Japan-based Japan Wool Textile Co. Ltd. — a manufacturer of yarn and fabrics for uniforms and
related products, and men’s and women’s fashion textiles; and a division of Japan-based Nikke Group
— has introduced a new line of yarn, fabrics and apparel featuring Ultem* polyetherimide (PEI)
fiber from United States-based SABIC Innovative Plastics — a global supplier of engineering
thermoplastics to a variety of markets including automotive, healthcare, transportation, and
building and construction.
Japan Wool Textile is blending Ultem with wool and other materials in the new products,
combining comfort and protection with Ultem’s inherent and permanent non-halogenated flame
retardance (FR) and ultraviolet resistance. Sabic reports that Ultem can be dyed to a large number
of shades using traditional polyester dyeing methods and creates a fabric that is soft and flexible
for improved comfort and wearability. In addition, Ultem meets several standards for heat
resistance including the U.S. National Fire and Protection Association 2112 and the European Union
EN 531/ISO 11612 standards; as well as performing with low smoke and low toxicity.
Shirts, pants, jackets and coveralls, as well as yarn and woven fabrics currently are
“Following a rigorous development process, we launched a completely new flame-retardant
material by using Ultem fiber,” said Takanobu Matsumoto, general manager, Japan Wool Textile.
“Particularly in the areas of improved comfort and colorability, our new work wear products will
provide major benefits for customers and address unmet market needs.”
“This flexible, soft and colorable fiber provides superior comfort and aesthetics, plus
sustainable FR technology and the highest level of protection and durability for workers in
safety-focused industries such as oil and gas and chemicals,” said Kim Choate, global product
marketing manager, Sabic Innovative Plastics. “We foresee many other uses for this versatile fiber,
which has already broken new ground in composite aerospace boards for aviation interiors,
filtration media and other demanding applications.”