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Industry Talk

Sixty years of innovation and so much still to be done…

Adrian Wilson talks to Friedrich Weninger, managing director of the Austrian Fibres Institute and Dornbirn-GFC.

2nd July 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Dornbirn, Austria

Knitted Outerwear, Technical Textiles

AW: Before we talk about this year’s exciting Dornbirn-GFC (September 15-17th), I think it might be worthwhile revisiting a little history. This is the 60th Dornbirn Conference and many of our readers may be unaware of why it came to be held in the Austrian town in the first place. Can you elaborate?

FW: To keep it short, foresighted leaders from the industry and the associations realised that there had to be a long-term vision for innovation for Europe’s industry, in what was even then turning into a competitive age. All of the process technology developments in the 1960s were already focused on being more efficient. So they started pulling together all the different players from the industry. There were many manmade fibre (MMF) producers in Europe back then – around 30 in the viscose and cellulosics business alone. Austria was very active in textiles and nobody had any problem with the event being held there. It was somewhat neutral, if you like. So that was the reason it ended up being held in this little town in the western part of Austria and remained there for sixty years – or at least 58, since the last, like this year’s was virtual. Nevertheless they have remained Dornbirn in name. 1961 was also the year of course, when the building of the Berlin Wall commenced, so Dornbirn’s neutrality as a location became even more important and it was able to bring together MMF specialists from both East and West Germany during the period when the country was divided.

Read the full interview on Innovation in Textiles

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