Knitting materials – Bella Knitting Wed, 01 Dec 2021 10:13:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Knitting materials – Bella Knitting 32 32 Australian fashion has a problem when it comes to sourcing raw materials Wed, 01 Dec 2021 04:06:10 +0000

For every brand making a sustainability claim, there is a tremendous amount of offshoring happening behind the scenes.

Earlier this year, the Australian Fashion Council released its 2021 Fashion Industry Report. Beyond reflections on the devastating effects of COVID on the local industry, and a bit of posturing about the significant financial and cultural contributions of Australian fashion, I noticed a rather disturbing statistic languishing among the colorful graphics and quotes. bold: the fact that only 29 percent of our local businesses source at least some of their raw materials from local suppliers.

“The EY 2021 Australian Fashion and Textile Industry Survey found that 88% of companies design their products in Australia, but only 29% have sourced some of their materials from local suppliers,” details the report. “There is a major opportunity for greater domestic supply. Every million dollars of industrial production potentially relocated to Australia – if this is commercially viable – could generate an economic return of around $ 1.2 million.

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and reports, visit our Fashion section.

Besides the obvious economic benefits of offshoring our raw materials and manufacturing industries, there is also a huge sustainability benefit in such a move – after all, air cargo and transportation pollution adds a sustainability cost to the economy. companies that are desperately trying to improve their green credentials.

So, can we really talk about sustainable local fashion in a credible way, when only 29% of the raw materials come from Australia? There are many challenges for local brands when it comes to sourcing local raw materials and sustainable fibers. As customers increasingly demand that their products be made in Australia, the answer isn’t as simple as “Okay, let’s do more of our fabrics here”. For small brands in particular, the issues are complex and varied.

What are the obstacles to the local supply of raw materials?

“The obstacle would be to be able to allow me to stock up on what I want”, explains Suzan Dlouhy, founder of SZN, a small label based in Melbourne.A lot of times I find something really good, and these companies don’t necessarily want to work with me because I’m too small. Their minimum order quantity can take me out of the game altogether.

During our conversation, Suzan tells me a story of trying to buy a small amount of knitting from a local mill, who told her that they need a minimum order of 1000 yards. This is the reason why many local manufacturers turn to overseas suppliers, as they often do not impose such onerous minimum order requirements.

Even the possibility of participating in a big order with other small manufacturers gets complicated – if you order something unique, do you really want five other Melbourne designers to make similar items from the same knit, over the course of? the same season?

It is clear that Australia has gaping holes in the raw materials processing industry. Maybe some cotton isn’t made here, but the resulting organic cotton fabric is. Or maybe local manufacturers can’t source a certain type of textile locally and have to look to overseas suppliers. This is a problem that often also complicates the highly regarded “Australian made” label – a label that does not necessarily guarantee that 100% of the processes have been completed in Australia.

For starters, the current code is confusing at best – there are six groups of representations, each with their own criteria for compliance, including the most frequently used terms Product of Australia, Made in Australia, Grown in Australia and Made in Australia.

It’s fair to say that the average consumer wouldn’t know the subtle differences between the six groups – and even within these specific groups, the criteria never require that 100% of the product adhere to the label, only “virtually all”. “Or” “significant components.

Support the onhoring cycle

So while even ‘Australian Made’ certification does not guarantee 100% of products made in Australia, how are consumers supposed to support a local industry that appears to be struggling to survive?

“The biggest opportunity is local manufacturing and supporting smart offshoring,” says Elle Roseby, CEO of Country Road. “80% of our customers want to support Australian manufacturing. We send cotton and wool to Vietnam and China to be spun and woven when it could be done here. We all talk about reducing emissions but the current commodity model conflicts with that, we have to support the offshoring cycle.

“For the industry to thrive and be more sustainable, we need to invest in creating jobs in local manufacturing, as well as in technology and sustainability. We have to treat it as a serious industry if we are really going to attract the brightest minds and spur real innovation, ”she explains.

“Australia has a very small old-fashioned industry of making its own fabric,” says Kalaurie Karl-Crooks, creative director and designer of local brand Kalaurie. There are only a handful of knitting factories and weaving factories. It is actually quite difficult to source the tissue grown and ground in Australia. What we are still doing here is very basic.

Bringing the conversation back to sustainability is key to reviving the local raw materials and manufacturing industry here in Australia – especially given the huge shift in momentum we’ve seen in the industry towards labeling and packaging. sustainable marketing. However, transparency continues to be the key to achieving this and consumers should be careful when looking for products made in Australia.

“The fiber is made into yarn, the yarn into fabric and the fabric into clothing – that can literally be the number of times it crosses the ocean,” says Suzan. “So if you buy ‘Australian cotton’ from, say, Kmart, there is no guarantee how many times it has crossed the ocean. It’s not very clear – it’s not the transparency that people want in the supply chain.

Suzan’s point echoes my recent call for blockchain technology to help with tracking and transparency in the fashion industry. Going even further than ethical manufacturing tracing or raw material sourcing, blockchain could also potentially provide industry with an automated sustainability calculator.

Imagine being able to scan two competing garments via a QR code on a tag, and see the relative carbon footprint of both at the same time, calculated automatically by an algorithm running in the background.

Unfortunately, this kind of technology seems far away – after all, historically the fashion industry has not been good at integrating into the tech world, despite the huge opportunity for blockchain to respond to all of these. pressing ethical issues with far fewer resources. – in a heavy way.

“When we decided in the late ’80s and mid’ 90s to source more clothing from overseas and our industries were shutting down, that’s when I think we have limited our technological progress in fashion, ”explains Suzan. “Because if you are a manufacturing company, you are constantly improving yourself with your profits. You can get the next best machine… Our manufacturing has stalled.

So what is the answer to our raw material supply and sustainability issues?

Can we just invest the money in up-to-date technology and training, and hope for the best? “Personally, I think the industry could be revived through grassroots movements, job creation in the sector and awareness,” Kalaurie says.

“A lot of people don’t realize that Australia barely makes fabric and that although the raw materials are grown here, the fabric isn’t actually produced here. Relaunching jobs in this textile industry would be huge to pass the knowledge on to the next generation of fabric technicians to continue transforming Australian raw materials into fabrics made in Australia and then into products made in Australia.

“[But] I don’t think there is anything sustainable about the continued production of products. For me, sustainability is about making do with what you have to create something desirable with as little impact as possible, ”she notes.

This is something Courtney Holm, founder of circular label A.BCH, is also passionate about: the idea that the fashion industry needs to look at its production and start there, if it is to be taken seriously when it comes to sustainability. As part of the community she has built locally, she resells raw materials to other small manufacturers when large quantities of orders would otherwise deprive them of the market.

Interestingly, at the same time, she’s working with the community center and production house, The Social Studio, on a fascinating new project that could change the game of local raw materials.

“They’re doing a big study right now in Victoria on the raw materials that are in people’s warehouses – it’s more like a surplus material situation. We’ve been working on this idea of ​​how to move some of this material forward and actually help with this minimum orders problem.

“There are so many good raw materials made in Australia – hundreds of thousands of meters – that sit in warehouses unused. It’s a really crazy problem that people don’t really know about. There are so many ways that there could be better solutions for small business because they are either lower priced or minimum order quantity to make these really good and big steps in sustainability.

Ultimately, the approach will have to be multidimensional. While investing in our raw materials and local manufacturing capabilities may reduce the impacts of transportation on our sustainability goals, it is a short-term solution that only considers part of a circular environmental impact chain.

“It’s very difficult, and unless you’re totally circular, I don’t think you can claim to be sustainable,” says Kalaurie. “No brand is perfect, there is always room to grow – but doing the best you can is important.”

Learn more about circular fashion here.

Kontoor Extends Water Saving Certification in Textile Production | Materials & Production News Thu, 28 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Kontoor Extends Water Saving Certification in Textile Production | Materials & Production News | New


La Compagnie Lycra November 2021

Unifi November 2021

]]> RISE Virtual Conference Highlights Next Generation Technologies for Nonwovens / Engineered Materials Mon, 04 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

CARY, NC – October 4, 2021 – Some 145 professionals in product development, materials science and new technologies have come together for the 11th annual RISE®-Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics conference is held virtually from September 28 to 30. The event was co-hosted by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on developments in the science of nonwoven materials, sustainability, increasing circularity, promising innovations, process innovations, material innovations, government / NGO challenges for plastics to single use, machine-assisted learning development of biopolymers, and market intelligence and economic prospects. Attendees praised the program’s high quality content, in-depth panel discussions, networking, and Q&A where attendees pose questions to expert speakers regarding their focused presentations.

“RISE provides our industry with the latest nonwoven technologies, sustainability and market intelligence. On several occasions, I reached out to colleagues to discuss what I was hearing that sparked creativity! Said Dr. Bryan D. Haynes, Senior Technical Director, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

“I think more than any other year, RISE 2021 has given me a glimpse into the next generation of fiber,” noted Heidi Beatty, consultant, Crown Abbey. “My mind is full of ideas on how we can use these new innovations in nonwoven products for our customers, which will both improve the quality of life for consumers and be more environmentally friendly. RISE has become one of our most important conferences in the nonwovens calendar.

“It’s important for the nonwovens industry to have easy and regular communication with customers, suppliers and peers,” said Nick Lane, Account Director, Devan North America LLC. “RISE provided a wealth of technical information and a chance to have an open dialogue to help innovate and create opportunity. “

“I enjoyed the Virtual RISE this year and especially took advantage of the wide range of current information and discussions on the important topic of sustainability – from biopolymers to regulation to machine learning. As an industry, we all have to work together to find the necessary solutions, and that was a great way to cross-pollinate practical ideas, ”added Diane Toonen, Director of Global Strategic Marketing, Global Nonwovens Business Unit, Bostik.

“The quality of the content of the RISE virtual conference, as usual, was very informative and engaging. The virtual presentations and follow-up Q&A sessions via Zoom were an effective alternative, ”said Jon Woods, Managing Director, Fibers, Textiles and Nonwovens, Eastman Chemical Co.

“So many relevant and relevant topics were covered during the three-day format, giving RISE leading status as a premier technology conference focused on nonwoven and technical fabrics,” said Jeffrey Bassett, Managing Director of Fi -Tech Inc.

Highlights among the 26 presentations included sustainable solutions for our plastics planet situation, by Marc A. Hillmyer, Ph.D., McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota; Single Use Face Mask Closed Loop Recycling Pilot Project by Peter Dziezok, Ph.D., Director of Open Innovation, Proctor & Gamble; Innovating for a Sustainable Future for Nonwovens: A European Perspective, by Matt Tipper, Ph.D., CEO, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI); Phantom platform: the technology of coformed polyolefin-cellulose substrates, by Fabio Zampollo, CEO and founder of Teknoweb Materials; Guiding Environmentally Sustainable Innovations – From Reactive Management to Proactive Lifecycle Management, by Valentina Prado, Ph.D., Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global LLC; Ultra-Gentle High Volume Hygiene Solutions, Paul E. Rollin, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist – Global Hygiene, Global Propylene-Vistamaxx-Adhesion (PVA) Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Company; and Canadian Plastics Policy Update, by Karyn M. Schmidt, Senior Director, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Other highlights include the announcement of Canopy Respirator as this year’s RISE® Innovation Award winner. The annual award recognizes innovation in fields within and on the periphery of the nonwoven industry that use advanced scientific and technical principles to develop unique or complex solutions to problems and advance the use of non-woven fabrics.

Winner of the RISE® Innovation Award

The RISE innovation award went to Canopy for its Canopy respirator. The product is an innovative fully mechanical, non-electrostatic respirator with a filter designed for superior breathability while providing facial transparency to the wearer. The revolutionary respirator features a water column resistance of 5.5 millimeters at 85 liters (3 cubic feet) per minute, 2-way filtration and a pleated filter that contains over 500 square centimeters of area. The patented Canopy respirator resists fluids and eliminates fogging of goggles. “We are honored and touched! Thank you to INDA for advocating for the national production of PPE and to INDA member companies who have played a key role as partners in making Canopy a reality, ”said Joe Rosenberg, Founder and CEO of Canopy.

Other nominees for the award included John Mansville for its Evalith® 1000 series, an innovative Alpha binder that is a formaldehyde-free, high biocarbon and non-toxic binder formulation; and TiGuard LLC for its fiber-coated, heat-sealable, breathable and hybrid protective fabric.

For more information on the 12th edition of the Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE®) conference in 2021, visit

Posted on October 4, 2021

Source: INDA, Nonwovens Industry Association

Toray to Showcase Advanced Carbon Fiber, Thermoplastic and Thermoset Composite Materials at CAMX 2021 in Dallas, Texas Fri, 01 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

TACOMA, Washington – September 30, 2021 – Toray Industries, the market leader in carbon fibers and advanced composites, will showcase its wide range of high performance materials for the composites market at the upcoming Composites and Advanced Materials (CAMX) trade fair on the 19th October 21 in Dallas, Texas. The Toray booth (# Q39) will showcase its specialty product portfolio, including carbon fiber and advanced thermoplastic and thermosetting composites for the aerospace and defense, consumer and industrial markets.

At the Toray booth, the focus will be on materials supporting the growing urban and advanced air mobility (UAM / AAM) market. Toray meets the challenges of this industry with high quality products that meet stringent requirements for strength, weight and safety. Two of Toray’s North American divisions – Toray Composite Materials America and Toray Advanced Composites – will showcase products that meet the needs of the UAM / AAM market for materials that enable affordable development and mass production.

Toray Composite Materials America (CMA) will be showcasing its High Performance Adaptive 2700 Prepreg System at the CAMX Theater in the Showroom on Tuesday, October 19 at 1:00 PM. The 2700 Prepreg System meets the most stringent aerospace structural design criteria and enables emerging aerospace programs to move from prototype to high volume production. It cures in less than 5 minutes and can be used in a variety of processing methods including compression molding, out-of-autoclave processing, vacuum-only processing, AFP / ATL, and manual laying.

Toray Advanced Composites (TAC) will feature Toray Cetex® TC1225, an LMPAEK-based thermoplastic composite material that exhibits high-quality and cost-effective processing characteristics as well as outstanding mechanical performance properties. It enables high throughput processing in a wide range of processing methods.

Toray Performance Materials Corporation (PMC) will present Toray CFRT® NRG sheets. NRG sheets are unidirectional thermoplastic laminates manufactured using Toray Cetex® TC940 (PET). Toray CFRT® NRG Plates are used in medical applications to limit movement such as with Turf Toe or Hallux Rigidus and partial foot amputations. They are also used to improve the gait of patients and to redistribute pressure to less sensitive areas of the foot for diabetic patients.

Other materials shown include:

  • Torayca® T1100, the next generation intermediate modulus (IM +) carbon fiber with excellent processability in high performance manufacturing methods
  • AmberTool® HX56 Composite Tooling Prepreg that enables the production of a precision composite tool with superior precision and surface finish

Participating Toray companies:

Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (CMA)

Developer, manufacturer and supplier of polyacrylonitrile based carbon fibers and carbon fiber prepregs.

Toray Advanced Composites (TAC)

Developer, manufacturer and supplier of thermosetting and thermoplastic materials, including fabric prepregs, unidirectional tapes, bulk molded compounds and reinforced thermoplastic laminate formats.

Toray Performance Materials Corporation (PMC)

Manufacturer of thermoplastic composite sheets reinforced with continuous fibers and components.

Posted on October 1, 2021

Source: Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.

Circular Systems, Tintex Launches Premium Knitwear Collection Using Low Impact Materials and Dyeing Technology Tue, 28 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

LOS ANGELES, Calif .– September 16, 2021 – Circular Systems has partnered with Tintex, a sustainable textiles company based in Portugal, to launch a premium knitwear collection designed with high quality Texloop ™ RCOT ™ recycled cotton yarns Primo using Tintex Colorau ™ natural dye. Treatment, some of the least impacting materials and treatments available on the market. The collaboration sets a new precedent for the textile industry using a revolutionary patented process that replaces synthetic dyes with natural extracts and combines with ground fabric with yarns containing up to 50% recycled cotton.

Circular Systems and Tintex have teamed up to bring this essential solution to the fashion industry. Dyeing is one of the most polluting aspects of the textile industry. The World Bank estimates that 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from the dyeing of textiles and the finishing treatments applied to the fabrics. Some 72 toxic chemicals have been identified in water from textile dye alone, 30 of which cannot be removed. The Colorau natural dyeing process incorporates naturally occurring compounds like plants into substrates to produce a functional, ecological and sustainable technology. This technology also focuses on its environmental impact by eliminating potentially toxic effluents generated by synthetic dyes.

The use of low temperatures in the dyeing process and the substitution of traditional auxiliaries with natural alternatives also contributes to the overall reduction of the impacts of the process. There is no sacrifice in color durability, as Colorau focuses on natural extracts with inherent color fastness properties that can also be antimicrobial. This unique technology is designed to mimic the beauty and authenticity of nature. The collection will be available in the colors Thyme, Chestnut, Gambier and Morus Tinctoria.

Texloop RCOT Primo recycled cotton is Circular Systems’ most widely adopted impact solution, reaching millions of consumers to date. With its own innovative GRS classification from Textile Exchange (PD0067), RCOT Primo are the highest quality ring spun yarns with up to 50 percent recycled cotton with a multitude of applications in fashion products. This fabric collection marks the first time that Circular Systems has partnered with a leading partner factory like Tintex to execute a complete circular material solution, from raw materials to finished fabrics with a natural dye.

“We have admired Tintex’s work for a long time. It is one of the most sophisticated knitwear and dye finishing plants in Europe, with a strong commitment to creating low impact processes and products, ”said Isaac Nichelson, CEO and co-founder of Circular Systems. “We have worked with the great team at Tintex for years. In the latest project, we are delighted to have combined our finest Texloop RCOT Primo recycled cotton with their Colorau process to produce a beautiful collection of knit fabrics, with both durable colors and circular design fabrics.

“This collaboration with Circular Systems is a great example of how the industry is evolving to become a synergistic and integrated platform of ideas. Through a co-creation process, we put the consumer at the center of the business. We celebrate how our teams have aligned to achieve this common goal of bringing the best technologies to market. said Ricardo Silva, CEO of TINTEX.

The collection is available for purchase through Tintex and can be viewed on their website. The collection will also be presented to commercial buyers at Premiere Vision Paris from September 21 to 23. Tintex booth number 3B4 3C3.

Posted on September 28, 2021

Source: Tintex

Amarillo’s downtown public library offers free tools and materials for crafts and projects Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) – The downtown Amarillo Public Library has a new service, MakerSpace, where it offers free tools and materials for different trades and projects.

This service is free for anyone on condition of showing up with their library card.

The library says this service is a great tool for those who want to try something new without spending any money.

“If you want to try it and experiment and say oh here I’ll try it this time we already have it, you can’t just take it off the shelves of a craft store and start hammering, but here you can and see if you like it, ”said Cynthia Hunt, programs specialist at Amarillo Public Library.

They have a lot of different options for tools and materials.

“We have a variety of different tools and materials to work with, we have leatherwork, we have sewing, we have knitting, hobbies like pattern making, we have a long arm quilt machine, a few small metal fabrications, we’ve got a little bit of everything, ”said Ben Wilting, digital services librarian, Amarillo Public Library.

If you don’t know how to use or craft something, they will teach you.

Hunt says the MakerSpace has many advantages.

“It gives people the opportunity to create in a very positive and supportive environment and for me creativity is like a muscle, the more you create the more creative you become, so if you keep coming and learning new skills, that “It’s great for your memory retention, it’s good for your craziness,” Hunt said.

They also have a YouTube channel, where they post step-by-step videos on how to complete different projects.

Different programs are also offered, where they teach you how to complete a certain project.

To subscribe to their newsletter and receive their monthly list of programs, send your email to

MakerSpace is open seven days a week.

It is open to all ages, but aimed at adults. If a teenager or child enters, rules are in place for their safety and require that they be supervised by a guardian.

MakerSpace was funded in part by grants from the Amarillo Area Foundation, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Institute for Museums and Library Services.

Other funding came from capital improvements at the Friends of Amarillo Public Library and the City of Amarillo.

Copyright 2021 KFDA. All rights reserved.

SPINNOVA® Materials on New York Runway: Spinnova and Ka Wa Key Showcase Capsule Collection at New York Fashion Week Wed, 08 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

JYVÄSKYLÄ, Finland – September 8, 2021 – London-based designer duo Ka Wa Key are the latest brand to use sustainable SPINNOVA® materials. The brand’s new capsule collection of fabrics and yarns SPINNOVA is presented at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on September 8.

Ka Wa Key and sustainable textile materials company Spinnova present a new sustainable capsule collection at New York Fashion Week. Ka Wa Key designers Key Chow and Jarno Leppänen used different SPINNOVA materials such as fabrics and yarns in the collection. The capsule collection will also be presented in Paris in October but will not be available for purchase.

“We found an instant connection with Spinnova because we share the same ambition to make the fashion industry more sustainable. To our amazement, the SPINNOVA materials were also very versatile and we could use them exactly as we wanted, whether painting on the textile, dyeing it, adding digital prints or knitting with it. I think this collection really shows that there is nothing restrictive about using sustainable materials, ”said Key Chow and Jarno Leppanen of Ka Wa Key.

The capsule collection inspired by a Finnish movie Hardly a Butterfly includes knitted and woven designs such as printed twill. Like other Ka Wa Key garments, the collection is fluid. The color scheme is also inspired by Finland, in particular the country’s national butterfly Holly blue.

The collection uses durable, fully circular SPINNOVA fiber, made from wood or waste and produced without harmful chemicals. SPINNOVA fiber uses 99% less water and produces significantly less carbon dioxide emissions than cotton production. Spinnova has also partnered with leading clothing and apparel brands including adidas, The North Face, H&M Group, Marimekko and Bergans.

“We are happy to see that our material is suitable for podiums, everyday use and outdoors. Collaborating with emerging brands is just as important to us as working with established brands, because we believe that the entire textile industry must become more sustainable, ”added Janne Poranen, CEO and co-founder of Spinnova.

Posted on September 8, 2021

Source: Spinnova

Trade Minister calls for more ambition from Indian textile players | Materials & Production News Mon, 06 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Trade Minister calls for more ambition from Indian textile players | Materials & Production News | New


La Compagnie Lycra November 2021

Unifi November 2021

]]> Faurecia creates the Sustainable Materials division Tue, 27 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Fibers / Threads / Fabrics

Faurecia, one of the world leaders in automotive technology headquartered in Nantes, France, is creating a new division dedicated to the development and manufacture of sustainable and intelligent materials.

The new Sustainable Materials division will benefit from Faurecia’s leadership positions in the automotive interiors and seats market and from its unique portfolios of materials with ultra-low and negative CO2 emissions, as well as those integrating thermal, acoustic and biomedical technologies.

Leveraging its global footprint, the Sustainable Materials division will work with several business groups and offer a full range of low CO2 and even negative CO2 materials to OEMs to support their sustainability goals.

Faurecia will capitalize on its experiences in formulating bio-sourced materials and its processing expertise, including the management of low variability.

The company plans to build an R&D center dedicated to sustainable materials and a pilot plant, both of which will become operational in 2022. The new division will initially employ 125 engineers and more than 400 by 2030.

“With decades of experience in the development of bio-sourced materials, Faurecia intends to increase its contribution to the fight against climate change by investing significantly in the development of materials with a very low CO2 footprint,” said Patrick Koller, CEO. “This new division, associated with a first-rate industrial and academic ecosystem, will help us achieve our turnover targets of € 3 billion by 2030 in this area, foster sustainable growth and support efforts to meet our CO2 reduction commitments by 2030. ”

Shawmut: investing in the future of advanced materials Sun, 25 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000
An N95 particulate respirator
made by Shawmut

Accustomed to innovation and change, Shawmut is committed to helping customers resolve pressing business challenges quickly.

TW Special report

FBorn in 1916, Shawmut Corp., based in West Bridgewater, Mass., is no stranger to innovation and change. The fourth-generation, family-owned global business is the largest independent laminator of technical fabrics in the United States, providing advanced material solutions for the automotive, health and safety, military and protection, and customized lamination solutions. Shawmut employs more than 700 people worldwide, operating 10 manufacturing plants and seven sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

A story of change

What began as the location of America’s oldest woolen mill producing braided fabric and synthetic yarn, has grown over time into a company that creates a range of flexible composite materials and technical textiles. , and provides lamination solutions. Over the years, Shawmut has supplied a variety of products ranging from branded knitted children’s clothing to yarns used by the US Army during WWII for parachute guy lines, knitted blankets, field jackets and parachutes. bombs. In the 1950s, the company focused on flame lamination for use with its jersey fabric, a process that continues today. In the mid-1980s, Shawmut moved to its current West Bridgewater headquarters to focus on product development processes in advanced materials technologies.

Shawmut CEO James Wyner (left) with Fallon Co. CEO Joe Fallon, who was a majority investor in the Shawmut face mask operation.

“Since our inception 105 years ago by my grandfather Rudolph Wyner, Shawmut has always had the ability to adapt to changing markets and create innovation,” said CEO James Wyner. “Our history gives us a vast knowledge and expertise of materials to design our own techniques and production capabilities that put us ahead of our competition. Our customers tell us that we can develop solutions to their difficult demands much faster and with better results than our competitors. We embrace what we have learned, but always seek to innovate to create better solutions. Our goal of “material innovations for a better world” might sound a little ambitious, but we really try to apply it to everything we do. “

An automotive leader

Shawmut is a global supplier to the automotive market that supplies everything from laminated headlining to pillars, roller shades, seats, door and trim lamination, sun shades, packaging trays and shelves to package. A few years ago, Glen Raven Technical Fabrics (GRTF) leading automotive and specialty industrial fabrics business merged with Shawmut after an 18-year strategic partnership between the two companies. The merger fully integrated Shawmut’s composites development capabilities and global lamination platform with Glen Raven’s specialty industrial fabrics business. Of the company, Shawmut said at the time: “Our recent merger with the Specialty Industrial Business Unit of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics represents the combination of strengths between two long-standing partners. We now offer the full line of automotive interior and industrial solutions, from durable high performance knitted fabrics to flexible multi-layered composite composites.

Shawmut recently announced plans to introduce an all-new customer-focused technical center at the Burlington, NC facility on Park Avenue, home to the merged operations. The Park Avenue Tech Center will provide customers with unprecedented access to Shawmut’s advanced design, engineering and production expertise, multiple quality and testing labs, and customer collaboration tools from tip, all under one roof. The development of the Technical Center helps achieve Shawmut’s goal of accelerating the timeline of the finished product with even higher quality production leading to an improved customer experience. The Park Avenue Tech Center is also Shawmut’s first facility to be ISO 14001 certified and is a 100% landfill-free facility, meaning less than 1% of the waste that leaves the facility goes to a landfill. Waste is mainly reused and recycled by external sustainable development operations.

Shawmut has invested in the world’s most advanced meltblown filter media production system from German company Reifenhauser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG.

Invest in health, safety

In early 2021, Shawmut announced the creation of a new Health and Safety business unit, which was a strategic expansion into markets where Shawmut already had a presence. According to the company, the new unit applies “the advanced materials, textile manufacturing and process innovation techniques of the company to produce[e] High-quality health and safety products made in the United States, including its Protex ™ line of personal protective equipment (PPE) made in the United States. “

For decades, the company has produced medical grade barrier and filtration fabrics, orthopedic medical devices, and some inflatable medical devices. In the spring of 2020, Shawmut expanded its scope to produce PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company quickly developed its Protex ™ N95 particulate respirator and now also manufactures medical isolation gowns and surgical barrier fabrics. With these additional product lines, it was time to bring in additional staff with health and safety expertise and launch the new business unit.

“This is a very exciting time in the 105-year history of Shawmut Corporation as we deepen the healthcare solutions space,” noted Wyner. “We have a long-term commitment to developing innovative health and safety products made in the United States and compliant with the Berry Amendment, not only for this time of great need, but well beyond so that our country is never never faced with critical PPE. shortage again.

Shawmut upgraded 70,000 square feet of space to accommodate production for its Health and Safety business unit.

Make room, start

According to Shawmut, the company upgraded nearly 70,000 square feet of space at its West Bridgewater manufacturing facility to produce isolation gowns and N95 respirators. Shawmut acquired nearly 60 tonnes of specialized, high-precision meltblown machines from German company Reifenhauser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, which were expedited and shipped on an expedited schedule to the Port of Boston. In addition, Shawmut installed a fully automated and flexible production system to support its line of N95 particulate respirators and installed approximately 50 new gown and mask assembly lines, some of which are complemented by advanced robotic capabilities. .

The multi-million dollar investment enables Shawmut to help its customers meet demand and respond quickly to their evolving business needs.

Clockwise from top left: one of Shawmut’s original locations; Shawmut manufactures products for the global automotive market; Shawmut’s new Health and Safety business unit produces US-made PPE, such as medical isolation gowns; Shawmut recently created a Military & Protective Materials business unit which will produce ultra-specific and high-performance technical fabrics.

A military focus

More recently, Shawmut announced another strategic expansion with the creation of a new Military & Protective Materials business unit. The unit will produce high-quality, USA-made technical fabric solutions of very high specification and high performance, many of which will also comply with the Berry Amendment. Shawmut’s military and protection solutions feature waterproof, windproof, flame retardant, and chemical and biological protection properties, and are ideal for the high-stakes uses required by military and field professionals who require equipment. high performance to do their jobs safely. With new leadership in onboard business development focused on high performance material solutions, the division integrates Shawmut’s textile manufacturing, dyeing, finishing and laminating capabilities to develop revolutionary new technologies that will enable Shawmut to become a key player within the high performance United States. textile and clothing industry.

Provide protection

Shawmut’s leadership position in lamination technology has resulted in multiple applications in protective equipment, including products in the high quality utility workwear market; flame retardant fabric area; and the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection markets. Shawmut’s ability to fabricate high water vapor transmission laminates provides solutions for firefighter equipment; surgical gowns; and waterproof and breathable utility and outdoor equipment, among other applications. The waterproof, yet breathable attributes also extend to products such as footwear, military outerwear, as well as boots for hunting, hiking, and military use.

Clean water

Shawmut leverages its advanced processing technologies and technical fabric expertise to deliver custom-designed material solutions and solve complex challenges. Their global team believes that no challenge is too big, and they have a long history of solving a wide variety of industry needs through dynamic and innovative textile approaches. As an example, Shawmut is part of the global push for innovative textile water filtration technologies as a producer of technical knitted fabrics that are used as permeate carriers in reverse osmosis filtration systems and processes. of salt and brackish water. Shawmut reports that its nonwoven filter fabric is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.

Looking forward

A fourth generation international family business is not common today, and Shawmut is by no means a joint venture. Drawing on over 100 years of experience in fabric forming and lamination, Shawmut uses materials innovation, engineering expertise, advanced processes and global supply chain strategies to help solve quickly meet customers’ advanced material design challenges, setting itself apart from conventional New England textiles. stereotype of the company. Shawmut’s story is rooted in agile technology application, advanced processes, performance testing and quality, while keeping customer needs first.

“We are excited to leverage our expertise in textile engineering, process innovation and commitment to excellence to produce the highest quality materials for the best performing individuals,” Wyner said of the new military and protective materials business unit. This enthusiasm, commitment and problem solving is at the heart of Shawmut.

July / August 2021