Global workwear textile manufacturer Carrington Textiles received the Fabric and Fibre Innovation accolade for its latest stretch military fabric at the Protective Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW) Summit and Awards event held in Porto, Portugal from November 7-9.
“Carrington’s Spartan HT Flex Lite is a fabric that uniquely combines high-performance durability with exceptional comfort and flexibility,” said Elena Lai, secretary general of the European Textile Services Association (ETSA), which hosted the event. “Developed specifically for military applications, it provides the optimal balance between robustness and wearability that defence personnel require.”
At a weight of 195gsm, Spartan HT Flex Lite is the only product from the Spartan military ripstop fabric family that incorporates 2% Lycra and 37% cotton in its composition, along with 61% Cordura military grade high tenacity nylon 6.6 for strength and durability.
Carrington Textiles was the premier sponsor of this three-day event, which started with a tour of a series of production facilities including the company’s own Portuguese factory, MGC, where visitors learnt about the full manufacturing process and the sustainable technologies implemented at the site to produce the factory’s own steam with natural resources.
Day 2 continued with a summit focusing on industry topics of interest.
In his opening speech, Carrington Textiles sales and marketing Director and member of the PCIAW board, Paul Farrell, said: “It’s exciting for us to be a part of this wonderful event, the first to be held outside of the UK, in the city of Porto. As a founding member of the PCIAW it brings me immense pleasure to see our collective vision come to life here in Portugal, which is a place close to our manufacturing heart. This is an important production location for our group, ensuring that we are close to our customers in mainland Europe. Over the past years, PCIAW has evolved into a formidable platform. We have also been privileged to leverage this by expanding our own network and making connections both nationally and internationally.”
A series of insightful discussion panels focused on the industry’s major topics also took place at the event.
Carrington’s business strategy analyst Louise Becart participated in a panel discussing the implications of the EU’s Textile Strategy.
“There is currently an industry wide lack of understanding of these upcoming regulations,” she said. “Fortunately, we have transparency throughout our supply chain and work with our customers to help them find the right solutions and provide them with the correct data for them to comply.”
In terms of sustainability, Becart explained that the company sees an increasing demand for sustainability credentials, including in public tenders for the defence sector.
“We have also been working to understand the causes of microfibre shedding,” she added. “Whilst not conclusive, we found that there was a reduction in shedding by utilising different spinning methods. Data suggests that vortex spun fibres shed less than ring spun. We are now able to include CiCLO technology to polyester during the extrusion phase, so it biodegrades at a rate comparable to natural, cellulosic fibres. This is a strategy to mitigate the problem.”
Future industry talent
Carrington was also a fabric sponsor of the event’s student design competition, PCA Vision, that took place on Day 3 during the awards ceremony.
This year’s winner, Sophie Woodlife, from Manchester Metropolitan University, designed a striking high visibility workwear garment for airport groundcrew, coming in a variety of styles including hoodies and cargo shorts. In her design, Sophie chose Carrington’s Alaska Pro 2 waterproof fabric due to its compliance with EN20471 standards, which is ideal for keeping air traffic control crew safe.
Finalists Megan Dyson used Tomboy black, yellow and saffron colours for her New York-inspired corporatewear, while Connor Read incorporated a mix of the Carrington’s Coolcel 200 Plus, Meridian and Astacon 180S fabrics to build his nature conservationist workwear.