Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. develops renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from flax, hemp and other bast fibers.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) announced that it has entered into a short-term Crailar Flax fiber development agreement with Carhartt to support evaluation of processing Crailar Flax fiber in premium grade work wear.
Established in 1889 and based in Dearborn, Michigan, Carhartt is a global work wear brand with a heritage of developing rugged apparel for workers on and off the job.
"Carhartt aligns perfectly with our current portfolio and we are excited to add them to our growing mix of partner brands," said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies.
"Our testing to-date has demonstrated significant qualities that will be beneficial to the work wear market, including increased tensile strength, reduced shrinkage and high dye uptake that can reduce chemical usage," Barker continued.
"Perhaps most important is Crailar's ability to wick moisture, which provides Carhartt with a performance advantage by ensuring consumers stay cooler in hot summer months. We look forward to demonstrating this during our development period with Carhartt," explained Barker
By Rita Trichur, Globe and Mail
Photo by John Woods, Globe and Mail
Hemp is fast becoming a staple of daytime TV as Oprah, Dr. Oz and others extol the health virtues of hemp oil, protein powders and pasta. At the same time, industrial interests tout it as a potential base for products ranging from textiles to car parts. As a result, demand is surging in the United States, Germany and Japan.
But American farmers are prohibited from growing hemp. That leaves farmers in Canada – where it's been a legal crop since 1998 – free to tap the growing U.S. interest in hemp-based products.
First, though, they must navigate the shifting sands of public opinion – or, as one Alberta report called it, "the snicker factor."
According to an Alberta Agriculture Department report on industrial hemp production in Canada, the plant's cultivation evokes chuckles "largely because of its hippy-dippy image and close association with marijuana, its consciousness-altering cousin."
Nevertheless, this is serious stuff. The North American market for industrial hemp – which has only a minuscule amount of the chemical that gives marijuana its punch – is booming.
For centuries, hemp had been ubiquitous in global commerce – from paper making to the rope used on sailing vessels – until synthetic fibres usurped its naval role and global anti-drug sentiment put paid to the rest.
Green textiles on the fringes: Here's how plant-based fabrics flax, hemp, bamboo and Tencel stack up in terms of sustainabilitySubmitted by restore on Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:59
By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Much as they're trumpeted by so-called eco-designers, plant-based alternatives to cotton are a minuscule piece of the fashion puzzle. Dwarfed by cotton and synthetics such as polyester, spandex and rayon, textiles made from flax, wood pulp, hemp and bamboo make up less than 2 percent of the market. But that percentage is growing because of consumer and corporate demand, as well as technological advancements that make natural fibers easier to transform into wearable fabrics.
One of the more promising developments in sustainable textiles is flax, a stalky and fibrous plant that can be grown with far less water and fewer pesticides than cotton and produced at a lower price. While cotton is cultivated on 12.6 million U.S. acres, flax is currently grown on just 2 million acres of U.S. and Canadian farmland. Most flax is produced for its grain, which is turned into food. But its fiber can also be transformed into materials that look and feel similar to cotton. As a textile, it's incorporated into 1.1 percent of U.S. garments and most commonly used in linen.
By Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The species was banned in North America in late 1930s because its leaves and flowers contained a hallucinogenic drug known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It was banned internationally in 1961 under the United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Hemp does suffer from the “snicker factor”, largely because of its hippy-dippy image and close association with marijuana, its conscious-altering cousin.
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Naturally Advanced Inc. announced Wednesday that Hanesbrands Inc. will buy as much as $375,000 worth of the natural-fiber company's new Crailar Flax material for testing in its products.
Both companies recently finished trials of Naturally Advanced's new Crailar Flax product, which is being developed by the company to follow its Crailar Hemp offering, which was purchased by Hanes earlier this year.
Naturally Advanced is led by Portland-based CEO Ken Barker, a former Adidas executive. Barker said in a press release, "We believe this next step is a significant validation of our technology and we look forward to bringing Crailar Flax fiber to consumers in 2011."
Naturally Advanced had been focusing its business on a hemp-based fiber, with operations based in Vancouver, Canada, where laws don't restrict the use of hemp. In the last year, the company has focused on proving its technology with flax fiber, which is more readily available in the U.S., said Naturally Advanced spokeswoman Erin Brunner.
The company also has a processing facility in South Carolina.
Brunner said that flax is a winter crop in South Carolina that rotates well with cotton, soybeans and tobacco, allowing farmers there to double-crop their land and increase their income.
Naturally Advanced, which is traded over the counter under the symbol NADVF, raised $1.4 million in a private placement in May.
40,000 Square Foot Facility Utilized As Pilot Scale Facility For Crailar Decortication Process
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
The hemp industry in the United States has taken a step forward in the Carolina's as Naturally Advanced Technologies, Inc (NAT) has announced that it has signed a ten month sublease of a facility at 164 County Camp Road, Kingstree, SC, 29556.
NAT has always committed to unlocking the potential of renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from hemp and other bast fibers and this decision to locate closer to the HanesBrand headquarters is no exception to their track record. The move will create a presence as the demand for organic fibers increases worldwide. NAT's positive studies at North Carolina State University with their 80% Cotton/20% Hemp blend show great promise to the development of organic fibers worldwide. (See Video)
n. 1 a: Organically certified fiber derived from natural bast fibers (such as hemp and flax), which are responsibly treated with an “enzymatic bath” and then spun into soft, white fibers similar to organic cotton. b: Touted as the next affordable and sustainable stand-in for conventional cotton, with the added bonus of tensile strength for use in textile, industrial, energy, medical, and composite material applications. c: Named after the town of Craik, Saskatchewan, this eco-textile initiative is also supported by the National Research Council Canada. A joint partnership with Hanes is likely to make it a household name for apparel knit products globally.
By Jonathan Bardelline
A new fiber derived from the part of hemp plants typically discarded offers numerous environmental and performance benefits over cotton and is being tested by Hanesbrands.
The Crailar fibers look, fit, dye, wash and are soft like cotton, but they also shrink less, are stronger and hold dyes longer, said Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technology (NAT). Yarns and fabrics made from the fibers can even be processed on existing cotton machines.
The fibers are derived from the hemp plant's stiff and rough outermost part, which is generally discarded when turning hemp into clothing. Although it is illegal to grow industrial hemp in the United States, it is legal in Canada, where NAT is based.
NAT takes those long, strong filaments from the plant and, using a wash developed with the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC), turns them into fibers that are soft and strong. The wash, a proprietary enzyme mixture, removes the glue-like lignin and pectin from the raw hemp fibers.
Yarns made from the fibers can be used in knit and woven fabrics like clothing and home furnishings, or in nonwoven fabrics like face wipes and industrial cleaning wipes. NAT has been working with various companies to test out how Crailar works in different applications.
Hanesbrands has conducted trials blending Crailar into products and recently made a purchase of 10,000 pounds of the material for further tests.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Agrees with the National Research Council of Canada to Collaborate on Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock
This Research is Intended to Develop New Enzyme Technology for Cellulosic Ethanol Manufacturing
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) amended its agreement with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to include collaboration on cellulose technology research for the production of cellulosic ethanol from sustainable feedstock, such as corn stalks and straws, the unexploited byproduct in agri-food production. In my opinion, this is a huge step toward sustainability and mankind's ultimate survival.
* The NAT - NRC collaboration began in 2004 and was extended in 2007 for the design and construction of advanced enzyme technology for the extraction and cleaning of industrial hemp fiber for the textile sector, as spearheaded by Dr. Wing Sung. (See Video Below)
* As this research is in the final stages, the two parties have agreed to divert existing funding commitments to pursue additional opportunities for the advanced enzyme technology, namely in cellulosic ethanol.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Secures Hanesbrands Inc. Initial Purchase Order for 10,000LBs of Crailar
By Portland Business Journal staff
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said apparel maker Hanesbrands Inc. has purchased its first batch of Crailar fiber in a significant step toward commercializing the technology.
Portland-based Naturally Advanced (OTCBB: NADVF) developed Crailar technology, which is designed to turn burlap-like hemp into a fabric as soft as cotton.
In August the company announced a joint development agreement with Winson-Salem, N.C.-based Hanesbrands to study how Crailar fiber can be worked into mainstream production.
Hanes ordered about 10,000 pounds of Crailar in the first quarter of 2010. Naturally Advanced didn’t release the price of the sale.
By Ed White, Winnipeg bureau
The hemp industry is trying to convince producers to give the business a chance.
Industry players told farmers attending the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance convention in Winnipeg Nov. 17 that the industry is truly growing.
They said demand for fibre soon won’t be just a promise but something for which farmers will be able to sign contracts.
“During the next two to three growing seasons we plan upon supplementing our imports with Canadian fibre,” said Jason Finness of Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT).
He said once NAT builds a decortication plant, it will likely pay $90 to $130 per tonne for baled hemp straw picked up at the farmgate.
Finness’ company is well-known to central Saskatchewan farmers who had hoped to supply a plant NAT said it planned to build in Craik, Sask. It would separate fibre from the hemp plant’s stalks to make fabric.
Those plans fell through, with NAT saying it had two-thirds of the money it needed to build the plant but was unable to convince the Saskatchewan government to supply the rest.
Now NAT is importing hemp fibre from Europe, processing it in the United States and selling it to major manufacturers.
Once these manufacturers begin full commercial runs of hemp fibre, NAT wants to obtain hemp fibre from Canada.
NAT hopes to build a decortication plant on the Prairies in 2010 to meet product launch hopes for 2011.
By Ben Jacklet, Oregon Business
Anyone who believes that the hemp industry is best left to the half-baked stoners of the world should spend a few hours talking textiles with Ken Barker. Five minutes into the conversation it becomes clear that this guy is onto something big, and he knows exactly what he is doing.
Barker recently served as head of apparel at Adidas North America in Portland. Before that he held executive positions with Adidas and Levi Strauss in Canada. He knows how hard it is for apparel companies to meet the rising demand for clothing from earth-friendly sources. When he was with Adidas he entertained proposals to make fabric from soy, bamboo, even seaweed. None of them made as much sense as hemp, the plant that once served as the backbone of U.S. industry before it was banned in the 1930s.
Barker and another former Adidas executive, David Howitt (a brain behind the success of Oregon Chai), run an investment firm in Northwest Portland called the Meriwether Group. They have two hemp companies in their portfolio. Living Harvest, which makes hemp milk, is one of the fastest growing companies in Oregon. Naturally Advanced Technologies, the company Barker has run since 2006, recently raised more than $900,000 and plans to get its product to market within six months.
It took a decade to prove that hemp could be soft as cotton. Now Naturally Advanced Technologies is starting to draw interest in its product from big players.
By Erik Siemers, Portland Business Journal
After nearly a decade of working to prove that burlap-like hemp can be as soft as cotton, Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. has caught the attention of some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.
Now it’s on the verge of generating revenue from its technology.
“The company is an eight-year overnight success,” said CEO Ken Barker.
The Portland, Oregon-based company this month announced a string of deals aimed at commercializing its Crailar Fiber Technology, which employs an enzyme treatment to make hemp and other organic fibers suitable for apparel and other uses.
The most notable is a joint development agreement with Hanesbrands Inc., which is among the world’s largest consumer apparel brands with $4.2 billion in sales last year.
Under the agreement, Naturally Advanced will retrofit existing Hanes dyeing equipment with the company’s enzyme process to study how its organic fibers can be entered into mainstream production.
If that phase is successful, the companies will work toward a marketing plan for Crailar in various Hanes categories and determine how it could be commercialized.
But whether hemp can rise above niche status to mainstream appeal will have a lot to do with cost.
United States: Super Crop Hemp Regains it's Rightful Place in Agriculture & Industry with Hanesbrands NAT AgreementSubmitted by restore on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 22:07
By Dev Meyers, Examiner
Although it is illegal to grow hemp in some states in the US, it can be grown in many other places such as Canada, the UK Europe, etc. It is legal to import the fiber and seed into the US. And it is totally legal to sell the manufacture and sell hemp clothing in any state in the United States.
Don't worry, you will not get busted for wearing your Hanes hemp undies!
'The yields per acre are incredible," said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT. "The plant is extremely hardy."
According to Barker, "The gateway technology that polishes the hemp fiber makes it feel as soft as cotton."
Hanesbrands Inc. is a leading marketer of innerwear, outerwear and hosiery apparel under strong consumer brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra. The company designs, manufactures, sources and sells T-shirts, bras, panties, men's underwear, children's underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear. Hanesbrands has approximately 45,000 employees in more than 25 countries. More information may be found on the company's Web site at www.hanesbrands.com.