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New on Technical Textiles

World Markets for Technical Textiles To 2022


World Markets for Technical Textiles To 2022 will be the ONLY comprehensive survey of the international technical textiles industry to 2022. The report will help you to identify future business opportunities in the changing market for technical textiles. It will give you detailed and reliable information in a single volume, saving you and your company time and money.

Pre-order and save - ensure your copy as soon as it is published by ordering at a special prepublication price. Copies will be dispatched immediately on publication in June 2016. Click here for full information on the report and to order. 


Industry's growth prompts the need to find its next generation of skilled workers

More than 9350 visitors and 589 exhibitors could be found at the Georgia World Congress Center from 3-5 May 2016.

Business in North America continues to thrive, with plenty of evidence of investment and the return of manufacturing operations long since thought lost to other parts of the world. While this message is not breaking news, it was thoroughly re-affirmed in conversations held with numerous participants at the recently concluded Techtextil North America (held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on 3–5 May 2016).

Co-located with Texprocess Americas and JEC Americas, the event attracted a total of 589 exhibitors and more than 9350 visitors, according to Atlanta-based Messe Frankfurt Inc, one of the principal organizers. The combined shows also covered more than 1.5 ha, all of the recorded statistics showing improvements on those from the last time the three exhibitions took place together, in Atlanta on 13–15 May 2014.

However, these bare statistics do not give a fair representation of the high degree of confidence in the market. For that it was necessary to be present and to speak directly with those involved, and to witness the atmosphere at the venue, the Georgia World Congress Center, particularly around the stands of the machinery builders in the Texprocess Americas section.

Of the three exhibitions, Texprocess Americas showed the biggest improvement, according to Messe Frankfurt’s Michael Jänecke, with 80% of exhibitors opting this time to go to the not inconsiderable expense of showing machinery. Judging by the buzz of visitors around this area and several reports of investments being made on the show floor, their additional expense would appear to have been repaid.

Particular interest was shown in machinery designed to automate production. Investments of this kind are needed of course to help reduce the costs of labour associated with manufacturing in high-wage economies, but many of those enthusiastic to buy such equipment cited another reason: the need to substitute for the lack of an indigenous, skilled labour force. During recent decades, when much of its manufacturing left the region, North America has lost a traditional skilled workforce, which is yet to be replaced. Even innovative companies, which succeeded in keeping their production on the continent during this period by evolving to become technical textiles manufacturers report that recruitment of suitable employees is a growing problem.

It is to be hoped, therefore, that initiatives such as the establishment of the Advanced Functional Fibers of America (AFFOA) Institute, another conversational topic of great interest at the shows, can have an impact in persuading a new generation of bright students to consider textiles as a career. The industry, particularly the technical textiles sector, is far more sophisticated than those outside can imagine and it needs to attract a new generation of the brightest and the best if its current momentum is to be sustained.

Call for Papers

The Third International Conference on Nonwovens for High-performance Applications will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, on 7-8 March 2017, once again bringing together senior managerial, technical and marketing staff from nonwovens manufacturers, suppliers to the industry, converters/finishers, product designers and processors, application sector OEMS, researchers and end-users to discuss progress and possibilities.

The core of the programme will be presentations by invited industry leaders, but in order to give an opportunity for anyone with exciting and relevant ideas to present to the high-level international audience, we are seeking papers relating to high-performance applications for nonwovens, especially those that are commercial or near-commercial. Click here for further information on how to submit a paper for consideration at NHPAP2017. 

More Features

In December 2015 Cytec opened an application centre to develop high-volume methods for the production of composite parts. Editor James Bakewell paid a visit. 

A barrier to the wider use of textile-reinforced polymer composites is the lack of an economic, high-volume manufacturing process for parts with complicated shapes. Hybrid yarns combined with advanced weaving could provide a solution, reports Amanda Jacob.

On a visit to Invista Textiles Ltd, Nick Butler learned about the technology and marketing strategy that lie behind the success of the Cordura brand, and how the company exploits its know-how to develop new products.


Editor Nick Butler selects his highlights among the exhibits that readers can find in Milan, Italy, during ITMA 2015 (12–19 November), continuing with a preview of the latest developments for all kinds of woven and knitted fabrics.