Interview with Eugene Deleplanque

Eugene Deleplanque
Eugene Deleplanque
Dickson Group
Dickson Group

Energy consumption for cooling is expected to increase sharply by 2050
Eugene Deleplanque discusses the vast world of outdoor technical textiles with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Ridaa Saiyed. Synopsis: Dickson Group encompasses of Dickson Constant, Dickson Saint Clair and Dickson PTL. Glen Raven Inc. acquired Dickson Group in 1998. It is a leading name in the field of technical textiles today. Eugene Deleplanque joined the company in 1985 and was the general manager of Dickson Constant in 1998. He was named the President of Dickson Group in 2005. His role was commendable in international expansion of the group. Excerpts:

How can you say that Dickson is No 1 in outdoor technical textiles?

In 1969, the Dickson textile mill merged with the Eugene Constant weaving company, operating in Lille since 1913. The union between these two French protagonists of the French textile scene led to the birth of a dynamic, innovative company, which quickly established a reputation as the benchmark for quality awning fabrics. In 1998, Dickson joined the American group, Glen Raven, the world's No.1 for outdoor fabric. The resulting technical and marketing synergies enabled the company to provide its customers with top quality customized service all around the world.

How can outdoor technical textiles be used in solar protection, outdoor living spaces, interior decorating and boating equipment?

Applications are numerous *Solar protection: fixed awning, drop arm awning, Pergola, exterior velum, sail shade, conservatory blind *Outdoor living spaces: outdoor seats, cushions, curtains, parasols *Indoor living spaces: cushions, blinds, curtains, bed covers, seats, floor coverings *Boating: spray hood, fly bridge, dodgers, campure enclosures, console covers, winter covers, cushions

What newer applications of outdoor technical textiles will contribute significantly in coming years for the industry?

We have developed special finishes for instance in the Orchestra Max, which are produced with self-cleaning technologies, and protect in all circumstances. We find that more and more specific qualities are being looked for in the higher segment market. Also, we are with our technology contributing in a very important way to the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings. Thanks to our continuous work and commitment, solar shading is now considered as an essential building technology and is moving to solar management including smart technology. "Energy consumption for cooling is expected to increase sharply by 2050 - by almost 150% globally, and by 300% to 600% in developing countries" says the International Energy Agency in a recent publication (Technology Roadmap Energy Efficient Building Envelopes, December 2013) and it concludes, among other 'key findings and actions', that "new office buildings should be fitted with integrated facade systems that optimize daylight while minimizing energy requirements for heating, cooling, artificial lighting and peak electricity use. Exterior shading, proper orientation and dynamic solar control should become standard features globally in new buildings and can also be applied to existing buildings; in new buildings, window-to-wall ratios can also be optimized. Pilot projects have demonstrated that such systems can enable energy savings of up to 60% for lighting, 20% for cooling and 26% for peak electricity".

What is the role of technical textiles in home textiles?

The applications of technical fabrics indoor are multiple: curtains, cushions, bedspreads, blinds, etc. Treated to resist fire, they are also safe for the habitat, enhance insulation and provide a decorative touch.

How competitive is the global market for marine furnishing industry? How do you foresee the marine furnishing industry over the years?

It blows a wind of optimism on the market of the sailing, both from the point of view of the shipbuilding and on the renovation. Indeed with a park of boats in Europe estimated in more of 7.5M (84 % less than 7.5m, 13 % between 7.5 and 12M, 2.5 % between 12 and 24m and 0.5 % beyond 24m), and an average age of more than 23 years (80 % of boats built before 2000), it means that the market concerning renovation will be supported in the future years. Furthermore, the first signs of exit of crisis of the nautical sector in Europe are visible and the development of the market of the sailing in numerous emerging countries (BRIC.) will support the market for new boats during numerous years. The market of the furnishing fabrics will not escape this bright spell.

How is Dickson different from other technical textile manufacturers?

Dickson is using for most of its products 100% solution dyed acrylic, is developing a real "savoir-faire" in the weaving process, and is doing the necessary to always deliver products as performing as aesthetic.

Do you think that the technical textile industry is sustainable enough in the global arena? Do you think strict international laws will make a difference to the entire scenario or are the present guidelines on sustainable activities enough for the technical textiles industry?

It is evaluated that a typical outdoor screen in Sunworker which only uses about 5,7 kg of CO2 in production, maintenance and disposal, saves over its lifetime about 8,5 tons of CO2 however in cooling needs which are avoided. Concerning, international laws, those are strict: - that is why we have chosen to anticipate in order to always providing safe, reliable and innovative products to our clients/designers/sellers. Our leading position allows us to see the future with confidence even if it's a fast moving market.
Published on: 31/03/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of