Yarn & Fiber
AMSilk partners with Gruschwitz to develop high-performance products
“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® fiber: Revolution of yarn production
After years of research and development and more than 200,000 engineering hours, AMSilk in 2013 became the first company worldwide to successfully produce synthetic silk fibers using a patented and reproducible biotechnological process. This breakthrough yielded Biosteel® fabric, the first high-performance bionic fiber with true environmental integrity. Compared to traditional fibers, Biosteel® fiber offers superior performance properties: it is extremly tough, lightweight (offering weight reductions of 30% compared to common fibers), anti-allergenic, highly breathable and moisture wicking. Biosteel® material is already being used across the apparel industries.
AMSilk first began working with Gruschwitz Textilwerke AG in 2014 in order to continue developing and commercializing Biosteel® fibers. Gruschwitz’s proven expertise in the field of synthetic high-performance yarns, combined with its tradition of innovation that’s persisted for over 200 years, make it an ideal partner. Among Gruschwitz’s notable recent innovations are a special coating technology used for extremely resilient offshore ropes made of DSM Dyneema® and very sophisticated yarns for Johnson & Johnson, a global player in medical textiles.
In 2015, the joint research and development activities of AMSilk and Gruschwitz yielded a technological innovation: instead of relying on specialized knitting machines to process Biosteel® fiber, 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 fibers – a revolution in the textile industry. This technology proved the basis for AMSilk’s partnership with adidas, first announced in November 2016, for the production of highperformance sports shoes made of Biosteel® fiber.
Pic: adidas shoe made from Biosteel® fiber (c) 2017 AMSilk / adidas
Ongoing Biosteel® development
The aim of the strategic partnership between AMSilk and Gruschwitz is to develop further innovative yarn products based on Biosteel® fiber, 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 fiber finishing. Biosteel® yarns may, for example, be refined by coatings and PFCfree finishings as well as optimized for the specific field of application.
“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 Fiber 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® fiber is an example of this, as it combines breakthrough