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AMSilk and Gruschwitz to develop products using Biosteel fibre

The partnership aims to strengthen the existing three-year cooperation and enable further innovation in the field of high-performance yarns.

27th April 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Planegg

Clothing/​Footwear, Sports/​Outdoor

AMSilk, an industrial supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers, has announced a new strategic partnership with the leading yarn producer Gruschwitz Textilwerke AG. This partnership aims to strengthen the already existing three-year cooperation and enable further innovation in the field of high-performance yarns.

“We are very pleased to bring our longstanding cooperation with Gruschwitz to the next level by entering into a strategic partnership,” said AMSilk CEO Jens Klein. “From the very beginning we have been impressed by the Gruschwitz’s competence, reliability, creativity and motivation and are excited to work more closely on exciting new innovations.”

“For Gruschwitz, the cooperation with AMSilk is an excellent addition to our activities in the high-tech area,” said Ditmar Schultschik, CEO of Gruschwitz Textilwerke AG. “AMSilk is a young, dynamic company with a great product. For us it was challenging and at the same time fascinating to develop the necessary manufacturing process for the Biosteel yarns and to be able to accompany AMSilk’s market entry.”

Biosteel fibre

After years of research and development, AMSilk in 2013 became the first company to successfully produce synthetic silk fibres using a patented and reproducible biotechnological process. “This breakthrough yielded Biosteel fabric, the first high-performance bionic fibre with true environmental integrity,” the company explains.

Compared to traditional fibres, Biosteel fibre is said to offer superior performance properties: it is extremely tough, lightweight (offering weight reductions of 30% compared to common fibres), anti-allergenic, highly breathable and moisture wicking. Biosteel material is already being used across the apparel industries, according to the manufacturer.

Strong partners

AMSilk first began working with Gruschwitz Textilwerke AG in 2014 in order to continue developing and commercializing Biosteel fibres. Among Gruschwitz’s recent innovations are a special coating technology used for extremely resilient offshore ropes made of DSM Dyneema and sophisticated yarns for Johnson & Johnson, a global player in medical textiles.

adidas high-performance sports shoes made of Biosteel fibre. © AMSilk

In 2015, the joint research and development activities of AMSilk and Gruschwitz led to a technological innovation: instead of relying on specialised knitting machines to process Biosteel fibre, the companies were able to process the silk biopolymers on conventional knitting machines.

The result was the first textile fabric made of biotechnologically produced synthetic silk fibres, the company reports. This technology proved the basis for AMSilk’s partnership with adidas, first announced in November 2016, for the production of high-performance sports shoes made of Biosteel fibre.

Ongoing development

The aim of the strategic partnership between AMSilk and Gruschwitz is to develop further innovative yarn products based on Biosteel fibre, with a special focus on products for premium markets. In addition to collaborating on the yarn structure itself, the two companies will cooperate more closely in the area of fibre finishing. Biosteel yarns may, for example, be refined by coatings and PFC-free finishings, as well as optimized for the specific field of application.

The aim of the strategic partnership is to develop further innovative yarn products based on Biosteel fibre. © AMSilk

“As a well-established and interactive team, AMSilk and Gruschwitz will develop future-oriented products for the textile, automotive and aviation industries,” said Severin Bertsch, Head of Fibre Business, AMSilk. “All our products are developed in accordance with our mission of ‘bridging opposites’ – of combining high-performance with environmental integrity. The new adidas running shoe made from Biosteel fibre is an example of this, as it combines breakthrough high-performance with 100 % biodegradability.”

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