Company: Central Textiles, USA
Specialty: Pocketing Fabrics
Spokesperson: Patrick McReynolds, Manufacturing Manager

Central Textiles is an integrated textile producer that has been operating in Central (South Carolina, USA) since 1984 when the current owners purchased an old, existing textile mill and began a complete modernization, making it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility able to compete in today’s global marketplace. Central produces technical textiles and apparel and is specialized in pocketing fabrics.

The upgrades have been a continuing, ongoing process with regular installation of the latest generations of Picanol weaving technology. 

Company: Heathcoat Fabrics, UK
Specialty: Parachute Fabrics
Spokesperson: Peter Hill, Director Woven Fabrics

Heathcoat Fabrics Limited was established in 1808 by John Heathcoat, the inventor of the bobbinet lace making machine. It relocated from the English Midlands to its present site in Tiverton, Devon, 200 years ago this summer.

Due to the use of silk for bobbinet Heathcoat became involved in the production of some of the earliest parachutes and actually manufactured parachutes as well as fabric from the early 1930s until the late 1960s. The company then ceased parachute manufacture so that it could concentrate on the production of parachute fabrics for its customers around the world. Modern parachute fabrics are made with high-tenacity nylon 66 rather than silk. Some more challenging uses demand exotic fibers such as para-aramid.

“Over the past 10 years we have embarked upon a plant refurbishment and upgrade program as part of our World Class Manufacturing project,” explains Peter Hill. “Following extensive trials we selected Picanol as our key partner for airjet and rapier weaving looms and have installed a total of 31 Picanol looms to date. We have been very pleased with the after-sales service from Picanol. We weave very complicated technical fabrics with demanding yarns and structures. Picanol has worked closely with us to optimize the weaving of these technical fabrics and together we are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved for the future.”

Company: Mattex, USA
Specialty: Carpet Backings
Spokesperson: Patriek Demeyere, Operations Manager / Penny G. Justice, Beaming/Weaving Manager

Mattex started production of woven polypropylene carpet backings in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in 1996. For almost two decades now the company has experienced consistent growth. Mattex currently produces backings in three plant locations: Dubai, Jeddah and Chatsworth (Georgia, USA).

Mattex Manufacturing USA opened in 2014 and produces primary and secondary carpet backings for indoor and artificial turf applications with a capacity of 137 million m² per annum. For this it uses 80+ Picanol OptiMax machines, equipped with Positive Guided Grippers.

Company: Sage, USA
Specialty: Automotive Interiors
Spokesperson: Sage

Sage Automotive Interiors became independent from Milliken in September 2009 and now ranks first in the USA and 2nd in the world. With a presence on all continents and a workforce of 3000 associates, Sage AI manufactures automobile seating, panels and console fabrics as well as headliners.

Picanol has supplied nearly 100 of its weaving machines since 2011 including OptiMax, OptiMax-i, OMNIplus 800 and OMNIplus Summum, either in dobby or in jacquard version.

The versatility of the Picanol looms as well as the local presence of Picanol technicians in the USA, Brazil and Europe provides a perfect match for the Sage requirements.


Company: Santex, Italy
Specialty: Medical Textiles
Spokesperson: Roberto Fusato, Weaving manager

Santex describes itself as a 100% commitment to the health system. And yes, indeed, this is their core business: the whole range from incontinence to hospital dressing products.

Santex was founded in 1961, the brainchild of the entrepreneur Alberto Santurro. In keeping with the family tradition, the company is today managed by his children, who have made a decisive contribution to the growth of the business by continually investing in technology, product development and organization.

Santex has been a benchmark in the sector for over 50 years now, and is the only company to produce dressing products entirely in Italy.

The headquarters and administrative office is in Milan, while the two production plants are located in the province of Vicenza. The Meledo facility produces incontinence aids, while the one in Sarego produces a complete range of dressings, orthopedic products and disposables for the operating theatre, as well as taking care of business development for the Italian and foreign markets.

The production unit in Serago consists entirely of Picanol airjets and this goes back a long time. In 1988 Santex started with Picanol PAT machines and with every replacement of the production apparatus they renewed their trust in the Picanol equipment. The most recent investment was in 18 OMNIplus Summum airjets to replace the old PAT machines, which were in full production until 2015. 

Company: Setex, Germany
Specialty: Christo Project
Spokesperson: Heiko Wehner, CEO / Diana Göcke, Sales

Christo’s Floating Piers
At the Setex plant in Greven, Germany, two Picanol OptiMax 540 cm machines worked around the clock for six months to produce a very special kind of dahlia-yellow fabric. It was made on behalf of Christo, the artist famous for his spectacular wrapping projects. Setex produced about 100,000 m² of polyester fabric for the new Christo project entitled “The Floating Piers.”

Christo installed the floating piers on Lake Iseo in Northern Italy: visitors were able to walk on water! The piers, 16 m wide and about 3 km long, connected the mainland with two islands in the lake, carried by 20,000 floats. In addition a fabric road continued for 1.5 km into the pedestrian areas of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. This installation was a unique experience for the people walking on water and also afforded a spectacular sight when looking down at the lake from the surrounding mountain roads. The work of art was open to the public during 16 days in June 2016.

Setex could count on Picanol’s full support when installing the machines and putting them into operation. A first batch of fabric was ready by October 2015 and Setex shipped a second batch to Italy in January 2016. Heiko Wehner, CEO of Setex, is proud to have gotten this six-digit order. Setex made sure that the saffron fabric, developed specially for this project, was color-fast, dahlia-yellow and dirt-repellent.

Company: TFE: Textiles For Europe, Austria
Specialty: Automotive Interiors
Spokesperson: Bernd Matt, Company Manager

TFE - Textiles For Europe was founded in 1995 as a weaving mill in Nüziders (Austria) and now also has a second plant with finishing in Bludenz, a small town in the Vorarlberg region.

Until 2007 TFE produced raw fabrics on airjet looms, for ladieswear, supplied to markets in Italy, France, Germany and Spain. When the main customer went bankrupt TFE obtained its first 12 Picanol Omni airjet looms from the bankrupt estate. With these looms it started producing the actual main product, namely black polyester fabric for the automotive industry. In the years that followed TFE bought Picanol Omni and OMNIplus airjet looms, always second-hand, from Austria, France and Italy.

In 2013 Getzner Textil AG in Bludenz acquired 75% of TFE and in 2015 Getzner took over the remaining 25%.

Since then TFE has invested in 48 brand-new Picanol OMNIplus Summum airjet looms, so that today it operates with a total of 72 Picanol airjet looms in widths of 220 cm and 250 cm running at high speeds, with high efficiency and low energy consumption. It successfully produces black PES fabric and PES microfilament fabrics for the medical sector along with elastic fabrics. TFE operates around the clock in three shifts with a total of 35 employees producing around 600,000 running meters per month.

In addition to weaving preparation and weaving TFE also has a finishing line for washing out, drying, calendering and cutting.

TFE appreciates the perfect cooperation with Picanol and is happy to grow further together in the future.