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|Friday, December 03, 2010|
Portland-headquartered Naturally Advanced Technologies announced this week that it will begin using flax to make organic thread with the same patented technology the company uses to process hemp.
Cotton is priced at $1.26 per pound and hemp costs between $1.25 and $1.50 per pound. The Crailar flax-cotton blend can be sold for $0.80 to $0.90 to textile manufacturers. It is below the dollar barrier. Previously, the consumer had to make a financial sacrifice to purchase sustainable, eco-friendly products. No longer, Barker said. The price will allow companies from WalMart to Adidas to give its customers sustainable thread.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a study to see if flax made denim was more comfortable for summer months. The results gave promise to the apparel industry and the enzyme process of the Crailar technology removes the creasing and hard feel of normal linen. Even so, the product still wicks moisture and has a high tensile strength. The new thread makes clothes indiscernible to the touch from cotton, says Barker.
Unlike hemp, farmers may legally grow flax in the U.S., eliminating transport-related costs, pollution and waste. NAT’s 40,000 square foot South Carolina facility, used to conduct the USDA tests in 2005, has 300 acres of flax fields adjacent the factory.
Through the Crailar process NAT can process twice as much fiber per acre compared to hemp. In South Carolina the company densely plants the crops to produce a taller thinner fiber suitable for cotton-like products.
The new fiber had to be a plug and play for the cotton industry, Barker said. Both the hemp and flax yarn are spun on traditional cotton equipment.
Jacq Lacy is an associate writer for Oregon Business.
* - UPDATE (1 pm December 3): An earlier version of this article contained an error. NAT is a publicly owned company. It is not owned by Meriwether Group.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Monday, June 30, 2014
Oregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
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