Sew long

Week of August 27, 2001

Bobbin continues to evolve

The sewn products industry converged on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for the Bobbin World trade show earlier this month.

By Alfred Dockery

ORLANDO, FL — The recent Bobbin World show at the Orange County Convention Center featured all of the hallmarks of a successful trade show: significant new technology, diverse product offerings and reasonably good attendance.

The show continues to evolve from what was an apparel events with primary emphasis on sewing machines 10 years ago to a sewn products show stressing computer-based solutions, automation and supply chain management.

While attendance was strong at Bobbin World, it was lighter than that of the old Bobbin Show in Atlanta. Several factors explain the drop: the sewn products industry in the United States is smaller than it was just a few years ago; trade shows are not the major draw that they were before the Internet; and, of course, the sluggish economy has companies cutting travel budgets.

Still, major exhibitors like Lectra, Gerber, Jet Sew and American & Efird had busy booths throughout the three-day event. The Textile/Clothing Technology Corp., [TC]2, also had strong traffic in its Digital Zone, a mini-trade show within Bobbin World, which touted currently available technologies designed to keep the sewn products design process digital for as long as possible. (STN will have more on The Digital Zone next week in part two of our Bobbin World coverage.)

Despite last year’s dot-com meltdown, the Internet was still very much on the mind of exhibitors and visitors. Almost all of the computer system vendors at Bobbin World had some product aimed to share design or manufacturing information between remote manufacturing sites and company headquarters.

Network Systems’, an e-application designed to give companies more visibility of sales orders, invoices, shipments and manufacturing orders, is an excellent example. With this software, offshore contractors and remote sales people can access and share information with only a Web browser and a password.

“What we have seen with the Internet is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning,” said Daniel Harari, Lectra chairman and CEO.

ATMI report ...

Week of August 27, 2001

Points finger at Far East

WASHINGTON, DC — Referring to the fact that more than 100 textile/apparel plants have closed and about 60,000 textile employees have lost their jobs over the past year, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) Monday released a comprehensive report, “CRISIS IN U.S. TEXTILES — The Impact of the Asian Currency Devaluations and the U.S. Government Actions Urgently Needed to Rebalance the Competitive Situation.”

The 25-page report delves into the causes of the industry’s problems, the problems themselves and actions needed to help the industry recover. It includes a list of plant closings and layoffs since the Asian financial crisis began in 1997. (That list, with additions, will be published in the STN’s Textile South edition on September 17.)

“This report describes in detail the crisis situation U.S. textile companies are now facing as a result of Asian currency devaluations and current U.S. strong dollar policies,” said ATMI President Charles A. Hayes, chairman of Guilford Mills, Inc. “It points out that, ‘Over the last 12 months, the crisis has intensified as Asian currencies have continued to fall, and more than 100 textile plants in the United States have been closed and 60,000 textile workers — more than 10 percent of the industry work force — have lost their jobs.

“The industry is now suffering its worst downturn in 50 years.”

Hayes added that the crisis was created by governments in Asia, and the U.S. government must act “or else many thousands more U.S. jobs will be lost.”

The report notes that, already faced with the challenges of increased imports, lower tariffs and the phaseout of textile and apparel quotas, the U.S. textile industry has spent billions of dollars annually on new plants and equipment, set new productivity records, developed innovative new products and dramatically expanded its export base — all in an effort to remain competitive.

But, as Hayes said, “Unfortunately, all our efforts to remain competitive that were working prior to 1998 have been negated by the overwhelming impact of these unprecedented Asian currency devaluations.”

The report states, “In 1997-98, the currencies of almost all the major textile exporting countries in Asia collapsed, causing a shock wave of artificially low-priced textile and apparel products to hit the United States. Textile imports from Asia, which had shown relatively little growth over the past 10 years, jumped 80 percent over the next four years as Asian currencies dropped by an average of 40 percent. As a result, prices for U.S. textile products have plummeted, causing U.S. textile profits to evaporate and, last year, turn sharply negative.”

ATMI noted in a release that the U.S. textile industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the country, with nearly one half million workers, an annual payroll of $15 billion and annual shipments of close to $80 billion. The overall textile complex, including cotton growers, fiber producers and machinery makers, employs more than 1 million U.S. people.

According to the report, “The crisis facing the industry today has reached a point that the U.S. government must move quickly to re-adjust the competitive situation or risk the loss of one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country.

“Government actions should include emergency actions to curb import surges, a crackdown on Asian smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border and Chinese transshipments through Asia, opening closed export markets in Asia, a commitment not to reduce textile and apparel tariffs in the next WTO trade round, loan guarantees and expanding tax loss carry-back provisions to 10 years, among others.”

STN Mailbox

Week of August 27, 2001

Cotton Council has say on CBI issue

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send your comments online by using the Letters link here on the STN website; or by mail to Devin Steele, PO Box 241028, Charlotte, NC 28224; by e-mail to; or by fax to (704) 527-5114.

Helms supported; now let’s resolve CBI snafu

To the Editor:

The National Cotton Council strongly supports the efforts of Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and other textile state members of Congress who are working to preserve jobs in this important manufacturing sector. We are especially supportive of their efforts to ensure that the CBI-Africa bill is implemented by the U.S. Customs Service in a way that helps protect American jobs.

Virtually every week we learn of yet another U.S. textile mill bankruptcy resulting from an avalanche of imports containing non-U.S.-sourced cotton and textiles. The NAFTA legislation, passed in 1994, provided some relief for the U.S. cotton and textile industries. With passage of NAFTA, imports of products from Mexico containing U.S. cotton and textiles began to displace products from Asia that contained mostly foreign cotton and textiles. The result was a boost in U.S. mill activity.

The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) was to deliver still more relief. However, a delay in passage and the implementation uncertainty since enactment nearly a year ago have sharply curbed benefits.

Since 1997, U.S. mill consumption of cotton has fallen from 11.4 million bales to just under 8 million. Only 3 million of the 8 million bales go into products that are entirely of U.S. origin from field to retail counter. The rest is U.S. textiles shipped to Mexico or a Caribbean Basin country for fabrication and re-entry into the U.S. market.

But, importantly, these products contain our cotton and our yarns and fabrics produced by our workers. By 2005, the U.S. field-to-retail-counter business is expected to fall to 1.5 million bales. If the CBTPA implementation uncertainties can be resolved quickly, there is a good chance we can rely on the trading partnership with these neighboring countries to halt losses in U.S. mill output and perhaps even restore growth.

Otherwise, the full benefits of CBTPA will never materialize, domestic cotton consumption will dwindle away and jobs will be transferred to Asia.

An eight-point proposal aimed at resolving CBTPA implementation issues has won the endorsement of a broad alliance of fiber, textile and apparel interests. This proposal, which has the support of Senator Helms, will help protect jobs throughout the industry, including the 50,000 U.S. printing and finishing jobs Senator Helms has sought to preserve. We commend the Senator’s support of this proposal and pledge the cotton industry’s best efforts to win Congressional and Administration support for its ultimate approval.

Gaylon B. Booker
President and CEO
National Cotton Council of America
Memphis, TN

Look within for solution, not toward Washington

To the editor:

Was there a way to stop the Titanic from sinking? Our textile industry has hit an iceberg, for sure, and unless a rescue can be made it too will go under. The lip service our government has given to “fair trade” is so old, it has mold on it. Nothing will come out of Washington to change the giving away of our manufacturing base. Anyone who thinks Washington is the solution is in fantasy land.

If I had Billy Graham’s money I could spend the rest of my life at the pulpit preaching common sense. How can “Americans” go into Wal-Mart and not be paralyzed when they come out with everything in their sack made in China?

When I received my latest catalog from Lands’ End I was horrified with what I saw. In response, I wrote a letter to the president and CEO of Lands’ End.

Do we have to have World War III to wake up America? Believe me, at times I think that’s the only way (or a full-fledged depression).

Robert J. Edsall
Textile Marketing Services
Greenville, SC

Editor’s note: Following are excerpts of the letter Edsall wrote to David F. Dyer, president and CEO of Land’s End, based in Dodgeville, WI.

Dear Mr. Dyer:

Just received your 124 page, “Great Go-togethers.” Here’s your report card: imported products — 136; made in USA — 19; USA or imported — 24.

Question: are you becoming the Wal-Mart (China Town, as I call them) of the direct merchants? There’s something wrong with this picture. Of the 179 items above, 76 percent are imported. I also find it interesting that you single out only Brazil, England and Spain by name as country of origin. Do I assume all the rest is China?

I would like to ask you three questions:

1. As our manufacturing plants continue to close (as we are experiencing in the textile South, right now) and thousands are unemployed, who are you going to sell your products to in the USA?

2. Name one (just one) Chinese manufacturing company by name (as you can a German, Japanese, French, etc. company).

3. Name one (just one) Chinese brand name (as you can with Honda, Mercedes, etc.).

China is not in global trade to build businesses and make a profit, as American companies are. They operate under their own rules to generate dollars. It matters not what it takes to achieve that goal. Profit, brand and name recognition, marketing expertise, customer service are not in their vocabulary.

Lands’ End has a lot more horsepower than I do to reach those responsible for trade relations and enforcing trade laws. Every branch of State and Federal government should be hearing from Lands’ End and what you are doing to guard our manufacturing industries. Charity begins at home, Mr. Dyer. And you, as head of Lands’ End and me as proprietor of a small business, must exercise our influence every day, every week, all the time.

I am not talking about waving the American flag — that will take World War III to have an affect. I’m talking about taking a stand and preaching the gospel of what’s good for America is what’s good for every American.

You’re smart marketers. Put that to work for America. You’ll clean your competitors clock.

Charge it

Week of August 27, 2001

NCSU prof developing more
eco-friendly dyeing cotton process

Dr. Peter Hauser, associate professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science at N.C. State University, says his new process for dyeing cotton entails treating the fiber with a chemical that gives it a positive charge that attracts negatively charged dyes.

RALEIGH, NC — A textile scientist at North Carolina State University is developing a more efficient method of dyeing cotton that he claims is not only less harmful to the environment, but also uses significantly smaller amounts of energy, water and salt in the dyeing process.

The key to the new process, called cationic fiber modification, is treating the cotton with a chemical that gives it a positive charge that attracts negatively charged dyes.

“The new process is much more efficient and saves about half of the time normally required to dye cotton. It uses one-third of the energy and only 20 percent of the water used in traditional methods, and no salt,” said Dr. Peter Hauser, associate professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science.

Traditionally, cotton is dyed using water-soluble dyes, but these compounds don’t naturally adhere well to cotton, so large amounts of salt must also be added to the mix to make the dye less soluble and better at adhering. The amount of salt needed sometimes approaches ratios of 1-to-1 by weight of the fabric. Large amounts of water are also needed — it takes eight gallons of water to dye one pound of fabric.

In cationic fiber modification, a chemical called N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl) trimethylammonium chloride is applied to the cotton before it is dyed. The chemical gives the cotton fiber a permanent positive electrical charge, which strongly attracts the negatively charged dyes. All cotton dyes have negative electrical charges.

As a result of the electrical attraction, less dye is needed, Hauser said, and the colors in the fabric appear to be more vivid. There is no noticeable change in the texture of the cotton fiber, he added.

Another benefit of the new process, he said, is that it can be done using standard dyeing and finishing machines, so manufacturers don’t have to retool their operations.


Week of August 27, 2001

Helms: A champion of textiles

THE U.S. TEXTILE industry is losing a friend and defender in Sen. Jesse Helms. The North Carolina Republican announced last week that he will retire from the U.S. Senate next year, his 30th on Capitol Hill. Say what you want about Helms — and he is one of the most polarizing figures in this political era — but you can’t argue with the fact that Helms is a man of conviction. He stands firmly by his beliefs, even in the face of bitter scrutiny, condemnation and hostility — sometimes from within his own party.

Rooted deeply in those convictions, Helms rarely takes the path of least resistance. For that, he has been called bullheaded, narrow-minded, mean-spirited, uncompromising. And also for that, he has been called loyal, principled, devout, relentless. Depending on your point of view, of course.

One thing is for sure: the staunch conservative has never lost sight of the interests of his constituency, though occasionally that meant being at odds with fellow Republicans. He has strongly advocated the interests of industries back home, particularly farming and textiles.

HIS MOST-PUBLICIZED squabble of late, of course, came in recent months when he temporarily blocked the confirmation of several Treasury Department nominees over a dispute affecting thousands of textile jobs — much to the dismay of President Bush. Helms was protesting proposed Customs regulations that would allow dyeing and finishing to occur in either the U.S. or Caribbean Basin. In seeking to protect U.S. jobs, he wanted the processes to occur only in the U.S.

“I’m not going to let it go unnoticed that about 4,000 people (in North Carolina) will lose their jobs who are not trained to do anything else,” Helms said during the standoff.

Though the issue is yet to be resolved, Helms withdrew his opposition of the nominees when Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill agreed that final Customs regulations would not be implemented until a legislative solution has been reached.

HELMS’ DEFENSE of textiles has drawn praise from the industry over the years. During the annual meeting of the American Textile Manufacturers’ Institute (ATMI) in March, he, along with Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), received the industry’s highest honor, the Samuel Slater Award, for their exceptional contributions to the domestic textile industry.

Helms’ announcement of his impending retirement brought plaudits from ATMI President Charles Hayes last week. “Sen. Helms has made preserving the viability of the U.S. textile industry a top priority throughout his 30-year career in the Senate,” the Guilford Mills chairman said in a statement. “Every president, from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, knew that they would have to answer to Sen. Helms on issues affecting the textile industry.”

Hayes added: “As the senior senator from the top textile-producing state in the country, Sen. Helms has been an ardent and effective advocate for preserving American textile jobs. He has never hesitated to use every tool at his disposal to fight for our industry’s future.”

For the next 16 months, Helms no doubt will continue to fight for U.S. textile interests. We thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best in his retirement.

Possible nominees for Helms’ post already have been bandied about. One name that has surfaced is Robin Hayes, the U.S. Congressman who represents the 8th District of North Carolina. Hayes, whose great-grandfather founded Cannon Mills in the 1800s, owns Mt. Pleasant Hosiery Mill near Concord, NC. Like Helms, he has championed the industry during his time in office. Earlier this summer, for instance, he discussed with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans the effects foreign textile and apparel imports are having on the domestic industry.

With such a track record on textile issues, we encourage Robin Hayes to seriously consider a run for the Senate next year. Though there will never be another Jesse Helms, the textile industry can always use a supporter in Washington.

Delta Woodside to ax 128

Week of August 27, 2001

GREENVILLE, SC — Delta Woodside Industries, Inc. announced Wednesday the closing of its Furman Plant, a 128-employee weaving facility located in Fountain Inn, SC.

The closing is directly related to the continued weakness of the textile and apparel industry, which has forced the company to adjust its production capacity, according to Delta Woodside. With the move, the company said it should be able to better balance production with demand while still allowing for growth beyond recent sales trends.

While the company projects that it will incur first-quarter costs in the range of $8 to $10 million for asset impairments and closing costs, it anticipates this move should enhance cash flow and improve operating results in the fiscal year.

“This is a very difficult decision that we regret having to make; however, we can no longer justify keeping this facility open,” said Bill Garrett, president and CEO. This initiative should allow full utilization of our state-of-the-art Beattie facility, improve our cash position and strengthen our efforts to return the company to profitability.

“Also, our remaining cotton weaving facilities will allow for sales growth beyond our sales plan for the current fiscal year.”

Garrett added that the company is working to place as many affected employees as possible in other company facilities or with other employers in the Greenville area.

The week prior, the company said it lost more than $5 million, or 22 cents a share, during the fourth quarter. For the year, the manufacturer lost $3.5 million, or 15 cents a share.

Gerber Childrenswear …

Week of August 27, 2001

to cut about 130 jobs

PELZER, SC — Gerber Childrenswear, Inc. has eliminated its bed and bath manufacturing departments at its facility here, laying off about 130 people in the process, the company announced on August 18.

The company, which makes infant and toddler apparel, announced the cutbacks as it reported lower sales and income for the second quarter.

Gerber registered sales of $32.9 million, a decrease of $5.8 million from the same period last year. Income was $1.4 million, down 30 percent from $2.3 million for the comparable 2000 quarter.

The company “must constantly make changes in its operations, depending on seasonal product mix, consumer demand for its products and cost considerations,” Gerber said in a statement. “The timing of the announcement is a reflection of an increasingly competitive apparel industry and the company’s commitment to react to this competitive environment.”

In addition to its manufacturing plant here, Gerber Childrenswear has some of its headquarters in Greenville, SC, and some in New York City.


Week of August 27, 2001

Innovations make headlines

Clariant Corp. releases antimicrobial product

CHARLOTTE, NC — Clariant Corporation, the exclusive global distributor of Sanitized® antimicrobial products for textiles, fibers and plastics applications, has released Sanitized Brand T 96-21.

Sanitized Brand T 96-21 is designed for the hygienic protection of fabric made from both natural and synthetic fibers. The product can be applied to fabric by both exhaust and continuous processes.

It is ideal for fabric used in such apparel as activewear, hosiery and undergarments where growth of odor-causing bacteria can be a problem. The wash durability of this product is exceptional, the company said.

Glenro uncorks latest predrying systems

PATERSON, NJ — Glenro, Inc. has designed and manufactured electric infrared predrying systems for use by textile manufacturers, printers and finishers.

Users are seeing big improvements in production efficiencies by installing or retrofitting these systems, according to the company. Electric infrared predrying improves quality and allows precise control over processing conditions, even while lines run at fast speeds, Glenro said.

Electric infrared predrying works by hitting the fabric with a blast of intense, closely controlled infrared energy before the fabric enters the conventional drying apparatus. The extra burst of energy “kicks off” the drying process by raising the fabric’s temperature. As such, drying is already under way when the fabric enters the main dryer, so line speed can be cranked up to new levels.

Gneuss presents filtration system

At K’2001, Gneuss made its first public presentation of a fully automatic filtration system for large-scale production applications.

The series is available especially for production plants with high throughputs.

Like all Gneuss’ RSFgenius fully automatic filtration systems, this system operates with a process control system for stabilization of the production process.

Minolta Corp. unveils spectrophotometer

RAMSEY, NJ — Minolta Corporation’s Instrument Systems Division (Minolta ISD) has introduced a portable, hand-held spectrophotometer that performs instant and simultaneous color measurements using adjusted, included or excluded ultraviolet (UV) and specular (gloss) compensation.

Two unique, patented features distinguish the CM-2600d portable instrument from others. First, the CM-2600d performs faster and more accurate measurements of samples with gloss differences without the need to change instrument setup or to reposition the sample, Minolta said.

The second advancement is the instrument’s ability to provide simultaneous and precise adjustment of the UV component when measuring fluorescent samples that contain a UV absorbing component or fluorescing agent.

Thermo BLH releases tension Transmitter

CANTON, MA — Thermo BLH, a manufacturer of web tension measurement and control technology, has released the multi-zone, DXp-40 Web Tension Transmitter.

DXp-40 Web Tension Transmitters measure each system tranducer or roll independently, thereby allowing one unit to monitor multiple tension zones. Patented technology synchronizes independent A/D converters so that multiple tranducers or rolls (zones) can be evaluated simultaneously.

Integrated data collected from each transducer or roll drives four high resolution analog signal outputs. Individual displays of each tranducer/roll quickly diagnose machine “hot spots” and alert system supervisors to potential failures or web breaks.

When combined with HTU tranducers, DXp-40 units measure horizontal and vertical tension components to calculate the exact resultant tension force.

Avery Dennison offers care-label printer

GREENSBORO, NC — A new versatile, 300-dpi system that prints a wide range of fabric care labels is available from Avery Dennison VIP Converted Products.

The system, called the Avery Dennison™ TTK Care-Label Printer, is offered with an integrated, high-capacity textile cutter/stacker. It is designed for distributed or centralized printing environments at apparel manufacturing sites.

The printer employs thermal transfer technology with 300-dpi resolution to print high-quality bar codes, graphics and human-readable text on care labels, including coated, woven and satin materials. Maximum print speed is 5 inches per second.

Improved Technologies introduces printers

TILTON, NH — Improved Technologies, a supplier of specialized printing solutions, has introduced two wide-format ink-jet printers to serve textile and apparel designers.

The I-Jet printer is a six-color, piezo ink-jet printer available in 46- and 62-inch wide formats. Design features such as the paper-feed mechanism and the placement of the print heads enable the machine to be ideally suited for fabric and fashion images, the company said.

The IXIA (say “zia”) is based on the IRIS 3047 platform and incorporates a new print engine using proven hertz technology. The IXIA has a vastly improved structure that eliminates printing defects, such as banding, streaking and noise patterns, the manufacturer said.

Smart-label printing available from AFE

SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA — AFE Industries, Inc. has released its Total Tech Support services for businesses interested in expanding into RFID Smart Label usage.

AFE has combined RFID custom programming capability, state-of-the-art ion-deposition variable printing capability and customized client-interactive Internet order tracking capability under one roof.

This provides RFID-interested clients with a seamless project flow, start through finish, with all programming, RFID chip substrate insertion, delivery and computerized tracking from one location, according to AFE.

AFE offers customers the ability to electronically track label orders throughout the world.

Innovations: Fibers

Week of August 27, 2001

Unifi expands performance line

GREENSBORO, NC — Unifi, Inc. introduced two yarns at this month’s Outdoor Retailer Show and International Yarn Fair, expanding the company’s performance family of yarns.

The latest innovations include: A.M.Y.™, an anti-microbial yarn with permanent odor-control properties engineered into the yarn; and Insulyte™, a hollow-fiber yarn that offers enhanced thermal and noise insulation properties.

The anti-microbial properties of A.M.Y. are engineered directly into the yarn, providing microbial-inhibiting capabilities for the life of the product, Unifi said. This offers a significantly longer life than topical anti-microbial applications that are more common in natural-fiber products, the company added.

Topical applications tend to wear off with each use, decreasing bacterial- and fungal-fighting capabilities. A.M.Y. is versatile, dyeable and will be offered in a wide range of yarn sizes, Unifi said.

Great for activewear or any material that comes in contact with the skin, A.M.Y. can be used in other Unifi performance concepts, such as Augusta™, to give spun-like aesthetics, but with stronger and longer-lasting odor-control properties, the company said.

Insulyte offers improved thermal properties to Unifi’s polyester and nylon products, making them ideal for activewear and outdoor uses, according to Unifi. Because of its unique cross-section, Insulyte will provide enhanced bulk and cover without the typical increase in fabric weight, the maker added.

Nilit to show Sensil yarns

LYON, FRANCE — Nilit Ltd. this week will present its line of specialty multi-purpose fibers, Sensil, at the Interfiliere-Lyon Mode City show.

Sensil is intended for a wide variety of markets, from intimate apparel to activewear.

“Sensil yarns are designed to accommodate the active lifestyles of men and women in the 21st century,” said Oded Breier, marketing manager for the Sensil brand. “They provide fashion designers and consumers alike with the fiber attributes they need to feel comfortable, pampered and contemporary.”

Sensil 6.6 polyamide yarns are used for circular and seamless knitting. Sensil stands for sensuality and sensibility, and represents high quality, fashionable, practical and extremely comfortable fibers, according to Breier.

“In the final garment, the consumer will learn to recognize the crucial role of a high-quality fiber in the unique result,” Breier said. “The fabrics created from Sensil fibers are soft and caressing, and feel ultra-natural, like a second skin. Seamless and ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, these easy-care fabrics are a tangible portrayal of technological advances and sleek fashion.”

At its booth at the Interfiliere-Lyon Mode City, Nilit will offer a chance to see, touch and feel Sensil yarns and fabrics in action.

Fiber Notes

Week of August 27, 2001

KoSa introduces three products

CHARLOTTE, NC — Polyester producer KoSa is adding three products to its portfolio — Imbue™, Stretch-aire® and Accepta™.

Imbue features built-in antimicrobial properties to protect the yarn.

“We believe this product has unlimited opportunities,” said David Darwin, KoSa marketing manager. “Imbue is perfect for performance and fashion apparel, but is equally well-suited for use in furnishings for hospitality, healthcare and home applications.”

Imbue is targeted for a variety of markets, including performance and fashion apparel, home furnishings, medical, hospitality and industrial. The yarn effectively resists the development of bacterial and fungal growth, which can cause odor and mold, the company said.

Stretch-aire is a specially created single polyester yarn engineered to produce a cotton-like hand and appearance with stretch. This maximum comfort yarn is ideal for use in sports and thermal wear, intimate apparel, T-shirts, loungewear and many other applications.

Stretch-aire is atmospherically dyeable and can be combined with other yarns to create new styling trends in circular and seamless knitting.

Accepta yarns, which can be dyed at lower temperatures than regular polyester, still ensure excellent color fastness and fade resistance, according to KoSa. Accepta offers improved fabric performance and hand, styling benefits and excellent printing and dyeing effects when blended with other heat-sensitive fibers, such as spandex, wool and acetate, the maker said.

Honeywell expands fiber manufacturing

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA — Honeywell Performance Fibers, a unit of the Performance Polymers & Chemicals business, announced a major expansion in the production of its Spectra® high-tenacity and high-modulus fiber to fulfill increasing demand in key growth segments.

Spectra 1000 and 2000 fibers are used in applications such as personal and vehicular protective armor, cut-resistant gloves and work-wear, ultra high-strength ropes, sail cloth for racing yachts, fishing line and many other applications.

Spectra fiber, an extended-chain polyethylene fiber, has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any manmade fiber, according to Honeywell. Light enough to float, it also exhibits superior resistance to chemicals, water and ultraviolet light, the company said.

On a related note, JHRG LLG of Spring Hope, NC, has introduced a high-strength sewing thread for use in marine canvas fabrics. Long-lasting, high-strength Supreme Protector Thread is made with Spectra® fiber from the Spectra Technologies unit of Honeywell International.

Nylstar test launches bacteriostatic fiber

GREENSBORO, NC—Nylstar, the world’s second largest producer of textile nylon yarn, has begun testing a new innovation in fiber. Called Meryl Skinlife, it’s the first bacteriostatic fiber in polyamide 6.6 that maintains the skin’s natural balance even during strenuous physical activity, according to the company.

The result of advanced research by Rhodia on polymers, Meryl Skinlife controls the proliferation of bacteria by preserving the necessary amount of bacterial skin flora needed for people’s natural defense. A bacteriostatic agent in the matrix of the polymer of Meryl Skinlife is highly resistant to repeated washing, unlike other classic surface treatments, Nylstar said. The fiber also produces fabrics that have exceptional draping, softness, lightness, breathability and easy dyeing properties.

Meryl Skinlife is being tested and produced for those items of clothing that come in direct contact with the body, specifically legwear and clothing used in fitness and active sports.

Glen Raven division …

Week of August 27, 2001

finds Caribbean partner

GLEN RAVEN, NC — Glen Raven’s Global Resources (GR2) division has formed a strategic partnership with Phoenix Apparel Resources to bring online a 70,000-square-foot cut-and-sew facility in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The agreement will enhance Glen Raven’s ability to provide complete apparel packages for its global customers, the company said.

“Our new plant allows us to offer customers competitive advantages over the Far East with cost-efficient production and rapid delivery,” said Doug Wilson, vice president of Glen Raven Global Resources.

“With the Dominican plant and a similar facility in Mexico, we can offer delivery in two months or less, not the six months that most Far Eastern producers require,” Wilson said.

The Dominican facility offers U.S. customers the benefits of greater proximity, as well as favorable trade advantages — including reduced tariffs on exports — created by the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), Wilson added.

Signed into law in the U.S. in 2000, the CBI provides beneficiary countries certain trade benefits with the U.S. similar to Mexico’s under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under CBI, apparel manufactured in eligible CBI countries from yarns and fabrics of U.S. origin will enter the U.S. free of quota and duty.

“The CBI allows countries like the Dominican Republic to compete with NAFTA’s favorable trade conditions between the U.S. and Mexico,” Wilson said. “The CBI accord levels the playing field and equalizes competition throughout the Americas, making us a stronger and more powerful trading entity.”

Glen Raven created its Global Resources division in 1995 to offer the convenience of a single source for manufacturers, providing everything from fabric to finished garments. That same year, the organization was the first major U.S. textile company to go vertical, shipping its first product from Mexico shortly after NAFTA’s passage.

Fiscal notes

Week of August 27, 2001

Delta Apparel turns profit in 4Q, FY 2001

DULUTH, GA — T-Shirt maker Delta Apparel, Inc. fell short of expectations, but did manage to turn a profit of $2.9 million, or $1.16 per share, for the fourth quarter.

Earnings were down $2.3 million from the same period last year.

Quarterly sales of $35.4 million were down $1.5 million, or 4.2 percent, from the comparable quarter of 2000.

For the year, sales were 120.4 million, a 5.2 percent increase from the prior year. Earnings were up 111 percent, to $10 million, while diluted earnings increased to $4.03 a share from $2.

Robert W. Humphreys, president and CEO, said that he expects that the company should benefit from lower cotton prices and cost savings related to the closing of the Washington, GA, sewing facility, as well as improved operating cost in its new facility in Mexico.

Culp, Inc. reports anticipated loss

HIGH POINT, NC — As anticipated, Culp, Inc. Thursday reported a loss for its first quarter and remains optimistic that it will post an operating profit for fiscal year 2002.

The company, which markets upholstery and mattress ticking, blamed its $2.9 million loss on the industry-wide slowdown in demand of home furnishings and charges from its restructuring plan. Per share, Culp lost 26 cents on sales of $86.5 million.

For the same period last year, the company lost $1.8 million, or 16 cents per share, on sales of $101.9 million.

“We are encouraged by the positive momentum in market share that is being generated by the successful new designs that we are introducing,” said Robert G. Culp III, CEO.

Burke Mills reports quarterly improvement

VALDESE, NC — Burke Mills, Inc., a processor of dyed, twisted and textured yarns for the automotive, home and contract upholstery markets, made $220,000 in the quarter after losing $68,000 in the same period a year ago.

The company posted net earnings per share of $.08, compared to a net loss of $.02 for the same quarter of 2000. Sales decreased slightly to $10.4 million.

Ciba Specialty sees earnings increase

BASEL, SWITZERLAND — Ciba Specialty Chemicals increased its net income and earnings per share during the first half of the year, despite less favorable currency rates and a slowdown in the global economy.

Sales in the first half of 2001 were 1 percent lower in local currencies than during the record first half of 2000.

The Textile Effects Segment saw lower sales but substantially higher profitability during the first half of 2001.


Week of August 27, 2001

Otto Beck had served
Trutzschler 35 years

CHARLOTTE, NC — Otto Beck, who had been associated with the Trutzschler organization for 35 years in Germany and the United States, died on July 21.

Beck retired as executive vice president of American Truetzschler in 1994.

Beck, a textile engineer, graduated from the Textile Institute in Reutlingin, Germany in 1948. He began his work with Trutzschler Gmbh & Co. in 1958 as a field technical engineer.

He came to the United States in 1964 as technical liaison for Trutzschler and its U.S. agent, Whitin Machine Works, based here. In 1969, American Truetzschler was formed here and Beck was appointed general manager.

During his career at American Truetzschler, he held various positions in management and served on the board of directors until his retirement.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Anna Beck of Mt. Holly, NC, one sister and two brothers, all of Germany.

Chemistry & Coloration

Week of August 27, 2001

Awards presented

UMIST, Datacolor, DyStar, DuPont capture awards

BRADFORD, ENGLAND — UMIST, Datacolor International, DyStar and DuPont all captured the SDC Innovation Awards 2000, the competition launched last year by the UK-based Society of Dyers and Colourists to recognize and award innovation in the global coloration industry.

The Color in Design category — for innovation in the use of color in design as applied to any material in any format — was won jointly by UMIST and Datacolor with ImageMaster CAD technology.

The Color of Process prize — for the innovative application of color in industry, with particular emphasis on productivity, styling, energy savings and environmental improvements — was won by DyStar UK with its XL+range of reactive dyes for cellulose.

Finally, the Color in Research prize — for innovation in color research into the development of colorants and the use, application and control of color — was shared by DyStar UK and DuPont UK for Stanalan/Tactel Colorsafe technology.

BASF outlines safety, environmental progress

MOUNT OLIVE, — BASF Corporation, a subsidiary of the world’s largest chemical company, BASF AG, last week outlined key areas in which the company has delivered on its stated strategy to develop innovative solutions for sustainable growth and build on its commitment to “Responsible Care,” an international chemical industry initiative.

“Responsible Care” is designed to make the chemical life cycle safer while safeguarding communities, employees and the environment. BASF’s successes in this area are outlined in the company’s Environment, Safety and Health in North America report.

AEGIS assumes Dow’s Asia distributorship

SINGAPORE — Dow Corning Corporation announced that AEGIS Environments will assume distribution in Asia (outside of Japan) of Dow Corning’s antimicrobial products.

These products are widely used by product manufacturers who sell their goods under the trusted BIOSIL® trademark. These products meet consumer demand for odor-controlling, antibacterial and antifungal protection in a wide range of products, such as socks, air filters, undergarments, shirts, shoes, gloves, kitchen sponges, diapers for adults, athletic gear and construction products.

AEGIS purchased the antimicrobial mill application business of Dow Corning in 1996 and currently distributes the antimicrobials under the AEGIS Microbe Shield Program throughout the rest of the world.

Teflon stain protection chosen by Longstreet

WILMINGTON, DE — Longstreet has chosen DuPont™ Teflon® stain protection brand to safeguard its uniforms against “life’s little accidents.”

Longstreet has teamed up Teflon stain protection to safeguard its U.S. Polo Association brand of school uniforms, and its line of nurses’ uniforms, Primary Uniform. The uniforms will be treated with Teflon stain protection, the product that fends off permanent messes and makes everyday spills and splashes easily removable.

Dystar ‘right on track’

Week of August 27, 2001

Numbers proving merger’s benefits

FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Nearly a year after the integration of BASF’s textile dyes business, DyStar said it is positive about the benefits of the merger.

“The aim was to put costs on a competitive long-term basis and reinforce our global market leadership by pooling our strengths and optimizing structures,” said DyStar CEO Alfred X. Rad said during a recent press conference. “The start went smoothly and our initial success shows that we are on the right track.”

DyStar, including BASF’s textile dyes business from last October, reported a 17 percent improvement in sales from the previous year.

In the few months of this year, demand for textile dyes declined in major markets such as the U.S., Japan and Turkey.

There are currently signs of an earnings turnaround at DyStar, the company said.

Presently, DyStar said it is examining the competitiveness of all its production sites. Two facilities in Japan (Kurosaki and Shizuoka) and one in Brazil (Jacarei) have been shut down since October 2000 and the Mt. Holly, NC site in the U.S. will be closed on October 1. Relocating production of dyes to other DyStar facilities will ensure a substantial improvement in capacity utilization and will reduce costs, the company said.

DyStar said it expects to generate further benefits by combining its marketing and administration functions at a central site. A new building for about 600 employees is being constructed in the Hochst Industrial Park here and is expected to be opened by the middle of next year.

As a result of the merger with BASF, DyStar’s worldwide head count has declined from 4,600 to 4,300 since October. The company has about 2,000 employees in Germany.