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The following article I am reprinting from the Sporting Goods Business online magazine. I do not believe this article like many others published on the SGB web site are meant for the general public but rather for the marketing companies that receive these emails daily as I do. This particular article is I believe a promotion for the second worst material ever introduced into the textile business since the late 1980’s, it is trade named primaloft. The worst is Thinsulate. The individual interviewed has no knowledge of insulations and has no knowledge of the product she is promoting.

Manufacturing Best PracticesThe latest manufacturing technology from PrimaLoft reduces carbon emissions up to 50-percent. [This statement is nothing more than hypothetical.] By Teresa Hartford

There is a social undercurrent that technology is the bad guy. PrimaLoft believes the opposite—the answers lie within technology and advanced material science.

When you discuss insulation technology primaloft should not be used in any sentence because as a form of insulation it is a throwback to what I sold in the 1960’s. It was resin bonded chopped staple polyester fiberfill battings.

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. (“Produced Using Reduced Emissions”) is the latest manufacturing discovery from the fabric tech giant that complement’s nature and does not compromise or sacrifice performance.

PURE should be written with out the periods between the letters and then a hyphen followed by BS. PURE-BS!!! There is no performance from the primaloft fiberfill!!! To the best of my knowledge they make weights from 2 ounces per square yard to 4 ounces per square yard. The thicknesses developed are not very thick so they have very limited insulating capability.

“PrimaLoft flipped things on its head when they looked at the way they were manufacturing PrimaLoft Gold Insulation,” said Tara Maurer, VP of Business Development, NA, PrimaLoft, pictured below left, who spoke with SGB this morning. “We’ve upended the manufacturing process that has been “institutionalized for decades with the introduction of PrimaLoft P.U.RE. technology,” she said.

Primaloft company does not “make” anything. They contract with fiberfill processors who make for them what ever they want. They have not upended anything. The method spoke of does not change the end product. It is inefficient made the old way and equally inefficient made the new way. I also bet if they had equal weights of their primaloft gold and this new? PURE-BS nobody even this girl could tell the difference, I’ll explain later.

P.U.R.E. uses an air bonding process during manufacturing, (the application of emitting hot air over the surface of a nonwoven fabric), instead of a thermal bonding process and, in turn, reduces CO2 emissions by 50-percent.

PURE-BS is here to stay. I made a call to my polyester fiberfill boding guru after I sent him this article and asked what he knew about this new system. To my surprise he told me that these bonding ovens have been in operation for the last 15 to 20 years. He further told me if any company needs a new oven this is what they buy because they are more efficient. They also allow for a little less amount of the binder fiber as well as higher speeds in the manufacturing process. This girl has no knowledge of these facts as she is a point person talking to reporters? About what marvelous new things primaloft is doing. PURE-BS is PURE-BS!!!

What is the basic concept behind thermal bonding technology? Thermal bonding relies on heat (either in an oven or heated cylinder) to melt or soften a fiber’s web to achieve bonding with the surrounding fibers at the fiber crossover points for structural integrity, stability and soft hand. It’s a popular method used in nonwovens manufacturing because the bonding time is quick and occurs at high production rates.

I have been in a dozen fiberfill batting making plants and I have never seen a heated cylinder used. Maybe I missed something in the process. I suspect these hot cylinders or rollers are used when flat nonwovens are made. All boding relies on heat.

Primaloft recognized that the ovens we use were emitting high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). By removing the heat in the ovens and using air instead of thermal heat, we are able to “cure” or set PrimaLoft Gold insulation and reduce our CO2 emissions by 50-percent with no effect on the hand and feel of the product.

Primaloft can not recognize anything since primaloft is a company and a product. maybe the people who work at primaloft recognized that the companies making their product (they only have one product, but they call it by different names) use these ovens and someone decided to use the technology which has been around for 15 to 20 years as a marketing ploy. I always wonder how people come up with their percentages like a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

The challenge was finding the binder fiber with the same performance, stability and structural integrity as thermal bonding. Scaled globally, with PrimaLoft’s manufacturing partners, the benefits could be exponential to the environment when using an air process.

If the bonding ovens have been in use for 15 to 20 years doesn’t it seem plausible that the binder fiber has also been around as long, I suspect longer. I am sure their partners had the binder fiber in stock since they were probably using it for other customers.

What is air bonding? Through-air bonding involves the application of hot air—not heat—to the surface of the nonwoven fabric. The hot air flows through holes positioned above the nonwoven. The air is not pushed through the nonwoven, as in common hot air ovens, but negative pressure pulls the air through the open conveyor apron that supports the nonwoven as it passes through the oven. Pulling the air through the nonwoven fabric allows much more rapid and even transmission of heat and minimizes fabric distortion. Products manufactured using through-air are soft, strong, breathable and absorbent.

Here they are disingenuous, the way the system works there’s a fan over the fiber web blowing the hot air on the fiber web structure and an exhaust fan under the fiber web structure pulling the heated air through the web structure. This heated air melts the binder fiber and it is more efficient than the methods used prior to this method. I do not know what the primaloft sells for but regardless I do know I could make basically the same product for a considerably slower cost. I could get a comparably poor-quality polyester form of insulation made for about $0.10 to $0.15 per ounce here in the USA. In Asia I am sure much less.

For Fall 2020 PrimaLoft partnered with Patagonia to create a garment using PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. Yes, and the garment is made with 100-percent post-consumer recycled material. Patagonia has been a long-time partner with PrimaLoft and is also looking for ways to reduce its manufacturing footprint and carbon emissions. Patagonia will be the first brand partner to incorporate PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. manufacturing technology starting Fall 2020.

Primaloft is always coming out with the newest and greatest to replace last years newest and greatest and this year they have convinced Patagonia that their newest and greatest is the only way to go. I guess Patagonia is not happy seeing their flat winter garments keeping people cold as the air. Since primaloft is not a lofty product their hoping the new name PURE-BS will resonate with buyers.

What is the gram weight of P.U.R.E.? We are only offering the product up to 100 grams in weight because we cannot penetrate the insulation when it’s heavier. Our next challenge is how to get up to higher weights while maintaining structural integrity.

100 grams is fine for key west jackets in July. It is close to tissue paper thin. If they were to call me, I could tell them exactly how they can make heavier battings, but they will never do that.

What are the challenges? Two big challenges for us moving forward are (1) extending the application through our manufacturing network and (2) working on scaling it to weights above 100 grams. We are currently working towards incorporating P.U.R.E. technology across our product series. Our goal is to roll PrimaLoft P.U.R.E out in our Silver and Black insulation product lines as well.

The technology is currently pending Bluesign and Oekotex certification, but we expect to receive that shortly.

Unfortunately this girl has no knowledge of fibers and the fiber thicknesses that primaloft used can not make lofty batting. They will never make a product with their fiber thicknesses thicker than they have now. As for the silver and black products they will be tissue paper thin as well.

The bluesign and okefenokee folks will certify it because they are all friends. Also they do not know what primaloft does anyway.

We’re modifications made to the manufacturing equipment? No modifications were necessary. Where heat was once applied, the tunnels now produce an air method for curing insulation.

Now I ask you why any of these companies would want to modify their equipment in the first placed. This girl needs an education if she is to stay in this aspect of the textile business. She should further learn about Lamilite/Climashield and when she does that, she will know why she should not be in the insulation business.


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