Interview with Nick Butler on TCL2016

TCL covers the entire technical textiles industry 

International Newsletters Ltd is an organiser of conferences and other events in technical textiles and related industries. One of its major events – International Conference   on Textile Coating and Laminating -- was held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 16 to 17 March 2016. It saw large-scale participation of the biggest names in the industry.  Nick Butler, editorial director at International Newsletters Ltd, provides a glimpse of the topics of discussion in an interview with

What inspired a conference on textile coating and laminating?

This is the 25th year of this long-running conference series, which has the reputation of being a vital meeting place for the worldwide coating and laminating industry. Very different from an academic research meeting, International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating (TCL) is a venue for practical presentations focusing on what is happening in the industry and what will happen in future. The fact that we received a record number of delegates, demonstrates the relevance and importance of this conference in the industry.

What sustainability issues were discussed?

Many presentations discussed sustainability in tangible terms, including the drive to find alternatives to fluorocarbons for repellant coatings. Alternatives discussed included carbon-6 technologies and fluorocarbon-free chemistries, including a radically new technology --- hyperbaric dry finishing. This comes from Green Theme Technologies. Solvent-free technologies were also discussed. Vetex of Ingelmunster, Belgium, for instance, confirmed its commitment to develop solvent-free technologies regardless of existing regulations. The imperative to reduce the industry's consumption of water and the impact of pressure groups, such as Greenpeace, on the industry were also discussed. Driven directly by legislations around the world, many companies are striving to find effective alternatives to the existing flame-retardant (FR) agents used to treat textiles. These agents are increasingly being banned because of their potentially toxic properties. Much of the discussion in Prague focused on this. ICL-IP of Tel Aviv, Israel presented its work on assessing the suitability and safety of FR agents to help make the substitution of such chemicals work effectively.

What makes TCL different from other conferences on textile coating and laminating?

TCL covers the entire technical textiles industry whereas other conferences focus on just one aspect of the industry, such as coating or digital printing. Other industries can also benefit from information generated at TCL. There is a cross-over onto other industries, particularly for machine manufacturers, R&D and so on.

What was the USP of TCL 2016?

TCL has evolved over the years with the industry. So, certain 'hot' topics like flame-retardancy and finding alternatives to fluorocarbons for coatings took centre stage this year due to legislative changes. TCL strives to bring to delegates the latest developments in fibres, fabrics, adhesives, films, polymers, converting, machinery and techniques.

Please share details of the speakers of TCL 2016. What improvements are lined up in this area?

There were 22 speakers at TCL. While approaching and selecting speakers for the conference, we aim at current topics which we know will be of interest to attendees. We ensure that we invite quality speakers from our extensive experience and knowledge in this field. We also act on feedback from participants invited to rate speakers for content and presentation, so we can improve our planning every year.

Please shed light on the participant profiles at TCL 2016

The participants were mainly managing directors, CEOs, R&D managers and other senior management professionals from companies in the textile coating and laminating industry. Participants found the content useful for their business, and most of them were able to make interesting contacts.

What was the overall feedback?

The feedback has been positive. Many delegates expressed their approval on subjects chosen for presentations. Most of them reported that they learned something new and relevant. All the delegates appreciated opportunities for networking over the two days, and saw it as an important part of TCL.

Published on: 21/04/2016