiber in the United States coincides with the 2018 Farm Bill Act that removed industrial hemp from inclusion in the Controlled Substances Act (See “Hemp: A Reintroduction To One Of The Original Textile Inputs,” T extile World , November/December 2020). The bill made commercial production of hemp legal in the United States, and thus, an opportunity was born for textile hemp fiber.

Current market research reports looking at the value and potential growth of the hemp fiber industry vary depending on the market research company. But two things researchers agree on is the growth numbers are in the billions of dollars and increased use of hemp in the textile industry is driving the growth.

Carpenter isn’t focused purely on dollar signs. He understands the significance and widespread value of the industry from the farmer to the textile producer and wants to help develop the United States hemp fiber industry while also continuing to grow the global hemp industry. “We’re trying to create an industry, not just run a business,” he empha-

sized. “They say there’s 25,000 different things you can do with hemp, but my brain is tracked to one thing and one thing only — textile grade fiber for apparel and footwear.”

What Hemp Brings To The Textile Table

The benefits of hemp fiber, a member of the bast fiber family, are not in dispute. Hemp is an environmentally friendly and sustainable fiber. It is strong, durable and absorbent. It also has natural antimicrobial properties and exhibits resistance to ultraviolet light. Its benefits in textile apparel applications are evident.

“Using at least 30 percent hemp in a yarn blend with cotton makes for a new natural fiber-based technical textile, which is strong and will last longer,” Carpenter noted. “The blend allows for the familiar touch and comfort feel of cotton made better by the positive attributes of hemp.

“I should talk about sustainability, regenerative agriculture, carbon sequestration, and hemp’s strength and technical attributes,” Carpenter said. “But I like making apparel with hemp because it feels good, and it lasts a long time. It’s that favorite jacket, sweatshirt, T-shirt, socks, shirt or jeans that just keeps getting softer and softer over time. Hemp wears in, it doesn’t wear out!”

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 15
Hemp seeds for textile use p are planted very close p y together to encourage the g g plant to grow tall and thin g with very few branches. Bear Fiber Inc., a forerunner in the textile hemp fiber movement, , p , sees tremendous opportunity for hemp in the U.S. textile, apparel pp p and fashion arena.

Growing Hemp

China and Europe already have established industrial hemp markets growing the plant for food, cannabidadiol (CBD) and textile use. There are many, many different hemp varieties depending on the end use for the plant.

Hemp grown for CBD, marijuana or food uses is cultivated to be as leafy as possible. More branches mean more buds and flowers where the cannabinoids are concentrated, and the plants are grown with ample space between each plant to allow this leafy growth, which also encourages thicker, stronger stalks.

Hemp plants are similar to trees with branches and everywhere there is a branch on the stalk, there is a knot hole. “Each knot hole is an interruption in the fiber growth of the long, straight fiber that we require for textile applications,” Carpenter said.

“Where fiber fineness is not a consideration, grain hemp stalk can be used,” Carpenter said. Applications may include nonwovens and composites for construction and geotextile products. “Because the stalk has matured by necessity to support the weight of the flower and then the grain itself, the fibers become stiffer and thicker in order to support the weight at the top of the stalk. These fibers are inherently too mature for textile yarn spinning applications.”

Therefore, the approach for growing hemp for high-quality textile fiber is quite different. The seeds are planted very, very close together, which encourages the plant to grow tall and thin with little in the way of branches. Hemp grows rapidly — the stalk can be 10 inches tall in as little as 14 days — and as the plant develops its first set of leaves, the leaves create a canopy that inhibits sunlight from reaching the ground, thus providing natural weed prevention so little to no herbicides are required.

Once the plant is ready to flower, and before the fibers get too tough for textile applications, the fields are cut and the stalks lay on the ground to begin dew retting. This is a natu-

ral process whereby bacteria begin to degrade the pectin, which is the gummy substance that binds the fiber to the woody hurd — or center — of the stalk (See Figure 1) . After retting, the stalks are baled and sent to a processor to be decorticated — a process that physically separates the fiber from the hurd in a manner similar to any bast fiber process. After decortication and refining, the fiber is ready to be degummed to remove the lignin “glueing” the individual fibers in bundles and ribbons. Extracting the lignin allows the fiber bundles to release the individual fibers during the next process — opening.

Cotton has enjoyed the benefit of decades of research and development in the United States, which along with the work the farmers do, means the United States grows the best and most consistent cotton the world.

To spin yarns, fiber consistency is imperative. Providing that consistency to the hemp industry is Bear Fiber’s biggest challenge.

To start, farmers need to grow the hemp variety that is best for textile fiber use as well as the best variety for the region in which they are based.

Encouraging U.S. hemp farming briefly led Bear Fiber into the hemp seed business. “Everyone wanted to grow European hemp varieties for us, and these varieties were not developed for textile grade fiber, or developed to grow successfully in the United States,” Carpenter said. “We were getting maybe 8 percent useable fiber from the stalks, whereas the Chinese had specifically been developing varieties for greater amounts of textile grade fiber that could be grown in a faster manner.” So, Bear Fiber began importing Chinese seeds, which was a whole new educational process that required forming a new business network.

Developing The U.S. Hemp Industry: The Journey

Hemp is a natural fiber and as such, producing the best fiber for apparel and fashion uses is not an exact science. Carpenter has spent extensive time in China over the past 25 years learning about hemp farming and hemp fiber production, but knows he still has a lot to learn.

“It’s been a learning process here in the United States using the equipment available,” Carpenter said. “It’s been an adaptive process, and we have not always been successful!”

Hemp is a hardy plant that can be grown in a variety of climates, although it prefers a temperate climate and fertile, loamy soil. “Honestly, we don’t yet know where the best place to grow hemp in the United States is,” Carpenter confessed. “But we are pretty sure where hemp can grow in 100 days or less and likely provide double digit textile grade raw fiber yield, which is what we are looking for. This also allows us to pay a fair price to the farmer or processor for the fiber.”

Carpenter believes there is a real opportunity for farmers, especially those in agriculture and textile producing states —such as Georgia, and North and South Carolina — where the spinning mills already exist. “However, we intend to be agnostic,” Carpenter said. “If the fiber is healthy and clean, we’ll ship it from any state in the union. It’s worth it.”

16 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com
Guy Carpenter, co-founder of Bear Fiber Inc.

Bear Fiber currently is using textile hemp from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Montana — where there are quantity processors that have fiber available to date. But the company also is working with newer processing operations in Missouri, Alabama, Texas, California and Oregon. “We want to help grow this industry and help create opportunity for the farmers across the country,” Carpenter said.

“Some states — including New York with a $10 million investment — have programs in place to advise and financially assist American farmers who risk growing this new fiber crop,” Carpenter continued. “But farmers have to pay bills just like anyone else, and if they can’t get real support, they can’t take the chance.”

North Carolina has a fantastic advocate at NC State University by the name of Dr. David Suchoff, who is an alternative crops extension specialist in the department of Crop & Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Suchoff heads agricultural research stations and leads a national public/private hemp consortium. The goal of the consortium is to address many of the issues relating to the hemp industry through collaborative research with other institutions across the country. Suchoff also plans to expand hemp farm fiber outreach opportunities with emphasis on underserved farming communities.

Dew retting harnesses moisture that develops overnight to encourage bacteria growth. “That makes it harder to get good textile fiber from hemp grown in Montana where there is no dew,” Carpenter said. “But

there are different varieties of hemp, and we are learning about techniques to promote bacterial growth for retting in geographic areas that don’t enjoy the same climate as say North or South Carolina.”

Decortication also is key step in hemp fiber processing to preserve the textile grade fiber. Any kinks or damage caused during decortication may weaken the fiber, which results in poor performance in downstream processing. “Great care has to be taken when decorticating textile grade fiber,” Carpenter said.

Bear Fiber’s Expertise

Circling back, one of Bear Fiber’s goals is to be the supplier of choice when it comes to high-quality textile grade hemp fiber. “Where Bear Fiber comes into play is we know how to separate the hurd and clean the fiber to where it needs to be so it can then be put through the wet processing of degumming,” Carpenter said. “The most important thing about this process is that raw fiber with any percentage of hurd must be cleaned and refined. Fiber with any percentage of hurd mixed in is not as valuable as raw fiber that is cleaner.”

Carpenter said in American hemp fiber processing currently, the raw fiber is anywhere from 1 to 6 inches long in bands or ribbons gummed together. Bear Fiber uses an alkaline process to degum the fiber. There are many methods available to degum hemp fiber — including boiling, electrification, acid and enzyme techniques — but Carpenter likes an alkaline process developed by the Chinese because it’s simple and cost

effective. The end goal is fibers that are 1 to 2 inches long.

“We’re trying to achieve a uniformity in the degummed fiber so that it can be blended with other fiber from the United States,” Carpenter said. “Each bale is tested before degumming against a standard formulation, but we might have to adjust the alkalinity or the chemistry in some way if we need to lighten the fiber to achieve a more consistent fiber grade based on where the hemp came from and how well it was retted.”

Hemp fiber is valuable. Carpenter shared that currently, hemp fiber compares to alpaca fiber in price. “Right now, it’s still pretty expensive because everything that has come through our pipeline so far has been part of the development process,” Carpenter shared.

Carpenter has been busier than usual over the past several months. The company relocated within North Carolina from Wilmington to Morganton, to be closer to manufacturing partners. “We hope one day to grow into our own spinning and will focus on spinning natural fibers, recycled fibers and regenerative fibers” Carpenter said. “In Morganton, I’m surrounded by 120,000 pounds of recycled fiber. Material Return [a solution for custom circularity that works with manufacturers and brands to transform textile waste into new products], for example, is here in Morganton and it has a Smart Wool return program for socks. Bear Fiber looks forward to eventually blending innovative technical yarns comprised solely of natural, sustainable, recycled and regenerative fibers.

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 17
Figure 1: Hemp fiber is bound to the woody hurd at the center of the stalk with gummy pectin. HURD FIBER

“The hemp fiber industry doesn’t really have a competitive environment yet,” Carpenter mentioned. “We haven’t produced enough fiber to make a difference in any market. To date, the only commercial products made using U.S. hemp and manufactured in the United States are Bear Fiber socks.” The socks are developed and knit in partnership with the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, N.C.

“Our industry manufacturing partners have been receptive to hemp and a number of companies have been true first movers,” Carpenter shared.

Collaborative Approach, Partnerships Are Key

Carpenter has embraced a collaborative approach to growing the U.S. hemp industry. He has worked with brands, both big and small, and consults with and mentors anyone wanting to learn more about hemp and the opportunities it presents. “We all

work together better than alone,” he said. “I always prefer to look for partners and establish relationships. We are all allies working together to create a market. I’m willing to help and share the knowledge Ihave in order to advance and grow this industry.”

While Carpenter is widely acknowledged to be a hemp “guru” of sorts, he does want to make it patently clear that he is not any sort of isolated Don Quixote character operating independently. “There is no way that one person could have achieved much without the help of dozens and dozens of people who believe that hemp fiber is an important and viable asset to the American textile and apparel industry,” Carpenter stressed. “It’s been a journey and I wouldn’t be where I am without the help I had along the way.

“I’d like to name and thank everyone, but there’s just not enough space in the magazine. For Bear Fiber, farmers, processors, spinners, weavers, knitters, finishers, the Textile Technol-

ogy Center, NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles, VF Corp. and Vans all have been working to create a circular collaborative effort. We also would have been at a dead stop for months without processing help and fiber from IND Hemp — an amazing team that works with farmers to grow hemp out West and processes fiber, grain and hurd in Montana.”

“Guy Carpenter was the first person I turned to when I wanted to learn about Made-in-USA hemp, and he has continued to be a source of both technical and business knowledge as the Wilson College of Textiles and NC State University develop our position in growing, cultivating and manufacturing hemp,” said Dr. Andre West, director of the Zeis Textiles Extension for Economic Development at NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles. “Guy’s passion for a sustainable future led him to embrace hemp early on as a solution and build a unique knowledge base that has allowed him to mentor others as they build hemp-based products. He is grounded, knowing this is a long journey and a lifestyle change. And, he is playing his part to educate everyone that hemp fiber is a part of creating a better future for the planet and has a place in manufacturing textiles in the United States.”

One person who benefited from Carpenter’s willingness to mentor is Claire Crunk, founder and CEO of Trace Femcare Inc., a period care company that produces tampons using hemp and cotton fibers from fully traceable sources. “When I got my start in hemp fiber almost five years ago, I was a total neophyte,” Crunk said. “When I cold called Guy, he was gracious and clearly an expert, so right then and there, I asked him to be my mentor. Guy has been a consistent and selfless mentor since then — teaching, encouraging, and providing more than any conference or curricula ever could. He is one of our company's most important partners, and I admire him both professionally and personally and am privileged to now call him a colleague and friend.

18 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com
Top (left to right): Bast hemp fiber, refined hemp fiber and degummed or “cottonized” hemp; Above left : A hemp/cotton sliver on the drawing frame; Above right : A finished hemp/cotton blend yarn

“As one of the first brands to sell products made from U.S.-produced textile-grade hemp fiber, we are proud that our work ultimately supports our partners, like Guy, in their success to provide textile industry quality hemp fiber at scale.”


Mainstream Interest In

fiber suitable for short staple spinning can be grown and processed entirely in the United States. Its relationships with textile universities, labs and processing partners have led to commercial textiles in a relatively short time span.”


Fibers Like

Hemp Brands are taking an interest in hemp too. VF Corp. believes “hemp has the potential of filling in some of the gaps in our fiber toolkit for brands and products that would like to utilize more natural fibers.”

“VF recently set ambitious goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions utilizing science-based targets, and as one of VF’s largest brands, Vans is committed to supporting these goals,” said Emily Alati, director, Materials Innovation, Vans. “We believe supply chain innovations in natural fibers, including hemp, are necessary and if cultivated with sustainable agricultural methods and processed with lower energy inputs, it can be a competitive advantage to help VF reach those goals.”

According to the company, Vans has used hemp in its products for years, so supporting U.S. hemp agriculture and textile processing also aligns with its consumer and supply chain needs. Vans is currently sourcing hemp fiber from North Carolina in small quantities and hopes to increase that volume over time.

“We are also supporting those hemp farmers in their transition to regenerative agriculture practices to reduce the overall environmental impact of hemp farming,” Alati said. “Ultimately, we are eager to utilize regeneratively grown and U.S. hemp fiber while supporting minority farmers. Long term, we hope to see all VF brands utilizing domestic industrial hemp fiber and textiles for various end-uses across our global markets.”

Vans’ collaboration with Bear Fiber benefits both companies. “The relationship is based on expertise, trust and results,” Alati said. “Bear Fiber has demonstrated that hemp

For Bear Fiber, the support received from VF Corp. and Vans starting some two-and-a-half years ago has been incredibly important. “You have a lot more credibility when you walk into a room with people employed by one of the most important brand companies in the world who say ‘we are behind hemp, we think hemp is important and we think this is the future,’” he stressed.

Bear Fiber currently is producing fabric for Vans. The yarn is spun by National Spinning Co. Inc. at its Whiteville, N.C., plant; the fabric is woven by Central Textiles Inc., Central, S.C.; and finishing is performed by Mount Vernon Mills Inc., at its facility in Trion, Ga.

BFFs: Hemp And Cotton

Hemp is also seen as a potential competitor to cotton, which at times, hampers adoption of the plant for farming and textile use. Carpenter wants to stress that he doesn’t see hemp as a competitor or replacement for cotton and just wants to sell the value of another fiber crop. He sees the two as complementary fibers — best fiber friends (BFFs) — that can help both the farmer and the textile industry. “We are not asking farmers to grow hemp instead of cotton,” he noted. “We are asking them to grow it along with cotton.

“We want to replace 50/50 cotton/polyester blends with 65-percent cotton/35-percent hemp,” Carpenter continued. “We export our cotton everywhere because it’s of the highest quality. One day I hope to be exporting U.S. hemp fiber because it’s sought after for its quality. And the opportunity for hemp blended with U.S. cotton is tremendous.”

Carpenter considers Bear Fiber’s perseverance its greatest asset. “We know yarns and fabrics can be made

Bear Fiber offers socks made using U.S. hemp that are developed and knit in partnership with the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, N.C.

to meet the quality standards that the brands and consumers are looking for because we’ve been doing it for 25 years in China.”

Ultimately, Carpenter wants what is best for the U.S. fiber industry and the U.S. textile industry.

“I want to help grow the hemp fiber industry into the American textile, apparel and fashion industries,” Carpenter said. “I think an American hemp fiber industry not only can provide consumers with better garments that last longer and feel better but can also be a huge benefit to small farmers and fiber farmers who are already growing cotton.

“The only competition we have is China, and we’re going to be better than them,” Carpenter predicted. “Consumers today have a heightened awareness of natural fibers and sustainability, and are demanding better choices. It’s up to the U.S. textile manufacturing industry to take advantage of this opportunity, to innovate and promote from the ground up our own domestic value chain. In the United States, we’ve already got the best cotton in the world, and that’s a huge advantage. But you know what? Hemp makes it better!” TW

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Dyeing,Printing & Finishing

Epson Introduces Large Format Dye-Sublimation Printers

Epson has introduced the SureColor® F6470 and Surecolor F6470H — a four-color and six-color 44-inchwide dye-sublimation printer, respectively,to its SureColor F-Series product line.The F6470 — suitable for personalized goods,apparel and home décor,among other items — offers speed of up to 820 square feet per hour (ft2/h); while the F6470H prints at speeds of up to 400 ft2/h. The expanded color options of the F6470H — CYMK plus either light cyan/light magenta,fluorescent pink/fluorescent yellow,or orange/violet — offers the ability to produce photographic panels, flags and banners,as well as meet branding color requirements.

Kornit Issues Second Annual Impact Report

Israel-based Kornit Digital Ltd. recently shared the results of its second annual Impact Report,which details progress to date,as well as future goals for waste,chemicals,greenhouse gas emissions,energy use,product development,training,diversity and supply chain.Kornit’s strategy focuses on two fundamental pillars — Enable the Change and Be the Change — that incorporate both social and environmental performance indicators.Kornit reported key accomplishments in Climate Action and Waste Management, Green Chemistry,and Diversity and Inclusion and Community Engagement categories compared to a 2021 baseline.

Kornit Digital’s Chief Marketing Officer Omer Kulka said: “Since our founding in 2002,Kornit has

Knitting / Apparel

Sentinel Acquires L2 Brands

New York City-based private equity company Sentinel Capital Partners has acquired L2 Brands,a producer and marketer of custom apparel and headwear for collegiate, destination and leisure,and corporate markets.Founded in 1991,the company offers more than 150 styles sold under its League and Legacy brands that are made in key manufacturing facilities in Hanover,Pa., and El Salvador.Financial terms of the deal were not made public.

“I am incredibly proud of the brand stewardship,operational excellence,and passionate team that we have built at L2,”said Legacy founder and L2 CEO Paige Wingert. “Our company is well-positioned to capitalize on its differentiated business model and the strong and

sustainable momentum we enjoy in our markets.”

Komar To Open Georgia Operation

Global apparel company Komar Brands — a producer of sleepwear, intimates,kids apparel and layering apparel brands for a portfolio of owned,licensed and private-label brands — has announced plans for a new manufacturing and distribution center in Bryan County,Ga.The $87 million investment,located at a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) site — will create 294 jobs.The GRAD site has met certain certification requirements through the Georgia Department of Economic Development in a proactive program to help catalyze economic growth and industrial development.

dedicated itself to creating lasting change in our industry.Our renewed impact strategy further holds us accountable to that vision.”

Avient Introduces Wilflex™Epic™Rio Inks

Avon Lake,Ohio-based Avient Specialty Inks recently launched Wilflex™ Epic™ Rio ready-for-use (RFU) standard colors.The line includes 33 new flexible cure inks for screen printing applications and replaces its Epic Standard Color portfolio,effective February 1,2023.The inks have a lower flexible cure profile of 266 to 320°F to minimize energy use and expenses while maximizing output.According to the company,the inks also print with excellent opacity,have wet-on-wet printing capabilities,offer great stretch and a soft hand when cured. TW

Hohenstein Partners With Sizekick

Germany-based testing, certification and research company Hohenstein has made an 1.3 million euro investment in Sizekick,an artificial intelligence technology startup company.The two will collaborate on technology to improve online shopping experiences and enable accurate sizing decisions to reduce returns and associated carbon dioxide emissions. The investment will help Sizekick launch its smartphone app in 2023.

“Our artificial intelligence is already learning thanks to the comprehensive Hohenstein database of 3D body scans,”said Jake Lydon, Sizekick’s chief technology officer. “This is an extremely big advantage for our AI.” TW

20 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com

On Montex®Coat coating lines, the possibilities range from the single-sided application of finishing agents to the creation of materials for sophisticated lightweight construction and automotive and aerospace components.

Expanding Added-Value Options

TThe flexibility offered by the latest Monforts Montex®Coat coating units — with their multiple coating head options and modular construction for bespoke projects —is proving a big hit with manufacturers of technical materials.

These machines are designed and engineered in Germany and assembled at the Montex plant in Austria, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022.

“The market has definitely been looking for this kind of added-value proposition,” said Monforts Engineer for Textile Technologies Alexander Fitz. “Since we acquired the coating technology that our systems are based on a number of years ago, we have made a lot of refinements and all of them are reflected in higher coating accuracy and the resulting quality of the treated fabrics.

“We’ve been kept very busy recently with both new installations and on running trials on the Montex Coat line at our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Germany, with a number of further new orders confirmed.”


On Montex Coat coating lines, the possibilities range from the singlesided application of finishing agents for outdoor clothing and adding functionality to home textiles, to the creation of materials for sophisticated lightweight construction and auto-

motive and aerospace components.

Layouts for the technical textiles and nonwovens industries now account for more than 25 percent of Monforts’ turnover and systems are in place for applications ranging from outdoor and medical fabrics to filter media which must perform in extreme temperatures and flameretardant barrier fabrics.

All of these materials require expert coating and finishing for maximum efficiency and the ability to switch quickly from one fabric formula to the next, without compromising on the economical use of energy or raw materials.

“Many more applications are possible with the Montex Coat, such as the overdyeing of denim, the creation of double-face coated materials, fabrics awnings, tents and medical drapes and thepre-treatment of substrates for digital printing,” Fitz explained. “A range of different doctor blades and their combinations can be supplied to meet individual requirements, including air knife, roller knife, foam and paste, screen and magnetic roller coating.”

Fully Adjustable

Magnetic roller coating is an interesting option, especially for wider widths, in enabling a wide range of coatings and finishes to be carried out due to the fully-adjustable positioning of the magnet within the

roller. With different magnet positions, it can be set to operate both as a direct coating system and as an indirect coater.

With traditional dip coating systems, as well as with many standard knife coating technologies, there is always a difference in the tension between the center and the edges when wide width fabrics are being treated — and hence, the amount of pressure with which the coating is applied. With the use of a magnetic roller, equal pressure is applied across the full width of the fabric, with entirely consistent results. In addition, adjusting the roller surface, rather than changing the coating formulation to match the required addon and viscosity for each coating effect required, leads to much higher output from the line.

Niche Applications

Recent new Montex Coat customers include Germany-based Dolinschek, a knitting, dyeing and finishing specialist. Dolinschek attributes its success in part to the continuous successful identification of profitable new niche markets.

“There is just so much more to textiles than clothing,” said Technical Director Theo Dolinschek. “We handle many different technical materials such as automotive components, geotextiles and wallcoverings, but also those for more unusual applica-

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 21
European-built coating technology is allowing Monforts’ customers to move into new markets.
TW Special Report

tions such as inlays for extractor hoods, cut protection fabrics and even wool felts which are employed as insulation on wind turbines.”

The company has installed a new seven chamber Montex TwinAir tenter range with a Montex Coat coating unit in knife execution, enabling the coating of dimensionally stable knitted fabrics with polyurethane or acrylate.

A unique feature of this line is a Teflon-coated transportation belt through the system, and it is also

equipped with integrated heat recovery and exhaust gas purification to ensure the most resource-efficient processing available on the market. The exhaust air goes from the Monforts heat recovery system into an existing air/water heat recovery system and then into an electrostatic precipitator.

Highly-intuitive Monforts Qualitex visualization software allows all machine functions and process parameters to be assessed and controlled easily, and thousands of arti-


Dickson-Constant recently opened its second brand new plant in northern France in response to growing demand for its range of well-known technical fabrics. New technology installed at the plant includes a highly-customized Monforts Montex 8500 tenter.


The oldest weaving operation in France, with roots dating back to 1836, DicksonConstant specializes in woven acrylic fabrics and has been part of Glen Raven since 1998. Its Dickson-branded solar protection and flooring materials and Sunbrella home upholstery and market-leading marine

industry fabrics are renowned for their quality and durability.

Representing a 40-millioneuro-investment, the new Dickson-Constant plant, located in Hordain, Hauts-deFrance, builds on many of the proprietary practices and the processing know-how established over many decades at the company’s existing plant less than an hour’s drive away in Wasquehal, France.

Various locations were considered for the plant, and its selection provided a significant boost to the region’s textile industry. In the absence of suitable technical textile training in the immediate vicinity of Hauts-de-France, Dickson-

cle specific settings and formulations to be called up at any time — with 100-percent reproducible results.


Scotland-based Halley Stevensons also has commissioned a new Montex finishing range with a Montex Coat coating unit in knife execution for paste and foam coating, to further boost the company’s highly flexible operations.

Founded in 1864, Halley Stevensons has amassed unique technical know-how and manufacturing experience in the art of waxed cotton for weatherproofed fabrics. The company exports worldwide and its premium brand customers include Belstaff, Barbours, Filson and J.Crew.

The new range enables the company to pigment dye, direct coat and pad apply finishes and provides more scope for research and development.

“R&D is the lifeblood of our business,” said Managing Director James Campbell. “The precise process con-

Constant also created a training center to fully train its 75 new plant employees, in addition to other new textile technologists entering the industry.

With many new weaving machines, the plant increases the company’s overall manufacturing capacity by 50 percent while providing the flexibility to accommodate more mediumsized orders and meet requests from certain customers for full exclusivity in respect of specific performance fabric ranges.


The seven-chamber Montex tenter for drying, heat-setting and polymerizing applied resins has a maximum working width of 2.2 meters. It is installed in line with the washing compartments and is equipped with special entrance and exit fabric accumulators to enable nonstop processing during batch

changes, in addition to an integrated vertical infrared dryer and exhaust air cleaning. Two weft straighteners provided by Germany-based Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG also ensure maximum regularity of fabric batches at strategic points in the line.

“The line is very specific to our requirements, building on the experience of running our highly-efficient warping and weaving operations and the Montex tenter for many years in Wasquehal,” explained Process Manager Louis Masquelier. “The new plant in Hordain has a similar layout, but is adapted to new market requirements, since the Wasquehal plant is not set up to enable single runs of under 500 meters of fabric.

The tenters at both plants, he added, have the potential to cause a major bottleneck in operations, should anything go wrong.

22 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com
A modern coating range with an integrated Monforts Montex®Coat unit nstalled in Germany. Anchors Its Presence In Hauts-De-France With The Assistance Of Monforts

trol functions of the line give our technicians confidence to make new products as well as finely tuning the energy requirements of existing products. We love the fact that we can record the energy used on each production batch and use this for continual improvements and efficiency savings. The touchscreen software is visual and easy to use, moving from one screen to another to check the various parameters of processing.”

Foam Application

Turkey-based home textiles and furnishing fabrics producer Altun Tekstil has meanwhile recently commissioned the first Montex Coat coating system in Turkey.

The advanced line has been installed at the ever-expanding family-owned company’s industrial complex in Bursa and is being employed to provide an anti-slip and textured backing to upholstery fabrics with a stable and uniform foam, via knifeover-roller coating.

“With the Montex Coat unit, Altun is able to achieve an even foam application at high speed which results in a very economic process,” said Monforts Sales Manger Thomas Päffgen.

Advanced Functions

Other special features on an integrated Montex Coat tentering line relate to the ability to treat materials not only at temperatures of up to 320°C, but also to be able to treat the top and bottom faces of certain materials at different temperatures within a single pass through the machine.

To achieve this, the chambers of the tenter are fitted with TwinTherm chamber system with separate burners for individual top/bottom temperature. A temperature differential of up to 60°C can be achieved between the upper and lower nozzles within the chamber, depending on the treatment paramenters.

“There are many applications where employing two separate temperature treatments is beneficial,

such as floorcoverings, where the textile face fabric is treated at one temperature and the rubber backing at another,” Fitz explained.

In addition, Monforts can provide the necessary explosion-proof ranges for solvent-based coatings and high temperature processes up to 320°C, such as polytetrafluoroethylene coating of nonwoven filter material. These lines are equipped with special tenter chains and insulation.

“Monforts is the only manufacturer to offer completely integrated coating lines from a single source and the coating machine is tailored to the subsequent Monforts drying technology — with all the benefits resulting from a fully integrated PLC control,” Fitz concluded. “Our systems have the shortest fabric path from the coating unit into the tenter and we have all variations of coating application systems too — and all of these options are available in wider widths, with the engineering and manufacturing from a single source here in Europe.”

“We have also made considerable upgrades to the existing Montex stenter in Wasquehal, including upgrading the electrical components and inverters, as well as ensuring we have all spare parts in-house to ensure all our operations continue to run smoothly. Monforts and its local partner Monel Industrie Services have always provided us with prompt service when needed.”


Dickson-Constant develops all of its specialized coatings and finishes in-house, and a good example of its prowess in this field is in the latest development for advanced dirt-resistant woven flooring fabrics — the result of more than three years of research.

CleanGuard technology adds an invisible varnished over-

lay to the woven wear surface, delaying soiling while enhancing its stain resistance and ease of maintenance. The layer of varnish is integrated directly into the finished product, providing additional protection.

The woven flooring system is made up of five distinct layers, each of which provides unique technical features such as a minimum sound absorption of 18 decibels, a dimensional stability of less than 0.1 percent and almost zero risk of fraying thanks to its monofilament construction, which also ensures a clean cut for quick and efficient fitting and a neat finish.

“Sustainability is now paramount to our company and in addition to working towards ISO 50001 standards at both plants, our R&D team is currently focused on developing an oil repellency coating for-

mulation that does not rely on flurocarbons, yet is as effective,” Masquelier said. “We have had a record year in 2022 but the energy situation in Europe is now causing some turbulence. The latest advanced technology, including the Montex tenter,

have equipped us to maximize our resource savings and face the current market challenges with confidence. In addition, we have also invested in a water treatment plant allowing the plant to reuse 50 percent of its exhaust water.” TW

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 23
(left to right): Monforts’ Volker Gingter and Havenith with Dickson-Constant team members Herculano Pacheco, Romauld Bellengier, Bertrand Clorennec and Louis Masquelier at the new Hordain plant.


Confusion about the 9,000 different perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) makes regulation a difficult subject.

PFAS Regulation Challenges

TThe miscommunication,disinformation, and overall confusion that is being spread around the textile industry regarding perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is getting worse every day. Unfortunately,this may not improve any time soon.As someone who works in the textile finishing industry, I currently spend almost half of my time dealing with PFAS in one way or another.One may think this is a good thing for a textile coater who specializes in the application of durable water repellents (DWR) and other performance-enhancing technologies.But when discussions have nothing to do with increased sales or new business development,it’s a big problem. I was always taught not to present a problem without a suggestion on how to solve the problem.PFAS seems to have become an exception to that“rule.”

PFAS is an umbrella term for more than 9,000 unique substances that all have one thing in common — they provide the highest level of cleanability and stain resistance.There is no other technology on the planet that can singularly protect against water and oil-based stains at the level of a PFAS.Substitutes result in inferior protection. PFAS can be found in a wide variety of products such as automobiles, food packaging,military equipment,cosmetics,cell phones,and yes,textiles. While a small subset of the 9,000 substances have been linked to environmental and health hazards, the majority of them have not.More importantly,the PFAS chemicals that are currently used in the textile industry have not been tied to any health or environmental hazards.However, the small subset of harmful substances has made the entire group of chemicals a target for regulation.

Confusing Topic

So why is there so much confusion about PFAS? The biggest culprit is the fact that as an industry, our audience has changed. We’re no longer trying to sell customers on something they need and instead are dealing with regulators on science.Customers can be persuaded by science and facts.Regulators will only process enough information to fit their agenda,which leads to poor decision-making.

For example,many may have heard of the dreaded CAS# by now.Briefly,a Chemical Abstracts Service number (CAS#) is a unique identification for any given chemical that exists.There cannot be one CAS# for a group of chemicals.The definition of PFAS literally means,“many different fluorinated chemicals.” Therefore,it is virtually impossible to create one CAS# for a specific PFAS. The only solution is to identify and disclose the

many individual CAS# that make up any given PFAS product.When this happens, it might be possible to assign a CAS# to one of the 9,000 different PFAS chemicals.The problem is that this is akin to revealing a chemical formula or intellectual property.Translation: no one will be getting a CAS# for PFAS right now. Unfortunately,regulators — at both federal and state levels — are continuing to ask for one specific CAS# for PFAS sold into their state.What are the product manufacturers supposed to do in this situation?

Another example of poor decision-making is illustrated by the Department of Defense (DoD), which almost passed a rule banning all PFAS on all textile materials it purchases for the U.S.military, including warfighters. If passed,there would no longer be any alcohol or oil protection on the coveralls for our fuel handlers on aircraft carriers or surgical

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scrubs for doctors performing surgeries.The rule also would result in reduced protection against moisture and the elements for Kevlar® body armor. Once moisture is introduced to Kevlar,it is no longer bulletproof.This broad-brush approach employed by the DoD to eliminate PFAS quite literally puts people’s lives in danger.Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, the Washington-based National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) was able to get the provision removed from the bill. But that was last year,and unfortunately,this same provision is now back on the table as part of DoD purchase plans for 2023.

Sharing The Message The Right Way

Where has the textile industry failed? The problem is education,and more importantly,the third component of education. There are three key parts when it comes to teaching an audience — content, volume and messaging. In the textile arena,both content and volume have been maxed out.We have more detailed information and people willing to present it than is necessary. But the messaging still reflects an approach towards customers and not regulators.When textile professionals try to educate their audience,its common to see a periodic table of the elements,graphs, charts,and sometimes even

a T-square.While highly accurate and irrefutable, this method of educating is not received very well by our new audience —the regulators.Especially when it’s compared to the environmentalists’message where sensationalism is an artform.Scientists still wear pocket protectors and don’t know how to scare people.This makes exposing the truth about PFAS even harder.

Lawmakers at both the federal and state levels have all of the information they need to make sound decisions on PFAS.But sound decisions are not happening because the science is boring and doesn’t usually earn votes. While there are plenty of “teachers”out there,what is really needed is a team of PFAS-whisperers who understand the science AND can effectively convey the information to these decision-makers. This is sorely needed as soon as possible because poor decisions are being made at breakneck speed.

Some states are already beginning to pass laws based upon the confusion and misinformation.Some of the states are not looking to ban PFAS right out of the gate.They are asking instead that certain key pieces of information are reported.At least one of those states recently passed a law mandating certain PFAS reporting by January 1,2023.Many companies already have begun collecting and

preparing information to meet this new requirement. There’s only one problem —there’s nowhere to send the data.The same state who legislated reporting to begin in January isn’t expected to have its data-collection system up and running until at least April 2023. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.In the meantime,the supply chain is scrambling to address the new state regulations on PFAS while spending untold amounts of time and money.In the absence of any federal oversight,each state will devise its own method of monitoring and regulating PFAS.Currently,five states actively are trying to legislate or regulate PFAS, and none of them have the same set of“rules.” Only 45 more to go after that.What are manufacturers supposed to do?

It is a huge problem. Lawmakers and regulators are running out of their shoes in this“race”to eliminate PFAS.Personally, I just wish they would take a breath,slow down,and make a concerted effort to actually listen to the science and make educated decisions.


How can the industry help solve this problem? By joining advocacy groups,such as NCTO, which possesses the experience and lawmaker outreach.This will give the textile industry a stronger,

clearer voice in educating the individuals who are charged with making decisions in our country. PFAS is not the end of this. Once PFAS is in the rearview mirror,another topic no doubt will bubble to the surface.Maybe it will be an attempt to ban antimicrobials or flame retardants,again.Or perhaps lawmakers will try to ban cleaning products such as bleach and solvents. How’s that for irony?

Bottom line is this: Everyone reading this article either already has a product,or will have a product impacted by government regulation. The only solution is to do a better job of educating our government about what it is the textile industry does and the benefits its products offer. TW

Editor’s Note:Brian A. Rosenstein is CEO of Devon, Pa.-based TSG Finishing LLC, a fifth-generation familyowned high-performance finishing and coating company with facilities in Hickory and East Conover, N.C.TSG Finishing provides value-added service to all textile markets including medical,military,automotive,construction,home furnishings and filtration.

The company recently announced a multiphase investment project to modernize all its primary textile finishing equipment.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent official policy or position of Textile World/Textile Industries Media Group,LLC or its clients.

ExecutiveOpinion Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 25

A New Era Of Sustainability For Cotton Fabrics

CCotton is the most extensively grown non-food crop in the world,1 and makes up a significant part of the global textiles market, accounting for a revenue share of greater than 39 percent in 2021.2 Fabric manufacturers choose this organic material for its longevity, absorbency and color retention, while consumers appreciate its softness, breathability and comfort. However, the properties of cotton that make it well suited to use in clothing and home textiles also make it susceptible to the build-up of odorcausing bacteria.

Susceptibility To Microbes

Natural cotton fibers are made from cellulose with a permeable, hydrophilic structure, making them accessible to moisture, dead skin cells, food residue, airborne dust and other contaminants from the environment. The large surface areas of sheets, towels and other cotton products can easily trap environmental contaminants, making them vulnerable to colonization by a diverse community of microorganisms. Bacterial growth on cotton fabrics causes multiple undesirable

DuraTech™by Microban®is a new antimicrobial treatment specifically developed for cotton products.

outcomes — such as discoloration, odors and degradation of the fabric — worsening product performance and increasing laundering requirements. One solution to these problems is to incorporate antimicrobial technologies during the manufacturing process, enhancing the cleanliness of cotton products and extending their lifespans.

Current Antimicrobial Technologies

Antimicrobial treatments can be applied during the exhaustion or finishing step of fabric manufacturing to provide a wide range of benefits, including improved fabric durability, odor-causing bacteria prevention, a decrease in water- and energy-intensive laundry require-

ments, and a reduction in the quantity of chemicals required for fabric care. Cotton materials are often treated with metal-based antimicrobial agents, such as zinc- and silverbased products, some of which may pose potential environmental concerns 3 or regulatory challenges. Alternatives like quaternary ammonium compounds are more sustainable than heavy metals, but may have reduced compatibility with other additives used during the cotton manufacturing process because of the presence of cationic ions within their chemical structure. In addition, some conventional cotton finishes can suffer from poor wash durability, as many antimicrobials are water-soluble, so the treatment can be easily stripped from textiles over time during washing.4

Durable Antimicrobial Finishes For Cotton

Huntersville, N.C.-based Microban International recently released a new product line — DuraTech™ by Microban® —as a durable, effective antimicrobial solution for cotton products. DuraTech uses an antimicrobial compound that is odorless

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and colorless. Though it is also water soluble, it can bind to cellulose via permanent covalent bonding, resulting in wash durability. The compound has been widely used in the cosmetics industry where it acts as a sustainable preservative to prevent the harmful build-up of bacteria in cosmetics and personal care products. The technology works by integrating into cotton fabric during the manufacturing process and penetrating bacteria, inhibiting the ability of microbes to reproduce.

Efficacy And Durability

The antimicrobial efficacy and wash durability of the DuraTech antimicrobial technology has undergone stringent validation following industry standard testing methodologies. These procedures involved testing multiple types of cotton — including 100-percent cotton knits for apparel, 100-percent woven cotton sheeting and 100-percent terry cotton fabrics — in line with the ISO 20743, JIS L 1902, and AATCC TM 100 standard testing methods. During testing, DuraTech-treated cotton underwent laundering and tumbledrying using a representative commercial detergent. Antimicrobial efficiency was tested by comparing quantities of bacteria known to cause cotton degradation on treated and untreated cotton samples, and relevant fabric properties were also measured before and after laundering.

DuraTech technology was assessed for its antimicrobial efficacy after multiple washes, following the AATCC LP1 washing protocol on various cotton materials. Fabric pH, color fastness and crocking fastness also were evaluated following AATCC TM 81, AATCC TM 61-2A, and AATCC TM 8 protocols, respectively. The reduction of odor in DuraTech-treated cotton products compared to untreated products was tested with the AATCC TM211 Drager method, providing real-time and visual depictions of ammonia levels using two ammonium-producing, odor-causing bacteria.


DuraTech™ is integrated during the manufacturing process as a durable finish on the cotton fabric.

The treated cotton becomes contaminated with bacteria as a result of contact.

The technology penetrates the bacteria and inhibits their ability to grow and reproduce.

Ultimately the treated cotton remains cleaner and is protected against bacteria that can cause odors, staining and produce deterioration.

When applied to cotton fabrics, the water soluble DuraTech™ finish inhibits bacterial growth to prevent stains, odors and product deterioration.

Seamless Incorporation Into Manufacturing

DuraTech consists of two watersoluble parts — the active compound and a catalyst — allowing for seamless mixing and incorporation into padding manufacturing processes without the need for polymer binders that can cause unexpected buildup on process rollers in the mill. Because of its water solubility and the absence of binders in its composition, DuraTech covalently bonds with the cellulose structure of cotton under certain conditions to impart long-lasting wash-resistant antimicrobial properties to the textile without impacting its physical properties.

Benefits And Applications Of Antimicrobial Cotton Technologies

The expected lifespan of cotton fabrics depends on their intended use; cotton knits for seasonal garments will undergo up to 50 wash cycles, while domestic-use items like sheeting and terry towels — which are more frequently exposed to human skin and humidity — will require more regular washing. Reported findings demonstrate that DuraTech-treated cotton maintains up to 99.99-percent bacterial inhibition after 75 wash cycles compared to untreated controls. In addition, treated samples achieve up to 99percent odor reduction after 75 washes, without compromising on other essential fabric properties.

Microban reports that DuraTech is compliant with industry standards and regulations, compatible with sustainable manufacturing processes, and safe for handlers and users. The non-heavy metal-based formula is biodegradable, and is not an aquatic hazard according to OECD test guidelines 301A, 111, and 209. 5 The technology is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Microban also is pursuing textile-specific certifications for DuraTech — like Bluesign® and Oeko-Tex® — as part of an ongoing commitment to making textile manufacturing processes more sustainable.

Built-in antimicrobial technologies can be a key tool in the cotton textile industry, seamlessly integrating into the production process to extend the usable lifespan of fabrics and enhance the end-user experience. TW

Editor’s Note: Yihong Li is senior technical manager and Xiuzhu Fei is senior formulations chemist for Textiles at Microban International, Huntersville, N.C.


1Cotton: Industries: WWF. World Wildlife Fund. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton.

2Grand View Research.Global Textile Market Size & Share Report, 2022-2030. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/textile-market.

3Roy Choudhury, A. Finishes for protection against microbial, insect and UV radiation.Principles of Textile Finishing 319-382 (2017).

4Tessier D. Surface modification of biotextiles for medical applications.Biotextiles as Medical Implants 137-156 (2013).

5Qian, L. & Sun, G. Durable and regenerable antimicrobial textiles: Improving efficacy and durability of biocidal functions. J Appl Polym Sci 91, 2588-2593 (2004).

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Italy-based Candiani S.p.A. has developed a stretch denim named Coreva that features organic cotton yarns wrapped around a natural rubber core yarn, resulting in a biodegradable garment.

Lab tests showed Candiani’s new Coreva stretch denim is completely biodegradable.

Perfectly Circular: Candiani’s Compostable Jeans


We buried the jeans in March and they were gone in January,” CEOAlberto Candiani said of Candiani Denim’s most recent experiment.

Ten months sounds impressive, but controlled lab tests have shown the Italy-based brand’s new stretch denim, Coreva, can almost completely biodegrade in as little as six months in optimum conditions.

“We tried to compost Coreva stretch jeans in our backyard and it worked,” Candiani said. “The difference between the lab test and our backyard test is that temperature and humidity are not constant in nature.” This of course means consumers could try the experiment for themselves, years down the line in their own compost bins.

Natural Rubber Component

First launched in 2020, Coreva replaces the need for petrochemicalbased elastane often found in stretch denim and stretch fabrics more widely. Made using organic cotton yarns wrapped around a natural rubber core yarn — both renewable sources — the resulting fabric is plastic-free meaning it also won’t shed microplastics when washed. However, the fabric still maintains the elasticity, durability and softness expected from high-quality stretch denim. Not only does this make it fully biodegradable — able to be broken down through composting — but also more easily processed postconsumer use, with fibers separated for reuse or recycling, in part thanks to the thickness of the rubber yarn.

“At the end of life of a product it would be correct first to upcycle it, then to downcycle it and at the end to recycle it,” Candiani explained. “When you recycle a product, an old pair of jeans for example, you will be able to extract a portion of material that can be reused to spin a new yarn to make a new jeans, but the rest will inevitably be waste. Our aim is to allow that waste to return to nature with a positive impact, giving purpose to the raw materials initially extracted to make the jeans as they can now be used to grow new raw materials.”

Given that the majority of clothing globally is now made from synthetic fabrics, Candiani’s innovation has overcome a major technological challenge that could have a huge impact on the fashion industry more widely.

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Circular Product

The images from the experiment speak for themselves — a dusty outline of what was once that familiar pair of jeans, with only disjointed seams and disintegrated pockets remaining. It’s a stark, but refreshing sight compared to the images saturating the media showing diggers emptying fabric waste into landfills.

The aim is to create regenerative denim goods that can be returned to the environment — to use jeans to eventually grow the cotton to make jeans. The tangible circularity of Coreva comes at a time when the need to embrace nature-based solutions in fashion and recognize biodiversity as part of the climate crisis more widely, is more urgent than ever before. While many brands talk the talk in their sustainability strategies, critics say it often remains a check-box exercise, rather than brands legitimately addressing their impacts.

Consumers are increasingly savvy, demanding transparency, traceability and tangible efforts from brands to do better; and organizations including the United Nations continue to highlight the impact of the fashion industry, not only in terms of the environmental and ethical of production, but also post-consumer waste.

“Everything I’m doing is to connect the industrial and the agricultural systems in order to neutralize impacts and, if possible, to create a final positive impact of products on the environment through regenerative properties and practices,” Candiani said. “True design means problem-solving, and fashion has to look into circularity, science and smart materials in order to engineer products — starting with solutions to the problems those same products may create at the end of their lifecycle. Ethically, this should be mandatory, but we all know that the fashion industry is still massively over-producing without caring much — the reason why we need legislation and politics to regulate the industry.”

Fully Tested

Candiani has produced an impressive selection of sustainable fabrics, with a variety of certifications, but Coreva is an industry first and was trialed in collaboration with several partners including the Rodale Institute, a non-profit organization that supports regenerative agricultural research. “Rodale was, for us, the perfect partner to test Coreva’s regenerative circularity models and systems in every specific environment where organic and regenerative agriculture take place,” Candiani noted. “The idea was to test, verify and scientifically certify effectively on and in the ground Coreva’s compostability and regenerative properties.”

Experiments on the material’s biodegradability, disintegration and ecotoxicity —a measure of a substance’s harm to animals and plants — were carried out

Controlled lab tests demonstrated that Candiani’s Coreva jeans almost completely biodegrade in as little as six months in optimum conditions.

to determine compostability, in compliance with European Union standards. However, since there is not yet a dedicated certification process for compostable fabric, the closest available category of packaging was selected. All of the criteria were met, and after 12 weeks, 98.1 percent of Coreva’s original mass had disintegrated. Mung beans and barley were grown to test soil health and conditioning capacity, with results showing significantly better growth of up to 23.5 percent. More recently, growing Candiani’s hybrid, non-GMO cotton variety, Blue seed cotton — designed to produce a stronger fiber, be more

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resistant in the field, and require less water and chemicals — also was successfully tested.

Although Candiani does not claim to have invented stretch denim, the brand is known to be an expert in the industry. Perfecting Coreva for production still took five years of research and development, however, refining the biogen fabric to ensure it was hard-wearing in consumer use, but biodegradable post-use. “A big challenge was the original vulcanization process of that rubber which was

Company Ethos

As a fourth-generation denim producer, Candiani is taking strides to innovate both the family company and the industry, and his vision to uphold heritage while embracing change follows his globally minded father. Candiani talks about sustainability as a mission based on location rather than a journey. In operation since 1938, the company’s mill in the town of Robecchetto con Induno, Italy, sits between Milan and the Alps. Since 1974, it has been located at the heart of a nature reserve called Parco Del Ticino, running alongside the River Ticino, with a hugely diverse ecosystem. Despite being Europe’s largest denim mill, with two plants covering 85,000 square meters of production, it has been dubbed the “greenest mill in the blue world” with much stricter local environmental regulations than other denim mills, Candiani reported, which the brand has fully embraced.

“No other large textile operation in the world is located inside a nature reserve,” Candiani said. "The national reserve was founded decades after the mill was originally started so we found ourselves all of a sudden surrounded by it. Being immersed inside such a delicate environment that required special attention and care made us think and act differently in terms of production and productivity, challenging us to come up with our own best practices in order to reduce our impact on nature.”

Coreva outperforms synthetics in terms of elasticity, recovery and comfort, according to Candiani. The aim is to have all Candiani stretch denim made with Coreva by 2030. Alongside this, the brand will use regeneratively grown cotton in at least 50 percent of the entire production of its denim by next year.

Given the growing body of research showing the devastating pace of biodiversity loss and its link with climate change, a move towards regenerative agriculture is something more brands need to engage with. Regenerative agriculture involves a holistic, natural approach to farming, prioritizing long-term value over short-term gain. For instance, practices such as crop rotation, natural grazing patterns, avoiding chemical pesticides and planting native trees or creating wetlands to boost biodiversity. This approach not only reverses soil erosion, which helps ecosystems become more resilient against droughts, desertification and wildfires, but it can also improve the health of the soil, which allows it to absorb a greater amount of carbon from the atmosphere. And sequestering carbon, particularly through soil, is, arguably, the biggest nature-based solution to climate change. It’s not only a means to future-proof the land, but futureproof a business as well.

not allowing the elastic to be fully biodegradable, but we fixed that thanks to a very solid partner that tweaked the process and gave us a yarn which is not only bio-based but also biodegradable — and compostable,” Candiani said. The final challenge was about its performance and stability, he noted. But that was an “easy fix” — perhaps unsurprising given the brand’s heritage as a leader in its field.

The brand has now developed a full Coreva collection, including shirts and pants in various fits and colors. British designer Stella McCartney and Dutch jeansmakers Denham are among the first brands beyond Candiani to use Coreva in their own collections. Candiani acknowledges that it may not be a swift transition across the entire industry, given that Coreva can cost 30- to 50-percent more than conventional man-made stretch denim. He remains confident, however, as

Candiani will no doubt continue to disrupt, innovate and reinvent — but, what could the future of fashion look like in a dream world of circularity? “Edible fabrics,” Candiani noted. “I can’t promise you yet that in the future we’ll be able to eat our jeans at the end of their lifecycle instead of throwing them away. What I can tell you for sure, is that we have already made it possible to link industrial denim production to regenerative agriculture by creating edibles, such as veggies, using old jeans as soil conditioner.” TW

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Alberto Candiani, CEO of Italy-based denim brand Candiani S.p.A Editor’s Note: Antonia Wilson is a freelance writer and editor.

High-Tech Crochet & Warp Knitting Solutions For Surgery Applications

Comez offers a variety of machines that are suitable for producing highly technical medical applications.

IItaly-based Comez International S.r.l. —a member of the Jakob Müller Group, Switzerland — specializes in engineering and manufacturing crochet and warp knitting machines. Its products are used worldwide for narrow fabric production including lace and ribbons for outerwear and lingerie accessories. However, increasing demand for technical textiles prompted Comez to develop specific solutions for highly technical applications as well.

Knit fabrics are widely used in various surgical applications and textile implants including suture materials, hernia meshes, artificial ligaments and knitted grafts, for example. The versatility of Comez

knitting machinery enables its customers to design a variety of textiles that meet required specifications in terms of strength, flexibility, durability and stability for medical textiles.

Hernia Mesh

Many manufacturers choose Comez machines for hernia mesh production with customized knitted designs and a wide range of pore configurations. The mesh may be used to treat abdominal or inguinal hernias. Comez provides solutions for these knitted textile implants — such as the ACOTRONIC 8B/600 and the SNB/EL-800 machines — which are perfectly adapted to their area of use for permanent patient support. Both 2D and 3D meshes

Knitted medical textile articles (clockwise from top): hernia mesh; vascular graft; blood filtration fabric; and an artificial ligament.

can be produced using monofilament or other materials.

Textile Ligaments

Textile ligaments, used for the reconstruction of damaged ligaments, are another innovative application that can be designed using Comez advanced knitting technology such as the ACOTRONIC 8B/600. These articles require a special texture that can be created using crochet knitting machines. The layout of the finished product — as well as its dimension — can vary according to individual requirements and surgical treatments.

Blood Filtration Fabric

Artificial lungs, blood oxygenators and heat exchangers can be based on textile products. All these solutions contain membrane fabrics consisting of microcapillaries linked by crochet knitting technology. Comez designed a solution for the production of blood filtration fabrics, a special configuration of the CT-8B/829 model.

Knitted Vein And Artery Grafts

Specific warp and crochet knitted textile vascular grafts are also used during cardiovascular surgery to replace damaged or malfunctioning arteries and veins. These grafts are made using man-made materials and are produced in different designs and diameters featuring linear and bifurcated structures. The Comez DNB/EL-32 model permits the construction of such graft materials.

Comez provides a full scope of services including consultancy, joint developments with regards to new solutions, and customized machine configurations for surgical and technical applications. TW

Editor’s Note: Fulvio Festari is product manager at Italy-based Comez International S.r.l.

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Former Shima Seiki USA employee Kady Gray co-founded Tailored Industry with Tschopp and now runs the company’s operations team.

Tailored Industry Inc.: WHOLEGARMENT®

Technology Enables On-Demand Production

Tailored Industry relies on WHOLEGARMENT® technology from Shima Seiki for its consumption area-based, on-demand production system.

SSupport for small-lot production is becoming more commonplace in the apparel industry despite its difficulty breaking away from traditional mass production. Tailored Industry Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., is taking small lot to the next level with its proprietary on-demand software platform, which enables zero minimum order quantity (MOQ) production for apparel brands in the United States.

counts to incentivize sales. The original goal of mass production was to reduce production costs, which led companies to shift production overseas in search for cheaper labor.

TW Special Report

“By pairing our on-demand production platform with Shima Seiki’s WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines, we eliminate overproduction, precisely match demand with supply and empower apparel brands with a competitive supply chain, noted Alex Tschopp, co-founder and CEOof Tailored Industry.

A Vicious Spiral Of Excess Inventory

In recent years, sales in the apparel industry have often been stagnant among brands, and surplus stock is generated despite heavy dis-

Since mass production facilities require large-scale capital investment, fixed costs are high. If these facilities don’t maintain high capacity utilization, production costs add up quickly. This dynamic is why factories set high MOQs to maintain overhead and labor costs. Unfortunately, this leads directly to overproduction, financial losses and environmental waste. More than 10 million tons of apparel go into landfills every year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Time Efficiency From Order To Delivery

Tailored Industry notes how these issues of overproduction, waste, and inventory management not only affect factories, but the industry as a whole.

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“At Tailored Industry, we have designed our software platform and business model to combat the largest issue with the apparel supply chaininventory,” Tschopp said. “Using our platform, brands don’t have to produce products ahead of time. Once a brand receives an order online — as few as one unit — they submit it to us through our software. We produce and drop ship the products directly to their end customers in three to six days. This model, which we call Manufacturing as a Service —software and manufacturing — connects demand with supply. The process reduces wastage in multiple areas, including raw materials, time, and energy. Ultimately, these savings lead to many advantages across the supply chain and create a powerful competitive advantage for apparel brands.”

What You Need When You Need It, On Demand

“Conventionally, it takes well over six months to design, develop, and mass produce a knitwear collection,” Tschopp said. “This process requires brands to guess how much stock they need per style, color and size. However, forecasting demand accurately is impossible, almost by definition.”

The model of pairing WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines with Tailored Industry’s on-demand software has created a supply chain alternative for apparel brands, one that facilitates production after an order is placed. “WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines are a crucial part of what allows us to achieve this quick turnaround, while maintaining a luxury-grade quality,” Tschopp noted. “This shift to on-demand manufacturing is also known as consumer area-based production where goods are locally produced and locally distributed.”

Sustainable And More Efficient Production Methods

One of the challenges facing the new consumer area-based produc-

tion is the perception of a higher price, when compared to mass production pricing. On-demand production does result in higher production costs per item. However, apparel brands must evaluate the all-in cost of garments produced overseas and include the cost of shipping, importing duties, storage, liquidation discounts, and the dis-

posing cost of unsold goods. The all-in costs associated with overseas production, combined with the elimination of excess inventory make on-demand manufacturing less expensive and more profitable than mass production. These factors make on-demand production the most sustainable form of production in the apparel industry. TW

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Alex Tschopp is co-founder and CEOof Tailored Industry, a company that paired its proprietary, on-demand software platform with Japan-based Shima Seiki Mfg.Ltd.’s WHOLEGARMENTknitting machines to eliminate overproduction for apparel brands.

Delta Apparel Inc., Greenville, S.C., named Jason Bates vice president of Finance for its Delta Group business segment. In addition, Patrick Bowman was named senior director of DTG2Go, the company’s digital print business.

Donald G. Morrison recently was named CEO of leather scrap upcycling company Sustainable Composites, Lancaster, Pa.

Israel-based Albaad has appointed Jacob Heen CEO.

Dr. Harald Weber has been named managing director of the Germany-based VDMA Textile Machinery Association effective January 1, 2023. He replaces Thomas Waldmann who is retiring.

As part of an announced succession plan, Michelle Gass was appointed to the new position of president, LS&Co., at San Franciscobased Levis Strauss & Co. She currently reports to Chip Bergh, president and CEO, but will succeed Bergh as CEO within the next 18 months.

Zurich-based children’s outdoor clothing brand namuk has named Sebastian Reinhard chief marketing officer.

Chris Martin is the new director of Technical Sales for Glen Raven Technical Fabrics’ (GRTF’s) GlenGuard® brand of flame- and arc-resistant fabrics used in protective apparel.

Milliken & Company, Spartanburg, S.C., hired Eric Delaby as a senior sales associate for the bedding market within its Textile Business. He is responsible for leading sales efforts for the company’s flame-retardant bedding products in North America

Christopher Leyes recently rejoined Cocona Labs, Boulder, Colo., as COO.

Switzerland-based Sanitized AG has named Dr. Martin Cadek chief technology officer. He will oversee global technological activities and lead the company’s Competence Center for Technology Innovation.

Andrew Jesudowich was named vice president, sales, Americas, for Physical Properties Testers(PPT) Group, Sterling, Va.

Jasmine Cox was selected as the new executive director of the Textile Technology and Fiber Innovation Centers at Gaston College, Dallas, N.C

Jonatas Melo has joined Austria-based Borealis as vice president, Performance Materials. He is responsible for driving the Infrastructure and Consumer Products businesses globally in line with the company’s circular aspirations.

Tricia Carey has joined Sweden-based Renewcell as chief commercial officer.

Cincinnatibased Michelman has appointed Dr. Chuck Xu to its board of directors.

The Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists honored a number of people at the 2022 AATCC Textile Discover Summit. Gang Sun was named 2021 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award; Yiqi Yang received the 2021 Olney Medal; John Crocker and Rick Stanford received the 2021 Henry E. Millson Award for Invention; Ann C. Laidlaw was honored with the Education Award; and Bryan Ormond received the Faculty Advisor Award. Additional awards were conferred to future leaders, for service efforts and for outstanding papers.

Kim Jones was promoted from CFO to CEO of Atlanta-based Spanx LLC

Dr. Isabella Tonaco was named executive director of the Singapore-based Sustainable Chemistry for the Textile Industry (SCTI™) a group of chemical companies “committed to drive transformational change in the textile and leather value chains through sustainable chemical solutions.”

The board of directors at Avery Dennison Corp., Mentor, Ohio, has appointed William “Bill” Wagner a director.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation® (IACMI) has named engineering professor Chad Duty CEO. Duty currently is transitioning away from teaching and will fully assume his new role by April 1, 2023.

Thomas Bremer has added the title of managing director of Belgium-based Devan Chemicals to his current role as global SBU Head Textile for Pulcra Group, Devan’s parent company. The dual role is intended to focus synergies in the textile area.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) named Wes Fisher director of Government Affairs. TW

People 34 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com
Weber (left) & Waldmann Martin Xu Tonaco

Bulletin Board

Megan Eddings,founder and CEOof Accel Unite, was named the winner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC’s) 2022 WBENC Pitch Competition. Eddings pitched the company’s sustainable, reuseable isolation gown and emerged as the winner from the initial group of 500 participants.She received $20,000 in prize money to invest in Accel Unite.

Medline and Hologenix® recently launched CURAD® Performance orthopedic products that are powered by CELLIANT® infrared mineral technology. Hologenix also is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Celliant and reported more than $1 billion in retail sales over the past 20 years.

The Lycra Co.,Wilmington, Del.,and HeiQ,Switzerland,have introduced the Lycra® naturalFX™ finishing process for 100-percent cotton knit garments designed for mass market applications.According to the companies,the finish helps knitwear retain its shape with durable comfort stretch and a soft hand.

Sweden-based Material Exchange has acquired Italy-based Studio M.V., a textile design and sales company.

Bloomingdale’s and Bloomingdales.com have launched a Boll & Branch collection of sheet sets, duvet sets,bed blankets, quilt sets,alpaca throws and decorative pillows. The retailer is the first retail partner to carry the Boll & Branch Reserve Collection made using rare organic cotton.

Singapore-based Säntis Textiles,Egypt-based Egyptian Cotton Hub and Vietnam-based Garment 10 Corp. recently joined the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) as corporate members.

Noble Biomaterials, Scranton,Pa.,has launched Ionic+® Botanical,a citricbased topical fabric finish for antimicrobial and anti-odor properties.

Dow,Midland,Mich., had introduced a patented silicone ink — SILASTIC™ LCF 9600 M Textile Printing Base Ink — which was designed for printing on man-made and cotton fabrics and especially highly elastic fabrics.

England-based Composite Integration recently won the 2022 Innovation in Composite Manufacture award at the Composites UK Industry Awards.

Canada-based non-profit Canopy placed The Lenzing Group,Austria,in first place on its “Hot Button Ranking”of 34 producers of cellulosics fibers.The companies are evaluated based on sustainable wood and pulp sourcing, efforts to use alternative raw materials,and achievements in ancient and endangered forest protection.

The Netherlands-based Texo Trade Services is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

England-based James Heal is celebrating 80 years since the invention of its Martindale abrasion testing instrument.

Bangkok-based Thai Acrylic Fibre Co.Ltd. (TAF) recently launched a “Waste Nothing”video campaign to promote its Regel™ recycled acrylic fiber as a sustainable option.

Spain-based Tuvatextil S.L. has entered the U.S. fabric and furniture market with its Agora Fabrics brand.

The U.S.Department of Labor recently presented Darn Tough Vermont, Northfield,Vt.,with a 2022 gold HIRE Vets Medallion Award.The honor recognizes employers who successfully recruit, hire and retain veterans.

Rock Hill,S.C.-based Atlas Copco has acquired the operating assets of Northeast Compressor, Syracuse,N.Y.

Ocean State Innovations (OSI),Portsmouth,R.I., reports it has added ITW Military Products to its portfolio.

Airbus Defence and Space presented Hexcel Corp., Stamford,Conn.,with its annual Sustainability Award. The honor recognizes suppliers that have achieved excellence in sustainability through initiatives that support its business.

Paris-based interlinings manufacturer Chargeurs PCC has introduced the Zero-Water Rainbow Collection of sustainable knitted interlinings.Available in 15 colors,the ultralight inner components are dyed using a proprietary waterless process. TW

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 35
Megan Eddings Boll & Branch bedding products are now available at Bloomingdale’s.


10-12 :2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, organized by the National Cotton Council of America,New Orleans Marriott,New Orleans,La.Visit cotton.org/beltwide.

10-12 :Outdoor Retailer Snow Show,organized by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA),Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City.Visit outdoorretailer.com.

10-13 :Heimtextil 2023,Messe Frankfurt fairground,Frankfurt,Germany. Visit heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com.

11-13 :Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) Tent Conference 2023,Hyatt Regency Savannah,Savannah,Ga. Visit textiles.org/events.

12-15 :Domotex 2023,Hannover, Germany.Visit domotex.de/en.

17-18 :Première Vision New York, Center415,New York City. Visit premierevision.com.

17-20 :IM Intermoda,Expo Guadalajara,Guadalajara,Mexico. Visit intermoda.com.mx.

24-25 :Elementary Nonwovens Training Course,organized by the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA),INDA headquarters, Raleigh,N.C.Visit inda.org/training/ elementary-training.php.

24-26 :Colombiatex de las Américas, Plaza Mayor,Medellín,Colombia. Visit colombiatex.inexmoda.org.co.

26-28 :Marine Fabricators Conference 2023,organized by ATA,Sheraton New Orleans,New Orleans,La. Visit textiles.org/events.

31-February 2 :Texworld Evolution NYC encompassing Texworld New York City,Apparel Sourcing New York City, Global Footwear Sourcing and

Printsource,Javits Center,New York City. Visit texworld-usa.us.messefrankfurt.com.


5-8 :Geosynthetics Conference 2023, organized by ATA,Kansas City Convention Center,Kansas City,Mo. Visit textiles.org/events.

6-8 :Texworld Evolution Paris encompassing Texworld,Apparel Souring,Avantex and Leatherworld, Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Center, Le Bourget,France.Visit texworld-paris.fr.messefrankfurt.com.

7-10 :Intermediate Nonwovens Training Course,organized by INDA,INDA headquarters,Raleigh,N.C.Visit inda.org/training/intermediate-training.php.

7-9 :Première Vision Paris,Parc des expositions Paris Nord Villepinte,Paris, France.Visit premierevision.com/en.

13-15 :Sourcing at Magic,Las Vegas Convention Center,Las Vegas. Visit sourcingatmagic.com.

16-18 :19th International Istanbul Yarn Fair, Tüyap Istanbul Fair and Congress Center. Istanbul,Turkey.Visit iplikfuari.com.

22-23 :59th Edition of FILO,Allianz MiCo, Milan,Italy.Visit filo.it.

23 :Southern Textile Association (STA) Winter Seminar,Textile Technology Center at Gaston College,Kimbrell Campus, Belmont,N.C.Visit southerntextile.org.

23 :Americas Apparel Producers Network (AAPN) Los Angeles Regional,FIDM Los Angeles campus.Visit aapnetwork.net.

28-March 3 :Introduction to Spunbond and Meltblown Technology, organized by INDAand The Nonwovens Institute (NWI),NWI,NC State University,Raleigh,N.C.Visit inda.org/training/advanced-training.php.


1-3 :AFA’s Women in Textiles Summit, Francis Marion Hotel,Charleston,S.C. Visit textiles.org/events.

21 :STA Southern Division Spring Meeting, location tbd.Visit southerntextile.org.

28-30 :National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Annual Meeting, Washington.Visit ncto.org.


11-12 :Smart Fabrics Summit,organized by ATA and NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles,NC State Campus,Raleigh,N.C. Visit smartfabricssummit.com.

17-20 :SAMPE 2023,organized by the North America Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE),Washington State Convention Center,Seattle,Wash. Visit 365.sampe.org/events.

18 :STA Northern Division Spring Meeting, location tbd.Visit southerntextile.org.

18-21 :INDEX™ 2023,organized by the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDANA),Palexpo,Geneva, Switzerland.Visit indexnonwovens.com.

25-27 :JEC World 2023,Parc des expositions Paris Nord Villepinte,Paris, France.Visit jec-world.events.

20-21 :Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association (SYFA) Spring Conference,Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel,Charlotte,N.C. Visit thesyfa.org.

30-May 2 :ATA Outlook Conference, The Westin Poinsett,Greenville,S.C. Visit textiles.org/events.

30-May 2 :Southern Textile Research Conference (STRC),Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort,Myrtle Beach,S.C. Visit thestrc.org.

36 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com


1-4 :AAPN Carolina Mill Tour. Visit aapnetwork.net.

10-12 :Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas 2023,Georgia World Congress Center,Atlanta.Visit techtextilnorth-america.us.messefrankfurt.com and texprocess-americas.us.messefrankfurt.com.

23-24 :Elementary Nonwovens Training Course,organized by INDA,INDA headquarters,Raleigh,N.C.Visit inda.org/training/elementary-training.php.

23-26 :FESPAGlobal Print Expo 2023,Messe Munich,Munich,Germany. Visit fespa.com.


6-8 :Absorbent Hygiene Training Course,organized by INDA,INDA headquarters,Raleigh,N.C.Visit inda.org/training/absorbent-hygiene.php

8-14 :ITMA 2023,Fiera Milano Rho, Milan,Italy.Visit itma.com.

19-21 :Outdoor Retailer Summer, organized by the OIA,Salt Palace Convention Center,Salt Lake City. Visit outdoorretailer.com.

25-27 :STA and Annual Fiber Buyers Group Meeting,Hilton Head,S.C. Visit southerntextile.org.


9-11 :2023 AAPN pro:Americas Conference,Eden Roc Hotel,Miami. Visit aapnetwork.net.

17-20 :World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference,Atlanta Marriott Marquis,Atlanta.Visit worldofwipes.org.

17-18 :Wipes Academy,Atlanta Marriott Marquis,Atlanta.Visit inda.org/training/wipes-academy.php.

19-20 :Furniture Manufacturing Expo, Hickory Metro Convention Center,Hickory, N.C.Visit furnituremanufacturingexpo.com.


26-27:RISE® 2023,the Research,Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics conference, organized by INDA,Talley Student Union, Raleigh,N.C.Visit riseconf.net.


10-12 :FiltXPO™ 2023,organized by INDA,Navy Pier,Chicago.Visit filtxpo.com.

30-November 2 :CAMX 2023, organized by the American Composites

Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and SAMPE,Georgia World Congress Center,Atlanta.Visit thecamx.org.


1-3 :Advanced Textiles Expo 2023, organized by ATA,Orange County Convention Center,Orlando,Fla. Visit textiles.org/events.

2-3 :SYFAFall 2023 Conference, Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel, Charlotte,S.C.Visit thesyfa.org.

13-16 :Hygienix™ 2023,organized by INDA,The Roosevelt New Orleans, New Orleans,La.Visit hygienix.org. TW

Textile World NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 37
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Of The


Apparel brand Paka recently introduced Tri-Blend Terry French terry garments to its line of alpaca-based products.

Paka: Tri-Blend Fiber Trio

LLos Angeles-based Paka is a young and fast-growing apparel company founded in 2017 by Kris Cody.


For more information about Paka’s Tri-Blend Terry Collection, visit paka.co. Go online to TextileWorld.com for archived Quality Fabric articles.

He was inspired when he learned about the soft, warm and hypoallergenic properties of alpaca fiber on a trip to Peru where he purchased an alpaca sweater handmade by a Peruvian grandmother. Seeing an opportunity, Cody put his studies on hold to launch a sweater that was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

Today, the company is a successful certified B-Corp. business that works directly with non-governmental organizations alongside the indigenous people in Peru.

Paka operates with the mission: “… to create natural, all-purpose clothing for people who love the outdoors … by innovating with alpaca fiber and other materials that are healthier for people and the planet, so that consumers can connect to our natural world, make more conscious choices, and support the communities where our products come from.”

After the alpaca are sheared —a process performed at least once a year to maintain the animal’s health and hygiene —the traceable fiber used by Paka is hand sorted by skilled women trained to differentiate between the varying diameters of the natural fiber based on feel. Then the fiber is dyed when necessary, carded and spun into yarn, and finally knit and sewn by Peruvian artisans who sign every sweater they make.

Paka works with the Peruvians to develop sustainable fiber blends featuring alpaca. The company’s newest introduction is the Tri-Blend Terry Collection. The yarns

are made using an all-natural blend of 50-percent Tencel™, 35-percent organic Pima Cotton and 15-percent Royal Alpaca fiber. Tencel confers moisture-wicking and wrinkle-resistance, premium cotton adds durability, and the Royal Alpaca —with a fine fiber diameter of 17 to 19 microns — imparts softness, as well as temperature regulation and anti-odor properties to the French terry fabric.

Paka currently offers a unisex crewneck and drawstring shorts for both men and women in the Tri-Blend Terry fabric. The garments are available in four earth-tone shades — sandstone, iron oxide, Andean moss and timber — and all components are OEKO-TEX certified, including the dyes. The garments are even shipped using fully biodegradable packaging.

One unique feature included on all of Paka’s garments is a handwoven Inca identification label that is created by the company’s team of Quechua weavers in Peru. These women are paid more than 4 times the family living wage for their work.

“Sourced directly from the Peruvian Andes, our alpaca fiber comes from animals that roam free in their natural environment,” said Paka Founder Kris Cody. “By merging functionality with sustainability, Paka is providing an alternative in performance-based clothing for consumers and helping them make choices that are better for the environment’s wellbeing as well as their own. Our line is as soft and cozy as cashmere, but so breathable and performance based that you can work out in it!” TW

38 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 TextileWorld.com

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