Weiheim to concentrate on base material production; Sant´Omero to focus on finishing and coating
As a result of massive market changes in the interlinings market, Freudenberg Performance Materials is will create two apparel competence centers—one in Weinheim, Germany and one in Sant’Omero, Italy—by the end of 2022. This measure will involve the relocation of two lines for finishing and coating from Weinheim, Germany, as well as one line from San Maertin, Argentina, to Sant’Omero where it will concentrate base material finishing and coating. The Argentinean line was decommissioned and disassembled in 2017. Sant´Omero has a long tradition and extensive expertise in processing textile base materials for the manufacture of interlinings. The lines to be relocated are designed for all types of interlinings.
Meanwhile, Freudenberg will continue weft production while expanding its existing base material know-how in Weinheim, which will become a competence center for base material production.
In recent years, the middle price segment of the mass market has been particularly hard hit as more consumers are following the trend towards casual wear in many areas of life. Generally speaking, casual garments require very few or no interlinings. The global pandemic has dramatically accelerated this trend. Moreover, the apparel industry in general has seen a sharp fall in demand as a result of the pandemic, and recovery is likely to take quite a few years.
Even though the apparel industry has been moving out of Germany and Europe for many years, Freudenberg Performance Materials Apparel has sought to strengthen the production location in Weinheim – out of a sense of loyalty to the birthplace of Freudenberg’s nonwoven. Time and again, the company has launched initiatives designed to successfully run the core business in interlinings for the mass market middle and lower price segments from Weinheim. However, it has not been possible to completely offset the massive market changes.