Ideally located as a regional hub to key export markets, Turkey has become an important player in the nonwovens industry. Development in local demand and increased deliveries to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have contributed to the success of an economy that is currently the fastest-growing in Europe among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
Production of nonwovens in Turkey doubled in the five years to 2011, due in part to acceleration in direct foreign investment in the country, according to a report from Textiles Intelligence titled “Trade Liberalization Holds the Key for Turkey’s Nonwovens Manufacturers.”
Several of Turkey’s top nonwovens producers have invested in new production lines and innovative technologies to meet growing demand, both domestically and abroad. Among other players, the following companies will be key contributors to future growth.
Plants: Istanbul and Tekirdag, Turkey
Processes: Web Forming Technologies: airlaid, carded, spunlaid; Bonding Technologies: needlepunched, air-through bonded, calender bonded, chemical bonded, resin bonded
Lines: More than 15 nonwoven web forming lines and more than 50 converting and finishing lines, including several other extrusion, film and lamination lines in the group companies. Additionally, Hassan Group converts nonwoven waddings and interlinings in its own quilting and home textiles divisions. Trade, insurance and construction are other activities of Hassan Group.
Brands: Hygenius, for ADL (acquisition distribution layer) from Merkas—for baby diapers, sanitary napkins and adult incontinence products; Polybond spunbond
Applications: Artificial leather (backing), automotive, carpet (underlay), construction (geotextiles), filtration, footwear, furniture and bedding, household (wipes), hygiene and medical, ready-to-wear, technical textiles, white goods (isolation)
A diversified group of manufacturing companies active in textiles, nonwovens and automotive components, Hassan Group serves European, Middle Eastern, African, South American and Russian markets. The company is divided into five roll goods producing companies (Siteks, Hassan, Telasis, Aksis and Merkas), which together produce nearly 100,000 tons of nonwovens per year, as well as three converter companies (Haspas, Catsis and Pelsan). Teksis, Teksis D.T. and Siteks D.T. are the local and foreign import and export companies of the group. Additionally, two other companies (Avitus in insurance and Grandis in construction) operate outside the nonwovens production, converting and trading scope of the group.
Concerning roll goods production, Siteks, founded in 1980, produces 50,000 tons of nonwovens per year, with a range of 200-3,000 gsm in cut sheets, rolls and die cuts. Hassan, founded in 1985, produces 20,000 tons per year, with a range of 50-2,500 gsm in cut sheets, rolls and die cuts. Founded in 1995, Telasis currently produces 12,000 tons of nonwovens per year, offering 10-80 gsm in rolls. Aksis (2010) produces 6,000 tons of spunlaid nonwovens per year (9-150 gsm in rolls). Lastly, Merkas (2010) produces 9,000 tons of air-through bonded nonwovens with a range of 25-120 gsm in slitted or spooled rolls.
As for the group’s converting companies, Haspas (1998) produces nonwoven quilted roll goods and home textiles; Catsis (1995) produces molded and die cut nonwoven parts for automotive and white goods; Pelsan (2007) produces 25,000 tons of polyethylene film laminated textiles per year, with a range of 24-104 gsm in slitted rolls.
Hassan Group traces its history to the migration of its founder, Hasan Sisman, from his hometown to Istanbul in 1928. After serving as an apprentice to a cotton fluffer, he started quilting blankets by hand in 1937. During World War II, shortage in imports of cotton padding emerged and he began producing cotton padding by hand. After the war, he bought a used wooden carding machine and increased capacity. His brothers later joined him to handle the broadening business, which expanded with five lines till 1966. In the 1970s they produced wadding for bedding and automotive industries.
The private foundation of Hasan Sisman turned to a family business and institutionalized in the 1980s with the company Siteks Incorporated. In 1991, his brothers abdicated and founded their own companies. After his death in 1996, Hasan Sisman’s five sons took over management of the company and started to extend the business, laying a foundation of diversified capabilities. Today, with its 13 companies, Hassan Group shares its created values in nonwoven, trade, service and construction industries with its second and third, generation family members and professional teams.
Through technological investments, quality certificates, environmental consciousness and social responsibility, Hassan Group has become one of the leading nonwoven producers in the world.
“With the support of committed professional staff and high capacity state-of-the-art lines and laboratories, Hassan Group has given good account to itself in providing its clients with the best possible services,” says Hakan Sisman, deputy general manager of Merkas.
Hassan Group places great emphasis on research and development, he adds. “That’s why continuously necessary improvements of both innovative product developments and manufacturing processes are carried out relentlessly.”
Sustainability is top-of-mind for the company, translating to development of biodegradable products that combine natural fibers and green chemistry using modern techniques, such as thermal bonding, needlepunching, calendering, printing and laminating.
In recent investment news, Hassan Group purchased a needlepunch line for Hassan and an airlaid line for Siteks. Merkas and Aksis also made new investments in 2011. According to Sisman, Merkas began running the first air-through bonded high loft nonwoven line for baby diapers, sanitary napkins and adult incontinence products in Turkey. Meanwhile, Aksis started spunbond production, mainly supplying the breathable film company Pelsan.
“Now we have most of the supplementary products for hygienic applications to better serve our customers,” says Sisman. “We have the widest card for thermal bonded soft top sheet, high loft air-through bonded acquisition distribution layer, breathable and non-breathable textile backsheet.”
In January 2013 the company will begin production of a new textile backsheet line at Pelsan. The company is also considering adding a new spunbond line, a new air-through bonding line and other opportunities. “In the future, our aim is to be the main supplier for more companies all over the world and to add different products to our portfolio with new investments,” notes Sisman.
Key Personnel: Ekrem Kayali, president; Ayse Kayali, vice president; Serkan Gogus, commercial director; Ersin Kosker, project manager
Plants: Gaziantep, Turkey (two plants)
Processes: Spunbond (PP, PET), meltblown, SMS, spunlace, composites, extrusion coated fabrics, welded fabrics, PEVA film, converted fabrics (cutting, sewing, sheeting, etc.)
Lines: Four PP spunbond, one PET spunbond, five meltblown, two spunlace
Applications: Wipes, building industry, spill control, filtration, coating substrates, bedding/furniture, packaging, automotive, agriculture, hygiene and medical, cable wrapping, vacuum cleaner dust bags, fabric softener sheets
With 2011 revenue of $60 million, Mogul serves global markets, doing most of its business in Turkey, Europe and North America. The company produces a diversified product range that includes spunlace, PP spunbond nonwovens, PET spunbond nonwovens, meltblown nonwovens, SM-SMS-MMM grades, extrusion coated/laminated fabrics, PEVA film and converted products made from nonwovens and composites.
In addition, the company offers specialty products that include: MHV fluorescent hi-visible fabrics, Rowapro SMS roofing fabrics, Integrale coated/laminated fabrics, a range of spill control products (socks, booms, pillows, kits), Allucoat range of aluminum coated fabrics, Multiplex wide width crop covers, Duotex abrasive wipes, Q-wick special emboss wipes and Asterion pulp/mb grades.
“We see a strong demand in general for wipe products, especially in Turkey,” says Serkan Gogus, commercial director. “In the PP spunbond market, we deal in technical applications. In general that market is not very strong and prices and margins are tight. But for PET spunbond, demand is very strong. For meltblown sorbents the business is regular.”
The company recently began production of a new spunlace, a PP spunbond and a meltblown line this year. “Mogul is always keen to grow,” says Gogus, adding among the company’s goals is to become a Top 40 company. “I’m confident in the next two to three years, we can reach this target. We plan to grow our specialty spunbond and spunlace products to differentiate ourselves and run away from competition.”
Plants: Gaziantep, Turkey
Processes: Spunbond and SMS nonwoven
Lines: Two spunbond, one SMS nonwoven
Applications: Hydrophilic, flame retardants, UV, antistatic, antibacterial, antiseptic
Brands: Wolfbond, Agriwolf
Key Personnel: Mesut Kurt, vice president
With roots in cotton and cotton yarn, Kurt Kumas San. ve Tic. A.S. (founded in 1970) entered the nonwoven business in 2003 with one spunbond production line. Since that time Kurt Nonwoven has added another spunbond line, as well as one SMS line. The company says it will continue to invest in nonwovens and other sectors.
Kurt Nonwoven supplies 7,000 tons of SMS nonwovens per year, 4,000 tons of spunbond per year and 4,000 tons of hygienic spunbond. The company’s products are mainly used in hygiene and medical applications. Other market include agriculture mattress and upholstery, backing, furnishing, pocket spring, etc.
Mesut Kurt, vice president, says there is an oversupply of spunbond in the Turkish market due to recent capacities that have come on-line. “For the SMS nonwoven market, there was a big output gap between supply and demand,” he adds. “With our new investment that was installed in the first quarter of this year we closed the supply and demand gap. Sixty percent of our production is exported.” The company serves all regional markets except the Far East.
Kurt Nonwoven looks to separate itself from competitors based on its quality of service. “It doesn’t matter how far the customer is for us, our aim is to close the order/case at the same day we receive the request,” says Kurt. “Concerning quality, today we are using the latest technology at our lines and we are using the latest technology for the inspection system for the quality controls; due to that fact we are always proud to send our customers top quality materials. In the local market, we are a high quality and high capacity producer. That is our difference.”
Plants: Istanbul, Turkey
Processes: Chemical bonded (binder bonded), thermal bond, needlepunch, coating and lamination
Applications: Filtration, cable, medical, household cleaning, interlining, hygiene, automotive, special applications
Key Personnel: Selim Tezman, CEO
As a subsidiary of Tezman Holding, Vateks began nonwoven production in 1976 and was one of the first nonwoven manufacturers in Turkey. Vateks makes nonwovens using a wide range of processes, serving various markets that include medical, filtration, cable, interlining, automotive, packaging, furniture, construction, hygiene and household cleaning. The company produces viscose, polyester, polyamide and polypropylene nonwovens ranging from 17-700 gsm.
With diverse web bonding technologies, such as chemical bond, thermal bond and needlepunch, and its finishing treatment opportunities, Vateks serves many interdependent industry areas with flexibility.
As an ISO 9001 and Oeko-Tex certified company, Vateks has an established customer base in the developed markets of Western Europe,as well as in emerging markets such as North Africa, South America, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Today, Vateks exports to 35 countries.
The company’s most recent investment is a line capable of making both chemical bond and needlepunch nonwovens that serve filtration, automotive, shoulder pads, battery separator and various niche markets. The company increased capacity of this line in July.
General Nonwovens & Composites (General Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.)
Plants: Gaziantep and Kilis, Turkey
Processes: Spunbond (PET, PP), through-air
Lines: 3.4-meter spunbond, 2.4-meter air-through/carded (new as of October 2011)
Applications: Hygiene, automotive, coating and reinforcing, filtration, construction, packaging
Key Personnel: Mehmet Yilankirkan, CEO; Alican Yilankirkan, business development director; Dogan Mazicioglu, sales director
With 2011 revenue of €18 million, General Nonwovens & Composites is a family owned Turkish spunbond manufacturer based in Gaziantep, Turkey, that manufacturers PP and PET fabrics for both disposable and durable nonwovens applications.
The company manufactures in two locations, Gaziantep and Kilis, which is about 30 km from Gaziantep. Its manufacturing capacity consists of one proprietary 3.4 meter spunbond line, and a 2.4 meter through-air bonding system that was installed in the second half of 2011. The company plans to add a 3.4-meter SMS line for hygiene applications in the fourth quarter of 2012. Half of all production is targeted at the domestic Turkish market, and the other half for export, primarily to European and North American markets.
Ribatek Tekstil AS
Applications: Hygiene, medical, automotive, wipes
Lines: Two spunlace
Founded in 1977, Ribatek Tekstil is a family owned company in the textile business. In 2006 the company established its spunlace nonwovens manufacturing plant with a cross-lapped production line. Ribatek Textile started its second line in 2008.
“As Ribatek Textile, we are specialized in manufacturing and sales of spunlace nonwoven fabrics,” says Kemal Say, marketing manager. “Ribatek’s brand Tecrib Spunlace Nonwovens is widely used in the wiping industry (wet wipes), hygiene sector (panty liners), medical applications (gauze), automotive sector (substrates). Also our series of cleaning products covers household cleaning wipes, floor wipes, industrial wipes and dusters.”
The company serves markets in Europe, Asia and North Africa. In order to meet customers’ practical demands and special needs, the company focuses on the development of new and special functional products.
“We are very proud of manufacturing goods on time and make special timing for urgent needs such as getting the goods ready for loading in five working days with reasonable prices,” notes Say.
Turkish Manufacturers Double Output in Five Years
Profiles on top roll goods producers in Turkey, along with a few up-and-coming players.
By Sean Moloughney, Managing Editor