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Quality Fabric Of The Month

Accent On Silk

Universal Fiber Systems' SilkWorks offers carpet manufacturers a new yarn that has the appearance of fine silk or wool.

Janet Bealer Rodie, Assistant Editor

T ucked away in Bristol, Va., in the southwestern corner of the state on the Virginia/Tennessee state line, Universal Fiber Systems LLC (UFS) has been producing fibers and yarns for carpet, upholstery, automotive, industrial and other textile applications since it was founded in 1969 as CaMac. The company claims it was one of the first to introduce solution-dyed nylon 6 to the market, and also among the first to develop solution-dyed bulk continuous filament (BCF) nylon. Other solution-dyed products include nylon 6,6 for carpet, and textile-grade polyester and polypropylene, as well as Phoenix® recycled fiber containing 80-percent post-industrial nylon 6,6.

UFS produces specialty yarns on commission for end-product manufacturers such as many of the leading carpet manufacturers. It boasts core competencies that include the capability to manage multiple polymers, a small lot approach, flexibility in terms of denier sizes and constructions, and especially its color competency — its Universal Color® nylon 6,6 BCF spectrum offers more than 237 standard colors. Bill Goodman, commercial development director, said the company will custom-match any color the customer requires, and does it all in-house.

UFS recently introduced SilkWorks, part of a family of accent yarns that also includes Reflection®, which has a reflective cross-section filament and metallic structure; Revolve®, which has a space-dyed look; and Prisma®, which uses 200-denier effect yarns. The company reports the process transforms the nylon fiber from which the yarn is made into a product that has the appearance of silk or wool.


SilkWorks mingles multiple colors of fine-denier, texturized nylon filaments to create blends that can be subtle or bold in appearance.

SilkWorks differs from the company's products that are more uniform in tone because it combines fine-denier, texturized filaments of multiple colors to create blends that have greater vibrancy, according to Goodman. "The beauty of SilkWorks is that it does not look like a synthetic," he said. "The product has a natural look and feel. SilkWorks can be subtle or bold in its appearance.

"SilkWorks is a leading example of how the core competencies of Universal Fiber Systems are leveraged to produce new innovations," he added. "Color selection, smaller denier sizes, use of multiple deniers, management of multiple polymers and state-of-the-art downstream construction capabilities are all important aspects of our corporate strategy."

Goodman said the company's major customers are now looking at SilkWorks and evaluating it for potential applications. He added that UFS is looking at using the process with other hybrid polymers to make the next generation of SilkWorks. These future versions also could be targeted to different markets.

"Due to Universal Fibers' flexibility, we are able to utilize the same technology not only for the carpet industry, but also to cross over into other applications in furnishings, upholstery or even drapery," Goodman explained.

For more information about SilkWorks, contact Bill Goodman (276) 645-9728; fax (276) 669-3304; billg@prismafibers.com .

May 2005