By Gary Thomas
Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT) and Lenzing Group, headquartered in Austria, have signed a joint development agreement to evaluate the mixing of CRAiLAR Flax fibers with Lenzing Modal and TENCEL cellulosic fibers.
Lenzing is a manufacturer of high-quality manmade cellulosic fibers on an industrial scale and its fibers are largely utilized in the non-woven industry and also in the textile industry, including sportswear and outerwear.
The main aim of the agreement is to produce an array of yarns that are ideal for application in the sport and fashion industries. These yarns will feature Lenzing Modal and TENCEL, as well as advanced sustainability platforms from CRAiLAR. The agreement will also leverage wicking and water absorption properties of each company to develop an alternative fiber material for application in athletic and sport performance. In addition, the joint agreement is signed to create a blended yarn with CRAiLAR natural fiber and Lenzing's cellulosic fibers for use in the women's fashion market.
Ken Barker, CEO at NAT, stated that their commercial and exploratory collaboration agreements focus on how the CRAiLAR fiber can be blended at varying levels along with natural fibers for industrial, home and apparel applications. Through the partnership with Lenzing, NAT can now assess the opportunity to extend the number of host fibers with which CRAiLAR can be blended to discover new performance characteristics, industries and applications, added Barker.
NAT is currently constructing its first full-scale manufacturing plant in Pamplico, South Carolina and expects to start delivering fiber from the plant in the third quarter of 2012. The company has planned to collaborate with Barnhardt Manufacturing and Tintoria Piana to process CRAiLAR Flax fiber.