CRAiLAR Fiber Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT), has collaborated with Canada's National Research Council to develop technologies for producing cellulose pulp, bast fibers, and by-products.
NAT has announced that along with Barnhardt Manufacturing, it has completed the final 100-ton production and commercialization trial of the CRAiLAR Flax Fiber, a sustainable natural fiber.
The CRAiLAR Flax Fiber is to be used by Levi Strauss for apparel product trials, by Georgia-Pacific for formed materials, and also by other companies. In September 2011, the CRAiLAR Flax Fiber had been evaluated for a short period of less than six months, following which NAT had entered into a three-year purchasing agreement with Georgia-Pacific. Since then, the collaboration has identified potential chances for advancing the performance of the product.
NAT and Levi are continuing the development of the CRAiLAR Flax Fiber and will use it in a large-scale production trial for the retail market. The trial is expected to yield material for around 50,000 units of a normal Levi product.
The CEO of NAT, Ken Barker stated that the trial validated the CRAiLAR fibre and also demonstrated that the technology can cater to large volumes. The company is nearing completion of its production facility in Pamplico, South Carolina. This is a significant milestone, he said.
The partner brands have not yet revealed any retail plans. They will be deciding the time to introduce products based on CRAiLAR Flax Fiber.