WPT Nonwovens installs US$18.5M melt-spinning PLA fiber nonwoven line at Beaver Dam, Kentucky, facility; line to produce biodegradable nonwovens for Berry Amendment-compliant fabrics for uses such as packaging, filtration, hygiene, agricultural coverings

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BEAVER DAM, Kentucky , June 21, 2023 (press release) –

In February of this year, our team proudly announced the installation of our new man-made fiber (MMF) nonwoven manufacturing line. This 18.5 million dollar investment further expands our capabilities as a trusted supplier of Berry Amendment-compliant man-made fiber (MMF) nonwoven products. 

Berry Amendment Restrictions for Clothing, Fabrics, Fibers, & Yarns
The Berry Amendment prohibits the Department of Defense (DoD) from using “funds appropriated or otherwise available to DoD for procurement of food, clothing, fabrics, fibers, yarns, other made-up textiles, and hand or measuring tools that are not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States”. This regulatory requirement has been crucial in maintaining the safety and security of our armed forces, and has been extremely important to the viability of the textile and clothing production base in the United States.

The Berry Amendment sets forth specifications that are somewhat broad and is meant to be handled on a case-by case basis. It applies to a wide range of products, including clothing, textiles, tents, and tarps, as well as individual equipment (Federal Supply Class 8465) manufactured from or containing such fibers, yarns, fabrics, or materials. The law also specifies:

  • Cotton and other natural fiber products
  • Woven silk or woven silk blends
  • Spun silk yarn for cartridge cloth
  • Synthetic fabric or coated synthetic fabrics
  • Canvas products
  • Wool
  • Biodegradable PLA Man-Made Fibers

As the market demands more sustainable nonwoven options, this has led to increasing focus on the development of PLA man-made fiber nonwovens. Made from polylactic acid, PLA fibers are a type of biodegradable polymer derived from renewable resources such as cornstarch or sugarcane. Also known as PLA man-made fibers, PLA fibers are synthetic fibers made from polylactic acid material.

The creation of PLA nonwovens begins with the production of PLA fibers. The fibers are produced through a process called “melt spinning” in which the polymer is melted and then extruded through small holes to form long, continuous fibers. These fibers are then laid down in a random, web-like arrangement and bonded together through various methods, such as heat or chemical bonding, to create a cohesive nonwoven fabric.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, PLA fibers are also lightweight, strong, and durable, and offer excellent moisture-wicking properties. They can be used to make textiles for apparel, home furnishings, and non-woven products. PLA nonwovens are also well suited for a variety of applications including packaging, filtration, hygiene products, and agricultural coverings.

WPT Nonwovens is Your Source for PLA Man-Made Nonwovens
WPT Nonwovens has been producing American made, quality nonwovens in Beaver Dam, Kentucky since 2008. Serving the needs of both high and low volume customers, we are able to meet orders of any size cost-efficiently.

If you are ready to improve your productivity and efficiency with a dependable, full-service source for quality nonwovens, contact WPT Nonwovens.

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