James Dewhurst

Issue 132 September 2016


Expanding horizons

James Dewhurst designs and manufactures high performance engineered reinforcement fabrics to ensure optimum performance throughout the supply chain using a wide range of material types

From James Dewhurst’s origins in 1933 as an innovative weaving business, it has grown into one of the largest global manufacturers of flexible reinforcement materials. Over the last 80 years, it has built on this heritage with proprietary laid scrim processes, chemical binders, and lamination and weaving technologies. Dewhurst’s high-performance industrial woven materials allow it to offer competitive reinforcement solutions tailored to its customers’ requirements.

As part of the future planning at James Dewhurst, a new team has been put together in order to ensure that it is taking a proactive and energetic approach to targeting the geotextile and construction market. Having only recently been implemented, it will likely prove to be an important strategic move, as Group Sales Director Jean Claude Abed discusses: “This geo textile market team has been assembled with the sole focus of identifying opportunities whereby James Dewhurst products may be applicable to the geo textiles and construction industries particularly. The group will also focus on developing new products for customers through partnerships and close relationships with customers.”

The new group has already seen some dividends for its efforts, and Jean Claude provides an example: “We have had some successes already in the US where we supply polyester reinforcement james-dewhurst-132-bscrims to reservoir liners. We sell the scrim to essential polyethylene film extruders that laminate our scrims to their extrusions to provide a reinforcement and then these are laid in the bottom of various ponds and reservoirs as a barrier layer and then the water gets added on top of it.”

He adds: “In addition to reservoir liners, another successful application has been developed in partnership with one of our customers; this is a glass reinforced laminate that is used in road construction applications in the US and was produced to meet the needs of the road construction business in North America. We have also developed a third product that is also for roofing; it is a glass scrim laminate that differentiates itself from other types of glass scrim as it is based on a roving yarn instead of a multi-filament yarn. This makes the glass scrim laminate a very high strength glass yarn and is part of our efforts to deliver a glass woven, glass tissue laminate for the roofing industry in Europe.”

The new group has already seen some dividends for its efforts, and Jean Claude provides an example: “We have had some successes already in the US where we supply polyester reinforcement scrims to reservoir liners. We sell the scrim to essential polyethylene film extruders that laminate our scrims to their extrusions to provide a reinforcement and then these are laid in the bottom of various ponds and reservoirs as a barrier layer and then the water gets added on top of it.”

He adds: “In addition to reservoir liners, another successful application has been developed in partnership with one of our customers; this is a glass reinforced laminate that is used in road construction applications in the US and was produced to meet the needs of the road construction business in North America. We have also developed a third product that is also for roofing; it is a glass scrim laminate that differentiates itself from other types of glass scrim as it is based on a roving yarn instead of a multi-filament yarn. This makes the glass scrim laminate a very high strength glass yarn and is part of our efforts to deliver a glass woven, glass tissue laminate for the roofing industry in Europe.” a lot of the products, we will go out and identify the customer and find their unmet needs, to then work with co-operatively to develop some new products.

“For example, in construction we are looking to target roofing applications; previously we have made a lot of roofing laminates made from glass scrim, laminated to glass tissue, but have recently developed a laid scrim to replace the woven scrim that is historically used to create a single ply roofing application for TPO or PVC roofs. This development is in response to market trends whereby woven reinforcement is being substituted with a laid reinforcement; this is a new business for us and has recently been commercialised with one of our customers.”

There are always new areas in which James Dewhurst is looking to improve, so the company has a very active future planned, as Jean Claude discussed: “We are also evaluating and running trials for the next four weeks whereby we hope to be able to offer a new bio compostable scrim. This is an area where a lot of customers have expressed interest but a lot of the materials that would work in our process were not available until this time or were very expensive to the point where it didn’t make any sense. So we hope in the next six months to have two or three different bio compostable options available as reinforcement to customers targeting hygiene areas like wipes. This will allow packaging customers to prevent a lot of paper going to landfill, and instead make it compostable. Those are probably the biggest areas of growth that we expect to get into.”

The company is putting in place innovative plans for the future, new energetic teams, investments in its facilities, and increasing its market share within Europe. James Dewhurst developed an impressive business in the 20th century, and the company no doubt has an even more successful future ahead as it continues its focus on innovation and a collaborative approach to product development.

James Dewhurst
Products: Flooring and roofing products, needle punching and filtration fabrics and wind turbine blade reinforcement


James Dewhurst