TPU fabric by Nike IHM
New exhibitor Nike IHM, a subsidiary of the world’s biggest sport-article company, presents a new fabric made of thermo-plastic polyurethane for a variety of different uses. Three questions to Nike IHM Greg Rossiter, Nike Corporate Communications, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
- Question: What was your company’s intention to set up a business unit like NIKE IHM for in house manufacturing, switching from processing to production?
Nike IHM was previously known as Tetra Plastics, a custom plastic sheet extruder. Nike, Inc., one of the company’s customers, began working with Tetra Plastics in the early 1980’s the development of air cushioning systems for footwear. By 1991, Nike, Inc. had integrated air cushioning into its footwear to such a degree that Nike, Inc. acquired Tetra Plastics. Following the purchase, the custom business which was designated as “Non-Nike.” This is the category for the different markets Nike IHM serves today in addition to Nike footwear.
- Question: Which special trends and tendencies do you detect in the market for the time being and what has NIKE IHM to offer for that?
The fabric we are going to show is our TPU fabric, it was originally developed by Nike, Inc., for applications in its footwear and apparel businesses but the company decided not to bring the material to market in its products. Nike, Inc., turned over the material to Nike IHM to explore potential opportunities outside footwear and apparel.
- Question: What made you decide to exhibit at Techtextil for the first time side by side with your former or actual suppliers?
Our intent in participating at Techtextil is to introduce our TPU fabric to the fabric industry and identify potential applications for it. We have not determined what application could be a fit for the TPU fabric — that is, of course, why Nike IHM is planning to attend Techtextil. Nike IHM attended another trade show in October 2014 where there was tremendous interest at our booth, in part due to the strength of the Nike brand. The TPU fabric is a differentiated material that we hope might be used in a new application. We’re looking forward to determining what that might be at Techtextil.