WHEN TEXTILE MATERIALS ARE ESSENTIAL….
Unfortunately, only with the ongoing health crisis the value of advanced textile materials arise.
To protect firefighters, at the operating theatre, in airplanes, in cars, to protect crops, to isolate buildings, to manufacture hot-air balloons, to hold loads, to protect from the sun or to filter. These are advanced textile materials, where functionality is more important than aesthetics. They are everywhere and they are being manufactured in Catalonia.
From AEI TÈXTILS, the Catalan Technical Textiles’ Cluster that gathers the companies of the sector, we want to express the pride to count with a group of companies and organisations that have been able to tackle the circumstances in these difficult moments. They are taking action to respond to the health system needs.
MANUFACTURAS ARPE, S.L., manufacturer of promotional products with microfiber fabrics, is manufacturing masks for general use and working to obtain the homologation to supply the surgical masks developed in-house.
LAMINATS ORIENT, S.L. is focusing its production to manufacture mattress covers and they are working on developing materials for surgical gowns and other health applications in order to face the pandemic.
MITSA and Bedding Industrial Begudà, S.L., manufacturer of laminated fabrics and manufacturer of bedding products, are now producing masks and gowns for general use, and assessing the possible homologation of laminated fabrics for medical applications.
HILATURAS ARNAU, S.L. continues to produce recycled yarns from wool and polyamide, which are used to manufacture mask filters and other recycled yarns as raw materials for essential products.
CINPASA, since the beginning of the crisis, adapted its own and outsourced production lines to manufacture rigid and elastic tapes for companies that manufacture masks, protective screens and products for the healthcare sector.
Also, BONDITEX, S.A. has adapted its production to service basic products, both laminate, water-repellent, antibacterial, etc., for general practitioner gowns as well as for surgical ones.
ETISILK, S.A., an outdoor fabrics manufacturer, is working on the homologation of its fabrics for medical purposes (gowns and masks).
FINISH, S.A. is working in water repellent and biocidal finishing processes on fabrics for masks and it plans to perform water repellent finishing on nonwoven for gowns.
PROLINE BARCELONA (Articles Tècnics de Niló, S.L.) has designed, and is now manufacturing, individual protection masks (screen) for healthcare staff and/or other sectors that need this protection. Other items they manufacture include hospital food cart covers.
In TEXBER, S.A., they keep manufacturing fabrics to supply their customers, who producte products for operating theatres, uniforms and bedding, among others.
ANTEX is supplying mass-dyed low DPF yarns and yarns with permanent antimicrobial properties for the manufacturing of sanitary materials, such as filters and fabrics for the production of masks and gowns, among other applications.
LEITAT TECHNOLOGICAL CENTER, together with a group of companies and institutions led by the alliance between the Consorci de la Zona Franca and the centre itself, have developed and started the manufacturing of respirators using 3D printing technology.
The centennial company LIASA, La Industrial Algodonera, is manufacturing the elastic band that holds the respirator on the patient's head. LIASA has adapted its manufacturing process to design an appropriate band that incorporates metal terminals for a faster placement of the respirator bands.
Other companies, although not for the health sector, continue to provide materials (yarns or fabrics) that are required to manufacture essential goods such as clothing for the security forces or firefighters. One of these companies is the knitting fabrics’ manufacturer C.P. ALUART, S.L.
On the other hand, experts in INTEXTER (Institute of Textile Research and Industrial Cooperation of Terrassa), from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), are advising companies and the Administration on technical specifications of textile materials.
The UPC and the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia from CSIC have donated all their available lab material stock (gloves, glasses and masks) to hospitals and retirement homes. Some companies in the cluster have also donated materials, such as FINSA who provided 1,000 FPP2 masks to Igualada’s hospital.
These are just a few examples of our members’ actions. They are possible thanks to the determined efforts they have made in the last years in terms of research, development and innovation, which have allowed them to stay at the forefront, even in complex situations as the one we are facing today.
AEI Tèxtils keeps working for supporting our members. In the last weeks, the cluster has implemented several measures, such as: informing and advising on issues related to the manufacture of products for medical or health uses; promoting the interaction among our members to boost complementarities; working on the preparation of project proposals to support increasing the competitiveness of our members: and remaining active within our international network, through the European Economic Interest Grouping EU-TEXTILE2030 and CONTEXT. These enables being in contact with other organizations and experts at European level, to share experiences, contacts, knowledge, etc. that can help us respond to the needs of our members.
At the same time, and in continuous communication with our members, a dedicated support plan is being drafted and will be implemented in the coming months.