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Measured in terms of use and production, the global fibres market in 2016 reached 100 Mt for the first time. However, at a meeting announcing these landmark figures, senior industry observers focused on the challenges facing fibre manufacturers, particularly those in Europe. Adrian Wilson reports.

By 2021, the composites industry could be generating 32 kt of carbon fibre waste a year, and re-using this material is both an environmental and an economic necessity.  When UK-based carbon fibre recycler ELG Carbon Fibre (ELG-CF) opened the doors to its factory in Coseley in June 2017, James Bakewell went along to find out how textile technologies are being used to make this happen. 

The development of a superabsorbent fibre has already created many market opportunities for Technical Absorbents Ltd, but the company continues to innovate and, at a recent conference, Product Development Specialist James Docherty revealed the latest innovation—washable fabrics.

John McCurry reports that demand for fabrics providing cooling effects has led to the foundation of a great many companies in the USA eager to fulfil the market’s needs. Together with some longer-term players, they have an abundance of new technologies to choose from and commercialize in order to provide such functionality.

From a bicycle lock made from textiles to an intelligent knee brace, the breadth of innovation on display at Techtextil was staggering. Editor Nick Butler focuses on eight of the innovations, each of which won special recognition at the event held on 9–12 May 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Switching to fluorocarbon-free treatments is proving to be a big challenge for garment manufacturers and is likely to be even more problematic for the manufacturers of technical textiles. Adrian Wilson reports on the latest developments from Techtextil.

Multi-layered constructions are increasingly necessary for the enhanced performance of nonwoven-based products for the often inter-related automotive and filtration markets. Adrian Wilson reports from two key conferences held in Geneva, Switzerland, during Index 17.

John W. McCurry reports on the latest developments from three producers of nonwovens who are all taking their first steps towards establishing international manufacturing bases by investing in the USA.

Picanol’s Global Market Manager Technical Textiles Filips Lombaert explains the loom builder’s philosophy towards this sector, already an important part of its sales and one its latest campaign aims to develop, in an exclusive interview with Editor Nick Butler held during Techtextil.

Speaking to the company during the recent Techtextil (held on 9–12 May 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany), Geoff Fisher learned that Olbo & Mehler has opened a sales office and warehouse in the USA to shorten its supply times and extend its customer base in the region, as well as taking its first steps towards manufacturing locally.