CRAILAR FEATURED IN WWD ARTICLE ON INNOVATION IN FIBERS
Linen, cotton and nylon might have some competition ahead in a string of new fibers being developed for apparel and other uses.
One of the most-talked-about developments is Crailar, a fiber similar to linen but, according to the Federal Trade Commission, is a new natural fiber made from flax and other bast fibers. The FTC ruled last month that “The Crailar process involves a manner of obtaining flax fibers that does not chemically alter them,” and that “the attributes of the fibers differ from those of linen.”
Jay Nalbach, chief marketing officer of Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc., which produces and markets Crailar, said, “Our process results in a pure flax product that feels and can be cared for like cotton, and we believe that articulating that at retail is an important part of the unique brand proposition for Crailar flax, to the merchandising opportunities of our partner brands and to the relationship we intend to build with consumers.”
In April, Crailar flax earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased product label verifying that the product’s amount of renewable biobased ingredients meets or exceeds prescribed USDA standards.
The company has begun supplying its Crailar flax to Hanesbrands Inc., Georgia-Pacific and Brilliant Global Knitwear for commercial use, and to such firms as Levi Strauss & Co. and PVH Corp. for evaluation and development. Crailar produces a soft natural flax-based fiber that can be blended with cotton, wool and other natural fibers, Nalbach explained.
In May, NAT and Lenzing Fibers entered a joint development agreement to evaluate the blending of Crailar flax fibers with Lenzing’s Tencel and modal cellulosic fibers. Last month, NAT commenced delivery of 100,000 pounds of fiber to Target Corp. It will be introduced in goods for spring retailing. The agreement calls for two years of exclusivity in the category and for Target’s evaluation of Crailar flax in a number of home goods.
NAT is in construction on its first full-scale production facility in Pamplico, S.C., and last week obtained private placement financing for production to begin in the second half of 2013. Currently, the fiber is being produced at a pilot facility in nearby Kingstree.
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