Magazine April 2014

Focus on the textile world: from tradition to productivity

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Just an imageMachine hall of Don & Low Ltd, Forfar (Scotland)

Materials from Don & Low Ltd – fabrics for sophisticated technological applications

Weaving expertise since 1792 – the core competence of the Thrace Plastics Group

Just an imageSpinning polypropylene fibers

William Don founded his linen and flax weaving company in 1792. Fabrics produced by domestic weavers from the surrounding area as well as a few of its own looms formed the basis of "William Don & Co.", as it was then known. In the course of the Industrial Revolution the company steadily grew to become an important employer in the Scottish town of Forfar, in the county of Angus.

With the acquisition of a polypropylene extrusion plant in the year 1977, Don & Low Ltd broadened its expertise in the artificial fiber sector. In 1986 the company was purchased by Shell UK Ltd., and one year later Don & Low Ltd started its nonwovens business. In 1999 the Greek plastics group Thrace Plastics purchased Don & Low Ltd. The Scottish company is thus a key part of the Thrace Group's Technical Textiles division. The Thrace Group also has a Packaging Solutions division for the food industry.

In Forfar, Don & Low Ltd has two manufacturing divisions for Technical Textiles (Woven) and Nonwovens, as well as a global distribution network.

The Thrace Group has production facilities in Greece, Scotland, Bulgaria, Romania and the US, and has established trading subsidiaries in Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Serbia. Its sales network encompasses 80 countries worldwide, including China from 2012.

Fabrics for the most diverse products and sectors

The products at Don & Low Ltd are used in the most diverse areas of application:

  • Floor coverings – primary and secondary carpet backings
  • Construction sector – reinforcement lenoweave fabrics for multilayer laminated roofing membranes
  • Geosynthetics – a broad range of light and heavyweight fabrics as well as nonwovens for civil engineering applications including access, temporary or permanent roads, car parks, drainage systems and embankment stabilization.
  • Horticulture – woven groundcover (weed suppressant) and shade netting materials
  • Laminate substrates – plain and lenoweave fabrics for stability, strength and reinforcement, for packaging, composite hose linings and needle-punched carpets

Just an imageHeald frame ALtop ® Hybrid ®

Product development with Groz-Beckert weaving products

Just an imageDrop wires for optimal weaving results

Just an imagePosiLeno ® leno weaving system

Just an imageFlat steel heald GROBEXTEX ® SOLOPUR ®

For the special product requirements of Don & Low Ltd, Groz-Beckert offers a complete portfolio of weaving accessories. Don & Low Ltd also uses the following products:

Drop wires – The use of drop wires on every loom is an efficient method of avoiding weaving faults and ensuring the fabric quality that is important to the customers of Don & Low Ltd.

Heald frames – These allow the weaving construction and pattern of materials to be varied, providing the flexibility to offer a wider range of fabrics to customers. With varied construction and pattern, material can be tailored precisely to customers’ needs, e.g. to increase the water permeability of geotextiles. Lightweight frames are used on a variety of widths including 153", 168", 183" und 213" wide looms.

Flat steel healds – These are used on looms which manufacture high 124-end tape density primary carpet backing for the production of tufted carpets. This increased warp density reduces needle deflection, improves dimensional stability and ensure accurate tuft placement. The flat steel healds are also used in the production of lightweight geotextiles employed in highway construction and lightweight plain weave industrial fabrics for a variety of different applications including packaging.

Leno healds – These healds have facilitated the development of a whole range of lighter and stronger industrial lenoweave fabrics. This has enabled Don & Low Ltd. to produce high-quality fabrics for new customers and to access new markets. All the secondary backing fabrics in the range are also lenoweaves. The company is also considering an investment in the new PosiLeno® equipment, which enables higher speeds in lenoweave manufacture.

Rondofil® round steel healds – These special healds are used on looms with wider warp tapes or higher tex (2.5mm). These looms manufacture heavyweight geotextiles for use in reinforcement applications, e.g. ground stabilization for wind farm access-road construction.

With this range of products and the accompanying technologies, Don & Low Ltd sees itself well equipped to meet market challenges. The company continues to rely on its strengths in product development and its high production efficiency to ensure future profitable growth.

Contact details Don & Low Ltd:

Don & Low Ltd
Glamis Road
Angus, DD8 1FR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Would you like to find out more about the potential offered by Groz-Beckert weaving accessories? The experts from Groz-Beckert will be happy to advise you!