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Fibres/​Yarns/​Fabrics

Full speed ahead in Vietnam

Company is ready to accelerate the scale-up of silkworm production.

1st November 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Clothing/​Footwear

The easing of travel restrictions and re-opening of business operations throughout Vietnam has re-energised Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as it moves forward with the production of finished goods utilising its specialised recombinant spider silk.

Safety protocols and restrictions enacted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam led to closures and slowdowns of many businesses throughout the country, most notably in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The majority of these restrictions did not directly impact Kraig’s  Vietnamese subsidiary Prodigy Textiles, which was able to continue the production of its specialised silkworms.

Shutdowns did, however, affect Prodigy’s employees, as well as causing delayed laboratory equipment deliveries and operational growth, while slowdowns at yarn spinners and weavers limited the company’s ability to convert its raw silk into finished fabrics and garments. 

As these restrictions are lifting, Kraig Labs is ready to accelerate the scale-up of silkworm production with the scheduled delivery and installation of new quality control lab equipment.  

In the absence of the genetic screening that this new equipment will enable, the company intentionally maintained production below peak capacity to ensure a stable and healthy silkworm colony. Once installed, Prodigy’s facility will have onsite control systems far more advanced than nearly all silk producers.

Several significant regulatory orders have now eased  restrictions, once again allowing movement and travel for crucial goods, services, and personnel throughout Vietnam. With the re-opening of textile mills and yarn spinners, Kraig Labs is now resuming work to produce the custom yarns and spider silk fabrics for the launch of SpydaSilk apparel – a joint development partnership with Kings Golden Harvest.

“We are pleased to see conditions in Vietnam improving for its people and its economy,” said Kraig Labs COO Jon Rice. “In the coming weeks, we expect to receive and install several pieces of lab equipment delayed due to lockdowns. This quality assurance equipment will play a key role in our continued production expansion. Most critically, with this re-opening, we can once again work with the textile mills to weave our silk into the finished fabrics for the first garments for SpydaSilk and to supply materials to the numerous other brands eager to incorporate spider silk into their products.”

www.KraigLabs.com

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