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Karweb Nonwovens is a subsidiary of Kara Holding based in Gaziantep, Turkey. Operating in three sectors—textiles, plastics and nonwovens—Kara Holding first began industrial production in 1989, producing yarn under the name Selcuk Iplik. Continuously growing its company with annual investments, today Selcuk Iplik is one of the 10 largest integrated textile companies in Turkey, producing everything from fiber to garments. In 2012, the company invested in a stretch film line, and production increased capacity to 50 tons/day under the name of Selcuk Plast.
Because of its strong growth in the Turkish textile industry, Kara Holding decided to open Karweb Nonwovens in 2013 to diversify its business and make investments in different sectors. Karweb established the first airlaid nonwoven facility in Turkey, and today it still is the only Turkish company producing airlaid, according to Suna Karakurd, sales and marketing manager, Karweb Nonwovens. “We decided to focus on disposable products because we saw that the disposable market was growing so fast,” she says.
After spending several years in the airlaid sector, Karweb saw increasing demand in spunlace, and with most of its customers also using this material, the company decided to make an additional investment. An Andritz spunlace line was added to Karweb’s facility this year and incorporates an Ozone Treated System, which is also unique to Karweb within Turkey.
On the airlaid side, Karweb’s key markets are feminine hygiene and wipes. Until recently, the company mainly focused on producing ADL products for feminine hygiene, but this year the company decided to extend its target market to core products. Meanwhile, its initial output for spunlace has been wet wipes, but Karweb is currently working on a new project that will create a value added product that will be announced in the future.
Karakurd says that the company is always considering new investment, but its primary aim is to always produce value added products. “In five years, we made our second line investment and we decided to continue growing in the nonwovens industry,” she says. “There are many strong players in the industry, and we are aware of that. That’s why we are investing not only in increasing our capacity, but also in R&D and infrastructure for the company. If everything goes as planned, our turnover will be $100 million with a considerable R&D team.”
In order to accelerate R&D activities and achieve its goals, the company is nowadays working intensively on opening a nonwovens research center. The R&D team will solely concentrate on generating scientific knowledge in nonwoven field by creating and managing research projects, cooperating with universities and partners, publishing articles and patents, and participating in national and international conferences, symposium and fairs.
Karakurd says that the company differentiates itself from others because it aims to give outstanding customer service and build strong relationships with its customers. In addition to always being honest with customers on delivery dates and capabilities, quality is a main focus for the company, and Karweb will continually invest in its operations in order to improve quality. “For example, no other company in Turkey has a UV – ozone water treatment system, but we aware of how important water treatment is for spunlace,” she explains. “This is how we are trying to differentiate from others, and so far we have seen that it works well—even from other companies that have more years’ experience than us.”