Several recent features posted, or about to be posted, on this site are concerned with fabrics designed to save lives.
In Energy sector provides a timely boost for Mount Vernon FR, for instance, our US correspondent John McCurry profiles a company that operates the largest denim mill in the USA, one that is still among the largest in the world. Nevertheless, competition from the global industry is forcing Mount Vernon FR to adapt its business and a significant recent investment has seen the plant in Trion, Georgia, boost output of flame-retardant (FR) fabrics by 20%. FR fabric production now accounts for 30% of the plant’s overall capacity.
The company’s investment was prompted by the rising demand for protective workwear from the oil and natural-gas exploration industry, which is booming globally. This is confirmed by one of our newest contributors, Sarah Gibbons, in her review of the latest textile developments for this sector, Boom in oil and gas exploration drives demand for protective clothing. Not only is the market booming, but it is populated by wealthy companies able to spend large sums to protect their workers, a very healthy combination for suppliers.
Another part of the energy-supply industry, the electrical utilities sector also needs to protect its workforce, and how textiles allow it to do so is the focus for Adrian Wilson’s article, Highest standards required for arc-flash protective clothing. Be warned that the descriptions of the threat posed by arc flashes are chilling, but be reassured that textile and garment suppliers are once again rising to the challenge posed by this complicated hazard.
The importance of quality assurance for fabrics destined for potentially live-saving garments is the focus of Manufacturing and testing protective fabrics for workwear (available to members from 1 November), from Carrington Textiles’ Sean Moore. Moore also reveals that the company’s philosophy is to work closely with all the members of the supply chain to develop the most-effective products, a theme that recurs in several of the articles.
Robert Kaiser of PPSS Group is passionate about protecting those that protect us. His contribution, How slash-resistant clothing can protect security staff (available to members from 25 October), describes when and why slash-resistant clothing is required, and explains the crucial role of understanding human anatomy and designing garments appropriately. Moreover, in highlighting the need for good design, he also echoes a recurring topic throughout this issue.
Other themes resonate these articles too: the importance of comfort and aesthetic appeal to the wearers of protective garments; the need to educate workers and employers about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE); how crucial it is to care for the garments correctly.
Finally, another of our new contributors, Eugene Gerden explains why he expects the Russian technical textiles industry to grow rapidly. In Russian technical textile industry set for a period of major growth, he identifies several reasons for optimism in the region, one of the most significant of which is the projected growth in the country’s defence spending.