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New on Technical Textiles

Life-saving textiles

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.

Conference programme

The conference programme is available to view on the conference website where you can also register as a delegate. Places are limited, so register soon.

Textile Opportunities in a Changing Automotive Industry

Jaguar Experience Centre, Birmingham, UK - 5-6 February 2020

Speakers from companies already engaged for the conference include:

  • Mark Dohmen, Head of Competence Center, Archroma
  • Friedrich Suchomel, Product Development, Lenzing AG
  • Matthew Tipper, Business Director, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI)  
  • Ross Ward, New Business Development Manager, NIRI  
  • Thomas Schmidt, Director of Innovation and RSL, Huafeng
  • Silke Brand-Kirsch, Executive Partner, Schlegel & Partner
  • Raquel Ledo Banobre, Head of Materials Innovation Area, CTAG – Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia                       
  • Deborah Maxwell, Patent Attorney, Potter Clarkson LLP
  • Laura Kunze, Project Manager Colour & Trim Development, imat-uve gmbh
  • Paul Stollberger, Member of the Board, Kobleder GmbH with Trevira GmbH
  • Christian Fischer, CEO & Co-Founder, Bcomp Ltd
  • Patrick Cronin, Technical Director, Mica NanoTech Ltd 
  • Adrian Wilson, Industry expert and editor                   

This conference will explore how the changes in the automotive industry will offer opportunities for technical textiles, nonwovens and composites, and how these materials will contribute to the next generation of vehicles.

Join key players in the industry, from OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers to raw material manufacturers, and suppliers of technical textiles, nonwovens, composite fibres and machinery. Presentations will examine in detail how trends are already reshaping the automotive industry, and its supply chain, and will continue to do so in the next decade and beyond.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Textiles for a unique passenger experience
  • Innovations in lightweight, sustainable and robust textiles
  • New textiles sources for sound insulation to adapt to changes in vehicle design resulting in new NVH (noise, vibration harshness) environments
  • Smart textiles - for monitoring physiological signs of passengers, and providing information and entertainment during the journey, to innovations in user experience
  • The use of natural fibres and plant-based polymers for enhanced sustainability
  • Materials that make vehicles lighter, smarter, cleaner and more comfortable
  • Composites for lightweight and bespoke components
  • Graphene-enhanced materials for automotive applications
  • Changes in supply chain and manufacturing planning that are needed to bring innovations to market
  • Limiting factors and future trends in automotive textiles


Book your place before 29 November 2019 and save €100.

For further details and to book your place, visit www.technical-textiles.online/TOAI.

Russian correspondent Eugene Gerden explains why the government and the industry are optimistic about the prospects for domestic manufacturers of technical textiles and nonwovens.

By extruding biopolymers, Spanish researchers have successfully made polymeric optical fibres with unique geometries and biomaterials for tissue engineering. The team behind the Volfil project reveals its findings to Technical Textiles International.

Spanish researchers have been investigating how to select the best substrates, inks and deposition methods, as well as optimal designs in order to exploit the printing of sensors onto textiles. They report their preliminary findings for Technical Textiles International.

The outdoor industry is the vanguard for sustainable manufacturing practices in the textile and apparel sector, according to John McCurry who attended the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show in Denver, Colorado, USA to learn more.