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Crailar Flax Fiber production now imminent, NAT
Jan '11
Naturally Advanced Technologies CEO Ken Barker announced yesterday at the Texworld 2011 Conference in New York that the company is prepared to begin shipping initial orders of CRAiLAR Flax Fiber from its Kingstree, SC, facility as early as March of this year and has developed the capacity to rapidly increase production thereafter to meet the demands of its development partners and to respond to increasing interest from new customers in the denim, workwear, home furnishings and knitwear markets.

"We are fortunate to have flax fiber harvested from previous seasons available in our warehouse, which allows us to begin production immediately," Barker said. "Additionally, our CRAiLAR technology unlocks the potential of flax straw harvested from the oilseed industry that can potentially be processed into yarn suitable for hosiery, denim, knitwear and home furnishings. Last year's harvest produced an exceptionally high yield, giving us the ability to increase production very quickly."

NAT announced on Tuesday that it had entered into growing trials with Hanesbrands and the USDA-ARS, further developing the company's agronomic know-how and its ability to produce fiber capable of being spun into finer-gauge yarns suitable for undergarments, shirting and finer-knit garments. These trials will enable NAT to move to an unprecedented level of flax-fiber refinement that is expected to revolutionize the garment and textile industries.

"The fiber industry is significant in size and complexity," Barker said. "Developing flax strains capable of accessing all sectors of the industry is critical for our continued growth. Our research project has already resulted in 200 acres of flax being planted in the Kingstree region this past winter, which will be ready for harvesting this spring, adding to our production capabilities in the upcoming year."

NAT announced in November of last year that it had concluded all of its trials with its commercialization partners, and as a result had received a short-term flax fiber supply agreement from Hanesbrands. NAT expects to complete commercialization agreements shortly.

Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc

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