Luke Haverhals wants changing the way yoga pants are made. Many of the fabrics used in athletics, such as Spandex, are made from synthetic fibers – plastic, in particular. Those plastics are tough humans and nature. Harhals Companies Natural Fiber Welding, offers another way to make fabric.
NFW produces a cotton cloth called Clarus that can be used as clothing. The fabric is made from cotton which is designed to slightly damage the material and leave it strong and thin. The result is a cotton thread that acts as a synthetic yarn.
When asked if his company is a professional or textile company, Haverhals responds without hesitation. “We’re a professional company … but our first goal is textiles.”
Haverhals holds a PhD in chemistry and began his teaching career at Naval Academy in 2008. While there, he worked with a team of medical scientists and ionic scientists, who are essentially soluble minerals. The salt is usually present in hot water and can be used as a solvent for solvents such as cotton and cellulose. In 2009, with funding from the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research, the team achieved significant success in promoting natural fibers using ion ions.
The team asked what would happen if they slightly broken the natural fibers and then welded or blended them together. The result is a monofilament cotton type. Although the original thread may be only a few inches long, the slightly dissolved yarn can be much longer. This produces a very strong yarn that mimics the shape of a woven yarn.
In 2016, Haverhals left the Naval Academy and formed the NFW with support from the Department of Defense and a permit from the Air Force to produce yarn and fabric using a technique known as “fiber welding.” The company has been granted eight patents worldwide, and has 90 expected.
Haverhals and the NFW are hailed from plastic opponents – as well as for the commercials they claim to have eliminated. There is growing anxiety about plastic microfibers materials such as polyester shedding and every turn of the washing machine. Sian Sutherland, the founder of the organization, stated: “I think that he (Luke) is a real person, and I think that very few people out there have a real problem. Plastic Planet, a nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate the use of plastics. “This is not just a solution for the oil industry in the textile industry, but more than that, it is about toxicity.”
NFW has attracted a few with big names, including Ralph Lauren, Bmw‘s iVentures, i All the birds. In July, the company said it had raised $ 15 million from private equity holders, bringing its total value to $ 45 million. Some of the money went to expand its factory in Peoria, Illinois, where it is working to increase production to hundreds of thousands of square feet of Clarus a month. In September, the NFW announced a alliance with Patagonia to bring Clarus yarn into some new type of material. Haverhals says hundreds of brands are in line to buy company fabrics for their products. He says NFW will provide sustainable products to manufacturers and work with brands hoping to produce unique fabrics.
Mirum, another NFW marketing line, is a skin-based plant. They are made from things like coconut husk, natural rubber, or frame and is cured, or amplified to make it stronger, using standard chemistry without petrochemical additives. This sets Mirum apart from other pharmaceutical products that rely on the drug to achieve its desired results or feel. The company replaces it with leather goods for items such as car interior and footwear. Allbirds are planning to start selling shoes agreed with Mirum recently.
Kasper Sage, co-manager at BMW’s iVentures venture capital arm, says NFW is promising because its sales are high quality and stable, and the technology is risky, which is important for automaker manufacturers. “This is the only company we’ve found … trying to tackle the problem, which can make it more automotive,” says Sage.