Textile World https://www.textileworld.com Mon, 12 Feb 2024 22:58:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.5 U.S. Textiles 2024: Fingers Crossed https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/from-the-editor/2024/02/u-s-textiles-2024-fingers-crossed/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 22:58:02 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92931 By Jim Borneman, Editor In Chief

The “January 2024 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®”on TextileWorld.com in the Breaking News section suggests that business will remain challenged as 2024 takes shape.

Manufacturing in general has not been the robust consecutive growth story of the recent past, rather, the January reports shows it is the 15th consecutive month of contraction of U.S. manufacturing industries, “following one month of‘unchanged’ status and 28 months of growth prior to that.”

That two years of consecutive monthly growth was a great growth underpinning that textiles’two reporting sectors — “Apparel, Leather & Allied Products”and “Textile Mills” — generally did well.

The bright side is that both textile sectors were two of four sectors reporting growth in the January 2024 report, while the 13 other industries reported contraction.

There is a lot of blame to go around. Inflation, higher interest rates, election year politics and war are all things that can make businesses pause.

Inflation and interest rates are factors that can really highlight age. Inflation — for those who may never have experienced it — is a real pocketbook smack for consumers, who for years have grown accustomed to stable base prices and frequent sales.

All of a sudden, base prices rise significantly, are sticky and sales don’t happen as often. And prices don’t head back down, even with the talking heads saying “all is well, inflation is waning …”

Falling inflation rates don’t address the price increases already in place, and signal that consumers can expect higher prices at a lower rate — this is good news? It’s akin to saying,“I’ve gained twenty pounds in the last year, and it looks like I will continue to gain weight, but at a lower rate,” which is not what a cardiologist wants to hear.

With years of artificially low interest rates established by the Federal Reserve, free money — loans taken at very low interest rates — created an unusual investment environment.
The decision on making multi-million dollar investments changes drastically when the risk-free-rate-of-return approaches 5 percent. That just means that investors — and banks — can make 5 percent on their money with no risk — say by investing in Treasury Bonds — rather than lending to capital intensive industries like manufacturing.

Will rate cuts happen in 2024? Who knows. But seasoned manufacturers have seen this before. The concerns are two-fold. Will consumer demand be there when new capacity comes online? And is the environment stable enough to invest? Is it time to be cautious and play wait-and-see?

Innovation, creative destruction and reinventing stalling sectors are concepts that don’t wait-and-see well.

The U.S. textile industry has survived, and even thrived, during more challenging times. There is no shortage of energy and investment going into advanced sectors
of the industry, but there are some tough stories in textiles right now including plant closings and import pressures. However, if the industry continues to fight forward and face the challenges as the year takes shape — it may be difficult, but just maybe 2024 holds more promise than expected.

January/February 2024

Digital Innovations In Computer-Aided Design Software For Weaving https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/features/2024/02/digital-innovations-in-computer-aided-design-software-for-weaving/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 22:20:58 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92927
Arahne’s ArahPaint drawing product allows a weave designer to draw or edit images in seamless repeat.

CAD developers are able to react to client’s needs and also anticipate future needs to offer the textile industry the tools it requires for modern production.

By Janie Woodbridge

The theme for ITMA 2023 was “Transforming the World of Textiles” with attention to sustain-able innovations and digital advancements. This focus was seen in advancements. This focus was seen in many processes of the textile industry from fiber development and production to fabric finishing. Included in these processes where digital advances were evident was computer-aided design (CAD) for the weaving industry. CAD for weaving is an essential step in the development of woven fabrics and the demands of the software are constantly adapting and changing. Digital advancements for improving function, speed and visualization are constantly being updated to meet the needs of the modern textile design world.

This article reviews four different CAD software companies focused on woven design for dobby and jacquard development and production. All of the software reviewed may be used for CAD and communication to the manufacturing equipment through computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Each company has a strong set of tools for each part of the fabric design process starting with initial pattern design development to technical weave development and image simulation and communication to the weaving machinery for production. The companies are reviewed in alphabetical order.

CAD Software For Weaving: Arahne

Slovenia-based Arahne is a soft-ware company that specializes in developing CAD/CAM systems for dobby and jacquard weaving. Established in 1992, it works closely with many mills and is very customer focused, developing its software with the designer experience as a main focus. Arahne is closely in step with the international textile industry and has adapted to the ever-changing needs of speed, function and flexibility. The software is available in 17 languages and runs on Mac OSX, LINUX and Windows — with virtual box, Vmware or Windows Subsystem for Linux. Arahne offers different soft-ware products including ArahPaint, ArahWeave ArahView 3D and Arah-Drape developed to suit the needs of the woven designer from initial concept development to final production.

ArahPaint, the company’s drawing product allows the weave designer to draw or edit images in seamless repeat using all the standard drawing tools. It has the ability to work in multiple or single layers, can draw in fabric density and quickly clean the image of unwanted pixels with its special despeckle tool. The program can also load CAM formats so it can be used to verify the correctness of Stäubli, JC5 or Bonas EP files. A new special feature is a filter that uses mathematical algorithms to design quick variations of patterns by rearranging motifs into different distorted mosaic type patterns. This program cab be freely downloaded for Mac, Windows or Linux, and works without limitations.
ArahWeave, Arahne’s technical weaving program, combines the function of dobby and jacquard design software into one single product. It includes functions for creating weave files at a maximum size of 65,000 ends x 65,000 picks that can be sent directly to the loom and are adaptable for a variety of looms. It has a weave development function with a database of 41,000 available weaves, a fabric cross-section view, automatic correction of long floats, a thread pattern generator for making complex thread patterns, a fabric price calculation feature and allows up to 500 colors variants in one file.

Innovative advancements to ArahWeave include a weft blanket tool and realistic fabric simulation. The weft blanket tool, a function of ArahWeave XL can handle up to 260,000 ends and picks and allows customers to weave many different designs in a continuous file without stopping the loom, thus reducing the cost of sampling down to normal weaving. Realistic fabric simulation that includes technical data like thread pattern, weave structure, density, color and yarn composition with interactive editing allows the designer to immediately see what a fabric will look like in real time. These simulations can then be applied to Arahne’s fabric mapping and draping programs ArahView 3D and ArahDrape to show how the fabric will look in application. Simulations also may be exported as a GLTF file to external fashion design and draping programs like CLO3D. Both of these innovative digital advancements show a moving toward sampling efficiency, production time and overhead.

EAT’s 3D Weave Composite is a specialty software for developing technical textiles.

EAT – The DesignScope Co.

EAT GmbH “The DesignScope Company” is one of the oldest established CAD for weaving software companies that is still running today. Originally developed in Germany in 1983 to simplify the working steps in the woven textile production industry, it has now turned into a software house and consulting company for many textile applications of CAD/CAM. Working closely with its customers, this software was developed based on the needs of textile production and has grown with the textile industry since. It has been consistently updated and adapted to meet the ever changing creative and technical needs of both the designer and the manufacturer. This software is available in many languages and currently runs on windows; and depending on the market needs, may offer different options in the future. EAT offers a range of modern soft-ware solutions for woven design from dobby and jacquard to technical weave development and simulation. The woven software components of EAT are divided into different product categories and include dobby, jacquard, 3D weave, 3D weave comp and simulation options.

EAT Dobby has all the necessary functionalities for creating a dobby pattern like an easily adaptable arrangement of the shafts/harnesses, adjustment of the peg plan and an easy change of colors. A new integrated Stripe editor in the EAT Dobby program allows for the easy creation of stripes and squares.

EAT Jacquard is an extremely flexible program that is unique in that it works with a running chain system which carries all necessary information from the functions related to the development of a woven design. The program includes many functions related to jacquard fabric development including drawing, color reduction and correction, expansion, weave application color reduction, box motion, and machine definition. New updated functions to the EAT Jacquard program includes a new mask function that helps to find similar areas in a pattern and automatically change them in one step and an addition of an EAT layer editor that works with up to 50 vector layers at a time and can simultaneously change densities of the fabrics in the different layers.

Unique programs to EAT are the 3D Weave and 3D Weave Composite programs. 3D Weave allows the user to develop and display an infinite amount of weave constructions from simple weaves to multilayer weave constructions. Specific parameters of the weaves such as number of warps, wefts and interacting compound layers can be set and reviewed in a digital 3D model which can be rotated and adjusted. This feature is ideal for creating and reviewing a variety of weave structures. For more advanced technical weave structures, EAT has developed the 3D Weave Composite program. In this program weave structures can be developed as composites of a cross section of warp or weft that can be visualized and controlled with the 3D view. For final production this cross section can be converted to a traditional flat weave file. This multidimensional function of the 3D Weave Composite allows the user to visualize complex weave structures in a new way, allowing room for fabric design innovation.

EAT has a woven textile Simulation function that has been continuously improved over the years. This simulation feature starts at the yarn level and can be modified to specific yarn parameters, fabric densities, lights/shadows and perspectives which enables the user to simulate a variety of high-resolution textile designs very quickly. A new yarn creation function has further pushed the simulation feature by easily allowing the user to create and display light and shadows in the yarn which in turn impact the end result in the fabric simulation. Finally, a 3D Mapp program allows for the high-resolution simulations to be applied to 3D rendered CAD images to best display design concepts in application.
Continuous innovative digital advancements to EAT software pro-grams have propelled this company and established its place as a strong player in the textile design industry.

Jacquard CAD/CAM solutions from NedGraphics are the most complex of its weaving software products.


NedGraphics is a global company with offices in America, Europe and Asia. It has been around for 45 years, providing software solutions for the apparel, home furnishing, carpet and retail industry. NedGraphics creates design software for a variety of textiles including print, woven, and knitted fabrics as well as for carpet design, color management and calibration, merchandising, and more. The software can be obtained in modular units depending on the needs of the customer. For the weaving sector of the industry, it provides a variety of software options including Easy Weave, Dobby Pro, Texcelle solutions and Jacquard CAD/CAM solutions. All software products run on Windows and several run on both Windows and Mac.

Easy Weave is an easy-to-use weave program that allows designers with limited technical weaving knowledge to create simple dobby patterned fabrics like plaids and stripes. It has a full complement of tools for inputting various warp and weft color arrangements. It has an option to create custom weave pat-terns by inputting custom weave textures or using one of the hundreds of weaves in the included library. It offers simulations of the woven fabric with realistic yarn textures.

Dobby Pro allows the designer to easily develop any type of woven dobby fabrics. With a variety of tools, it can meet the design needs of a beginner to advanced woven dobby designer. Design ideas can be started from scratch or by using a fabric scan as a starting point. Features of the soft-ware allow the user to create basic and compound weaves, access automatic float checking and instantly convert files to be produced on any weaving machine. The user’s own yarns can be scanned in to visualize a fabric and weave structure in real-time.

Texcelle is a more complex soft-ware program used by jacquard and carpet companies to create a woven design. It is user friendly and offers more than 150 design tools for drawing, scaling and creating repeat structures. It has additional special features that make the weave design process more efficient — like an option to fill patterns or weave structures, support large files, the option to work on multiple designs simultaneously, an easy access clipboard where designs can be stored, and an easy to use color palette saving function.

Jacquard CAD/CAM product is the most complex weaving software by NedGraphics, which takes advanced jacquard fabrics from concept development to final production. A variety of woven fabric types are supported in this software including upholstery, terry, ties, velvet or labels. Functions include easy creation and storage of weave files, automatic and manual float checking, export of files to run on any type of weaving machine, and instant creation of production data. An advanced high-quality simulation engine where yarns can be scanned in can generate realistic virtual samples that can be recolored using its True Coloring Software. Pair it with other NedGraphics programs like Texcelle to create a fully creative suite.

In addition to weaving software, NedGraphics has a variety of software products for other textile development needs. For printed fabrics, NedGraphics offers a variety of design creation and preparation products to ensure designers will get the best printed fabric. Color Reduction & Cleaning allow designers to reduce the number of colors and clean up art images, Easy Coloring enables recoloring of designs, and Design & Repeat caters for motif repeats. All products enable better color palette management whatever the program. NedGraphics recently partnered with Pantone® to integrate key Pantone libraries and the X-Rite i1Pro 3 spectrophotometer in upcoming NedGraphics software releases. For presentation options, NedGraphics Storyboard & Cataloging allows designers to create professional presentations, storyboards, line sheets and catalogue pages. Its Easy Map Creator applies fabric designs directly onto 3D simulations of garments or furniture, with an option to automatically change the color options. In addition, NedGraphics is a leader in software for Carpet Design Solutions, covering the complete workflow from design to production ready files. Its tiling software product creates stunning and realistic floor layouts for office buildings, hotels and other commercial spaces.

The biggest announcements for NedGraphics this year include the NedGraphics for Adobe® plug-ins and extensions to Illustrator and Photoshop. These NedGraphics design products for sketching, design, repeat functions, coloring, knitting and weaving allow for an ease of use, time and cost savings and an accelerated design workflow.

Penelope jacquard simulation


Penelope® is a global graphic software company focused on the development of programs for the textile industry. The Spain-based company is well established with more than 600 customers in 36 countries. It has more than 30 years of experience, originating in 1986 with a dobby development program, adding jacquard software 1994. Its focus is client oriented with a user-friendly interface and a powerful set of tools for each part of the fabric design process. The Penelope software is divided into two product categories, Dobby CAD and Jacquard CAD. Each of these software products comes with a variety of design tools and functions that can take a designer from initial concept development to exporting CAM files for final production.

Penelope Dobby CAD has all the tools needed to design and produce dobby fabrics. Dobby designs can be easily created and adjusted to meet the needs of the designer through user-friendly tools. After designing, the software generates files with all technical data needed to communicate to a variety of industry machines like looms and sample warping
machines. In addition, this software can manage and produce different combinations of designs for blanket sampling.

Penelope Jacquard CAD, like its dobby program, has all the tools needed to create and produce a woven fabric but with the complex demands of jacquard design. It is equipped with a strong drawing component, Penelope IMAGE, which has the ability to work in layers and in vector format, and can also work in multi-density options. For technical weave needs, warp and weft lay-outs can easily be created and edited. There is a tool for easy generating weaves with a library of 3,500 basic weaves that can be easily accessed and simulated. Additionally, there is an automatic float cutting tool. The software can automatically convert a predesigned image into a graph with the image parameters, make color blankets and can automatically generate designs and colorways.

Innovative digital advancements for both the Penelope Jacquard CAD and the Dobby CAD are the yarn creation tool and a powerful simulation tool. The yarn creation tool uses a colorimeter feature to accurately reproduce yarn colors into the system. One of the strongest features is the Hyper realistic fabric simulation which can simulate all types of fabric effects including leno weave, seersucker, and brushing effects with high quality graphics. One of the biggest announcements from Penelope in terms of simulation is its new partner-ship with CLO3D. A digital texture from Penelope can now be exported from Penelope and dragged and dropped directly into CLO for immediate simulation onto a digital 3D mapping form. These advancements towards realistic fabric simulation show the company’s understanding of the needs of the textile industry.

Understanding The Industry’s Needs

Digital advancement in textiles was a strong theme at ITMA 2023, which was greatly represented in the area of CAD software for weaving. The companies reviewed in this article work closely with their clients and react to their needs, as well as anticipate needs in software development. All four companies reviewed in this article are up to date on innovations in the industry and designed for the contemporary woven textile designer.

Editor’s Note: Janie Woodbridge is an assistant professor in the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State, Raleigh, N.C., in the department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management. This article was adapted for TTeexxttiillee WWoorrlldd from a paper by Woodbridge published in the NC State Wilson College of Textiles’ Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management (JTATM).

January/February 2024

January/February 2024 https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/2024/02/january-february-2024-2/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 22:09:17 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92925 Keel Labs, Morrisville, N.C., has debuted a T-shirt made using Kelsun™, the company’s seaweed-based fiber. The 70-percent Kelsun/30-percent cotton garment represents the first Kelsun garment made using industry-standard knitting machines.

DuPont, Wilmington, Del., has formed a partnership with Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Point Blank Enterprises Inc. to produce body armor using Kevlar® EXO™ aramid fiber. The armor will be available to North American state and local law enforcement departments.

Fi-Tech Inc., Richmond, Va., recently launched a newly designed website — located at
fi-tech.com — which features a modern look, updated content, optimized search structure and user-friendly navigation, among other features.

PAKA®’s PAKACLOUD™ polar fleece half zip

Paka®, Boulder, Colo., recently introduced PAKACLOUD™, an alpaca fiber fleece fabric. According to the company, this alternative to traditional fleece fabrics outperforms man-made fiber fleece fabrics in warmth to weight ratio and tests warmer in CLO value tests. The company also has added a Pima cotton/baby alpaca fiber blend T-shirt and Performance 3/4 crew socks to its product offerings.

Universal Fibers®, Bristol, Va., has received a C2C Certified Material Health Certificate™ at the silver and gold levels for its Thrive® matte nylon 6 fiber.

Dallas-based Celanese and Baltimore-based Under Armour have introduced NEOLAST™,
a new stretch fiber for performance fabrics. The spandex alternative could increase the recycling potential of garments featuring stretch fibers.

Precision Textiles LLC, Fairfield, N.J., has announced it will use Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi Inc.’s REPREVE® recycled fiber to produce all of its filler cloth products.

January/February 2024

January/February 2024 https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/people/2024/02/january-february-2024/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 22:04:33 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92923
(left to right): Andreas Kueckelmann, Peter D. Dornier and Franz-Peter Matheis

Peter D. Dornier will step down from his position as CEO of Germany-based DORNIER GmbH on July 1, 2024, and transition to the supervisory board. Technical Managing Director Andreas Kueckelmann will succeed Dornier as chairman of the board of management. Kueckelmann will be assisted by Commercial Managing Director Franz-Peter Matheis.

Germany-based Brückner Textile Technologies GmbH & Co. KG has appointed Alexander Mandel sales director. In addition, Raghav Kuberan has assumed responsibility for production and materials management at Brückner’s Leonberg and Tittmoning, Germany, locations as vice president, Operations. Kuberan, who will also handle IT responsibilities in both locations, replaces Rüdiger Gieske who is retiring after more than 25 years as COO.

Vince Tyra is the new president and CEO of Montreal-based Gildan Activewear Inc.

Kentwool, Greenville, S.C., has named Justin Ferdinand president and CEO. Ferdinand replaces Owner Kim Kent and represents the first CEO in the company’s history who is not related to the Kent family. Kim will continue as chairman of the company.

Mary Beth Hunsberger

High Point, N.C.-based Culp Inc. has hired Mary Beth Hunsberger as executive vice president of Culp Upholstery Fabrics. Hunsberger will work alongside Boyd Chumbley during a transition period and will succeed Chumbley as president of the division sometime during the third quarter of 2024. Chumbley will continue with Culp in an advisory role.

Brett Baird was promoted to vice president of sales at Burlington, N.C.-based Trivantage®.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based HanesBrands has named Richard Mcleod vice president, chief marketing officer of Global Champion®.

NatureWorks, Plymouth, Minn., has appointed Erik Ripple president and CEO. He succeeds interim president Jill Zullo.

January/February 2024

Quality Fabric Of The Month: Saucony Runs After A More Sustainable Future https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/quality-fabric-of-the-month/2024/02/quality-fabric-of-the-month-saucony-runs-after-a-more-sustainable-future/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 21:47:52 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92921 Saucony’s Triumph RFG running shoe features a cotton upper and 55-percent Susterra® propanediol mid-sole for a more sustainable performance product.

By Rachael S. Davis, Executive Editor

Performance running shoes almost exclusively have been produced using man-made materials because performance — including flexibility, cushioning, breathability and stability — as well as durability are specifications that are easily met with synthetic materials.

But when such performance shoes reach the end of their useful lives, they are not very environmentally friendly and are typically difficult to recycle. There are roughly 22 billion pairs of footwear manufactured each year according to various sources, with the U.S. Department of the Interior reporting as many as 300 million pairs of shoes each year are discarded into landfills where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose.

Lexington, Mass.-based brand Saucony®— a division of Wolverine World Wide Inc. — recently published sustainability goals that aim to have 90 percent of its production contain organic, recycled or renewable materials by the year 2025, ramping up to 100 percent by 2030. With these goals in mind, the brand developed its Triumph RFG (Run For Good) performance shoe — its most sustainable running shoe to date — using sustainable materials throughout its construction.

The shoe features a mesh cotton upper that is dyed using plant-based dyes. These dyes result in light, neutral colors for the running shoes.

To produce the mid-sole, Saucony collaborated with CovationBio PDO™, producer of biobased Susterra® propanediol, to produce the shoe’s PWRRUN BIO+® midsole foam. The foam is made using 55-percent Susterra, a regeneratively grown dent-corn-based 1,3 propanediol, which is petroleum-free. According to CovationBio, Susterra generates
“48-percent less greenhouse gas emissions cradle-to-gate compared to 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a common petrochemical-sourced alternative,” thus reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

In addition, Saucony engineered a material for the outsole featuring 80-percent rubber, which Saucony reports performs just as well as a man-made material but is more sustainable.

“At Saucony, we say that when we innovate, we elevate — the industry, our partners and the sport,” said Rob Griffiths, Saucony global brand president. “But quite simply, the future of our sport depends on the future of our planet, and we know we can do better for ourselves and the earth. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. That means as a member of the global community, it is imperative that we are constantly innovating, researching, and committing to our promise to find more sustainable options. We believe there is no finish line when it comes to sustainability; we are dedicated to pushing ourselves and the industry to do better.”

“We are proud to be a part of Saucony’s sustainable mission, and this marks a milestone for Susterra propanediol,” said John Hurban, vice president of global marketing and sales at CovationBio PDO. “It’s the first example we’re aware of where this percentage of bio-based content is used in the midsole of an athletic shoe. We believe runners and fitness enthusiasts will benefit from increased high-performance shoe flexibility, comfortability, and durability. This shoe sizes up against the competition and goes the distance to have a lighter environmental footprint.”

For more information about Saucony’s Triumph RFG shoe, visit saucony.com; and for more informa-tion about Susterra®, visit susterra-performs.com

January/February 2024

Omron Automation Selects Spartanburg County To Establish The Company’s First South Carolina Operation https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/2024/02/omron-automation-selects-spartanburg-county-to-establish-the-companys-first-south-carolina-operation/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 18:14:09 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92881 COLUMBIA, S.C. — February 8, 2024 — Omron Automation (OMRON), a global supplier of industrial automation technology, today announced it selects Spartanburg County to establish the company’s first South Carolina operation. The $9.2 million investment will create 162 new jobs in five years.

With over 90 years of experience, OMRON creates, sells and services fully integrated automation solutions that optimize manufacturing and improve safety. The company provides manufacturing solutions to customers in over 110 countries and has production facilities in Japan, Brazil, China, the Netherlands and the United States.

OMRON will lease and build out a 60,000-square-foot production facility located at 311 Genoble Road in Greer to manufacture industrial automation technologies including motion controllers and drives, machine vision, barcode readers, and barcode verification systems.

Operations will be online in April 2024. Individuals interested in joining the OMRON team should visit www.sctechjobs.com (enter “OMRON” as a keyword to narrow search) or the company’s careers page.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $100,000 Set-Aside grant to Spartanburg County to assist with the costs of building improvements.

“We are thrilled to establish our new location in Spartanburg County, expanding our market presence in the Southeast. This investment allows us to leverage cutting-edge technologies and generate high-quality manufacturing jobs, contributing to the growth and prosperity of the region.” -Omron Automation Americas President and CEO Robb Black

“We are proud to welcome Omron Automation to South Carolina. This announcement is further proof that our state’s reputation as an advanced manufacturing powerhouse continues to attract major international companies to establish operations within our borders.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Omron Automation’s decision to invest and create 162 jobs in Spartanburg County will have an immense impact on the state of South Carolina. We look forward to a strong partnership with OMRON for many years to come.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We’re excited to welcome Omron Automation to Spartanburg County and excited to bring another innovative, high-tech project to our community. OMRON is another boost for our manufacturing sector and is a strong first announcement for Spartanburg in 2024.” -Spartanburg County Council Vice Chairman and Economic Development Committee Chairman David Britt

Omron Automation (OMRON) selects Spartanburg County to establish the company’s first South Carolina operation.

  • The company’s $9.2 million investment will create 162 new jobs in five years.
  • OMRON is an automation solutions provider.
  • The company will be located at 311 Genoble Road in Greer, S.C.
  • Individuals interested in joining the OMRON team should visit www.sctechjobs.com (enter “OMRON” as a keyword to narrow search) or the company’s careers page.

Posted: February 12, 2024

Source: Office of the Governor of South Carolina

Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Heat Infinity Supports Historic U.S. Return To The Moon https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/nonwovens-technical-textiles/2024/02/columbia-sportswears-omni-heat-infinity-supports-historic-u-s-return-to-the-moon/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 17:38:45 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92876
Rendering of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander on the surface of the Moon. Columbia’s Omni-Heat Infinity technology will help protect the lander from the harsh temperatures of space. Photo – Business Wire

PORTLAND, Ore. — February 12, 2024 — In a move to advance technologies, material innovations and lay the foundation for a sustainable human presence on the Moon, heat insulation technology used in outdoor apparel will be implemented on a lunar lander in a first-of-its-kind partnership between Columbia Sportswear, a global innovator in outdoor, active and lifestyle products, and Intuitive Machines, a space exploration company focused on pioneering the commercial landscape of the Moon.

Omni-Heat™ Infinity, a propriety heat-reflective technology developed by Columbia Sportswear, is set to go to space with the upcoming launch of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander. In laboratory simulations leading up to this launch, Intuitive Machines’ researchers determined that the gold metallic foil of Columbia’s innovative Omni-Heat Infinity fabric will provide benefits toward insulating the lunar lander against the harsh temperatures of space, which can vary between -250° and 250° Fahrenheit.

A close-up of Omni-Heat Infinity reflective technology that is featured in Columbia’s jackets and the company’s other winter products. This same technology is being used to protect Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander from the extreme temperatures of space. Photo – Business Wire

Following a multi-year scientific partnership first announced in 2021, and a shared commitment to innovation and exploration, Columbia is proud to put its Omni-Heat Infinity technology to the ultimate test in new frontiers as a scientific partner.

“As an apparel company developing outdoor products for all seasons and all activities, it’s imperative that we test our technologies in the most extreme conditions and find ways to innovate beyond our customers’ current needs,” said Dr. Haskell Beckham, Vice President of Innovation at Columbia Sportswear. “Taking key learnings from this partnership, we’ll be able to create new products that will help people enjoy more of the outdoors – regardless of conditions – and ultimately unlock the outdoors for everyone here on Earth.”

Selected by NASA to deliver scientific payloads to the surface of the Moon with its Nova-C lunar lander, Intuitive Machines is hoping to mark the United States’ first return to the lunar surface in 50 years. The liftoff of the IM-1 lunar mission is targeted for a multi-day launch window that opens no earlier than February 14, 2024 and the mission will be streamed live on NASA TV and https://www.intuitivemachines.com/im-1.

“Columbia is focused on developing and testing new technologies in challenging environments and our ongoing partnership with Intuitive Machines has the potential to drive even more innovation for our brand. As we look forward, we have an opportunity to set new standards – for ourselves and for the industry,” said Joe Boyle, Brand President of Columbia Sportswear.

The full assembly of Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander. Photo – Business Wire

IM-1 will be Intuitive Machine’s first of three scheduled lunar landings as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (“CLPS”) initiative, a key part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration efforts. The science and technology payloads sent to the Moon’s surface as part of CLPS will lay the foundation for a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface and the commercial development of the Moon.

“Creating and defining the lunar economy requires innovation beyond the industry norm,” said Steve Altemus, President and CEO of Intuitive Machines. “By integrating Columbia’s Omni-Heat Infinity technology into our IM-1 lunar mission, we believe we’re trailblazing a path for near-term Earth solutions and the next generation of commercial space exploration that will open access to the Moon for the progress of humanity.”

To celebrate this historic moment, Columbia is taking over the exterior of Sphere in Las Vegas on February 19 to highlight the important role that Omni-Heat Infinity technology is playing throughout this important mission.

Posted: February 12, 2024

Source: Columbia Sportswear Company

AATCC Announces New Corporate Member Benefit https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/2024/02/aatcc-announces-new-corporate-member-benefit/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 17:24:55 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92874 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — February 12, 2024 — AATCC prides itself on offering Corporate Members many tangible benefits in addition to increased visibility, access opportunities and ongoing communication. As part of that commitment, AATCC is launching a new, Corporate Member exclusive marketing platform: Corporate Member News.

Thanks to the feedback of Corporate Members, the Association has revamped the previously offered Whitepaper Benefit with a modern, streamlined news feed. Corporate Member News is a dedicated landing where Corporate Members can share not only Whitepapers, but also videos, brochures, blog posts, staff updates, and more! This all-in-one offering is hosted on AATCC Communities, the networking member forum by AATCC, where Corporate Members will be able to market directly to AATCC Members. The site will also be publicly viewable, which means that members can share Corporate Member News links directly with coworkers and customers alike.

In the meantime, AATCC encourages members to stay active on AATCC Communities. Use your Individual or Student Member login information to access the different Communities available; Interest Group pages contain recorded webinars with guest and AATCC speakers, the AATCC Publications Community has podcast episodes available, and Local Section groups are planning their 2024 activities. Members will also be surveyed on how they’ve enjoyed their first year and new features they’d like to see in the coming months, so feel free to explore before sharing your feedback.

Posted: February 12, 2024

Source: AATCC

JEC WORLD 2024: Composites At The Heart Of Sports Innovation https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/2024/02/jec-world-2024-composites-at-the-heart-of-sports-innovation/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 17:15:42 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92872 PARIS — February 12, 2024 — As the world turns its attention to France for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, JEC will be hosting, with Global Sports Week Paris, a day dedicated to sports and composites on March 7, 2024. This day will demonstrate how these revolutionary materials are redefining performance standards in 18 Olympic and Paralympic summer sports. From archery to sailing, composites are ubiquitous, offering lightness, resilience, and performance.

Composites and Sports: the era of optimized performance

The increasing use of composites in sports is redefining the standards of performance. These materials offer a unique combination of lightness, strength, and flexibility, enabling the manufacturing of cutting-edge sports equipment. From traditional Olympic and Paralympic sports like athletics and cycling to emerging disciplines like skateboarding, composites are omnipresent and greatly contribute to the evolution of athletic performances.

Approaching the 2024 Games, JEC World has chosen to highlight the undeniable impact of these innovative materials on the world of sports through a dedicated day on March 7, 2024. Developed with the Global Sports Week Paris, France’s leading international forum for the sports ecosystem, this Sports Summit will showcase concrete examples of innovations that increases the level of competition in each discipline.

A comprehensive program serving innovation

This special day focused on discovery and exchange will address numerous topics related to sports and composites such as:

  • The material at the heart of performance: lightness, resilience, stiffness, elasticity (…): the properties of composites can be a real added value.
  • The sports industry, a laboratory for composites innovation: new materials, new processes, sports provide a playground to test innovations that other sectors can only adopt after long industrial certification and implementation processes. How do major companies use the sports industry to test new processes, techniques…?
  • Sports for all with composites: equipment for Paralympic sports, physical protection of athletes (masks, helmets, cockpits…), and applications in the field of health.
  • Sports & ESG criteria (Environmental, Social, and Governance) – athletes, nature, and composites: athletes are pioneering the use of natural materials (bio-sourced and/or recyclable fibers and resins).
  • Foil & Composites: how composites have revolutionized competitive water sports and sports in general?

First speakers (other names will be announced soon):

  • Xavier Roussin-Bouchard, Innovation Director, Rossignol
  • Thomas Dupont, Composite R&D Manager, Look Group
  • Damian Cessario, Founder and CEO, V-Carbon
  • Christophe Lecompte, VP of Biomechanical Solutions – Research & Development, Össur
  • Luca Rizzotti, Founder, The Foiling Organization

To offer visitors a complete experience, the “Discover Composites” area, an immersive exhibition tracing the evolution of composites in sports, has been created at the entrance of Hall 6. This space will showcase a panorama of sports using composites as well as the major milestones associated with them. This exploration will reveal how composites shape the present and future of sports.


  • 09:30-12:30 : Sports conferences
    Round tables, debates, and testimonials will show how composites serve sports on one hand, and how sports serve innovation in composites on the other.

JEC World 2024 offers much more than a mere industrial event. It celebrates a unique convergence between the ingenuity of composites and sporting excellence, highlighting how these materials transform every discipline.

Posted: February 12, 2024

Source: JEC Group

Solvay Completes Coal Phase-Out At Its US Green River Soda Ash Plant https://www.textileworld.com/textile-world/2024/02/solvay-completes-coal-phase-out-at-its-us-green-river-soda-ash-plant/ Mon, 12 Feb 2024 17:01:12 +0000 https://www.textileworld.com/?p=92867 BRUSSELS — February 12, 2024 — From the entrances of its Green River, Wyoming soda ash plant and Brussels headquarters, Solvay announced the successful completion of the North American-based facility’s coal phase-out initiative.

Green River Soda Ash Plant, Wyoming, USA

The Green River facility produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from trona, a naturally occurring mineral. These products are used in numerous applications including flat glass for building insulation, container glass, detergents, animal feed, food and flue gas treatment, as well as fast growing markets for solar panels and lithium carbonate for electric battery vehicles.

Philippe Kehren

“Solvay is determined to undertake its energy transition and reduce its carbon footprint through a number of initiatives, including coal phase-out. From today, we will no longer use coal at Green River. The decision to power this strategic, natural soda ash facility with natural gas enhances Solvay’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability,” said Philippe Kehren, Solvay CEO.

The Green River plant historically used coal as a primary energy source. Solvay’s global sustainability goals include a commitment to phase out coal for energy production before 2030. By 2025, overall emissions from Green River will have decreased by 20% compared to 2021, despite a 25% increase in production.

Following acquisition of the plant’s full ownership, Solvay announced plans in November 2022 to resume the construction of a 600 kiloton soda ash capacity expansion. The completion of the new terminal at the port of Vancouver US will support this expanded capacity and meet customers’ growing demand for a secure, competitive and decarbonized supply of soda ash.

“The capacity expansion remains on track, with production set to begin early next year,” said Philippe Kehren. “On top of the coal phase-out, Green River will soon deploy innovative technology to further reduce its emissions. Solvay is the first company to implement regenerative thermal oxidation to abate greenhouse gas emissions in a trona mine.”

Solvay operates seven soda ash plants worldwide. Beyond Green River, coal is being phased out at two plants, located in France and Germany. By the end of 2024, Solvay’s Rheinberg, Germany site will become the first soda ash plant in the world to be powered primarily with renewable energy. The last two Solvay plants using coal for energy production, located in Spain and Bulgaria, have also begun their journey with partial introduction of biomass and gas.

Posted: February 12, 2024

Source: Solvay