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30th January 2012, Vancouver & Portland, OR

NAT and Tuscarora to expand CRAiLAR applications

CRAiLAR flax fibreNaturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT), producer of one of the first new natural fibres in decades, CRAiLAR, announced today it will partner with Tuscarora Yarns, a leading yarn innovator, to explore a range of new blended yarns using CRAiLAR Flax.  

Under the terms of the non-exclusive, non-transferable license, Tuscarora Yarns will design and manufacture highly specialized CRAiLAR Flax fibre yarns and related products for sale and distribution to third party licensees of CRAiLAR.  

"Tuscarora is one of the most innovative yarn spinners in the world, and has the ability to prepare us for entry into several unexplored categories such as couture fashion, sports performance, extreme weather gear, and certain sectors of home furnishings," said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT.

"This agreement will seek to push the applications of CRAiLAR beyond our first phase of cotton blending and establish new market sectors for this unique and sustainable natural fibre."

The proprietary CRAiLAR enzymatic process, developed by Vancouver-based NAT in conjunction with the National Research Council of Canada, turns natural bast fibres-such as flax, hemp, jute, and kenaf, into soft, finished textiles that are said to be as comfortable as cotton, but more durable and eco-friendly.

The result, NAT says, is a product that can integrate with existing technology for spinning, weaving, or forming fabric, which can be used across categories such as apparel, footwear, work wear, and domestic textiles. Additionally, CRAiLAR can be used for a number of industrial applications.

Since March 2011, NAT has announced commercialization or development agreements for CRAiLAR Flax fibre with HanesBrands, Georgia-Pacific, Levi Strauss & Co., Cintas, Carhartt, Ashland, Westex, Brilliant Global Knitwear and Target.

Tuscarora Yarns is a maker of specialty yarns headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, N.C. and a leading supplier of heather and mélange yarns. The company also serves the automotive and home furnishings markets.     

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